All posts tagged: musd


Jason Messer: Fostering Effective Education Transformation

by Jason Messer Superintendent, Manteca Unified School District In 2013 The Manteca Unified School Board allocated 30 million dollars (as a foundation) and directed myself, Superintendent Jason Messer, to take the District digital by the end of the 2014-2015 school year.  In the past 18 months we have successfully identified the tools, support and resources necessary to meet the School Boards expectations and provide every teacher (1,200+) with a Surface Pro 3 and every student in grade K-12 (23,500+) with a purpose built computer, Microsoft 8.1 two-in-one tablet.  We have also built out the wireless infrastructure necessary to support more than 25,000 computers accessing our network and the internet at the same time.  In addition each of our teachers has received more than 18 hours of staff development time and instructional resources. As well classroom management software has been deployed as a key component.  Please visit www.digitalschoolstoday.netand/or to learn more about our story.  In order to successfully take MUSD digital, I used the Microsoft Transformation Framework to guide our effort. I strongly suggest that …

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Tammy Dunbar: A Very Edtech Spring Break

by Tammy Dunbar Expert Educator Columnist, USA Spring Break usually means traveling to some exciting exotic destination with family or friends to enjoy some much-needed rejuvenation. But this year, I find myself in a Spring Break Stay-cation where everyone in my family has to work except me. Doing laundry and lesson plans all week does not sound like much fun. Instead, I’ve decided it’s the perfect week for a little professional development in the comfort of my own home. First, wearing my cozy slippers, I registered for and attended the March edition of Microsoft Edcast’s monthly webinars to learn about “Prepping Students for 21st Century Skills Using Office 365.” It was eye-opening to see the International Data Corporation (IDC) Skills Research for Tomorrow’s Best Jobs. The top three skills employers ask for include oral/written communication, detail orientation and Microsoft Office. I also learned at the webinar that Microsoft is not only offering Office 365 free for certain students and teachers, they are also offering MS Office Specialist certifications to students and teachers (and the testing …


Tammy Dunbar: Manteca Unified’s Going Digital 2015 Has Started!

by Tammy Dunbar Expert Educator Columnist, USA The quad area before school usually looks a little crazy: students speeding around the benches, yelling to friends across the quad, tossing footballs (hoping to avoid the alert eyes of any yard duty personnel nearby). But last week on Thursday, things looked much different. Students were still gathered, but there was no yelling or running. Many students were quietly seated on cement benches, some standing happily with their heavy backpacks, others animatedly chatting without an increase in volume. What happened? Last week on Wednesday, our Going Digital 2015 project in Manteca Unified School District finally brought 1:1 devices to our campus. We are the fourth school in the district to receive our devices; all devices will be deployed to all students by the end of February. This amazing work in progress started with our visionary superintendent Jason Messer. Next came an upgrading of our infrastructure by Cisco, staff development for all teachers (often by their fellow teachers), training for our students in digital citizenship, device care and responsibility. …


Tammy Dunbar: Use Tech to Inspire More Imaginative Writing!

by Tammy Dunbar Expert Educator Columnist, USA Give someone a dull and unimaginative writing prompt, and you’ll get back dull and unimaginative writing. College and Career Ready Anchor Standards call for students to use writing “as a way of offering and supporting opinions, demonstrating understanding of the subjects they are studying, and conveying real and imagined experiences and events.” Students are called to devote a significant portion of their time to writing, including many pieces over both short and extended time frames. So we dutifully assign essays, reports, weekly writing assignments, daily journal prompts, and assorted quick-writes. But if students are not motivated, they will not give their best effort.  If we overwhelm them, they will shut down. As educators, we know the only way to become a better writer is to write. So what can we do?


Tammy Dunbar: The Gift of Time

by Tammy Dunbar Expert Educator Columnist, USA ‘Tis the season when everyone is looking for the perfect present. Wherever you turn, there are gift ideas for outdoors folks, gourmet cooks, book lovers, animal fans and, of course, tech people. In our interconnected and fast-paced world, it’s easy to point, click and order something that can be delivered right to someone’s front door. But, if you listen to Dr. Seuss’s Grinch, the best gift comes without ribbons, it comes without tags, it comes without packages, boxes or bags! The best gift for anyone on your list is the gift of time. Our students need time to think, to create, to question, to explore. Technology allows us to differentiate our instruction so that students can focus on their personal learning needs. One student may be creating a great presentation on PowerPoint using Office Mix while another is still searching for the just the right resources to copy into their OneNote. When we allow students the time to work at their own pace, we can more easily focus …


Tammy Dunbar: Shortcuts to Success!

by Tammy Dunbar Expert Educator Columnist, USA Sometimes, it really is the little things that matter most. “It’s nice that we were given these Surface Pros, but the screen is just too small for me to see.” I overheard this from a fellow teacher as she gestured toward her new SPro on the table in front of her. Without saying a word, I reached over and hit Ctrl+ several times on her keyboard.  Catching my movement out of the corner of her eye (like any good teacher would), she glanced at her screen, then turned to me wide-eyed. “Are you kidding me? That’s fantastic! What did you do?” During a recent computer lab visit, I noticed that one of my students was hitting the Caps Lock button, then hitting the letter needing capitalization, then hitting the Caps Lock button again.  Why? He only knew how to type on his cell phone, and that’s how those devices work. When I showed him what the Shift button was, he turned to his two buddies sitting nearby and said, “Hey, …