Free REMC Courses in July

REMC July banner

Are you ready to supercharge your teaching arsenal with cutting-edge tools and strategies, all while earning FREE SCECHs? REMC courses are designed to ignite your passion for innovative teaching methods and enhance classroom engagement. All courses can be taken from the convenience of your home and when the time is right for you.

Registration deadline is Thursday, July 4th, each course begins on Monday, July 8th. Thanks to the generous support of REMC SAVE’s vendor partners, all courses are FREE and there are no SCECH fees. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to expand your skill set and revitalize your classroom!

Check out July 2024 courses here:

Register by Thursday, July 4th You will receive a welcome email with the course information prior to the course start date. If you have questions or need further assistance with your course registration, please click here.

Next-Gen Tech: Out with the Old, In with the New

decorative title graphic

In the ever-shifting world of digital resources, our district’s subscriptions are subject to change annually. This year is no exception, with several edtech companies either closing or altering their licensing terms. We aim to keep you informed about the changes that may affect the upcoming school year. This post will be updated throughout the summer and into the fall to reflect the latest information. See the previous tools we’ve used and the new ones that will take their place. Rest assured, we’re also putting in the effort to gather and develop resources to support a smooth transition for everyone involved, more will be added as we create them. Please submit a tech ticket if you have questions or concerns.

AI @ P-CCS: Part 4 – Make a Plan

AI Part 4

make a plan

Welcome to the final post of our AI series. This series has explored the world of AI in education, and you’ve gained valuable knowledge through exploring resources, delving into district policy, experimenting with AI tools, and collaborating with colleagues. Please continue those steps as much as needed before you translate that knowledge into action. Here’s how to get started with AI integration in your classroom next year:

Planning for AI Integration:

  • Develop an AI Integration Plan based on your goals: Start by clarifying your educational goals. How can AI enhance student learning, engagement, and outcomes? Whether it’s personalized tutoring, automating administrative tasks, or fostering creativity, define your objectives and the role AI might have in your classroom.

Communication is Key:

  • Transparency in Your Syllabus: Clearly outline your expectations for AI usage in your class syllabus or introductory communication. This could include acceptable tools, responsible use guidelines, and student data privacy protocols. 
  • Tracking down academic integrity breaches can be exhausting. You might attempt to put ownership back on the students by requiring Proof of Positive Authorship that was used by some of our P-CCS teachers at the Park in the 23-24 school year. 

Teaching AI with Integrity:

  • Empowering Students as Responsible AI Users: Equip your students to navigate the world of AI with integrity. Consider creating a visual guide, like a stoplight system or flowchart, to help them identify when using AI is appropriate and when it’s not. For example, green light for using a translation tool to understand a foreign language passage, yellow light for using a grammar checker while acknowledging the need to revise independently, and red light for using an AI writing tool to complete an entire assignment.

AI stoplight example

Modeling AI Engagement:

  • Lead by Example: Demonstrate for your students how to effectively and appropriately use AI tools within your subject area and grade level. Following the “I Do, We Do, You Do” approach: first model the process yourself, then guide students through a collaborative activity, and finally, let them practice independently. SchoolAI (free version) is a great platform that allows students to interact with a personalized tutor. Teachers can monitor the entire interaction and it automatically flags inappropriate student use in real-time.

gradual release of responsibility for student AI use

Exciting News!

The district will be offering access to Google Gemini through for teacher use next school year – starting in August of 2024 (note: if you try to login now, it will not work)! The feature is included with our Google Workspace For Education account. Unlike other Gen AI services, Gemini will not collect any data when you are using your P-CCS Workspace account. Please note, it is still important that you do not share personally identifiable information even though Google will not use this data to train the AI. It offers you similar abilities as ChatGPT to support: 

  • Lesson Planning: “Can you help me create a lesson plan on the water cycle for 5th graders? For better results include a standard, a time frame, number of students, and general location.”
  • Remove Barriers: “Here’s my lesson plan on ___ topic, what barriers might there be to learners and how could I lessen or remove them?”
  • Identify Common Misunderstandings: “I’m teaching about linear functions, what are common misunderstandings students may have?”
  • Language Practice: “Provide a list of conversational phrases in Spanish for beginners.”
  • Real World Examples: “I am teaching 3rd graders about _____. Provide 3 real world examples that are simple and engaging. My students’ interests are _____.
  • Classroom Management: “Draft a message to parents about upcoming parent-teacher conferences.”
  • Find more sample educator prompts here: Prompt Library — AI for Education 

With any of these prompts, be sure to keep yourself in the loop. Don’t just prompt and paste, review the response and make it fit for your context.

This concludes our 4-part-series on AI in Education for 2023-24. We encourage you to continue exploring and experimenting with AI tools as we look ahead to next year. If you’d like support or a thought partner – reach out to a member of the TIS team! We are here and will respond to tech tickets and email all summer. 

Expect more information from us in the fall where we will share more details about Gemini and other AI tools that can be utilized to support student learning! Happy planning!

Tech-To-Do’s Year-End Checklist

summer break tech to-do

As you make plans to close up your classroom for the summer (and a well deserved break), please take care of the following items:

  1. Save, Update, and Share Your Content

    1. Current Canvas courses will close and get placed in your past enrollments. However, there are considerations to check in the End of Year Canvas Post.
    2. If you are leaving the district or hoping to collaborate with colleagues over the summer you might review this post: Sharing Digital Resources with Colleagues – P-CCSK12 Tech 
    3. Clever: Staff and Students will have access to all clever resources throughout the summer. Clever syncing will be on pause starting on Monday June 11, 2024 giving student’s access to their 23-24 teacher’s pages and links until around mid-August when syncing will resume for the 24-25 school year. If you’re interested in learning how to make the most of Clever in your classroom, consider looking at training and ideas here.
    4. IXL: PCCS’s digital subscription for K-5 elementary students will continue throughout the summer. Students will have access to their NWEA skill plans (which were just updated with any spring scores) all summer. Students will have access to any current teacher starred skills through around mid-August, you might consider un-starring skills for students because they to travel with students from year to year. Students in 5th grade currently will lose access around mid-August when syncing begins for the 24-25 school year as they will then be recognized as 6th graders.
    5. Edpuzzle: AFTER your grades have been transferred to the gradebook, it’s recommended that teachers delete their Edpuzzle classes. Issues can sometimes arise when Canvas courses that were integrated with Edpuzzle are copied from one year to the next. It is recommended that teachers delete their Edpuzzle classes before the new school year starts and new students join your classes. Please follow the directions in Edpuzzle’s Best Practices: Closing Out the School Year.
  2. Tech Housekeeping: Secure, Return, and Power Off 

    1. Please comply with the directions of your principal and main office to turn in or secure all classroom technology equipment such as document cameras, microphones, interactive pens, and remotes. 
    2. Please also secure or take home all District-assigned devices (laptop, Chromebook, iPad, etc.), as well as all personally-owned devices.
    3. Power off projectors/IFPs, sound amps, and desktop computers.
      1. You may leave printer and copiers plugged in and powered on
    4. Follow the care suggestions for classroom audio.
  3. Explore, Collaborate, and Plan

    1. Please set aside some time to consider the role of Artificial Intelligence in your educational setting. Learn about it and experiment with it. Touch base with other educators in your grade level or subject area about the role AI may play. Finally, develop a plan for AI classroom policies for next year. All these tips have been highlighted in our AI Blog Series (still more posts to come).

Ai @ P-CCS – Part 3: Communicate & Collaborate

part 3 of AI series

communicate and collaborate

As AI tools like ChatGPT become more prevalent, it’s both an exciting and daunting time for teachers. AI has the potential to augment and enhance teaching in powerful ways. But it also raises questions around academic integrity and appropriate classroom use. Rather than trying to figure it all out alone, we suggest teachers band together to discuss AI. In this blog post, we’ll explore practical ways to discuss AI, share experiences, and collaboratively determine appropriate usage within grade levels and subject areas.

1. Recognize AI’s Presence

The first step is to acknowledge that AI exists and is already impacting education. Students are aware of AI technologies, such as ChatGPT, and may experiment with them independently. As educators, we must guide them on responsible usage and ethical considerations.

2. Acknowledge the Spectrum of Comfort

Teachers have varying levels of familiarity with AI. Some embrace it wholeheartedly, while others approach it with caution. Acknowledge this range and create a safe space for discussions. Encourage each other to share their experiences, fears, and aspirations related to AI.

Start with informal conversations during lunch breaks or department meetings. Pose open, non-threatening questions like:

  • “How have you explored AI tools in your classroom?”
  • “What concerns or wonderings do you have about AI?”
  • “How do you envision AI enhancing student learning?”

3. Address Concerns Collectively

Discuss ethical considerations

  • Bias: AI was developed and trained by humans – and humans are inherently biased. AI can inherit and amplify human biases in its output. How can we recognize and critique AI’s responses?
  • Privacy: AI (and humans) may review what is entered into the platform; do not share information you would not want reviewed or used. Students and staff should never share personally identifiable information (PII) about themselves or others – this can include first/last names, email addresses, or any other personal identifying information.
  • Copyright and Fairness: AI models are trained on existing intellectual property. What implications does this pose for the creative and academic world?

Academic Integrity

Most people would agree that prompting AI and pasting its response without thought or editing raises academic integrity concerns. However, if you were to break down all the steps of the writing process, many people would agree that AI assistance on some of those steps would be permissible. We encourage you to talk about the learning goals in your subject area/grade level and discuss the appropriate role of AI. See the graphic below to help stimulate your thinking. You might also view Matt Miller’s original post on this topic where he breaks down the topics even further. 

rethink plagiarism and cheating with AI


4. Collaborate with Grade Levels and Departments

Lastly, collaborate with colleagues in grade levels and subject areas. Share best practices, explore innovative approaches, and try to develop some agreements for AI usage. The goal shouldn’t be to fight against or ban AI, which will only hinder our students’ preparedness for an AI-informed world. Instead, we must be proactive about collaborating with AI – setting clear guidelines, establishing reasonable limitations, and intentionally developing our students’ skills in using AI responsibly and ethically.

AI use cases will inevitably vary across subjects and grade levels. An English teacher may want students to use AI to brainstorm ideas or get feedback during the writing process. A math teacher could have students use AI to derive step-by-step solutions or explanations for complex problems. An elementary teacher could use an AI assistant to create exemplars/non-exemplars, adjusting texts to be more appropriate for students, or students could generate an image to go with a story they wrote. A teacher of any subject and level might display a prompt to AI and its response and work with the students to evaluate and critique its response. Brainstorm potential use cases and try to develop some shared agreements.

By opening up respectful dialogue, listening to all viewpoints, and working towards consensus, we can ensure AI becomes a productive force that elevates teaching and learning, rather than undermining it. The future is here – but we get to shape what it looks like in our classrooms through open collaboration.

In next week’s final (for this series) blog post we will encourage you to craft an AI policy for your class next year. We will provide sample language you might include in your syllabus or beginning-of-the-year communication. The conversations you have with colleagues as the year comes to a close may help you feel more confident to navigate AI next school year. 



Year-End Canvas Information

Canvas end-of-year tips

The good news is, there isn’t much to worry about with Canvas at the end of the year. It will automatically convert your course to read-only for students and roll your course into Past Enrollments. When next year’s course shell appears you will be able to import last year’s course content with a few clicks.

There are a few things you can do if you’d like to make adjustments to your course over the summer or if you like to have a just-in-case copy. Peruse the items below for more information and/or save it at this link.

Some Google for Education newsletter highlights

Google Arts and Culture

Stay Connected Over Summer Break with Applied Digital Skills
Our Stay Connected Over Summer Break Collection features engaging lessons that include creating a digital scrapbook, a vision board and much more. While on summer break, this collection helps students learn valuable digital skills while having fun!

Arts & Culture: Portland
Explore the history and culture of Portland in an extensive new resource launched in collaboration with 16 local cultural organizations.

Arts & Culture: Musical Canvas
Encouraging creativity through drawing and music: Musical Canvas is a new experiment by Google Arts & Culture which will generate a soundtrack to your drawing with the help of Google AI.

Arts & Culture: America’s Chinatowns
Discover a new cultural hub celebrating the heritage and impact of Chinatowns with the National Trust for Historic Preservation and 14 cultural organizations , on Google Arts & Culture.

Generative AI for Educators is Now Available

In collaboration with MIT RAISE (Responsible AI for Social Empowerment and Education), Grow with Google created the Generative AI for Educators course to help teachers save time and enhance student learning with generative AI tools. Learn more.

Explore AI with Applied Digital Skills

We’ve refreshed our Discover AI in our Daily Life lesson by integrating new generative AI concepts throughout the lesson to enhance student engagement! Additionally, we made the popular Verse by Verse extension a core video in the lesson, allowing students to flex their creativity and compose an AI-generated poem.

Arts & Culture: Freshwater, Our Most Precious Resource

Discover startling facts about freshwater, explore an interactive experiment created with data from NASA, and learn how our shared heritage is affected. Understand how we can use water more wisely and how to help protect the planet’s life sustaining ecosystems.

Arts & Culture: Kelp, The Invisible Forest

Discover the underwater ecosystem, home to endangered Giant Kelp forests filled with an array of unique species and wildlife. Expert stories, scientific research, stunning photographs, videos and a lesson plan, makes this an underwater journey for the whole class to explore.

Arts & Culture: Food of Egypt

Explore Egyptian culture and history through its culinary heritage with this new immersive digital experience for those hungry for a taste of Egypt, featuring high-resolution photographs, dozens of expert stories and videos.

Arts & Culture: Rewild the World

Learn about wildlife conservation with Rewild the World, an interactive game developed with the World Wildlife Fund and bringing focus to four threatened species and their habitats: tigers, gorillas, polar bears, and sea turtles.

Black Culture and the Performing Arts

Explore Google Arts & Culture’s new Performing Arts hub, which celebrates Black excellence in the performing arts, from dance to music to theater.

Arts & Culture: Embark on an art-filled quest in The Forever Labyrinth

This new immersive experience invites learners and players to explore and learn about art up-close and to discover unexpected cross cultural connections within an interactive world.

See past issues or sign up for the Google Education Newsletter.

AI @ P-CCS – Part 2: Try AI

Part 2 of blog series


Try AI

As educators, we’re constantly adapting to changes in technology and pedagogy. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is no exception. In this blog post, we’ll explore how teachers can leverage AI for both personal and professional tasks; from enhancing lesson planning to managing administrative work, AI has the potential to revolutionize your day to day tasks!

Which AI tool should you use? We don’t have an official recommendation at this time. Three large platforms are ChatGPT (OpenAI), Gemini (Google), and Copilot (Microsoft). Please be aware, you might not be able to use certain platforms and services on our school network. You may only be able to access them at home or on a device not owned by the school. As you dabble with AI, you might try the same prompt in multiple platforms so you can compare how they respond. If you are hesitant about creating accounts, you might try ChatGPT which allows you to chat without signing in

Personal and Professional Tasks with AI

AI can support some administrative tasks or clerical work you might do for your personal or professional life. Below are some examples of how AI can help you!

Personal Tasks

  • Take a picture of or type out the ingredients you have in your fridge and ask it to create a meal plan. Feel free to challenge it with specific dietary restrictions.
  • Bored kids at home for the summer? Ask AI to provide ideas for activities based on age and price range. 
    • Try taking a picture or describe some random items you have in the house and ask it to come up with a game. I took a picture of the contents of my desk (below) and it developed a game of “Office Quest.” (see results)
desk contents
I used this picture of my desk contents and asked AI to create a game. Click the picture to see what it came up with.
  • Looking for a quick getaway? Ask AI to plan an itinerary for a quick, drivable destination with ideas of what to do.
  • Want to refresh the look in your living room? Ask AI to give you some decorating ideas or take a picture and ask it for tips to rearrange the room.

Professional Tasks

  • Student Exemplars: Create an exemplar essay or writing based on a description and a rubric. Bonus: Ask it to create a non-exemplar and have students critique it!
  • Generate Review Questions: Use AI to generate review questions for the end of the year. 
  • Clarify Directions: Copy in your existing directions for an assignment and ask AI to make it more concise and sequential. Bonus: See if the AI can offer suggestions to further scaffold the assignment. 

AI Tools to Try

AI for Education Prompt Library

The AI for Education Prompt Library offers a wealth of pre-generated prompts for various subjects and grade levels. Prompting may be new to you; this resource allows you to copy a sample prompt and customize it for your situation.  Below is an example of an Exit ticket prompt.  

  • “You are an expert educator and lesson planner, skilled at creating engaging, hands-on activities for students that help reinforce their learning. Your task is to create [NUMBER] “exit ticket” ideas I can use in my [GRADE LEVEL AND SUBJECT] class at the end of a [TOPIC] lesson on [SPECIFIC CONTENT]. The exit ticket activities/questions should be very brief and should serve as a form of assessment to gauge students’ understanding of the material covered.”

MagicSchool: Your AI Teaching Assistant

  • MagicSchool is an AI-powered teaching assistant that helps manage classroom tasks. It can rewrite or translate texts, unpack standards, create a choice board based on UDL principles, identify common misconceptions, and so much more.
  • Try the free version for access to 60+ AI tools for educators (requires login). There will be limits on the number of prompts you get in a month and some features will be disabled. You will be notified when you are nearing your limit (which resets monthly).

While AI enhances efficiency, teachers must exercise caution. Avoid sharing a student’s personal information with AI tools. Students and staff should never share personally identifiable information (PII) about themselves or others – this can include first/last names, email addresses, or any other personal identifying information. 

Remember that AI is a tool, not a replacement for human interaction. Maintain a balance between technology and personal connections. Consider your role as an educational professional and evaluate if it feels appropriate to use AI to complete the task. If you deem that it is appropriate, be sure to review the output before using it.

As educators, we have an exciting opportunity to embrace AI. By integrating it into our personal and professional lives, we can create more effective and engaging learning experiences for our students. Let’s explore the possibilities and continue to evolve as educators in this digital age!

Interested but not sure where to start? Reach out to a member of the P-CCS Technology Integration Specialist Team (Kaelyn Bullock – High School; Carrie Conner – Middle School; Shannon Way – Elementary). In next week’s post, we’ll encourage you to begin having conversations with colleagues around AI.

Free REMC courses in June


June is a great time to fast-track your learning and accelerate your skill development!

Are you looking to enhance your classroom engagement and equip yourself with valuable tech skills? Take advantage of a FREE REMC course designed to empower educators like you with innovative tools and strategies to boost student success and foster an interactive learning environment. All June courses offer 10 FREE SCECHs and can be taken from the convenience of your home and when the time is right for you.

Registration deadline is Thursday, May 30th, each course begins on Monday, June 3rd. Thanks to the generous support of REMC SAVE’s vendor partners, all courses are FREE and there are no SCECH fees. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to expand your skill set and revitalize your classroom!

Check out June 2024 courses here:

Register by Thursday, May 30th. You will receive a welcome email with the course information prior to the course start date. If you have questions or need further assistance with your course registration, please click here.

AI @ P-CCS: Part 1


Artificial Intelligence. It’s on Google, it’s on TikTok, it’s everywhere, including P-CCS! 

What is AI?

Artificial intelligence is about teaching machines to think and learn like humans, with the goal of automating work and solving problems more efficiently”. How does it work? AI learns by analyzing lots of data. The latest breakthrough in AI came when ChatGPT indexed much of the internet and then paired it with the ability to understand natural language. This advancement allows you to ask and get answers to questions much like a human interaction (Natural Language Processing- NLP). It can perform tasks like summarizing texts, creating captions, interpreting images, developing stories – in short, generating new and unique output to user prompts! We have entered the era of Generative Artificial Intelligence (GenAI). 


P-CCS aspires to have staff and students using technology to innovate and thrive. This includes AI. The Student and Staff Technology Acceptable Use and Safety policies were both updated at the February 27, 2024 board meeting with administrative guidelines to follow surrounding AI. We encourage you to read the policies and be aware of the guidelines. 

Some key points to be aware of: 

  • Staff are permitted to use AI/NLP tools to accomplish their job responsibilities as long as the use is ethical and responsible. The disclosure of personally identifiable information (PII) about students is prohibited.
  • For students, the general policy is that they are required to rely on their own knowledge, skills, and resources when completing school work.
  • Students are prohibited from using AI/NLP tools to complete school work without express permission/consent from a teacher. Students should ask their teachers if they have questions about using AI/NLP tools for a specific assignment.
  • Teachers have discretion to authorize students to use AI/NLP tools for specific purposes, such as:
    • Research assistance
    • Data analysis
    • Language translation
    • Writing assistance
    • Accessibility (e.g., text-to-speech for students with disabilities)

Engage Safely and Responsibly

As we enter into this conversation, we must expressly state a caution about using AI safely and responsibly. 

As with any technology, we need to be aware of the data and personal information we are sharing- especially when it comes to our students’ data. When using AI tools, students and staff should never share personally identifiable information (PII) about themselves or others – this can include first/last names, email addresses, or any other personal identifying information. If you have questions of what’s okay to share, reach out to a member of the TIS team by submitting a helpdesk ticket

It is also very important to be aware that responses generated from AI may contain biases and/or misinformation. Always review AI-generated content with a critical (human) eye. AI is a tool that gives us a starting point, not a finished product. 

First Steps

The district updated its policies in recognition that AI will be transformative.  We suggest educating yourself further on AI. Here are some resources from Common Sense Media:

This is the first post in a 4-part series. The next post will provide you with ideas and resources to see how AI might support you and some of your teaching responsibilities. In our final post, we will announce the release of an AI tool that will be made available to all P-CCS staff.