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My Student Has a Laptop…Now What?

An Elementary Parent’s Guide to Student Laptop Resources

Learning Reimagined Plan

Rockdale County Public Schools is finishing the third phase of the One-to-One device program rollout, which aims to provide every student in grades 3-12 with a laptop computer or tablet device for classroom learning and assignments. The one-to-one device program is a key component of RCPS’s Learning Reimagined initiative, which strives to transform teaching and learning throughout the district. Providing our students with access to digital devices empowers students to become thoughtful producers and evaluators of information. The devices will allow them to find, evaluate, and thoughtfully use information, to work with others to create collaborative products of learning, and to engage in authentic, real-world tasks. Most importantly, the students will develop the skills they need to become engaged, digitally responsible citizens ready to compete in today’s technology infused society.

Browsers for the Internet

There are 3 internet browsers loaded on each student laptop.  The preferred browser for student use is MOZILLA FIREFOX.  Using Mozilla Firefox, you will encounter a server error page upon opening, however, typing in a web address WILL connect you to the site.  The default homepage at this time does not exist and we are working to resolve this issue.  Your student should have favorite sites saved to the Favorites Bar along the top of the screen. 

Programs at Their Fingertips

Rockdale County Public Schools has purchased several programs for your student to use in school and at home, as a means of extending the learning environment beyond the four walls of the school building.  You may have heard of itsLearning, Office365, Achieve3000, First in Math, Keyboarding Without Tears, and perhaps a few others.  Each of these programs can be easily accessed through a piece of software called Clever.

Clever

Clever is a single-sign on piece of software that allows easy access to each of the programs listed above.  Your student can click on the link for Clever on the HTE Student Homepage or go directly to www.Clever.com and clicking “Log In” on the top right of the screen.  After typing in Hightower Trail Elementary School and clicking the name of the school from the drop-down list, your child can log in with their Active Directory account information.  This is the same as their AR Login information.  They will need to enter @students.rockdale.k12.ga.us on the end of their username. 

Example:  Username:  9jsmith1@students.rockdale.k12.ga.us (9+FirstInitial+LastName+SpecialNumberForCommonLastNames*)

Password:  9js789 (9+FirstInitial+LastInitial+Last3DigitsOfLunchNumber)

*Not all students have a number after their last name

1. Clever.com

2. Clever Login

3. Clever Login RCPS

4. RCPS Login

5. Clever Dashboard

itsLearning

itsLearning is the primary location where teachers can push content out to your student.  This is the program that will help your student know what lessons are being taught, and what digital resources are available to complement the classroom learning.  itsLearning is the first step in creating a Blended Learning environment that becomes individualized for each student.  Where teachers can truly give students the ability to learn at their own pace. 

 

Students can access itsLearning several different ways.  1. By going to the HTE Student Homepage and clicking the link for itsLearning.  2. Clicking the itsLearning link through Clever.  3. By navigating to www.rockdale.itslearning.com. 

 

Once inside itsLearning, students will see the navigation bar along the top of their screen where they can click on Home, Courses, Calendar, Office 365, or Clever.  By clicking on Courses and scrolling down to All Courses, all of the courses your student is currently enrolled in will be displayed for him/her to click.   Inside each course, teachers can post bulletins/announcements for the class, list upcoming events, or add resources to the navigational tree on the left side of the screen.  Depending on the course and the teacher, there may be folders organizing course materials and resources. 

 

Students can see Pages (where content can be posted), Links, Files, complete Activities like Discussions, Written, Audio, or Video Assignments, or take Assessments.  Each of these are developed by your student’s teacher(s). 

 

itsLearning Dashboard

 

Office 365

Office 365 is a tremendous resource for your student.  This is where they can store all of the documents or projects they are working on.  There are several Apps or Programs that are included in Office 365.  These include Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel, OneNote, Sway, and OneDrive.  You may already be familiar with some of these products, like Word, PowerPoint, and Excel, but OneNote, Sway and OneDrive may be new to you.  All students have the ability to download and install the Full Version of Microsoft Office 2016 on 5 home computers. 

OneDrive

OneDrive is an online file storage manager.  Students can upload previously created documents or create new ones to their OneDrive account so they can pick up where they left off on a different piece of equipment, as long as it is connected to the internet.  Students can collaborate with one another or with their teachers for real-time feedback.

Sway

A visual presentation tool for students.  By being a digital workspace that allows students to bring their reports or presentations to life in a simplified manner that is accessible anywhere there is an internet connection.   

OneNote

OneNote can be used in many different ways by students.  It can be a standalone notetaking program.  It can be a digital 3-ring binder to keep all notes, papers, and projects organized.  Teachers can use it as a Class Notebook where all students in a class can collaborate with one another, gather resources from the teacher, and work independently in a private notebook space.  Teachers can individual instruction specifically for each student in the class through the Class Notebook. 

 

When logged in to Office 365, students can easily keep their work organized and update it on the go throughout the day or at home. 

 

Achieve3000

A non-fiction reading platform that strengthens a student’s lexile level.  It offers differentiated text based specifically on the student’s level to adapt to their specific needs.  Teachers can choose from a variety of specific texts for students to read based on different content areas.  After reading each article, students will answer a number of different questions, and have to provide descriptive answers related to the text they just read. 

Students can directly access Achieve3000 by logging in through Clever.

 

First in Math

Online practice reinforces a range of proficiencies, from addition to complex algebra. Setting and achieving Goals, as well as a friendly competition component, keeps students energized to sustain accelerated effort over time.  Many FIM games introduce principles of Algebra, even at the K, 1 and 2 levels. Early introduction of these concepts leads to enthusiasm and algebra readiness.  The program was designed with focus, coherence and rigor as its cornerstones. Self-paced activities target mastery of procedural skills and fluencies that are essential for internalizing and demonstrating conceptual understanding.

Students can directly access First in Math by logging in through Clever.

Keyboarding Without Tears

Game-based curriculum for students that aligns perfectly into the developmental progression of writing.  Students learn pre-keyboarding and keyboard skills, alongside computer readiness, digital citizenship, and digital literacy.  All of the lessons and activities are designed to make learning keyboarding fun and easy.  In just about 5-10 minutes per day, students can learn keyboarding to strengthen their technology foundation skills, typing skills, muscle memory, and reinforce lessons being taught in English Language Arts classes including grammar, punctuation, capitalization and spelling.

Students can directly access Keyboarding Without Tears by logging in through Clever.

 

Future Plans

In the not-so-distant future, students will have access to online textbooks, math and science manipulatives, instructional videos, etc.  We are preparing our students for an ever-changing world by teaching them foundational skills that will help them be college and career ready by the time they are set to graduate from Rockdale County Public Schools.  By providing students at young ages with laptop devices, we are helping them to become producers of content instead of just consumers.  The ideal vision of what we would like our students to be able to do by the time they graduate from Rockdale County Public Schools is stated nicely in the ISTE Standards for Students.