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Volume 12, Issue 2
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The goal of the edtechteacher team, is to help teachers and schools leverage technology to create student-centered, inquiry-based learning environments. Keynote presentations, hands-on workshops, online courses, and live webinars for teachers, schools, and school districts are offered via their website and team of talented instructors and educators from across the country. Whether you are a teacher looking to enhance your instructional practices, or a school leader seeking to foster change, the edtechteacher website will provide helpful resources.

Sample webinars:

  • One Lesson - All Learners, Differentiating with Technology 
  • The Flipped Mobile Classroom
  • 21st Century School Leadership


YouPD is an educator, peer-led professional development community. On this site, you can see the ways fellow teachers are solving problems, leave a comment, recommend an idea, share inventive things you've done, and take on meaningful professional learning challenges. YouPD wants to visualize and applaud how teachers can help each other develop as Learners, Sharers, Collaborators, and Influencers. Watch your credibility amongst your peers grow while helping to build this shared professional resource.

Check out these interesting sessions:

  • Extending the Time and Place for Learning
  • Google Apps for EDU
  • Authoring and Integrating Online Content
  • Differentiating and Personalizing Instruction
  • Rigorous and Authentic Assessment Tasks


Edutopia is a free website published by the George Lucas Educational Foundation (GLEF).  Yes, that’s right, filmmaker George Lucas is one of the founders and GLEF encourages innovation and reform in education.  Founded in 1991, the goal of the site is to assist the transformation of the learning process by implementing strategies that support and empower students to “think critically, access and analyze information, creatively problem solve, work collaboratively, and communicate with clarity and impact.”  To understand more about their mission, you can read more about their Core Strategies, which include Integrated Studies, Technology Integration and Project Based Learning among others.

You can also read more about the importance of teacher development, as well as access to research, classroom guides, a blog and videos which all support Edutopia’s mission of reforming education.  In addition, you can subscribe to a free weekly newsletter or RSS feed to stay abreast of the newest information.

Below are some useful Edutopia sessions:

  • Mobile Learning: Resource Roundup
  • Classroom Management: How to Get Students Ready for Learning
  • Student Voice: Experiencing Deeper Learning Through PBL


SimpleK12 is part of InfoSource, Inc., an e-learning company that's been around for 28 years. The learning solutions provided here are used by over 500, 000 educators around the world. SimpleK12 helps schools and teachers learn about and integrate technology in the classroom, from basic digital literacy to integrating the latest web tools in the classroom. Their mission is to create 21st century learning experience for students and teachers. A course catalog is available with courses offered in different disciplines, from Administrator resources to creating wikis. Webinars are also offered by SimpleK12 in different topics. Users may also collaborate in their website forums to share ideas. One prominent feature about this site is that members may share content with others. Such materials may be posted in appropriate message boards or chat rooms. Overall, this website is well equipped with valuable resources for the educator.

Recommended sessions include:

  • Free iPad Apps for Classroom Management
  • Researching Effectively with Mobile Devices, Part 1 and Part 2
  • Digital Citizenship for Your Digital Native
  • Student Projects that Promote 21st Century Skills
  • Digital Writing: Collaborate, Reflect, and Publish


Join Today!

As a Texas Computer Education Agency (TCEA) member, you'll receive complimentary subscriptions to both TechEdge, our quarterly magazine, and TechNotes, a bi-weekly e-newsletter. Each is filled to the brim with original content, the latest news and information on tech trends, and useful tips from educators from across the country.
TCEA has been advocating for the use of technology in teaching since 1980. You will be joining more than 15,000 individuals who are passionately seeking better methods for integrating technology into teaching and learning.
They provide informative, innovative content and world-class professional development 365 days of the year. Add to that our custom online Social Community where members can connect with other educators from around the globe and share resources and best practices. All for just $40!

Sample TCEA lunch & learn, workshops and webinars include:

  • Lunch and Learn: iPad in the Science Classroom
  • Intro to the NXT Robotics System
  • Implementing Mobile Devices with Groups Small and Large
  • Creating Your Own Content for Children with Disabilities- In-dept
  • Connecting Apps to Standards: Matching and Tracking

Self-Directed Learners

TLC<sup>3</sup> The knowledge and skills that educators must master to be effective for all students in our schools are complex and ever-changing.  The best part about being an educator is that you get to remain a student forever; educators are lifelong learners. To be an effective educator, you must constantly pursue learning through workshops, conferences, on-site or online training, etc.

Use the professional learning information in this issue of the IT-Newsletter to meet your learning needs as it relates to Instructional Technology and 21st Century Learning.  Review the following self-assessments if applicable/needed:

All staff is encouraged to become self-directed learners: take the initiative, diagnose your learning needs, formulate learning goals, identify resources for learning, choose and implement appropriate learning strategies, and evaluate learning outcomes.

Online training available 24/7.  Atomic Learning offers project-based training on 21st century concepts and content; workshops on emerging tech topics; applying 21st century skills in the classroom, and more than 50,000 step-by-step technology tutorials.  Login with your district email username and password, click here to start or select the Atomic Learning App on your iPad!

Recommended workshops and tutorials:

  • iOS 6 - What's New? Training
  • Prezi Training
  • Adapting a 21st Century Skills Project to the Classroom
  • I Have an Interactive Whiteboard, Now What?

Attend the Atomic Learning Webinar.  Participants receive a free T-Shirt. See schedule below.

Summer Instructional Technology
Professional Learning

Click here to go to website.

  • Click here for session date/times/locations Excel|PDF.
  • Register for all sessions on ERO.
  • ASYNCHRONOUS ONLINE courses are self-paced and held online. Participants must have a computer w/Internet access. Session information will be sent to participants prior to session.
  • SYNCHRONOUS ONLINE courses are instructor-facilitated courses held online. Participants must have a computer w/Internet access. Session information will be sent to participants prior to session.
  • LEVEL 1 - Beginner User; LEVEL 2 - Intermediate User; LEVEL 3 - Advanced User


  • LEVEL 1- iOS Basics - This session is for those iPad/iPod Touch users who are new to these mobile devices. This training will cover Settings, Built-In Apps, Creating an Apple ID, iTunes, configuring Find My iPhone, Calendar, and Email. Length of session - 2 Hours.
  • LEVEL 1- There's An App for That! - This session is for those iPad users who are ready to move beyond the basics. This is an exploratory session of available apps geared for teaching and learning. We will discover tools that are available to help you scour the App store for new apps. Learn how to use basic iPad apps in an everyday lesson. Attendees must bring their own iPad. Length of session - 2 Hours.
  • LEVEL 1- Tips and Tricks for iOS Devices - Learn about shortcuts, hidden features, how to type faster, how to browse faster and much more on your iOS device. This session is full of tips and tricks to help you transform your use of an iOS device in your classroom, wow your students, become an expert user. Length of session - 2 Hours.
  • LEVEL 2- iOS Integration Strategies - Participants will learn how to integrate iOS devices into the curriculum i.e. Scavenger Hunts, eBooks, Collaboration activities. Participants must have general knowledge of iPad/iPod Touch basic features and functions and have an Apple ID. Length of session - 2 Hours.
  • LEVEL 2- iOS Productivity Tools & Techniques - Learn about the following Apps and features of your iPad *Web Clips *Dock Connector to VGA Adapter *Organize Apps/Folders *iTunes U * share/download files *Flash-based browsers *Book Readers*Calculators *Speech-to-text technology *Translators *Printing Solutions *Concept Mapping *Remote Control (Turn your iPad into an Interactive Tablet). Length of session - 2 Hours.


  • LEVEL 1- Atomic Learning Webinar (SYNCHRONOUS ONLINE) - Learn about the 24/7 professional learning and technology integration solutions designed to empower you with the training and resources you need to create 21st century-ready students. Participants receive a free T-Shirt. Length of session - 1 Hour.
  • LEVEL 1- Google Tools for Teaching and Learning (SYNCHRONOUS ONLINE) - Explore a variety of Google Tools such as Google Docs, Google Maps, and Google Earth to promote collaboration among students and teachers. Learn how to integrate these and other Google tools into classroom instruction to maximize students learning. Length of session - 2 Hours.
  • LEVEL 2- Web 2.0 Tools - Explore the power of Web 2.0 applications. Wikis, blogs, and social networks are online workspaces where students can read, write, and edit information. These applications can be integrated within the curriculum to engage students and allow them to actively participate in learning. Students can participate in communities where discussion, debate, and sharing of ideas are encouraged. Length of session - 2 Hours.
  • LEVEL 3- iTunes U Course Manager (ASYNCHRONOUS ONLINE) - Create your own courses for iPad. You get to share your classroom in a powerful new way, and your students get a rich, immersive learning experience using the iTunes U app for iPad. Length of session - 6 Hours.


  • LEVEL 2- iOS District Apps 1 - Participants will learn how to use and integrate Pages, Keynote, and Numbers into their curriculum. (PARTICIPANT MUST HAVE PAGES, KEYNOTE, AND NUMBERS APPS INSTALLED ON THEIR IPAD). Length of session - 2 Hours.
  • LEVEL 2- iOS District Apps 2 - Participants will learn how to use and integrate iMovie and GarageBand into their curriculum. (PARTICIPANT MUST HAVE IMOVIE AND GARAGE BAND APPS INSTALLED ON THEIR IPAD). Length of session - 2 Hours.
  • LEVEL 2- Creating Multimedia eBooks with Pages - Participants will learn to create a multimedia eBooks with Pages. Multimedia eBooks can include text, audio, and video and be viewable via an iOS Device or eReader. Length of session - 2 hours.
  • LEVEL 2- Digital Storytelling with Pictures - Learn how to combine photos and stories electronically into a creative and attractive presentation. Teachers will learn to load, organize, edit, and assemble pictures. Length of session - 2 Hours.
  • LEVEL 3- iBooks Author - Participants will learn to create Multi-Touch textbooks — and just about any other kind of book — for iPad. With galleries, video, interactive diagrams, 3D objects, and more, these books bring content to life in ways the printed page never could. Participant must have a Macintosh Computer with OSX 10.7.2 (Lion) and the free application iBook Author. IF YOU HAVE A MAC OS LAPTOP WITH 10.7.2 PLEASE BRING IT TO THE SESSION. Length of session - 2 Hours.
  • LEVEL 3- iTeach with iLife - Inspire students to create and share media-rich digital projects using the iLife Suite of Applications; Participants gain fundamental skills with the iLife applications GarageBand iMovie iPhoto. Length of session - 6 Hours.
  • LEVEL 3- Challenge Based Learning Workshop Day 1 and Day 2 - FOR HIGH SCHOOL TEACHERS ONLY. Challenge Based Learning is an engaging multidisciplinary approach to teaching and learning that encourages students to leverage the technology they use in their daily lives to solve real-world problems. Challenge Based Learning is collaborative and hands-on, asking students to work with other students, their teachers, and experts in their communities and around the world to develop deeper knowledge of the subjects students are studying, accept and solve challenges, take action, share their experience, and enter into a global discussion about important issues. Length of session - 6 Hours each day.

Click here to go to website.

iTunes U Technology Integration Professional Learning

iTunes U is part of the iTunes Store where users can go to download free educational course content from many colleges, universities and K-12 organizations.  Content is available from over 300 colleges and universities and includes course lectures, language lessons, lab demonstrations and much more.  The online service, content downloads and content subscriptions are available for everyone. 

    In iTunes U you can find professional development in topics such as:

  • “An Introduction to Technology Integration” from Edutopia
  • “The Virtual Classroom:  Online Learning” from Edutopia
  • “Assessment in Teaching and Learning” from KET - Kentucky
  • “Solving Systems” from Alexander Dawson School and much more.

To read about and find course content launch the iTunes U app on your iPad or iTunes on any computer and click on iTunes U in the iTunes Store.


NEW Web Hosting Service!

We will be migrating to a new web hosting service called Blackboard Engage.Online training will be provided August 2013.

Blackboard Engage provides all of the features and tools we utilize in SchoolFusion and more.The new interactive classrooms will offer an array of seamlessly integrated enhanced features that give cutting edge tools to teachers. The Blackboard Engage solution also supports the use of mobile phones using Android OS® and IPhone OS. IPads® and Tablets will display the full website.

Visit http://www.blackboard.com/Platforms/Engage/overview.aspx to see an overview or view this short video http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=_gzwsWzRmNE

Become a certified Common Sense Educator this summer…deadline July 1, 2013.

If you've been using lessons from the Common Sense Media Digital Citizenship and Literacy curriculum, you may already meet the criteria to become a Common Sense Educator. Being a Common Sense Educator is an official "stamp of recognition" from Common Sense Media for your efforts.
All certified Common Sense Educators receive:

  • A digital citizenship poster for your classroom
  • Digital citizenship decals for your students
  • A BPA-free, metal water bottle

Plus, you'll have the opportunity to display a Common Sense Educator badge and you'll know you've done your part to help young people think critically, behave safely, and participate responsibly in our digital world.

From the Director's Desk

Reminder to all certified educators and educational aides:

TEA Standard Certificate Renewal Requirements

All certified educators, including educational aides, seeking to renew a certificate must complete the required number of clock hours of Continuing Professional Education (CPE).  Educators must complete the required total number of CPE hours each five-year renewal period.

The CPE requirements for each class of certificate are as follows:

  • Classroom teachers must complete 150 clock hours every five years.
  • Counselors must complete 200 clock hours every five years.
  • Learning resource specialists and school librarians must complete 200 clock hours every five years.
  • Reading specialists must complete 200 clock hours every five years.
  • Educational diagnosticians must complete 200 clock hours every five years.
  • Master teachers must complete 200 clock hours every five years.
  • Superintendents and principals must complete 200 clock hours every five years.

    For more information go to:
    State Board for Education – Administrative Rules
    TEA Educator Certification

Thank You,

Carmen G. Garcia
Director Instructional Technology
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McAllen Independent School District , 2000 North 23rd Street , McAllen, TX 78501
Phone: (956) 618-6000   |   Fax: (956) 631-7206

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