Saturday, August 3, 2013

Tech Camp

Blazing a new trail...
I am so excited for our 1st Tech Camp this year! Tech Camp is one the many hairbrained ideas I've hatched in the shower. I'm so blessed to have a principal that supports most of my nutty ideas.

The first week of school each grade will have an all day Tech Camp. 5th grade will be Tuesday, 6th grade Wednesday, 7th grade Thursday and 8th grade Friday. Students will be divided into groups and will travel together all day. Each department is responsible for teaching lessons.  I created the lessons in Google Drive and shared them with the teachers.

Why Tech Camp

Last year we taught most of these lessons through out the year in the library and called them Tech Bytes. The lessons went well but we never had enough time to really discuss issues.  And something has to be taught later in the year.  When we'd talk about citing sources in April students would say "I wish I knew this earlier".  So, the idea is to front load them.  Spend time at the beginning of the year to save time throughout the year.  A key piece of Tech Camp (and one that I'm still working on) is an ebook manual for students called Tech Tips.  All the Tech Camp info will be in Tech Tips plus some 'how to' pages.  Students will have Tech Tips shared with them through Google Drive in their Google Apps & Searching session.  Since it will 'live' in their Drive, all students really have to know is how to sign into their GAFE accounts!

Tech Camp will cover
  • Digital Citizenship - taught by the Social Studies department with the help of our counselor.  Each grade has an unique lesson.  5th grade focuses Netiquette and Cyber bullying.  6th grade focuses on Digital Media (the beginning of a digital footprint) and Digital Drama.  7th and 8th grade focus on Digital Footprints, Profiles and appropriate sharing.  7th & 8th grades have different videos to watch but the underlying themes are similar. Most of these lessons are remixes of lessons from Common Sense Media. 
  • Copyright - taught by the English Language Arts department.  Students will learn the basics of copyright and siting sources.  They will be introduced to Britannica Image Quest (a product that our district subscribes to that offers copyright free images).  Students will work in teams to create glogsters to summarize copyright information and use images from Image Quest.
  • Hardware/Software - taught by the Math department.  This is a QR code matching game to introduce students to hardware and software terminology.  One card has the vocabulary word, the matching card has the definition. There is a QR code on the back. If the student makes a match, they scan the code and get an affirmative message.  If they don't receive a message, they don't have a match. 
  • Accounts and Expectations - taught by the Science department. In this session, students will sign up for Edmodo (if needed) and join their classes on Edmodo.  Students will receive their class schedules with the Edmodo group codes for each class written on the schedule.  They will also create their Prezi accounts.  Expectations for account usage will also be discussed. 
  • Google Apps & Searching - taught by our Librarian.  Students will be introduced to their GAFE account.  Email and Drive will be explored.  Students will practice sharing by sharing Tech Tips (a student 'how to' guide that I'm in the process of creating).  Students will also go through a safe and effective searching mini-lesson.  
  • Portfolio - taught by me.  I'm so excited about this one.  I've been worried for some time now that our students' digital work disappears and dies a sad death.  So, I've created a template in Google Sites to get students started.  During Camp, we'll personalize the template and add pages for each class.  Then we'll add projects to the pages during the school year.  Then at camp next year, they'll create a new section of pages for the new year. 
You can see all the lessons by clicking here.  This will take you to my Drive folder with the lessons.  Each lesson file includes the grade level Technology Applications TEKS.  If you're not from Texas those wouldn't mean much to you ;) You'll also a few find supplementary materials in the folder. 

Please let me know what you think! 


  1. I love this idea! I'm planning a computer "boot camp" for my 6th graders as they begin their journey in our 1-1 school. Thanks for sharing!

    Niva Alboukrek
    David Posnack Jewish Day School
    Davie, FL

    1. Thanks Niva! I'd love to hear what you cover in boot camp!

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. This sounds like a great idea, but I can't believe you will pull it off on the first week of school! That's amazing!

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