Sonoma County Office of Education

Technology for Learners

This blog focuses on the effective integration of technology in K-12 schools with special emphasis on Sonoma County. It offers ideas and resources to support purposeful use of technology in relation to the Common Core Standards and 21st century learning.

Author | Rick Phelan | Email | Follow on Twitter
Guidelines | SCOE Blog Protocols (pdf)

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Journey Reflections- 36 Years in Sonoma County Schools
I’ve had the good fortune of serving students and teachers in our Sonoma County public schools for over three decades. This work has brought great meaning and satisfaction to my life. Looking to my future, I’m interested in exploring new areas of life and will be retiring from my current job as SCOE’s Director of Technology for Learning on June 29. This blog post contains reflections and highlights as I look back on the last 36 years. Read More...

2018 CAASPP Reporting
Over 3 million California students took Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) end of year tests this spring. The SBAC measures California Standards achievement for grades 3 through 8 and 11 in English and mathematics. The annual state tests are one measure districts, parents, and communities can use to check school achievement. This blog post offers information on 2018 SBAC reports including report elements, types of reports, and timelines for release of information. Read More...

Anticipating the 2018 California School Dashboard
California is focused on having a responsive K-12 public education system that serves the needs of students and families. To monitor and support this goal, California has established a set of accountability metrics through the California School Dashboard. The California School Dashboard is updated every Fall with new information about each public school’s performance. This blog post previews changes to metrics in the 2018 California School Dashboard. It is important that school leaders are aware of these changes as they develop plans to guide work for the 2018-19 school year. Read More...

Closing Sonoma County’s Digital Divide
K-12 schools need access to digital learning materials, communication resources, videos, and electronic databases to prepare students for college and careers. Schools that lack access to the internet and technology resources are at a serious disadvantage. Sociologists recognize gaps between those who have technology and internet access versus those who do not and describe the situation as the "digital divide." This blog post offers perspective on work happening in Sonoma County to close the digital divide among our county’s K-12 schools. Read More...

2018 Sonoma County Robotics Challenge Events Announced
Students in grades 4-8 have an opportunity to apply ideas from math, science, and engineering as they respond to challenges in the 2018 Sonoma County Robotics Challenge. Now in its 16th year, this dynamic project engages teams designing, building and programming robots using Lego Mindstorm sets. Competitors create autonomous robots which carry out actions relevant to challenge demands. Challenges for 2018 were released on February 1. Read More...

Linking SBAC Accessibility Tools to Daily Learning
Accessibility tools are for everyday learning and testing. For the past three years schools have acknowledged the value of SBAC accessibility tools to help students understand and express themselves on test questions. In many situations learning about the tools has been limited to the last part of the spring semester and work related to SBAC test preparation. Actions to help students learn about and apply accessibility tools throughout the school year can yield results for both daily learning and summative assessments. This blog post provides details on a process underway in a number of Sonoma County schools making SBAC accessibility tools a part of everyday learning and testing. Read More...

Guiding 2017-18 CAASPP Activities
As schools advance work in the 2017-18 school year, it’s wise to plan specific actions focused on California Assessment of Student Progress and Performance (CAASPP) tasks. Along with delivering the Smarter Balanced ELA and mathematics tests for grades 3-8 and 11, schools will also be field testing the California Science Test. The California Science Test field test will be administered to all students in grades 5 and 8 along with one assigned grade at the high school level. This blog post shares steps which can support readiness and positive student outcomes. Read More...

Sonoma Valley Schools Respond to Community Needs in Wildfire Emergency
Wildfires have impacted many areas of Sonoma County over the last week. Nearly one tenth of the county’s one million acres have burned involving over 5,000 structures with losses estimated at $3 billion. In Sonoma Valley, the communities of Kenwood, Glen Ellen, Aqua Caliente, Boyes Hot Springs, and the city of Sonoma were severely impacted. Heroic efforts were manifested by firefighting strike teams from around the world. In addition, notable efforts were provided by Sonoma Unified School District staff rallying resources in response to community needs. This blog post shares my perspective as a resident of Sonoma Valley offering a view on SVUSD’s response to the emergency and their work with other community members. Read More...

Fun & Simple Coding Projects with Scratch
Scratch is one of the world’s largest free coding platforms for children and teens. It was created by the MIT Media Lab to help young people learn to, “… think creatively, reason systematically and work collaboratively.” This blog post offers an overview of Scratch and shares some fun and simple projects to get started using it. Read More...

Math CUE Rock Star Event in Petaluma November 4 & 5
The Sonoma County Office of Education, Petaluma City Schools, and Computer Using Educators (CUE) are pleased to announce a Math CUE Rock Star event at McKinley School happening the weekend of November 4 & 5. This post offers information about the event. Read More...

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