Seattle Public Schools

New Classroom Tool

Summary: New tool on SPS Devices will help educators build positive learning environment during their classes.

Technology’s Helping Hand 

New Digital Learning Tool Takes Teaching to New Level 

Seattle Public Schools (SPS) uses many digital learning tools to keep students engaged and help teachers support different types of learners. Starting this spring, a new tool on district devices will help educators build a positive digital learning environment by keeping students focused on their assigned tasks.

SPS makes computer and internet access available for students to support their academic tasks and assignments. Creating a safe and innovative educational environment is a top priority for our district. It is the district’s goal to provide students with enriching opportunities to use technology in the classroom.

IPads: Preschool – 2nd Grade
Apple Classroom is an iPad digital learning tool for PreK through 2nd grade teachers. It’s designed to transform the way educators manage their classrooms and enhance the learning experience.

Laptops: 3rd – 12th Grade
SPS will introduce GoGuardian Teacher for SPS laptops used by 3rd through 12th grade students. The tool is being piloted in several schools beginning this month. GoGuardian Teacher will launch districtwide for all student laptops in the fall for the new school year.

The pilot schools include Arbor Heights Elementary, Bailey Gatzert Elementary, The Center School, Cleveland High School, Coe Elementary, Eckstein Middle School, Garfield High School, Hamilton International Middle School, Louisa Boren K-8, Madison Middle School, McClure Middle School, Mercer International Middle School, Olympic View Elementary, South Shore PreK-8, West Seattle High School.

Apple Classroom and GoGuardian Teacher enable teachers to:

  • easily launch a specific app, website, or textbook page on all student devices simultaneously.
  • send and receive documents from students and share student work on a classroom display.
  • gently guide students back to classroom activities, ensuring a distraction-free learning space.
  • enable a secure online environment that adapts to the needs of each class or educational session.
  • create a collaborative learning atmosphere through digital messaging and screen sharing.

First grade teacher Madison Russell was part of a cohort of teachers who tested Apple Classroom in its piloting stage. She said it has enabled her to support her students in more intentional and meaningful ways. 

“With an Apple Classroom, you have the option to create reading groups or separate groups, and I’ve done that based off skill levels so that I can launch students into a task that is just at their level,” Russell explained. “By doing that, there’s no wasted time with logging in or trying to find the app that students can just begin with their material right away. And I know that each set of students or each individual student is beginning work that is at their level.” 

Being able to control tasks through their iPad allows teachers to move quickly and efficiently, leaving little time for students to get distracted or go off task. 

“There’s obviously only one of me and lots of them, and for first graders, sometimes it is a big barrier just to have the initial task of getting signed into an app. Sometimes that takes a long amount of time, and they’re losing productive time that could be used to engage in a task,” Russell said.  

These new tools are designed with student privacy in mind. Devices automatically disconnect outside school hours and when the device is off school premises. The tool can only be accessed when students are physically present in school. 

Families are encouraged to review the SPS Network Use Agreement that outlines the standards appropriate for the use of SPS computers and district internet network. Read more about the SPS Network Agreement.

Read more about the SPS use of Apple Classroom and GoGuardian Teacher.

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