Tech Tidbits...and Bits and Bytes

August 2020

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News You Can Use

Model Schools Update

Over the next couple months we will be meeting with districts to determine how we can best help you incorporate technology into instruction. Remember, if you are a member of the Model Schools CoSer and have paid the base fee, your district is able to take advantage of:

  • two days of embedded professional development
  • use of the instructional technology equipment (VR headsets, coding, robotics, and more)
  • attendance at four sandbox events each year
  • membership on the Model Schools Liaison Committee
  • software purchases and support

There is still room in the schedule to book embedded professional development in your districts too. Contact me if you are interested. Thank you for your continued support of Model Schools!

~Kerrie Burch

Model Schools Liaison Meetings 2020-2021

Please mark your calendars. Our meetings this year will take place on the following dates:

October 22nd: 9 - 11 am

January 5th: 9 - 11 am

March 30th: 9 - 11 am

May 6th: 9 - 11 am

At this time we will plan on meetings being virtual, but if circumstances change and we can meet in person, we will let you know. Registration emails will be sent ahead of each meeting.

Model Schools Sandbox Events 2020-2021

Our Sandbox Events will take place on the following dates:

October 22nd: 1 - 3 pm

January 5th: 1 - 3 pm

March 30th: 1-3 pm

May 6th: 1-3 pm

At this time, we will plan on Sandbox Events being virtual, but if circumstances change and we can meet in person, we will let you know. Click on date above to register.

Instructional Resource


Nearpod is a tool that allows for interactive lessons in face-to-face, hybrid, and online environments. It is available for purchase through the Model Schools CoSer. Contact Kerrie Burch for more information.

Five NEW reasons to love Nearpod:

  1. New accessibility features including Microsoft Immersive Reader, audio, and video
  2. Zoom integration with one click
  3. Three ways to present a lesson: live participation, student paced, and front of class
  4. Ready made lessons available
  5. Make video interactive by adding questions into videos

Learning How to use Nearpod

Not sure how to use Nearpod? Consider attending our Nearpod workshop given by our very own Model Schools Specialist, Stephanie Carbone, on August 18th at 9 am. To register, click HERE.

Not able to attend the training, then check out the instructional resources on Nearpod HERE.

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Explore Lessons

Lessons can be found here. Teachers can sort and narrow search results based on grade level and content area.

Articles of Interest

Professional Learning Opportunities

Introduction to Nearpod

Tuesday, Aug. 18th, 9-11am

This is an online event.

Nearpod is an engaging instructional platform that allows for formative assessments and real-time collaboration between students and teachers. By simply importing existing Google Slides/PowerPoints into Nearpod, teachers can add interactive elements to captivate all types of students. Teachers are able to assess student learning in real time through polls, collaborative boards, game-based quizzes and virtual reality. Nearpod allows every student to have a voice and take ownership of their learning. Participants will learn how to set up a free Nearpod account, discover all the interactive features available, and learn how to import/create lessons within the Nearpod Platform. Access information will be sent via Frontline the day before the event.


Google Classroom for Beginners

Wednesday, Aug. 19th, 9-11am

This is an online event.

Many districts are utilizing Google Classroom to help teachers manage their virtual classrooms. It integrates with all the G Suite services including, Google Docs, Gmail, and Google Calendar. Teachers are able to create classes, create assignments, grade and send feedback all within the same platform. In this Introductory session, participants will learn how to set up their own classroom and discover all the features that Google Classroom has available. Access information will be sent via Frontline the day before the event.


Intermediate Google Classroom

Thursday, Aug. 20th, 9-11am

This is an online event.

For those participants who have experience using Google Classroom, this session will provide more advanced tips and best practices to make your classroom organized and easy to navigate. Join Stephanie Carbone, Questar III Model Schools Specialist, as she shares best practices to differentiate instruction/assignments, assigning questions to use as forums, and organizing information. Access information will be sent via Frontline the day before the event.


Introduction to SeeSaw

Monday, Aug. 31st, 9-11am

This is an online event.

Seesaw is an educational platform that connects teachers with students and parents. It is an authentic way for students to show their learning. Participants will walk through creating an account, class, activity, and learn about the features of SeeSaw as an educational resource for teachers to use with students and families. Access information will be sent via Frontline the day before the event.


Employment Opportunities

Academy of Information Technology (AIT) Teacher

Job ID:QTBN0174104-8238

Job Type:Full Time (10 Month)

Application Deadline:08/14/2020

Start Date:09/01/2020

Job Description:

Questar III BOCES announces a vacancy for a full-time (10-month school schedule) probationary Academy for Information Technology (AIT) Teacher located at our Rensselaer Education Center in Troy, NY.

The Information Technology program allows students to choose between two pathways: a Cisco Networking Academy pathway and a Computer Programming pathway. At the beginning of this two-year program, all students start with the fundamentals of both networking, programming, and as well as information technology in general. Students then decide which pathway they want to specialize in.

In the Cisco Networking Academy pathway, students learn how to install, configure and troubleshoot networks using a web based curriculum and a simulation of networking environments to prepare them to be a computer network technician. In the Computer Programming pathway, students learn programming using a variety of languages including HTML, CSS, JavaScript and may include C++, Python, Php and others as time permits. All students will also have opportunities to explore Web Design, 3D Animation and App Design, Programming Microcontrollers and Robots, and Database design.

Minimum Requirements:

  • Candidates must possess (or be willing to pursue) a NYS teaching certification through the Transitional Certification process in the Career and Technical Education (CTE) area of Information Technology (Computer Technology 7-12)
  • High School Diploma and appropriate Occupational Work Experience will qualify a candidate for Transitional Certification

Questar III prefers an online application, please apply at or email resume with cover letter to Be sure to include AIT Teacher in the subject line of your email.

Questar III BOCES offers a competitive salary and excellent benefits package, including enrollment in the NYS Teacher's Retirement Pension System. For more information on the Questar III BOCES AIT program, please visit


Questar III School Library System and Model Schools

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

Stephanie Carbone, Model Schools Specialist

Amanda Karian, School Library System Specialist

Kimberly Harris, Administrative Assistant