Tech Snacks

Byte-Sized Treats to Transform Learning 1.29.20

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Turn Book Summaries into Amazing Tours

How do you breathe new life into book summaries and engage students in geography at the same time? Well, just ask the 4th-grade teachers at Maxwell Elementary! Teachers Eric Miracle and Ashley Misik wanted to challenge their 4th-grade students after they read The Cricket in Times Square. After some discussion, they agreed on having their students trace the journey of the main character, Chester, from Connecticut to New York City, and capture all of the special moments along the way.

Eric and Ashley decided to use Google Tour Builder and Screencastify to document their students’ book summaries. Tour Builder feels like the perfect mix of “PowerPoint meets Google Earth,” and the two work together to produce a timeless digital instructional product that engages the reader to learn the story while traveling together.

After completing their Tour Builder creation, students used Screencastify to record their project. Students read their slide cards while narrating Chester’s trip through Google Earth. In addition, students took note of the surroundings inside subway tunnels, on streets, at the train station, in Chinatown, and through Times Square. What a trip! Check out two of Maxwell’s famous tour guides!

Tour Guide Catalina’s Video

Tour Guide Victoria’s Video

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Create a Virtual Walking Tour with Screencastify

The tours offered by Catalina and Victoria above were wonderful! Another idea would be to use your webcam to point out the features you are discussing. In this example of a Virtual Walking Tour (2:21), Matt Miller of Ditch That Textbook, drops inside the White House using Screencastify with Google Maps and points out features inside the White House. To learn more about Screencastify, you may enjoy Matt Miller’s full course: Master the Screencast.

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Bring an Image to Life

Imagine the look on your students’ faces when they can take their crayon drawing and turn it into virtual reality content. MIND BLOWN! With Panoform, students can draw and color a design, diagram, tessellation, or anything their heart desires, then use the website to upload a picture, and Viola! They have a 360 degree spherical image of their creation. They can drag around to view in 360 or pop their iPhone into a VR viewer to see images come to life in VR. Panoform works with a mobile device, tablet, or a Chromebook. Don’t want your students to draw? Try building a rectangular design with pattern blocks and snap a picture!

  1. Visit

  2. Print out a grid.

  3. Draw and design.

  4. Take a picture using the Panoform Tool (if using mobile device) or upload a picture from your Chromebook gallery.

  5. Enjoy in 360 or tap the VR icon to view in VR with a viewer.

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Digital Learning Day 2020

Join other educators and students from across the district, state, country, and around the world to celebrate Digital Learning Day. Mark your calendars now and get inspired to join in the celebration on February 27. Take this opportunity to connect with others, share ideas, experiment with new tools and celebrate digital innovation! Digital Learning Day celebrations can take place in a variety of ways and the possibilities are endless. Consider adding a digital component to one lesson, go paperless for the day, participate in a Skype or Google Hangout with a community partner, research online, showcase student work digitally, use social media to highlight a project… See? This list could go on and on.

Ready to get started? Register your school and add to the collaborative map. So far, there is only one school in Kentucky registered! Browse engaging Activities and Ideas designed by other educators that are ready to use in your classroom across all grades and content levels. Take a second to learn about a new digital tool that can be used to enhance lessons and empower student creativity, collaboration, and critical thinking. Share ideas and photos from your event on Twitter using the hashtag #DLDay and @FCPSOIT so we can brag on our amazing teachers.

Do you need more inspiration to get started? Visit the Digital Learning Day website, check out focused Pinterest boards, stalk @OfficialDLDay on Twitter to connect with other educators, or contact your District Technology Resource Teacher.
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EdTech PD Just For You!

The New Year = a great time to learn NEW things. The Office of Instructional Technology has a variety of great sessions customized for you. Just hop on over to, and click on ACTIVITY CATALOGS and DISTRICT CATALOG in the left-hand menu. Type the word TECHNOLOGY in the search bar to locate and register for your choices.

Steam Up the Classroom with STEAM Activities 2.3.20 with Josh Rayburn

Come learn different STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) Activities that you use in your classroom. From no tech to high tech and everything in between.

RCX Robotics Training for RCX Referees 2.4.20 with Jerry Broyles

This training is for RCX Referees ONLY. To volunteer to be an RCX Referee, contact Jerry Broyles before signing up for this PD training. Training will be focused on scoring teams competing in the FCPS regional competition held in early spring and state tournament in late spring.

Little Kids can do BIG Things 2.5.20 with Kelly Fischer

Explore practical, hands-on ways to use Chromebooks with elementary students. Discover ways to engage young learners with tasks and take away strategies and activities to use in your classroom immediately and effectively.

Google Level 1 Series: Google Boot Camp, Level 1, Part 1 2.6.20 with Jerry Broyles

(This is part 1 of the 2 part series.) Google Boot Camp invites teachers to explore various G Suite tools while giving them a foothold in preparing for the Google Level 1 Certification Test. This session will cover the following G Suite Tools: Google Chrome, Drive, Docs, Slides, and Forms.

Pajama PD: Utilize Canvas' Collaboration Tool to Increase Student Communication and Teamwork 2.10.20 with Paula Setser-Kissick

From the comfort of your own couch or afterschool classroom, check out a simple way to create student collaborative workspaces in Canvas using Google or Office 365. Participants will experience Collaborations first as a student, before switching to the teacher side of Canvas -- learning which types of tools are available, steps to create Collaborations' spaces, and how to manage workflow. This professional learning opportunity will take place virtually using Zoom. Registered attendees will receive connection information prior to the event.

STEM in Wonders 2.12.20 with Ashley Faulkner

Geared towards 3rd-5th grade classroom teachers, but all elementary classroom teachers are welcome! Join us for some tips for increasing engagement during Wonders centers with the implementation of a STEM station aligned with the Wonders curriculum. Walk away with ideas, links, and resources you could utilize in your classroom tomorrow or during your next planning meeting.

Google Level 1 Series: Google Boot Camp, Level 1, Part 2 2.13.20 with Kelly Fischer

(This is part 2 of the 2 part series.) Google Boot Camp invites teachers to explore various G Suite tools while giving them a foothold in preparing for the Google Level 1 Certification Test. This session will cover the following G Suite Tools: Google Classroom, Sheets, Hangouts, YouTube, GMail, Calendar, Google Plus, and Groups.

Google Earth and Earth Studio; May I Help You Find Something? 3.24.19 with Jerry Broyles

Hold on tight and set your sights on the future as we take a ride on the new Google Earth! Navigate the new world while exploring lands, homes, and cultures from afar. Fly by the seat of your pants and record your journey using Google Earth Studio. Marvel at the power of Google Earth Engine and brainstorm curriculum with Outreach. Don't be a Kevin and miss the trip!