Tech Advisory Group Meeting

Tech Advisory Group Meeting
October 1st – 4:14-5:30
Tech Lab (behind the ESC)

Meeting Agenda – Communication

  • Overview of the new format for the Tech Advisory Committee and Norms
  • Business items
    • Introduction of Natalie Boyle, new Technology Integration Specialist
    • Start of the Year
    • Digital Citizenship Lessons – Tech Central, Solutions
    • ChromeBooks for 15-16
    • Facebook
    • WIFI
    • Schoology

Communication is our topic for this meeting

  • We will share what we have done to improve our communications
  • Round table discussion on communication successes in the buildings
    • How do we share information in the buildings?
    • What is working to keep staff connected?
    • How can we get everyone in the buildings involved in Tech Service’s communication efforts?

Finally, share something really good that happened at your school with the start of the year.

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April 23, District Technology Committee Meeting

District Technology Committee Meeting
April 23, 2015 – Last meeting of the year
Technology Services – 4:15-5:30


  • Direction of the Committee for next year
  • Staffing Changes
  • Need to move forward with Sub-committee
    • New Teaching Stations
    • Plan for student access
  • Password Security
  • Security Projects
  • PSD-Open Wireless
  • Professional Development

Discussion: Communication
We want everyone to think about and participate in a discussion on how best to develop a system for communicating with staff and sharing new resources. What will engage staff?

Peninsula School District’s Technology Committee
Meeting Minutes

April 23, 2015

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January District Technology Committee Meeting

January District Technology Committee Meeting
January 29, 4:15 – 5:30
Tech Services Learning Lab


  • Ongoing Projects: Libraries and Large Spaces
  • Sub-Committee to look at the Tech Plan and the next round of Teaching Stations
  • Technology Inventory
  • New Teacher Dashboard
  • Apple TVs
  • Smart Software
  • Wireless

Next Meeting 3/26/15 @ 4:15

Meeting Minutes
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Teachers Will Embrace Students’ Smartphone Addiction In 2015 | TechCrunch

Posted yesterday by Joe Mathewson @j0ejack1,5

These are heady days for education technology. In fact, with big investments in outfits like Everspring and Udemy, I’d say 2014 was the biggest year yet in edtech. However, if you thought that was impressive, you haven’t seen anything yet. What does 2015 hold for the year in this fast-moving sector?

Technology Will Get Embedded

Of course, classrooms have been using computers for decades, but 2014 was a year when many schools began to adopt technology as an embedded, natural part of teaching and learning. As many schools have tried out these products and services, teachers and pupils alike have whetted their appetites with early glimpses at the possibilities.Next year is when institutions will consolidate their positions and settle on solutions for adoption in the years ahead. As this happens, technology will become an intrinsic part of the learning process rather than an afterthought.

Cloud Will Come Into Its Own

Adoption of cloud-based technologies is booming. But education lags behind other industries in embracing the opportunity. This year, educators will finally start to really take advantage of the possibilities, e.g. storing documents and managing webmail, as well as more classroom-specific services including cloud-based learning management systems.The more that schools are allowed to manage their own budgets, and the more that local governments themselves look to cut costs, the more schools will move toward cloud solutions. This can significantly reduce spending and allow schools to focus on teaching rather than technology.

Expectations Will Increase

Now that many educators have begun to use connected classroom technologies, their demand for ever-more sophisticated solutions will blossom.Indeed, many teachers are now used to using highly effective but easy-to-manage web tools in their personal lives. In the year ahead, they will bang the drum for similar adoption at school, not wanting to settle for shoehorning an education imperative in to off-the-shelf consumer products.

Teachers Will Embrace, Not Outlaw, Pupils’ Mobiles

Smartphones have entirely changed the way we interact. A recent study found many people check theirs as many as 100 times a day. Teachers recognize the pattern among youngsters, but fighting against the tide is futile, and banning a device to which pupils are so emotionally connected is more destructive than helpful.However, U.K. experiments in which schools give students mobile devices in classrooms showed higher motivation, attentiveness and achievement. In the year ahead, as more proof of outcomes emerges, more teachers are likely to work with, not against, the gadgets.

Curation Will Become Crucial

English education minister Nick Gibb recently called for a textbook “renaissance” in schools. Of course, the Internet has provided stiff competition to the printed tomes, offering up-to-date information on subject areas that can often move fast. But in my view, this increases the necessity for the kind of editing and curation that books have provided for decades.The authority of qualified editors helps students better judge which content to believe in. As a sea of available information threatens to swamp students in 2015, many will recognize that single truths are crucial. That may not mean a comeback for books in print, but it will mean a newfound respect for the kind of knowledge they can deliver in digital.

Parents Use Technology to Complement Passions

Parents are increasingly demanding online access to their children’s learning and development progress. Caring parents in 2015 will make sure they are aware of and are using all the positive educational benefits technology can provide to learning, research and homework.But it will be important to deploy technology in ways that truly engage children. This is best done by discovering what children are most interested in — be it coding or poetry — and helping to provide new lenses on those topics to explore a wealth of inspiring content.

via Teachers Will Embrace Students’ Smartphone Addiction In 2015 | TechCrunch.

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Planning for the Next Three Years – Project Tomorrow’s Speak Up Reports

2014 Speak Up Reports

Digital Teachers, Digital Principals: Transforming the Ways We Engage Students

  • Brainpop and Project Tomorrow
  • Speak Up 2013 National Data
  • September 2014

Trends in Digital Learning: Students’ Views on Innovative Classroom Models

  • Project Tomorrow and Blackboard K-12
  • Speak Up 2013 National Data
  • June 2014

The New Digital Learning Playbook, Advancing College and Career Ready Skill Development in K-12 Schools 2014 Congressional Briefing—

  • Release of Speak Up 2013 National Data for Educators and Parents
  • June 2014

The New Digital Learning Playbook: Understanding the Spectrum of Students’ Activities and Aspirations

  • 2014 Congressional Briefing—
  • Release of Speak Up 2013 National Data for K-12 Students
  • April 2014

Speak Up 2013 National Research Project Findings: A second year review of flipped learning”

  • Project Tomorrow and The Flipped Learning Network
  • Speak Up 2013 National Data
  • March 2014
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District Tech Committee Meeting for Nov. 20

Peninsula School District’s Technology Committee

November 20, 2014
4:15 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. in the Tech Lab

Meeting Agenda:

  • J’s Departure and the process for hiring a new Director
  • NCCE Conference, Portland
  • Speak-up Survey
  • Fall Principal Meetings
  • 2015-2016 Priorities and Pre-planning
  • Hour of CODE Event: Dec 8-14


  • Maker Project
  • Mac OS Updates
  • Library Conversions for 2015-2016


About Speak Up 2014: By participating in Speak Up, you are expressing your views to a wider audience of local, state, and national policy makers as well as the business community–and contributing to the national dialogue about science, technology, and preparing students for the 21st century workforce.

How to get involved!
It’s quick and easy to get involved, to take the survey follow these 5 simple steps:

  •  Go to this link:
  • Click on the blue Student button
  • Follow the given instructions to access the survey. Begin by clicking on the drop down button and select your state, then go to the next line and type in your school name to find your school.
  • Select your grade level and enter the “secret word” password: {PSD401}
  • Complete the survey by December 19th, 2014

Meeting Minutes follow, next meeting 1/22/2015  Continue reading

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Enhance Learning with These Online Tools

Having a ton of online tools in your tool belt won’t earn you any prizes or necessarily make you a better teacher or leader, but having exactly the perfect website for a particular student need or in a special situation may earn you superhero status. It’s not about the quantity; it’s about having the right tool for the right job. Here are a few tools you may not already know and how they might best be used in the classroom.

Helping students understand the relationship of events can be difficult, whether it is events from history or in a story. One way to overcome the difficulty is to have them create a timeline of key happenings. Timeline JS is a powerful timeline creator that is both easy to use and filled with features. Beginners can create a timeline using nothing more than a Google spreadsheet, which is great for making collaborative timelines. Timeline JS can then pull in media to document events in the timeline from a variety of sources and has built-in support for Twitter, Flickr, Google Maps, YouTube, Vimeo, Vine, Dailymotion, Wikipedia, SoundCloud, and more. No registration or account is required.

Your students have successfully completed an important unit of study and now need to summarize what they’ve learned. You could have them create a PowerPoint slide or two sharing what they’ve learned. Instead, have them first reduce the learning to one or two key sentences (a skill many students struggle with) and then create a beautiful representation of their learning with Recite. Recite has you type in a key thought or quotation and then allows you to select from a wide variety of templates that match the thought. Students can practice their design skills (another 21st century skill) while summarizing their learning. Completed creations can be emailed to the teacher, published to the web, downloaded as an image, or posted to Tumblr, Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter. No registration or email account is required.

If your students have access to multiple devices in the classroom, whether in small groups or via a 1:1 program, then you will want to provide opportunities for them to share their ideas and answers during discussions. There are a lot of different feedback tools available, but AnswerGarden is one that is especially simple to use. The teacher or a student can create an AnswerGarden with a question that is then shared with the rest of the class via email, blog, social media, or URL. Other students can respond to the question by typing in their answers, which appear in word cloud format for everyone to see with the most frequent answers in larger text. No registration or email account is required and a free iPad app is also available.

TalkTyper may change the way your students write. It is free speech-to-text dictation software that works in any browser. Simply click the on-screen microphone and begin speaking; every word will appear. This will allow your students to focus less on their keyboarding ability and more on their ideas. What makes TalkTyper stand apart from similar programs is that it provides the ability for you to edit what is recorded before printing, emailing, or copying and pasting the completed text into another document. Again, no registration or email account is required.

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DTC Meeting for September 25

Peninsula School District’s Technology Committee

September 25, 2014
4:15 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. in the Tech Lab

Meeting Agenda


  • Start of the School Year
  • Tech Plan – Vision – Strategic Plan
    • Budget – Past, Present and Future
    • Teaching Stations and Future Expectations
      • Status
      • Apple TVs and iPads
    • Student Access/Mobile Technology
      • ChromeBooks/Chrome OS
        • Building/Assessment Carts
        • Management: Less is more – the future of mobile technology in schools
      • The “Gap” ($600,000 a year)
        • BYOD is a viable strategy
          • The future is multiple devices


  • The Maker Project
  • Summer Projects Completed – Feedback
  • Web-only Computers
  • New Work Order System
  • Projects in progress
    • Safety and Security


  • Tech Help on the Portal
  • Google Drive and Teacher Dashboard

Other items from the Floor

Peninsula School District’s Technology Committee
Meeting Minutes

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Scratch Review & Rating |


  • PROS

    Gets kids started with programming. Easy and fun introduction to coding. Allows saving and sharing projects with friends. Can download for offline projects.

  • CONSNo mobile access. No bridge to real programming.

    Scratch makes teaching kids programming as easy as putting together a jigsaw puzzle. The coding elements are presented as blocks that snap together, and it helps teach kids to think like coders.


Scratch (free) is a Web application that teaches basic programming concepts in a visual way. Designed by the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab, Scratch is designed for kids from eight to 16 years old, but its easy-to-use interface means anyone can use it to learn how to program.

Demystifying Programming
Like Daisy the Dinosaur for iPad (free) and Move the Turtle, the entire concept behind Scratch is to make programming, fun, approachable, and not intimidating. Whether it’s kids or adults who never learned to code, Scratch offers a lot to play with and experiment. At the very least, it will make you think, “I can program! This isn’t so hard!” And you might get bitten by the coding bug and want to learn more. With Scratch, you are fully in control of what you want to make and how to build it.

If you are interested in getting your kids to program—or if you are ready to dip your own toe in the coding waters—Scratch is the intro-to-coding Editors’ Choice you need to check out. So go forth and program!


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How a web address works

Technology Tip

Anatomy of a Web Address: You’ve seen them everywhere, even on some state license plates.  But what does all those http’s and .com’s mean.  Here’s the website that I referenced for the following information:

Below is a simplified explanation of what makes up a web address. First of all, the official computer name for a web address is URL which stands for:  Universal Resource Locator.

Here’s a sample URL:

stands for Hyper Text Transfer Protocol and that basically tells the computer that we are looking to “Transfer” “Hyper Text” (a webpage) from the internet to your computer.  When typing a web address into Internet Explorer you usually don’t even have to type the “http://” because the computer assumes it.

stands for World Wide Web which is the body of software rules and protocols that make up what we know of as the internet.  Just about every webpage you’ll ever view is a part of the world wide web.

in this example stands for Council Rock School District and it is technically the “second level domain name”

is a an example of a “top level domain name”  “.org” is primarily used by Non-profits, “.edu” is commonly used by schools and universities, “.gov” is used by the government, and the now famous “.com” is primarily for commercial websites.  Together could be described as the school district’s “domain name”

if you remember the old old days of DOS (before we had mice and folders on the screen) you might remember switching folder levels using the “/”.  If you don’t remember its OK, but you should know that “/buildings/nj/” tells the computer to go to a folder labeled “nj” that is inside a folder labeled “buildings”.

this is the actual file name of this webpage.  More specifically, “index” is the name of the file and “.html” is the file extension which tells the computer what kind of file it is.  “.html” stands for Hyper Text Markup Language which is the language most web pages are written in.

Now you know what the different parts of a web address are.

PRACTICE ACTIVITY:  How to use this information.  Well, if a someone shows you a website that they’d like to reference for a project you can quickly evaluate the resource by looking at the “domain name” at the beginning of the web address.

For example, just by looking at the web addresses, can you determine which of these websites would be the most reliable resource for information about the Vikings?


via How to a web address works – 180 Free Technology Tip #7.

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