Instructional Tech-bytes

News & ideas from Instructional Technology

Kurzweil 3000 has BOOKS!!

Kurzweil 3000 is an assistive technology program that provides support to readers. Kurzweil provides literacy solutions, tools and training for those with learning difference and challenges. In the Kurzweil online program, there are hundreds of books available that can be read to students! There are complete series available, including Amelia Bedelia, Boxcar Children, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and so many more! Novels such as A Farewell to Arms, Animal Farm, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Watership Down are also available to you and your students, all uploaded and ready to go within the Kurzweil program. If you have readers who need read-aloud support, or you would like a book read aloud to your class, take a look in Kurzweil and see if they have the literature you want. In your online account, look in the Westwood ISD (wisd6) folder, public folder, and any of the folders within labeled "books". All students have an account so they can log in and listen to the books on their own as well.

Discovery Education offers a wealth of educational technology tools for all subjects

  • Techbook™ — an award-winning, interactive, digital textbook series
  • Streaming Plus — a comprehensive digital streaming service
  • STEM Connect — an interdisciplinary, supplemental K-8 STEM resource
  • Professional Development — customized professional learning experiences
  • Community — connecting educators with each other and new avenues for learning
  • Events — professional learning opportunities, scheduled throughout the year

Contact me for log-in information, assistance, or training

Microsoft Office 365 for Education

Log in with your usual log-in credentials. Contact IT Helpdesk if you need assistance. Office 365 is Microsoft Office online. Apps include: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Class Notebook, Staff Notebook, Forms, OneDrive, OneNote, Sway, and Microsoft Educator Community. You can use this account for Skype as well (not Skype for Business). You can access and work with all of these apps online, so you can access this on your Chromebook as well as your desktop and transition smoothly between the two. With this subscription, you can download and install a full version of Office on to your own device for free! (Laptop or desktop, not Chromebook)

Microsoft Minecraft for Education

A game-based learning platform with standards-aligned content across K-12 subjects and special features designed for classroom use. Click above to read more about it.

Students can use Google tools to demonstrate understanding

TCEA Lunch & Learn ~ Peggy Reimers and Miguel Guhlin shared some exceptional ideas that students can quickly and easily show what they understand using Google tools. Students move from substituting technology for a paper, and become the one who teaches.

Google slides to make infographics.

Making infographics interactive.

Self-assessments using Google forms.

Have you tried FlipGrid?

FlipGrid is a video discussion platform for educators and students to share ideas, answer questions, illustrate topics, and discover engaging ways to demonstrate understanding or apply knowledge. Common Sense Education says it is "a simple way for students and teachers to create online discussion." If you haven't already made an account, here are instructions from the Flipgrid help center to get you started. YouTube also has some tutorial videos for using FlipGrid and these student examples for ideas!!

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Children's Online Privacy Protection Rule ~ What it is and what it means to you as an educator