Tech2Teach Monthly Corpus CHristi INdependent School District **Office of Instructional Technology** **** APRIL 2017 ****

Wild about Instructional Technology in April!

What's in This Issue?

  • Spring Future Ready Leader Academy (Take 2)
  • Multimedia Fair Event Reminder
  • Techie of the Month: Ginger Becker, Webb ES
  • Nancy Ramirez: Chromebook Article Submission, Schanen Estates ES
  • GEMS Conference: Moody HS
  • HiDef School: Schanen Estates Elementary School
  • #TWEETUREME: Tweets We Like
  • Formative Assessment Apps: Nearpod, Quizzizz, Socrative
  • Tech2Teach Registration
  • SPED Panel: CCISD and TAMU-CC Collaboration
  • Google Add-Ons and Logins
  • Online Textbook Access
  • Meet CCISD Telecommunications Department
  • SMART Slams
  • SMART Notebook Update: SMART Lab in Version 16.1

SPRING Future Ready Leader Academy (Take 2)

By Cary Perales

We are proud to announce the second Future Ready Leaders Academy was completed on March 25th, 2017. We had our wonderful school directors Angie Ramirez, Roland Quezada, and Raph Silva, 6 principals, 10 assistant principals, 5 teachers, and 1 ITA earn a Chromebook upon completion. The academy consisted of two classes held during Tech Savvy Saturdays.

The first session focused on “Driving the 4C’s: Leaders will learn more about the implementation of the 4Cs: Communication, Creativity, Collaboration and Critical thinking."

The second session focused on “Devices in Your School: Leaders will learn how to utilize devices in their school to maximize student success.” After completing the two sessions participants will receive a chromebook so they can model a future ready leader.

Based on positive feedback and survey results, we will continue the Future Ready Academy this next school year.

Biggest Take Aways from Participants :

“The realization that we as leaders need to model and help teachers grow in technology and importance of the 4Cs.”
“How much technology can be equipped at the forefront with teachers and staff but it starts with the leadership to roll it out and follow through.”
“I had no idea there were so many apps that allowing teaching to be fun! The use of all of the technology used today will create authentic engagement in our students as they collaborate and communicate through the TEKS.”
“I loved learning about Nearpod and the iPad apps. Wow, I have a lot to share with my staff.”
“The session was amazing! It really inspires me to get teachers more involved in using technology. Technology is the way of the future and students are craving the technology use in the classroom.”

We encourage ALL principals to register and participate in the 2017-2018 Future Ready Leaders Academy.

Techie of the Month:

Ginger Becker

by Mary Cavazos


"Now I'm Speaking Their Language"

Article Submitted By Nancy Ramirez

4th Grade Teacher, Schanen Estates Elementary School

A Building Capacity Activity For Chromebook Incentive

As a new teacher in CCISD this year, I was presented with many learning opportunities during New Teacher Orientation in August. It became apparent very quickly that out of all the growth and changes in education during my 9 year sabbatical from teaching, technology was going to be my biggest challenge. Online Teacher’s Editions, reporting attendance online, Google Docs, and Eduphoria are just a few from the list that were all new to me. To top this list, was to figure out how to even turn on this strange thing in my classroom called a Smartboard! Where was my overhead projector? With the help of colleagues and my campus technology guru, I did get it working, but I knew it could do so much more than just drawing and writing on it.

The most popular station for my students is the Smartboard/Math Station.

After attending just two productive Tech Savvy Saturday trainings and a little bit of playing with it on my own, I now use my Interactive Smartboard almost daily. My fourth graders sit up straight and come to attention when they see me grab that special pen. They love answering questions during these lessons and getting the opportunity to write or respond on the Smartboard. Projecting the Sharon Wells Math Worksheet pages and writing on them using the Smartboard Program has dramatically improved student attention and participation during my math lessons. When I use the document reader, I am stuck behind the students, instead of in front of the class.

My students manage this center independently, while I am teaching a small group in another part of the room.

The highlight of every week happens on Thursdays. We do Math Rotation Stations to review and refine Math Objectives for the test to follow on Friday. The most popular station for my students is the Smartboard/Math Station. I either select an Interactive Lesson from the Smart Exchange that matches our topic of the week, or I create my own interactive pages using the tools provided in the Smartboard program. During a 15 minute time allotment, a group of 4 students rotate to this center. Two students share the pen and take turns responding to the questions and activities. The other two students are nearby playing a math game to practice their basic facts. At the seventh minute, the two groups switch. My students manage this center independently, while I am teaching a small group in another part of the room. They get to experience freedom and responsibility, while creatively exploring a new technology tool.

"Students Come Alive When We Speak Their Language. Technology Is One Of Their Languages That We, As Teachers, Cannot Afford To Ignore."

I plan to continue learning how to use more of the tools that the Smartboard can offer. Students come alive when we speak their language. Technology is one of their languages that we, as teachers, cannot afford to ignore.

I am extremely thankful for the opportunity I have had to grow my technology skills this year. The support and guidance I’ve received from the CCISD technology team is top notch!

GEMS Conference (Moody HS)

By Roxanna Guerrero

Gloria Bilaye-Benibo, Dean of the CITGO Innovation Academy, spearheaded the 3rd Annual GEMS (Girls in Engineering Math & Science) Conference hosted by the academy at Moody HS, held on Tuesday, Feb 28th, 2017.

In attendance were 350 CCISD middle schoolers and an additional 40 total from Gregory-Portland ISD and West Oso ISD. The conference ran smoothly with another 90 STEM Academy and 30 Health Science Academy high school students helping with group rotations and stations. Many others participated from TAMU-CC College of Science and Engineering, Del Mar Chemistry Dept, Center for Coastal Studies, Texas State Aquarium, and CITGO.

“This is an exciting initiative focused on getting more minority, specifically girls to be interested in the STEM-related fields as careers options.”

Currently, Moody has almost 300 CITGO Innovation Academy students of which only 90 are girls. The main purpose is to get more girls motivated and inspire them to enter the STEM Fields.

Some of the sessions were Girls Who Code, Rube Goldberg Activity, Shark Tagging with Technology and Underwater STEMbotics. In the Girls Who Code Session, the young ladies were introduced to Scratch Games and Lightbot from Hour of Code.

Link to Scratch Games:

Link to Lightbot:

There were also live demonstrations from many such as the Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Land Robotics, Moody DRONES Club, and TAMU-CC UAS Drone.

Next year’s goal is to go regional with the help of the Innovative Learning Lab grant from the Texas Education Agency-Educate Texas and the STEMification Outreach grant program from their sponsor Citgo Refinery. Dr.Bilaye-Benibo would also like to reach out to private schools to promote STEM for those students as well.

The boys also requested a conference to help them polish their interest and focus on a career in STEM. The CITGO Innovation Academy at Moody will be hosting the First Annual Men4STEM Conference on April 11, 2017.

For more information, please contact or

visit the website .

Schanen Estates Elementary School

by Brandey Addison

Schanen Estates Elementary School Principal, Pamela Wright, and Assistant Principal Laura DeLaGarza will tell you that they are seeing more and more technology integration in Shamrock classrooms. Mrs. Wright and Ms. DelaGarza recognize the value of increased technology integration with core content curriculum. So many more students, including those who are struggling or have low-self esteem, are more engaged in learning when teachers use digital tools.

From lesson delivery to independent practice to behavior management, technology is infused into the teaching and learning cycle at Schanen Estates Elementary. Mr. Charles Fox travels with his iPad and manages behavior using ClassDojo... any time, any where. Mrs. Clem Garcia's Kindergarten class uses their keyboard skills while practicing to change font style and color while creating a Wordle of "X" words.

Lesson introduction, guided practice, independent practice, skill review, formative assessment… when visiting classrooms at Schanen Estates Elementary school you will see technology woven into the teaching and learning cycle in so many ways.

Mrs. Debby Ruiz snaps a picture of her students' writing draft using an iPad for class discussion using You Doodle.
Students discuss key features in each others' drafts.
Mrs. Simmons uses You Doodle on an iPad during math in her 5th grade class. Easily pass the iPad to allow students to show problem solving strategies for math problems.
"I love integrating it within a lesson because the participation in class discussion increases greatly." Rachael Caffey, Fourth Grade Teacher
Mrs. Caffey's students use vocabulary and context clues to complete sentences in the SMART Board station. Stations are managed using Google Slides while Mrs. Caffey conducts reading groups.

The school year started with a plan for professional learning for all teachers that was on campus and allowed teachers to learn how to design lessons that infused grade level curriculum content and technology. Teachers were provided hands on time to create lesson resources that they incorporated into their classroom lessons.

"I was always hesitant to use technology because I thought it would be time consuming and the kids would need lots of assistance, but it has turned out to be quite the opposite. It is so easy to set up and the students are very self-reliant when it comes to using it. It has changed the way I teach! Classroom management during stations has become much easier!" Diane Smith, First Grade Teacher
While working with a reading group, stations go off without a hitch in Mrs. Diane Smith's class. Students classify adjectives using a vortex activity on the SMART board. First graders have classified nouns/verbs, singular/plural, books by genre, and complete and incomplete sentences using the same type of vortex template.
"Smart Notebook is used for lessons and for creating thinking maps in the classroom. Quizlet is used during reading stations to help with sight words. I used documents to create letters, notes, lists, for communication. ClassDojo is used to communicate with parents for student progress, behavior, and or concerns." Clem Garcia, Kindergarten Teacher
Mrs. Garcia's kindergarten students are anxious for their turn to use the wireless keyboard and type in their contribution to the list of words that were spelled with the letter "x".
Kindergartners love selecting a color palette for their Wordle word cloud. Keyboarding, selecting font and colors are all skills outlined in the K-2 Technology Application TEKS.

Schanen Estates teachers began at all levels of technology proficiency and all have certainly grown this school year. And, in the grand scheme of things, who benefited?


Mrs. Denise Walker's students identify pronouns in the read- aloud.
One of the SMART Board station choices is an activity to classify nouns and pronouns.
ClassDojo is used by many teachers to manage behavior during reading groups and learning stations time. Here Mrs. Walker uses her mobile device to access Classdojo to free up the SMART Board for students to engage in activities such as a word sort and a reading selection reflection.
"I integrate technology in my classroom to keep my students engaged and to prepare them for a future where technology skills are necessary for success." Denise Walker, Second Grade Teacher

It wasn’t always easy. But, Schanen Estates Elementary has a motto.



Inspired by a video shared at a CCISD Administrator’s book study conversation, Mrs. Pamela Wright had an idea!

Video from: Jasmyn Wright (CEO & Founder of Push Through)

Right away, Mrs. Wright, knew that Schanen Estates need to have THAT determination to… PUSH THROUGH IT! And, that's how Schanen Estates Elementary adopted the motto...

"When You Get... Push Through It!"

When it came to “taking the risk” to try new instructional strategies and approaches to teaching and learning, Schanen Estates teachers and students PUSHED THROUGH…

Mr. Charles Fox outlines expectations for his students during Writing Workshop. Students compose drafts that will be published using Google Drawings. What a motivator this is for some of Mr. Fox's usually reluctant writers!
Mr. Fox loads the weekly spelling list into Spelling City. His students practice spelling words in the form of games. Google Classroom helps Mr. Fox deliver digital homework resources to his students for study aids and digital assignments. ClassDojo on the iPad... hold students accountable for their behavior no matter where they are on campus.
Mrs. Margie Pantoja's students review basic and three dimensional shapes using models and a SMART Notebook activity. Later, students in Mrs. Pantoja's class will break into small groups and work on the iPad to develop individual skill needs.

While teachers began to use technology to teach new concepts and check for understanding, they were able to get immediate feedback from students using formative feedback tools like Plickers.

Students in Mrs. Kathryn Truitt's class discuss lesson vocabulary. Using Plickers she will know how many of her students continue to struggle with the vocabulary important to the comprehension of the lesson.

Teachers were better able to head off misconceptions immediately. Because 100% of the class responds to each question using Plickers, engagement is increased and teachers have a clear picture of what ALL students know or still need help learning and understanding.

First grade students use addition problem solving strategies while solving basic facts during their Plickers formative assessment activity.
In First Grade, Miss Alexis Aguirre uses Plickers for formative assessment. Students review place value. Right away she addresses that not all students agree on the correct answer. Students discuss their answers and justify their choices.
"Honestly, technology is the way to make classroom learning fun! Students do not like to be lectured all day. They want to be involved with you (the teacher), they like to feel wanted and special when their fellow classmates see them working hard on the White Board." Alexis Aguirre. 1st Grade Teacher

Just like the students in the video, Schanen Estates teachers and students know how to PUSH THROUGH IT and make it happen.


by Brandey Addison

George Couros... It's Difficult NOT to Agree with Him.

George Couros is our keynote speaker for Tech2Tech Conference 2017. He believes in celebrating the work that happens every day in your school by tweeting about it.

That is EXACTLY what Cristina Diaz, Ellysse Gonzalez, and Julee Murphy do!

Check out their tweets below.


We want to Know what is Happening on Your Campus!

Tweet with


Don't worry, be appy!

Don't Worry, Be Appy!

Formative assessment Apps help prep for sTAAR

By Seth Caylor

The Nearpod platform enables teachers, schools and districts, to use their iPads to manage content on students' iPads, iPhones, iPods or Macs. It seamlessly combines interactive presentation, collaboration, and real-time assessment tools into one integrated solution.

Quizizz is a free fun multiplayer classroom review tool, that allows all your students to practice and learn together. It's super-easy to create quizzes and super-fun to play!

Quizizz has fun avatars, live leaderboards, themes, music, memes and more to keep your students on their toes!

  • Read Aloud: An audio option to read the question text to the students.
  • Integrates seamlessly with Google classroom.
  • Can be used in class or for homework.
  • Detailed student and class level data, which can be exported in multiple formats.
  • Millions of public quizzes covering different subjects for all grades.

Socrative is your classroom app for fun, effective classroom engagement. No matter where or how you teach, Socrative allows you to instantly connect with students as learning happens.

Quickly assess students with prepared activities or on-the-fly questions to get immediate insight into student understanding. Then use auto-populated results to determine the best instructional approach to most effectively drive learning.

SPED Panel With Barbara Greses: Developing Future Teachers through Technology

By Rene V. Pantoja

Creating opportunities for experienced educators to collaborate through the use of technology with future teachers is a top priority for Corpus Christi Independent School District and Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.

Barbara Greses, CCISD Coordinator for Special Education, teamed up with TAMU-CC Professor, Dr. Susan Elwood and her education class for a Teacher Connect webinar.

CCISD teachers Danielle Ramirez at Allen ES and Tara Turnbull at Berlanga ES met online for a 2 hour webinar with TAMU-CC pre-service teachers to share methods and assistive technology used with Special Education students.

“I think that everything ran very smoothly and I actually enjoyed the webinar – I felt so much more comfortable in my classroom. It was an amazing experience . . . that class was very informative and they had a lot of questions, they were eager to learn." ~~Danielle Ramirez, Adaptive Education teacher, T.G. Allen Elementary School~~
“I think that any time you are given the opportunity to share knowledge . . . you also gain knowledge. I definitely enjoyed the experience and I hope to be invited to do another one in the future.” ~~Tara Turnbull, Adaptive Education teacher, Berlanga Elementary School~~

CCISD is continuing its efforts through Teacher Connect to bring focus on experienced teachers like Ms. Turnbull and Mrs. Ramirez.

It was a pleasure to work with Andrina Hamil, Adaptive Education Specialist, and Cary Perales, Coordinator for Instructional Technology . We enjoyed working on the installation of the webcams and providing on-site technical assistance for this successful Teacher Connect webinar.

Tech Connect

In this Episode:

  • Special Education Model Teachers Connecting with the University
  • Tech Corner: Updating Your Software Using Software Center

Google Add-ons

by Melissa Gonzalez

What are Add-ons in Google?

Add-ons are tools built by third-party developers using Google Apps Script. They enhance and bring more functionality to your Google Docs, Sheets and Forms documents. Not sure what Add-on to utilize?

(A great resource found at TCEA: Texas Computer Education Association Conference)

Please feel free to browse and access the following tabs in the "TURN ON THE POWER OF GOOGLE" link above:

  1. Finding Add-ons (video included)
  2. Docs Add-ons
  3. Forms Add-ons
  4. Sheets Add-ons
  5. Additional Add-ons

Challenge yourself by including an Add-on to a Docs, Sheets or Forms document and discover how amazing this tool is. Remember, you may access Atomic Learning our 24/7 Online Professional Learning Support Tool at www.CCISD.IT to learn about Google Add-ons.

For CCISD Elementary Teachers:

Create a Report of Google Usernames and Passwords for Students

By Irma Muñiz

Teachers often ask how to obtain Google usernames and passwords for their students.

When Teachers Are Familiar with Google, then It is time to Introduce it to Students.

While they are able to get this information by generating a report, teachers should not distribute it to students unless they (teachers) have received Google training.

Are You Ready to "get Google" with Your Students Now?

Procedures to create a report of Google logins and passwords can be accessed below.

For ALL CCISD Teachers And Students:

How To Access Student Online Textbooks

The usernames and passwords produced by the report are the same ones used by students to access their online textbooks.

Help Students Who are Yet to Access Their Online Textbooks

The video below provides student instructions for accessing online textbooks from any computer connected to the Internet.

Please share this video with your students.

Here's a friendly url to share with them.

CCISD Telecommunciations Department

Charlie Saldivar Connects with Us

About His Tele-Com Team

Who is behind the scene for the District’s Telecommunications team?

The CCISD Telecommunications Department consist of:

  • Coordinator for Telecommunications- Charlie Saldivar
  • Telecommunications Job Control Foreman- Miguel Davila
  • Telecommunication Technician- Fidel Alba
  • Telecommunication Technician- Christopher Rincon
  • Telecommunications Technician- Troy Stone
  • Telecommunications Technician- Rolando “Gino” Ita
  • Telecommunications Technician- Vacant

Experience? Oh yes, We have Experience!

CCISD’s Telecom team consists of Telecom staff with many years of experience in our respected field.

Myself for instance, I have been in the Telecommunications Industry in Corpus Christi for over 23 years. I’ve been with the District 10 years in August. The Telecom Foreman, Miguel, has been with the District for 9 years and in the industry for over 19 years. The telecom technicians have been with the District from a 37 year veteran to a recent 3 month old hire.

This team stays busy...

Yes, work never runs thin around here. Especially with the start of school each year and the end of summer projects. It’s just a continuous abundance of work orders that we address each and every day. This persistence keeps the District’s Telecommunications systems working for all campuses and Administration sites.

Efficient. Yep, That's Us!

The most satisfying part of our job is knowing that the Telecommunication Department services are currently running as efficiently as possible. For instance:

  • District telephone services: we were able to audit and disconnect phone lines and change the Districts provider for a saving of approximately 50% for 3 years now.
  • IP phone system, we changed to cloud services instead of physical circuits for another 40% savings off of that annual cost over 4 years ago.
These accomplishments are the most satisfying for our department.

Proud to keep CCISD Connected

We do our very best every day to ensure the Telecommunication Department services are working at their best! From life safety IP phones and Overhead Paging, to Video Announcements as well as Network, Telecommunication, Audio/Video, Speaker/Horn cabling District-wide.

SMART Slams:

Berlanga/Houston, Oak Park/Zavala, Galvan

by Roxanna Guerrero

Beginning Fall 2016, the Smart Cohorts are coming to a close. The teachers have been busy learning new skills and creating products with the Smart Software. Some schools, such as Fannin and Sanders, Berlanga and Houston, Oak Park and Zavala, and Galvan, have finished their series with the Smart SLAMS.

From these events we have noticed three main observations. First, the teachers are willing to stay after-school to celebrate their learning and do not mind sharing with other teachers what they have created for their classrooms.

Berlanga and Houston

Second, this is truly a collaborative and supportive environment. Each teacher may have only shared a couple of templates, games, or activities, but on the average are getting to go home with about 20 more. Every teacher participating was given access to the presentation folder with 20 or so different ideas and files which they can use as a resource or reminder of other activities to try in their classroom. The teachers are thrilled to have such a valuable and current resource.

Oak Park and Zavala

And thirdly, as we sat and listened to their presentations it became clear that teachers were beginning to speak the “Technology” language. They spoke of the “templates”, student “contributions”, “thumbnails”, “resizing” of objects, “linking pages”, “URLs and web pages”, and at times were problem-solving technical issues which we know will tend to appear at unexpected times. I am sure there were other examples, but the main point here is that our teachers have embraced the Smart Technology and have incorporated it with their content and academic vocabulary. These teachers have proven to be innovative in their thinking and application of Smart. Don’t be surprise if you see some at our Tech2Teach Conference. They have so many cool ideas!


Our office is looking forward to working with the new Smart Cohorts which will begin soon.

If your school has been chosen, then be ready to learn! We are excited to get started helping you to use your smart product and smart software to its full potential.

Celebrating with Oak Park and Zavala

SMART Lab Game Templates in SMART Notebook version 16.1

By Kathy Mendiola

Had your SMART Board for a while? Feel like you’ve used the templates so many times it’s predictable or dare I say…

Not the case for you? Maybe you know someone who just got a shiny, new SMART TV with the very latest software and all those super cool NEW templates. Is SMART Notebook 11...

Worse, maybe now you see what you have and all you can think is….

Wonder what all the fuss is about? With SMART Notebook 16.1, you too can have access to all the shiny new Game Templates that you have heard so much about.

SMART Notebook version 16.1 has many features that were not available in previous versions of the software. One of the favorite new features is SMART lab, which contains numerous easy to use Game Activity templates available for teachers to use.

To access these activity templates, select the SMART Lab icon (pictured below) from the toolbar in Notebook.

Once the SMART lab Menu opens, select the template that suits the type of activity you want to use with your students and begin customizing with your content. See templates and descriptions from SMART Notebook below.

Now that you know what you’ve been missing I’m certain your next question is, “Can I get this newer version of the software?” The answer is…...

Need to know how to update? No worries, we’ve got you covered.

After implementing these engaging templates into your lessons, the only thing you’ll be left saying is…


Tech2Teach Monthly April the Giraffe print cover #aprilthegiraffe

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