T3: Teachers Taking-on Technology
GISD Elementary~Volume 2 Issue 4

January - February 2016

Digital Learning Day is February 17th!

   All across the country, schools are undergoing a transformation in teaching and learning with the help of digital technology. As educators re-imagine school in new and different ways, Digital Learning Day provides an opportunity to collaborate with peers, share ideas, try new digital tools, and celebrate education innovation. Most importantly, it encourages everyone to play a role in the transformation of their own schools and communities. From virtual student debates to a digital project showcase, local Digital Learning Day events are as diverse and unique as the students that participate. The possibilities are endless. Thousands of classrooms in addition to community centers, school districts and even states get involved in the day by hosting events and activities that highlight or encourage new ways of using technology for learning.
    Looking for inspiration? Digital Learning Day has partnered with Participate Learning to offer new resources and classroom activity ideas. Participate Learning is a free collection and collaboration platform that lets teachers quickly find, collect, and share digital resources.

     If you want to share your classroom's learning on Digital Learning Day, Be sure to use the hashtags #TeamGISD and #DLDay.

Techy Teacher Spotlight:
Ashley "Jonesy" Jones - Frost Elem.

Ashley Jones is a third year 2nd grade teacher at Jack Frost Elementary and their current Teacher of the Year. Prior to joining the staff at Jack Frost she taught 3rd grade in Richardson ISD for five years. She works with students from all walks of life and immerses them with not only today's 21st century technology skills, but also incorporates every day success-driven habits critical to helping create well-rounded individuals for the future.

Whether it's 3D printing, students talking to important people via iPad during class time or integrating new technology like Osmo, her classroom is never the same each day.

Favorite Class Apps:

Box Island: One Hour Coding
Story Bots - Learning Books, Videos and Games Starring Your Child
Fast Typer 2
Splash Math

For various projects and end of unit assessments, they tell stories with the app Story Bots by using their own faces, pictures taken during class and other nouns, stickers and thought bubbles. It allows variety for all students the ability to show what they know. After the project, they have the ability to share their project on social media sites as well as emailing or texting their important people what they created.

A+ Education Foundation Grant Window Opens Feb. 29th

The A+ Education Foundation (the Foundation) is dedicated to providing grants to fund programs, training and materials for professionally certified educators.

Visit the tabs above to learn more about the Grant Program! To support local educators through the A+ Education Foundation Grant Program, please consider becoming a Foundation member or contributing to the Foundation.

The 2015 Grant Awardees from Georgetown include Amy Heil (Mitchell Elem.), Debra Austrum (McCoy Elem.), and Kristy Davies (Village Elem.).

For 2016, A+ is introducing a new, online application system making it easier for educators to apply and obtain approvals. Applications will open Monday, February 29 and close at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, June 5. All supporting material must me be submitted by the deadline.

FREE Tool Spotlight:
LivingTree Private Social Network for K-12 Classrooms

LivingTree enables a new era of engagement for teachers to collaborate with students and connect with parents to converse, listen and coordinate in the context of our children’s education – in a single, robust coordination and collaboration tool.

Start a true two way dialogue with your class community. Instantly alert your class via e-mail and mobile notification about important information. Share messages, photos, files and more. Include EVERYONE in the conversation with translation to 41 languages.

Other features available in Living Tree include being able to send alerts, manage volunteers, share messages, photos, files, calendar events, and more - all in a single, private and secure place, wherever you are.

T3 Newsletter Now publishes Bi-Monthly

To better serve the T3 members and patrons, this newsletter is switching from a monthly platform to a Bi-monthly distribution. There are a few changes that will be occurring to see if we can reach a wider audience of tech innovator educators, such as reader submitted content and online trainings/sharing meetings.

If you are interested in sharinf content or learning discoveries, please go the the URL https://dropitto.me/T3 and upload a your files (docs, jpgs, mp3) , and make sure you have your files identifyable by your name so you can receive credit for your submission.

If you would like to nominate yourself or a peer for the Techy Teacher Spotlight, feel free to do so here: Nomination form

The DLCs Welcome Newest Member
Sherri Maruska

Sherri is the newest Elementary Digital Learning Coach in Georgetown ISD. She previously was an AP at Pickett Elementary. This is her 6th year in GISD, and previously,  Sherri has ELAR taught in Manor, Round Rock and Bastrop.

A few of her EdTech interest include Google Classrooms and blended learning.

Some of Sherri's favorite apps and web-tools include Twitter (and you can find her @MrsMaruska ), Today's Meet, ChatterPix Kid iOS app,  Haiku Deck and Padlet.

FREE Tool Spotlight:

TACKK is a free tool that allows users to create beautiful pages for communication. Teachers and students become content creators with easy color and layout options. No design skills needed.

BONUS: App-smash your favorite apps in Tackk. Over 300 apps embed into Tackk, like edu partners ThingLink and Animoto.

T3 now utilizes TACKK to publish its bimonthly newsletter.