Tag Archives: middle School

Kids chose the #Gumdrop SoftShell for their 11″ Macbook Airs. @The_School #edtech


After determining there were too many student laptops with dented corners due to inefficient coverage from the last model purchased, I spent months searching Google and Amazon for other always-on covers to put on our middle school 1:1 laptops. The most recent cases which students helped protoype were:

The overall winner chosen by the students was the Gumdrop Softshell! Students will be able to personalize their cases with metallic Sharpies and stickers.

Here’s a Pinterest board where I’ve gathered most of my research from four years of exploring 11″ Macbook Air covers: https://www.pinterest.com/specialkrb/macbook-air-11-cases. Last week, I overheard that The School will be purchasing Apple’s Macbook for next year’s incoming 3rd graders, 6th graders, and faculty. The dimensions of the MacBook Air differ from the MacBook, so we’ll be in need of an entirely different case come September. Back to the drawing board…


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Info about our 3rd annual #HourOfCode buddies activity at @The_School. #kidscancode #csedweek

Today is the third annual Hour of Code buddies activity at The School at Columbia University. Older students are partnered with younger students for consecutive years at our K-8 with the goal of forging long-lasting community bonds (K/4, 1/5, 2/6, 3/7 with Grade 8 floating when needed).

Here are two useful resources for planning an Hour of Code in your classroom or school:
1. A Beginner’s Guide to Bringing Coding Into the Classroom via EdSurge.
2. Hour of Code Suggestions by Grade Level by Jacqui Murray. (Many thanks to @AliceBarr for tweeting about Jacqui’s awesome post!)

Dylan Ryder and I examined some of the available Hour of Code activities and crafted the following planning document for today’s activity:

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Link to this year’s version of the Responsible Use Policy I ask middle school students to sign. #edchat #edtech

Welcome back! It’s the beginning of another year and thus time for me to review our school’s Responsible Use Policy (RUP) with each of my students before they can use their assigned school devices. It provided yet another opportunity to stress that we should strive to use technology academically, creatively, and responsibly especially as everything we do is public, permanent, and traceable. This year, I wanted to innovate the language a little to reflect changing attitudes and uses, so I asked my colleagues for input and included them in this new and improved RUP. Enjoy!


The School’s Responsible Use Policy

The School’s students will use its technology facilities in the spirit of The School’s code of conduct and in a responsible and legal manner following the rules listed below. I understand that failure to follow these rules when using The School’s technology, whether at The School or off-campus, will result in suspension of my technology privileges and/or additional disciplinary action.


  • I will use The School’s devices with consideration and respect for others and myself.
  • I will remember that school devices are the property of the The School and should be treated with care.
  • I will not eat food or drink beverages while working on the computers.
  • I will be responsible for my device’s whereabouts at all times. If I am not using my device I will return it to my charging cabinet.
  • I will think before I print to avoid wasting ink, paper, and resources.


  • I will use electronic mail only for school-related purposes. I will never use abusive or profane language in public or private messages.
  • I will not access my personal accounts, sites, or messages from any school computer without permission.
  • I will think before I send an email. I will not spam the community or share chain letters.


  • I will ask a teacher for permission before I download or install anything from the internet.
  • I will keep my network and electronic mail account passwords private and I will not log in with others’ usernames or passwords.
  • I will not use devices assigned to other people unless directed by a teacher.
  • If my device is not in the cabinet, I will communicate with: 
    1) My Advisor 2) Security 3) Ms. Nicholson 4) Ms. Blumberg

Internet/Social Media

  • I will make wise choices, because everything I do online is public, permanent, and traceable.
  • I will avoid inappropriate websites. I will visit teacher-approved sites and apps when given permission at appropriate times.
  • I will not illegally copy or download software or media (games, songs, images, videos…)
  • I will T.H.I.N.K. before I post to academic and social sites. 
    T – is it true
    H – is it helpful
    I – is it inspiring
    N – is it necessary
    K – is it kind?

__________________________________ Student Name (Print)

__________________________________ Student Signature

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