Technology Update #53

In this Issue

Welcome to December! This will be the last issue of 2019. I hope everyone has had a great fall semester. This issue is full of great tips and tricks ranging from virtual field trip grants, to app updates to coding resources. I hope you enjoy it!

Virtual Field Trips

Virtual field trips are a great way to break down the four wall of you classroom! Take a tour of a museum, the zoo, or a far off place! NETA, in partnership with ESUCC and NDLA, have implemented a Virtual Field Trip mini-grant program. Teachers are eligible for up to $500 per field trip!
Learn more and apply at: [][2]

Be Visual!

Want a great way to reinforce content area vocabulary? Angela Mosier from WHS has a great way! Encourage students to look for content standards where ever they go. Have them document instances using an iPad or camera and then create a digital post using Pages, Slides, Keynote or other app!

FlipGrid Updates!

FipGrid is a great tool that allows teachers to ask a question and students respond in video. It’s easy and quick to set up. Students and staff can log in via Microsoft (AKA Westside Access). Never used FlipGrid? [Check out the Getting Started with FlipGrid guide][3]! In November, FlipGrid released a number of new updates!
1. Sort student Responses: Catching up on your class
Flipgrid videos is easier than ever. Just tap the Name column in your Educator Admin to sort by last name. We also added Feedback scores to this view.

  1. Record without Audio: There are times when background noise can be a distraction. Whether your students are learning American Sign Language or explaining a math problem in Whiteboard-mode, simply tap the three dots to record without audio.
  2. Immersive Reader support in Feedback: Now when you provide Feedback to your students’ Flipgrid videos, they can launch Immersive Reader, a Microsoft Learning Tool that helps learners read and comprehend by adding line focus, picture dictionary, translator, and more!
  3. Adjust Playback Speed: Adjust the playback speed of any Flipgrid video: speed things up or slow the video down! Trying to get through 25 student videos? Speed things up! Checking language fluency? Slow things down!
  4. Rainbow Pen!:  Add a little sunshine and happiness to your Flipgrid videos with Rainbow Pen, now live in the Flipgrid Android and iOS apps.

Hour of Code

December 9-15 is computer science education week. You are invited to join the millions of people around and participate in the hour of code. The Hour of Code started as a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify “code”, to show that anybody can learn the basics, and to broaden participation in the field of computer science. It has since become a worldwide effort to celebrate computer science, starting with 1-hour coding activities but expanding to all sorts of community efforts.

There are multiple tools that you can select from to work with you students, K-12!

  • The original website for hour of code. This website works on iPad and Mac and is appropriate for both elementary and secondary students. You can read about Code.Org’s hour of code initiative at [][4]. Elementary classes have already been created and can be accessed through Clever. Secondary students can access at where they can log in via Microsoft (AKA Westside Access).
  • Swift Playgrounds: For iPad, Apple’s Swift Playgrounds offer a great experience for upper elementary students. You can access the Swift Playground Hour of Code facilitator guide at: [][5]

A New Way to Take Notes

iPad lets you take unforgettable notes in a new way. With the Notability App, you can write them, type them, draw them, and even record them. Notability is available for all district iPads and the Mac app is available for WMS students and staff.


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.