March 2014 Tech Tidbits

TPS Instructional Technology

Bandwidth Survey

Remember when our district Internet connection was super slow right after the holidays in January? The good news is the problem was solved and speedy Internet connectivity was restored to everyone in the district.


In an effort to plan ahead for our growing use of online resources and tools, please take this survey and give us some information on how you and your students use the Internet during the school day and which online resources you are accessing and how often. With this information we can develop a plan to keep our network functioning at peak performance and ensure there is a high quality, reliable, and fast Internet connection for all of our students and staff.


Thank you for taking this brief survey.

Purchasing Tech Equipment

Do you have some extra cash in your department budget? Has your PTA held a fundraiser to purchase some technology for your school or classroom? Are you thinking about acquiring some additional technology before the end of the school year? If the answer to any of these questions is YES, let Instructional Technology help. We can recommend equipment based on what you want to do with your students. We constantly have the opportunity to see and try out new classroom technology and know what works best with our existing technology and what devices we have the capacity to support and repair. Additionally, we have a high level of expertise on an array of devices and can provide training and support on new devices you may be looking to purchase.


Instructional Technology and Technology Services work closely with the Purchasing Department and our vendors to get the best price possible on technology. We can often get you a better price than if you searched on your own. Let technology help! Contact one of our facilitators or call 253-571-3541 and we will connect you with the right people to help you make the best decision.

Flipped Classroom PLC

Teachers, have you ever considered flipping some of your lessons? If so, then we have the PLC for you. Starting on March 17th from 4:15 – 7:15 pm we are offering a Flipped Learning PLC open to all grade levels. During the PLC you will learn how to create, locate, and manage online video resources to use in a flipped learning environment. No prior flipped teaching experience necessary. Please sign up on the Professional Development Calendar. The PLC will meet on March 17, April 21st, and May 19th. Class size is limited, so please register soon! If you have questions or need additional information, please contact Kristie Stanek at kstanek@tacoma.k12.wa.us.

Atomic Learning

Did you know that we have a district-wide subscription to Atomic Learning for staff, students, and their families available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week? It's a wonderful resource as you and your students have technology questions. Our subscription to Atomic Learning includes:


  • 50,000 step-by-step technology tutorials
  • Tech Skills Assessment based on ISTE NETS-S
  • 21st Century Skills Assessment for teachers based on ISTE NETS-T
  • Project-based training on 21st century concepts and content, tech integration projects, workshops on emerging tech topics, applying 21st century skills in the classroom, and more!


Within our TPS network, you are automatically logged into Atomic Learning when you visit the site. From home, you'll need a username and password to log into Atomic Learning. Your school Librarian has that information, or you may contact anyone from our TPS Instructional Technology department.

Add My Site to Outlook

You can change Outlook so you have quick access to your personal, shared documents and professional connections all in one place. Follow the steps in this document to Add My Site to Outlook.

Virtual Field Trips from Google

Virtual Field Trips connect cultural institutions like museums, zoos and aquariums with schools and non-profits around the country via Google+ Hangouts On Air. Hangouts On Air allows institutions to share universal access to unique cultural and educational experiences regardless of geographical and financial restrictions. For more information, watch this video (http://youtu.be/GDwEjqkgwyI) or contact Jack Leiman from the Instructional Technology team (jleiman@tacoma.k12.wa.us).

Upcoming Tech Classes

3/3 SMART Basics (filled-active wait list)

3/4 Webmasters PLC

3/17 Flipped Learning PLC (new!)

3/18 Podcasting

3/19 Gamify Your Classroom PLC

3/20 SMART Board Level 2

3/25 Lesson Planning w/SMART Notebook

3/27 Digital Storytelling with Photos & Audio

4/8 Webmasters PLC

4/9 Google Maps & Google Earth for Teachers

4/10 & 4/17 Creating with iPads (last time this class is offered)

4/15 Gamify Your Classroom PLC


Online registration through the PD Calendar is required at least 48 hours in advance.


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

https://employee.tacoma.k12.wa.us/it/Pages/tech_tidbits.aspx