First Reminder: Close Down Technology for Break

As winter break gets closer, please add the following to your to-do list:

On FRIDAY before you leave…

PLEASE SECURE ALL VALUABLES in the classrooms and office spaces you inhabit. This includes laptops, document cameras, Apple TVs, remotes, and interactive pens.

Further, would you please make sure all iPads and Chromebooks are in their carts and those CARTS ARE LOCKED and plugged in before leaving.

Finally, would you please also POWER OFF any of the following equipment, if it is equipment you handle:

  • projectors
  • sound amps
  • SmartBoards
  • desktop computers
  • monitors
  • printers

THANK YOU for your cooperation.

Tech break checklist

GIFs in Google Slides

No matter where you fall in the GIF camp (hard or soft G), you can be excited about the new update in Google Slides. You can now directly search and add a GIF from the insert menu, no need for any extensions or add-ons.

image of gif and stickers in slides announcement

You will be able to search for the GIF or sticker you want.

You can filter for stickers or GIFs. Enjoy this new feature!

gif filter option

It’s Not Goodbye, It’s See You Later!

I wanted to announce that I will be leaving P-CCS, and my last day will be Monday, January 8th. Supporting such amazing educators and staff here at P-CCS has been such an honor and pleasure. Your passion for the students is such an inspiration. I say “See you later,” because I will be accepting a position for Wayne-RESA. As the learning, innovation, and technology consultant, I will support all of Wayne County help implement best practices around technology integration, and ensure that all educators feel supported through innovative professional learning. I hope to connect with more of you in the future and wish you all the best.

Matt Smoot Changing to

Over the next few months Zoom will be migrating their email addresses from to You may receive emails from both domains; please know that emails from these two domains are legitimate. In the coming months, you’ll also notice their website and other collateral change to

Join this Year’s Ditch Summit

promotion for ditch summit

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 to learn more and register.

Create Your Own Connections Puzzle

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.

image of puzzle maker

Try it yourself!

Have a great break!

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!

Classroom Technology

  • 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.


A few highlights from the November issue….
Create Digital Thank You Cards with Applied Digital Skills
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.
Arts & Culture: Take your Students on a Virtual Field Trip to the White House
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.
White House
Arts & Culture: Native American Heritage Month
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.
Indigienous Art
Arts & Culture: A Taste of China
Learn about Chinese culture through its gastronomy and explore 5,000+ years of culinary heritage on Google Arts & Culture.
Chinese taste
See past issues or sign up for the Google Education Newsletter.

November Edtech PD Offerings

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:

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.


What’s new on IXL – Oct 2023

IXL October roundup

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.

Tailored IXL game variations

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.