ITC Newsletter

March 2016

Chromebooks and Video Projects in the Classroom

Mrs. Taylor’s fourth graders at Parklane Elementary are in the middle of a research project on Totem Poles, using their Chromebooks to gather information and to create their final products.

We began this project by researching totem poles using, in addition to print books, digital resources gathered for my classroom by Rita Ramstad, our district librarian. She compiled websites, articles, videos and images in a link on our school's website so students could safely research their topic online. After the research was done and our essays were written each student created a totem pole. These totem poles were made using egg cartons, paint and construction paper. The students were asked to choose animals that they thought represented their personality or described their families in some way. The next step was to create a video explaining their personal totem pole. Frank Decker set us up with a video editing program called WeVideo and, along with the help of Pam Hellesto, my class has been hard at work recording their totem pole videos.

In addition to learning about the rich history and culture of totem poles in the Pacific Northwest, our fourth graders have learned a variety of new digital skills. They cooperated and collaborated in small groups to answer research questions and to cite the informational resources they used. They composed their research papers using online word processing tools. They applied their new knowledge of totems to themselves and family members. They are currently recording and editing multi-segment totem pole videos that can be published to share with their families at conference times.

ELPA21 Testing Underway!

We are now in the middle of the ELPA21 testing cycle. There is a new test this year and the students seem to be doing very well with it. Mr. Reid Woodlee from CHS says “It seems to be longer and harder than last year because of all the new common core changes but is looking forward to great results. “ Kids are working hard.

This picture is a group of kindergarten students getting on the Chromebooks and headsets for the first time. They were so excited to test the next day. Today was just about learning to use the computer and headsets. One boy said "Can you see me? Can you see me? I am so excited. Look at what I can do, this is so cool."

District-wide Wireless and Network Upgrades Begin

Last year changes were made with the federal eRate program (erate is the common name for the Schools and Libraries Program of the Universal Service Fund). 3.5 billion dollars was allocated to the program in order to provide schools and libraries with funds to ensure high-speed wireless broadband access for staff and students. The program allocates funds for discounted equipment and cabling purchases based on the district-wide free and reduced lunch rate. Here at Centennial our discount rate is 80%. That means for a network switch that costs $5000, we are only paying $1000!

This year we are starting with CHS, CMS, BC, and PV. The rest of the schools will be upgraded this summer. The upgrades include the following:

  • One wireless access point in every single classroom. These are the latest and greatest wireless A-C access points and will provide the fastest possible wifi speeds for our devices for years to come.
  • Network cabling. We have electricians running new Cat-6 cable from the switch closets to every classroom, one cable for the wireless access point and one for the projector.
  • New network switches in every building. We are building for expanded capacity with these switches as well, leaving room for network growth for several years.
  • New network battery back-ups in every switch closet. These replace the old, noisy, and failing battery back-ups that will help keep us running during short power-loss situations.

This is an exciting project. By the end of this coming summer we will have a completely new and top-tier wired and wireless network throughout the district, giving us more reliability, stability, and room for growth.

Some helpful hints from the CSD Print shop

To enable the print shop to complete everyone's orders on time, please limit the number of orders, per a given due date, to (3) orders. With orders requesting 100 copies or more, we suggest 1 or 2 orders per given due date. Did you know that the two busiest weeks in our print shop are the first and last week of each month? We hope this info will help you in your planning when sending your print shop orders in.

Vicki Dettmann @ ext. 3447

Byron Kaopuiki @ ext. 3449

Self-Serve Color Printing

All color copies are on a SELF-SERVICE ONLY basis, at the color copier in the ITC office. Please remember that color copies must be pre-approved by the building principal or department manager/supervisor. All color printing is $.10 a copy. You will be asked to sign the copy log when completed. Bring your originals and/or files on a jump drive, plug it into the copier, and go.

Tech Tips with Brian Hickerson

Hey Mac users, have you heard of Spotlight? You can use Spotlight for quick calculations and also to search for files, folders, and applications on your computer.

Here’s a couple of ways to access Spotlight:

1. Press the Command + Spacebar keys at the same time.

2. Click on the Magnifying Glass icon at the very top-right of the screen.

Give it a try, you may find that it will save you time.

Video-On-Demand with Safari Montage

Hey classroom teachers, did you know that here in Centennial we have access to the world’s #1 educational video-on-demand library? That’s right, directly from your teacher computer you can access thousands of educational video content from the top publishers like Schlessenger, History, Disney, BBC, Scholastic, and many others. But more than just the video content, every single title is segmented into small chapters and video segments so that you can get directly to the portion of the video you need for your lesson.

Accessing Safari Montage is quick and easy. Just navigate in your Web browser to Just use your Centennial computer username and password to login. You can even access the video content from home! Once you’re logged in, you can browse the content by subject, keyword, even state standard. Your Safari Dashboard even gives you the ability to create playlists where you can add your favorite video chapters and segment for using over and over again quickly and easily. Looking for that great Bill Nye video? How about a math lesson from Kahn Academy? Safari Montage is there and ready for you to start using today.

Free Online Teaching & Learning Tools

Optional Insurance for Mobile Devices

Do you have a district issued laptop, chromebook, or iPad device that you frequently take out of your building? While your device is on district property it is covered for damage, theft, and loss. Outside of the district, however, coverage for your device is your responsibility. Luckily there is a low-cost insurance solution available to you. A MacBook Pro laptop for example has a replacement value of $1100.00. For just $74.70 per year, you can get coverage with a zero deductible that covers you from accidental damage, theft, or loss. Chromebooks and iPads are about $30.00 per year.

For more information on this great optional device insurance, click the button below.