Crane Principal's Message from Brian Hill

Brian Hill
  • January 2020


    Dear Crane Family,

    As you know, technology is an important part of today’s world and our children are growing up with access to information and tools we never dreamed possible at their age. Rush-Henrietta and Crane are on the cutting edge of technology integration and looked at as leaders in this area. Our district plan lays out the following as part of our vision, “the seamless integration of technology devices in every Rush-Henrietta classroom that allows each student automatic access to the internet to obtain information, communicate and collaborate with others, and create products of their learning.” We have focused on creating 1:1 learning environments with instructional technology methodologies that are transforming teaching and learning for students. We are on our way to our goal of helping students become more college and career ready. 

    All Rush-Henrietta students are assigned their own device. At each of our elementary schools, all students have an individual Chromebook. Our students are using Google Suite, a collection of applications for educational use within Google. Google has one of the most secure platforms in the world, and it has committed to not show ads and not sell or share any data about student or staff users unless required by law. This service provides students with a cloud-based learning platform that allows them to create and collaborate on a variety of applications, such as word processing, spreadsheets, slides, forms, sites, and student email. One advantage of cloud-based learning is that students can share their work in Google with you on your internet-connected devices. This is a great way for you to stay connected to your child’s learning!

    Enhanced access to technology also means putting an increased emphasis on teaching children what it means to be good “digital citizens” by demonstrating appropriate, responsible behavior while online. Teaching digital citizenship prepares students to navigate the “information superhighway” safely. While the internet can be very beneficial, it must also be used appropriately.  Knowing how to interact with others while using technology is a learned skill. As parents and educators, we need to show our children how to balance what can be shared - and what can not - in order to keep them safe. 

    Here at Crane, we are teaching and modeling that digital behavior leaves a permanent footprint, and it is important to be responsible, respectful, and caring in all digital communications. This digital footprint is the data, or trail, that is left behind by users of electronic devices. It includes writing emails, uploading videos, posting to social media, and texts. We are embedding these important skills into our technology lessons with students. For example, when students work together on a Google document, they are encouraged to comment as part of their collaboration. We have modeled and discussed the characteristics of being respectful and responsible in using our technology.

    Here are some resources you may find helpful. (Net Smartz Kids, and Common Sense Media)  

    We encourage balance when considering technology. We use technology for many purposes, but it is not the only way our students are learning. We want our students to have discussions with each other online AND in real life. We want students reading text on the computer AND reading actual books. Our students have time to play educational games using technology, AND they play and interact with each other without technology at recess, lunch, and other times throughout the day. At home, consider limiting the use of cell phones, hand-held devices, and computers as part of your larger screen time rules. You can help your child by regularly reviewing the use of these communication devices and setting clear boundaries and expectations. Here is a link that discusses a media diet and screen time.

    Speaking of technology, this is a great time to review the many ways you can use technology to stay connected to your Crane Elementary School!  Here are some of the ways to stay connected with Crane and the Rush-Henrietta School District:


    Crane Webpage:

    District Facebook: Rush-Henrietta CSD  

    District Webpage:


    If you have any additional questions about how technology is being used to transform learning experiences at Crane, be sure to ask your child, your child’s teacher, or visit the Instructional Technology link on our district website for more information.  




    Brian Hill