Wavelengths

Tech Integration Newsletter

Volume 15 | Issue 30 | February, 2019

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IMS Director's Update

We are currently testing the new Office 2019 for MAC software in preparation to push to all MAC devices this spring. This updated software is only for MAC devices as all Windows devices run Office 365 which updates automatically. No action is need at this time and more information is forthcoming.


Currently, staff and students can utilize the Learning Tools within the Windows and Online versions of Office products, but the new software will allow MAC device users to experience their capabilities. These tools allow text to be read aloud, provide students the opportunity to dictate writing with their speech, and provide other visual and comprehension aids. To learn more about the new features of each program review the links below:


Office 2019 for MAC- Word


Office 2019 for MAC- Excel


Office 2019 for MAC- Powerpoint

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Future Ready Nebraska

Nebraska has adopted the Future Ready framework as a structure of organizing and communicating the Future Ready Nebraska plan. The Future Ready framework was developed by the Alliance for Excellent Education, a Washington, DC-based national policy and advocacy organization dedicated to ensuring that all students, particularly those who are traditionally under-served, graduate from high school ready for success in college, work, and citizenship. The research-based framework is based on a vision oriented, pedagogy driven and children focused approach.


Interested in learning more about Future Ready Nebraska plan? Check out the details HERE.

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Read Across America & Skype in the Classroom

Looking for a way to connect your students to reading in a new way for the annual Read Across America event? Try Skype! Skype can be used to connect with an author, with another classroom, or with other district employees.


This year, Read Across America Day will be celebrated on Friday, March 1 and this year's theme is Celebrating a Nation of Diverse Readers. View additional Read Across America resources here.To connect with authors, viist the the Microsoft Educator Community by clicking here.


Keep the reading going all month long by connecting with author and Illustrator Cressida Cowell, from the How to Train Your Dragon series. She will be participating in a Skype Broadcast event with live Q&A on Wednesday March 6th. The broadcast will air twice at 8:00 am CST and 12:00 CST. Click here to register your class in the Microsoft Educator Community.


To learn more about how to use Skype in the Classroom for Read Across America or other learning opportunities contact your Technoloy Trainer or your school's Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE).

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Digital Citizenship Corner with Common Sense Education

African Americans are central to U.S. history and responsible for much of what we consider American culture. The apps, games, and websites collected here tell that story, balancing the triumphs of African Americans in politics, literature, music, science, and beyond with the continued struggle for social justice. Use these picks to break free of the boundaries of Black History Month and integrate African American history all year long across the curriculum.


Any questions regarding digital citizenship, Common Sense Education, and district approved applications should be directed to Keegan Korf at keegan.korf@ops.org.

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Top Picks: African American History Apps and Websites

Common Sense Education curates Top Picks lists for educators. Please ensure that apps you use in your classroom are also approved by OPS by visiting our Approved Technology List.

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Dr. Logan's February Read Aloud-

Nearly 1800 students connected to listen to Dr. Logan's read aloud of The Mitten in January, and she is excited to connect again! Click on the button below to register for her next read aloud. The book title is to be determined and please note the new time for the event: Wednesday, February 27th at 2:15 PM.


Register by Monday, February 26th at 4:00 PM and Eileen Heller will send you a link to join.

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OPS School STEAM Events

Planning a school STEAM Event? Check out resources in the Smore below!
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Tech Tip

Here is a tech tool every educator should know: Microsoft Forms


According to Kathi Lu of Microsoft, "With Forms, you can easily create, run, and analyze results from surveys and quizzes. By simply sharing a link or QR code, your friends and family can access your form from virtually anywhere, on any device, and at any time. With real-time responses and automatically generated charts, Forms makes it easy for creators to quickly understand the results and take the right next step."


Check out this new feature that will allow your respondents to receive an email receipt of their responses to a form they fill out. You can also receive an email notifying you of when people have filled out your form. Simply, go to Settings in the ellipse (3 dots) found in upper right corner of the Form. Scroll down to Notification and select your choice. (See image below.)


Want to learn more about Microsoft Forms? Contact your Technology Trainer. Have a great way you are using Forms in education? Click here and share with us!

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Educator Spotlight

Dennis Houfek is a 6th grade Math teacher and Microsoft Innovative Educator from Alfonza Davis Middle School.


As a Math teacher, he is always looking for innovative ways to engage students as well as find tools to help reinforce math concepts. A couple of years ago, Mr. Houfek was introduced to Minecraft and immediately wanted to utilize it in his classroom.


Dennis has attended various workshops on Minecraft. He says he "learned how to use Minecraft in the classroom and it has been amazing! I attribute the success of several lessons and projects that my students did to the Minecraft Education Edition."


He is also active on the Minecraft Educator Community, interacting with peers and sharing lessons developed for use in his classroom. Dennis is working to complete the requirements to become a Minecraft Mentor and assist others with integrating Minecraft in their lessons.

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Technology Spotlight

Nominations are now open for the 2018-2019 school year. The district technology instructional trainers are looking to showcase innovative educators who are incorporating technology into their classroom content.

Nominate an innovator(s) today by clicking the button below!

Technology Training Team

Debra Bordenkecher:

Technology Trainer, Classified/Certified Staff/TAC

Rebecca Chambers:

Instructional Technology Trainer, Mobile Learning Unit Lead Teacher

Melissa Cleaver:
Instructional Technology Trainer, Project Coordinator
Eileen Heller:
Instructional Technology Trainer, Elementary Lead Teacher
Keegan Korf:
Common Sense Media, Digital Citizenship Lead Teacher
Kelly Means:
Instructional Technology Trainer, Project Coordinator
Amy Vester:
Instructional Technology Trainer, Secondary Lead Teacher
McKenzie White:
Instructional Technology Trainer, Library Lead Teacher