Teachers with Techitude

A monthly tech newsletter for the awesome HESD staff

In this February 2018 edition:

  • STRATEGIES (PicCollage and Newsela, Black History month)
  • OPPORTUNITIES (Tech Talk, COAST and a PIRATE review)
  • ANNOUNCEMENTS (iPad updates, shut down reminders, and Be More Dog! what?)
  • plus some flashback news at the end
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Encourage students to show understanding with photos!

You know you have created a student centered task when the goal ISN'T that they all turn in identical products.

Challenge yourself to plan for your students to use the CAMERA on their iPads this month. Here's one idea-- give them a prompt or category (things I love, things with 4 sides, solids/liquids/gases) and have them take 4-6 photos that fit the prompt. PIC COLLAGE EDU (iPads) is the perfect app to put those photos into a collage they can add to a Google Doc and write about, or add to Seesaw and record audio explaining their thinking.

How could this fit with science? With their independent reading book? With Lucy Calkins writing?



Reading informational texts with NEWSELA

There is no question--- newsela is a fantastic resource to help link any topic in your classroom to informational text and let the paired content make your lesson more rigorous!

When searching for articles to assign to students, look for text sets to find articles that relate to each other. The big tip, though, is to look on the left side of the search screen.

Filter for

- MAX 6 to find articles with 5 levels between 2nd and 6th (instead of going up to the level of the original article)

- POWER WORDS to find articles with vocabulary defined within the article

- PRO RESOURCES to find articles with lesson suggestions included. Add a focus statement at the top of the article, include a couple annotation suggestions-- it is all there for you to copy and paste as it meets the needs of your students.



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Time for Tech Talk!

You know what is a great idea on an early release day? COOKIES! And maybe some answers to some techy questions. Watch for more info (including the date for your school) in the teachers lounge.

This month, I will be on campus from 2:00-3:00 with a few specific purposes.

  • Answer questions about using technology in your classroom
  • Show you where you can find training any time you want
  • Give you cookies and a smile!
Stop by if you would like to say hi, grab a cookie, and talk tech! All are welcome, none are required!

First dates scheduled:

Parkview-- this Wed, Feb. 7 in room 5

Williams-- this Thurs, Feb. 8 in the lounge

Haycox-- next Tues, Feb. 13 in room 37


NEW!! {Pack your Beach Bag} and get your tshirt faster!!

Want to learn new tech skills?

Are you playing COAST? Collaborative, Online, Activity Based, Self Paced Training is the thing to get you the training you want, WHEN you want! Go to alludolearning.com and sign in (top right corner) with your @hsdschools.org Google account, then you are ready to get started!

Teacher and admin are earning t-shirts, upgraded teacher iPads and 5 teachers earned a trip to the CUE conference in Palm Springs next month... what are you waiting for?

Surfs Up--- the latest teachers with new tshirts and iPads!

February is the month to FALL IN LOVE with COAST!!

We are shaking up the levels a little bit, so you will get a tshirt sooner-- and if you are wanting an upgraded iPad instead of the one you have, this is the ticket!

In addition to the level incentives, February has some new prizes!

This month only--- the school with the highest percentage of teachers + admin who earn at least 100 points in the month of Feb will win something tasty to enjoy! Can we get you to play with DONUTS? We'll see! And, you never know when coffee delivery may be included for top players, too!


Teach Like a Pirate

The opportunity has passed, but the glow lives on! Every school had teachers at this event and I hope you have heard about it if you weren't there, because the inspiration was real! It is an movement for everyone! Creating experiences to engage students pays off in student learning! Ask around, read the book, get the audiobook, get the book in Chinese if you want, because it has been translated into at least four languages (I think Chinese is one of them...)!

(thank you for posting photos in Twitter and the Alludo game!)

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Student iPad news

This past weekend (Feb 3-4) we sent the latest iOS 11 update to all student iPads that haven't updated yet. This will help keep them working smoothly, and prepare for some cool iPad stuff (info coming later). You can update your teacher iPad as well.

Why am I telling you this?

You may notice white screens when your students turn on their iPads next week. But we are teachers. We will not panic or create chaos. We will handle this in our usual calm, cool and collected way!

WE WILL NOT SIGN IN WITH AN APPLE ID-- NO-- because we know that is not necessary.

WE WILL NOT ASK FOR A WIFI PASSWORD--NO-- because it is already in the ipad, we just may need to restart the iPad to give it a second chance at connecting.

This quick video for you and your students may help!

(and really, when is the last time you had your students shut down their iPads using the top button until the slider shows on the screen? You might be surprised how much better they work with weekly restarts! I know I don't do this as often as I should! Yikes!)



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Let them sleep well for the weekend; shut them down on Friday!


Be More Dog!

Are you starting to feel a little overwhelmed? Are you noticing your students are a little apathetic? Let this funny video add a phrase to your self talk and encouragement vocabulary, and let's all find the fun in what we do! Be more dog!


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Digital Citizenship--- a thread woven, rather than a lesson taught

The appropriate time to teach digital citizenship is always now. You probably are familiar with the one lesson your grade level teaches, but there are four more. Look though your grade level, and earlier grade levels, and use the lessons that meet the needs of your students. It is important that we are all learning how to be safe online!

Click here to see your Digital Citizenship resource options!


Donors Choose is awesome, but...

PLEASE, before requesting anything technology related, run it past the tech department.

Not all devices (color printers, tablets etc) can be connected to our network, and not all apps/sites required (to use robots, for example) can be loaded on our iPads or used on our Chromebooks for privacy policy reasons.

This is NOT a time for "ask forgiveness, not permission", but it IS an example of "look before you leap"

We want you and your students to have cool stuff, but technology has some parameters you probably aren't aware of. Help US help YOU, see what I'm sayin?


Thanks for reading! Just for fun... have you seen this?



Liz Hoppe, technology resource teacher

Looking for information from past newsletters? See the archive on our Tech Department page (click here)