Category Archives: PowerUp

Online teaching and learning platform launching at 48 schools

HISD teachers at a select group of schools will be utilizing an online tool this school year designed to make their instruction more personalized and collaborative, while at the same time allowing them to do more in less time.  The new online teaching and learning platform is called the PowerUp:HUB, or HUB for short, and is being piloted at 48 K through 12 campuses  during the 2014-2015 school year.

“The HUB is an LMS, a Learning Management System, that is a one-stop-shop,” said Annetta Modest, senior manager for Teacher Development. “Once teachers in our pilot schools sign on, they will have access to tools, curriculum, and lesson plans.” Continue reading

Countdown to 2014-2015: What’s new in HISD #8 — Cybersafety website unveiled as part of PowerUp expansion

This is the third in a series of stories counting down to the start of school, spotlighting what is new in HISD in the coming year.

As 21 more HISD high schools gear up to become part of the PowerUp one-to-one laptop initiative in the 2014-2015 school year, HISD has unveiled a powerful new companion — an all-encompassing cybersafety website to make sure students’ cybercitizenship matches their technological knowledge.

Developed for use by students, parents, and educators at all grade levels, the new site offers updated and user-friendly information about safe and sensible use of the Internet and social media. The site, which includes content from Common Sense Media, features resource links, tip sheets, videos, learning resources, parent information, and a model media agreement for families to use to set down guidelines for use of cell phones, tablets, laptops, and gaming devices. Continue reading

PowerUp teachers learn how easy it is to create video productions

Educators from almost two dozen high schools got a lesson in super-quick video production and “flipped” classrooms recently, when their peers from the Mooresville Graded School District in North Carolina came to Houston to share their expertise on one-to-one student/laptop initiatives.

This cute video, created by the team from Mooresville to show how easy short films are to produce, features teachers from the Phase II schools who completed the training.

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Digital transformation ‘Power(ing)Up’ job prospects for high school students

Sharpstown High School 2014 graduate Jairo Luna prepares laptops at a NetSync warehouse for distribution to classrooms, July 2, 2014. The Sharpstown PowerUp coordinator recommended Luna for the internship. (Houston ISD/Dave Einsel)

Jairo Luna

HISD is only one full year into its one-to-one laptop distribution as part of the district’s PowerUp initiative, but that hasn’t stopped students from reaping the benefits of the district’s bold, three-year push to close the digital divide.

Three Sharpstown High School students—Class of 2014 members Kevin Gordwin and Jairo Luna, and junior Keion Jackson—have already landed three of the coveted summer internships available with NetSync, the district’s approved vendor for distributing computers. And, they’re making good money while doing it.

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Ushering in the Digital Age: Personalization driving HISD’s
efforts to phase out textbooks

The ability to personalize the learning experience for students is a key component of HISD’s PowerUp initiative, and the district is helping teachers meet that goal with its ongoing conversion to digital learning resources.

Previously, HISD has spent its annual allotment for instructional materials on textbooks, but this spring, about a third of those funds went toward the purchase of either digital materials or resources with a digital component. These materials allow teachers to further differentiate—or tailor—their instruction to individual students. Continue reading

HISD recognized for its digital transformation efforts

The Houston Independent School District’s efforts to embrace and expand the use of technologies district-wide, including in the classroom, have been recognized by the Center for Digital Education and the National School Boards Association. HISD was ranked fifth on the top 10 list of the 10th annual Digital School Districts Survey, which is conducted by the two organizations.

“Team HISD’s efforts to transform teaching and learning through the district’s PowerUp initiative have only just begun, and we are honored that our work is being recognized and acknowledged,” said Chief Technology Officer Lenny Schad.

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Lights, camera, PowerUp at Bellaire HS!

Bellaire High School students and staff are sharing their personal insights regarding the district’s PowerUp technology initiative in a new, student-produced video.  Molly Oretsky, Iceland Vu, and Anthea Wilson, who work on Bellaire’s student newspaper and website, Three Penny Press, filmed the recent distribution of student laptops on their campus and interviewed students and staff on how the devices are changing classroom instruction.

Bellaire is one of 11 high schools in phase one of PowerUp, which eventually will give every HISD high school student a laptop to use at school and at home.

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Teachers at YWCPA go to the pros for technology know-how – their students

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/88799570/ w=320&h=205]

As a teacher at one of the HISD’s 11 pilot PowerUp schools, Mariela Niland is working to include more technology in her classroom at the Young Women’s College Preparatory Academy. Recently, the first-year teacher took part in a unique training that had her and her students swap roles to learn more about the latest and greatest tech tools and web applications. “I want to hear from them what I can do to make my lessons more interesting,” said Niland. “I want to know what digital tools and resources they enjoy using.”

Niland and her YWCPA colleagues got an earful from students who were excited to take part in the table-turning after-school exercise. The format allowed the girls to become the teacher, show off their tech savvy, and share some of their favorite websites.

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Student laptop distribution underway as part of PowerUp initiative

More than 18,000 students to receive computers this month to use at school and at home

More than 18,000 students are receiving laptops this month as part of HISD’s one-to-one initiative that will eventually give every high school student a computer. The initiative, called PowerUp, not only will offer students 24-hour access to a laptop and a variety of software, but to digital-age instruction that will transform teaching and learning both inside and outside the classroom.

“PowerUp is not about the device,” said Superintendent Terry Grier. “This is about creating anytime-anywhere learning for our students so they can have the world at their fingertips. We want to make sure they learn the skills that complement technology so they aren’t replaced by technology.”

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Student laptop distribution underway as part of PowerUp initiative

Almost 19,000 HISD students are receiving laptops this month as part of the district’s one-to-one initiative that will eventually give every high school student a computer. The initiative – PowerUp – will not only give students 24-hour access to a laptop and a variety of software but to digital-age instruction that will transform teaching and learning both inside and outside the classroom.

“PowerUp is not about the device,” said Superintendent Terry Grier. “This is about creating anytime-anywhere learning for our students so they can have the world at their fingertips. We want to make sure they learn skills that complement technology so they won’t be replaced by technology.”

Continue reading