Instructional Technology Newsletter October 2017

October Updates

Thank you PDSD teachers! What an impressive start to our Google Educator Certification Initiative. Over 30 staff members have signed up for training to become Google Certified Educators. Please share all of the wonderful ideas you begin to discover with your colleagues. I am here to assist you with any questions you may have along the way.

In the next newsletter I will be featuring ways teachers are using technology to support instruction in their classrooms. If you are trying something unique or simply applying technology in a way that is working well with students let me know so it can be included in the next newsletter.

Many teachers have already reached out for suggestions or support integrating technology into their instruction. I encourage you to continue to ask questions or seek assistance with any tech related items you may need. Sometimes it is the brief in person training or tip that can help someone go from a reserved user of technology to a routine integrator. I am here to support you in whatever way I can.

Personalize instruction with Google Play for Education

While the Chrome Web store offers a variety of apps and extensions, Google Play for Education was specifically created for educators. This site offers the ability to find content specific apps which have been vetted and rated by teachers. Apps can be searched based on grade level as well as a intended use. Please check out this valuable resource and personalize learning to the needs of your students. Like the Chrome Web Store, downloads are fast, and easy with many free apps. Please email me directly if anyone does not have access to this site.

Click the button below to access Google Play for Education

NEWSELA -Differentiate non-fiction news articles based on lexile

With a free NEWSELA account, teachers can create classes and assign specific articles to students at various lexile levels. The same article can be adapted to meet various lexile levels. Teachers can also assign built-in quizzes that go with each article and get immediate feedback on how students did. There are a wealth of high quality articles to choose in varying areas of interest.


Google Cast for Education is a free extension (found at the Chrome Web Store) which allows students to cast their screens to the teacher computer to display anything they are currently working on to the entire class. An easy and quick way to get students work/screens onto the projector for all to view without plugging in or sharing files. Excellent tool for collaborative discussion on student/group work or research resources. This also can provide students with an authentic audience of their peers to proudly share their work. Only teachers need to download the extension. Students can cast to the teacher computer without the extension.

Link to setup of Google Cast for Ed. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bYAeq--Y3QU

Voice Typing with Google Docs

Voice typing is a built in feature of Google Docs that allows anyone to dictate writing directly into a doc! This is an excellent feature for students with special needs or those who may have challenges typing long documents efficiently. Younger students can now create typed pieces by reading their handwritten drafts.

Other extensions that may be helpful

Grammarly - A great free extension for teachers and students alike. If your Chrome browser is open Grammarly is scanning what you write to catch any grammatical errors. This is especially helpful when writing emails to parents or when creating other professional documents or emails.

Adblock for Youtube - This free extension will allow you to integrate Youtube into your instruction without the distraction of advertisements. This extension is very effective in eliminating ads. Students can also add this extension to their accounts.

Expand you Learning Network with Podcasts!

These are 2 very high quality examples of podcasts that may be helpful for technology and instruction. Please take a moment to click the button below to reveal an extensive list and description of other podcasts which cover various topics within education.



Maintenance Reminder

Please remind students to fully log out and shutdown when devices are not in use.

If you have questions, would like more information or support please email

Cgorniok@pdsd.org or call x8318

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Thank You

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