Week of 1-26-15

· Tech Tips, Uncategorized

Wow!!!! What a week. I am in constant amazement at how wonderful the teachers are in our school district. I see so many great things happening in the classroom and teachers reaching students who others have written off. It’s amazing how these students will respond when they know how much we care. We have students creating videos for class, presentations, interactive games, and much more. It’s great to see the students using their creative skills to demonstrate knowledge and learning.

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!


Virtual Field Trip to Africa website

How would you like your students to experience the wilds of Africa through a live video cast? This event will be broadcast over YouTube and Google Hangouts, and will introduce students to the continent of Africa and to key conservation concepts. They can discover the importance of Africa’s grasslands and how ecotourism has benefited Kenya’s people and wildlife.

Here’s a list of terms and topics that are relevant to this experience:

  • Working with nature so nature works with us
  • People and Conservation
  • Desertification
  • Smart Development
  • Ecotourism
  • Habitat
  • Grasslands
  • Reforestation
  • Land preservation

Register here to participate.


Tech Tip – Embed YouTube Videos in PowerPoint 2013

Tired of having to stop your PowerPoint presentation to play a YouTube video? With PowerPoint 2013, you can embed the video directly into your presentation. The process is simple:

  1. Click the Insert tab
  2. Click Video
  3. Click “Online Video”
  4. Search for the YouTube Video
  5. Select the desired video
  6. Click Insert
  7. Resize as needed

Note: there was a Windows update that enabled this feature in PowerPoint. If this update has not be run on the computer, this feature might not work.