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Roxbury Celebrates Digital Learning Day

NEWS RELEASE 

Roxbury Celebrates Digital Learning Day 

OSMO in First Grade

ROXBURY, NJ (March 20, 2020) – Digital Learning Day 2020 has come and gone in Roxbury even though you wouldn’t know it as every day now seems to be Digital Learning Day. But Roxbury Schools took part in the actual day back on February 27th. Digital Learning Day is a celebration of educational technology and gives students an opportunity to expand the use of technology in the classroom by learning something new. 

Each of the schools took a different approach with the same end goal, to encourage teachers and students to try something new with technology. This year’s theme was “Innovate.” Here are just a few ways our students and staff took part in the day: 

Augmented Reality vs Virtual Reality

Among the many activities that technology teacher Karen Kovarik from Jefferson and Kennedy Schools planned for her K-4 students was an Augmented Reality (AR) lesson for third graders. Students learned that unlike Virtual Reality (VR) in which the user is immersed in a digital world, AR allows the user to still see their actual environment with digital content added. 

Kovarik teamed up with art teacher Rose Magyar, who provided her students with special paper in which they created their own drawing, which they were able to turn into a 3-D image with the Quiver app. 

“Students used the special paper with QR codes to color pictures of animals. They then used the Quiver app on the iPads to bring their animals to life right before their eyes! They saw a 3-D image of the animal, which they could tap to move and could also hear information about the animal. Students were so excited to try one of the latest technologies and learned applications for it in industry,” shared Kovarik. 

Osmo – an Educational Gaming Tool

Jefferson and Kennedy first graders used Osmo in their classes. As an educational gaming tool, Osmo uses iPads to allow students the infinite possibility of physical play. 

Franklin Elementary School Teacher Lynn Manney who helped bring Osmo to Roxbury explained this recently at a Board of Education meeting. She explained how Osmo brought engagement and excitement to her classroom unlike any other center activity had before. “My students use OSMO to practice math, writing, reading, vocabulary, coding, and problem-solving skills! I love how it saves each students’ progress so they can continue to build on the skills at their own pace. The main reason why I find this program to be so valuable is the multi-sensory aspect that is beneficial to students with different learning styles.” 

Jefferson students love playing Osmo. First-grader Eva Chrzastek shared, “You get to learn while having fun.”  While Madi Herzog shared, “Osmo is fun because it makes learning easy.”

Blogging for Beginners

Franklin third grade teacher Robert Allison taught his students an introductory lesson on blogging. He had created a site through edublogs.org that enables students to post and comment. The purpose of this site will be for students to share some of the books they are reading at home and school and allow students to share their opinions. Students share a short summary of the book, their likes and dislikes, and well as if they give their recommendation. 

Mr. Allison hopes that this will result in a place where students can share ideas and encourage others to read new genres and titles. 

ExitPoll in Mrs. Gallagher's Class ExitPoll

Fourth graders in Maria Gallagher’s class at Franklin used ExitPoll to vote digitally on whether or not the shape displayed on the SmartBoard was divided into fourths. A lively debate ensued as students were on either side of the room and moved if they heard a convincing argument by the opposition. Final results were 18 yes and 4 no, and they loved it! 

Geoboards in Action

Second-grade teacher Kathy Byrne at Kennedy used virtual geoboards with her students to create cool creations without having to worry about breaking rubber bands. Students shared their shapes and designs using Google casting. 

Fellow second-grade teacher at Kennedy, Erin Allen worked with Lorraine Nassan and Jill Rubenstein on a math lesson using geoboards. 

Allen shared, “Today for Digital Learning Day, we read The Greedy Triangle, and the students drew the shape on the Chromebook geoboards. When they were done making the shape, they took turns casting it onto the SmartBoard so the class could see each other’s work.” 

Mystery Skype

Nicole Olcott, third-grade teacher at Kennedy used Mystery Skype in her class to celebrate Digital Learning Day. She shared, “During Mystery Skype, my class video chatted with a class from a different state and asked them yes or no questions to figure out where they were from. We used our map skills and knowledge of the United States regions to help us figure out that our mystery class was from South Dakota!” 

LegoWeDo

Students at Jefferson and Kennedy School celebrated Digital Learning Day during Library time with Katey McAuliffe by building and coding their own cooling fans. Students used LegoWeDo kits that were acquired for the Jefferson Media Center through a grant with Siemens. The students worked collaboratively to construct cooling fans. Once the fans were properly constructed, students used the coding program to code the fans to move at a variety of speeds. 

CSfirst withGoogle and Scratch

Fifth and sixth-grade students at Lincoln/Roosevelt spent Digital Learning Day coding with CSfirst withGoogle and Scratch. Students used block coding to create personalized projects. 

SkyView Lite on iPads

Students in Mrs. Sheplak’s class participated in an activity using the app SkyView Lite on iPads. This app identifies galaxies, stars, constellations, planets, satellites, and even the ISS and Hubble. Sheplak shared, “It contains thousands of facts about all of these science concepts and the kids loved it. They did a wonderful job finding constellations, planets, and stars for their science research project mural.”

PHOTO ATTACHED (courtesy of Roxbury Schools)

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For more information, contact: Roxbury Community School/Community Relations Coordinator Ann Rhodes at arhodes@roxbury.org or 973-584-7699. 

ABOUT ROXBURY PUBLIC SCHOOLS

Roxbury Public Schools is a K-12 school district preparing the children of today for tomorrow. As a dynamic and thriving district, in partnership with a supportive and collaborative community, Roxbury Public Schools inspires and empowers all learners to flourish as ethical and global citizens in the 21st century. The district serves students throughout Roxbury Township, New Jersey, including the areas of Landing, Kenvil, Succasunna, Ledgewood, Mount Arlington, Port Morris, Flanders, and Wharton. Connect with us online at www.roxbury.org or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RoxburyPublicSchools.