#iCONNECT Tech Tips

October 6th - 10th #EHSRedDevils

Kicking It Up A Notch With DPI!

Across the country schools are moving to Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) or 1:1 Initiatives. Many teachers are apprehensive about these changes for several reason. One reason for this apprehension is due to teachers thinking the technology is going to interfere with teaching core content. What we are learning at Elkmont is that the technology simply merges with the lessons teachers have already prepared to teach. In other words, technology "kicks it up a notch"!

Another reason some may feel apprehensive about DPI/BYOD comes as teachers from one school compare themselves to other schools in Limestone County. None of the schools are or were intended to do the same things with the Digital Passport Initiative rollout. Each school is different, thus the program is custom tailored by the Instructional Technology Facilitator, Administrator, and DPI Teachers to meet the specific needs of each school. Elkmont High School's DPI Team is doing AWESOME and we will continue to learn and grow together this year. Thank you for being such a wonderful team and being patient as we build our unique version of DPI at Elkmont!

This week our DPI Team has used Google Presentations and iMovie to review nouns, vocabulary, and to work in collaborative teams on National Landmark research. Not only did we learn how to use Google Presentations and iMovie, we also learned how to find elementary school appropriate images in safe search portals like Google Junior and KidzSearch. We also got organized with our MacBook calendars and gClassFolders.

As if that wasn’t enough, we set our new Limestone County Symbaloo pages up as our homepage on both Internet Browsers, Safari and Google Chrome. Now, any time we open an Internet search engine, it takes us straight to Symbaloo and all of the links we use. Use this link to start using LCS Symbaloo: http://lcsk12.symbaloo.com/home/mix/limestonecountyschools

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This week the eight Instructional Technology Facilitators in Limestone County Schools meet to debrief, reflect, connect, share and learn. We started by using the SWOT Analysis model to reflect on what we have done as a team during the first full year of the district's Digital Passport Initiative Rollout.

We continued the meeting by sharing resources and coming up with action plans to guide us until our next meeting.

Limestone County School District is surrounded by school districts who are also implementing 1:1 initiatives, but where Limestone beats the others is in realizing the critical importance of having Instructional Technology Facilitators embedded in each school. I credit this forward thinking to our District Technology Director, Karen Tucker and Superintendent, Dr. Tom Sisk.

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Cool Tech Finds of the Week: Writing

100 Word Challenge:

Cool writing prompts that provide grade 5-12 students with an authentic audience and global connections.

5 Sentence Challenge:

Writing prompts for K-4 students that also provides an authentic audience and global connections.

Gone Google StoryBuilder:

Gone Google Story Builder does is creates a video of your writing process. You can have characters, writers, and etc... You type in the windows what each person or character says and the Gone Google Story Builder builds a video. You can even add music! You really have to try it for yourself to see it.

Ideas for Gone Google Story Builder:

  • Great way to teach students the process of writing.

  • Great way to visually see a story/writing come to life.

  • Great way to Collaborate.


StoryBird is committed to sparking user imagination by providing a variety of colorful and vibrant Illustrations that ignite creativity. First, choose which photos you want to include in your book, then incorporate your very own dialogue -- before long words will be pouring onto the page. Although this is a great site for younger children, users must be 13 years of age to become a member. If a child is younger than 13, he/she must provide a parent’s email address, and then the parent is immediately notified that their child has become a storybird.

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