OS Educational Technology News

February 2016

This issue of the newsletter contains information about the Cyber Innovation Resources Showcase being held in Lansing on February 11; Digital Learning Day 2016; how to add sharing apps for Britannica Encyclopedia resources to iOS and Chrome devices; links to Google Cultural Institute complete with amazing new resources for Black History Month; EduPaths with a link to the professional learning resources; a link to the webinar recording for Using Google Classroom; summaries and links for new courses/units/lessons posted on the MILearns Online Portal; and more.


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The Cyber Innovation Center (CIC), in partnership with the Michigan Department of Education and the Department of Technology, Management, & Budget, will be offering a one-day professional development session for K-12 educators and administrators. This session will showcase robust Cyber & STEM curricula developed by the CIC's team of university faculty, master teachers and subject matter experts.

Who Should Attend?

  • Middle School Math, Science, Technology, English Language Arts, and Technology Teachers
  • High School Math, Science, English Language Arts, Technology, Career and Technical Education, and Computer Science Teachers
  • CTE and Math Science Center Directors
  • Middle and High School Principals

Date, Time & Location Information

  • Thursday, February 11, 2016
  • 8:30am - 3:30pm
  • Aeronautics Building, Capital City Airport, Lansing, Michigan

For more information and a link to registration, please click here.

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Started in 2012, Digital Learning Day has provided a powerful venue for educators to highlight great teaching practice and showcase innovative teachers, leaders, and instructional technology programs that are improving student outcomes. The grassroots effort blossomed into a massive nationwide celebration as teachers realized that Digital Learning Day is not about technology, it’s about learning. Digital Learning Day promotes the effective use of modern day tools to improve the learning experience in K-12 public schools.

This year Digital Learning Day is February 17, 2016. Celebrate education innovation by sharing how you will reimagine learning in your classroom, program, school or district. This could involve pairing up less experienced educators with more experienced ones to do a joint digital lesson or trying out new ways of using technology in classrooms. Whatever you do—however big or small—makes a difference! I hope you will all be joining in the celebration! Click here to register your event. Click here to browse activities and ideas to jumpstart planning for your event.

Accessing Britannica School Just Got Easier!!

As hopefully you all know, Michigan eLibrary (MeL) recently added the content of Britannica School to their databases. In particular, Michigan residents have access to the following databases from Britannica: Britannica School, Elementary, Middle, High, and Learning Zone. Within each database, teachers have access to lesson plans based on current Common Core standards and the ability to search based on standards. Articles have a read-aloud feature and come in 2-3 different reading levels.

There is now fast, easy, and obvious access to Britannica School! Sharing Apps are now available for both iOS and Chrome devices. These apps place an icon on the user’s device that links them directly to Britannica School. The directions on how to install the Apps are available here.

Google Cultural Institute

The Google Cultural Institute gives users virtual accessing to exhibits and collections from museums and archives all around the world. Use this resource to explore cultural treasures in extraordinary detail, from hidden gems to masterpieces.

In recognition of Black History Month, the Google Cultural Institute is providing a unique virtual experience to better explore and pay tribute to black history.

This week the online institute, which boasts an impressive collection of digital artwork contributed by museums, released more than 4,000 new items that document different moments throughout the history of black America.

The new experience will come with over 80 exhibits and three expeditions -- immersive virtual reality journeys to cultural hubs like the jazz scene in New Orleans. Street views will virtually transport users to culturally significant locations across the country like the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, and the Museum of African American History in New England.

Meanwhile, new digital artifacts include historically relevant items like the original manuscripts of Dr. Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" and "I've Been to the Mountaintop” speeches, as well as photographs of King's handshake with President Lyndon B. Johnson on the day the Voting Rights Act was signed into law in 1965.

Historical institutes like the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture contributed to the collection by digitizing portions of their archives. One exhibit pays tribute to masterminds like Alvin Ailey and Martha Graham, who played an important role in the journey of black dancers and helped to highlight their work in contemporary dance.

Also among the artifacts is a letter Frederick Douglass wrote to his slave master in 1857. "I love you but I hate slavery," Douglass wrote, going on to explain why he felt the need to stay in touch with his former master even after he escaped.

These new additions document critical moments of black history in interactive and innovative methods. They provide us with unprecedented new ways to help ensure these important moments and markers of history are not forgotten -- not only in February, but year-round.

Thank you @AnnLlewellyn for telling me about this amazing resource!

Click on the link below to view a short, introductory video about the Google Cultural Center.

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EduPaths sets a new course for TRIG Classroom Readiness. In August 2013, the Michigan State Board of Education adopted Section 22i grant criteria that established a grant activity to build the capacity of educators at districts and ISDs to effectively plan and implement online assessments and “Any Time, Any Place, Any Way, Any Pace” learning. For two years educators across the state of Michigan took part in the Teacher Training Technology (T3) course. In spring of 2014, four goals were added to the original vision of TRIG Classroom Readiness:

  • Multiple on and off ramps
  • Meet the needs of diverse learners
  • Survey to pinpoint interests and needs
  • Form sustainable network across the state of Michigan

EduPaths was created as the result of visioning sessions with educators and organizations from all over the state of Michigan. The goal of EduPaths is to connect educators to opportunities for professional learning. These opportunities support technology readiness and instructional practice.

EduPaths will:

  • Help educators identify learning interests or needs
  • Link to meaningful options for professional learning
  • Award SCECHs and Badges
  • Connect to Statewide resources and opportunities
  • Align with Continuous Cycle of School Improvement and MTSS Framework

Check out the FREE online, self paced, professional learning opportunities now available at EduPaths For a quick overview of this resource, access the video here.

Webinar Recording: Using Google Classroom for Online Blended Learning

The recording of the webinar, "Using Google Classroom for Online Blended Learning," facilitated by Malena Schrauben and Collin Nuismer, middle school teachers from the Portage School District has been posted by REMCAM's MILearns Online team. The webinar covered the following topics:

  • Blended learning and how Google Classroom supports it
  • Google Classroom from the Student and Teacher Perspectives
  • Tools that work well with Google Classroom

The recording can be accessed here: Using Google Classroom for Online Blended Learning Webinar Recording

The presentation used during the webinar can be accessed here: Google Classroom presentation

Courses/Units/Lessons from MILearns Online!

The following 4 online learning courses/units/lessons have been added to the MiLearns Online Portal. All of these resources are housed in Moodle and can easily be added to your district's Moodle for you to edit and use. Access the entire catalog of courses/units/lessons on the MILearns Online portal here: Course Catalog

Exploring Space

Grade 5

Exploring Space is designed to teach basic information about our solar system. By completing each step, students learn about planets, stars, and other objects in space. Each step takes approximately one hour to complete.


What is a Science Fair?

Grade 6

A typical science fair is a collection of experiments done by students. Each experiment clearly demonstrates the steps of the scientific method that the student followed to complete the experiment. The science fair takes place on one day where all participants set up a booth to showcase what they have done. In this course, the science fair will be completed in class and showcased in a digital format. A digital format means that once student projects are completed, they will put their end products, along with pictures of their steps along the way, online. Students can then view each other's projects on any device with an Internet connection.


Speak: Elements of Fiction and Critical Lenses

Grade 9

This unit is aimed at 9th grade, but can easily be adapted up or down for 8th-10th graders. This unit explores three critical lenses, some intermediate-level elements of fiction, and works on reading and vocabulary strategies with an eye toward solid comprehension. The novel Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson is required.


Great Lakes Ecology

Grades 9-13

An overview of the Great Lakes throughout time. Students will discover how the Great Lakes were formed into their present state and what current changes will shape the future of these amazing lakes. Students will look at many factors including: ecology, industry, history, current research and more. Brought to you by the Duluth Aquarium.


Stay Up to Date with the Oakland Schools Information Center!

The Oakland Schools Information Center Newsletter contains information on apps, new books in the collection, MeL database features and other topics related to literature and technology. Past issues of the newsletter are archived on the Information Center web page.

If you would like to receive the IC Newsletter contact Judy Hauser at judy.hauser@oakland.k12.mi.us and ask to be added to the IC Newsletter list.

To receive more frequent updates from the Oakland Schools Information Center, be sure to follow the Oakland Schools IC Twitter feed at: https://twitter.com/osinfocenter


Oakland Schools Educational Technology Twitter posts can be found at: os_edtech

When you are posting to Twitter about things related to educational technology, don't forget to use the hashtag: #oakedtech

Using the hashtag will help all of us Oakland County educators, who are interested in the effective use of educational technology, to connect and better collaborate with each other.

Oakland Schools Educational Technology Consultants

Laura Cummings



Judy Nichols