Tech Snacks

Byte-Sized Treat to Transform Learning 5.20.19

A Summer Refresher

Welcome to our final edition of Tech Snacks for the 2018-2019 school year. In this edition, we have sourced a few tools and ideas that you may want to try over the summer. You can also learn more in depth about these tools (and a plethora of others) by attending the free FCPS Innovations for Learning Conference on June 7! Related sessions are marked under each concept below. Visit to register and for more information. Don't delay - we are almost at capacity!
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Podcasting in Your Classroom

It’s that time of the year to start reflecting on your year and look for ways to spice up the classroom for 2019-20. Have you thought about podcasting? This is an easy way to increase student engagement, promote learning, and allow students to be creative. Any project can easily be made into a podcast. Here are some great project ideas for your classroom from Chris Nesi. Want to start a podcast but not sure how? At IFL, attend Become a Podcasting Jedi in One Session.

There are some great podcasts for you to enjoy while relaxing by the pool or the beach. All you need is a device and some headphones. Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify are great ways to listen to podcasts. Most of these are free streaming services.

Check out these podcasts to expand your learning:

Google Teacher Tribe Podcast, The Shake Up Learning Show, The House of EdTech Podcast, Leading Equity, Teaching, Learning, Leading, K-12 Podcast, Partial Credit Podcast, Better Leaders, Better Schools, PodcastPD Podcast, The STEM Everyday Podcast, The 10-Minute Teacher Podcast, But Why: A Podcast for Curious Kids, Check This Out Podcast

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Steps to Creating a Group Assignment in Google Classroom

Sometimes the end of the year is just the right time to try something new. Here are a few quick steps and a short video to walk you through one way of simplifying the creation of a group assignment in Google Classroom.

  1. Create the file (document/slide/spreadsheet) you want a group of students to complete.

  2. Create an assignment in Google Classroom and save it as a Draft.

  3. Have a class list handy and decide how you want to group students.

  4. Reuse the Draft Assignment and assign it to just a few students.

  5. Repeat step 4.

Video: Creating a Group Assignment in Google Classroom (3:31)

Please let us know how this works for you and we’d love to see some student work! To gain even more Google Classroom knowledge, check out the following sessions at IFL:

Middle School Magic with Google Classroom

Google Classroom Tips & Tricks

Google Classroom for Beginners

Google Classroom: An Advanced Guide

Rubrics for Google Classroom Assignments

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Gamify your Lessons

Deck.Toys is a free tool for all ages that transforms your everyday lessons and materials into a engaging guided activity for your students. Through this game-based activity, let your students show you what they know as they work at their own pace. The finished product looks like a digital game board, guiding your students along a path in your planned order. Customize the backgrounds and display interactive images, embedded videos, Google Slides and more. Increase engagement buzzers, randomizers, timers and locks. Students can respond to tasks with text, free drawing, polls, and more. Once complete, share your Deck.Toys with students with a link or pop it into Google Classroom with the click of a button. Students can then explore in free mode or through teacher sync as a whole group activity. Reports can be generated at any time with a summary of activities as well as targeted skills.

Seeing is believing! Try one of the following examples and then follow along with this quick start guide to create your own. Examples: Avengers Systems of Equations, Clue Mystery - Teaching Area, Bill of Rights, Star Wars Mult-Step Equations Breakout and more at the searchable Deck Toys Gallery.

If you are interested in learning more EdTech tools, here are just a few related IFL sessions:

If You Give a Kid a Chromebook

App Smackdown!

EdTech Busters - Capturing the Best Free Google Tech Tips

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Virtual Reality with CoSpaces

Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality are becoming more and more popular as technology advances. If you are looking for a way to use your Chromebooks in a creative, 21st-century way, check out CoSpaces Edu. Here, students and teachers can easily build their own 3D creations, animate them with code, and explore them in Virtual or Augmented Reality. Sign up with Google to create a class and your first assignment or explore creating your own 3D space. Use their free environments or upload your own 360 image to get started. The limited version is free and allows you to create one class and one assignment for up to 29 students. Perfect for small group, independent learning, passion projects, and building those 21st-century skills. Need help getting started, check out this video to learn more!

Interested in more VR ideas? You will find these IFL sessions out of this world:

Aladdin Ain’t Got Nothing on Tour Creator

Take Your Students Virtually Anywhere with a Chromebook


Beyond the4 Walls

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Planning Ahead: Canvas Courses for 2019-20

Planning never stops for teachers, and that fact holds true for those thinking ahead to the 2019-20 school year. To help with planning, here is some valuable information you'll need.

Summer Canvas Training

  • Dig Deeper With Canvas: Assignments, Speedgrader, and Quizzes -- July 30 at FCPS Teaching and Learning Conference
  • Create an Effective Virtual Classroom Space with Canvas -- July 31 at FCPS Teaching and Learning Conference, for new users

Course Planning for August 2019

  • Since the Canvas courses associated with Infinite Campus will not be available until sometime in early August, you will need to manually create a course shell to build new content. That material can then be easily imported (copied) into your new IC courses once they're available.
  • Click here to read more about specific course planning information for Canvas.
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Upcoming Instructional Technology PD Sessions

Innovations for Learning 6/7/19

The Innovations for Learning (IFL) Conference is a one day conference produced by the Office of Instructional Technology at Fayette County Schools. The conference focus is on innovative instructional strategies that engage students to improve learning through the use of technology. We invite you to join us for the 16th annual IFL Conference which will be held June 7, 2019 at Frederick Douglass High School in Lexington, KY.

Be on the lookout! 2019-2020 PD sessions will be released soon!