Wednesday, April 17, 2019


The largest voiced concern is “how are we going to keep kids safe?”  Safety is our number one priority. To help keep your child safer and more scholarly online, we have adopted online services provided by GoGuardian.  GoGuardian is an all in one device management system that keeps students safer online and improves technology use in the classroom.  This includes cloud-based filtering and self-harm alerts to teacher/student chat and screen-sharing. GoGuardian is on each Chromebook; therefore, no matter what Internet students are connected to, the safety features of GoGuardian will be active.  This provides more safety through the restricted environment that College Heights is providing than most families currently have.
It may be helpful to know that over 10,000 other schools use GoGuardian to protect 5.5 million students across the world, and the Global Educator Institute has endorsed the GoGuardian Teacher product.
How are we using GoGuardian?
We have chosen GoGuardian Admin and GoGuardian Teacher services to:
  • Help protect students against harmful and inappropriate online material
  • Help students stay “scholarly” and more focused when learning online
  • Help assess students’ progress towards class assignments
  • Facilitate communication between teachers and students
When and how does GoGuardian operate?
GoGuardian’s web-based services operate on our school’s managed Google Suite for Education Chrome accounts (i.e., when a student is logged into Chrome or a Chromebook with his/her school email address).  Students will only be able to log into their school issued Chromebook with their school ( account. It is better than a traditional filtering system as it looks past the URL, as seen here.  College Heights enables teachers to use GoGuardian Teacher with students in their classes. The settings within GoGuardian assist in making sure students are on task in class. This video will clarify the features within GoGuardian.  

What are the school’s responsibilities?
College Heights selected GoGuardian services to help our students stay safer and more scholarly online. We will work with students during class time to help teach them digital responsibility and safety.  Additionally, we will train teachers about how to operate GoGuardian and about our policies and procedures to help protect student privacy.
What are my parental/guardian and child’s responsibilities?
We ask that students use their school-managed Google accounts and school-managed devices  for educational purposes within the boundaries of College Heights’ Acceptable Use Policy and G-Suite Agreement.  When a student is off campus, parents are responsible for supervising internet access and usage. We encourage you to discuss rules for appropriate internet usage with your child and to reinforce lessons of digital citizenship and safety with him or her.  Google provides information on family safety here.  We encourage you only to allow your child to use the device in a public area, such as a living room or kitchen.
Google Safety
The IT Coordinator regulates Google’s management console (G Suite), which allows the district to blacklist, whitelist, or pre-install apps, extensions and URLs, and set other restrictions such as only allowing email to be sent and received from other College Heights users.
Protection at School
At school there is a web filtering system, OpenDNS, which looks at domain names in order to block end-users from navigating to known phishing and Conficker Command, Control Callback websites, and inappropriate content.  The Web content filtering and security settings are applied to devices and computers when they connect to a configured network, the school’s Wifi.  In addition to OpenDNS, College Heights has an ad filter, which should block all ads. These protections are offered at school when devices are connected to our Internet.  

Friday, April 12, 2019


Why should we Seize the World, go 1:1? College Heights desires their students not only to achieve academic excellence as servant leaders with a biblical worldview, but we also want them to continue to achieve excellence throughout higher education and as Christian citizens. In order to accomplish this goal, we believe it is necessary to create a restricted technological environment where students learn to use technology tools so that when they are adults with no restrictions they know how to handle technology and make wise choices.  Technology is all around, and learning foundational skills in a restricted environment will prepare students for future success.
Chromebooks are light, fast, personal computers that are cost efficient to purchase and maintain because they are less complex.  Chromebooks also integrate seamlessly with G Suite. G suite is a Google educational platform that is free and contains email, Calendar, Docs, Slides, Classroom, Drawing, Sheets, Forms, and unlimited storage.  Check here for more information on G Suite.
Academic Preparation
Parents have given feedback that the only struggle alumni have had in higher education was navigating technology. Students are thrust into an environment where they must navigate a learning management system (Blackboard/ Canvas) to gather class information and turn in assignments.  This lack of preparation will be rectified by utilizing Google Classroom for students to keep up with class information and turn in digital assignments. There is also a disconnect, as noted by author Carl Hooker and I can affirm as a professor, that students are responsible for their own learning, and technology can be very distracting in the higher education classroom. Professors facilitate learning and expect students to choose to pay attention and learn.
As curriculum expands students will have additional opportunities that could be necessary for higher education, such as portfolios.  Students began this year creating a digital portfolio that would showcase themselves and may be used for higher education, job applications, or other various reasons. The portfolio is a collection of material that reflects students’ academic progress, personal development, and future aspirations and dreams.
 Seize the world will provide the opportunity for improved communication and feedback for students.  Students will be able to reach teachers through email or Google classroom and receive a timely response instead of having to wait until the next school day.  This improved communication will benefit students and allow them to get help when they are struggling and complete assignments on time. Students could gain immediate feedback from quizzes and directly on their work, creating a better learning environment.
Look around and see what engages students. You will find technology usage in the classroom will increase student engagement and motivation.  Students are not motivated by reading a chapter and taking a quiz, but reading information and creating a product with technology seems more fun while creating opportunities for critical thinking, thus increasing engagement and motivation.  Check out this video for a neat lesson using Chromebooks in the classroom.  Technology is constantly advancing and affecting daily life. Leveraging that technology in the educational setting improves student learning through personal learning, engagement, and critical thinking skills, thus providing students with additional learning opportunities (Nebbergall & ICF, 2012).  College Heights is advancing by incorporating technology in order to provide these learning opportunities to the students.
Global Society
Future jobs are constantly changing with technology.  Students need to learn to be a part of a global society in school, which should carry into their professional lives.  Collaboration is a big part of the global society as jobs are requiring more digital collaboration due to the global society.  Students need to be able to constantly learn and apply prior knowledge to new tasks. The learning aspect, in accordance with critical thinking, will prepare students for future jobs that do not currently exist.  Communication is a vital piece of every job; therefore, continuing to teach students how to successfully communicate in person and effectively communicate within the technological realm is vital for future success.
So why must each student get a device?
Students must have access in order to meet the above goals.  Four Chromebook carts are not enough to allow students ample access at school, while providing individual devices will additionally allow access at home to work on school work. When students have their own device, they are able to utilize it in each class where teachers are ready to integrate technological components into their curriculum. Individual student devices provide educational opportunities and more safety than most households can provide. The safety component will be discussed next week.
Hooker, Carl. (2016).  Mobile learning mindset: The district leader's guide to implementation. International Society for Technology in Education.
Nebbergall, A., & ICF International. (2012). Integration of technology in teaching and learning: Comprehensive initiatives enhance student engagement and learning. ICF International. ICF International.

Friday, April 5, 2019

1:1 Chromebooks...WHAT?

College Heights is continually striving to excel.  One area that has continually scored low with parents is technology, over 60% recently responded that College Heights is behind.  Therefore, with thorough evaluation and planning, a 1:1 initiative was ratified. 1:1 is a common name for schools handing out 1 technology device per 1 student. College Heights is supplying students in grades 6-12 with a Chromebook device as part of their textbook resources. This Chromebook is in addition to current textbooks and will be utilized as a tool to enrich the curriculum, not in place of.  Students will be taught how to utilize their Chromebook as an educational advantage and how to be good digital citizens. College Heights is creating a controlled environment in which students learn how to use technology in the classroom, expecting students to apply the skills in personal technology usage. Each student will have, as their default homepage, our CHCS student portal which contains links for direct access to Google Apps, Facts and other educational material.  Click here to view the Chromebook Policy.  
This program will be called Seize the World: Technology taking students beyond the classroom.  CHCS’ mission to create students with a biblical worldview will continue to increase with the integration of Chromebooks.  Students need to be prepared to go into the world as Christians and be competitive in the global society. As we prepare students for global jobs that don’t currently exist, teach them foundational technology skills, and how to be problem solvers, we create lifelong learners that will be successful in the future.
Seniors piloted Chromebooks this Spring, allowing for evaluation before all 6-12th graders receive Chromebooks.  Our program is different than other area programs in that we are still using textbooks and we have been training teachers for a year now. This foundational preparation is key to success of the program.  This program is an asset to students and the school. Why? Watch for the next post to find out.