Technology Update #27

In this Issue

Welcome to issue 27! One piece of technology feedback we often get is that people want examples from their peers on how technology can be used in their classroom. This issue is chock-full of examples, and I’ll make an effort to sprinkle them in with tech tips going forward.

We start off with a question about how to request apps on the elementary iPads and then take a look at two classroom examples: using Google Forms in elementary and incorporating choice in Math. Lastly, check out five amazing uses of technology from WMS and WHS eMerge teachers.

eMerge Thought of the Week

By April Bridwell, Stacy Cramer & Alyssa Schroeder
Google forms has a variety of uses in the classroom. Digital breakouts are a great way to engage students in the classroom. The general idea is similar to escape rooms – the students have to solve problems or answer questions in order to finish or “breakout” in a certain amount of time.

Read the whole article and learn how by checking out Area 66.

Bonus eMerge Thought

Facilitating Choice in Math Through Technology
by Kristen Hogan & Katie Sindt
Choice, according to Westside Community Schools, is defined as, “Learners are given options regarding the ways in which they engage in their learning.” Choices can be presented to students in a myriad of forms evident across the four facets of classroom instruction. These facets are: content, process, product, and learning environment.

Several teachers across our district have requested additional math resources to provide both support and enrichment to a diverse population of learners. As a result of this demand, the Personalized Learning Team has started a website to house a bank of math resources and tech tools that lend themselves to differentiation within the content and process facets of classroom instruction.

Read the whole article on Area 66!

The Doctor Is In

Question: I’m an elementary teacher and have a great app that I want pushed out to my students’ iPads. How Do I go about that? What’s the process?


There are a TON of amazing apps out there for the iPad and we are happy to get them deployed to your students’ iPads. Please take a look at the procedure below. We’ll make every attempt to purchase and deploy the app as soon as possible as long as it meets basic district requirements.

WCS iPad App Request Process

  1. Take a look at the apps that are already on the iPad to make sure that there isn’t anything already installed that will do what you would like. A full list of apps can be found on Area 66 under iPad Central.
  2. Discuss with another teacher, teacher leader or principal about the app that you are thinking about. Talk about the app you are thinking about and how it will help you meet curriculum objectives and improve student learning.
  3. After you have completed steps 1 and 2, go to the link below to complete the request form. Please only request one app per form. You will need to be signed into your WCS Google account.
  4. App requests will be reviewed by the technology integration group. We will be balancing flexibility, equity, app size, cost and app quality. Please allow for at least a week between the time you are submitting the request and when you would like to use the app. 
  5. Please be aware that submitting a request is not a guarantee that the request will be approved. We will try to be accommodating as possible, but there will be instances where we are unable to approve every request. These include the app being too similar to an app already deployed, having inappropriate ads, not being closely related to curriculum, being cost prohibitive or having items in its terms of service that are incompatible with district policy or state/federal law.
  6. You will receive an email when your request has been processed.
  7. If the app is approved, it will be made available to students and appropriate staff through Self-Service.


In this month’s showcase, we feature a few of our favor tech tools used by our eMerge secondary teachers. This will be the first in a multipart series highlighting how our secondary teachers use technology!

  1. Create interactive ‘choose your own adventure’ style activities using Google Slides or Keynote!
    WMS Social Studies teacher Lance Mosier has a great activity using Google Slides. Slides (and Keynote/PowerPoint) can be used to create a non-linear slide show. That means students can click on links and be taken to different parts of the slide deck. Lance used this feature to let students experience the Cuban Missile Crisis! What a great innovative use of the technology tool!
  2. Have students create infographics to showcase what they know.
    What better way to see what students know than to have them draw you a picture. Infographics require higher level thinking as students need to summarize information and put it into an original form. Students can use Keynote or Pages, but there are also several online service that make it even easier. Check out or Piktochart to get started. Need help? Contact Bridget Brown.
  3. Explore far away places using virtual reality
    WMS Social Studies teacher April Allen utilized Google Expedition virtual reality headsets to take students on a field trip. They explored Mayan ruins from the comfort of their classroom. Not just limited to visiting far away lands, Google Expeditions can also take students inside the human body and into outer space. If you are interested in having the set brought to your classroom, contact Matt Lee or Bridget Brown to check on availability.
  4. Visualize Vocabulary!
    Want a great way to teach and assess vocabulary? Angela Mosier did a great activity using a camera and Pages. Students took pictures of everyday objects around WHS, including windows around the landing, the celling rafters and even pizza from the courtyard. They then brought the pictures into Pages where they annotated them to highlight congruent and complementary angles.
  5. Create virtual learning journals
    WHS Physics teacher Ben Powers uses SeeSaw to engage his students by having them create a virtual lab journal. Students can upload video reflections, text, and submit drawings. “I got better, and deeper understanding of what students actually understood with video reflections as opposed to a written lab journal” said Powers. Check out SeeSaw online. Be sure to have parents join up to see their student’s work!


As always, if you ever have any technology integration related questions, please let us know. We are happy to work with you to design lessons, develop workflows and even come into your classes and work with you and your students.