Students will have access to directly check out earbuds with built-in microphones. These devices will allow students to continue working on their speaking and listening skill set. The Chromebooks microphone is not very reliable, especially if the Chromebook is a few years old. The earbuds allow students to accurately record their voices and hear the instructional tools required without interrupting the entire class. The use of earbuds, allows students to focus directly on his or her independent task, avoiding distraction from peers while working on media presentations.
This grant will allow students to expand their media and tech usage capacity. In a busy classroom, finding a quiet corner to record student voice or hear a presentation provided can often be a difficult task to complete. The earbuds will make this possible without impeding upon other student collaboration. Additionally, the students who often avoid the opportunity to share publicly in front of their peers will have a venue to record without the peer pressure from a classroom presentation. This will foster confidence so that the student will eventually be able to share out publicly. Staff members will use these tools to ease grading practices around speaking. By recording student voice, staff can use specific rubrics to analyze the content as well as the speaking requirements.
Last year I was provided funding for a combination of noise canceling headphones with microphones built-in as well as earbuds also with microphones. The usage of these devices is more than I could have ever asked for. Unfortunately, there were very few teachers who would check out entire class sets. That being said, students accessed these tools daily for various uses. The student usage has driven this additional grant request to create stations where students can check out these devices directly without interrupting instructional time.
Once purchased, these devices will be monitored by the ‘Nerd Herd’ or the NTS student led tech team. The checkout process, cleaning protocols and general maintenance will be monitored directly by the ‘Nerd Herd’. Students and staff will be educated on checkout protocols to ensure student use does not violate classroom expectations or cause distractions from learning. The rules regarding student devices are listed in student the agenda will guide student use and expectations.
These devices will be available for student use for 5th-8th grade students. In 5th-6th grade teachers will be given a set to use in class. In 7th-8th grade, students will be able to check in and check out the earbuds whenever necessary.
The tech budget this year has been allocated to support teacher tech Professional Development as well as basic maintenance of aging school wide tech equipment. As a result of these budget allocations and the delay in the North Tahoe School Bond improvements, funding is not available for these additional student support materials.