ITRT News & Updates

Secondary ITRT Newsletter - February/March 2015

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Click me: Spring 2015 ITRT Delivered PD Sessions

View available sessions offered throughout the county, descriptions, and directions for registering.

MS Office 2013

Tips and Tricks - Quick Access Toolbar

The Quick Access Toolbar is in all Office applications - Word, PowerPoint, Excel, etc. This allows you to access your frequently used features without having to toggle back and forth between the tabs at the top of your file. Click here to learn how to customize the appearance, contents, and location of your toolbar.

Web 2.0 Tool - Thinking Blocks

Is modeling word problems with manipulatives a big part of your mathematics instruction? Or, do you struggle to find good, visual modeling for mathematics objectives? If so, consider using Thinking Blocks. Thinking Blocks is a good instructional tool for explaining and guiding demonstrations using models to understand math concepts. You can easily use the tool as a whole group on an interactive whiteboard, or students can work independently on problems on laptops, desktops, or netbooks. Students can model and solve word problems with visual manipulatives from basic topics such as addition and subtraction, all of the way to more advanced concepts such as ratios and proportions. This interactive tool is a great compliment to Singapore math activities.

Visit: Thinking Blocks


Sweeten student achievement using Quizlet! Quizlet's flashcards, tests, and study games make learning engaging and fun for students of any age. Sign up for a free account at and create interactives for specific classes. Students can enjoy reviewing using Quizlet competitions and games like Scatter and Space Race. Follow students' progress as they learn and push them to move towards higher order thinking, using what they know to apply, analyze, question, and create.

RWT (Read, Write, Think) Interactive Timeline is an app that will allow students to create timelines using their own images or saved image. Students can elaborate with text and details. This is a great app for students to understand events in chronological order, help students make connections and recognize patterns in a series or process, and use reading skills like cause and effect. Students can create timelines with events from short stories or novels, as a pre-writing activity, to understand the steps in a life cycle, historical events, and much more. RWT Interactive Timeline can also be accessed on a PC- click here.

Contact your ITRT for more ideas on how to use these apps or implement them with your students.

Please Note: When receiving an iPad for school use through school funds, grants, donations, PTA funds, etc., initial set up has to be completed by your ITRT. Please contact your ITRT as soon as you receive the iPad(s).


NEW: My Organizations > HCPS Professional Development > Gale-Cengage eBooks

When you log into Blackboard, you will see “HCPS Professional Development” under the “My Organizations” section. There you will find links to district-wide professional development sites and information including the new Gale-Cengage eBooks. Check out how some schools are already using these eBook titles:

The School Climate and Culture PLC at LDHS is using excerpts from Closing the Achievement Gap: How to Fire Up Your Students to Strive for Success in their work together.

The RPES faculty are discovering key information about student resilience through reading segments of Fostering Grit: How Do I Prepare My Students for the Real World.


5 ways to create an engaging byod classroom

Click the link above for a nice article about using Remind to send resources to students which lets them access content

If you are currently using Remind, then hopefully you can share how it’s working with your colleagues. Would you like to try out Remind with your students? Sign up for a free account here.

Connected Families

We are excited to offer a workshop series to parents called Connecting Families-Helping Parents Connect with their Children’s Digital Lives.

The goal of this workshop series is to support families in raising kids who think critically, participate responsibly, and behave ethically in their online lives. The program materials were developed by Common Sense Education and are endorsed by the National PTA.

March Workshop Date/Description:

March 16, 2015

7:00-8:30 pm at Patrick Henry High School

Texting & Photographs:

What actually constitutes sexting? How can understanding the phenomenon help us keep teens from making irreversible decisions to share compromising photographs?

Social Media Spotlight

Interested in learning more about Twitter, but not sure where to start? Download the Tweech Me app for iTunes, Google Play, or Windows for only $0.99. This app will guide you through Twitter vocabulary, hashtags, lists, chats and more. It also includes an educational chat schedule that can sync with your mobile calendar, allowing you to connect with like-minded teachers and school leaders around the world. It's a great way to test the waters before you dive in!


Customize your toolbar to maximize instructional time and utilize the great tools available to engage your students. To customize your toolbar, click on the gear at the bottom of the floating toolbar. You can then add or remove items by dragging them to or from the toolbar. This will allow you to have the tools you most frequently use easily accessible. The "Magic Pen" can be used to magnify an area by drawing a rectangle with it, spotlight an area by drawing a circle around it, or as disappearing ink for drawings other than rectangles and circles. The "Recorder", which can be used for screencasting, captures video from your screen and audio if a microphone is enabled. Have your students use the recording tool to create casts where they demonstrate and narrate how to solve a problem.

File Management - Google Drive

Are you ready to increase your organization? Your efficiency? Your productivity? Are you ready to go Google? Come along and join the Google party. Google Drive allows you to store documents in the cloud to be accessed anywhere that you have an internet connection. Moving beyond just storage, Google docs, sheets, slides, & forms allow you to create documents, spreadsheets, slides, and surveys that you can easily access at work, home, and on mobile devices. Image living in a world where it does not matter the device you are on or it does not matter if you are at work or home. You can just access your files! That world exists and it is called Google. To get started, sign in or create a Google account. Then, click on the “9 boxes of awesome” on the top of your Google page, click Drive (see photo) and you are off. The time is now, Go Google!

EdTech 2015 Conference

Thursday, March 12th, 8:30am

1000 Floyd Ave

Richmond, VA

Save the date - The EdTech conference is back!

For those unfamiliar with EdTech, it is a regional educational technology conference geared towards teachers, administrators, school librarians, and ITRTs. This year's theme is Personalized Learning: Sparking Innovations for Students and Self.

This one-day conference will be held at Virginia Commonwealth University on Thursday, March 12th.

Click here for more information and to register:

Rebecca Narron - The Georgetown School

Contact me to discuss how we can plan a lesson together!