Doing “Hour of Code” in the Ellwood Computer Lab!

Welcome!  I’m Mrs. Joan Barnett, the Tech Specialist at Ellwood School.  Students have asked me, “Do you like your job? You seem to have a lot of fun,” and it’s true! The students are wonderful, and I love figuring out new and interesting activities using computers that enrich the students’ learning they get in the classroom. I have been a Computer/Tech Specialist and school webmaster in the Goleta school district since 1996, and have done my best to put together a tech program that gives students the experience they need to be successful using computers and tech devices in their current and future schooling.

We have 30 iMac computers in the lab for the students to use, with high speed internet connections. When I teach a skill, students gather for the lesson. I can demonstrate skills using an LCD projector used to project the computer monitor image onto a white screen.  When students return to their classrooms, they can continue their work on iPads (for K-2) or Chromebooks (grades 3-6).

Preschoolers, kindergarteners and 1st graders learn math, language arts and computer skills with Millie’s Math House and Sammy’s Science House, and one of the fantastic subscription programs Ellwood uses, “More Starfall”. We also have a fabulous Language Arts program called Lexia Core 5 and a typing program called for students.  Many students are excited to keep learning after school, when they choose to login to their accounts from their homes too.  If your child forgets his/her login information or password, there is a “Need help?” link on the “Student Links” page that might help or you can drop me an email.

All 2nd – 6th grade students have Google Drive accounts, so they can write, and create spreadsheets or presentations individually or collaboratively while at school or from home.

All 1st – 6th grade students are also enrolled in Accelerated Reader and STAR Reading. Each year we also take a week to have all 1st – 6th graders participate in the “Hour of Code”, where they learn basics of computer coding. The photo above is of a 4th grade class doing a Minecraft coding activity created especially for the Hour of Code.  There are many different coding activities available for pre-readers, using simple block commands to teach logical thinking, planning, and looking for repeated patterns, up to activities using Scratch, Javascript, Python and C#. Ask your children about some of these wonderful online activities!  Please check out the other “Student Links” on our school web page.

Meet Ember, the Computer Lab pet corn snake!

A little bit about me:  I have a BS degree in physics from USCB and worked as a research physicist at Santa Barbara Research Center and Sloan Technology here in Santa Barbara.  When my  two children were born, I stayed home to care for them, then volunteered at their school, El Rancho School in Goleta. I was offered the job of computer specialist there, and am so happy to continue this job at Ellwood School now.  I also am an avid photographer, a ham radio operator, handbell choir director and ringer, and am passionate about math and many sciences, especially geology and astronomy.  I have one pet who lives in the tech lab: my very gentle corn snake named Ember.  Ember often comes out on the Ellwood field for a “slither”, which the kids love!  Here she’s resting on my leg, soaking in the warm sun.

Please drop by the Tech Lab and see what we’re doing! It is a really FUN place to visit! You are most welcome to come and see and share in what your children are learning.

Mrs. Joan Barnett