Week of 5-5-14

· Tech Tips, Uncategorized
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With testing in full force at the high schools this week, this became a good week for the transition of the secondary CITS to take place.  Effective next week, the secondary CITS will be reassigned by tracks.  Additional information about who is assigned to which track can be found below.  While I am being assigned to the gold track, I can say that throughout this semester, I have greatly enjoyed working at all four high schools.  Each campus has been open and friendly.  You have kept me very busy with all sorts of ideas, activities, and lessons.  Even though I am moving away from three of the four high schools, I’m always available if needed.  I am always happy to help.

Also, please be aware, after this week, the CITS will only be on their regular schedule for a couple more weeks.  The week of May 19 will be the CITS last official week on campus this school year.  After that week, the CITS team will be focusing on INTERACT planning and preparation as well as other end of the year activities.  I will still be assessable through e-mail if needed, but will not be on campus for my normal weekly visits again until the fall semester.

At a Glance:

20 Excellent Free Tools for Interactive Collaboration Experiences in the Classroomwebsite –  The 2014 Gates Foundation report, Teachers Know Best: What Educators Want from Digital Instructional Tools, indicates that teachers want tools “supporting student collaboration and providing interactive experiences”.  This doesn’t come as a big surprise since these types of tools are fun and engaging. They also support 21st century skills like collaboration, communication, and creativity.  EmergingEdTech has put together a list of 20 top notch free tools that are being used in schools and classrooms to collaborate and interact on assignments, projects, and other active learning efforts.  Many of these applications are totally free, while others have levels of functionality starting at free and then adding additional capabilities through paid options.  These tools deliver a wide array of functionality, from communication to collaborative document editing, whiteboards, and gaming, to full Learning Management System capabilities.  There’s something here for everyone! Dig in and enjoy!

3 Places To Get Free Full-Text Scientific Studieswebsite – Student research has changed quite drastically in recent years, as more and more resources are online.  Unfortunately, many things are not available to students for free – unless their school has an account on the site in question or a subscription to the journal you need.  This is especially true in STEM disciplines, where most ‘big’ research studies are not available in full text for free until around 12 months after the date of publishing.  So if you want the latest and greatest research, you’ll have to pay for it – which isn’t feasible or reasonable in many cases.  There are a number of journals making a move to offer full text of scientific journal articles for free, and this site has put together a short list of them below.

Damaged Goods | Reading By Examplewebsite –  This is a great reflection article.  As educators we see students from every environment.  How we perceive them, may make a lasting difference in their life.

CITS Team Realignment – Starting next week (May 12), the CITS will begin working on their new campuses.  The CITS will service tracks instead of random campuses.  Special Sites is unaffected by this realignment.  I will continue to service Special Sites when requested.  Here is a breakdown of who will serve which track:

Red Track (Navarro, George Jr, Terry) – Jane Devine
Blue Track (Wessendorff, Lamar Consolidated Junior, Lamar Consolidated High)– Robyn Hrivnatz
Maroon Track (Polly Ryon, Reading, George Ranch) – David Squires
Gold Track (Wertheimer, Briscoe, Foster) – Jeff Peterson

For campuses affected by the change, you can start contacting and working with your new CITS immediately.

Entertainmentwebsite – 5 Inspirational Quotes Teachers Should Love

Technology Staff Development Opportunities – Log into ASCEND to for new offerings.

The CITS is deep in to preparing for INTERACT 2014, but the summer staff development schedule will be coming later.