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Tuesday, June 5, 2018

5 Simple Ways to Prepare for an Awesome Year

WBLAS Staff,

It’s the final tech tip of the year. Can you believe it’s over already? We’ve been through so much together. Like that one time we <cherished memory> together. And who could forget when <humorous colleague> made us all laugh by <shenanigans> at <boring meeting>? Look at us, crying like a couple of kids on the last day of camp.

This tender moment brought to you by the White Bear Lake Area Schools Technology Department.

Now that we’ve reminisced, it’s time to look forward. The summer is an opportunity to relax, connect with loved ones, and learn new skills! Here are a few things to try to return to school ready to wow your students and make your classroom more engaging.

1. Get to Know a New Professional Development Website for Teachers

Educational Technology and Mobile Learning compiled a list of 13 online resources to help you hone your skills. Some are free and some are paid. Find one that speaks to you and try your hand at some online learning!

2. Communicate with Your Technology Department

I really mean this, <person reading all of my pointless captions>.

Are you eager to try something new next year? Are you unsure if you’ll have the classroom setup you’ll need? Want to brainstorm some new tools to use? Ben Parker, Director of Technology for the Oklahoma Public School Resource Center, shares some tips for communicating with your technology department ahead of next year. A little communication now can save a lot of time later!

3. Deepen Your Relationship with Your Students by Showcasing Your Summer Fun

Vicki Davis at Edutopia shared a list of 12 Summer Tips for Top Teachers which are all wonderful. My favorite is number three: record and prepare your digital persona. Are you going on a family trip? Record a video for next year’s students introducing yourself and what you like to do! It’s a great way to jump-start the connection between you and your class.

4. Attend Summer Innovation Camp

Like this family, it’s gonna be in tents. Just... not literally. I'm sure you can figure that out.

The DLS team is so excited to bring you another great year of Summer Tech Innovation Camp! We have prepared some sessions for all staff members. You’ll find sessions on Genius Hour, improving efficiency, teaching in a makerspace, and boosting student agency. It’s from 8-12 on August 23rd and everyone who attends will be entered into a drawing for a free Google Home. Register today!

5. Share Great Ideas with One Another

Your DLS team is so honored to serve and support you in your work and we have some parting wisdom to share before everyone heads home for the summer.
Ryan Clark: “No, seriously! Attend Summer Innovation Camp! And check out this tweet from Jennifer Gonzalez on eight paths of self-improvement for teachers.”
Cassie Knutson: Her silence speaks greater wisdom than words could ever convey.
Nick Marty: “Check Twitter from time to time.”
LuAnne Oklobzija: “Join a Google+ Community on education.”
Troy Strand: “Try doing an Hour of Code activity a week.”
Shannon Treichel: “Take some time to organize your Google Drive.”

Happy summer, everyone! See you in the fall.


Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Summer Innovation Camp

Mark you calendar for Tuesday, August 23rd from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. for our Summer Innovation Camp. 

This summer we are focusing on innovative pedagogy rather than specific tech tools. Of course we will highlight and instruct on how technology can play a role within each topic, but ultimately we hope that you will leave with ideas for your classroom rather than tool specific skills. Innovation camp will feature sessions on efficiency, badging, student agency, project based learning, genius hour, makerspace, and globalization. For each course you attend you will earn CEUs and receive a ticket into a drawing for a Google Home.

Session offerings, descriptions, course outcomes and the link to register can be found by clicking here.

Click here to register!

We hope to see you there!

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Summer Tech PD Opportunities

Summer Tech PD Opportunities!

As summer fast approaches, consider boasting your ed tech skills with these opportunities:

First... Mark you calendar for Thursday, August 23rd from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. for our Summer Innovation Camp and tune in next week for details about this year's offering!

Second... Master managing data in sheets with this free course on using Google Sheets Formulas.
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This course is intended for intermediate level users of Google Sheets, who want to become more comfortable with advanced formulas and unlock the full potential of their data. You should be comfortable with basic formulas before taking this course, up to about the level of the VLOOKUP (although I do a very quick recap of that in lesson 1!).

Third... Go from zero to ninja with this set of Ed Tech Team Online Units. You can purchase single units for $25, or get all 7 for $140.
Zero to Ninja is bitesize learning, when you need it, wherever you need it. Through hands on, move at your own pace missions, ZTN lets you jump in no matter your experience level. Each lesson is broken into missions and easy to follow activities. Complete each mission in order, or jump around, it's up to you! Videos are available to support you and contain no audio so you don't have to worry about what's around you. You can follow videos/directions exactly or remix it to your own needs. In addition you can claim digital badges for completing your missions and learn how to make your very own Zero to Ninja lesson!
Let your DLS know how they can help you gear up for next fall!