Tech Topics

Ideas to help implement technology - just try ONE thing!

Volume 4 - February 17, 2016

Digital Learning Day - It's TODAY!

What is Digital Learning Day?

It's a chance to try something new - it's a national event that promotes student engagement around the effective use of technology in the classroom.

Need ideas?

CPS specific ideas - click here. There's a link in the flyer to even more ideas.
Ideas from Digital Learning Day website - click here.

Here are what some CPS teachers did last year on Digital Learning Day.

It's the day to try something new - take the leap, and then tell us about it!

CPS Teacher Focus

Ms. Paulette Simpson Teacher/Librarian Media Specialist - North Avondale Montessori

Ms. Simpson has been a teacher for 15 years in the Cincinnati Public School District where she integrates technology in her North Avondale Montessori classroom on a daily basis. Her mission is to be an effective teacher in the 21st century by preparing her students to be able to create, evaluate,and effectively utilize information through media and technology.

She uses the eBeam board (making any white board, interactive) to engage students in their discovery in reading for pleasure and higher-level thinking. Students are assigned 1:1 laptops in grades 1-6 and use Destiny (Online Public Access Catalog), to check their book loan status and to search books of interest at North Avondale Montessori media center.

Daily, Ms. Simpson uses multiple sources of technology within her classes. Plickers is often used as a formative assessment to determine if students have mastered the content taught for the day. Ms. Simpson uses other educational software to promote learning skills in the core content like and (Easy Tech). Study Island helps students master math, ELA, and science skills - it can be used at school or home to reinforce proficiency. As much as adults think students are familiar with technology, they are missing some key components, such as typing skills, attaching documents, operating a mouse, and many other elements of computer basics. Easy Tech (, which CPS has purchased, develops these computer skills. Yes, content knowledge is tested on the state test, but since the state tests are online, students need basic computer skills, therefore, Ms. Simpson patiently guides the students with Easy Tech.

Also, through a request that Ms. Simpson made, Google Apps for Education was acquired for grades 4-6. Currently, students have learned how to use Google email and Google Docs. Understanding the basics of these applications enables the students to learn other applications like Microsoft Office. The students are fully engaged during their class bell as they learn and apply 21st Century Skills in the media center.

The objectives presented through Easy Tech were put to practice for the students as they were using their Google Apps account to reflect on their assigned topics. They would send their emailed responses to Ms. Simpson. The students instantly saw the correlation of the two applications.

Ms. Simpson’s philosophy is that all students can succeed in this world of technology. It is through the many technology exposures and experiences that her students are becoming prepared for the future; she encourages all students to learn at their own pace and in their own way. She is committed to the success of the students at North Avondale Montessori School. Go Rockets !!!

Get Started Somewhere - Tech Tools for the Classroom

Engage, assess and personalize your class with Socrative!

Educators can initiate formative assessments through quizzes, quick question polls, exit tickets and space races all with their Socrative Teacher app. Socrative will instantly grade, aggregate and provide visuals of results to help you identify opportunities for further instruction. Save time and visualize student understanding when it matters, now!

To get started using Socrative, simply register for a Socrative Teacher account. Your Socrative account will work with other Socrative Apps and via all browsers at Students can connect to your unique room by opening their apps or joining your room at on any device.

Google Integrations

  • Single Sign On – Teachers can sign in using their Google Domain Email Address

  • Drive Integration – Teachers can have reports sent to their Google Drive


  • Visualize student understanding

  • Ask multiple choice and true/false questions

  • Ask open-ended questions and vote on the results

  • Create your own quizzes (instantly graded for you)

  • Share quizzes with other teachers

  • Give end of class exit tickets

  • Play games with our space race!

  • View students results in real time

  • Reporting – Download, Email or send to Google Drive

Supported Browsers and Devices

  • Socrative works on every browser: including Chrome, Firefox, Safari and Internet Explorer.

  • Use any Web Enabled device: including Smartphones, Tablets, Laptops and Desktops


Quizzizz is a super-fun way to conduct quizzes in your classroom. Great for a quick review, pop quiz, or even individual classwork. It is free and allows you to access tons of previously created learning “quizzes” and also lets you create your own. Once you as the teacher joins, which takes seconds, you pick a quiz; are given a code for a virtual room; then give the code to your students, who just log in with the code and a nickname (they don’t have to register with the site). When all your students are set, you click “start game.” You see the leader board as do the students as they’re progressing through the quiz. In a number of ways, it’s similar to Kahoot. However, the key advantage that Quizizz seems to have over Kahoot is that with Quizizz, students see the questions, answers, and their leaderboard. It is also untimed, so students can work at their own pace. is an educational website for teachers, parents, and students. This application is geared towards those in kindergarten to 6th grade; it has free, educational, engaging games, and activities in both, English and Spanish. The website is user friendly, as activities are sorted by grade level and subject areas and is also device diagnostic, meaning it can be used on any device. This encourages students and parents to use this site while at home to reinforce specific skills.

Many second grade teachers were introduced to this site during the CPS January Professional Development. Some teachers were already using the site, while others were eager to use it that week in their classroom! Teachers learned that this application was created by a school teacher that was eager to find quality resources to help students succeed; the site continues to add games on a regular basis to help maintain the quality resources.

Try it for yourself!

Need Help with Implementing Technology?

Demonstration Classrooms

The Demonstration Classroom at Roselawn is a great place to see innovative learning environments where students are involved in real world experiences through 21st Century standards-based instruction. Observations are for all teachers as new ideas will lead to growth.

Eighth graders at Roselawn use a variety of technology in their ELA/SS classroom. Students are active participants in their learning by using Google Classroom, Google Docs, Kahoot, Quizizz, Blendspace, Nearpod, and Pear Deck to name a few. These tools are used for whole group instruction, station work, and small group lessons. Technology and best practices are incorporated to differentiate instruction for the students by creating a more engaging learning environment.

If you are interested in observing an ELA/SS Demonstration Classroom, please sign up with your instructional coach. You may also directly contact Christina Cupp.

For more information about the Demonstration Classrooms - please visit the website.

Ed Tech Tools Used at CPS

There are so many education technology tools out there - you are not alone, it can be overwhelming. There are a variety of tools used at Cincinnati Public Schools - subscriptions or free. Clicking on the link will take you to a list of favorite tools that some of our CPS teachers are using on a daily basis. You'll find explanations, links, and account information. Please note that these are just resources gathered in one place, the CPS help desk may not have all information about each of these applications as some are not CPS supported.

Ed Tech Tools List-Cincinnati Public Schools Favs

The list is updated on a regular basis - want to contribute to the list, email Megan Safko-Preslin at

User Guides

Ever wonder where to go for various user guides on CPS applications?

Visit the Google My Tomorrow site, go to the new Staffnet, click on the Departments > My Tomorrow Staff Website under resources for principals and teachers. Once in the My Tomorrow site click on a specific section you are wanting more information, for example, technology and you'll find help guides for usage.

Blackboard also has user guides for CPS applications: login to your Blackboard account - find ITM District Training Resources.

The ITM Help Desk also provides user guides on their updated Google website.

What's Next?

Big image

Opportunities to Learn More Tech in the Classroom

Mayerson Courses

Blackboard Intermediate: Interactive Tools for 7-12 Teachers

Thursday, Feb. 18th, 4:30pm

2650 Highland Avenue

Cincinnati, OH

You have an understanding of the Blackboard set up, time to gain some knowledge regarding Interactive Tools for your students. You will learn about Discussion boards, Blogs, Journals, and Wikis during this training. These four communication tools offer students the ability to self-reflect, collaborate, and communicate; These four tools give the teacher ways to provide digital and differentiated instruction. Using these tools students can continue to shape their 21st Century Skills.

LanSchool Online Course - 2030.6718

LanSchool is a great way to hlep with classroom management within the 21st century. This course is designed to be a self-paced course to take via online through Blackboard. Teachers can learn how to effectively use LanSchool - through videos and activities - at your own pace.

Register with Mayerson.

Big image