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Tech Talk Mar/Apr 2012 Volume 6, Issue 4

GICSD – Instructional Technology

Parent Portal to Open Soon for MS! The portal provides parents with 24/7 access to their child’s academic

Special Interest Articles:  IC Parent Portal

information. It also serves as a great tool for communication between teachers and parents.

 GI Admin Go Green!  HS TIFs Support Teacher Web Pages!

Parents who complete the account request form (found on our district web site) will be given an activation key to be able to set-up their

 Keyboarding Pilot

account. Once parents have activated their account, they will be able to

 Spotlight

login at any time to view information regarding their child. This

 Professional Development Opportunities

information may include schedule, report card, grades and assignments. We look forward to opening the Parent Portal! More information can be found on our web page.

The purpose of this newsletter is to provide a medium for communicating, sharing and spotlighting our instructional technology goals and progress. Have an article or information you would like to contribute to Tech Talk? Contact Jamie Mancuso to learn more! E-Mail: jamiemancuso@k12.ginet.org Phone:

GI Admin Go Green! Grand Island administrators recently attended iPad training with Jenny Conklin from Erie 1 BOCES. At the training they received their new iPads to use in the district and have been busing exploring the devices and the many free apps that are available.

773-8811 Fax: 773-6830

As a result, Administrative meetings have gone paperless with everyone now accessing the agendas electronically!


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Tech Talk

HS TIFs Support Teacher Websites After-school on Tuesday, March 6th, HS TIFs Andrea Spinelli & Paul Thompson provided teachers with an opportunity to work on their Teacher Web Pages with support. The event was attended by 6 teachers! Great Job!

Keyboarding Pilot At Huth Road During January & February, 12 students (3 from ea. grade 2-5) participated in a Keyboarding Pilot that ran every day for 5 weeks (15 min/day). The pilot explored the use of the Forte device (shown above). Perfect Form, keyboarding software on the device, has 119 lessons & 4 levels with different benchmarks. In addition to reaching the benchmark to pass a lesson on a designated level, students must get 2 out of 3 Homerow Points/lesson. You score a homerow point by pressing all the homerow keys within 1.5 seconds of signal. The pilot was a success & students responded extremely well. We are exploring the possibility of adding these devices to Huth & Kaegebein to prepare students to meet Common Core requirements (W.3.6, W.4.6 & W.5.6)


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Tech Talk

Spotlight On… GICSD Moodle – Unit Planning & Instructional Design Where to find it: GICSD Moodle – District Initiatives – Unit Planning & Instructional Design This Moodle “course” is open to anyone (you may have to click on enroll me to see the page) and has a variety of information on unit planning and instructional design. You will find information and resources on:     

Essential Questions Guiding Questions Content & Skills Vocabulary Assessment

A great professional resource! Logging in to the Moodle - Username = first initial full last name i.e. jmancuso. If you don’t know your password try changeme if that doesn’t work submit a computer and a/v work order and we will reset your password!

GICSD Website – Elementary Libraries Web Page Where to find it: Educational Resources – Library Media Center – Elementary Libraries Huth and Kaegebein. Come see all the great things that are happening as a result of the dedication, experience and support of our Librarians at Huth and Kaegebein. Highlights include:  A live countdown to Steve Swineburne’s Author Visit!  A Shelfari bookshelf of books to read by Steve Swineburne!  Pages for different projects/activities in both buildings: o Mrs. Angelo’s 5th Grade Natural Disasters Project – students use this page as their “starting line” - they always work off this page with all necessary links and resources provided. o Examples of student work from Mr. Wood’s 2nd grade class – As part of their Community Helpers project, students used the Web 2.0 tool Blabberize – a must see!  Kaegebein’s Buzzing About Books Blog – students review a book and submit it for posting on the blog!


Professional Development Opportunities Grand Island Central School District

Special thanks to everyone who contributed to this edition, without you this newsletter would not be possible!

Academic Excellence

Personal Growth

The Niagara Frontier Reading Council is holding a Spring Brunch conference on Saturday, March 31st, focusing on 21st century teaching and learning! The conference is titled "What's In Your Digital Toolbox?" and will discuss digital tools designed to enhance your literacy activities and energize your existing teacher-created materials. Consider joining us at Classics V Banquet facility from 8:30 am - 12:30 pm. Check out this flip book for the digital flyer and the NFRC website for the digital registration form.

Title: Web 2.0 Study Group Continuation Dates Remaining: 3/26 & 6/7 Time: 3:30pm – 5:30pm Location: A/V PD Room 124 of HS Facilitator: Jamie Mancuso This study group is a continuation of the district-wide Web 2.0 study group started in the 2009-2010 school year. Our purpose is to investigate current trends for Web 2.0 uses and applications and report back to each building. We utilize our wiki (more info below) to learn and communicate about Web 2.0 tools and how they can be used in our classrooms. If you are interested in attending any or all of the meetings, please go to My Learning Plan, find one of the dates on the calendar and request approval. This will give you permission to attend (and get paid) for all of the dates…do this even if you can only attend a couple. Sign in sheets will confirm attendance and drive payment. Web 2.0 Wiki – The study group has been using this tool as a medium for sharing ideas developed & tools recommended. Be sure to check it out even if you can’t participate in the study group! There are great resources & best practices for using!

Tonawanda/Grand Island Teacher Center

Social Responsibility

Check out Educational Resources @ http://www.k12.ginet.org/resou rces.cfm

The teacher center is offering a wide variety of courses this spring. Please visit our website to download the 2012 Spring Catalog. You can also browse the calendar for courses. Information on how to register can be found in the catalog and on the calendar. Examples of courses to be offered in the spring include:  Tips to Save Time, Money & Frustration  CPS/Clickers  Teacher Websites  Using Media Carts Be sure to complete the online registration form linked in the catalog or on the calendar. Requesting approval in MLP, provides permission to get pd hours & to be paid to attend the course, it does not replace or trump registering for the course using the electronic form referenced above. Look for an email in late March that will include courses for April through the end of the year.

Tech Talk Newsletter: Mar/Apr 2012  

K-12 Instructional Technology Newsletter

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