June 27, 2018

Where Did You Go This Summer?

Ancient Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu once stated, "A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step."

Or, today, we could begin with a single AR/VR tool. 

If you haven't yet ventured into using augmented and virtual reality tools, imagine the excitement of bringing literary events to life or exploring underwater caves with your class!  Or, using AR to allow new students to explore your school or practice using a combination lock.  All of this and much more is available using anything from phones to Chromebooks to projected screens. And, almost as cool as the tools, many are totally FREE

Here is a quick list of fantastic free tools you can use right away:

Immersive VR Education
Google Street View

Google Arts & Culture
WWF Free Rivers
Discovery VR
CoSpaces EDU
Qlone - Apple/Android
WallaMe - Apple/Android
FigmentAR - Apple
CatchyAR - Apple

So, what will you tell everyone when they ask, "Where did you go this summer?" 
How will your journey begin? Where will you go?

Already traveled by AR or VR with your class? Tell us all about it! 
Want to learn how to try some of this with your class?  Contact your ETS Consultant!

June 13, 2018

Schools Out for Summer

The walls are bare, boxes are packed, and keys have been turned in. Hopefully a relaxing summer is on the horizon for you. As educators our minds tend to never drift too far away from our classrooms because we are constantly reflecting and thinking ahead of what's to come.

We encourage you to take this time to rest up because there is so much in store once you return. The ETS team will be presenting during Summer Institute, July 18-20. Our goal is to help you start the upcoming year off right. The session descriptions can be found below. Until then, enjoy your break!

Summer Institute Sessions 

(Presented by the ETS Team)

July 18-20

  • Less Is More, Rethink & Eliminate
    • This session will allow you time to prepare for the upcoming school year. We will provide tips to help you organize your drive, build lesson plan templates, and create forms to help you start the year off right.
  • If You Build It, They Will Come
    • This session is a continuation of the Less is More, Rethink and Eliminate. We will use this time to build content for the upcoming school year.
  • FOCUS-Management of the Connected Classroom
    • This session will provide resources, tips and tools for management of the digital classroom.
Watch your email for registration information. Have a great Summer!

April 30, 2018

Smart Learning Suite

Do you often feel like you could be doing more with your Smartboard?

The Smart Learning Suite is your first step in unlocking the interactive features of your Smartboard. Smart Learning Suite includes Smart Notebook and its related components as well as Smart Learning Suite Online.

Smart Notebook allows teachers to create lessons and assessments which incorporate the interactive features of the Smartboard. Teachers can create lessons and assessments in minutes or download preexisting lessons from Smart Exchange. 

Smart Response allows teachers to make assessments that students can answer using their devices. Teachers can quickly take a poll or make a quiz without the need to log out of Smart notebook.

Smart Learning Suite Online is an online classroom tool where teachers can post and create lessons. Teachers can also store their Smart notebook lessons using the online features. Any connected device can access Smart Learning Suite Online and students can connect using a class code.

Tired of standing at the front of the room to use your Smartboard? Download the App for iPhone and control your lessons from your phone!

*If you haven’t downloaded Smart Notebook 17, you may do so by clicking on the Symantec Software Portal on your desktop. The process is automated and may take a few minutes to begin.

 Need Smartboard Training?

Smart Professional Development offers several options for self-paced training which offer teachers practice and the opportunity to earn digital badges and become a Smart Digital Educator while earning PD credit.

April 11, 2018

OKCPS Leader Spotlight: Innovative Leading

It is widely accepted, administrators are the instructional leaders in their building and can hold great power in inspiring others through good leadership. An article in THE Journal, written by Jennifer Demski, titled "7 Habits of Highly Effective Tech-leading Principals" discusses the findings of a nationwide survey of principals who were asked to weigh in and identify the attributes they believed strong tech-leaders would hold. The survey concluded strong tech-leading principals would do one or more of the following:
  1. Create atmospheres that inspire innovation
  2. Foster collaboration
  3. Be open to new ideas
  4. Be connected learners themselves
  5. Locate and provide adequate resources
  6. Take risks
  7. Have a visionary focus

Aaron Kellert is the principal at FD Moon Elementary. He is only one of many principals in our district who displays the aforementioned habits of highly effective tech-leading principals. He sees the importance of technology in classrooms as well as the implications its use can have on student learning.

Something that stands out about Mr. Kellert is the way he leads his teachers by example. It is important to note, Mr. Kellert never asks his staff to implement or try anything he is not willing to do first or alongside his teachers. A great example of this is becoming a Google Certified Educator. Over Spring Break, he invested the time to get his Level 1 Certification as well as several OKCPS ETS Badges. It should also be noted, Ashton Stewart, Assistant Principal at FD Moon Elementary, has also earned Level 1 Certification. 

Great leadership creates great leaders. When schools are supported from administration, it trickles down to teachers and ultimately our students. In that scenario, everyone wins. When individuals feel supported and there is a continuous pattern of growth and success.

Below, you will find Mr. Kellert's input on technology, innovation, and leadership.

March 28, 2018

OKCPS Educator Spotlight

As I discover new tools I am anxious to share them with fellow educators. I look forward to hearing the feedback and hoping they find them as awesome and exciting as I do. I am fortunate to be working with someone who is just as excited to share new ideas as I am.

Marlene White is currently the Instructional Coach at Heronville Elementary and has been an educator for 13 years. As an Instructional Coach she has embraced a variety of digital tools to introduce to her fellow educators and help them fully implement their visions. I had an opportunity to converse with with Marlene about some of the tools she is using and the impact they have in her career.
Marlene White

How has technology changed the way you work? 

It has helped me collaborate with educators globally through social media. Apps and software have brought new opportunities for teachers and students to gain knowledge, access opportunities, research in a revolutionary way and foster a love of learning.

What are some great examples of technology integration you are seeing in the classroom?

Google Classroom, shared lesson planning and data digs through google drive, RTI, graphing through google sheets, Trello for lesson planning, apps for individualized instruction and centers for Kindergarten, Flipgrid for formative assessment, Skype for live author interviews, Remind for parent updates,  group me for school wide updates, Adobe Spark for hooking kids and building on their prior knowledge.

Share any thoughts you have about the evolving worlds of education.

Ed tech has so many opportunities to personalize how we communicate, how we are shaking up the role of educators, changing philosophical shifts in approaches to our teaching and learning, and remodeling the way we view our classroom.

The Challenge

Marlene has challenged her teachers to use a new tool each month. This month's challenge in Flipgrid. Below are several of the tools she mentioned. The ETS team challenges you to try one of the tools below. We would like your feedback on tools you are currently using in the classroom and how they have impacted your classroom.