RUSD Ed Tech News and Notes

October 2015


Welcome to the monthly RUSD Ed Tech News and Notes! This newsletter will contain a few tech tips and tricks you can use in your classroom and school site. It will also spotlight the innovative ways teachers, administrators, and staff are using technology in order to transform the learning experiences of our students. Finally, upcoming Mash Up Monday sessions will be shared so you can mark your calendars to attend these personalized PD events created with your needs in mind!

If you are struggling to view the YouTube videos in this flyer, please open a new tab and go to YouTube. When you see the blocked message like the one below, click login. On the next screen, enter your RUSD email and password. You should now be able to access YouTube. Go back to the tab with the flyer and click refresh. The videos should now be visible.

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Ed Tech Community of Practice Meeting

Thursday, Oct. 1st, 3:30-5:30pm

Telesis Academy

All teachers are invited to participate in the 2015-2016 Ed Tech CoP! We had a great first meeting last month and are looking to continue the spark of curiosity and excitement. At our meeting this month, we will begin to explore the TPACK framework and how our technological, pedagogical, and content knowledge will lead us to a personal inquiry question. Just like last time, we'll end with a Demo Slam! You won't want to miss it!

Digital Citizenship

This October is Digital Citizenship month. As students today have access to a wide range of information in their pockets, we need to prepare them to navigate the Internet safely and productively. The video below explains what Digital Citizenship is and why it is important for all students to engage in activities that help build awareness and knowledge.
What is Digital Citizenship?

RUSD Prepares Digital Citizens

During the month of October, please take time to review the lessons linked below. There are lessons designed for every grade level TK-12. This year RUSD will focus on 2 aspects of digital literacy: Information Literacy and Relationships & Communication. All RUSD students grades TK-12 will engage in lessons on these 2 topics by the end of January 2016.

Information Literacy:

According to Common Sense Media, "Information Literacy includes the ability to identify, find, evaluate, and use information effectively. From effective search strategies to evaluation techniques, students learn how to evaluate the quality, credibility, and validity of websites, and give proper credit." For this component of digital citizenship, we are striving to ensure that our students are able to use digital tools to effectively seek out and use information. In a global, 21st century environment, this is a very important skill for students to have as these are the type of things they will be asked to do in their future endeavors.

Relationships and Communication:

For the Relationships and Communication aspect of digital citizenship, Common Sense Media: "Students reflect on how they can use intrapersonal and interpersonal skills to build and strengthen positive online communication and communities. They delve into the concept of digital citizenship and digital ethics, and they reflect on their online interactions.

Lessons and Resources:

The link below contains a folder with grade-specific lessons you can teach to cover these 2 aspects of Digital Citizenship. In order to view the folder you must sign in with your RUSD Google account (

RUSD Digital Citizenship Month

All students in RUSD are expected to participate in their grade-appropriate lesson by the end of January 2016. If you need help implementing these lessons, please contact Brandi (

When you have finished completing these lessons, please fill out the survey below to provide us with feedback. You will need to be signed in with your RUSD Google account.

Tech Tools


Newsela is a personalized reading service designed to help students in grades 3 to 12 master non-fiction literacy by providing daily news articles at five reading levels. Your class can read the same content, but at their level. The site includes quizzes and annotation features for students to practice close reading. From the teacher dashboard, you can easily see who's read the article, what annotations have been done, and how students did on the quiz. There is even a share button to allow you to assign an article and share it in Google Classroom!

For a quick overview of features, click here.

Click here to learn how to share to Google Classroom.

Getting Started in Newsela: 3 Easy Steps

Front Row Math

Front Row is an adaptive math program that helps students practice math at their own pace and helps teachers target individual students and small groups for lessons. Front Row is Common Core aligned and includes immediate feedback via quick videos for students to watch that will help them with specific problems they are working on. The teacher dashboard provides a great overview of student progress and mastery toward grade level standards. For our youngest learners and those who might need extra support, Front Row has the ability to read questions aloud. There is also built in scratch paper and virtual manipulatives. Front Row works on all devices and can be used in 1-to-1 settings, as well as on shared devices.

Getting Started Guide
The Front Row Dashboard

Spotlight on...

Rorimer Elementary Teacher Maria Jimenez

Maria 4th, 5th, and 6th grade special ed. She is using Google Drive to help her students with reading and writing. Maria also has her students use the voice recording feature to allow her students to speak instead of typing in Google Docs!

Hurley Elementary Teachers Victor Guzman and Clara Arcadia

Victor and Clara are 6th grade teachers at Hurley Elementary who have been bitten by the tech bug! They are using Class Dojo as a way to support the home-school connection, QR Codes to engage students in learning, and Google to support reading and writing. They have attended multiple Mash Up Monday sessions and continue to grow in their quest to integrate technology into their instruction!
We'd love to spotlight how you are using technology to inspire students, teachers, and staff. Please email me so I can come out and snap pictures of your fabulous work!
Mash Up Monday on Oars.webm

Aeries Gradebook Basic Level

Monday, Oct. 5th, 3:30pm

Hollingworth Elementary, Computer Lab

For teachers, administrators, and classified staff

Apps to Engage Young Writers

Monday, Oct. 12th, 3:30-4:30pm

Rowland Elementary, Room 21

For teachers, administrators, and classified staff

Aeries Gradebook for Beginners

Monday, Oct. 12th, 3:30-4:30pm

Blandford, Room 66

For teachers, administrators, and classified staff

Renaissance: Basic Level (STAR Reading/STAR Early Literacy/STAR Math)

Monday, Oct. 12th, 3:30-4:30pm

Hollingworth Elementary, Computer Lab

For teachers, administrators, and classified staff


Monday, Oct. 19th, 3:30-4:30pm

Jellick Elementary, P1

For teachers, administrators, and classified staff

OARS: Basic Level

Monday, Oct. 19th, 3:30-4:30pm

Hollingworth Elementary, Computer Lab

For teachers, administrators, and classified staff

QR Codes 101: Engaging students, parents, and the community

Monday, Oct. 19th, 3:30-4:30pm

Telesis Academy, D-7

For teachers, administrators, and classified staff

Blackboard/Parent Link's Teacher Reach

Monday, Oct. 19th, 3:30-4:30pm

Alvarado Intermediate School, Computer Lab

For teachers, administrators, and classified staff

Aeries Gradebook: Basic Level

Monday, Oct. 26th, 3:30-4:30pm

Hollingworth Elementary, Computer Lab

For teachers, administrators, and classified staff

Drive through the Writing Process

Monday, Nov. 2nd, 3:30-4:30pm

Hurley Elementary, Computer Lab Room 13

For teachers, administrators, and classified staff

Fall RUSD EdCamp

Monday, Nov. 9th, 3:30-6pm

Nogales High School

This is the first of our 2 district EdCamps. An EdCamp is an unconference where participants drive the learning. Come ready to share, question, collaborate, and learn!

After the learning, we'll continue the fun at a local restaurant!

Other Ed Tech Learning Opportunities


Saturday, Oct. 3rd, 7:45am-12:30pm

Downey High School

EdCamp 605 is a FREE "unconference". It is where educators will come together, share ideas, ask questions, and learn something new. It is specifically designed for teachers and their needs. Edcamps are designed to provide participant-driven professional development for educators. The conference is not preplanned. The sessions are built by the educators that come to the conference. There are no guest speakers and no boring presentations. Click here to register.

SGVCUE Tech Fair

Saturday, Oct. 17th, 8am-3:30pm

Covina High School

The 2015 Tech Fair offers a wide variety of hands-on workshops and presentations. Check out our fantastic list of sessions and presenters so you can be as excited as we are about the offerings for this year's Tech Fair. We know you will find many of them just "calling your name".

This is a paid event. Click here for pricing to register.


Saturday, Nov. 7th, 8am-3pm

California State University Fullerton (Mihaylo Hall)

This EdCamp is a FREE event where participants drive the sessions and the learning. Click here to register.

EdCamp Azuza

Saturday, Nov. 14th, 8am-12pm

Azuza Pacific University

Edcamp is a non-traditional style conference, or "unconference" designed by educators, for educators. Unlike traditional conferences with schedules and workshops planned months in advance, by those running the conference, Edcamp's agenda is created by the participants, at the start of the event. Discussions and hands-on sessions are encouraged over lecture and presentation. Edcamp is designed using principles of connected and participatory learning in conjunction with professional collaboration. Attendees come together to discuss topics that matter to them: their interests, passions, areas of expertise, and questions. Anyone attending Edcamp may choose to propose a session they want to lead. The idea is that participants in each session will collaborate to build understanding of the topic, share knowledge, and ask questions. Click here to register for this FREE event.

Did you miss last month's News and Notes?