Elementary Ed Tech Update

Distance Learning Edition

Wow... where to begin!?


We believe that it's safe to say that, if asked a mere month ago, none of us would have predicted the immediate changes in effect for Pearland ISD teachers and staff. That being said, we (your Elementary Ed Tech Specialists) know that you are more than capable of rising to the challenge which moving to an online learning environment provides. We've trained you for this -- perhaps not for such a drastic shift, but we want to build on your existing strengths as we navigate these uncharted waters... TOGETHER.

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Seesaw

Seesaw is a very powerful, yet simple to navigate and use, FREE online learning journal/digital portfolio. It was selected as the elementary Home Learning platform for several reasons, mainly because Pearland ISD already has 400 current teachers with active accounts this school year. This means that a lot of our students are already familiar with it from using it in their classrooms, making the adjustment to home use that much easier. Also, Seesaw has been used in PISD for several years already, so a lot of students have had multiple years of exposure and are very comfortable using it independently. Seesaw gives students the ability to show their thinking through use of six different tools: photos, videos, drawings, notes, links, and files. Seesaw provides a safe, closed environment to learn digital citizenship skills, as well as delivering a simple home/school connection that parents and teachers can use to communicate about school work. Teachers can choose to create their own assignments from scratch, or select an activity from the teacher-created products freely available in the Activity Library. Another benefit to all parties involved is that Seesaw can be accessed via the free Seesaw Class app (available in the app stores for Apple and Android devices), or via the web at app.seesaw.me.


Seesaw Highlights

• Documents can be uploaded and students can annotate and record audio and/or video responses to them.

• Teachers can post assignments with audio instructions that students can replay as often as needed.

• Teachers can post links to additional web resources.

• Teachers can utilize pre-created subject-based and grade-level organized activities.

• Teachers can send announcements to students and parents.


Seesaw easily provides the means to meet the district requirements for sharing TEKS-aligned videos, web links, and step-by-step notes to students and their families. And your Elementary ETSs can still facilitate trainings as we all begin to learn how to use Seesaw at home!

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Resources for Teachers

Resources for Students

Resources for Families

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How we can help

We are on duty, and willing to help. Just because we can't sit physically beside you doesn't mean that we can't help. Remember, we're all in this together, and we are willing to do whatever it takes to make this venture into online learning as successful as possible for you, the students, and all of our community members.


To that end, we are offering several online training opportunities that we believe will be helpful:

Virtual PD & Webinars

We will be hosting daily professional developments from 10am-11am. The topics will be posted on the webinar schedule page (linked below), and you will need to register for each course in Eduphoria. The page will be updated often, so please check the page frequently, and sign up if it interests you!

Distance Learning PD Schedule

*Will be updated frequently - register to attend in Eduphoria

Distance Learning PD Resources

Video recordings of previously held webinars

Our Blog

Below, we've linked to our "Feed the Penguins" blog, where we will be periodically posting about Distance Learning tools, tips, tricks, and resources.


In addition to our blog, please follow our social media channels, linked at the bottom of this newsletter, specifically the hashtags #PearlandTech and #HookedOnEdTech.

Office Hours

Your campus ETS will be hosting daily office hours from 1 pm-2 pm. Please sign up in Eduphoria if you plan on attending office hours so that you can get credit, and we can track attendance numbers. During this time, you can ask your ETS any type of questions you have regarding educational technology. With virtual meetings, there are functions to share screens and even remote in on someone’s screen. You are not expected to stay the entire hour, just until you get all your questions answered. We do anticipate that we might go over the one-hour time during the first week, simply due to the nature of our new endeavor.

Teams

We will be leveraging Microsoft Teams to facilitate many of our online video events, and we encourage you to do the same! Teachers are able to chat, plan, and meet face-to-face from anywhere with an internet connection. Your teacher tablets already have the Teams software installed - just open it, sign in with your Pearland ISD credentials, and enter your Teams.


Some campuses have been using Teams for quite a while, and many also utilize the Staff Notebook created for your campus. If your campus uses this, please don't forget about the Technology Training sections that you have, containing handouts and resources that we have covered in our campus technology PD.

Other ways

In addition to the various ways of obtaining assistance posted above, we encourage you to reach out to your campus ETS via email for any immediate questions that you have. As always, we will do our very best to get answers to you as quickly as possible!

Connected Corner

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