May Tech Tidbits

TPS Instructional Technology, 2014-15

Dream Big Conference - UW Tacoma

Hello Supporters of STEM Education:

The User Experience group in collaboration with Women in Computing Sciences (WiCS), IEEE, and Grey Hat is bringing to UW Tacoma the Big Dream Movement. Big Dream is an inspirational documentary of 7 girls in computing sciences that will stop at nothing to pursue technology.

It is important to not only inspire youth to pursue science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) but to also put technology into the hands of the community we are serving. And this is where student organizations have taken lead - registered student organizations are hosting programming and robotic workshops that will create technology access on campus and in our greater community. We have allotted space for 200 attendees in William Phillip Hall - we invite high school and college students to join us for:

  • Resource Fair and Lunch
  • Big Dream Screening
  • Microsoft Panel
  • Technical Workshops
  • Banner signing/sharing of their big dreams
  • 200+ people selfie

Please help spread the word that the Big Dream Movement will be coming to UW Tacoma on Saturday May 16th. Everyone is welcome!

If you would like to attend please RSVP via the UW Tacoma Dream Big Conference website.

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YouthSpark in Schools @ Stadium H.S.

Wednesday, May 20th, 4-8:30pm

111 N E St

Tacoma, WA

Tacoma Public Schools and Microsoft are sponsoring YouthSpark in Schools Puget Sound at Stadium High School on May 20th. This event is a chance to learn about the opportunities to get more involved in STEM and Tech programs. Several speakers are part of the event including our own Superintendent Carla Santorno, Mayor Marilyn Strickland, and Cameron Evans, Microsoft Chief Technology Officer for US Education. In addition to learning about tech to engage students and improve your practice, as a staff member in Tacoma you can attend and receive Technology Optional Hours. Visit the PD Calendar to register for the event, and visit Microsoft’s YouthSpark Hub for more information on YouthSpark.

Changing Student Passwords

When a student needs assistance logging into TPS email, Office 365, or the WinHome folder (H: drive), a TPS staff member may assist with changing the student password when that help is requested. Follow these directions, and go to the Hub: Tools to get started.

FREE Summer Workshops - Teaching w/Primary Sources

These 2-day workshops, designed for K-12 Educators and Teacher Librarians, will introduce you to the vast collections of the Library of Congress's rich reservoir of over 19 million digital resources and explore how you can use them to engage students in the classroom. Two-day workshops will include information on:

  • Navigating the Library of Congress website
  • Searching digitized materials and lessons
  • Analyzing primary sources and discussing lesson implementation strategies
  • Exploring copyright information
  • Designing lessons utilizing Library of Congress materials and meeting Common Core standards
  • Engaging and challenging students using primary sources
  • Addressing Common Core standards


Certificate of Attendance is awarded at conclusion of workshop. While the workshop is free, meals, lodging, and travel are at the attendee's expense. Read more, and register early!

Differentiated Instruction Technology Tips

Here are a few really cool, universally designed reading support tools to support differentiated instruction for all students!

  • https://newsela.com/: This free website is perfect for getting students reading—at their individual reading comprehension level—about current non-fiction events to spark engaging conversations in your classroom with all students. Check out their live demo and sign up.
  • https://rewordify.com/: This powerful website allows teachers and students to enter text and have it simplified to increase reading comprehension. Simplified words are highlighted and when a student hovers on the word, it identifies the harder word to build vocabulary comprehension.
  • http://www.naturalreaders.com/: Some students understand the vocabulary, but only when it is read aloud. This free website uses text to speech software to read typed text aloud. Students can copy and paste difficult to read passages into the translator, and have it read aloud at varying speeds. Perfect for learning this skill for the SBAC.
  • https://translate.google.com/: Type Google Translate into any search engine, and a section will open asking you to enter text. Students can copy and paste text into this section, and click the listen button to have the passage read aloud. This is perfect when researching websites and the student needs the information read aloud, or for students editing their final writing piece (listening to see if it sounds correct). Thanks to Heather Moreno at NE Tacoma for this tip!


Feel free to send your Differentiated Instruction Technology Tips to: Traci West twest@tacoma.k12.wa.us

2nd Annual TPS Tech Summer Camp

Monday, Aug. 10th, 8am to Wednesday, Aug. 12th, 3pm

6501 N 23rd St

Tacoma, WA

Join us at the Professional Development Center (PDC) for 3 days of exciting technology topics ranging from 90-minute "getting started" sessions to 3- or 6-hour "diving deeper" sessions. Up to 18 clock hours available for participants who attend all 3 days. Register on the PD calendar coming soon. Attend as many sessions as desired. Here are the details:

  • August 10, 11, 12
  • 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM each day
  • 11-noon lunch on your own
  • Tentative schedule coming soon


YES - You may apply for remaining 14-15 Optional Pay (Tech or Individual) for attending this event.


Questions? Contact Cindy Pantley at cpantle@tacoma.k12.wa.us or Emily Bannon at ebannon@tacoma.k12.wa.us.


More details coming soon!

RSVPs are enabled for this event.

Upcoming Tech Classes

This list contains TPS classes offered by the Certificated and Classified departments. Some classes are full, but wait lists update regularly as registrations change. Remember, you may continue to use your Tech Optional Hours throughout the month of August 2015.


5/4/2015, Publisher Templates

5/5/2015, TeacherGaming West Coast Tour (Minecraft Edu)

5/5/2015, School Webmaster Training

5/6/2015, Excel: Analyzing Data

5/7/2015, Camera in the Classroom Using Photoshop Basics

5/7/2015, OneNote 2: Tags and Templates (must have taken OneNote 1)

5/7/2015, Outlook: Contacts & Calendars (webinar)

5/11/2015, Adobe Premiere in the Classroom

5/11/2015, Excel Tips & Tricks (webinar)

5/11/2015, Outlook: Mail, Ribbon and Quick Steps (webinar)

5/12/2015, 20+ Classroom Tools You Can Use in Your Classroom Tomorrow

5/12/2015, Creating Interactive Lessons with SMART Notebook

5/12/2015, Presenting Your Data Using Charts and Graphs

5/14/2015, Merging Data: Quickly Personalize Awards, Letters, etc.

5/14/2015, Excel for the Classroom Teacher

5/14/2015, Game Based Lesson Planning

5/14/2015, Google Search Tips

5/18/2015, Camera in the Classroom Using Photoshop Intermediate

5/18/2015, Word Tips & Tricks (webinar)

5/18/2015, Excel Tips & Tricks (webinar)

5/19/2015, Excel for the Classroom Teacher

5/19/2015, Outlook: Contacts & Calendars (webinar)

5/20/2015, Publisher Unleashed

5/21/2015, SWIFT

5/21 & 5/28, OneNote Digital Notebooks

5/26/2015, Camera in the Classroom Using Premiere Intermediate

5/26/2015, Excel for the Classroom Teacher

5/28/2015, PowerPoint

6/1/2015, Camtasia Studio

6/2/2015, Excel for the Classroom Teacher

6/4/2015, Creating Interactive Lessons with SMART Notebook

6/8/2015, Podcasting

6/8/2015, Google Search Tips


FYI regarding types of classes listed on the PD Calendar:

  • School-based - Registration for a specific building
  • Invitation Only - Registration for a specific group/target audience (ex. Occupational Therapists)


Reminder: There are required District Directed Trainings available online from the SafeSchools Training portal for topics such as Boundary Invasion and Workplace Bullying. Once logged in, you’ll see a list of options and when they are due for you to complete. From the Professional Development website, look for the “SafeSchools” link.