Technology Guidance

 

We Believe

  • Continuous learning is not hours of screen time for teachers, parents, or students.
  • Less is more. Districts should seek to implement a few high-quality, intuitive solutions for communication lines, teaching and learning, and student support.
  • Collaboration is key. We recommend collaboration with all district stakeholders in the decision making process to select digital tools and resources for continuous learning.
  • Learning success begins with streamlined platforms for both elementary and secondary levels. For example, a district might choose Seesaw for elementary and Google Classroom for secondary.
  • Technology can open doors and break down barriers for children, youth, and adults with and without disabilities.
  • Student privacy is a top priority. 


Use of School Devices at Home

  • Based on your parent survey data, create a system for devices to be checked out to students/families and returned to school.
  • Develop a Tips and Tricks for device care, IT support help protocols, district policies, and Internet safety.


Copyright and Student Privacy

  • Consider how you might share copyright guidelines for educational fair use during continuous learning.
  • Not all edtech companies are student privacy sensitive. Consider how you might increase awareness for student data privacy during continuous learning.
  • Here is a great resource to review Fair Use Copyright Laws.
  • Ferpa/Sherpa is a great resource center aimed at answering student data privacy which is divided into three specific audiences, educators, students and parents. 


IT Support

  • Create protocols for providing IT support:
    • For teachers
    • For students/caregivers, if school devices are sent home
  • Consider how teachers, parents, and students will submit a tech request if needing support
  • Make it known that tech support is only there to assist with school-owned devices
  • Consider IT support beyond school hours for teachers, parents, and students (Some won’t necessarily be working during “school hours.”)
     


Usernames and Passwords

  • Districts will provide usernames and passwords to essential technology programs (previous and new) that students require access to.
  • Develop a plan to distribute that information to students and parents. Keep in mind you must protect the privacy of your students.
  • If students use a single sign-on, badge, or QR code sign in, consider developing a strategy to inform caregivers on these protocols during continuous learning.
     


Teacher Professional Development

  • Consider the essential teacher PD that is needed for teacher and student success.
    • PD can be done virtually or possibly with small groups of people.
    • Utilize how-to tutorials and other resources already created.
      • ISTE, Google for Education, Edtech, and Apple all have wonderful how-to videos created.
    • This is a great time for teacher leaders to step up to the plate. Think about what skills the individuals in your district have and empower those people to help take the lead.
    • Consider recording sessions or inviting others to virtual meetings to learn tech tools.
    • Our students are also great resources. Be creative in ways we empower and engage them in this process.
    • Remember, we are in this together. Our best resource is each other! Consult or collaborate with other districts to provide PD on these tools.
    • Don’t be afraid to ask for help. There are many tech-perts in Kansas! We are here for each other!


Checkout of Peripherals

  • Provide protocols for peripherals to be checked out to teachers (ELMO, document cameras, extra screens, etc.)


Educator Safety

You are encouraged to consider appropriate safeguards for accountability and liability when deciding to use 1:1 Live Video Conferencing with a student. These safeguards could include having two adults or two students on a video call or utilizing classified staff to be video partners on live calls. 

  • 1:1 Live Video Conferencing is an important tool for providing special education and related services, English Learner services, and other services for specific students. Make your own local decisions regarding appropriate safeguards. Exceptions may apply to staff such as counselors, social workers, school psychologists, or nurses who would continue to follow their professional standards

Platform

Recommended Grade Levels/Content Area

Strengths & Features

How-to Video/Info

Free Until

Compatible With

Remind

All levels

This is a way for the teacher to communicate with parents and students without using their cell phone number. Communication can happen via computer or cell phone.

Getting Started for Teachers

Add People to Your Class

Join a Class

Free app download

Available with any Chrome browser

Download Available from:
Google Play
App Store (Apple)
Chrome Web Store
Android

Google Voice

All levels

This allows educators the privacy of connecting with students and caregivers without having to give out their phone number. Both texting and voice features are available.

Getting Started

Google Voice Help Center

One free Google Voice number per cell phone or landline

Any device which has internet access



Distance Learning - Parameters for Teachers

  • Just because school looks different, the expectations must remain that individuals are professional and continue providing high-quality instruction.
  • Consider setting boundaries and guidelines by including the following:
    • A set schedule and routine for educators
    • Set up an appropriate and adequate working environment
    • Professional dress attire during videos and video conferencing
  • Model digital etiquette including:
    • Muting the mic before entering a session
    • Keeping the background clutter free
    • Pay attention to lighting
    • Minimize background noise


Distance Learning - Questions & Tools

  • Determine which distance learning tool best meets the needs of your learning community.
  • The best way to become familiar with these options is to use them. Consider using one of these to connect and check in with staff during the pre-planning times.
  • Professional Development will be essential. Considering laying out district expectations for:
    • Duration of a call
    • Frequency of calls
    • Expectations of who is to participate
    • Ways to assist both students and parents in using this function

Tool

Capabilities

How-to Video

Number of Participants Allowed at One Time

Ability to Record

IT/Tech Dept Notes

Google Hangout Meet

Google Hangout Meet allows groups to connect through video, audio, chat or dial in. Users can easily share screens as they connect.

Google Hangout Meet

Google Meet

Google has changed the limit to 250 people for schools who may be meeting virtually for the time being.

Yes

Departments must whitelist this feature for both students and staff.

Skype

Skype allows groups to connect through video, audio, chat or dial in. Users can easily share screens as they connect.

How to Use Skype

Up to 50 people

Yes

Departments must whitelist this feature for both students and staff.

Zoom

Zoom is a video conferencing tool. It allows users to connect through video, audio chat or dial in. Users can easily share screens as they connect.

Zoom

Free 45 minute Webinars to help teachers transition to teaching online using Zoom

Up to 100 people

Yes

Zoom will waive the 40 minute limit for school districts but you must go to the website and enroll your email domain.

Departments must whitelist this feature for both students and staff.



Learning Platforms - Questions and Info

  • Learning Success begins with streamlined platforms for both elementary and secondary levels
  • Check that your devices are compatible with the option selected
  • Check with IT and ensure that these sites are whitelisted

Platform

Recommended Grade Levels/Content Area

Strengths & Features

How-to Video/Info

Free Until

Compatible With

Seesaw

Elementary (K-5)

Specials (PE, Art, Music, etc.)

Students can show what they know using photos, drawings, text, PDFs, and links. It is simple to get student work in one place and shared with families, and nothing is shared without teacher approval.

Safe and secure that becomes a digital portfolio for students.
Learn More

Getting Started
(create a class, add students/parents, and add activities)

Basics - Free Forever

Basics allows Creative Tools, Family Messaging, 2 teachers per class, 10 active classes per teacher, and 100 Create and Share Activities

Available for use on the web using a computer or Chromebook: Chrome, Firefox, or Edge

Download from:
Google Play
App Store (Apple)
Chrome Web Store
Amazon Kindle

Google Classroom

Grades 3-12

Google classroom allows you to have easy access to post & share products from Google Docs and Google Drive. Instant collaboration between students & teachers outside the classroom. It is a simple set up & you can easily track a student's progress.

Create a Class

Adding Students and Guardians

How to Add Materials

Interface, Organization, Grades

Always free for G Suite users

Available from any Chrome browser

Download from:
Google Play
App Store (Apple)
Chrome Web Store

Bloomz

Grades K-5

Communicate and coordinate with parents easily. All communications are private and secure and even if parents don’t sign up for an account they will receive messages via email. Students can document and share with their projects.
Learn More

Learn More
(after account is set up)

*Can sign up/request Free Pilot of premium platform that will last until June 30, 2020

Download From:
App Store (Apple)
Google Play

Available for use on the web

Microsoft Teams (formerly Microsoft Classroom)

Grades 6-12

A digital hub that brings conversations, content, assignments, and apps together in one place. Build collaborative classrooms, connect in professional learning communities, and connect with colleagues – all from a single experience.

Getting Started Guide

Getting Started

Creating a Class

Creating an Assignment

Quick Start Guide

Free online version for students and teachers.

Available for use on the web

Canvas

Grades 6-12

Canvas allows you to easily lay out all of your coursework from creating lessons to student discussion boards. It offers easy ways to submit assignments, create online assessments, and it even has the capabilities to grade and record from your account.

What is Canvas?

How-to build a course in Canvas

Free Canvas will allow individual teachers to create and maintain class.

A paid version is available

Sign up for Free on the Canvas website

Available for use on the web



Screen Recording - Questions and Tools

  • Screen Recordings are a great way to introduce information and model concepts
  • Check with your district IT to determine if any of these websites need to be added to the whitelist
  • Consider using these tools to create PD for your staff members. People who experience a tool are more likely to use it

Tool

Recording Time Limit

Features

How to Video

Free Until

Compatible With

Screencasto-matic

15 minutes

Create tutorials or lessons for classroom instruction. Share videos with students so they can learn on their own and engage students with video conversations. Students can create videos to communicate their ideas or you can capture your lecture. Quick share videos to Facebook, Twitter, and Google Classroom or embed videos to a site or blog.

Beginner's Guide

Free version allows for 15 minutes of recording and easy sharing of videos.

Available for use on the web

Download Available from:
App Store (Apple)
Google Play

Screencastify

5 minutes

Video that can capture your tab, whole screen, or webcam only. Narrate with your microphone and you can record offline (no internet required). There is a mouse spotlight, drawing pen tool, and click highlighting. Recordings autosave to your Google Drive, instantly share Google Drive link, upload directly to YouTube.

Get Started/How to

An administrator can contact sales@screencasitfy.com and they will do what they can to help at no cost (via Twitter)

Download as a Chrome extension

Loom

No time limit

Capture your screen, voice, and face and instantly share. When you hit stop, the link is automatically copied to your clipboard. Viewers can express themselves and react to your video with emojis and comments. You can require a password or make your video viewable only to specific email addresses.

Loom video

Free for education - FOREVER

Allow up to 3 business days for verification

Sign up for Free

Works with:
Windows,
Mac,
Chrome,
iOS

Can be downloaded as a Chrome Extension or Desktop App



Universal Tech Tools that Support All Students

 

Description

How to Video

Free Until

Compatible With

Google Read&Write

Read&Write for Google Chrome™ provides personalized support to make documents, web pages and common file types in Google Drive (including: Google Docs, PDF & ePub) more accessible. It’s designed to help everyone engage with digital content in a way that suits his/her abilities and learning styles. Textto-speech, picture dictionaries, create and use voice notes

Quick Reference Guide

Free for teachers

Text-to-speech free for teachers and students

Premium access features for students, free for 30 days.

*This tool may be more beneficial for individual special needs, there are packages for premium tools single student use, group, and districtwide.

Works with:
Windows,
Mac,
Android,
Chrome,
iOS

Download as a Chrome Extension

EquatIO

Easily create mathematical equations, formulas, and quizzes. Intuitively type or handwrite, with no tricky math code to learn.

Handwriting recognition

Math, Chemistry, and formula prediction

Graphing calculator

Getting Started Guide

EquatIO Introduction

EquatIO Overview

Free for teachers

Premium access features for students, free for 30 days

*There are packages for premium tools single student use, group, and district wide.

Works with:
Windows,
Mac,
Android,
Chrome,
iOS

Download as a Chrome Extension

*Compatibility with Sheets, Forms, Slides and Drawings is a premium feature

Closed Captions

YouTube - Some videos on YouTube have subtitles or closed captions. If teachers create their own YouTube content for students. Closed captioning is a universal design feature that helps all students. Caveat - YouTube CC may not be fully ADA compliant.

How-To

This is a quick and easy way to add captions on Youtube.

Works with:
Windows,
Mac,
Android,
Chrome,
iOS

Microsoft Immersive Reader Tool

This tool was designed to help readers succeed. It enlarges fonts, highlights words as it reads them, allows you to set the rate of speech, and utilizes other helpful features.

How to Use Microsoft Immersive Reader

Free app in Microsoft 365 in Education

Works with Microsoft programs such as Word, Flip Grid, Powerpoint, etc.

 

If you are searching for additional resources to use with diverse learners, here is a great place to start:
https://www.iste.org/explore/Toolbox/30%20-tools-for-diverse-learners


Parent/Student Support

Tool

Video Tutorials

Quick Refernce Guides

Seesaw

Intro to Seesaw for Parents

Download available on App Store (Apple), Google Play, Kindle Fire or sign-in on the web

https://web.seesaw.me/families (link to website for parents and families)

Google Classroom

Parent Guide

Guardian Email Summaries

Bloomz

Parent Overview

Parent Support

Remind

Getting Started for Parents

Remind Families Website

How to Create an Account

How to Join a Class

How to Change Notifications

Zoom

How to Use Zoom

How to Attend a Zoom Meeting

Microsoft Teams

 

Parent/Guardian Support Guide



Library and Media Resources

  • Establish a protocol to provide library and media resources to teachers and students.
    • Open computer labs for small groups
    • Library check out opportunities for books and other materials
  • Consider providing links to free online books and read alouds for students.

Resource

Description

Website / App

Kansas State Library

Serves the library needs of Kansas citizens and provides access to high-quality online resources.

Contact your school librarian and media specialist or library para to set you up with a state library card and library card numbers.

RBdigital - App, Register & Log-in (requires separate registration)

cloudLibrary - App & Download

Enki - Log-in

Freading - Log-in

*all log-ins use state library card numbers

EPIC

A collection of 35,000 books which are available for students age 12 and under. Teachers can assign books to students based on reading level and students personal interest.

This is free for all educators!

https://www.getepic.com/

There is an app which is available for download.

Vooks

A kid-safe, ad-free streaming library of read-aloud animated storybooks. Students can stream books or download them to use when they don’t have an internet connection. Books are sorted into categories to make selecting what’s right for your student even easier.

https://www.vooks.com/

Teacher Application (free for one year)
https://www.vooks.com/teacher-appreciation

MyOn Books

Renaissance myON® Reader is a studentcentered, personalized literacy environment that gives students access to more than 6,000 enhanced digital books. Titles are dynamically matched to each individual student’s interests, grade and Lexile® reading level. Combined with a suite of close reading tools and embedded supports, myON Reader fosters student engagement and achievement.

Currently free for students.

https://www.renaissance.com/products/myon-reader/