Once again, Matt Miller is putting on the Ditch That Textbook Digital Summit. It is a free online conference for teachers to discuss technology, pedagogy, and more. As usual, you can access the recording, notes, and presentation resources through the end of the summit, January 5, 2024. You will also gain access to videos and presentations from previous summits.
It begins December 11, 2023. Go to https://ditchsummit.com/ to learn more and register.
Many people enjoy playing the New York Times game, Connections. Did you know you can easily create your own Connections puzzle to share with students or vice versa? No log-in is required, just create the puzzle and share the link. This could be a great way to review vocabulary and find connections between concepts.
Try it yourself! https://connections.swellgarfo.com/
Happy Thanksgiving break, one and all.
As you close out your classrooms for a well deserved break the rest of this week, please ensure these technology items are also taken care of. Thanks!
- Please also secure or take home all District-assigned devices (laptop, Chromebook, iPad, etc.), as well as all personally-owned devices.
- Power off projectors/IFPs, sound amps, and desktop computers. Unplug any lamps, power strips, etc. You may leave district printers and copiers plugged in and powered on.
- If you have a cart of devices, ensure that all devices are plugged in, the cart is locked and plugged in.
Gobble up the fun this Thanksgiving! In our Show Appreciation with Google Slides lesson, your students can create heartfelt digital cards showcasing their creativity while expressing gratitude.
The White House is opening its virtual doors with a new guided tour on Google Arts & Culture. You’re invited to virtually explore the historic grounds with your class, no permission slips or travel arrangements required.
Explore Google Arts & Culture’s Indigenous Americas hub which honors Native groups’ rich heritage and evolving presence, and is expanding with of nine new digital exhibits.
Learn about Chinese culture through its gastronomy and explore 5,000+ years of culinary heritage on Google Arts & Culture.
This month, teachers are working through the professional development window. You have until November 30 to complete 6 hours of professional development courses. We have over 200 offerings available at Canvas Catalog. We have several new courses to help you utilize the district’s edtech tools including:
- 23-24 Canvas New Quizzes Demystified: A Short Course – Professional Development – Instructional Staff (pccsk12.com)
- 23-24 Securly Classroom: More Than Just A Gotcha Tool! – Professional Development – Instructional Staff (pccsk12.com)
- 23-34 – An Introduction to Lumio – Professional Development – Instructional Staff (pccsk12.com)
- In-Person iPad Training for K-1 teachers: November 21 option and November 30 option
Other courses highlight: Canvas, Newsela, Canva, Edpuzzle, Seesaw, WeVideo, IXL, and Read&Write for Google. Search the Catalog for those items to see the options.
IXL continues to share feature updates. Their October roundup highlights new units of the Takeoff curriculum, more tailored learning games, and more.
New Takeoff by IXL Math™ units We’ve added units 4 and 5 to the Takeoff curriculum!
These comprehensive lesson plans, learning activities, and assessments provide 2nd-5th grade teachers with everything they need to personalize whole-class math instruction.
New school-level reports
School administrators have two new reports to track student practice: Skill Usage and Skill Proficiency!
These reports clearly show how your students are tracking towards research-backed goals, complete with powerful filtering and seamless export.
We’ve made updates to our IXL learning games to be better tailored for each grade level!
IXL’s games include a wide range of content and gameplay options. To make it easier for younger students to work on content that’s appropriate for their grade level, we’ve added multiple variations of some games that better align to different levels of advancement. We’ve also preset the difficulty levels and game board sizes so that students can jump right into gameplay.
Check out some of the new game variations below:
We now have more than 360 games on IXL! Find them on the grade level pages for K-5.
Middle and high School teachers, please ensure that your MiStar Gradebook setup is complete. If just one teacher for a student has not completed this step, that student and their family will not be able to view any of their assignments for any classes in MiStar.
TO DO: Please go to your MISTAR grade book and locate the Configurations area. Make sure you don’t see red Xs or yield signs in the first three columns. If you do, go to the specific area to see what is missing in set up.
FOR MIDDLE SCHOOL TEACHERS: Also, make sure you are NOT having an incorrect term (for example Q1 instead of now Q2 or Semester 1) display for your students/families in your grade book. If you do, that will also cause students and families to not see any of their students’ assignments in Parent and Student Connect. From this reference sheet:
For more information about using MiStar, see this training guide.
We have recently updated Canva to incorporate school teams. Now we can send up a brand kit for each school and have more ability to choose what tools are available for different age levels. Additionally, if you have student classes rostered to you, you’ll have a “class” set up in Canva which works like a shared folder. Two important things to be aware of:
- Going forward, please use your Canva school team, especially if you are using it with students. You can change teams with the team switcher:
- If you have designs in the other team that you want to use with students, you can copy the design to another team.
If you are already a Canva user, the next time you log out and log back into Canva, you’ll be joined to the new school team. Your pre-existing content will be accessible by switching between teams; you can copy designs to your new school team by following these steps. Click here to log out of Canva to get started.
- Please read the Canva teacher’s guide, even if you’ve used Canva before – there are a few differences between our new organization-wide version of Canva and versions you may have used in the past.
Seesaw is rebranding! Seesaw began over a decade ago with a mission to provide every elementary student with joyful and connected learning experiences that lay the foundation for success in life. On October 27, 2023 Seesaw will launch a new logo, app icon and marketing website inspired by the learning loop. They’ve updated our colors and fonts to demonstrate our commitment to accessibility and enabling all learners to participate effectively.
To support the transition in your classroom, seesaw has created classroom printable materials, resources, and an FAQ to answer questions. These will allow your students and families to get familiar with the new brand logo and icon. Find these exciting resources here.
At PCCS all K-2 students have access to seesaw for schools through clever with rostering through the district. If you are not in grades K-2 and want to use Seesaw with your students, you can do so by sharing a code for students to join your classroom in Seesaw. If you have any questions about Seesaw, please submit a tech request.