Digital Shift News

News to help you make the Shift


The purpose behind this newsletter is to provide information to you, our District Technology Leaders about how to make the shift from technology in the hands of teachers to technology in the hands of students. The newsletter will also make you aware of new and old features of Google Apps and Apps for the iPad. After reading each issue, please share and discuss with your peers.

Educator Spotlight: Julie Sturgiss

Julie Sturgiss designed a unit about American Historical Documents and had her Honors American History students utilize Google Slides to demonstrate their knowledge of the subject matter by collaborating in groups

American Documents Unit


The American document unit targets several of the common core standards for American History. In order to create a student-centered learning experience, the students were asked to work in teams to create presentations that demonstrated their understanding of the concepts. Each team was given a document or key concept and asked to answer two higher-level cognitive thinking questions about the documents. In order to complete this task, each team was given a chromebook and instructed to work collaboratively on a google doc and slide presentation. The chromebooks allowed the students to transition seamlessly from the research portion of their assignment to the development of their presentations. The combination of the general knowledge students have of computers with the user-friendly, collaborative features of the google docs and slides, eliminated down time and allowed students to be efficient in getting their task completed. Along with giving students the resource tools needed to be successful, the chromebooks and use of google slides also made it easy for them to share their presentations me.

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Digital Tools

September's Digital Tools

Our first featured tool is Kaizena. This audio recording tool syncs with Google Drive to provide teachers and students the easy ability to record their voice within Google docs. Teachers and students can also add text comments and resource links. Teachers report that many students prefer to listen to their teacher's comments rather than read them. A student audio reflection can also be added to the learning process. Perhaps most importantly, this tool has the potential to save teacher's time, as they are able to put away the dreaded red pen and deliver comments in a more intuitive, natural way.

Our second featured tool Classcraft is a free online, educational role-playing game that teachers and students play together in the classroom. By using many of the conventions traditionally found in games today, students can level up, work in teams, and earn powers that have real-world consequences. Acting as a gamification layer around any existing curriculum, the game transforms the way a class is experienced throughout the school year.

Tech Bytes