Instructional Technology Newsletter

March, 2017 - 8th Edition

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This month...

Our March newsletter is filled with recognitions, tips, tricks, and other useful information.


In this month's edition, we spotlight:


  • Innovative Educator
  • Shout-Outs
  • Technology Resources
  • Cohort Wall of Fame
  • Tech Bytes ...and much more!!
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Meet Tracy Saunders

Innovative Educator - Tracy Saunders

The 500 Likes Campaign

We are giving away books from awesome educators! Is there a catch? YES there is! We have set a goal of 500 likes on our Instructional Technology Facebook page. Like our page and your name will be entered into a drawing to win a free copy of "Ditch That Textbook" by Matt Miller. Matt Miller is an amazingly innovative educator who is currently co-hosting the rapidly growing podcast, “Google Teacher Tribe” with Kasey Bell of “Shake Up Learning.”


Stay tuned - status updates will be posted via Facebook! What are you waiting for? Head on over to Facebook!

17 Things in 2017

If you remember, the first newsletter of this year listed 17 things for you to try this year. Each of our remaining newsletters will focus on a TKES Domain and provide information and resources to help you complete at least one of the listed suggestions.

You can still join other learners in the district by participating in one of 7 technology infused cohorts, or you can reach out to your Instructional Technology Coach for assistance.


TKES Domain - Planning


1) Access bookmarks, notes, storage and other apps across mobile and desktop devices (Google Drive, OneDrive)

  • Learn how to use Google Docs to collaborate with your fellow teachers to create your lessons. How do you see this as being beneficial to a teacher's work flow?

2) Join and follow a Virtual Learning Professional Network (PLN - Facebook, Twitter)

3) Organize content across social media platforms (Youtube channels, Pinterest boards, Symbaloo webmixes)

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New Google Sites

Have you been looking to update your website? In an earlier edition, we mentioned the new and updated Google Sites. The new platform is user-friendly and easily manageable for teachers and students. The G Suite Learning Center has a quick and easy tutorial for getting started with your Google Site.

iPad Management - Guided Access

If not properly used, iPads can be a source of a major distraction for students. In fact, one of the common things that happens in classrooms using iPads is that some students take the opportunity to wander off topic and get lost in iPad land. There is a way to prevent this by activating Guided Access. Guided Access keeps the iPad in a single app. Find out how to activate Guided Access here.

Accessing YouTube

Are you wanting to use YouTube in your class? Our district has allowed the use of YouTube, but it requires that you log-in so that you do not get the "This Site is Blocked" warning! Use the link to learn how to access and approve YouTube material.

7 Reasons Teachers Should use Social Media in Education....


  1. Communicate with the community
  2. Tell your school story
  3. Share learning experiences
  4. Spread good news
  5. Model positive behavior of digital citizens
  6. Expand your network by connecting with people far away
  7. Send students a positive message or daily affirmation



Recently, the teachers in the Social Media in Education learning cohort were encouraged to send positive messages to students via their classroom social media accounts. From my blog post, teachers were encouraged to follow Ryan McLane, co-author of “Your School Rocks- So Tell People.” Principal McLane sends positive messages to his middle school students every day via social media. Why? “One of the first things people do in the morning is check their phone. The second thing? They check it again.”


SCCPSS is going "Social" as seen in the video below!

Social Media EDU
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Largo-Tibet Students Travel to Hawaii!

How does a reading passage lead to a virtual trip to Hawaii? Ms. Pistorio's fourth graders at Largo-Tibet were reading a passage about sea glass that mentioned the best beaches to find sea glass. This lead to a discussion on unique items that can be found on beaches and after a field trip to Tybee, the class talked about similarities and differences between Tybee and Glass Beach, the beach they read about in the article. This is when they departed for the beaches of Hawaii using Google Expeditions. The culminating activity was completing a table of similarities and differences between the beaches.

Largo students exploring Google Expeditions

Spencer Teacher, Space and Google!

Mrs. Pottenger, a teacher at Spencer Elementary, recently returned from NASA’s Teacher Leadership Program - Space Educator Expedition Crew Program- with a newfound desire to dive into G-Suite. She and her team set goals of implementing Google Classroom in their classes and personally becoming a Level 1 Google Certified Teacher. She is so eager and excited to bring the excitement of NASA, STEM and Google together for the students at Spencer Elementary. They are so lucky to have Mrs. Pottenger.

Read More Here: Announcements and NASA Program Flyer

Mrs. Avendano and Mrs. Ducey present seesaw

A huge thanks to Seesaw Ambassadors, Aida Avendano and Leslie Ducey, for presenting Seesaw to groups of interested teachers on Thursday, March 2nd. Teachers participated as students would by scanning the QR code for class entry, taking a photo, and then using the labeling feature to label their picture. Much was learned and we look forward to offering more teacher-led workshops.
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CONGRATULATIONS to all finishers of Cohort activities in Quarters 1, 2, and/or 3! Who are they? Check out our Wall of Fame and consider joining them by participating and finishing quarterly activities to receive your digital badge and certificate.

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ready, Set - Symbaloo

SymbalooEDU is the visual resource management tool that helps educators and students organize and share the best of the web. Use the link for step-by-step instructions to getting your Symbaloo ready. Instructions
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Google Spotlight Stories

Google has an iOS and Android app called Google Spotlight Stories. “Explore interactive stories that take students into a fully 360-degree immersive environment that doesn’t require a special VR viewfinder. These stories are viewable on both iOS and Android devices, and coming soon to YouTube!” You have to download the book within the app then view it in 360 on your phone. It only takes a short time to download. Read more here: ShakeUpLearning

Google Keep

Google Keep is a note-taking service developed by Google and is now part of G Suite. The best news is that Google Keep is also integrated with Google Docs which allows you to grab and drop your notes directly into a Google Doc. What are some ways this can be used with students? Click Here: Google Keep Help

Join the Tribe!

Consider joining and listen in every Monday (or when you have the chance!). Kasey Bell and Matt Miller have put together a winner!


The Google Teacher Tribe Podcast will be a weekly podcast designed to give teachers practical ideas for using G Suite and other Google tools that you can use in your class tomorrow. We will offer our favorite Google tips and tricks, important updates, and effective strategies for K-12 teachers. But wait…there’s more! We will also have interviews with innovative and inspiring teachers.

Google Cohort

The Creating Authentic Lessons using G Suite is also a route to take for learning a little more about all the Google goodness at your own pace!
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School Facebook Pages

Keep up with what is happening across the district by liking and following other schools on Facebook. Does your school have a page? Send it our way and we will include it in the next newsletter.


District Page

Rice Creek

Movers and Shakers in Education - check out these amazing educators for inspiration and innovation!

All too often, the world of an educator gets confined within the four walls of a classroom. When there is so much out there to learn and so many others to learn from, this should not be the case. Our department has put together a list of must follows for general and technology education.

  • ITC Blog - We aim to provide timely and usable information.
  • Edutopia - Hosted by the George Lucas Educational Foundation, Edutopia has plenty of well-indexed information on how technology can be used in classrooms.
  • Cycles of Learning - Ramsay Musallam recognized how useful hacks could be in classrooms, so he set up Cycles of Learning to share practical education tech hacks to make teachers’ lives just a bit easier. Who doesn't like easier?!
  • Participate Learning- Check out all that Participate Learning has to offer educators.
  • Learning in Hand - is an educator's resource for mobile and digital learning created by Tony Vincent.
  • TeachThought - full of articles for education
  • Ditch That Textbook - "I’m Matt Miller. It’s my passion to equip teachers to thrive in this new era of education and think differently about the craft of teaching."
  • Alice Keeler -a must read. Full of resources and ideas.
  • Vicki Davis - Cool Cat Teacher
  • Kasey Bell - Shake Up Learning

Are you Reading?

What is going to make our newsletter something you look forward to each month? We are asking for your input! Please use the link below to submit your ideas.

Instructional Technology Newsletter Suggestions

Know Your Instructional Technology Coach!

The Instructional Technology Department is responsible for coordinating, organizing, and facilitating the effective use and integration of technology within the schools in order to increase student performance.


Instructional Technology Coaches

Angela LaPlante ... Dru Piersol

Gillian Riley ... Melissa Milligan

Natalie Muthersbaugh

Libby Miller ... William Harris

Yolanda Sanders


Media Services

Carol Tarnowski - Library Media Technology Coach

Deborah Hargroves - Media and Broadcast Trainer (part-time)

Lakeshia Bostick - Media Support Assistant (912) 395-1124


Program Manager

Wendy Marshall

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