The Long Review
Last year, Tech & Learning followed the experience of Trenton’s Village Charter
school as they tested (and ultimately purchased) Pearson’s Successmaker and
Dell’s desktops. This year, two districts will put other products through this same
long-term trial: learning.com’s STEM curriculum and Lightspeed’s My Big Campus.
My Big Campus
My Big Campus, from
is an online service
that allows schools to
create an engaging,
environment. The standalone version of My Big Campus
is free and chock-full of some great features. You can also
purchase My Big Campus with a Collaborative Web Filter.
It only took me about two minutes to sign up and get my
free account and then I started creating my “classroom.”
I’ve been using it since September and am finding it very
easy and useful. I have set it up with my resource library of
files that I usually post on my class Web site and links that I
usually put on my class blog. I also use the calendar feature
to input assignment due dates and more. I can easily assign
work or tasks to students and manage them, seeing who
has completed which assignments. The “Your Stuff” section
lets me upload files, photos, and links to Web sites. I like
that I can filter by type of resource and can easily search
all of my “stuff.”
The MyBigCampus Android App and EduTalk are relatively
new features. The Android app allows teachers to
access the MBC accounts from any Android device. EduTalk
is MBC’s “social network for educators.” it is made up of
status updates from educators, not students, and allows
educators to share resources, tips, ideas, and more.
My AP Physics students have been using the chat and
discussion features to help each other with homework
problems and when studying. It’s been so popular, the
honors Physics classes want to set up a discussion board
for homework and study help and have the AP Physics students
involved as tutors and mentors.
My Big Campus is turning out to be a very useful and
powerful tool. I’ll be exploring more features each month at
David Andrade is a Physics Teacher and Educational
Technology Specialist in Connecticut.
Tech & Learning follows Illinois’s Oak Lawn-Hometown
District 123 through the school year as they implement
Learning.com’s STEM curriculum in conjunction with the
district’s new 1:1 computing initiative.
On the eve of our 1:1 Netbook rollout, i sit compiling the
ways to support our teachers as they transition into teaching
with a new digital STEM resource from learning.com.
This resource will provide all of our fifth grade teachers
and students with access to science, math, and technology
supplementary curriculum pieces. Here are the ways we
plan to create the groundwork for a successful rollout and
pilot of this curriculum:
Teacher leader blog showcasing creative teachers.
Professional Learning Community within Google Apps: We
created a private site for teachers to share information,
documents, and videos.
Instructional screencasts: All of the fifth grade teachers
say our tutorials have been the best way to learn.
Internal coaching positions: Each week, I send out my
Google appointment calendar and include a list of services
I can offer to teach that week.
Timed introductions: Once teachers feel ready, we’ll roll
out the curriculum.
I’ll set up each online classroom for the teachers, choose
parts of the curriculum, and start making screencasts of
how to use the program. I will also be making student videos
that can be used to introduce the site to them. Check
back time to read more about the rollout.
Peg Keiner is an instructional technology coach for Oak
Lawn-Hometown District 123.