Your Early February Tech Update

Hello, fellow educators!

We hope that you have been enjoying watching the snowflakes falling today. We have a shortish update for you today on three items: interactive Promethean boards, an awesome update from Google Classroom, and then our thoughts on AI after the conference in Portland a few weeks ago. As always, if you'd like to connect with us feel free to drop us a message or make an appointment with us.

First off, a brief follow up to the email I forwarded along regarding being blocked Padlet last fall. It is officially going to be blocked starting next Friday because they no longer agree to the student data privacy agreement we had with them. If you would like to explore other options, please make an appointment with us so that we can understand your needs as we guide you to an alternative.

Last Call for Prometheans!

Stephen and I have to finalize the list of where the Promethean boards need to go for grades 6-12. If you have a lackluster projector in your room (too small, tough spot, etc.) or would love to be able to have an interactive TV in your room, please let us know ASAP. This YouTube Video does a great job walking you through some of the features (stop watching at 8 minutes in since the rest doesn't pertain to us). You can also connect your device to the Promethean and actually control it while standing at the board!

Let us know immediately if you'd like to get on the list. We have several available for both schools that are looking for homes.

Google Classroom Analytics

We are excited to share that Analytics has come to Google Classroom! It's a powerful tool that enables teachers to get a centralized view on Classroom activity data for each class they teach and easily identify which students might need extra support. You can find it by clicking on the Analytics icon in the top right hand corner of Google Classroom. If you'd like to dig into it together, feel free to make an appointment with us.

Report from ElevAtIon Summit 2023

Stephen, Susie, and Aaron Thomas from BEHS attended the AI conference in Portland during the flood storm. It was a great way to be inside and out of the elements while connecting with other educators from across the state. Here are some of our takeaways from what we learned:

  • There is a wide range of viewpoints and policy, or lack thereof, about how AI can and should be used in schools across the state. It is already leading to very interesting conversations about the impacts of access to AI tools, experience working with it, and much more!  Such access is especially beginning to raise questions of equity and its impacts around the country.

  • Most schools in Maine {ours included} are not going to allow their students to directly use AI tools in the classroom any time soon because of student privacy agreements. I think this will change at some point in time, I don't think it's a terrible idea to pump the brakes a little for a multitude of reasons. 

  • That said, AI is an inevitable part of the near future, especially in life after high school. While it may not be wise to use it in every subject, I think it would be a disservice to students to avoid integrating it into the high school experience. It seems that just as with computers, modern employees will form a symbiotic relationship with AI. 

  • I initially found myself somewhat overwhelmed by all of the AI tools that were available to me. We're starting to see the convergence of these tools in a few teacher-friendly platforms. Websites like Magic School and Eduaide are going to be game-changers in helping to alleviate teacher workloads. I'm also seeing their integration into existing platforms that we already use. Sites like Canva, EdPuzzle, and Grammarly have embedded AI tools that can help with everything from photo editing to question generation.

  • We're looking forward to ongoing learning thanks to a book study on "The AI Classroom" with Amanda Fox, Keynote speaker from the summit and one of the authors of the text. We are excited to continue the discussion and deepen our learning going forward. Amanda was dynamic and shared awesome information and activities with us through her presentation. We look forward to bringing our take-aways to you!

Concerned about how students may be experimenting with AI tools to skirt the creative and intellectual process? Check out this article for 7 NON-tech strategies you can use when your spidey sense starts to tingle!

That's it from here at this point. We hope you have found this interesting and helpful.

Have a great day!

~Susie & Stephen

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MSAD #6 - Bonny Eagle Schools
Buxton - Hollis - Limington - Standish - Frye Island, Maine
Helping all students to reach their full potential


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