Tech Integration Newsletter

Volume 10 | Issue 25 | September, 2018

Big picture

2018-2019 MIE Nominations Open

We are gearing up for another great year of the OPS Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) program! Each year we continue to expand and refine our program to better meet the MIE Vision: to develop educational leaders’ capacity to support 21st Century Teaching & Learning environments.

As participants move to the role of MIE Mentors it leaves openings for others to join the program. Therefore we will be accepting nominations for MIE Rookies to fill vacancies. Nominations will be accepted from both building leadership and self-nomination. The deadline for nominations is through September 14th. Click Here to go to 2018-19 MIE Rookie Nomination Form.

The MIE Mission is to participate in face-to-face and online sessions emphasizing instructional technology to support the District Strategic Plan, Academic Action Plan, and School Improvement Plan through the district professional development model.

Program Structure

The program is a three-year commitment which provides on-going professional development that requires active participation in four, face-to-face sessions each year.

  • 1st Year: MIE Rookie – awareness level

  • 2nd Year: MIE Pro – enhancing skill level

  • 3rd Year: MIE Master – implementation level

Upon completion of year three, the MIE becomes an MIE Mentor. The mentors no longer attend the face-to-face professional development sessions, yet continue to support the building’s instructional technology initiatives and MIE Rookies.

Ideally each building will have at least two active MIE participants that attend the professional development sessions together. i.e. The MIE Rookie with either the MIE Pro or MIE Master.

IMS provides subs for all sessions offered during instructional time. IMS will make final selections with Principal approval.

Big picture
Big picture

IMS Director's Update

Skype for Business Audio Conferencing

Staff will be assigned audio conferencing bridges via Skype for Business Meetings which can be accessed on your device through your calendar. You can use these for parent/teacher conferences, group meetings, etc. An audio conferencing bridge allows multiple people to dial into a single number to be joined into a conference online. You will receive an email this week outlining your conferencing bridge details.

Big picture

Minecraft in Education

This year, Minecraft in Education will be available for everyone . As long as you use your e-login@ops.org in the Microsoft store, within Windows 10 or the Apple Store on an iOS device, it will auto license (below). To access the Microsoft Store on a Windows 10 device, search "store" in your device search bar.
Big picture
Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is taking off in Omaha Public Schools. Teams are a great digital hub for collaboration and real-time conversations.

You might think, 'How is this different from email?'. Let's think about email for a second. Email is basically a digital representation of the formal letter. It contains an address, subject, body, and a signature.

Here's where Microsoft Teams has advantages. Think of authentic, real-time conversation. Take a look at the Teams toolbar pictured below. Not only does this feature allow for an instant messaging platform among colleagues, but It also identifies a number of different artifacts used today in our digital conversations ranging from emojis, to gifs, to live video. This really makes conversation come to life and reduces the number of emails to your inbox. (As an added bonus: it's available to staff, but students don't have access.)
Big picture
A quick tip when functioning in Teams conversations:

Use "@Mentions" to call attention to your message. In the Team conversation, start typing your message. Type @, followed by your teammate's name or email address, and select them. They'll get a notification in their Inbox and Activity feed about the conversation.

Big picture
Big picture

We are so excited to continue the ITL endorsement program in partnership with the University of Nebraska Omaha this fall! The following educators are part of our fall cohort: Dani Alderson (Rose Hill Elem), Jamie Athey (Northwest High), Kelsey Baldridge (Central High), Sarah Berkebile (Bryan High), Paul Callahan (South High), Camille Clark (Marrs), Mariana Cruz (Marrs), Christina Fox (Bryan Middle), Mandy Owen (Kennedy Elem), Keri Overland (Kennedy Elem), Megan Rogers (Omaha Virtual Elem), Brooke Sutton (Central), Melissa Turner (Marrs), & Rachel Wilson (Walnut Hill Elem).

For more information about the OPS ITL program, please contact McKenzie White (mckenzie.white@ops.org).

Big picture

Mobile Learning Unit

Just in time for the 2018 fall semester, Omaha Public Schools officially unveiled its Mobile Learning Unit to the public on the evening of August 6th. The kick-off took place at Kennedy Elementary School during their back-to-school night for families and community members. Partners in attendance included Cox Communications, Microsoft, 75 North, and Common Sense Media. The Mobile Learning Unit was created to address issues of digital equity in the North Omaha area. The goal: to use a whole-community approach to bring high-technology learning and digital citizenship skills to students and their families.

Check out the KETV coverage of the event HERE

Interested in having the MLU make a visit to your school?

Contact Rebecca Chambers at rebecca.chambers@ops.org

Big picture

Do you have TOO MANY Microsoft Teams?

Although we did an automatic clean-up of Teams in May, removing any Team that had not been opened in the previous year, you may see that you still have too many. There are 3 options to make the viewing and accessing of Teams more efficient:

1) Removing a Team from Favorite

2) Archiving a Team or

3) Deleting a Team

Click the button below for additional information on each of the options.

Big picture

Dealing with Digital Distraction in the Classroom

Digital devices put the world at our students' fingertips, whether with their own cell phones or with school-provided computers and tablets. But, along with opportunities for powerful learning come the risks -- and realities -- of distraction. Find practical tips on supporting students and modeling productive 21st Century learning by visiting Common Sense Education's Teaching Strategies page here.

Any questions regarding digital citizenship or Common Sense Education should be directed to Keegan Korf at keegan.korf@ops.org.

Big picture
Big picture

What Does it Mean to be Future Ready?

In partnership with the Nebraska Department of Education, Omaha Public Schools and districts across the state collaborated to develop Nebraska's first ever, state-wide Digital Learning and EdTech Plan. More information about these efforts can be found at the Future Ready Nebraska website.

Watch for more Future Ready information, resources, and other opportunities in upcoming Wavelengths Newsletters!

Big picture

Technology Spotlight

Nominations are now open for the 2018-2019 school year. The district technology instructional trainers are looking to showcase innovative educators who are incorporating technology into their classroom content.

Nominate an innovator(s) today by clicking the button below!

Big picture

Technology Training Team

Debra Bordenkecher:

Technology Trainer, Classified/Certified Staff/TAC

Rebecca Chambers:

Instructional Technology Trainer, Mobile Learning Unit Lead Teacher

Melissa Cleaver:
Instructional Technology Trainer, Project Coordinator
Eileen Heller:
Instructional Technology Trainer, Elementary Lead Teacher
Keegan Korf:
Common Sense Media, Digital Citizenship Lead Teacher
Kelly Means:
Instructional Technology Trainer, Project Coordinator
Amy Vester:
Instructional Technology Trainer, Secondary Lead Teacher
McKenzie White:
Instructional Technology Trainer, Library Lead Teacher