Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Hour of Code December 7th-11th

Computers are everywhere, but fewer schools teach computer science than 10 years ago. Good news is, we’re on our way to change this. If you've heard about the Hour of Code before, you might know it made history. More than 100 million students have tried an Hour of Code.
With the Hour of Code, computer science has been on homepages of Google, MSN, Yahoo! and Disney. Over 100 partners joined together to support this movement. Last year, every Apple Store in the world hosted an Hour of Code and even President Obama wrote his first line of code as part of the campaign.
This year, let's make it even bigger. I’m asking you to join in for the Hour of Code 2015. Please get involved with an Hour of Code event during Computer Science Education Week, December 7-13.
Try the Hour of Code yourself -- everyone can benefit from learning the basics.
If you have any questions or if you need assistance getting set up, please don't hesitate to email me.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

CUE Rock Star Black Label-October 3rd!

On October 3rd, LTUSD is bringing some of CUE's most sought after presenters to South Lake Tahoe for a Black Label Event! This event is limited to 100 people! Check out some of the sessions scheduled:

Lit Circles Rebooted for Common Core and 4Cs - Learn a whole new way to use a time-tested lesson stye to engage students in Common Core - level academics that will explode their students' love of reading AND more importantly, their actual reading skills. In Lit Circles Rebooted, the 4Cs explode class conversations and writing skills while boosting reading skills, techniques and even text selections. The best part? Lit Circles Rebooted means less planning work for teachers.
Coding in the classroom - Learn some of the basic of coding and how to apply this to operating Spheros, Drones and other robots. We will be utilizing Communication, Collaboration, Critical Thinking, Creativity and CODING!
Smart Start Your School, Change Your Culture and Learning - Smart Start is a complete re-look and the first "week" of school. Imagine a school where all the students have a strong bond built with teachers and each other by the end of the first week. In a Smart Start model, school begins with an explsion of creativity, collaboration and technology use as a bonus. And by design, all the Smart Start tools are selected to be 100% free and wildly engaging. If you are looking to re-shape you school culture, Smart Start is an easy way to get a fast start at any grade level.
Making a love connection with student feedback tools - Use sites like Socrative, Kahoot, & formative for informal assessments. Participants with explore create and share their findings. Will you make a love connection?
Book Trailers Rock the Common Core--Are you looking for that ONE strategy that will get your students reading, writing, and talking about books? Book trailers promote creation and collaboration and meet the technology and literacy demands of the Common Core. In this hands-on workshop, you'll learn about book trailers, how to use and create them with your students, and you will create your own! Bring any and all digital devices! We will explore a variety of digital tools to use with whatever mobile devices you have in your classroom.
Games & Gamification - Are you curious about the “gamification” buzz word that’s been floating around lately? In this session you will learn about the pedagogy of gamification as well as participate as gamers. This interface will model great gaming strategies that you can bring back to your classroom using Google Apps tools in very different ways. From game shows to choose your own adventures, you will see how easy it is to gamify your class.
Chopped Classroom: What's In Your Basket?
In this session, be prepared to cook up some eduawesome lessons using a ton of different digital tools to engage and inspire students to create and collaborate in the common core. Participants will explore Padlet, YouTube, and Google Docs to create digital dishes that will make students and teachers say NOM NOM NOM!
Revving up with Google Drive - Are you ready to step on the gas and move your use of Google Drive to the fast lane? This session, intended for intermediate and advanced users, will show you ideas and best practices for many of the Google Drive tools from Docs, Slides, Sheets, Forms, Drawing, and more. We’ll address the the “Four Cs”: critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity and how Google Drive can not just be replacement of existing tools, but truly a new way to look at the way you want to deliver instruction. Come ready and logged into your Google account!
Google's MyMaps for Book Reporting and Class Projects
LTUSD Twitter Rock Stars-- Teachers can come to a "slow zone" to learn the basics of Twitter for classroom use and professional development. Teachers will create accounts (or revamp exisiting accounts) to provide the best profile representation of the teacher. We will also visit Twitter Chats, explaining procedures and etiquette. Participants will participate in a modified slow chat so they become familiar with the process. Participants will leave with a Twitter account, intro knowledge of Twitter Chats, and a link to the Education Chat List. Precursor to an intended weekly LTUSD Chat for our district

You will not be disappointed and you are guaranteed to learn! This event is voluntary and free for LTUSD employees. To sign up click here. Don't miss out on this amazing opportunity right here in Tahoe! 

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Google Classroom End of Year Clean Up

As the end of the school year rapidly approaches, you may want to do some clean up to Google Classroom. Alice Keeler did a blog post specifically on this topic. It is very informative and breaks your clean-up down to 3 steps. Here's the link to her post:   

Alice has some incredible resources if you're looking for anything on Google. She also published the book 50 Things You Can Do with Google Classroom. It's receiving great reviews on Amazon and Twitter. It's definitely on my summer reading list! You can purchase it on Amazon here.

If you need any help on your digital clean-up, please don't hesitate to email me. I'm here to help!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

MORE Google Classroom Updates--APP Version!

You can now do even more with the Google Classroom App!

Rolling out this week:

  • You can create and edit assignments from the app
  • Grade assignments
  • Take a photo to create a post or assignment
There's even more coming out within the next week. Check out other new features here:

Monday, May 4, 2015

Google EDU on Air and Google Classroom Updates!

Google Education on Air

On May 8th and 9th Google is hosting an Education 'On Air' conference. There should be some incredible presentations and keynote speakers. This is a free conference and while the keynotes on the 8th begin at 7 am, the sessions on the 9th run from 4 am to 5 pm.  I looked through all the sessions on Saturday and found quite a few I'll be watching. If you want to participate in any of the Q and A sessions, you will have to register.

The best part is that all the sessions will be recorded to view later on the site linked below. This is a great opportunity to learn more about Google products and participate in a global event.

Click here to get to not only the sign up page but also to see the keynote speakers and sessions available.

Google Updates April 2015

For those of you using Google Classroom there were quite a few (highly requested) updates in the last week or so. 
  1. You now have the ability to add a team teacher.
  2. You can prep early by saving assignments as drafts.
  3. Autosaved grades so you can return to grading later. You can also decide when to return them to students. 
  4. Better notification of private messages.
To read the blog post about these updates, click here.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Edpuzzle and a Change & Tech Tuesdays are Now Webby Wednesdays

A few weeks ago I found this awesome tool online called EDpuzzle. This tool allows you to take any video and add questions any where along the video. For the elementary and middle school where YouTube is blocked is once you drop the YouTube video in to EDpuzzle, the YouTube part of it sort of disappears. It was very easy to add questions and I even shortened the video below from 20 minutes to 8 minutes.

I tested out the lesson with a 5th grade class and they loved it! But who doesn't enjoy a Bill Nye video every now and again? What was great too is that I easily found questions online so I didn't have to reinvent the wheel thinking of questions to correlate with the video.

Check out the EDpuzzle I created below. Once I decided on a topic, found a video and questions, it probably took me about 20 minutes to create the finished product. It's a very user-friendly product and the company is very responsive to their users! I tweeted a question to them and had an answer in less than 12 hours.

Change to Tech Tuesdays!

Due to teacher requests- Tech Tuesdays are now Webby Wednesdays! Same time (4pm) and place (District Office). The first Webby Wednesday will be on April 15th and will cover EDpuzzle! Sign up here.

And don't forget to check out the Tech Bytes on the LTUSD EdTech Website. There are some great quick tips on there several of which you may not know about and probably could use in your class tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Upcoming Trainings and SBAC Info

Upcoming Tech Tuesdays
**No Tech Tuesday on March 17th due to an SBAC Training**
March 31st (Google Classroom)
April 14th (Twitter for Teachers)

If you would like reminders about these and other upcoming Tech Tuesday trainings sign up for my Remind account! You can sign up for it by clicking here. If you’ve never heard of Remind I’d highly recommend checking it out. It’s a great way to communicate with parents. You can check out their website at I’m actually using it to get GAFE tips from a principal in Missouri that I met on Twitter. How cool is that?! This will be especially helpful if you sign up for a training because it will send you reminder of the training. In fact, I’ve already scheduled that post to go out.

With SBAC coming up, Wilma and I will be at all the sites training the teachers on how to facilitate the test. At this point, if you haven’t already I’d highly recommend checking out the resources on the LTUSD EdTech website to help your students prepare. Once you’ve had the training, you should help your students work through both the Practice Test and the Training Test so they are familiar with the embedded tools and know how to answer all the question types. I'd also highly recommend taking the Practice test yourself if you haven't before so you're familiar with the tools and the types of questions that students are expected to answer. Some of these are very unique and not very intuitive. We can help our students be prepared as possible by understanding how to use the tools. 

If you have any questions about either of the above resources please don't hesitate to email me at