Digital Innovation Pathways | Day 2 PD


What is the Digital Innovation Pathways?

Digital Innovation Pathways, affectionately known as DIP is a 1-3 year program for educators from Poudre School District. Teachers are engaged in two days of professional development at the Information Technology Center. During this time teacher investigate ways to integrate technology into their classrooms. These two days of PD are high level, big-picture days. Participants can then choose from over 30, more focused PD classes with Educational Technology Facilitators. Check out the classes here, they are open to anyone in PSD. Participants also participate in a school-based study group where they curate digital portfolios and discuss EdTech related topics such as screen time, fringe technologies like virtual reality and tech tools that enhance student learning. Talk with your principal or an EdTech facilitator if you are interested in joining DIP next school year. Thanks to voters who support the EdTech department through mill levy funding.

Day 2 Activities


Participants choose from 5 options based on frequently asked questions, emails and grumblings that we hear as teachers enhance lessons with technology. Check out the following resources from the sessions here.  The sessions cover social media, screen time, citing sources, basic troubleshooting and how to help students manage devices in a digital world. 

afternoon-challengesVirtual Reality

pam-in-vrIn the afternoon of DIP Day 2 PD teachers choose from 4 different challenges. One of the afternoon problem based learning challenges teachers can choose is a virtual reality/bridge building challenge. Virtual reality is ripe, fresh and fun; yet many teachers are unsure how to use this tech in their classrooms. This session (all materials available here) demonstrates how teachers can use VR to engage students and immerse students in environments we can’t typically or easily visit (think the lungs, Galapagos, Great Wall of China or NBC img_2179studios.)  After learning about bridge design in virtual reality, participants create a bridge out of spaghetti and we use a Vernier Structure and Materials
tester to break the bridge. Check out other science probes available in the district by checking the resources tab on

Robotics Challenges

Participants can also choose to learn about Robotics. EdTech has Cubelets and Moss Robotics kits available for reservation. Participants in this challenge were tasked with rescuing an astronaut from Mars. Through problem solving and creative thinking teachers use robotics kits to save a lego astronaut. Participants also were tasked with creating a press release describing their rescue mission and equipment used. Check out all the resources to recreate this experience with your students here. Below is a video describing the process and challenge in more detail. 


padletPodcasting is more than recording your voice. Podcasting is about the writing process and demonstrating your creativity in order to effectively  engage your listeners. The podcasting session engaged participants in using Audacity, BandLab and WeVideo to create their podcasts. Particpants focused on the danger of telling a single story, a topic very relevant in our evolving media landscape. Examples can be found in padlet, click here to listen to some of the podcasts. Check out all the resources to recreate this experience with students here.

More Information

edtech-team-photo-1EdTech is available for support. Take some time to check out to see what tech you can reserve and how EdTech Facilitators can support you when trying new tech in your classroom.


Super Connected 2016

Super Connected Conference

The Education Technology Team from Poudre School District, Weld RE-4 and Thompson Valley schools collaborated to present the 2nd, biannual, Super Connected Conference.  If you missed the conference in November you can join us for our second Super Connected Conference on February 4th, 2017 @ Fossil Ridge High School.  Check this link for more information.

Check out the posts from our #COSuperConnected hashtag from the conference.

Teachers were engaged by over 40 different session titles, a keynote speakers and LOTS Of prizes.  Some of the highlights from the Super Connected Conference were:

1) FRHS Robotics team showcased their t-shirt shooting robot and spoke about the process of building the robot from the ground up. Teachers were impressed by students efficacy and know-how.

2) Many presenters brought students to the table to help teachers learn about coding, robotics, Thinglink, and many exciting projects during lunch.

3) At the closing address, students participating in the Hack-a-thon and Designathon spoke to the audience about the things they were create to boost health and wellness for students in our community.

Tweets from the conference:



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An event for students age 9-14 to solve challenges using the design thinking protocols.  Some highlights from Designathon include

  • Students brainstormed ideas for solving an important health and wellness problem facing our community.  Problems included lack of sleep, too much sugar, student wellness centers, anxiety around homework, and the transition between 5th and 6th grade and 8th and 9th grade.
  • Heidi Olinger from Pretty Brainy and Robin Steele of Colorado School of Mines helped to lead students through the design process.
  • Students were able to prototype their ideas using a variety of materials, including 3D printers with the help of Jamie Leben from Loveland CreatorSpace.
  • We are grateful to all of our incredible mentors from Otterbox, CSU, and FRCC, and our panel experts who evaluated the solutions – Deanna Scott, Stephen Krausse, and Kim McMonagle.

Learn more about the Designathon in February here.


The Hackathon engaged students aged 10-18 in developing solutions using coding. The solutions were to challenges in the mental health areas.  Students designed apps, websites and computer programs to help students with mental health issues.

We had 27 total students. Two groups from high school, two groups from middle school, and one group from elementary. The  students looked at problem sets themed around health and wellness. They worked in team to pick a problem and then design a solution. Three teams stayed for the entire time and compete at the final presentations that were open to parents, guardians, and friends. All three teams did amazing and received a standing ovation from the audience for all that they accomplished.

Languages students coded in throughout the event were:

  • HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and Scratch (elementary)

Technology students used:

  • Brackets, Visual Studio Code, Pivot Animator, Github, Atom, Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Premiere, Bluefish
  • Prezi, MS paint, Boscaieoil, Unity, visual studios

 The winners weimg_6095re: Gamify. Check out their winning presentation here

 Learn more about the Hackathon in February here.


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Attend or Present @ Super Connected in February, here are some details…



Join other PSD Teachers at the International Society for Technology in Education Conference in Denver!

Attend ISTE2016 with PSD

An amazing opportunity to connect, be inspired and inspire others is coming to Denver Colorado this summer!  Join many other PSD educators and attend ISTE2016.  Choose from over 1,000 sessions to attend, connect with professionals, and ask questions of vendors.

Learn more by checking out the ISTE Conference website and grab the app for your iOS device or Android device here. In my experience the app is much easier to browse sessions and decide which day/sessions to attend.

Interested in Attending? Untitled drawing (22)

The PSD Educational Technology department is covering the cost of registration for two representatives from each school to attend 1 day of ISTE! If you are interested in this opportunity, please speak with your principal and ask them to contact Kim Lodge (490-3096) to submit names of those who will be attending ISTE2016. Check Avatar for professional development offerings for attending ISTE and contributing to a collaborative note-taking community.

co-largeflagColorado Represents Educational Technology

Teachers, EdTech Facilitators and administrators from across Poudre School District will be presenting unique ideas to the international community at ISTE2016. Look for presentations from Sarah Weeks, Tracey Winey, Kim McMonagle, Mike Foster and Heather Crosser at ISTE2016.

You’ll also want to check out the ISTE Playground which will showcase Colorado schools, including schools from Poudre School District. Contact Kim McMonagle if you are interested in curating a display with students that highlights digital age teaching and learning that is happening in your classroom. The ISTE Playground will take place on Wednesday, June 29, 2016 from 9am-1pm.  cr

As an added benefit to our Colorado attendees, Innovative Educators Colorado (InnEdCO) will be providing tickets to attend the Colorado Rockies vs. Toronto Blue Jays on June 28th, 2016.  Check out InnEdCO and follow them on Twitter: @InnEdCO.


Why I am Attending?

edtech fb picAs a member of the EdTech team for Poudre School District I am fortunate to attend conferences, learn and connect from some of the best minds in the country.  This conference will expose me to an international network of professionals, and I am interested in gaining that perspective.

Many of the sessions I plan to attend will revolve around a few themes.  Those themes include Project Based Learning (PBL); the use and creation of  virtual reality (VR) as well as science instruction and how technology can enhance instructional strategies and student achievement.

Lastly, I am attending to connect with fellow PSD educators and administrators.  I look forward to asking tough questions and challenging our current state of technology integration in classrooms.

Need more information?

Please contact the EdTech facilitator who partners with your school.  You can find that information on the contact page at