Feb. Tech Tidbits

TPS Instructional Technology, 2014-15

NEW Optional Day Pay Request Form

The new Optional Day Pay form for certificated staff with the new tab for Tech Optional hours was released January 28. Classes approved for Optional Pay are listed in our Instructional Technology course catalog. These same classes will be on the form you complete when submitting for Tech Optional Hours. Our team will also monitor the course offerings at the Puget Sound ESD and at ESD 113 for classes that support Tacoma initiatives, and we will add those to our course catalog.


The catalog is a list of all current classes, but not all classes are offered at all times. Therefore, we recommend the following:


  1. Determine your tech needs
  2. Browse the PD Calendar to see what’s offered
  3. Register early for what you want
  4. If you need a PD session or training and don’t see it offered, please request it. You can email us at itech@tacoma.k12.wa.us or call 571-3524.


Registration through the online PD Calendar is still required at least 48 hours prior to the start of class. If there are other classes you wish to take outside the district for Technology Optional Pay, there is an online pre-approval process. Please see the memo emailed to Certificated staff on Jan. 28, and review the training video and optional day procedures document available on the Optional Day Pay Request page.

Tacoma School District Digital Learning Day

Digital Learning Day

The video above shows students getting the word out about the upcoming Digital Learning Day. Email Michael Farmer of Instructional Technology (mfarmer@tacoma.k12.wa.us) the great activities you do in your classroom using technology to engage your students learning. The Week of March 9-14, Instructional Technology will send emails showcasing Lessons, Tools, Tips, and Featured Teachers. The teachers will share tech activities used and infused in the classroom to engage their students.

K-8 Laptop Deployment

Instructional Technology and the school field techs wrapped up the elementary and middle school teacher laptop deployment this week. This project actually began at the end of the previous school year in June with planning and preparation. Over the last few years there were several deployments of new technology to the schools across Tacoma. We received some fantastic compliments from staff in the schools, and in the end we were really excited about how smooth and efficient the deployment went. With thanks to the voters and the passage of 2014 Technology Levy, this was a great opportunity to upgrade the staff equipment in our elementary and middle schools. A huge thank you goes out to the staff in schools for their support as well.

Assistive Technology Tidbit: How to Support Differentiation with AT

According to Carol Ann Tomlinson, a national leader in teaching differentiation methodology, it is necessary to teach to the individual and diverse needs of each student within the classroom. This includes engaging students through the appeal of their wide range of interests and abilities. In this day and age, the use of technology is of high interest and motivation to most students, and can level the playing field for struggling students. When asked to complete a writing activity, allow all students (not just struggling students) opportunities and exposure to use a variety of writing tools to showcase their individual talents. Writing tools might include using a keyboard on the desktop computer, using a keyboard on a laptop, using a voice recording through OneNote or Audacity, using a tablet with a speech recognition app, drawing a detailed picture, or using the old fashioned pencil and paper. Offering these numerous writing techniques for all students in the class will support the learning needs of everyone, will help those who struggle without isolating them as struggling, and will prepare our students for adult experiences with technology. If you have questions regarding the assistive technology needs of your students, please contact Traci West via district email to schedule a consultation meeting.


Traci West

Assistive Technology Instructional Coach

Tacoma Public Schools- Student Services

twest@tacoma.k12.wa.us

253-571-1070

Upcoming Classes

Please check the PD calendar online regularly for technology classes, and remember to carefully review the course description before you register. Here are some upcoming courses ready for your registration!


Feb. 9 - SWIFT Classroom Websites @ Lister (already full)

Feb. 10 - Review 360 @ Stewart (Registration open to any TPS employee in a building using Review 360)

Feb. 12 - OneNote Tables & Templates: Online*

Feb. 17 & 24 - OneNote Digital Notebooks: An Online Class*

Feb. 23 - Merging Data: Online*

Feb. 24 - SMART Table 101 @ Jefferson (Registration open to any TPS employee in a building with a SMART Table)

Mar. 2 - Camera in the Classroom Using Photoshop Basics

Mar. 3 - Excel for the Classroom Teacher

Mar. 3 - OneNote Tables & Templates: Online*

Mar. 4 - Online Resources @ Birney (Registration open to any TPS employee)

Mar. 5 - Review 360: Diving Deeper (Registration open to any TPS employee using Review 360)

Mar. 5 - SWIFT Classroom Websites: Online*

Mar. 9 - Camera in the Classroom Using Photoshop Intermediate

Mar. 16 & 23 - OneNote Digital Notebooks: An Online Class*

Mar. 17 - Adobe Premiere in the Classroom

Mar. 23 - Camera in the Classroom Using Adobe Premiere Intermediate

Mar. 24 - Excel for the Classroom Teacher


*Online classes are webinar sessions. You can attend from any location with Internet access including from a mobile device. These sessions are NOT at the PDC.


Teaching with MinecraftEdu PLC is the first “teaching” Thursday of each month. Open to all certificated staff that are interested in learning to use this engaging tool to develop and teach lessons with.


Game Based Learning PLC is the second “teaching” Thursday of each month. Open to all certificated staff that are interested in developing and implementing lessons that used game based learning principles.


Teacher Access Center (TAC) Drop-In Sessions are available monthly from 7-8am and 4-5pm with remaining sessions on 03/05, 04/09, 05/07, and 06/04.

Visit our Instructional Technology department website to view our past newsletters.

- Internal site

- Public site