Wednesday, August 27, 2014

This Week @Elkmont & Beyond! August 17-23, 2014

Digital Passport Initiative Set To Launch at Elkmont High School

Elkmont High School is proud to announce that on Tuesday, September 2, 2014 at 1:00 pm CT Limestone County School District’s Digital Passport Initiative will officially launch for the 3rd and 4th grade students at our school.

The Digital Passport Initiative is a 1:1 (student to laptop) initiative of the Limestone County School District. Under the supervision of Dr. Tom Sisk, Limestone County is dedicated to providing a device per student which will serve as their "Passport" to 21st Century Learning. This initiative is not a device initiative; it is a curriculum initiative. Limestone County Schools are dedicated to using the device for instructional purposes to advance student learning. A 1:1 initiative has proven to increase test scores and student attendance and decrease student discipline in districts all across America.

The rollout for the Limestone County 1:1 Initiative is different than most other districts. We believe we should begin at the elementary level and foster these digital natives early rather than the widely used method of a top-down approach. Therefore, we will begin placing 11” MacBook Air laptops in students hands in grades 3 and 4 in September 2014. This rollout will include approximately 1400 students and 130 teachers district wide.

Teachers of these grades have already received the laptop in the Spring of 2014 and are familiar with the device. Ms. Nikki D Robertson at Elkmont High School, along with Instructional Technology Facilitators embedded at each Limestone County School with 3rd and 4th grade classes, have been hired to assist teachers with the digital curriculum pedagogical change that will take place as a result of having devices in the classroom.

To keep up with the learning taking place with these devices and the objectives of the Digital Passport Initiative visit the Limestone County Schools DPI Website at Each week a blog post detailing our learning adventures will also be posted at

If you would like to learn more about the LCS Digital Passport Initiative at Elkmont High School please contact Ms. Nikki D Robertson at

This Week in Pictures

3rd & 4th Graders Continue Digital Citizenship Lessons

This week the 3rd & 4th Grade DPI lessons veered away from Digital Citizenship. We spent this time learning several important things as well as having a bit of fun with our MacBooks. We started out learning how to sign into the MacBook using our personal usernames and passwords. It is very important that student know how to do this on their own so that they can use their laptops at home. We also discussed how to completely shut down your computer and why. For instance, no one in Ms. LuAnn Adams class could get their login credentials to work. We held down the power button until the computer screen goes black. Then press the power button to turn the computer back on. 90% of the time powering your computer all the way off and back on again will solve most computer problems. We also learned how to log out of our accounts so that someone else can log in to the computers we are currently sharing. The last "technical" thing we learned and practices was how to properly take care of the charging cable for the MacBook Air.

For fun we explored Photo Booth. We had such a good time being absolutely silly! We then transitioned into a bit of musical fun by becoming beat box musicians using IncrediBox.

Next week will finish up our Digital Citizenship modules.

Just 5 more days until our BIG DAY! YAY!

Celebrating Our Successes!  

Mr. Kenny Jordan, Assistant Principal, walked and talked with me this week about how much he likes using Remind (formerly Remind 101). We then went door to door down the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade hallway knocking on doors and asking teachers about their experiences using Remind as a way to communicate with students and parents. Every teacher that uses Remind had great stories to share. One teacher shared that she sent home a Remind message for her students to wear red for Spirit Day. All of her students came to school wearing red the next day.

Paper notes and newsletter can get lost or never read. Emails, websites, blogs, and electronic newsletters are often left unread as well, but a recent study proved that 100% of all text messages are read. Thus, if you want to make sure your message has been received use a text messaging service like Remind.

Another service that I like even better than Remind is Check it out if you would like or stop by E1 to have Ms. Robertson help you set up an account to use with your students/parents.


Ms. Pat Gartman, Assistant Principal, continued learning about Twitter and the power of a hashtag this week as she tweeted about the 5th Grade Project Based Learning field trip to Downtown Elkmont.

Be sure to use hashtags like #EHSRedDevils, #LCSForKids, and #iConnect to share the learning fun we are having at Elkmont High School this year.


5th grade teachers, Ms. Tessa Hardiman, Ms. Candi Holt, and Ms. Missy Bailey, used digital cameras this week to begin documenting their Project Based Learning (PBL) Unit. You can follow the pictorial history of the project as it happens by checking back to the Flickr album below from time to time. Pictures will be added as new events are captured.


Ms. Katherine Pankey, Mathematics Teacher, signed up for Google Classroom this week. 
Ms. Robertson has setup a Google Classroom Classes for each of Elkmont High School's PLCs.

Not familiar with Google Classroom? Watch this will blow your mind!

Professional Development

Thursday I had the pleasure of spending the evening learning from the always inspiring Jennifer Lagarde as she presented 27 Ways To Make This The Best Year EVER!  Check it out for yourself and see what you missed! Then make a note to never miss anything Jennifer presents again!

Saturday I got to spend the afternoon doing PD in my PJs with SimpleK12.  Not only was I able to learn great information about Google from presenters like Kyle Pace, Monica Burns, & Kimber Thompson, Caitlin Tucker, and Lori Maldonado,  but I had the honor of presenting as well.

My presentation was about using Google Hangouts to make learning rewindable.  The great thing about SimpleK12 is that the learning can take place 24/7 and is there for you when you are ready.  Plus, they have engaging, well informed presenters.  You can't lose when you use SimpleK12 for your PD needs.

Fun with Family

Friday, Saturday & Sunday my daughter and grandson from Atlanta made the three hour trek to Huntsville to visit.  Our weekend was fast, exhausting and fun!  We took the grandson to Sci-Quest which features more than 150 interactive exhibits pertaining to the principles of science.  Even at 3 years old, he loved it and so did we!  The Earthquake simulator ROCKED! Literally!  The other place we took the grandson was to the US Space and Rocket Center.  It was truly an amazing experience to see and do some many things there.  I love that I was able to spend some quality time with my family while building brain synapses that will help my grandson have points of reference as he learns and grows.  

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