Upcoming Basic/Free Classroom Changes

As previously announced, we’re releasing a totally revamped ScootPad on September 8th, 2014. While this release will improve the user experience and enable a ton of new features, it does introduce some changes to the Basic/Free Classroom(s).

Changes to Basic/Free Classrooms ONLY:

» Number of students will be limited to 50 per classroom
» Adaptive (Learning Path) based practice will no longer be available
» Assignments in Math and ELA will be limited to concepts from one grade level and must be manually assigned
» Reports and proficiency data/insights will no longer be available

To minimize the impact of this change/transition, we will automatically extend a 30-day free Lite Premium license to those with existing basic/free classrooms.

The Lite Premium license will let you continue to use all existing features of the basic/free classroom while giving you access to a ton of additional features such as spelling, writing, reading logs etc. Should you decide to continue using these features beyond the 30-days, you can upgrade your classrooms to Premium (Lite or Ultra) for as long as you like. Alternatively, you can continue to use the basic/free classrooms (with limited features) for as long as you like.

We hope you make a note of these important upcoming changes and make necessary plans. Should you have any further questions/concerns, you can email us at support@scootpad.com or call us at 1-888-666-3106 (9-5 PST M-F).

Cheers,
ScootPad Team

ScootPad Empowers Kids to Learn Independently

I was excited today when my son stumbled on his math practice on ScootPad. That sounds strange, doesn’t it? Why would this make me excited? Because he discovered a new tool!

computerhelp

When my son gets stuck on a practice, he’ll call me over to problem solve with him. Sometimes, he has made a careless mistake. Sometimes he’s just not sure how to get started. Sometimes he’s encountering something he has never learned before. Such was the case today. He’s going in to second grade, but is doing 3rd grade math on ScootPad. Today he was asked to find the equivalent fraction for 2/3. Lots of important vocabulary here! Equivalent, numerator, denominator, etc. I sat with him and we talked about how to find equivalent fractions. I think I saw his eyes go buggy. Maybe I was going too quickly or talking too fast, I’m not sure, because I actually consider myself a pretty good teacher. :)

I said we could try a different example, but then he stopped me. “Don’t worry mom. I’ll just watch the lesson and I know I’ll get it!” He clicked the ‘play’ button next to the concept in his learning path and began listening and responding. As I watched him engage and respond to the questions I saw that glazed over look brighten.

explainlp

explain

I was of course happy to see him click in to the words and ideas he was being asked to apply. But even more, I loved how he had discovered a new tool to support his learning. Not to free me from interacting with him about ideas and problems. But to allow each of use to have additional resources to support his expanding world of inquiry and knowledge. I do not want to be his only source of strategy, but I do want one that is reliable and that I too can interface with, with him. Happily, ScootPad provides both!

Cheers!
Dr. Michelle Anthony

Online Learning Benefits

We were in the store the other day when my son saw a multiplication workbook. He has been working on his times tables and using this skill in his ScootPad practices. He was drawn to it immediately and wanted to get it. It was a dollar, so I thought it would be good to respond to his enthusiasm. He began happily working on it; what parent could complain? He asked if he could do the book instead of ScootPad for now, which, again, was fine with me, as my goal is always to build off engagement.

boy_studying_4

But then it died. I quickly found it becoming a chore: me telling him to focus, to get to work, to finish the page. I became the driving force behind his progress instead of him being that, or the novelty of a new question popping up re-alerting and re-engaging him.

I took the booklet from him to take a look at it (which I had not even bothered to do before I bought it). Again, I was reminded of what is so disappointing and frustrating about books like this. There was a whole page devoted to drawing a line from each multiplication sentence to a giant zero in the middle of the page. A whole page of equations like 1×1, 1×2, 1×3 in numeric order. In short, a whole booklet of a waste of learning time and a zap of enthusiasm and learning energy. No wonder my son tired of it so quickly!

Workbooks like this often zap learning energy and excitement.

Workbooks like this often zap learning energy and excitement.

Like most of you, I am preparing for a new school year, both in my classroom and with my own children. And, like most of you, I review the choices I made last year for how my kids (biological and otherwise) will spend their time. I hadn’t purchased the multiplication book to evaluate my commitment to ScootPad. But when I had this inadvertent experience with my son’s multiplication book this week, I was reminded of everything I feel my kids get, and everything I am spared from, in choosing ScootPad!

Cheers!
Dr. Michelle Anthony

ScootPad School-Wide Adoption Envy

I attended the ScootPad teacher webcast the other day. I consider myself pretty well-versed in the platform, but I’m always pleasantly surprised to learn that no matter how much I think I know about technology, I don’t know much. :)

webinar

I arrived a bit late so I missed the intro but did catch on pretty quickly to realize they were talking about moving students. More specifically,  they were discussing how to move a student out of one classroom and into another classroom within the same account so as not to delete the student altogether. The teachers who had their entire school using ScootPad could easily do this.

That’s when I got envious. Although I have been using ScootPad for years, I am only going in to my second year teaching at my school. I have used it with my own kids (still do) and with a number of different classrooms of kids. But always as a solo teacher. I love, love, love what it brings to the kids I work with and I know how its usefulness adapts over time. As I sat and listened to the webinar, I imagined what it would be like to have our whole school using the platform… school_scootpad

Wow! That would be so cool! If your whole school is using ScootPad, what is that like? What benefits have you seen? I’d love to hear stories!

Cheers!
Dr. Michelle Anthony

 

Getting Student Minds Back Into School Mode

My mind is set on preparing for back to school, and I am hoping my students’ minds are beginning to think about it as well. This will be the first year I begin the school year with my students (I started in October last year), many of whom will be returning to my GT class from last year. And I want them to enter ready to learn. I’m seeing some promising signs. For example, I had students over the summer asking for spelling work on ScootPad:

During the summer, I had some students asking for ScootPad spelling work.

During the summer, I had some students asking for ScootPad spelling work.

Some are getting back in touch, which gives me an opportunity to remind them to get back on ScootPad. For example, I got this email from a student late last week:

Seeing this email got me excited that my students are beginning to think about returning to school.

Seeing this email got me excited that my students are beginning to think about returning to school.

 

And the other day, I saw this posting from a student I have not heard from all summer, asking for a spelling assignment. I loved that! :)

I love that some of my students are asking for challenge as school appraoches!

I love that some of my students are asking for challenge as school approaches!

How are you getting yourself and students excited about the start of school?

Cheers!

Dr. Michelle Anthony

Introducing ScootPad to New Students

I’m planning the start to my school year and am wondering when and how to introduce ScootPad this fall. Being the GT (gifted and talented) teacher at my school, there are a number of kids who will be in my class again this year, along with a number of new kids. Thus, some of the kids already have ScootPad accounts and have been working on them from last year, but some will be brand new.

I want to find a way to welcome the new students and get them excited about the platform, but I also want to find a way to reignite excitement with my previous students. goodWorkRibbonYellow I want to find a way to let my students who have worked hard last year on ScootPad know their hard work is recognized and valued, without the new students feeling they have missed something or are being left out.

One idea I have is to allow some of my previous students to be peer tutors to the new ones. I want the kids familiar with ScootPad to show the other kids the ropes in a way. I would like to get them interacting while also thinking about what they can do on the platform.

kidscomputer

I might ask a new student to find something interesting or fun on ScootPad and share it with the other kids. I find that even when I think I know a platform, there are things I either don’t know or don’t remember are there that take me to the next level.  I’m hoping to help my students discover that feeling and excitement as well.

Any other ideas out there for how to accomplish all these goals at the same time?

Cheers!
Dr. Michelle Anthony

 

Prepare Kids For Back to School

back to school
It feels like summer just began, and yet, my kids are going back to school next week! We are in the process of registering my oldest for high school, my middle child for middle school and my youngest for 2nd grade. Lots of changes around here (and 3 kids at 3 different schools: bleck!). As an educator and a parent, I want my kids to go back to school feeling confident and prepared–socially as well as academically. For us, that means setting up play dates with school friends, getting new school supplies, and getting a few new outfits and shoes. Most importantly, it means reviewing required summer reading books so we go in remembering the stories, and of course, continuing our skills solidification on ScootPad.school-supplies

Over the summer, we did 2 math and 2 reading practices almost every week. Some practices were review and some were new content. As a teacher, I know many kids arrive not remembering a lot of what they learned last year, and how much instructional time is lost on needing review and re-learn. I also know the beginning of the year, like the end, is full of assessments and evaluations, and kids are placed often in year-long groups by these. For better or for worse. That’s why it’s so important for kids to stay fresh by doing some practice over the summer.

CommonCore_Practice

As a parent, I want my children to feel confident to do these assessments. I truly believe working on ScootPad over the summer has helped instill this confidence in my kids. I want them to feel good about what they know, because it will not only help them get better placed in the class, but it will also give them self-assurance about their skills. This self-assurance  will  help them make friends and make more social overtures, because they will feel good about themselves and their ability to do well in school.

How do you help your children feel ready to start the new school year?

Cheers!
Michelle

 

8th Sep 2014: Release Date for Redesigned ScootPad!

We’re very excited to announce the release date for a totally redesigned ScootPad ready for the 2014-2015 school year! We’ve re-imagined the ScootPad platform with your feedback in mind and made it easier to engage students and accelerate learning than ever before. Here’s what you can expect:

New Design
Every page has been redesigned to be easier to use with intuitive navigation.
Any Device
The new design adjusts to perfectly fit your desktop, tablet or mobile phone screen.
Online Instruction
Interactive instruction to help students learn common core concepts easily.
Interactive Assessments
20+ unique question formats (more than both PARCC and SBAC combined!).
Features You Wanted
New and enhanced features most requested by admins and teachers!
More Payment Options
Online ordering of site licenses and classroom plans. Pre-pay or pay as you go!
Important release details to note:
» Your existing accounts, classrooms, student/parent logins will not change
» You can start setting up your classes for the 2014-15 school year
» We’ll archive your 2013-2014 student data so print any progress reports by 8th Sep
» Upgrade your classrooms by 8th Sep. New pricing will go into effect on 8th Sep.
We invite you to join our FREE Back to School webinars which will go over the changes you can expect and also help you get started.
Teachers
Register Now!
Admins
Register Now!
Parents
Register Now!
Cheers,
ScootPad Team

 

Back-To-School: Setup ScootPad For The New School Year!

We can’t wait for the upcoming 2014-2015 school year! We have a TON of great new features in store for you! We want to share a few things with you to help you get your school or classroom ready.

Teachers: New to ScootPad?

  1. Create a brand new classroom from your Teacher Dashboard (you’ll receive our Ultra Premium Plan Free for 30-days for the first classroom)
  2. Enroll your students, link parents, print student sign in cards and much more from the Students tab
  3. Watch our teacher training video or join a FREE Back to School Teacher Webinar to learn how best to leverage ScootPad for your classroom

Teachers: Used ScootPad Last Year?

  1. Archive” your old classroom – this can be done under the classroom Customize tab (this will clear past classroom data and prepare your classroom for new students)
  2. Delete your old classroom – this can be done from your dashboard. Only basic, non-upgraded classrooms can be deleted. (warning: deleting a classroom of students will also delete the student accounts if not attached to a parent account)
  3. Delete or Move old students – Move students to a new classroom or delete students (warning: this will delete the student account if the student is not attached to a parent account)
  4. Use your existing classroom or create a brand new classroom from your Teacher Dashboard
  5. Enroll new students, link parents, print student sign in cards and much more under the Students tab
  6. Enroll students with ScootPad accounts by sharing your classroom code (found in Customize tab) and having students join the classroom (from the settings page of student account)
  7. Watch our teacher training video or join a FREE Back to School Teacher webinar to learn how best to leverage ScootPad for your classroom

Parents: Setup your child’s account

  1. Create a brand new student account for your child from your Parent Dashboard (you’ll receive the Silver Engagement Plan Free for 30-days for the first child)
  2. If your child already has an account on ScootPad, update your child’s grade level – this can be done under the Customize tab
  3. If your child’s teacher has a classroom on ScootPad, request a “Parent Invitation Letter” from the teacher (follow instructions to enroll your child in the classroom)
  4. Watch our parent training video or join a FREE Back to School Parent webinar to learn how best to leverage ScootPad for your child

School/District Administrators: Signup for a FREE Admin Account

  1. Signup for a Free Admin Account for your School or District
  2. Add Teacher Accounts and Classrooms. Bulk upload students into classrooms
  3. Watch our admin training video  or join a FREE Back to School Admin webinar to learn how best to leverage ScootPad for your school/district

School/District Administrators: Trying to Clear Out Students, Classrooms, or Teachers?

  1. Teacher accounts can be “removed” (or disconnected) from the school through an administrator account, but only the teacher can delete his/her account.
  2. Classrooms can only be deleted if they have zero students enrolled and have not been paid to be upgraded through a teacher’s account
  3. Student accounts can be moved from an admin account, but cannot be deleted from an admin account.
  4. To learn even more, join a FREE Back to School Admin webinar.

For more information, visit www.ScootPad.com or click below:

Need help with the process? Give us a call 1-888-666-3106 (Option 1, Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm PST) or send an email to support@scootpad.com.

Best wishes for the new school year!

ScootPad Team

Balancing Standardized Testing and Classroom Learning

I had a parent of my daughter’s friend ask me the other day why we do so much testing with kids. To be honest, I feel we over test our students. Not just at my school, but at all schools. And we can’t hold schools accountable for the amount of testing they do: it’s the result of district mandates, which often come from the state, which is responding to federal laws and regulations. It’s obviously a very complex situation that no single teacher or school can control.

standardized-test

That notwithstanding, this parent asked me why we couldn’t just have a platform that monitored the kids work as they did it; why there was any need for assessments or tests at all. I smiled and said I was using just such a platform with my students and went on to describe the benefits of ScootPad practices. However, as much as I love ScootPad practices, and as much as I really am not at all a fan of testing, testing, testing, I do also believe there needs to be some formalized assessments. Not ones that replace the results and achievements students accomplish in their day-to-day efforts, but ones that actually inform a different kind of learning, or possible struggle.

That is to say, I have students who perform amazing on in-class work, assignments, and practices and yet struggle on assessments. This is important information for me to have. Similarly, if students are lackadaisical in class and then hit it out-of-the-park on an assessment, there is also important information for me to look at there as well. Demonstrating knowledge in more high stakes or pressured environments is an important component of growth and an important demonstration of knowledge. If my students are not able to successfully do this, especially if  they  are so competent in class, there is some discovery work for me to do.

So where am I on standardized tests? I think they serve an important function and provide useful information. But I also agree with this parent: there is a way to do that through a program like ScootPad. ScootPad can be used not only to track practices, but also to track long term learning and give formalized assessments. This allows the same important information to be learned, without losing weeks or months to testing that comes at a much greater cost.

What are your thoughts on the amount of testing we give kids… and what other options may exist to keep it better balanced?

Cheers!
Dr. Anthony

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 18,188 other followers

%d bloggers like this: