TIES Learning and Technology Newsletter - June 2015

June 2015

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Welcome to TIES Learning and Technology Monthly Newsletter

Summer at TIES

Don’t miss out on the excellent professional development opportunities at TIES this summer.  Whether you are interested in becoming a Google Expert or want to join in the festivities of the Great MN iPad Get Together there is something for everyone. Be sure to check out the courses being offered at the TIES Training Center. Many of them are already full and have awaiting list so be sure to register soon.   

If you have taken a class at the training center in the past you can register online in KeepCertified. Not sure if you have an account or know how to register? Watch this video for a refresher. Registering online in KeepCertified

If you have never attended a class at the TIES training center you will need to complete this FORM and send it to Dorothy Harmon via email at dorothy.harmon@ties.k12.mn.us or fax.  Once you sign up for your first course you will be able to register in the future online.


Google Institute Image

Google institute 

June 23-24, 2015
Join Keynote Speaker Tom Rademacher, 2014 MN Teacher of the Year, local Google experts and the TIES team for the Google Institute on June 23rd and June 24th. The event offers  five break out sessions over two days, and you will work in small groups with their Google guide to create a personalized plan or unit for your classroom. In addition, you will work through challenge-based activities within Google's ecosystem, participate in sessions for all levels of Google users, and grow your Personalized Learning Network along the way. This hands-on experience will build your knowledge of Google and help you increase engagement in activities you develop for your students. 

Prize drawings will include gift cards and a new Chromebook!

Learn more/Register

iPadPaloozaMN Image

iPadPaloozaMN - The Great MN iPad Get Together

Thursday, August 6, 2015
Don’t miss out on iPadPaloozaMN 2015! This learning festival showcases schools and districts all over Minnesota that are using iPads in innovative ways to enhance student learning. The keynote speaker this year will be Reshan Richards, the creator of Explain Everything. Carl Hooker will also be back to run this year’s AppMazing Race! Register today. Space is limited!

Learn more/Register

Keynote speaker Reshan Richards

Carl Hooker (iPadPalooza creator), Caroline Little and Kari Gerhart

TIES Conference call for proposals

Are you interested in sharing your experiences with technology and innovation at the 2015 TIES conference? The theme for the 2015 TIES Conference is Breaking Through: Transforming Pedagogy with Technology and we want you to present! We are currently taking submissions for pre conference workshops and all general sessions. You will notice a new session type this year, Explore and Create, that will be a 90 minute session during the Monday and Tuesday conference that will allow for a more hands on experience. Workshop proposals are due July 31 and general session proposals are due August 28. Go to the TIES Conference Website for more information and to submit your proposal.

Education Technology Events


Fourth Annual Minnetonka Technology Institute

Wednesday and Thursday, June 17-18
Thomas Murray, founder of #EdTechChat, will be the keynote speaker at the conference on June 18. Greg Kulowiec and Beth Holland from EdTechTeacher will lead AppSmashing and Elementary iPad workshops on June 17 and breakout sessions on June 18. Minnesota TIES staff will also lead workshop and breakout sessions. These leaders in educational technology, combined with other presenters and attendees will make this year's conference a great event! The conference will encompass everything ed tech, including: Google, Schoology, Chromebooks, Moodle, iPads, and much more!


ISTE  2015

The International Society for Technology and Education (ISTE) holds it’s annual conference at the end of June in Philadelphia. While thousands of educators will travel to attend, most teachers can’t. Fortunately, ISTE provides many ways to participate without travel or cost.

  • Follow #iste15 on Twitter

  • Explore the online program, including links to resources from most presenters

  • ISTE Connects is an online social network for ISTE members

  • Watch for information in upcoming L&T Newsletters from TIES staff who attend


BestPrep Technology Integration Workshop

BestPrep’s Technology Integration Workshop is a four-day staff development that offers numerous breakout and keynote sessions…and it provides each teacher with a half-day job shadow of business and industry and gives everyone time to modify a unit plan based on their new learning. The workshop will be held at the University of St. Thomas in downtown Minneapolis from July 27-30.


MoodleMoot US

MoodleMoot US 2015, the national conference for Moodle, is being held in the Aug 4-6, 2015 at the U of M. Keynotes include founder and developer Martin Dougiamas, open source advocate and IT Director of Pennsylvania’s largest 1:1 rollout Charlie Reisinger and David Earnst , CIO of U of M CEHD, director of Open Textbook Network and director of the Centre for Open Education. Come to collaborate, learn and gain insight into management of your Moodle site.


Our Favorite Things


Whitewater Learning® English Language CEUs

Starting August 1, 2015, teachers and administrators will be required to include professional development about English Learners (also known as ELL) in order to renew their licenses. TIES’ partner Whitewater Learning® already has online content on this topic available for a very low price. Explore their Library for professional development on this topic and more.


Google Photos

Last week Google launched Google Photos, an unlimited photo backup for any type of device. Photos and videos are automatically backed up and synced to your Google account so you can access them from any device. You can also use the Assistant to help organize collections, create slide shows, and optimize photos. One awesome feature is that there is unlimited storage for all photos 16 MP or less so no worries about running out of space or having to pay for more storage. Learn more about Google Photos.



This add-on for Google Forms is a conditional email script based upon what data is submitted in the Form. A slick example was for recording and school incidents where any one of several people need to be notified. With this, the incident is recorded on the Form, and whichever boxes are checked (nurse, principal, liaison officer...) an email is sent to the appropriate person with details of the incident. Also works great for administrator walkthroughs where they can immediately send the results to the staff observed.


What's Happening at TIES

Kindergarten Buddy Day at TIES

Recently, two teachers reached out to the TIES Learning and Technology Department looking for a place to host an opportunity for student collaboration. Kindergarten teachers Sara Neibergall (Centennial Schools), Katie Zuehlke (Annandale Schools) and their students have been working together virtually throughout the year on different small projects. They have used Google Hangouts and other ways to have conversations and collaborate, but were looking for a way to bring the two groups together in person. On April 30th, both classes and several parent volunteers traveled to TIES and met for the first time. They worked together and used Chatterpix  and Adobe Voice to create a short video about themselves and the animals they were studying. Mrs. Neibergall said, “It was pretty amazing how those kids connected in such a short time... it was like watching magic happen!” After finishing their projects, we had a short “movie time” where each presentation was played for the students to see. It was a great day of learning for all involved. (Two pictures in images folder)


Raspberry Pi Day

Spurred by inquiries from Jacob Givand (Robbinsdale Schools) and Jon Larson (ECMECC), TIES hosted an exploratory day investigating the possibilities of the Raspberry Pi micro computer. About 30 people, students included, gathered to tinker and play with the Raspberry Pi for the day. Led by Jon Larson and Jacob Givand, we were walked through the setup of the Pi and introduced to some different activities that can be done with the Pi at the core. Classroom or otherwise, the Raspberry Pi is a powerful little machine that can engage kids in computational thinking and creative problem solving. To top off the day, there was edible raspberry pie for everyone to enjoy. It was a powerful day of learning with students and teachers side by side. Special thanks to Scott Boutang and all of the TIES staff who helped with this who are not from the L & T Department. We are always open to ideas and suggestions you have for ways we can partner in collaborative learning experiences.

Raspberry Pi Day photo Raspberry Pi Day photo Raspberry Pi Day photo


L&T Team Spotlight

We want to highlight a couple L&T staff members that make our PD and training possible: Dorothy Harmon and Chris Andree. Dorothy is our workshop coordinator, and it is her friendly voice that answers your calls, processes your faxed registrations, and calmly works behind the scenes to see that all our workshops run smoothly both at TIES and at your schools and districts. Chris is the super power behind our online presence. He makes sure all of the workshops are available for online registration through KeepCertified, manages our TIES 2015 conference website, and created our new Events site. They are the backbone of what we do, and we are so grateful for their hard work that makes all we do so much easier.
Dorothy Harmon photo Chris Andree photo

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