EPS EdTech Summer Support Resources


I talk to many teachers who take part of summer break to plan or focus on learning something new.  If you have questions here are a few places with tips and tutorials.

On the Evergreen Ed Tech & Library Support website is a page dedicated to EdTech Tutorials.  You can search by name or scroll through the posts.

EPS EdTech Also has a Youtube Channel with video tips and tutorials.

If you have additional questions over the summer please feel free to contact me via Twitter:



Twitter – PLC Engagement Beyond your Building

Librarian Paul Warner uses Twitter to share the reading community he has created at Shahala.  Twitter is is a social networking and microblogging service that allows you to send out short messages called tweets. Tweets are limited to 140 characters but can also contain media like photos or videos.

Every year Paul creates a ReadCon (reading convention) where embedded within all the festivities is a Scholastic Book Fair.

Last Friday was May the Fourth be with You Day @jediguybrarian takes it to a whole new level.

Twitter is one way to connect what’s happening within the district and grow your PLC.  I don’t see Paul everyday but I do connect with him and other educators through Twitter & Instagram (that is another post).

If you want to learn more about how to share and grow your PLC with Twitter contact your EdTech TOSA.


Scratch – Digital Story Telling

Scratch Blocks MaketheBrainHappy

The District has approved Scratch and Scratch Jr. for Digital Story Telling. Scratch was developed by the folks at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Media Lab. It is a visual programming language where you can create, animate, games, art, and stories. Here is a short example.  Click on the green flag below to start the animation.


Here is a padlet of resources and lessons to teach with Scratch.  Just click on the image below to access.  Contact your EdTech TOSA for support to launch your class on their story telling journey through Scratch.


Spring Forward with Google Expeditions


It’s hard to believe but Spring Break is just around the corner!  The calendar for the 2018-2019 school year has been published and while there is still lots of learning to accomplish teachers also have an eye on planning for the future. 

A suggestion to think about for next year is connecting content with virtual field trips through Google Expeditions.  With Google Expeditions you can visit many places without leaving your classroom.  Whether it’s a rainforest, space station or museum you feel as though you are part of the virtual reality of the program. 

Shark diving with Google Expeditions

With Google Expeditions curiosity and engagement increases with the virtual field trip experience.  Google Expeditions gives your students the chance to visualize concepts.  Children can safely explore places they could not because of economics, time or logistics. Empathy and understanding results as children feel literally they are in the shoes of an observer in the environment.  

While it’s a lot of fun to explore space or travel to other exotic places best practices are still remembered as we take time to pause and reflect on our observations.  Students take the time to fill out a See, Think, Wonder Chart or Turn and Talk about what’s happening in the moment.  

Making observations & recording ideas


Your Ed Tech TOSAs are here to help with the nuts and bolts of operating an expedition and support instruction with your students.  


The Techy Coach


While the Expeditions are booked out for this year stay tuned for when the 2018-2019 calendar is released.  Your EdTech TOSAs are here to support you.



Watching YouTube Safely in the Classroom

Teachers have asked how to view YouTube Videos with their students while avoiding distracting ads, or exposure to what may be considered inappropriate content and/or comments.  To create an example to share I chose a Ted-Ed Video on YouTube that is a riddle. 

I want to share it whole class and give the students access in Google Classroom so they can review the clues as they solve the riddle.  I have edited the answer portion out of the video to keep them focused on the task.  I’ve also installed Ad Remover for Google Chrome to block additional ads that may “pop up” in the video.


Here are 2 different ways you can edit and show Youtube videos for your classroom:

1.)  Show the video through Safeyoutube.net

Safeyoutube is free and does not require you to register. You can edit a clip’s start and end time. I tested the website’s link and it works with Evergreen Student Accounts.  It has an informative Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page that answers practical questions and is easy to learn.  You can view the video I made to show how it works and give it a try yourself.

2.)  Insert the video into a Google Slide

When you insert the a video into a Google Slide you also have the ability to edit the start and end time of the video.  Since Youtube, Google Slides and Google Classroom are all part of the GSuite for Education Ecosystem the process blends seamlessly together.  Please take a look at the video I made to see how this works and give it a try yourself.

YouTube is too powerful a resource to ignore for learning and teaching. There are tools and ways to stop the default ads, suggested videos and comments so we spend our time focused on learning.  Your Ed Tech TOSAs are here to support you.  

Lastly, I used the programs Loom and WeVideo to create the videos you watched.  Stay tuned for more information on how you can create your own screen casts for instruction.

Mystery Hangouts – Connecting the Classroom and the Real World

Playing Mystery Hangout in Grade 4

Where in the world is Vancouver Washington?  This may sound like a silly question but what if you were in another part of the world?  Vancouver Washington may sound like an exotic place to learn about.  As you read on please feel free to go back and explore the hyperlinks.  They will lead you to resources regarding the project.

A 4th grade class at Harmony Elementary had begun the process of learning about their home state.  A Mystery Hangout was an authentic way for students to learn about Washington and the world around them.  In a Mystery Hangout (also called a Mystery Skype) students use a 20 question yes/no format to guess the other party’s physical location.  

Prepping for the Hangout

As the lesson was introduced the yes/no question format guided students’ learning.  Their own voices and choices emerged and there was high engagement as they researched and developed their own yes/no questions for the hangout. They focused on what kinds of questions might be asked of them so they could be prepared to answer correctly.  Learning about the continents, waterways, landforms, industry, climate and general map reading skills took on a new meaning because they needed the knowledge and skills to participate successfully in the Hangout.  They had a “why” behind their learning. Different roles were assigned so that everyone participated in the process at the best of their abilities.  

On the big day both classes were excited to learn about one another and make new friends. Students collaborated to question & answer.  This brought out note taking skills, research, deductive reasoning, cooperation and oral fluency.  The feeling of accomplishment when each correct answer brought them closer to their goal was palatable.  In the end both sides celebrated their discovery and had a chance to connect.  

At the end the teacher and I were a little emotional. The experience reminded us about giving kids high expectations and seeing them meet or go beyond abilities.   As an Edtech TOSA my job is to help with planning a Hangout and smoothing over the technology edges to have a transformational learning experience. Please feel free to email if you are interested in trying a Mystery Hangout.  Your Edtech TOSAs are here to assist you with planning and technology support.


The secret location of the other school?  You’ll have to start with a list of “yes/no” questions.  


Save the Date – Hour of Code December 4th – 10th

Wednesday, November 16, 2017
By Debra Hernanz

Sylvia Duckworth wears many hats, teacher, tech, avid Sketchnoter (something I also want to explore) and more. She is one of those really cool people who shares for FREE the amazing resources she creates. She just asks to please keep her name on the work. Her websites are a rabbit hole of inspiration and ideas. If you take a peek make sure you set some time aside. You will be engaged for awhile.

The Hour of Code 2017 is happening in December (4th through the 10th). Sylvia’s website was a resource for an infographic regarding coding. Hour of Code is a global learning event designed to introduce coding to people. The need to create a workforce designed to meet 21st century skill sets is a reality. More importantly, coding literacy may eventually be as fundamental as conventional reading & writing literacy to share ideas, question, and problem solve.

Here are some ways you can dip your toe into coding:

Making Ozobots dance with color coding at Orchards Elementary.

Coding Apps on Class LinkKhan Academy and Code.org

Programmable Robots: Beebots, Ozobots and Spheros









Also approved by the District is Scratch a free program developed by MIT.  They’ve paired up with the Googleverse to connect others with coding.

Creating a presentation on invasive species with Scratch Coding at Orchards Elementary

Hour of Code can be a jump start to an activity spread out over time as part of a personalized learning plan, blending purposeful learning with best practices. The Ed Tech Department has worked to provide access across the K-12 spectrum. Robotics with Beebots to Ozobots and Spheros. There are apps located in Class Link such as Khan Academy and Code.Org where classes are rostered and learning is self paced. The important first step is to make a choice to try and see where it leads you and your students. Ed Tech TOSAs are here to support you along the way.