Category: Events

Feb 8

Digital Learning Day Contest

Congratulations to winners Guillermo, Jairo, and Luna!

Guillermo (age 12)

Jairo (age 10)

Luna (age 9)

Did you know? February 25th is Digital Learning Day! Digital Learning Day is a time to celebrate innovative technology practices in education and think about how we can intentionally bring digital tools into tutoring sessions.

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to push the boundaries of what technology can do for education. It has also shown us how crucial it is for our students to not only have access to technology, but also technology skills. This year, now that all our students are tutoring online, we want to put their digital devices to use to enhance their 21st Century skills.

In celebration of Digital Learning Day, we want to see your students use Scratch – a program we love that teaches kids creative coding. All students who create an “Animate a Name” project and submit it us will be entered to win a special prize. Watch the video below for all the details. Kindergarten-3rd grade students have the option to complete a different project if Scratch is too difficult for them. Scroll down for more details.

How to enter the contest:

  1. Before your session, create a Scratch account (it’s free!)
  2. During your session, instruct your student to share their screen with you.
  3. Have your student go to Scratch, log into the account you created, and create an animated name or word using the above tutorial as a guide.
  4. Creativity is encouraged! Your student can animate their name, or a phrase like “School on Wheels,” “Learn,” “Grow,” or “Think.”
  5. When their project is complete, instruct them to name the project and click “Share.” Have them share the link with you, or access the link yourself via the account you created.
  6. Submit your student’s project using the form below by March 25th.

Option for K-3 students:

  1. Before your session, download the Odd Squad Robot Coder activity sheet from PBS Kids.
  2. During your session, upload the activity sheet using the “Upload a Presentation” feature in Big Blue Button. Turn on the multi-user whiteboard.
  3. Explain that “Coding” means giving a computer commands to complete tasks. Coding is what makes robots and other machines work. Explain to your student that they will use arrow commands to program Agent Oswald.
  4. Have your student use the whiteboard tools to complete both pages of the activity sheet.
  5. Optional: If you have time, try completing this additional coding activity, which uses a similar process.
  6. Take screenshots of the completed pages and submit the files via the form below by March 25th.

Contact egerch@schoolonwheels.org with questions.

Aug 18

2020 Student Artwork Contest

A huge thank you and congratulations to all the students who participated in this year’s contest! There were so many amazing entries and we really were in awe of the talent on display.

Congratulations to our winners: 

  • Nicholas
  • Shirin
  • Madeline
  • Mateo
  • Syria
  • Jesus
  • Kieley
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Feb 14

Digital Learning Day Contest

Congratulations to winners Elijah and Samson!

Did you know? February 27th is Digital Learning Day! All month long, we’re celebrating innovative technology practices in education and raising awareness about how we can intentionally bring digital tools into tutoring sessions.

Our students overwhelmingly lack access to the tech devices and education they need to succeed in school and beyond. As a tutor, you can bridge the digital divide for your student by thoughtfully using technology to fill educational gaps.

In celebration of Digital Learning Day, we want to see your students use Scratch – a program we love that teaches kids creative coding. All participating students will be entered to win a $25 gift card for Target.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Create a Scratch account (it’s free!)
  2. Have your student complete the Animate a Name tutorial on Scratch. We recommend downloading and printing these Coding Cards for easy instruction.
  3. Creativity is encouraged! Instead of a name, your student can animate “School on Wheels,” or an inspirational word like “Learn,” “Grow,” or “Think.” Or they can animate their own name (first names only please). Sample project here.
  4. Enter the contest below by sharing your project file or the link to your project!
    • To download the project, click File – Save to your computer.
    • To find the link to your project, click ‘Share,’ then ‘Copy Link’.

Note: This project requires a laptop. If wifi is a problem at your tutoring site, you can download the app here for offline use.

Contact egerch@schoolonwheels.org with questions.

Jan 27

Virtual Field Trips Expand Students’ Horizons

In 2019, we introduced Virtual Field Trips to eight tutoring locations. These sessions expose students to places and ideas that they otherwise may have never encountered, allowing us to expand their worldview despite geographic and financial barriers. We are utilizing two types of Virtual Field Trips – PORTS and Peace Corps Global Connections.

Students interact with a Peace Corps representative

The PORTS program from California State Parks connects park rangers to students via video chat. Rangers in parks all over the state give students a virtual tour of their park, explain how State Parks protect important ecology, and even show students wildlife in real-time. So far, we’ve taken elementary students in Anaheim on a tour of Hearst Castle, learned about paleontology in the Anza-Borrego Desert with students at a South LA shelter, and strolled through the sequoias in Northern California with students at the Orange County Rescue Mission.

The Peace Corps Global Connections program connects Peace Corps volunteers around the world with students in the US via video chat or other methods. These volunteers are able to impart cultural knowledge and inform students about what the Peace Corps does. At the end of 2019, a volunteer in Guatemala spoke to high school students at a youth shelter in Glendora about how she’s improving sanitation policy at a local Guatemalan school. Shortly after, a volunteer in Cambodia spoke to students at a shelter in Long Beach about teaching Cambodian students and handling cultural differences.

Seeing our students’ minds open to all the world’s possibilities is truly a joy. We look forward to connecting more of our students to Virtual Field Trips in 2020!