Tech. TidByte

January 20, 2016

A Note from Dr. Melissa Williams-Scott

How Did YOU Make That Work!!?? We get this question often. It seems that some days all you must do to fix a technology issue is make a call to the HelpDesk or have a technician walk in. Suddenly, everything works. Frustrating isn’t it! Of course, another way to know more about instructional technology is to attend a training session offered by us or book a session with your campus instructional technologist. As we continue to move into a more student involved instructional model, understanding a variety of educational technology resources will become more and more critical. If you have questions, we are here to work with you to find answers. And if you are not sure who you should ask, visit the Technology Department Webpage for a breakdown of who is who and what we do.

Technology Integration in a One Computer Classroom

Yes, this is possible! While we are working to bring more devices to the district and certainly allow student owned devices, even on our DISDBYOD Network, these are a few ways to integrate technology with what you may have now.

  • Wireless Mouse - this is a cheap way to free yourself from your teacher desk or podium, and we give these devices away at our technology workshops. You are allowed to bring your own from home. Even better, invest in a wireless keyboard and mouse combination. Have student groups take turns using this with your projector. PTOs are sometimes willing to help, too.
  • Flippity - quickly create a Jeopardy style game or Flashcards to use with your class. This activity was made a as an ELA after reading assignment,, with Marzano style Question Stems in a game format. It is generic enough to use for any secondary level reading assignment and can be adapted for elementary. You could break your class into teams, have them compete, and discuss literature at deeper levels.

  • Quizlet - Interactive games where you can race against the clock. This was created for 7th Grade Math Academic Vocabulary for Standard 7.3(B). Choose from options like scatter, gravity, flashcards, and learning modes.
  • Game Show Templates on Powerpoint - You can download the template and add your own content to create a review game using only the teacher computer. Some of the games do not need editing, they are ready to go. You would use them with a worksheet or questions you already have printed out.
  • Plickers - Plickers is a powerfully simple tool that lets teachers collect real-time formative assessment data without the need for student devices. Teacher instructions can be found at

February's Google Workshop: Apps & Extensions

On Tuesday, February 9th, we will host two Google Workshops. They are the same session, meant to accommodate our dismissal times at elementary and secondary campuses. This session takes Google up a notch by tinkering with some of the Educational Apps that can help differentiate and enliven instruction in your classroom.

Register for the 3:00 session here.

Register for the 4:15 session here.

We give wireless mice as door prizes, so you may even walk away from our session with something that un-tethers you from your teacher computer!

Think Through Math Now Available for Students in Grades 3 - 8 and High School Algebra I

Login Using the Symbaloo Page

The Texas Success Initiative is back. We again have access to Think Through Math and will soon also have iStation once the contract is finalized at the state level. When students go to the Symbaloo page, they will click on the link for Think Through Math (TTM). The page will open to a blue login screen to login to Clever. New students are synced through Skyward in an overnight process. TTM Usernames and Passwords match Computer Usernames and Passwords. Teachers login to this page with their Skyward Username and Employee ID number as the password.

To have the most accurate data possible from your students, follow these tips.

  1. The initial placement assessment has 25 questions. Plan time accordingly. Students can resume a test they do not finish, and it is recommended that they finish it in a week.
  2. Treat this like an in class test where you expect students to show their work. When they go to the computer lab, they will need a journal or scratch paper that must be turned in to you.
  3. Remember that TTM will not necessarily follow what happens in your classroom. It is individualized for each student's needs.

Different from years' past, the system is also available for any student enrolled in Algebra I, meaning high school students, too.

We will have Shauntel Cooley, the Think Through Math Texas Instructional Coach, out soon to work with us, probably February 12th. Stay tuned!