TCEA 2014

Takeaways for Teachers and Students!

What is TCEA?

TCEA (Texas Computer Educator's Association) is a conference held each February in our state capitol, Austin. This week-long event is a gathering of educators from all over the country sharing best practices (including the good, the bad and the ugly of the journey). Below are some resources I found most beneficial for RISD teachers and students.

The Question

How can, in the hands of my students, these resources support a deeper understanding of concepts?


Remember, in today's digital world the products your students create using these resources should not be the unit with which you measure their understanding.

New Tools for Old Tricks


  • Smore.com (this webpage is a Smore.com product - create digital newsletters/flyers)
  • Padlet.com (digital message board/parking lot idea)
  • Tackk.com (customize your digital message then share on your social media networks)
  • The above require no login for viewers (students, parents, community, etc.) and are free!

Microsoft's Partners in Learning Network

Microsoft's PIL Network is a free resource for educators that works will the Office Suite already installed on our district machines!


Watch the video below for a great overview of all it offers and how it works.


Click here to create an account.


Click here to access the download page for the Microsoft Learning Suite highlighted in the overview video. (Click the download button, save the .msi file to your computer, run it, allow.)


The MS Learning Suite is a great way to get started without having to sort through the thousands of resources on the site. Think of it as a preview, but don't be surprised when it offers exactly what you were looking (hoping) for!

Microsoft Pil-Network

Google Chrome

As you know, Chrome is Google's browser. You may also know Chrome offers apps, but Chrome Extensions may be new to you. Extensions are additions to your Chrome browser (icons appear in your toolbar) aimed at enhancing and adding efficiency to your online experience.


  • Incredible Startpage (customize your Chrome homepage)
  • Black Menu (access the features of your Google Drive from your toolbar)
  • Goo.gl (quickly shorten long URLs)
  • Explain and Send Screenshots (grab a section, even an entire webpage, annotate and share)


You must log in to Chrome to install and use the features above. Use your RISD Google Apps (@g.risd.org) or personal Gmail account to log in.


Any customization you add will appear any time you open Chrome and log in, no matter the device.


To browse and install Chrome Extensions visit the Google Chrome Store.

Everybody Chromercise