Week of 1-12-15

· Tech Tips, Uncategorized

This was an excellent week, busy, but excellent.  I apologize if I did not get a chance to meet with you this week.  I will make every effort to catch up with those I missed this week while I’m on campus next week.

Many great things happening across the campuses.  Students creating videos and presentations though iPads, teachers developing interactive white board lessons and planning iPad activities, students using their e-mail to communicate with both teachers and administrators; these are just a few of the great things going on in recent weeks.  We have students who are setting up their e-mail on their smart phones and portable devices.  Teachers and students using social media as an educational tool; how cool it this?  This is awesome.  There are so many great things happening and coming up.  I would love to work with you on future activities.  Let me know how I can help.

At a Glance:

INTERACT 2015website

Since 2008, the Instructional Technology Team has invited instructional staff to attend INTERACT Academy, a unique professional development opportunity which focuses on helping educators use high-yield instructional strategies and 21st Century Learning Design to plan engaging learner-centered lessons that result in increased student achievement.   It’s once again time for your staff to begin thinking about forming campus teams and completing their “Intent to Apply” forms.  While the procedures for team selection have not changed, team membership guidelines HAVE changed.  Because of these changes, we wanted to take a moment to highlight a few of the INTERACT Application details.

Though links to these details were sent to all staff members earlier today, we would love for you to remind your instructional staff to apply to attend INTERACT during an upcoming staff meeting, or through other staff communication.  Below you’ll find a list of FAQ’s your staff members may ask about INTERACT.


Q:  What is INTERACT?

A:  View a short, high-energy video overview of INTERACT Academy – https://www.youtube.com/v/cmVFnBgdUGY   **Perfect to feature at an upcoming staff-meeting!

Q:  When is INTERACT 2015?

A:  June 8-12, 2015

Q: How many teams are chosen to attend?


  • Elementary, Middle Schools & Junior High Schools = 1 Team per Campus 
  • High Schools = 2 Teams per Campus

Q:  Can more than 1 team per campus apply to attend?

A:  YES!  Friendly competition between applicant teams at the same campus is encouraged.

Q:  How many people can be on an INTERACT team?

A:  2-4 instructional staff members may be on a team.  Guidelines regarding “Who can be on a Team” are spelled out on iCafe.  http://goo.gl/gXc8Jx

Q:  Can past INTERACT participants attend INTERACT?

A:  YES!  New this year… **INTERACT participants who attended more than 5 years ago, are now eligible to re-attend the academy!**   This year, this means that anyone who attended in 2008-2009 is eligible to re-attend.

Q:  How do I apply to attend INTERACT?

A:  All application forms & important details are posted on iCafe – http://goo.gl/A3uVoC

Q: How are teams chosen to attend INTERACT?

A:  Teams will be chosen based on the overall combined score of the following items:

  • Average Score of Individual Application (Blind Scored by CITS Team)
  • Team Video Application Score (See Rubric)
  • Administrator Referral Score

More information can be found on iCafe – http://goo.gl/Zc2Vpu

Q: What are the deadlines for applying?


  • Intent to Apply Form – Jan 29
  • Individual Applications – Feb 26
  • Team Video Application – Feb 26

I will continue to keep you in the loop regarding the application process, and am looking forward to another successful Academy!  If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to let me know!


Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus website

LCISD has upgraded to Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus!  What does this mean for you??  All staff members, and students (grades 3-12), may download FREE and FULLY FUNCTIONAL copies of Microsoft Office up to 5 times on personal computers & devices!

Office 365 ProPlus Includes:

  • MS Word
  • MS Excel
  • MS PowerPoint
  • MS Outlook
  • MS OneNote

…as well as a host of other software applications and benefits!

*Please note that employees who leave the district will no longer have access to Office 365 ProPlus after a short “document transition” time.

For more information and to learn how to download MS Office 365 ProPlus on your personal devices and home computers visit iCafe:  CLICK HERE!


Tech TipGoogle Searches Blocking You at School

Due to some changes filtering, many people are being blocked from being able to do a simple Google search through the Internet browser search bar.  Fortunately there is a simple solution.  If you are using a different search engine (Yahoo, Bing, etc.), the steps will be a little different.

  1. Click on the link on the message
  2. Check the “Filter explicit results”
  3. Scroll down and click Save



What’s Forrest Gump’s password?



Technology Staff Development Opportunities

Session Details Session Description
iPad Product Creation

January 22

Section # 99874

Tired of “Drill and Kill” apps being used in your classroom.  Do you want to reach those higher levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy in a fun way?  Why not use an iPad? In this session, you will not only learn about some great apps to use for creation, but also, some classroom management tips that will get the creative juices flowing.
iPad Classroom Best Practices

January 27

Section # 99875

The iPad is fast becoming a norm in today’s classroom.  Teachers are excited to incorporate them in their students’ learning but often become frustrated with the management aspect of the devices.  This session will walk through best practices for keeping your iPads current and organized.  Learn about restrictions, guided access, and much more.
Office 365

February 12

Section # 99876

Why should working from home be any different than working in your classroom or office? With Office 365, work like a pro from wherever you are and on whatever device you have! This session will provide a general overview of all the features in your district Office 365 account – Outlook email, OneDrive for Business, Sites, Lync, and software downloads. Simplify your life – use Office 365.
INTERACT Video Assistance

February 17

Section # 99878

This session is for INTERACT Applicants only.  Bring your raw video footage and join members of the Technology Staff Development team to help you combine, finalize, and upload your video application.

PREREQUISITE:  You must bring prerecorded video files with you.  If you do not have video files ready to use for this training, you will not receive DMA credit.

Exploring the Possibilities with Discovery Education

February 19

Section # 99880

Did you know that Discovery Education has a library of ready-made lesson plans for you to download?  In addition to the library of videos, you have a collection of images and sounds at your fingertips.  Discovery Education is a great tool that has limitless possibilities!  Come spend time with us as we explore the components of Discovery Education and leave with ideas for how to use these tools to make a huge impact in your classroom.
Get in the Mix with Office Mix

February 24

Section # 99882

Let’s face it. You’re kind of a big deal… with a lot on your plate. With that in mind, let’s explore Office Mix. Take your PowerPoint presentations and bring them to life as interactive online lessons. From recording audio or video of yourself giving a lecture, to directly writing in the presentation as you would at your whiteboard, to quizzing, to sharing, to seeing how it all worked – Office Mix helps you do it all simply.
INTERACT Video Assistance

February 25

Section # 99879

This session is for INTERACT Applicants only.  Bring your raw video footage and join members of the Technology Staff Development team to help you combine, finalize, and upload your video application.

PREREQUISITE:  You must bring prerecorded video files with you.  If you do not have video files ready to use for this training, you will not receive DMA credit.

Stop Motion

March 19

Section # 99886

Stop Motion Animation is not just a movie with clay characters, but a fun and effective form of nonlinguistic representation.  Students will apply their knowledge by becoming the creators, photographers, narrators, and directors of their own movies.   Experience Stop Motion Animation through the eyes of a student and walk away with a wealth of ideas on how to use stop motion in your classroom.
Promethean Make and Take

April 9

Section # 99887

Are you dying to create a great flipchart for your classroom but are unsure where to begin or haven’t made the time to get one made?

Join us for a Promethean Make and Take session.  Come with an idea to work on while a few members of the CITS team are there to help you along the way!  You will leave with a flipchart you created for your students.

Introduction to OneDrive for Business

April 28

Section # 99893

Why deal with jump drives, your H: drive, or even carting paperwork to and from work? OneDrive for Business enables you to leave the hassle behind and access your files from anywhere in the world that you have internet access. We will show you how to set these tools up and how to use them to increase your productivity – anywhere, anytime.