#BRESA Tech Tips
Spring Break is behind us and testing season is here. We know these next couple of months can be difficult for you and your students. Please reach out to John or Amy if you are in need of brain-break activities or something to engage and re-energize your students for the end of the school year. We would love to partner with you and share the resources available for you here at Berrien RESA. Spring is also a great time to clean and organize your digital life, as well as set expectations for students regarding digital balance during the summer months. We would be happy to do a presentation, share resources or talk through some ideas with you on this important topic.
SWMI Esports Spring Season Finals
Spring Finals are April 15
Calling All School Library/Media Specialists and Staff
In honor of School Library Month, we would like to connect with area school library personnel (teacher-librarians, media specialists, library/media aides, library/media paraprofessionals) to help better support those working in these positions. Thank you to everyone who has already completed this short form. If you serve in this capacity (or can provide contact information for others) please add that information to the form. We would love to connect!
Our first meeting will be an evening virtual connection on Wednesday, April 26 from 7-7:30 p.m. Invitations and more details will be sent to all school library personnel who completed the interest form. Even if you cannot attend on April 26, please complete the form. There will be other opportunities on different days and times for building this network.
Earth Day is April 22
Check out the resources below for some engaging Earth Day lessons and activities.
- Breakout EDU offers several Earth Day focused games. Contact John or Amy if you'd like to do game with Breakout Boxes, or try one of the digital games linked below. If you need help with solutions to the digital games, please contact us.
- NASA's Climate Kids offers activities, games and articles focused on climate science for students ages 8 and above.
- The Environmental Protection Agency has published a great website with lesson plans and resources that are free to use. Check it out!
- National Geographic has a quick lesson that can be used with your students. It is targeted to 3-5, but it could be used in middle school as well.
- PBS Learning Media has a series of activities and short video clips that can enhance your lessons. These are targeted to all grade levels.
AI in Education: More than ChatGPT
As we continue our discussion and exploration of ChatGPT from previous newsletters, it's important to note that ChatGPT is only one example of an AI tool that might be used in education. You may also want to explore the following articles highlighting AI developments from several different tech companies and one comparison piece on ChatGPT versus Google Bard.
Prefer to listen to a podcast?
- The News Literacy Project, Is that a fact? podcast just released the first of two episodes focused on AI: Chatbots are supercharging search: Are we ready?
Additional AI resources that may be helpful in the classroom:
- AI Education Project: Lessons you can use to help students learn about AI
- Curipod: Generate interactive lessons with AI
- Scribble Diffusion or AutoDraw: AI interpretations of your own drawings/scribbles
- Quick, Draw: Google's AI doodling challenge--good for brain-breaks or end-of-class fun
- Canva: Magic Write: AI assistant built into Canva to help you write content. Shortcut: hit the forward slash key while in a project and Magic Write option will appear.
- Day of AI: Free curriculum and resources from MIT designed to help teachers bring AI into their classrooms safely and responsibly. Join a community of educators to celebrate a Day of AI on May 18th.
April Tech Tools and Resources
In honor of Poetry Month, check out this Magnetic Poetry website where you can create poems by dragging words onto a blank canvas. Poems can be downloaded as images and saved. The site offers different word kits, including nature, kids, geek and happiness.
You may also consider building your own magnetic poetry in Google Slides or Drawings. Check out this FREE COURSE from Kasey Bell on how to create magnetic poetry.
Free read-aloud is a resource that brings picture books to life for elementary aged classrooms. Teachers can create a free account to use on one device in the classroom. Books are animated and words are highlighted as the books are read aloud with music.
The site is free from ads and other distractions with a decent selection of titles for elementary students. Sign up for an educator account.
Provided by the REMC Association of Michigan, MI Streamnet offers enriched and enhanced educational video content that is free from advertisements. Districts can upload their own content to share locally or statewide.
To get started, visit https://mistreamnet.eduvision.tv/ and browse or search the content that has already been shared.
Professional Learning Opportunities
CS & STEM
The MiSTEM Network has several summer PD opportunities for teachers interested in learning more Computer and Data Science.
Additionally, the SW Michigan MiSTEM region will be hosting a PD event for K-8 STEM teachers on June 27th at Sarrett Nature Center. Registration details will be available in the May newsletter. Contact Amy if you would like information before then.
Register now for EdCamp Grand Rapids to be held on August 15th at Kent ISD. EdCamps are different than traditional professional development days. Educators gather and plan "on-demand" type sessions relevant to the interests of the attendees. Visit the edCampGR Website to learn more.
Mark your calendar and register soon, as this FREE event is sure to fill up quickly!
REMC Online Courses
May courses include Assessment Tools, PBL, Seesaw, Media Literacy, OER, and Personalized Learning and Podcasting. Registration for May courses ends on May 4th.
STEM Resources Available for Check-Out
The Technology Services Department at Berrien RESA has a variety of STEM resources, equipment and materials you can check out for use in your classroom.
NEW ITEMS ADDED:
- THREE NEW TITLES: Promoting STEM through Literature
- Sphero Indi Education Robot Class Pack
- Sphero Bolt Power Pack
How can we help?
We would love to hear your suggestions on how we can best support you. Please complete this form if you have some ideas regarding content you would like to see in our newsletter or specific needs in your district. Also, please feel free to share this newsletter with others and if you are interested in subscribing, simply email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line "Tech Tips". Finally, as always, feel free to contact John Phillips or Amy Dirlam directly for all of your educational technology needs.
The Board of Education does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including sexual orientation or sexual identity), disability, age, religion, height, weight, marital or family status, military status, ancestry, genetic information, or any other legally protected category, (collectively, "Protected Classes"), in its programs and activities, including employment opportunities.