Renewable Energy Data


#edtech #edreform #renewableenergy

Students in elementary and middle school science classes across Poudre School District have been using Vernier Software & Technology probes and sensors. These sensors enable teachers and students to collect authentic data on computers for deep and detailed analysis. The data collected is accurate and better demonstrates to students how scientists perform and analyze similar experiments in the real world.

Students at Dunn, Bennett, and McGraw elementary schools are using GPS units to find weather investigation stations in the wilderness.  Students are collecting data and making conclusions based on that data. Rather than doing a lab that mimics being outside, studying weather, students are actually going out and collecting the data themselves.
Middle School students at Lesher and Cache la Poudre have been investigating the factors that affect wind and solar power generation. The data they collected ranges from how the blade angle on a wind turbine can affect the energy output, to how the distance from a light source changes effectiveness of a solar panel. Teachers are making instructions interactive and easy to follow using Pear Deck, which allows for more open-ended inquiry investigations and student-driven learning.

If you are interested in checking out science probes and getting help with their use in your classroom contact the Ed Tech team. Elementary teachers it is no too late to sign up in Avatar for the Elementary Vernier training on Nov 9 (4th grade) and 10 (3rd and 5th grade).  IMG_0201 - Copy

Staircase Piano @ FCHS

Some music students at Fort Collins High School performed an original song in an original way earlier this month. Adam McBride, from the Ed Tech team, visited John Hermanson’s Beginning Music Theory classroom and helped them convert an entire staircase into a working piano. Using a Makey Makey circuit kit, a computer with some drum beats, and a strategy about who would play which part, the students used the staircase piano to play an original composition they had written for Mr. Hermanson’s IMG_0211class.

The students worked hard and collaborated throughout the composition process. They were able to apply some engineering skills to create an instrument they could all play at the same time. Congratulations to these students for creating a great piece of music, and sharing it with the world in a unique way!

Participate in the Hour of Code


#CSEdWeek #edtech #edapps

As part of Computer Science Education Week, December 8-14, you and your students can participate in the “Hour of Code”.  The Hour of Code is a one hour introduction to computer science.  It’s designed to make coding feel more accessible to anyone, at any age level, and teach the basics. Learning how to code can be a valuable resource in today’s information economy.

Here are some resources to get you started in participating in an Hour of Code the week of December 8th.

Khan Academy – Great tutorials already built in a platform that is familiar to teachers and students. – Much of the site is already set up to make it easy to participate in an Hour of Code.  There are additional tutorials built in to continue learning into the future.

Codecademy – Scroll down to the “30 minute Goals” at the bottom of the page for some quick tutorials to get your students started.

These are just a few resources to get you started.  Feel free to contact anyone on the PSD Instructional Technology team to get more information or help setting up your own “Hour of Code”!

Tech in the Classroom

#innedco #edtech #edchat

During the year, the PSD tech trainers have the pleasure of working with teachers and students in the classroom. We really enjoy spending time building and teaching engaging, tech-embedded lessons.  Here is a collection of  recent video podcasts, put together by some of the tech trainers, showing the great work they’ve done at some PSD schools.

Click the pictures to view individual videos.


2nd grade students at Tavelli Elementary create their own Realebooks focusing on the relationship between animal adaptations and their habitat using the software program Realewriter.


The 6th grade Lincoln Scholars’ book club at Lincoln IB Middle School connect in a live video conference with Holly Goldberg Sloan who wrote “Counting by Sevens” using Skype and technology tools. 








Students in Sarah Keller’s economics class at Fort Collins High School use Popplet to demonstrate their understanding of international marketing.


As always, check our elementary, middle schools, and high schools podcast pages for other classroom ideas and updates.  You can also follow us on Twitter @TeachTechPSD and on Facebook /teachtechpsd

Where to Find Resources

#innedco #edtech #techtips

Sometimes it can be hard to keep track of all the technology resources PSD has to offer.  In this screencast, we show where some commonly used resources can be found on the Poudre School District website.

Students Create Google Lit Trips

#innedco #littrips #edtech

Language arts teachers wanting to increase engagement and encourage discussion of book projects can use or create Google Lit Trips. Using Google Earth, students can combine multiple resources – like pictures, URLs, and videos – into placemarks.  The placemarks that the students create become a tour through  places in a book, which the students can present to the class.  Check out this podcast made by PSD’s  Ara McKelvey about students making their own Google Lit Trips at Fossil Ridge High School, a great example of using Google Lit Trips in the classroom.

Pre-made Lit trips are available for free download from Jerome Burg’s site, Google Lit Trips.  Here’s a video showcasing Jerome Burg as a Microsoft Education Award recipient in 2010.  Mr. Burg goes on to explain why he created the Lit Trips website, which is now a 501c non-profit organization.

Principles for Fair Use in Journalism

#innedco #edtech #copyright

The following post if from guest blogger, Herb Saperstone of PSD’s own Channel 10.

The Center for Social Media has excellent information regarding fair use in the context of the ever-expanding landscape of online media. American University Law Professor, Peter Jaszi says, “Limited but significant use of preexisting copyrighted material in our own information activities and Is protected in copyright doctrine of fair use.” Student projects, media critiques, news reporting, social-oriented journalism, etc. can and must find ways to use copyrighted materials.  Video courtesy of Center for Social and Media Impact


Getting to Know You(r Students!)

#web20 #techtips #edtech

The beginning of the school year can be an exciting and busy time! Here are some fun ways to use  web-based tech tools to get to know your students.

Use Google presentations to create a student “expo”:

In one of our previous blog posts, we discussed how to use Google presentations to create an “Amazing Race“.  You can do a similar activity with your students to start off the year.  Head to Google Drive and create a new presentation.  The Topic could be anything, for example, “what did you do last summer?”, “Where did you go?”, or even better “What are you excited about for the school year?” We do some teacher trainings here at PSD Tech and have created a similar presentation.  Check it out here.

techexpo   You can set the sharing permissions on the presentation by pressing the blue “Share” button in the upper right.  It’s often easier to share the presentation’s link (or shorten the URL) with students rather than entering each student’s email address.

Next, create instructions for the students on the first slide.  After that, it’s a snap!  Students create one or more slides in the presentation and they (or the teacher) can share it out with the class.  Students can embed text, pictures, links, and videos!

Of course, there are other tech tools available for you to use.  The folks over at Socrative also have a great blog.  Check out their post on playing “Guess Who?” using the Socrative web app.

Not sure about Socrative?  Check out our post on using “Laptops as Clickers

You could also create an editable class wiki using Google Sites (or BlackBoard) to do something similar to the above activities.

Have a great school year!

New Functionality Added to Google Forms

#web20 #google #googleapps

A couple of months ago, Google added some functionality to the Forms section of Google Apps. These changes have recently been added to anyone with a Google EDU account. Users can now add images and dates/times to their forms. Check out this screencast to see the new changes!

Embed Presentations

#edtech #web20 #edchat #googleapps #elearning

Do you have presentations or class notes that you’ve created in PowerPoint or Google Presentations?  Would you like these notes to be available to your students anywhere?  You can use embed codes to upload your class notes to your class wiki or BlackBoard Page.

In this blog post, I will guide you through how to upload a PowerPoint presentation to Google Presentations and embed it into your class’ BlackBoard page.

The first step is uploading your PP into Google Presentations.  Once you’ve logged in to Google Drive, click the red “up arrow” in the upper-left part of the screen.


Next, select “files” and navigate to your PP presentation.

Once your file is uploaded, open the presentation and go to “file>publish to web“.pub2web

A menu will come up with a variety of options.  Pick the options that work best for you and your class.  About halfway down the menu, there is an “embed code”.  Copy this code (press Ctrl + c or right click).  Now, navigate to your class’ Blackboard page.

Click the content button where you would like to add your presentation.  Under the “Build Content” tab, select “Blank Page”.  Add your title to and click the “Toggle HTML Source Mode” button (it looks like this: <>).  With HTML enabled, past the Embed code that you copied earlier. Paste the code after the <div> tags and you’re good to go!  Your students now have access to their class notes from your BlackBoard page.


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