Tech Integration Newsletter

Vol. 2 Issue 10 February 2017

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Omaha Virtual School Named Microsoft School

So what is a Microsoft School? Microsoft schools are identified as working to transform education and integrate technology into school wide programing, classrooms and lessons through use of Microsoft solutions, programs or devices.

Congratulations to the staff, students, and parents of the Omaha Virtual School. They are true pioneers in the digital age. A sign of the dedication and commitment to this program less than a year old.

Interested in applying? Go HERE.

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School Spotlight

This issue's School Spotlight will showcase how Pam Stanek and Pam Schmeits at Jefferson Elementary collaborated to integrate technology for a tribute to Martin Luther King. This is a great example of how creativity, communication and collaboration play a role in student learning. Check out the sway to see kindergarten students apply their learning.

Click on the Image below to View the Sway

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In an effort to provide increased access to technology throughout our district, we've seen an increased need to clearly communicate about what apps (applications, websites, software, and hardware) are approved for district use.

We have worked with Microsoft to develop the App Standards Management Tool (aka App Approval Tool). This tool is available to all district employees and serves the following functions:

  • It provides a growing list of all approved technology and the technology that we do not support
  • It gives district employees an opportunity to submit requests for the use of new technology (both apps and hardware) in our district
  • Is serves as digital system for selected committee members to both vet apps for students safety and vote to determine use within our district

The App Standards Management Tool can be found within Office 365 as a tile called "Approved Technology" in your Microsoft App Launcher. The below is more information on the tool and how you can use it to enhance learning in your classroom or to provide you with the tools you need in your department to support student instruction.

We understand that currently, you may be utilizing many apps and technology tools in your classrooms that have not currently been put through this process and that is understandable. We don't want you to discontinue use of EdTech tools you're currently using in your classroom. Our goal is to follow this process moving forward in order to find safe technology tools for students which enhance learning objectives.

We look forward to continuing to meet your technology needs!

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Instructional Technology Leadership Program

The OPS Instructional Technology Leadership (ITL) Endorsement Program has been established through a partnership with Concordia University. It began in May 2016 and will continue through June of 2017. Here are some highlights from ITL members in the below Sway.

Click on Image Above to View the Sway

2017 NETA Winners!

Congratulations to the following students and teachers for placing in the 2017 Nebraska Educational Technology Association (NETA) competition:

Derek Babb, a computer science teacher from Omaha North High Magnet School earned the Excellence in Teaching with Technology Award. This award is given to teachers who has shown outstanding effort in using technology in their classroom and who have collaborated with community partners in technology.

Rich Carlson, an informational technology teacher at Omaha North High Magnet School, worked with his student, Olivia B., on a video projected called, “Cooking with Crafts.” This video featured breakfast with a twist! Household items become food. Olivia’s video took

2nd place.

Natalie Runyon, a business education teacher at Omaha North High Magnet School, worked with her student, Ciera P. on a still image called, “Viking Storm.” This still image took 3rd place and was taken at a football game with perfect contrast of bright clothing

and a stormy sky. Ms. Runyon also worked with Ciera P., Michaela T., and Kendyl P. in creating a 1st place video called, “To Write Love on Her Arms.” This video was a P.S.A. for the To Write Love on her Arms support organization to help those coping with depression. In addition, Ms. Runyon also worked with Ciera P. and Michaela T.

on a video project called, “To Omaha,” which is a short film about falling in love. This video took 3rd place.

Grant Torpin, an information technology teacher at Alice Buffett Magnet Middle School, worked with two of his broadcasting students, Sam S. and Willa R., to produce a 1st place video. These two students met the band Through Fire at their latest music

video shoot. The video interview focused on what it’s like being from Omaha and finding success in the music industry.

If you are interested in seeing these winning projects, you may click on the NETA web site link after they post the projects March 1st, 2017.

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F2F (Face-2-Face) Professional Learning

Please contact a trainer directly for any training needs. Trainers are happy to come out to buildings to provide instructional technology training.

Classified Staff/TAC: Debra Bordenkecher

Elementary Building Trainers: Melissa Cleaver, Eileen Heller, McKenzie White
Secondary Building Trainers: Kelly Means, Amy Vester

Technology Training Team

Melissa Cleaver:
Instructional Technology Trainer, Project Coordinator
Debra Bordenkecher: Technology Trainer
Eileen Heller:
Instructional Technology Trainer, Elementary Lead Teacher
Keegan Korf:
Common Sense Media, Digital Citizenship Lead Teacher
Kelly Means:
Instructional Technology Trainer, Project Coordinator
Amy Vester:
Instructional Technology Trainer, Secondary Lead Teacher
McKenzie White:
Instructional Technology Trainer, Library Lead Teacher
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