Monday, February 2, 2015

Visit to Alexandria

Thanks to Alexandria High School and Alexandria Elementary School for enjoyable visits this past Friday.

Over time, with multiple visits to multiple schools, together with emails and phone calls, common themes and common questions start to emerge. We had the opportunity to talk about some of those during this visit.

Use Chrome
Stride Academy works best with Chrome (on Windows, and Safari on Macs). That message is one that every school seems to have implemented. It's something to continue to stress to parents and students as they use Stride Academy at home.

Chrome is just a great browser all the way around. The apps and extensions add additional functionality. For example, I have talked about the Windows "Snipping Tool" with several faculties. Computer which are still running Windows XP do not have that tool. A great little extension called Awesome Screenshot Capture and Annotate performs the same type of function.


Update Your iPad
If you are having problems on the iPad, the problem is likely the operating system needs to be updated. To find out more, read this post. It tells you how to find out what the current version is, what version you need, and how to replace the desktop shortcut from a previous OS with the new one, This article tells how to perform the update.

Encourage Home Use
Pictured here is an 8th grade class working on Stride Academy in the computer lab. When asked how many have Internet access at home, every hand went up. Most students also had an iPad and/or smartphone of their own.
8th Graders Working in Stride Academy
Extending learning past the school day is an easy way to increase usage. Some schools are limited in the number of computers and tablets they have, impacting the use of Stride Academy. Encouraging home usage is an easy answer. One of these students said that her little brother's elementary school teacher assigns Stride Academy as homework. Now that's a teacher who is serious about extending the learning.

Make Stride Academy Part of the Day
Pictured here are students in one of the computer labs. Every student goes to the computer lab every day. When they go to the computer lab, Stride Academy is what the students do. In the secondary grades, having a regular schedule to go to the lab or check out a cart of iPads promote regular use.

Alexandria Elementary Students Use Stride Academy Daily

Don't Mess With Texas
I have received messages lately regarding an error message related to Texas. While at Alexandria Elementary, one student ran into that problem, and I asked him to show me what he did, so I could trouble-shoot the problem. It turned out that he figured out what he was doing wrong as I watched.

Stride Academy allows a couple of ways for a student to log in: one way with a KCC and one with a KCS. Watch what is asked for in the blank. If the blank asks for a KCS and the student enters a KCC, the program returns the above error message.

Anything new takes time to learn. As we invest time learning how to leverage available technology, we move from working harder to working smarter.

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