Graduates of the first CCSD Student Technology Academy.
Fifth-grade students from Sixes ES and Clark Creek ES STEM Academy recently celebrated completion of a pilot CCSD technology program where they learned advanced Microsoft program skills that they will be using in middle and high school, and beyond.
The CCSD Student Technology Academy (STA) is a pilot program that mimics an initiative known as the Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) for teachers. CCSD teachers have been earning the prestigious MIE endorsement by completing a 16-hour course, which is focused on 21st-century learning concepts combined with the acquisition of new skills using Microsoft tools in the classroom.
Now that a majority of CCSD teachers have earned this endorsement, CCSD’s Office of Technology & Information Services developed STA as a way for students to follow a similar path and learn to use the same resources by interacting with their teachers and fellow students.
“The Student Technology Academy has opened many doors for our fifth grade students at Sixes,” said Sixes ES Principal Cindy Crews. “I feel confident that we are sending these students to middle school fully capable of using the many Microsoft learning tools that are provided to them by our school district.”
The first STA class learned the following skills: Office365, including a variety of online “apps” for teachers, students and employees for content storage, creation and organization; Sway; Stream (formerly Office Mix); Outlook and proper use of email; One Note digital notebooks and presentations; Skype, video conferencing; and Coding programming concepts and computer science.
The students received a CCSD Certificate of Learning for completing STA and mastering skills that will aid their success in middle and high school, and in their college and professional careers. Heather Ivers’ class at Clark Creek ES STEM Academy participated in the STA pilot, as well as Dr. Kyle Shugart’s class at Sixes ES. Marco’s Pizza provided pizza and cake for the students at the conclusion of their final day of STA, which included a field trip to the CCSD Technology facility where they engaged in coding activities and Skyped with a Microsoft executive.
“Students in CCSD begin as early as kindergarten to develop and build on basic computing skills aligned with the International Society for Technology (ISTE) Standards for Students – which provides a framework school districts can use to educate students on technology use in learning,” said CCSD Chief Information Officer Bobby Blount. “The Student Technology Academy ensures the skills, behaviors, responsibilities and potential of effective technology use are reinforced and allows students to attain validation of their accomplishment in mastery of these resources.”
The teachers were thrilled that their students had the opportunity to get acquire skills and tools they would be using for many years.
“I have really enjoyed watching my students grow technologically,” said Ms. Ivers. “They have become experts on Office 365, Outlook, OneNote, PowerPoint, Sway, Forms, and Coding, and they took every task on without complaints or without apprehensions. It has been amazing to see them work together and help each other with each assignment.”
Student Tech Academy graduates (wearing their purple Microsoft One Note capes) were able to Skype with Microsoft Product Manager Mike Tholfsen, who answered students’ questions ranging from “Do you know Bill Gates?” to “Did you like technology when you were younger?”
Connor Gunkler of Sixes ES waits with CCSD Technology Project Specialist Sandi Adams to ask a question during the Skype session.
Student Technology Academy graduates
Clark Creek ES STEM Academy
Martinez Gaspar, Maritza
Morquecho-De La Cruz, Paola
Pennes Castillo, Daviel
Sanders, Carol Ann
Trejo Hernandez, Javier