Interactive Assessments with Sandra Story

We had an excellent and informative session with Sandra Story on March 16th, 2017. Sandra is a returning presenter to TLP-C and always comes with an extensive list of tools to share.

The first tool Sandra walked us through was Edulastic. Edulastic is an interactive formative assessment tool that can align with standards to provide authentic assessment to prepare students for the SOL. A few things to know as you get started, you will need to create a free account and you can link it to your Google Classroom. Edulastic has created some tutorials to support new users. This video will show you how to create an assessment:

Next, Sandra showed us another comprehensive resource that teachers can use to create formative and summative assessments. From exit tickets to creating a platform for a flipped classroom, Socrative is a dynamic resource for all teachers’ tool kit. Though this is another free resource, Sandra pointed out that it is not as easy to search for pre-made assessments, and it not as user friendly as some tools like Kahoot.

The next three tools Sandra covered were Wizer Me, Spiral, and Quizizz. Wizer Me is a resource to enhance worksheets. Spiral is a collection of formative assessments to be utilized throughout the lesson. Quizizz offers students a gaming platform, similar to Kahoot, but differs by allow the assessment to be student/player-paced. For a complete rundown of these tools, watch the recording here: TLP-C Interactive Assessments

Thank you to Sandra Story for sharing her knowledge of interactive assessments and several great resources during our March session of TLP-C. Consider joining us live for our next session! Thursday, April 27th from 4-5pm EST Cary Hanson will be covering digital citizenship and information literacy. Come with question or ideas for how to utilize resources and tools from Common Sense Media. Log on a few minutes before 4pm on the 27th using this link.

WeVideo for Social Studies Documentaries

“What was the most memorable or fun project/lesson you had as a student?”

This was the hook Tyler Eckhoff used to grab our attention as he began his presentation on WeVideo- an ACPS-supported video-making and editing resource that allows teachers and students to create their own videos and documentaries. A big thank you to Tyler for a wonderful presentation. It was insightful and full of tips and tricks that will help anyone interested in utilizing this tool in the classroom.

A recording of Tyler’s session can be seen here. (Due to technical difficulties, the video was not recorded in its entirety, but this blog post highlights the key elements and provides helpful links.)

Tyler focused on a particular project he used as a summative assessment- Social Studies Documentaries. He highlighted the importance of backward planning, which affords students the greatest opportunity for success with their completed projects. He also discussed differentiation strategies he used with his Level 1 English Language Learners.

Participants logged into WeVideo for some hands-on practice as Tyler gave a quick demonstration on how to create a video. He also referred to WeVideo’s comprehensive Support Center and it’s large selection of how-to videos as a helpful resource for anyone who would like to get started with WeVideo. All ACPS teachers, as well as students in grades 4-12, have WeVideo accounts and are able to log in through Google

As participants explored WeVideo, Tyler described the program’s features. He also shared some of the tools he used with students during the course of the summative documentary project; such as, the rubric he developed when creating his own example of a completed documentary to share with students, check sheets which students referred to as they worked through the process in order to keep themselves on track, topics and he provided to groups who collaborated to complete the documentary, and a feedback form and feedback form rubric which allowed students to provide positive and constructive feedback to their peers. 

One truly awesome feature of WeVideo is that it allows students to post completed videos directly to Google Classroom. Tyler went through this process with participants and then wrapped up the session with a quick mention of the “good to know before you dive in situations” he faced when using WeVideo with students:

  • Students must save work before exiting, or all could be lost.
  • It can be noisy if everyone is trying to record at the same time. ( Headphones with built-in microphones are helpful.)
  • Timeline mode can be confusing.
  • Students must periodically refresh the screen in WeVideo.
  • You may occasionally end up with multiple copies of video edits.
  • Students must publish the videos or share them via Drive.
  • It can take up to 10 minutes to finalize/publish a video.
  • In collaboration mode, only one student can edit a video at a time.

Tyler shared some examples of the social studies documentaries his students created, which can be seen here and here; as well as other WeVideo examples created by teachers and students throughout ACPS, which can be seen here.

Thank you, Tyler, for sharing your expertise with us! It was a fantastic session.

Consider joining us live for our next session on Thursday, March 16th, when Sandra Story will share her insight on Interactive Assessments. Log in a few minutes before the 4pm start time on the 16th using this link.

















Curating Digital Content to Boost Student Engagement

Thank you to Carmen Canales for sharing her knowledge and insights about how EdPuzzle can boost student engagement and accountability at our most recent session of TLP-C. Weren’t able to join us live? Watch the recording here:

TLP-C Curating Digital Content to Boost Student Engagement Recording

Carmen wisely launched her session by asking us to be students. See her same video lesson by clicking here. Carmen highlighted the powerful tools of EdPuzzle: the ability to insert questions, narration and audio notes and to go back and view student responses. Carmen then walked us through the steps of how to set up an account and create a video lesson. She did a great job explaining which features she uses with her class and how they have impacted the English Language Learners that she teaches. Please remember that to use EdPuzzle with students under 18, you need to collect parent permission. See your building TIS to a form letter to use for this purpose.

Consider joining us live for our next session! Thursday, Feburary 9th from 4-5pm EST Tyler Eckhoff will share how he has used WeVideo to make student learning visible. Log on a few minutes before 4pm on the 9th using this link.

Discover how Discovery Education Can Change Your Classroom!

Weren’t able to make our last session? discovery-worldClick here to watch the recording:

TLP-C Discovery Education Recording

Special thanks to Sandi Slavin for a fantastic presentation about the many uses of Discovery Education. Sandi did a wonderful job walking us through how to easily search for activities and videos in Discovery Education, but also opened our eyes to many more resources that are available. Watch the recording to learn more about creating your own classes, using the Board Builder tool and going on Virtual Field Trips. Sandi was filled with ideas about how to use Discovery to differentiate in the classroom, have engaging station learning and broaden the learning experiences of all students.

discoveryIf you are having trouble logging on to Discovery Education, contact the TIS in your building for assistance. What to learn even more? Check out Discovery Education’s Professional Development resources. Enjoy discovering!

A Recap of Coding with Erin Weleski

As we wrap up the national Hour of Code week, we would like to spotlight November’s TLP-C presenter, Erin Weleski. Erin is an ELL teacher at Polk Elementary, and a TLP graduate. Coding is the language we use to tell computer how to do the things we need them to do. Some coding programs create buttons to make it easier for us to tell command computer to do certain activities. Erin shared with us her thinking on wanting to integrate coding activities with with curriculum content. During the TLP-C session, Erin shared great goal-oriented and open-ended coding resources:, Robot School, Daisy the Dinosaur and Move the Turtle, Scratch Jr.

Erin then shared with the activity she did with her students using Scratch jr while working through a nonfiction unit and how-to books. Basic coding matched well with this unit and explaining steps in a process.

Scratch and Scratch jr. is a great resources for teachers in all subject areas and grade levels to check out. If you haven’t tried coding, listen to this TLP-C session, and feel confident in trying coding out for yourself.

A Recap of OERs with Allison MacMahon

If you missed our session you can watch the video here.

We had a wonderful TLP-C session with Allison MacMahon on Thursday, September 22, 2016. Allison gave an overview of OERs and where to find resources. The first bit of information Allison covered was to give us a working definition of OERs. Open Educational Resources (OER) are free and openly licensed educational materials that can be used for teaching, learning, research, and other purposes. Educators can use, modify, and redistribute as necessary without copyright or cost restrictions. Allison then showed us two resources. The first came from DOE Office of Educational Technology. Check out OET HERE. U.S. Dept. of Ed is running a #GoOpen campaign encouraging all educators in all districts and states to use openly licensed material in hopes of igniting change within the schools and how learning happens. The next resource we dove into was OER Commons. The driving forces behind OER Commons is to equip today’s educator with the highest quality resources by encouraging participation and co-creation. Here you can create an account to allow you to create OERs, discover OERs created by other educators, and connect with groups globally.

For additional tips and information, watch the recording of this TLP-C Blackboard Collaborate session and reach out to us with any questions. The recorded session can be accessed at the top of this post.

Digital Resources to Help Every Student Succeed

How cool would it be if we could modify text from the internet and customize our lessons for students?
The possibility is here through the United States Government new initiative called #GoOpen.  During this session teachers will learn about this initiative and brainstorm ways in which they can use this to reach all learners.  Through this program teachers are encouraged to repost lessons they have tailored for learners on the Open Educational Resources Commons site.

Making lessons accessible and tailored for students ensures we in ACPS make sure “Every Student Succeeds”!

Please join us on Thursday, September 22 from 4 – 5pm at

Technology Roundup 2016

We had a fun and informative final 2015-2016 TLP-C last week during our Technology Round 2016. We were joined by Dr. Elizabeth Hoover, Chief Technology Officer for ACPS. Dr. Hoover shared the exciting news that all students in grades 4-12 will have one-to-one access to a Chromebook tablet next year. She shared both the reasoning for purchasing Chromebooks and the goal to create student-centered, technology-rich learning environments that provide for academic excellence and educational equity by encouraging creativity, critical thinking, and collaboration.Ask

Blended learning will also be a focus for technology integration next year. Blended learning is the deliberate connection of educational technology with face-to-face instruction to enhance and personalize a deep and meaningful curriculum. To support this vision Dr. Hoover hopes to see continued, intentional collaboration with Curriculum and Instruction as well as professional learning cohorts to explore the application of blended learning in our classrooms.

ACPS Technology Services is also planning on increasing our bandwidth to 2 gigabytes, an exponential growth that can be tracked over the last few years. ACPS is also working hard to ensure that all families have Internet access at home by advertising the Comcast Essentials program, creating a map of available free WiFi in the city and purchasing mifi devices for students to check out at the middle and high schools.

This is all exciting news for teachers that love to use technology in their classrooms, like our TLP-C teachers! Thank you to all the teachers that shared their favorite texh tools and ideas. Here is a quick run-down of what was shared:

storybirdKyle Dunbar, Technology Integration Specialist at George Washington Middle School showed us Storybird, an online story creator with fantastic art and a protected environment for student creation.

Erin Welinski, ELL teacher at James K. Polk Elementary School, shared Green Screen, an app by DoInk that let’s students create video and insert amazing looking backgrounds. Perfect for doing a weather report from Antarctica or retelling fairy tales with different

Sandy Slavin, teacher at George Mason Elementary School, explained the many cool ways she uses Google Docs, Templates and Slides with her students. Including having a TC Williams student peer edit with her learners!

We also learned about the Show Me app from Meredith Forbes, teacher at Matthew Maury Elementary School. Meredith uses this interactive whiteboard app to have her students show their thinking while solving problems. Check out some examples here.

quizizzQuizizz was one that was new to many of us. Thank you to Sandra Story of the Northern Virginia Juvenile Detention Home School for sharing this great interactive online quiz game. Many of us are looking forward to trying it in our classes.

Technology is very helpful to make learning more accessible to all students. Allison Macmahon pointed us to some very useful tools with text to speech help. Check out Read&Write extension for Chrome and SpeakIt! for iPads.

Thank you to all our presenters and participants. It has been a great year learning and growing with you!

To listen to the recorded session, click here.


Personalizing 21st Century Education…Digital Literacy

Thank you to Ms. Gross for presenting our session on Digital Literacy. In the session we learned that digital literacy is the ability to use information and communication technologies to find, evaluate, create, and communicate information, requiring both cognitive and technical skills. It concentrates awareness on what we are reading & writing, why we are doing it & whom we are addressing- one may think of it as critical literacy. Teaching digital literacy means teaching digital skills in a context that is authentic & makes sense to students. Ms. Gross shared many links with us that are provided below.

This presentation was perfect for National Library Week. It was a good reminder that libraries play a critical role in providing equal access to all students. Digital literacy does not replace traditional forms of literacy. It builds upon the foundation of traditional forms of literacy. Digital literacy is the marrying of the two terms digital and literacy; however, it is much more than a combination of the two terms. Watch the session here to learn more.

Canva example:

Flipsnack example: 

 Smore example: