Tech2Teach Monthly May 2017

What's in This Issue?

  • The "Download" on DTAC
  • Cunningham MS: STEM Night
  • Multimedia Fair: SuperTech- What's Your Tech Power?
  • Tech2Learn
  • Men4STEM Conference at Moody HS
  • Chromebooks! Chromebooks Everywhere!
  • Top 10 Reasons YOU Should Attend Tech2Teach 2017
  • Teacher Feature: Chromebook Incentive Articles Submitted
  • Technology Spotlight: End User Support


By Cary Perales

On April 19th, 2017 our District Technology Advisory Council met and participated in a panel to hear from teachers, students, principals, and assistant principals on how technology integration has impacted their campus, instructional practices, and student achievement.

The panel provided important information and evidence of positive outcomes, as well as, challenges to programs and opportunities regarding Future Ready initiative, classroom technology, technology and T-TESS, delivery of instruction, and technology professional development. The afternoon was a success, and the panel provided quality feedback, which will only make the programs and services provided by Instructional Technology and Technology Services stronger. Thank you panel members !!!!

What questions were asked to the panel?

  • From a student perspective, what does future ready mean in an educational setting?
  • How is your campus moving towards future ready ?
  • What are some of the obstacles you are encountering to become future ready?
  • What if we stopped buying student workstations? What would replace them?
  • What does the future ready classroom look like?
  • When working on professional goals, how has technology played a part in your development?
  • As a student, have you noticed a difference in your teachers or your campus when it comes to the integration of technology?

What is DTAC?

District Technology Advisory Council advises the Superintendent’s Executive Management Team on planning considerations in regards to technology infrastructure improvements and the shift to digital learning to include the use of digital content and open education resources.

What is DTAC's mission?

The mission of DTAC is to participate in partnerships with CCISD to develop and provide services to support technology-rich learning environments.

Who’s in DTAC?

The District Technology Advisory Council is comprised of students, teachers, principals, specialists, directors, CCISD executive team, Deputy Superintendent, Superintendent, community members, and board members.

Who was on the panel?

  • Kellye Loving, Oak Park Elementary School
  • John Prezas, Sanders Elementary School
  • Analisa Farah, Fannin Elementary School
  • Olivia Ballesteros, Crockett Elementary School
  • Kelsie Morris, Kostoryz Elementary School
  • Zonia Lopez, Webb Elementary School
  • Jennifer Carter, Kolda Elementary School
  • Dolores Barragan, Kolda Elementary School
  • Ginger Becker, Webb Elementary School (and her Grade 1 class Skyped in)
  • Ana Guerrero, Collegiate High School
  • Andrea Guerrero, Collegiate High School
  • Camryn Caylor, Miller High School
  • Lauren Perez, Veterans Memorial High School
  • Sue Elwood, Texas A&M University

Cunningham MS: STEM NIGHT

By Brandey Addison

“STEM Night at Cunningham was an eye-opener for me [with] all the STEM opportunities available. I would like to pursue a career in engineering.” – Jessica Rivera (8th grade)

When middle school students begin considering careers in STEM fields, you know you are doing something right!

Recently, Cunningham Middle School hosted the “First Annual Cunningham MS Community STEM Night.” With the full support of her campus administrators, Kaitlyn Lowen lead the charge of teachers and community members in coordinating the event for over 400 participants.

“Last summer I was an ambassador on Robert Ballard’s Nautilus Exploration vessel for five days,” Kaitlyn explains.

During her work on the Nautilus with other educators it was recommended that they return to their schools and host STEM nights to pique their students’ interests in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics fields. So, that’s what Kaitlyn did!

The success of STEM night was a combined effort. Cunningham teachers built up the anticipation for STEM night through classroom discussion with their students. Information and videos about the Nautilus helped spark student interest in the event. Cunningham Student Council raised money to provide door prizes for the event. Citgo, who partners with the Nautilus Exploration Vessel, also helped promote the event. Moody High School students from the CITGO INNOVATION (STEM) ACADEMY and HEALTH SCIENCE ACADEMY planned hands on activities for the event which included Aquatic Science, Robotics, and Chemistry. Texas A&M Corpus Christi Engineering department, Del Mar Drone department, and Texas State Aquarium all participated in this outstanding community event. At their booth, TAMUCC promoted the STEM Summer Institute offered by the School of Engineering and Computing Sciences that will be taking place this summer. K-12 students learn about STEM related topics and STEM careers during week long summer camps.

For Summer 2017 TAMUCC will offer the following camps:

  • Unmanned Aircraft Systems, July 24-28 for high school students
  • Underwater Robotics, June 25-July 1 for high school students
  • Women in Technology (WITS) Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGVs), July 17 – July 21, middle school girls
  • Women in Technology (WITS) Mobile App Development, July 24 – July 28, middle school girls
  • Women in Technology (WITS) Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), July 31 – August 4, middle school girls
  • Unmanned Aircraft Systems, August 14 – 18, middle school students
Principal Sandy Salinas-Deleon was delighted with the outcome of the event. “The student and community turnout for our First Annual Cunningham STEM Community night was evidence of the passion, dedication and determination our staff and community have to do whatever is needed to help our students succeed. WE GOT THIS!!!”

But she wasn’t the only one. Check out what others had to say…

“Next year I would like it if the Nautilus brought their ROV the Hercules so that we could see it.” – Tomas Lucio (8th grade)
“I really liked all the different booths and how each one had a hands-on activity for us to try. My favorite was Cunningham’s Robotics booth, where I could guide a robot through a maze.” –Lorenna Fuentes (8th grade)
“Third grade students from Garcia Elementary were so focused and diligent on trying to create a neutrally buoyant ROV. It was neat to see such young students inspired by STEM.” –Norma Lopez (Science Teacher at Cunningham)
"I've been teaching Social Studies at Cunningham for 13 years. I have never seen that many people in the cafeteria!" - Mary Theis (History Teacher at Cunningham)
" It was truly a family-friendly event. There were many parents with their kids participating and many elementary-aged kids were enjoying the activities as much as their parents." – Mary Theis (History Teacher at Cunningham)
“It was so exciting to see Cunningham and Moody students working with students from our feeder elementary schools and showing them the great things they will do here!” Assistant Principal Barbara Brinkman.
"When over 400 participants from the Elementary, Middle, and High School come to Cunningham to engage over Science Technology Engineering and Math, you know that you have a community committed to education," Assistant Principal Danny Noyola Jr.
"One of the major goals of our Nautilus Exploration Program is to inspire the next generation of explorers in STEM fields. I was thrilled to see and meet so many Cunningham students and members of the Corpus Christi community to share the highlights of our past expedition season, brainstorm and build at our engineering design challenge booth, and to personally invite the community to join E/V Nautilus and our team of explorers live on the seafloor this summer. There is an enormous portion of our planet left to explore and students who are interested and educated in science, technology, engineering, and math will be equipped for careers of the future and leading this discovery. Since 2014, OET is proud to partner with CITGO bringing a series of education programs from professional development, curricular resources, hometown experiences, and at-sea opportunities to students and educators in Corpus Christi.” Megan Cook, Ocean Exploration Trust

Students and teachers will be able to continue exploring with E/V Nautilus and Corpus Christi's STEM role models 24/7 on from May 12th - the end of November. Education resources and STEM Learning Modules for CCISD educators are available through To stay up to date with the latest from the Corps of Exploration, follow OET on social media Facebook (NautilusLive), Twitter (@EVNautilus), Instagram (@nautiluslive) or YouTube (@EVNautilus).

MEN4STEM: Moody High School

By Rene V. Pantoja

On April 11, Moody High School held its first Men 4 STEM conference. Middle and high school students from the CCISD district attended the event . . . sponsored by Citgo Refinery. The goal of the event was to expose the students to Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Hopefully, these students would continue and pursue a career in these professions. Local professionals in STEM volunteered their time to talk to the students and also provided demonstrations.

Breakout sessions were provided throughout the morning to teach the students about various fields of study. Sessions such as robotics, engineering, flying drones, and taking care of the wetlands were just some of the professions provided. Individual and group activities provided the students with an abundance of opportunities to learn about the opportunity to work in a STEM profession. Presenters provided different paths to career opportunities of study and ways to train and prepare for their chosen field.

Students spent the morning session learning and gaining experience from experts in their field. Lunch was provided, and the event continued into the afternoon with a student panel and a STEM-Off. Closing remarks were provided by event coordinator Dr. Gloria Bilaye–Benibo from Moody High School.

Chromebooks! Chromebooks Everywhere!

The Chromebook Incentive for 2016-2017 is coming to an end. A total of 45 participants received Chromebooks already! Fifty Chromebook Incentive participants chose volunteering at Tech2Teach and will receive their Chromebook after completing their volunteer hours at Tech2Teach Conference in August. Teachers receiving Chromebooks had to complete 2 Tech Savvy Saturdays and 2 Building Capacity opportunities. Building Capacity opportunities provided participants an avenue to apply what they learned at the Tech Savvy Saturdays.

Building Capacity Opportunities Choices Included:

  • Volunteer at TECH2TEACH Conference (Facilitate in a room, collect attendance, handout materials, and other duties assigned). Completion Aug. 2017
  • Volunteer to support Set Up prior to TECH2TEACH Conference. (one week prior to conference) Completion Aug. 2017
  • Volunteer to support Take Down after TECH2TEACH Conference. (one day after the conference) Completion Aug. 2017
  • Conduct a hands-on training session on their campus based on information learned from Tech Savvy Saturday. Completion March 30, 2017 (must submit agenda and sign in for documentation)
  • Volunteer to be filmed teaching a lesson that incorporates technology applications in the classroom. Completion March 30, 2017(based on learning from Tech Savvy Sat.)
  • Submit a lesson plan that integrates technology to be considered for future curriculum. Completion March 30, 2017.
  • Submit an article to the Tech2Teach Monthly digital magazine (about your experience, highlight a class, extend the learning, or trending topic in Instructional Technology.) Completion March 2017.
  • Volunteer to judge the Multimedia entries. (2 hours minimum)
  • Volunteer to facilitate sessions at Tech Savvy starting October 1, 2016.

We hope to continue the Chromebook Incentive next year!

Outcomes from Chromebook Incentive

Top 10 Reasons YOU should attend Tech2Teach on August 1 & 2, 2017

By Seth Caylor

Our annual Technology Conference is coming up, and we want you there! This will be the third year of our conference, and this year it is BIGGER and BETTER.

What will make it the best though, is if YOU attend.

10. Buzzword Bonanza

You’ll be the hit of the next technically oriented gathering when you restock your vocabulary at the Tech2Teach Conference. From EdTech techniques to the latest classroom hardware, we’ve got more terminology than you can shake a stick at.

9. Social Scene

For first timers, you get to meet the people you have been following on Twitter and educational blogs. For return attendees, another chance to hang out with the smartest people you know.

8. Leading Edge Info

We get the best and the brightest to share what they know. We ask our presenters to share what they find interesting and show ways to incorporate the technology into your classrooms.

7. Latest Technologies on Parade

Come to check our vendor booths to see what’s new and innovative.

6. Food Trucks!

Some of Corpus Christi’s finest mobile eateries will be available for a fantastic lunch opportunity.

5. Tips, Tricks, Taps & Techniques

Tech2Teach is all about sharing. What works, what doesn't work, what might work tomorrow with the right planning. Our presenters are receptive and helpful. Come with questions and leave with answers.

4. Fantastic Keynote Speakers

George Couros… Google his TED talk. You’re welcome.

3. Fun

Interacting with other educators. Learning together in a fun, laid-back environment.

2. EdTech Networking

There are lots and lots of teachers in our district that are already implementing technology integration into their classrooms and doing it very well. Meet and stay in touch with them throughout the years.

1.Professional Development

The #1 reason people come to Tech2Teach is to broaden their understanding of the way technology in the classroom can save time and engage students.

Experiencing the District’s “Super Tech Power” Multimedia Fever

Submitted By: Maria Marin, Houston ES Librarian

For the first time this year, Sam Houston Bobcats developed a “fever” for creating different types of multimedia to showcase in this year’s district Multimedia Fair which takes place in May. Sam Houston created their first technology club this year. The technology members participating this year were supervised by our librarian Dr. Marin, 2nd grade teachers Ms. Melissa Leal, Mrs. Selina Medina, Ms. Sally Howden, and third grade teacher Mrs. Anna Ramirez. The students in the technology club consisted of third and fifth grade students who created and submitted two PowerPoint presentations incorporating art work with voice, the other presentation used video clips, and the last submission was a digital art presentation. Fourth grade teacher, Megan Butler, was not to be outdone. Her classroom produced three PowerPoint presentations for the Super Tech Multimedia Fair, which made it a total of six technology submissions by the Sam Houston student body. The first time technology club members and creators, had lots of fun while creating their multimedia presentations. All of the participants, who submitted finished products, are looking forward to attending the actual Technology Fair to be held at Veteran’s Memorial High School in May. Parents and friends, as well as the community, can view all of the technology products created by students. Sam Houston students and staff are already looking forward to next year’s technology fair and more products being presented. Go Bobcats!

Google Classroom

Submitted By Toni Chapa, Ph.D., Coles HS English Teacher

Google as a Tool

Google Classroom (GC) is a tool to assist both teachers and students stay organized. This year I am teaching a few English IV classes, which includes credit recovery. Although I had already set up a Google Classroom with assignments and videos for my students at the beginning of the school year, I still had questions about specific features of Google Classroom, including student submission of assignments. When I heard about Google Classroom training, I signed up immediately. I was actually teaching my students about GC as I was learning to use it myself as a teacher.

Google in the Classroom

When I introduced Google Classroom to my students, some students took on the challenge and worked on assignments at home. But not all my students were excited. Some felt a bit overwhelmed, so I provided printed materials for them. My classroom is now a hybrid of GC and traditional classroom. One of the differences between students who use GC as a tool and those who don’t is the time it takes to complete the required coursework for credit. Students are able to submit their work on Google over the weekends and holidays.

Students and Google

Brandi, a senior at Coles High School, was one of the students who completed most of the assignments online. She earned her English credit and is almost ready to graduate. When asked about her experience with GC, Brandi smiled proudly, “Google is my best friend! It has taught me a lot of things. When we started Google Classroom, I was excited! I thought it was convenient. There was no searching for anything; it was very organized. Google Classroom is a great way to do school work. I did not have to print any papers. I just shared it with my teacher, and she would get an immediate notification. There was no more waiting for feedback - or lost work. I'm sure it made it much easier for her (Dr. Chapa) as well. I loved Google Classroom!” KC, another senior, echoed Brandi’s remarks, “Working on Google Docs is a great way to stay on task and up-to-date with class assignments.” KC had been out of school for surgery for many weeks. Without Google, KC would not have had the opportunity to complete her work.

Other seniors have also earned their English credit early after completing their assignments on Google. As a teen parent, Kayla was grateful for the opportunity to work at her own pace, as well as keep her work organized in a single location, “ I didn’t have to worry about losing my work on Google.”

While it is an adjustment for both teachers and students, I personally believe it is worth teaching students to use Google Classroom and other digital tools as they prepare to enter college and the workforce. They will take their skills with them wherever they go. For students who are still not comfortable with technology, we have to allow them time to adjust and provide them with extra support. Ultimately, it will be to their advantage to apply their digital skills both in school and out of school.

SMART Board in the Kindergarten Classroom At Barnes ES

Submitted By Brooke Coplin, Kindergarten Teacher

I have been lucky to have been exposed to SMART Boards since I was in high school. When I found out I was going to get a SMART Board in my classroom my second year of teaching, I was ecstatic to say the least. I have been trying new activities and implementing them ever since I was given the chance during student teaching and now that I have had my own for two years, it is definitely a staple in our classroom every day.

Students have a need for movement and activity in a Kindergarten classroom. I have found that implementing the SMART board during interactive lessons as well as a station activity has improved student engagement. Student behavior on the carpet improves drastically when they get the chance to interact with the SMART Board. They are taking turns and engaged in a way that I cannot recreate with any other activity. We have so many options with websites and the SMART exchange for games to use in all content areas.

At the Tech Savvy Saturday sessions, I learned even more ways to implement the SMART activities and use them in my Kindergarten classroom. As I get more comfortable with the activities and how to use the features of the SMART board, my students become successful with using it as well.

SMART Lesson Activity Toolkit

Submitted By: Cristina Diaz, First Grade Teacher, Evans Elementary School

The Lesson Activity Toolkit is a gallery collection of customizable tools and templates, including activities, games and graphics that you can use to construct engaging and interactive lessons. The Lesson Activity Toolkit contains templates for numerous activities to keep your students involved and make learning enjoyable. There are over a dozen types of customizable activities: anagram, category sort, image match, keyword match, multiple choice, pairs, tiles and word guess.

First graders in room 27 at George Evans Elementary have optimized their learning with the use of the Lesson Activity Toolkit. These activities are used to practice and review spelling words and vocabulary. Students use the category sort, anagram, keyword match and image match throughout various content areas.

“I love the SMART board center! We get to practice our spelling words. We get to take turns sorting and making our words,” explains Elijah Reyna.
Lauren Valdez adds, “I like it because it’s fun and you can sort the spelling words out. You get to learn.”

There are two Category Sorts in the Toolkit that make use of either text only or image only. You can set up 1, 2 or 3 categories then enter the items to be categorized. Students will drag the items in to each category. Students receive immediate feedback while working through the sort; you can use the check button either after the sort is completed or enable it before the activity begins.

The Anagram activity allows students to rearrange letters to unscramble the words. It allows for hints and even hints with a picture to help. You can set a timer, adjust the speed of the game and include up to five anagrams in one game.

Enjoying a New Age!

Submitted By: Rosalinda Garcia, Hicks ES 5th Grade Teacher

After teaching 33 years, you would think that I would have reached the end of the road! This year I decided to expand my technology tool box. Like many teachers that I know, I was afraid to delve in and do it!

Now, I’m thinking, “Why did I resist for so long?”

I attended Tech Savvy Saturdays all year long. I am so excited to be expanding my horizons! But I digress; one of the sessions I attended was the Appeteaser: Plickers, Quizlet, and Wordle training. I used the Plickers app with my class during my formal observation. Here are a couple of comments from my students when I asked them to tell me what they thought about Plickers.

All my students said it was fun!
One student stated that he liked it because he didn’t have to say anything he just had to show me his card.
Another student said that she liked Plickers because the whole class did it and no one had to answer by themselves!

Plickers was a hit!

The whole class was engaged and excited, so much so, that now they want me to use Plickers for every lesson! I told them that we didn’t want to get tired of it so we had to take turns using other resources! I am really looking forward to using Quizlet with them to try and get them motivated to practice their spelling words! I am so happy that I attended this session!

Create your own Plickers activity now.

Lost and Found

A Poem Submitted By: Yezenia Venecia, Driscoll Middle School, 8th Grade Science Teacher

First year teaching at CCISD,

I walked into my room and what do I see?

This strange contraption that I have never seen before,

It was bolted to my board like a big eye sore.

A projector and screen is what I have been using,

But this new board seemed a bit more amusing.

My first time at it I was like a baby learning to walk,

At one point I wished I had a chalkboard and chalk.

Thank goodness for Tech Saturdays, I don’t know what I would do.

Every time I went I learned something new.

I learned about the activity toolkit and what was inside.

From text enhancements to games, your lesson can differ from slide to slide.

Pens can vary in color; shapes can vary in size,

Knowing there was a clear ink button was the biggest surprise!

With all this new knowledge I so proudly earned,

I created a review game using all the tricks I had learned.

Clicking, dragging, moving things around,

Seeing all the things I’ve done verifies I am no longer lost, I am found.

Technology Spotlight:

End User Support

Front Row: Beth Hall, Cynthia Salas, Esmeralda Lopez, Lydia Krause

Second Row: Lisa O’Conner (temp), Raul Arellano, Marco Sarabia, Rudolph Llanes, Joe Ortiz, Jack Martinez, Lisa Perez

Back Row: Tommy Guerrero, Joe Guzman, Sean Sandoval, Chris Gonzales, Omar Sandoval, Ryan Eggett

Meet your CCISD End User Support Team.

Get to know those that help keep you online, up, and running.

This team is super busy, as you might imagine. A few of them were able to fill us in on who they are and what they are up to.

How many end-users do you support?

38,000 plus students and 6,000 staff and teachers.

What advice do you have for the end of the year?

Backup any data you may have on the hard drive and desktop.

Omar Sandoval – LAN Manager Ensure all important data have been saved to either your S: & U: drive and / or Google Drive. Also, setup your away email message

Lisa O’Conner – TEMP LAN Manager Backup any data you may have on the hard drive and desktop. Learn to use Google drive!

With such a heavy workload, you folks must find ways to relax on your time off. When you aren’t fielding technology issues at work, how do you spend your time outside of work? Hobbies? Interesting facts about you?

Chris Gonzalez, Campus Tech- I normally spend my off time with my wife and our 4 dogs. I also like to spend my time reading up on software and hardware releases that are expected to be released soon.

Sean Sandoval – Campus Tech I spend a lot of my time sleeping during the week. On the weekends I try to spend as much time as I can with my girlfriend, play video games, and watch sports when they are on.

Tommy Guerrero- Campus Tech I typically like to work out to clear my mind; I do this about 3-4 times a week.

Raul Arrellano – Campus Tech After work, I like to clean/cook depending on the day. :)

Joe Guzman – LAN Manager When not at work, I like spending time with family and coaching/teaching basketball.

Omar Sandoval – LAN Manager Metal Detecting, learning electronics repair, Netflix, and playing Music.

Lisa O’Conner – TEMP LAN Manager Spend time with loved ones, sing karaoke, salsa dance or workout.

Sometimes you just have to laugh. We aren’t all good with technology. What is the most interesting request for technology services that you have ever received?

Sean Sandoval – Campus Tech This isn’t so much of a request, but it is something interesting. I once saw a user using their broken CD drive as a cup holder.

Tommy Guerrero- Campus Tech I was asked to help figure out why the student computer wouldn’t turn on. First thing I checked was the power cable. I found that student desktop and monitor were plugged into a surge protector. Only the surge protector was plugged into itself... and not to the power outlet. Once I corrected the issue, everything was working well.

Omar Sandoval – LAN Manager Setup browser to open 5 pages when launched, Setup 3 monitors on one computer.

Ok, admittedly when my technology isn’t working correctly, I panic a little. Many of us do.


Sometimes you are the first person we encounter while we are in panic mode. Tell me what you are thinking while we are in distress.

Chris Gonzalez- Campus Tech The only thing that is going on through my head is “I hope I don’t have to order anything for this to be fixed.” Troubleshooting can be difficult and a part order can put a full stop to any class, especially when the vendors decide they want to send you a different part instead of what you requested because they “think” that should fix it.

Tommy Guerrero- Campus Tech When this happens, which is often, I’m thinking in my head, “Relax, I’m here now.”

Omar Sandoval – LAN Manager There’s always a solution to almost any computer problem, I can fix this! Everything will work out.

Lisa O’Conner – TEMP LAN Manager I try to listen to understand the situation and try my best to get things working again. If I don’t know, I ask a Lead LAN Mgr or Lydia.

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