Tech Snacks

Byte-Sized Treats to Transform Learning 4.30.19

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What a difference #JustTryTech makes in a parent/teacher conference! We enjoyed a student-led conference in Ms. Pugel’s classroom at Veterans Park this past month. Using Google Slides, Ms. Pugel’s students led the conference with an agenda of key points to make during the conference such as glow and growth goals, classroom behavior self-checks, and benchmark assignments. However, what we fell in love with was the digital storytelling project! Students worked creatively with partners to collaborate, to write, and to illustrate a short story using Google Slides. The digital book was fun to read and gave the students an authentic audience to target as they knew the book would be presented during the conference. Check out the book here.

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After reading the digital story to us, we answered questions at the end of the story and concluded our conference by completing a short survey using Google Forms. This been a great learning experience for our students and parents and has sparked an interest in some of the students to write their own books at home! #Ignition

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That's My Jam!

Jamboard is a free collaborative whiteboard tool you can use to create and edit content with other users. Sign in to Chrome or a Chromebook with your G Suite account, and then go to to play along with the following directions. Select the + button in the bottom-right of the screen to begin a new Jam. This is also where you will open an existing Jam.

With your Jam open, take a look at the controls on the left side of the screen. This is where you can add, edit, and delete content on the board. There’s a variety of drawing tools including an eraser, a color palette, and sticky notes. Add images from your Drive, your computer or from a quick google search. Different pages can be added and manipulated from the top center of the screen.

Just like in other Google tools, share your Jam to collaborate or give another user view-only rights. Jams can even be used in Google Classroom as an assignment, allowing students to view a Jam, all collaborate on one, or give them each their own copy. For even more tools, checkout the free mobile app.

Jamboard has a wide variety of uses! Create a story template for your students, let them show an algebraic expression, illustrate the life cycle of a butterfly, and more. Google’s Teacher Center provides more great classroom examples. Be sure to tweet your ideas and examples to #justtrytech and @fcpsoit.
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Interactive Timelines

Timelines have long been a common student assignment, but it’s time to kick them up a notch. No more poster boards and paper sheets taped together. Let your students put technology to work for them and harness the resources now available by creating interactive timelines. here are many ways to accomplish this, but one great tool is Timeline JS from KnightLab. This free tool that doesn’t require students to login, harnesses the power of a Google Sheet to collect the information, including images, video, sound clips and more. Simply download the Google Sheets template and customize it to create your own interactive timeline that can be embedded in a Google Site or linked to directly. The finished product looks very polished. This resource is even being used by major news outlets, such as Time Magazine. Check it out and make your timelines shine!

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Quizizz: Make Formative Assessment Fun

Quizizz. Do a search for a pre-made review (make sure to check for accuracy before using) or make your own! Students are approved to also create their own Quizizz. Kids will love playing along individually or grouped as a team. If you are looking to control the speed of the review, try Kahoot. The questions appear on the teacher’s screen and students answer on their devices by clicking the shape that matches the correct multiple choice answer. If you are looking for independent practice or homework style, try Quizizz. Student devices show both the questions and the answers as well as the leaderboard to show how they are performing. Both allow the teachers to collect student response data. Keep calm, and quiz on!

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High Contrast - Chrome Web Extension

If you've ever used a Chromebook or other mobile device outside in the bright sunlight, you know just how difficult it can be to read. The suggestions to work under a sheet or towel are less than ideal, and most of us just eventually give up. However, Chromebook users now have a great new tool to make working on the go much easier -- the High Contrast extension in the Chrome Web Store. With the extension, the page contrast can either be increased or the background can be changed to black with white or yellow letters. Now, taking a class of students out to the track or playground to work on Google Docs, web pages, or other online tools will be squint-free!

For a list of other accessibility resources please visit Google’s G Suite User Guide to Accessibility

Video: Accessibility Tools, Tips, and Tricks for Google by Google Teacher Tribe (35:02)
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Upcoming Instructional Technology PD Sessions

Sphero in the Elementary Math Classroom 5/8/2019

Introducing coding and computer science in the elementary classroom can be scary. Why not utilize an easy robotic ball into your math curriculum in order to teach concepts like geometry and sequencing? Join us for a hands-on professional development using a robot every student will love in order to engage or extend students' math understanding. Geared towards 3rd-5th grade teachers but could be adapted for any grade level.

Technology - STEM in Wonders 5/14/2019

Geared towards 3rd and 4th 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.

Innovations for Learning 6/7/19

The Innovations for Learning (IFL) Conference is a one day conference produced by the Office of Instructional Technology at Fayette County Schools. The conference focus is on innovative instructional strategies that engage students to improve learning through the use of technology. We invite you to join us for the 16th annual IFL Conference which will be held June 7, 2019 at Frederick Douglass High School in Lexington, KY.

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