Tech Integration Newsletter

Volume 4 | Issue 19 | December, 2017

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Bright Bytes in Omaha Public Schools Infrastructure at School Report

Teachers’ and students’ access to technology at school is a prerequisite for 21st Century Learning. According to NCES, the ratio of students to computers in the classroom every day is 5.3 to 1. However, this is often not sufficient for transformative instruction to occur.

Only 56% of all Clarity teachers in the nation report that it is always easy to get access to computers when needed for class. Further only 13% of Clarity teachers across the nation rate the quality of computers and internet access at their school as excellent. Teachers who have difficulty getting access to high quality computers for students when needed are much less likely to plan and implement classroom activities that include digital communication, digital collaboration, digital creativity, and critical thinking.

Schools and districts should ensure that all students at all schools have sufficient access to technology throughout the school day. Students are digital natives who often have better access to technology outside of school as compared to inside. This results in a digital divide between school and reality for many of today’s youth. Increasing access can bridge this gap.

*Images and text directly from district Bright Bytes report for Omaha Public Schools

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Minecraft Education Edition

We are excited to provide the opportunity to utilize Minecraft Education Edition in your classroom.

A limited number of licenses are available for teachers and students for the 2017-2018 school year. Since they are limited, we are using an application process. If you are interested in Minecraft Education Edition, please complete the Form (application) below. Once the application has been submitted and reviewed, an email will be sent with your acceptance status and next steps. Application Link: http://bit.ly/2yKZWgk

Thank you for your interest in Minecraft. Please contact Kelly Means (kelly.means@ops.org OR 531.299.9621) with additional application questions.

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Technology Workshops Available

Interested in learning more about technology opportunities such as ClassFlow? Below is a list of sessions you can sign up for on inservices.ops.org. Use your district e-login as the username and your employee number as the password. These training sessions are open to elementary and secondary school teachers and stipends for attendance will be paid when offered during non-duty hours.

Sneak Peak at the technology training opportunities are also pictured below. Check inservices.ops.org regularly as NEW training sessions are added often.

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Elementary Spotlight: Microsoft Skype-a-thon OPS Guest Speakers

Shout out to the elementary teachers that connected their students in the 2017 #Sypeathon. A number of guest speakers were lined up on November 28th and 29th and many classrooms from across the district connected. It was a great event that we look forward to participating in again next year. Check out free opportunities to connect your students via the Skype in the Classroom website.

Teachers that facilitated a connection: Mark Dowling, Anne Lloyd, Rena Sharp, Robin Wilks, Michelle Tilson, Megan Rogers, Kali Mahoney, Derek Anderson, Joan Pearson, Tom Olsen, Peter Becker.

Guest Speakers:

John Vinchattle and students from North High- Robotics Program Tour

Amanda Trouba- Microsoft Store AR/VR Tour

Jessica Millstone & Moby- BrainPop

Ari Schorr- Microsoft Career Share

Rebecca Chambers- OPS Mobile Learning Unit Tour

Melissa Cleaver - OPS Instructional Technology w/ Sri Lanka School

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Secondary Spotlight

Congratulations to Sarah Berkebile from Omaha Bryan High School for being selected as this month's Innovative Educator!!!

Please click on the Sway below to find out more about this incredible teacher!

Once again, for the 2017-2018 school year, the secondary technology trainers are looking to showcase innovative secondary educators who are incorporating technology into their classroom content.

Click on the sway below to submit a nomination!

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Common Sense Education

Looking for a resource to engage parents and caregivers in your school community in conversations about digital citizenship? In October, Keegan Korf, Lead Teacher of Digital Citizenship in Partnership with Common Sense Media, gave this TEDxOmaha Talk on raising digital citizens.

Sharing this video with your parents and caregivers is one way to start honest, healthy conversations about their children's' media use and will also count toward your parent outreach requirements for becoming a Common Sense School.

For additional video resources to share with families, check out these from Common Sense Media.

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Mobile Learning Unit

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Omaha Public Schools Mobile Learning Unit was created to address issues of digital equity in the North Omaha area. Anchored on a powerful district vision and community partnerships, this innovative initiative targets high poverty neighborhoods and schools. The goal: to use a whole-community approach to bring high-technology learning and digital citizenship skills to students and their families. We want more than merely high-quality access and devices for our students - we want to build the knowledge and skills necessary to address the complex community challenges in today’s digital age. Every Student. Every Day. Prepared for Success.

To see the MLU in action, check out our blog HERE.

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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