Tech Tidbits ... and Bits and Bytes

Model Schools Newsletter March 2020

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So that we can plan an exciting year full of new programs and materials that matter to our districts, we ask that you please fill out the following District Needs Survey. Please feel free to share this with administrators and teachers in your buildings. The more information we have, the better we can meet your needs. the form is below, or you can access it by going to: Thank you in advance for your assistance!

Model Schools Liaison Meeting

Our next meeting will be held March 27th beginning at 12:30. The group would like to discuss creating software and app request forms. If you have one you already use and would like to share, please add it to the collaborative folder.

Our last meeting of the year will be May 21st beginning at 8:30. The work for that day will be determined by the group at the March meeting. We hope to see everyone there!

Instructional Resource of the Month - Buncee

Many of you may already be aware of Buncee, but did you know they have a new Coffee Talk Video Series? Here's what Buncee says about this new resource:

"Coffee Talk is a new video series all about how educators utilize Buncee in the classroom. In each episode, Rachelle sits down with a different educator, and they chat about a variety of topics, from using Buncee to create and share what you visualize, to using Buncee to assist with SEL lessons, appsmashing with Microsoft Teams, implementing Immersive Reader in the classroom, and so much more!"

Topics for the video series range in length from 21 to 37 minutes and feature topics such as:

  • How to use Buncee as a Tech Coach
  • Differentiating Instruction
  • How Buncee Helps Visualize Thoughts and Learning
  • and more!

Buncee Coffee Talk with Jaime Donally - Exploring STEM & Global Maker Day with Buncee

Coronavirus Resources

Articles of Interest

The article below highlights what schools are doing to prepare for and keep kids learning in case the coronavirus spreads and requires schools to close. It is worth a read in case your district chooses to create a plan for the possible effects of coronavirus.
The article below highlights five emerging trends in instructional technology including Social and Emotional Health, English Language Learning, and more.

Professional Learning Opportunities

i-Ready User Group

i-Ready User Group is being held 3/18/2020 from 8:30-11:00am in Conference Room #1. Please register and fill out this Google Form to let us know what topics or questions you would like us to focus on during the user group.

Join us for a "Sandbox" Event!

Join us for this premier event that will allow participants to "play" with instructional tech tools and learn how they can incorporate them into their every day instructional practices. Participants will have the opportunity to spend time at each station and discuss how they can incorporate the tool at the station into their teaching. **Open to Questar III Districts who purchase the Model Schools Base Fee.**

Stations will include:

  • VR Headsets
  • Dash/Dot/Cue
  • Ozobots
  • Cubelets
  • Sphero Bolt
  • Edison Robot
  • Merge Cubes

Date: March 18, 2020

Time: 1 pm - 4 pm

Location: Questar III Central Office (Room 1)


Using Evidence-Based Solutions to Reduce Absenteeism - Webinar

Check out this EdSurge Webinar on Chronic Absenteeism to be hosted March 25, 2020 at 11 am.

More Information:

The U.S. Department of Education has referred to chronic absenteeism as a hidden educational crisis. That’s because chronic absenteeism, defined as 15 or more days missed in a school year, is actually a predictor for student learning outcomes, student success and even well-being in adulthood. Interventions for chronic absenteeism are often based on outdated assumptions about the root causes of the problem.

In this webinar, learn how to take a nuanced approach to understanding chronic absenteeism and about actionable steps school and district leaders can take to manage it.

You'll also learn more about:

  • Leveraging evidence-based strategies to impact attendance at scale
  • Using data to uncover the root causes of chronic absence
  • Steering away from common assumptions about chronic absenteeism
  • Implementing a tiered approach vs “one strategy fits all”

Sign up HERE

Employment Opportunities

Educational Technology Specialist (Sp Ed)

Job ID: HFMN0167535-7051

Application Deadline: 05/01/2020

Start Date: 01/15/2020

Job Description:

HFM BOCES Special Education Division

POSITION: Educational Technology Specialist to provide direct support to teachers and staff integrating technology into instruction. The successful candidate will:

* Provide a foundation to utilize technology to achieve individualized and Division wide goals.

* Promote instructional design skills for creating performance improvement systems, from classroom/lecture to individualized instruction, including content analysis, sequencing, goal analysis and instructional strategies.

* Be creative in facilitating approaches for integrating technology into education.

* Demonstrate experience in webpage design and development, including an understanding of the design principles used to create websites.

* Hands-on practice with desktop publishing, designing newsletters, informational flyers, brochures, PD training videos and other materials.


REQUIREMENTS: Must be NYS certified teacher. Experience working with teachers and providing embedded PD. Knowledge of IT systems, software applications and coding preferred.

Please submit all application materials to the attention of Michael Jacob, Director of Special Education with a position specific letter of interest and resume through OLAS.


STEM Camp Coordinators (2) - Girls Summer - Hackett

Job ID: ALBN0170500-0000

Application Deadline: 03/17/2020

Start Date: 03/30/2020

Job Description:

The mission of the City School District of Albany is to work in partnership with our diverse community to engage every learner in a robust educational program designed to provide the knowledge and skills necessary for success. The district serves nearly 9,700 students in 17 schools: 12 elementary schools, 3 middle schools, an alternative-education program and Albany High School, a comprehensive high school with a career and technical center.

The City School District of Albany has an anticipated opening(s) for the 2019-2020 school year and is now accepting applications for Girls Summer STEM Camp Coordinators (2) at William S. Hackett Middle School.

Please apply through OLAS by sending your letter of interest, resume, NYS certification (valid certification at the time of application is required) and all supporting materials. This will be an on-going recruiting process until filled.

The City School District of Albany, New York, does not discriminate on the basis of Age, Race, Color, National Origin, Sex, Sexual Orientation, Disability or Marital Status in Employment or any of the educational programs and activities which it offers or operates, as it is required to do by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, and the New York State Human Rights Laws.


Questar III School Library System and Model Schools

Kerrie Burch, Director of School Library System, Model Schools, and Arts

Carolyn Strauch, Model Schools Coordinator