May 2018

Tech This Out! (NEW)

padlet

Padlet UPDATE

Did you hear? Padlet has changed their subscription structure. If you already have an account, you can keep all your existing boards and are allowed to have up to three more than what you currently have. The basic (free) account will also display ads. If the changes to Padlet are enough to have you looking for other options, check out this article for five alternatives to Padlet.

Google Drive

 (REPEAT) Google Drive is going away?! NO!!!

You may have seen or heard recently that Google Drive is going away (have you seen this notice?).  Nothing can be further from the truth.  Google will be removing “Google Drive for Desktop,” which is a standalone program that syncs your Google Drive in the cloud with a folder that resides on your computer, on May 12, 2018. Please continue to use the cloud-based version of Google Drive.


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Best Practices

Teach Though Logo

20 Simple Assessment Strategies

Looking for a different way to assess your students?  Here are 20 Simple Assessment Strategies You Can Use Every Day. Create engaging assessments, practical formative strategies, and learn how to assess instead of just grade! Learn more HERE.

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Digital DooDads

Insert Learning

Insert Learning

Insert Learning is a Chrome extension that lets you turn websites into interactive lessons. A toolbar is loaded when the extension is added and clicked. Embed questions, content, video instructions and even discussions. Simpy sign in with your Google account. Google Classroom, Google Docs and Youtube integration. Teachers can sign up for free and create up to 5 lessons.  https://insertlearning.com/

Brain Buffet

Brain Buffet

Looking for free media? Here is a one-stop shop for getting stock photos, free video clips, and background music for your creative creations. Visit Brain Buffet for more information.

Equate IOEquatIO – Math made digital

Easily create mathematical equations, formulas and quizzes. Intuitively type or handwrite, with no tricky math code to learn. Made to help mathematics and STEM teachers and students at all levels, EquatIO lets everyone create mathematical equations, formulas, Desmos graphs, and more on their computer or Chromebook. For more information, watch this video.

BBC Sound EffectsBBC Sound Effects

The BBC corporation has now made more than 16,000 of its FX sound effects available for free download. These are being released under the RemArc licence, which means that they can be used for “personal, educational or research purposes”.  See the article and links HERE.

KaizenaKaizena

Augment what you are doing in the digital classroom by giving verbal feedback on work submitted by students. https://kaizena.com/

QuizalizeQuizalize

You can play quizzes as fun, competitive team games in class, or set them as engaging homework.​ All the results go into dedicated dashboards that help you track each student’s progress towards mastery of TEKS standards.

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Professional Resources

ASCD logo

ASCD Learn. Teach. Lead.

ASCD is a nonprofit organization that supports the global community of educators dedicated to excellence in learning, teaching, and leading. Following ASCD is like taking an instructional multi-vitamin! You can also reach out to your amazing Librarian to access the available books and resources from ASCD. Follow ASCD on Twitter!

Google 20%

Google 20% Time

“Google’s “20% Time” is a philosophy and policy that every Google employee spend 20% of their time (the equivalent of a full work day each week) working on ideas and projects that interest that employee project you saw on his resume. They are encouraged to explore anything other than their normal day-to-day job. As a result 50% of all Google’s products by 2009 originated from the 20% free time, including Gmail. Real break-through happens when we are free from others’ expectations and driven by individual passion.”  Read this teacher’s experience with 20 time HERE.

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Social Media – Who to Follow

Caitlin Tucker

Caitlin is a Google Certified Innovator, International Trainer, Keynote Speaker, Blended Learning Expert & Bestselling Author.

Follow Caitlin Tucker

Jennifer Casas-Todd

Jennifer is currently a Teacher-Librarian in Aurora, Ontario Canada, and author of the book, Social LEADia, published by Dave Burgess Consulting. Before this, she spent six years at the District level as a Program Resource Teacher for Literacy and Literacy Consultant.

Follow Jennifer Casas-Todd

Mason MasonMason, M. Ed. is an Education Technology National Instructor with EdTechTeacher, Inc. and an Ed.D. student at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. He is passionate about helping educators transform teaching and learning through technology integration and closing the digital divide through equitable access to technology for all students.
Follow Mason Mason

*Interested in getting started on Twitter?  Contact your ITS!

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Professional Development

Save the DateSave the date!  Tech Camp is coming June 11, 12, & 13 at Lopez MS.  Classes will be 1.5 hours, 3 hours, 6 hours, and even online evening courses will be available! If you would like to present at Tech Camp, please reach out to your Instructional Technology Specialist (ITS).

TIP: you can always search for professional development opportunities offered by Instructional Technology by browsing the “Online/Web,” “Technology Services,” or “Webinar” categories in Eduphoria.

April 2018

Tech This Out! (NEW)

Google Drive

(REPEAT) Google Drive is going away?! NO!!!

You may have seen or heard recently that Google Drive is going away (have you seen this notice?).  Nothing can be further from the truth.  Google will be removing “Google Drive for Desktop,” which is a standalone program that syncs your Google Drive in the cloud with a folder that resides on your computer, on May 12, 2018. Please continue to use the cloud-based version of Google Drive

 

chromebookChromebook UPDATE

Make sure your Chromebooks are updated to the latest Chrome OS! Many Chromebooks that have been sitting in carts may still be on an old operating system and will not work for testing or general instruction.

  1. Log in, click your account photo.
  2. Click the little “Settings” gear.
  3. Click Menu, click the little “hot dogs,” (the three little horizontal lines), then click “About Chrome OS,”
  4. If you are not on OS 65.0, choose  “Check for updates.” It will download automatically, and should take only a few minutes.

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Best Practices

poms

POMS: Points of Most Significance

Students reflect on the most significant point of the lesson. Reflections are used to view whether or not the key points of a lesson are perceived as significant by the students.

Consider using Padlet to collect student responses. Padlet will allow students to favorite responses, which will make polling very convenient

For more information, visit HERE

*UPDATE*: there are changes to Padlet’s FREE platform.  Educators are now only allowed 3 free Padlets. Watch this VIDEO for more info.

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Digital DooDads

Quizizz

Quizizz-Read Aloud!

New on Quizizz – a read aloud option! When using the Quizizz app (not on the website), students can select an option in their settings to have the Quizizz activity read aloud to them. Not only that, they can choose from six different languages! Quizizz will translate all text (with the exception of the actual questions and answer choices) into that language, and will read aloud all text in that language. Check out this video to see it in action!

padletPadlet

Padlet is a free application that allows users to create an online collaborative bulletin board that can shared with students and allow them to add text, images, links, videos and more.  Select a template or create your own (wall, canvas, stream, grid, shelf or backchannel). Students can use phones, iPads, chromebooks and computers to access the bulletin board. Check out this Padlet tutorial for more info. 

*UPDATE: Padlet now limits users to 3 Padlet walls (or 3 more than you currently have).  Check out this VIDEO for more info.

iMovieiMovie

Free is Fun! iMovie is still free on the Apple App Store for the iPad!  This incredible movie and trailer making tool for teachers and students to create or use video for projects is fun and easy to use! iMovie provides audio narration, sound effects, theme music, editing and filter options to make dynamic movie projects. Make sure you have iMovie added to your iPad or class set for your next lesson! Check out this article for some tips and tricks!

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Professional Resources

Professional Resource

Cool Tools for 21st Century Learners

Learn How To Become is a website created by Dr. Jessie Moon Longhurst. There are tons of resources for new teachers, veteran teachers, and everyone else in between. If you’re interested in digital tools, lesson plans, or apps, check this site out and bookmark it. Click here to view it for yourself. 

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Social Media – Who to Follow

Tanya Avrith

Tanya is the co-author of the book “The Google Infused Classroom”. She is an advocate of Digital Citizenship and is a Google Certified Innovator. She has a great website with resources for educators.

Follow Tanya Avrith

Jennifer Gonzalez

Jennifer is the creator and host of the Cult of Pedagogy Podcast. She has a great blog with tips with instruction, classroom management, and technology. Check it out here.

Follow Jennifer Gonzalez

*Interested in getting started on Twitter?  Contact your ITS!

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Professional Development

Online:

Coming soon!:

  • Redefine Learning with SAMR
  • Grading with Google
  • Stations in Secondary

TIP: you can always search for professional development opportunities offered by Instructional Technology by browsing the “Online/Web,” “Technology Services,” or “Webinar” categories in Eduphoria.

March 2018

Tech This Out! (NEW)

Google Drive

Google Drive is going away?! NO!!!

You may have seen or heard recently that Google Drive is going away (have you seen this notice?).  Nothing can be further from the truth.  Google will be removing “Google Drive for Desktop,” which is a standalone program that syncs your Google Drive in the cloud with a folder that resides on your computer, on May 12, 2018. Please continue to use the cloud-based version of Google Drive

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Best Practices

Chain NOtes

Chain Notes: These notes are “off the chain!”

Students are sorted into groups to address a question or statement that is printed at the top of a page. The page is circulated from student to student within their groups. Each student responds with a new thought related to those already written on the page and then passes it on to the next student. More than one paper can be circulating at the same time, and the chain note can be passed around as students are engaged in other tasks.

Consider using the “Shelf” feature in Padlet with the new comment feature so your students can easily link their notes, or comment, on the “chain” of notes. The Padlet only takes minutes to set up, and can serve as a great review for any unit.

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Digital DooDads

Duck Soup

Duck Soup

Create eSheets (digital worksheets) by uploading any Doc or PDF from your Google Drive or from your computer! It’s incredibly easy to set up the answer boxes and answer key, and with many different answer type options (multiple choice, show your work, math and chemistry, paragraph, text, drawing box, etc) the possibilities are endless. And the best part? It grades it for you! Check out this video to see more.

Twine

TwineTwine is an open-source tool for telling interactive, nonlinear stories. Students can create their own works and publish them right away, while learning simple coding concepts at the same time. Check it out here.

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Professional Resources

Cool Tools for 21st Century Learners

Cool Tools for 21st Century Learners

Susan Oxnevad has been a classroom teacher and an instructional technology facilitator in Chicagoland for more than two decades, providing professional development for teachers via online and in-person opportunities. She writes about ways to incorporate technology as an efficient and effective tool for learning in her own blog, Cool Tools for 21st Century Learners, and as a SmartTeacher on GettingSmart.com.

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Social Media – Who to Follow

Michael BenavidesBe sure and check our next NEISD Twitter Chat on Monday, March 5 at 7:30pm CST for “The Social Networked Classroom” hosted by NEISD ITS, Michael Benavides.

Follow Michael Benavides

Katrina Keene

Katrina Keene, EdD, is a National and International speaker and has spent the last 17 years in K-12 technology education. Currently, Katrina is the Senior Strategic Outreach Manager in Education at Wonder Workshop for the Central United States.

Follow Katrina Keene

Monica BurnsDr. Monica Burns is a Curriculum and EdTech Consultant, Apple Distinguished Educator and Founder of ClassTechTips.com. Monica was part of her school’s leadership team and was a vocal advocate for bringing one-to-one technology into her classroom.

Follow Monica Burns

*Interested in getting started on Twitter?  Contact your ITS!

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Professional Development
Online Courses (can be taken asynchronously – at your pace):

Online:

Coming soon!:

  • Redefine Learning with SAMR
  • Grading with Google
  • Stations in Secondary

TIP: you can always search for professional development opportunities offered by Instructional Technology by browsing the “Online/Web,” “Technology Services,” or “Webinar” categories in Eduphoria.

February 2018

Best Practices

Compare Contrast

Compare & Contrast Ideas

We know that students learn best when they are truly engaged in what they are learning, when they have the opportunity to explore, debate, discuss, examine, defend, and experiment with the concepts and skills they are ready to learn.

Give each student a small stack of sticky notes (5-10 notes, depending on how many responses you anticipate).  Present students with a question related to the content. Questions with multiple correct answers or that ask for opinions or votes work well.

Students write one answer or response on each sticky note

Click the link for more ideas http://www.fortheteachers.org/instructional_strategies/#StickyNoteGraph

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Digital DooDads

Super QuizGoogle Sheets Super Quiz Add-on

Super Quiz adds brilliant functionality to a quiz made with Google Forms. By completing the quiz once with an answer key, all future submissions are automatically graded correct or incorrect. What’s more – you can get a break down of class understanding and a list of incorrect students for each question – perfect for intervention!

By filling out a few cells of information, you can also generate personalised differentiated written feedback emailed to students as soon as they submit a response. No need to monitor and ‘re-grade’ – just set-up and go!

Full Instructions here.

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Google Classroom

Google Classroom: List Docs  Add-on

List Docs does what it sounds like it does: it gives you a list of all of the documents students have submitted through Google Classroom. It makes a spreadsheet — one sheet has a list of all of your Google Classroom folders, and the subsequent tabs list all of the documents students have turned in to each folder.

How to use it: Alice’s blog post (and tutorial video) outlines it in detail,

Directions: Open the template here: alicekeeler.com/showdocs. You’ll need to provide the folder ID for your Google Classroom folder (directions are in the link above). Run the add-on called “Show me all the docs” that’s already pre-loaded in the spreadsheet. It will create a spreadsheet with links to all of your docs.

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Professional Resources

Control Alt Achieve

Control Alt Achieve

Eric Curts is a well known tech integrationist and writer. He has a great blog that showcases best practices with technology integration. He is an Authorized Google Education Trainer and a Google Certified Innovator, and has provided thousands of hours of training and consulting for schools and organizations all across Ohio and around the country for more than twenty years.

Visit Control Alt Achieve for more information.

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Social Media – Who to Follow

Jimmy CasasJimmy currently serves as a Senior Fellow for the International Center for Leadership in Education. He is the co-founder and CEO of ConnectEDD, an educational leadership company aimed at organizing world class professional learning conferences and professional development services for educators across the country.

Follow Jimmy on Twitter: @casas_jimmy

*Interested in getting started on Twitter?  Contact your ITS!

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Professional Development
Online Courses (can be taken asynchronously – at your pace):

Online:

Webinars: (Live presentation with a set time – virtual):

Face-to-face Sessions:

TIP: you can always search for professional development opportunities offered by Instructional Technology by browsing the “Online/Web,” “Technology Services,” or “Webinar” categories in Eduphoria.

January 2018

Best Practices

K20 LearnK20 Learning Center: Using Filters

If you need to boost engagement, or need to add higher level questioning/thinking to a lesson, look no further.  K20 has filters you can use to quickly access instructional strategies that can fit a variety of timeframes and group sizes. This is a great resource to help supplement your instruction to ensure you meet or exceed those TTESS initiatives.K20 Filtershttps://learn.k20center.ou.edu/strategies

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Digital DooDads

Aurasma now HP RevealAurasma now HP Reveal

If you are a fan of Aurasma, the augmented reality creation and viewing app, you may have discovered that it’s been rebranded.  HP, the company who purchased Aurasma, has now branded it as “HP Reveal.” The good news is that beyond the name, the app still works the same. Want to learn more about HP Reveal and how you can use it with your students?  Check out their YouTube Channel.

 

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Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams

If you click on Launchpad and find Office 365 there is more to this link than just your email! Here you will find Microsoft Teams. Microsoft Teams is a great place to collaborate. Chat, make check lists and integrate  meetings, notes, and attachments. Word, Powerpoint and all MS products can be combined for an overall project management experience. https://youtu.be/tAqAtI6K7NY

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Professional Resources

Teachers Pay Teachers

Teachers Pay Teachers

Teacher Pay Teachers Teachers Pay Teachers is an open online marketplace where teachers sell their original lesson plans and other course materials to other teachers. The great thing is there are so many free resources, templates, etc. that are absolutely free. If you filter on the left hand side you can find great stuff for little or no money

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Social Media – Who to Follow

This month, we’re going to take a step back from highlighting individuals to follow on Twitter, and instead showcase Twitter chats.

*Interested in getting started on Twitter?  Contact your ITS!

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Professional Development

TIP: you can always search for professional development opportunities offered by Instructional Technology by browsing the “Online/Web,” “Technology Services,” or “Webinar” categories in Eduphoria.

December 2017

Best Practices

Concept MappingK20 Learning Center

Students explore vocabulary by physically connecting related terms through the use of note cards and lines. Depending on the content and topic, this could be a Venn-Diagram type of arrangement, a hierarchical arrangement, or simple groupings—as long as the organization makes sense to the students.

Consider using coggle.it to create collaborative concept maps. This is a great way to extend the lesson or offer a creative way to review concepts.

K20 Learning Center

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Digital DooDads

GradespeedGradespeed Access from Home

We received a lot of requests recently regarding how to access Gradespeed from home.  Access is a bit different depending if you have Windows 7 vs. Windows 10.  Check out this document to learn how to access Gradespeed from home.

 

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Quizlet Live

Quizlet Live

Quizlet Live – Want to check for understanding in the learning process in a fun and engaging way? Try Quizlet Live. Quizlet Live is an in-class, team-based learning game. Students work together to correctly match a Quizlet set’s terms and definitions. Students are automatically grouped by their “power animal.” The first team to match 12 in a row wins!

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Professional Resources

Connected Classroom

Connected Classrooms Workshop Google Community is a Google Community designed to empower educators to collaborate with one another, share resources, develop best practices, and bring their big ideas to life through technology. Share your big ideas, connect with classrooms across the world, and reimagine how technology can be utilized to enhance education.

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Social Media – Who to Follow

Brad Gustafson@GustafsonBrad: Dr. Brad Gustafson is a National Distinguished Principal, author, and speaker. He shares a belief that schools should be spaces where relationships, creativity, and innovation thrive. He has a passion for leadership and learning. Brad is a 2015 Digital Innovation in Learning Award (DILA) winner.

EdSurge @EdSurgeEdSurge helps educators find and use the right tools to support all learners, through content, community and tools.

 

Shelly S. Terrell

@ShellTerrellShelly tweets a consistent stream of fantastic new resources for bringing technology into the classroom. An expert on webinars and global education collaboration, following her is one of the most direct routes you can take to get connected with other like-minded educators around the world.

 

*Interested in getting started on Twitter?  Contact your ITS!

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Professional Development

TIP: you can always search for professional development opportunities offered by Instructional Technology by browsing the “Online/Web,” “Technology Services,” or “Webinar” categories in Eduphoria.

November 2017

Health impacts of cannabis – benefits, harms and many unknowns

A new report by Royal Society Te Apārangi summarises what is known about the potential risks and benefits to health from the use of recreational and medicinal cannabis.

It finds evidence that cannabis-based medicines have some therapeutic effect in specific clinical situations and that recreational cannabis use can have some negative health outcomes. The report finds large knowledge gaps in understanding the health effects of both recreational cannabis and cannabis-based medicines, particularly in specific groups of the population, and this lack of knowledge poses a public health risk.

 

 

Royal Society Te Apārangi President Professor Wendy Larner says the report draws heavily on the 2017 publication by the US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine: The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids: The Current State of Evidence and Recommendations as well as additional literature of relevance to Aotearoa.

“With changes to New Zealand’s legislation on prescribing cannabis and the upcoming referendum on whether New Zealand should legalise recreational cannabis, Royal Society Te Apārangi has prepared this report to assist people considering the opportunities and risks to health associated with cannabis use.” These are the best pipes for smoking.

Associate Professor Joe Boden, Department of Psychological Medicine, University of Otago, who was one of the report’s reviewers, says that for medicinal cannabis, there is evidence of effectiveness to treat a small number of specific conditions but the evidence is not well established as it hasn’t been widely tested in clinical trials.  “Cannabis-based medicines have been shown to have some therapeutic effects in treating chronic pain, nausea from chemotherapy, muscle spasms due to multiple sclerosis and in rare forms of epilepsy, but we don’t have good evidence that they work better than the existing medicines available to treat these conditions.”

Dr Irene Braithwaite, Medical Research Institute of New Zealand, who also was a reviewer of the report, says that cannabis-based medicines, many of which are derived from plant material, have not been through the same vigorous efficacy or safety testing as existing medicines. “The levels and types of cannabinoids in these plant-based preparations can vary greatly due to different growing, harvest and storage conditions. This makes it difficult to draw conclusions by comparing or pooling the results from the limited number of studies that do exist,” says Dr Braithwaite.

For recreational use, some harms are also seen. “Recreational cannabis is associated with negative outcomes including mental illness, particularly in youth, drug use disorders, respiratory illness, impaired cognition, increased road accidents and lower birthweight in babies born to women exposed to cannabis,” says Professor Michelle Glass, Head of the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at University of Otago. “People may assume cannabis is largely safe as it has been used by people for so long, but this is not necessarily the case.”

The report finds many gaps in the research literature, particularly in population groups thought to be at most risk from cannabis use: those under 18 years, pregnant and breastfeeding women, people over 50 years and heavy cannabis users.

An area where the risks are clear is synthetic cannabis, says Professor Glass, who studies cannabinoids in her research.

“Calling it synthetic cannabis is misleading as it’s not cannabis. It’s non-cannabis plant material sprayed with lab-made chemicals that mimic the effect of cannabis in the body but tend to be much more powerful. In 2017 there were approximately 45 deaths linked to synthetic cannabinoids in New Zealand and every day, ambulance services in New Zealand report multiple life-threatening cases related to synthetic cannabinoid use.

“Being so different to cannabis, it can be difficult to identify with standard drug screening techniques.”

Professor Glass says it is worth noting that synthetic cannabis would remain illegal, regardless of the outcome of the public referendum, such is its great potential to cause harm.

October 2017

Best Practices

4c's logoThe 4 C’s

What are the 4 C’s? Do you remember when education was defined as the three R’s? Reading, ‘Riting, and ‘Rithmetic? We have entered the 21st century and this definition has changed. Now education is defined as the 4 C’s: Communication, Collaboration, Creativity, and Critical Thinking. Watch this short video for a brief explanation and check back here next month for lessons and tools that you can use in your classroom.

 

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Digital DooDads

coggle logoCoggle

Coggle is a freeware mind-mapping web application. Coggle provides a great way for students to brainstorm and share resources through a collaborative flow chart. Watch the Coggle overview here.

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Professional Resources

Google Tools for Special Needs Students

Google tools for special needs students logo

This blog post takes a look at over 30 Chrome web extensions that can assist students in five main categories:

  • Text to Speech
  • Readability
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Focus
  • Navigation

Download these extensions HERE

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Social Media – Who to Follow

George Couros@GCouros: George Couros is a leading educator in the area of innovative leadership, teaching, and learning. He has worked with all levels of school–from K-12 as a teacher and technology facilitator, school and district administrator, and is the author of the book “The Innovator’s Mindset”

 

@MathletePearce Kyle Pearce: If you’re a math teacher, you have to follow Kyle Pearce! Kyle likes to spark curiosity in students by making math contextual, visual & concrete. If you’re looking for some fun and authentic ways to teach math, Kyle is your guy!


@ShakeUpLearning
Kasey Bell From her Twitter profile: Child of God, Teacher, Google Certified Innovator, Google Certified Trainer, EdCamper, blogger…dedicated to making a difference in student learning.

*Interested in getting started on Twitter?  Contact your ITS!

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Professional Development

TIP:  you can always search for professional development opportunities offered by Instructional Technology by browsing the “Online/Web,” “Technology Services,” or “Webinar” categories in Eduphoria.

May 2017

Cat Care 101: 8 Tips for A Happy and Healthy Kitty

There’s so much to love about cats: they’re cute, clever, and charismatic furry friends. And as pet parents, it’s our job to help maintain their wellbeing so they can stay happy and healthy. After all, when our kitties thrive, we do too!

While there are many ins and outs of cat care, we highlighted eight important ways to promote your best friend’s wellness in between visits to the veterinarian.

#1 Feeding a Cat

Selecting a high-quality cat food will ensure your cat enjoys a well-balanced diet and receives optimal nutrients. Your feline friend’s diet and food intake requirements depend on their health, activity level, and age, so consult your veterinarian to discover the best choice for your cat. Keep in mind that treats should only make up about 5 to 10 percent of your kitty’s diet, according to the ASPCA.

And of course, be sure to fill your cat’s water bowl daily so they stay hydrated; a general rule is that cats need between 3.5 to 4.5 ounces of water per every 5 pounds of their body weight a day, according to Preventive Vet. These are some of the most efective flee treatment for cats.

#2 Choosing Cat Supplements

A proper diet for your cat’s age and lifestyle typically offers many of the essential nutrients required. However, supplements can help promote specific aspects of your cat’s wellbeing, especially those where felines commonly need added support, such as urinary tract or digestive health. Every furry friend has their own, unique needs, so consult your veterinarian when considering cat supplements.

For instance, while cat multi-vitamins may help support overall health, supplements with cranberry extract may help maintain a healthy urinary tract. To help aid in supporting upper respiratory health, cats can benefit from a supplement containing L-lysine. Additionally, a pre & probiotic supplement for cats may help keep their gut health in check and regulate their immune system.

Learn more about the benefits of pet supplements and what they do.

#3 Maintaining Cat Dental Care

Like humans, cats develop plaque and tartar on their teeth. Therefore, it is important to establish a cat dental routine to keep their smiles healthy! Along with preventing bad breath, regular dental care helps avoid future problems down the line such as periodontal disease, according to PetMD. When cleaning your furry friend’s teeth, be sure to use a cat toothbrush—which is specially designed with an angled head that’s easier to maneuver in your kitty’s tiny mouth—and a cat toothpaste to ensure the ingredients are safe for felines.

It is recommended to brush your cat’s teeth daily, but if that is not attainable, aim for a minimum of three times per week, according to the VCA. You can also consult your veterinarian about a professional teeth cleaning for additional cat dental care!

#4 Grooming a Cat

Cats are self-groomers, but contrary to popular belief, they should also be groomed by you—the pet parent. Regular brushing removes loose hair and promotes a healthy, shiny coat. Not to mention, this routine cat care also helps you grow more familiar with your best friend’s body and therefore notice anything out of the ordinary to discuss with your veterinarian.

Although cats are proficient self-groomers and typically don’t require frequent baths, you will occasionally need to bathe your feline in instances where they are dirty or muddy, or if they have a skin condition that requires regular baths. Always be sure to use a cat shampoo because it is specially made with a mild formula to gently cleanse a cat’s sensitive skin and coat.

Lastly, it’s important to clip your cat’s nails every few weeks. This not only prevents their claws from getting too sharp and scratching you (or the couch), but helps avoid any painful broken claws that may occur from nails getting stuck in the carpet or other furniture.

Along with all these benefits, grooming also strengthens the bond between you and your furry friend—and you can’t beat that!