As a result of parent feedback over the past several months, we are offering a free service for parents to opt-in to a stronger home internet filtering option for District-owned student laptop computers. The new filtering option will mirror the current filtering students experience when in school. Social networking sites such as YouTube and Facebook will be blocked at home, and Skype will be removed.
Parents who wish to opt-in to the stronger home filtering option should complete and mail or hand deliver the attached form to the address below no later than February 17, 2012. Forms received after February 17 will be addressed as the technology department is able. Please do not return the form to school with your child.
Director of Data and Technology
Salisbury Township School District
1140 Salisbury Road
Allentown, PA 18103
Parents will be notified when the new filtering has been installed on the student’s laptop computer. If the current level of home filtering is acceptable, parents need do nothing. Please email Randy Ziegenfuss if you have further questions – email@example.com.
Randy Ziegenfuss, Ed.D.
REQUEST FORM FOR NEW HOME FILTERING OPTION – CLICK TO DOWNLOAD
Literature circles allow students to participate in self-directed discussions about literature. In groups of 4-6, students choose a book for their group to read. The students meet daily, setting goals for completion and choosing jobs for discussion.
With Falcon Apps (Google Apps for Education) and laptop computers, every student collaborates outside of class before meeting with their group. Students monitor their group members’ progress, chat to solve problems before the discussion, and guide each other to better contributions in class. The teacher can monitor student work in progress, providing quick and easy feedback to facilitate better preparation for discussions.
The 1:1 access to laptop computers and Falcon Apps has facilitated:
- increased student collaboration.
- more focused and productive group discussions.
- student goal-setting, teamwork, and accountability.
- faster feedback from peers and teachers.
- extended learning beyond the confines of the classroom walls.
- students seeking knowledge from more sources than just the teacher.
During class students view the shared document. They can view a copy of their partner’s work just by pulling it up on their laptop computer, revising and adding or removing information based on the flow of the discussion. The entire discussion process is facilitated through the shared document, and the students’ responses are improved by the ability to quickly edit their work, provide and receive feedback.
Students use the internet to supplement the text by looking up words and concepts, looking for other interpretations of the text by other readers outside the class, reading comments, finding images and video to help visualize and contextualize, and locating examples of literary terms applied to their text (such as metaphors and themes) used by other internet users.
After the completion of the literature circle discussion, students demonstrate comprehension through a project of their choice. Using a shared Falcon Apps document, students sign up for a project choice and regularly update the document with their progress. The freedom to choose a final product has boosted student engagement. Watch this sample literature circle project by Matt D.
Mr. Kelly Wetherhold, Communications teacher at Salisbury High School, provides students with many opportunities to learn about various types of media and the messages they convey. Here are some examples:
Mr. Wetherhold’s students explored how the media creates advertising messages, including target audience. The students created media messages using the theory they learned about advertising and analyzing target audience. The product was then showcased during the Falcon Period on Impact, the high school TV show. To create the product, students used story boarding techniques as well as software such as Keynote, Garageband, iMovie, screen captures and screen recordings.
To explore the idea of the use of communication in today’s society, one student chose to explore how communication is used to tell if someone is telling the truth or lying. The student produced “How to Spot a Liar” to express how humans disclose information. The student used iMovie with an emphasis on beat markers to create the project. This project was also showcased during Falcon Period on Impact.
Students were challenged with the phrase “If ______ was never invented how would the world be different than it is today?” – a counterfactual project. For one project a student chose the printing press. Using iPhoto she produced a story to predict what would happen if the printing press was never invented.