Unlock the Power of Programming: Apply for a FREE Sphero Kit

Sphero Edu is partnering with CodeFWD by Facebook, a free program for teachers and other adults working with 4th through 8th graders in the U.S. to inspire interest in the field of computer programming. For more information about CodeFWD click HERE.

Apply now! PPS Teachers Integrating & Learning Technology (TILT)

Fill out an application to join the PPS TILT Cadre, a professional learning network focused on technology integration and best practices in classroom and leadership environments. The goals of this group include:

  • providing forums for networking and ongoing collaborative work
  • integrating proven and emerging technology effectively to support standards-based learning and teaching
  • modeling and practicing effective instructional strategies
  • focusing on exemplary professional learning to improve practice

This first year will focus on the exploration of technology resources in a safe collaborative environment to support students with personalized, equitable, racially and culturally responsive learning. Teachers will be expected to complete hands-on projects, improve their technology skills in a variety of areas and become proficient in using online tools.

If accepted, participation in this group is voluntary, not paid, and you must commit to three meetings: Thursdays, Jan. 18, March 15 and May 17, 2018 from 4-7 pm. Deadline to submit your application is Friday, Nov. 17, 2017 at 5 pm. PDUs are available. Only teachers are eligible to apply. Questions? Contact Melissa Lim, mlim@pps.net.

Short link for the application http://bit.do/ppstiltapp

Mythos Challenge

Mythos Challenge is an annual Youth-Led Storytelling and Gaming Project in Oregon.
In the Mythos Challenge, youth are invited to create a digital interactive story, analog or digital game, or a mobile app inspired by a special exhibition at the Portland Art Museum. Winning entries are played at the Museum and are eligible for awards. Registration for our second year of remixing stories and game creation begins January 15, 2016.

The Mythos  Challenge is a collaboration of  12 community partners and endorsers, and is organized by the Mythos Youth Council, Pixel Arts Game Education, and the Portland Art Museum.

Please read the attached teacher letter as well. Between February and April 2016, Pixel Arts Game Education will lead 3 online workshops in the free and easy‐to‐use Twine and Scratch digital storytelling and gaming platforms.
2016 Mythos Challenge Teacher Announcement

Rockwood Library Makerspace

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Multnomah County Library is in the midst of a very exciting project at the Rockwood Library. They are building an addition to the library that will house an innovative STEAM community center focused on serving grades 6-12 in the Rockwood neighborhood. It should be finished in January 2016 but they are offering many very cool programs right now in an interim space at the library.

Imagine a space where teens can have fun diving into STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) by making and recording music, engraving photos of friends on wood with a laser cutter, scanning and 3D printing replicas of their faces or building robot pets together. The  Rockwood Library makerspace will offer instruction, programs, mentors and innovative technology tools like a laser cutter, 3D printers and more. All programs — both structured classes and drop-in sessions — are offered to participants free of charge.

Please see the flyers below for more information.

2016 Mythos Challenge

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This is a fantastic opportunity for students!

2016 Mythos Youth Council Application
Applications are due Friday, October 23. Follow the link above to apply.

The Mythos Challenge inspires Oregon youth to become digital makers and to connect with other youth and broader learning communities. This year myths from all over the world were remixed into digital stories and games, and 2016 will expand this platform for youth voice with workshops, museum collections, and technology.

The Mythos Youth Council splits into committees such as the Parties Committee, which handles all ceremonies and events, and the Awards Committee, which manages submissions and decides awards. Youth are represented from many community organizations, and this is an open space for youth voice. The youth council is important for youth because it encourages empowerment, responsibility and teamwork for the greater good of many communities.

Apply now to become a community youth leader of the Mythos Challenge!

Sponsored by Multnomah County Library, Pixel Arts Game Education and the Portland Art Museum.

October is Connected Educator Month

Connected Educator Month 2014

Follow the link above for more information and to get started. The goals of CEM include:

  • Getting more educators proficient with social media to improve their practice
  • Deepening and sustaining learning among those already enjoying connection’s benefits
  • Helping schools credential/integrate connected learning into their formal professional development efforts
  • Stimulating and supporting innovation in the field

Of course, being connected should start in your own classroom and school. Make sure you connect with your students and colleagues. Then find an online space that can help bridge your classroom and school to the greater local and global community.

Edtech Updates

The rollout of Google Apps for Education is underway! Six schools were selected for the district soft launch this school year, which began on May 12. Woodlawn, Forest Park, George, Lewis, Llewellyn, and Jackson were selected based on their prior experience using Google Apps and their ability to partner in developing processes for a district-wide rollout. The Google Apps project team will be working with these schools through the spring and summer with a district-wide launch planned for the fall. Over the summer the Google Apps team will also be working on automated account provisioning, account management, and single sign-on in preparation for a district-wide launch. Google Apps accounts will be created for all instructional staff in August with student accounts being created after the start of school.

A steering committee has been formed to guide the direction of the project and the Google Apps district domain <apps4pps.net>. The team has created a project blog to provide updates on the Google implementation. The IT purchasing standards have also been updated to reflect the current Chromebook offerings. Schools will now be able to purchase both Samsung Series 3 and Dell Chromebook 11! Please feel free contact Brett Luelling directly with any questions.

Brett Luelling, Director, IT Systems Development & Integration
x63937   bluelling@pps.net


Class DoJo is a free classroom management and parent engagement tool. In November IT blocked access on the PPS Network to the Class DoJo website due to privacy concerns and asked teachers to stop using this service. Knowing what a valuable service Class DoJo provides to many teachers across the district, IT spent the past several months working with Class DoJo to put the necessary data protections in place to ensure our teachers, students, and parents could safely use this service. We now have a contract in place with Class DoJo that contains the required FERPA language and helps safeguard our students’ information.

As of today (May 28) Class DoJo has been unblocked on the PPS network and teachers may begin using the service again.  Additionally, the ClassDojo Team is more than happy to assist teachers in setting up a free account athttp://www.classdojo.com.  To chat with them, please email: hello@classdojo.com. To see ideas on how you can start using ClassDojo in your classroom, try visiting their forum: http://community.classdojo.com for great tips!

Josh Klein, Chief Information Officer
x63050, jklein@pps.net


The Office of Teaching & Learning is looking for teacher teams to participate in a summer project to develop and adapt uses of technology, implement innovative practices, and/or craft open educational resources (OER) for student learning. We invite teams of 2-4 teachers serving students in grades 4-8 to submit applications to participate.

Participation will require attendance at a two-day Culturally-relevant Curriculum Curation and Creation Camp, July 24 – 25, for which teachers will be compensated through a personalized learning grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. This curriculum camp will afford teachers the opportunity to learn about technologies and innovative classroom practices, work together with colleagues from other schools, and design an instructional project to be implemented and studied during the first quarter of the school year.

Teachers will also be compensated for additional time spent developing, implementing, documenting, and evaluating the project (beyond the regular work day/year). A final report on the project will be due after the end of the first quarter of the 2014-15 school year.

Interested teacher teams must submit an application by June 13, 2014.

Andrew Wheeler, Senior Project Manager, Office of Teaching & Learning
x63334   wheeler@pps.net

October is Connected Educators Month!

This year’s event will have a special emphasis on helping districts promote and integrate online social learning in their formal professional development.

Other goals include:

  • Getting more educators “connected” (to each other)
  • Deepening and sustaining learning of those already connected
  • Stimulating and supporting collaboration and innovation in professional development.

The themes for this year’s event are:

  • Making It Count: Integrating Social Learning Into Formal PD
  • Connected Leadership
  • Personalized Learning
  • Innovating STEM and Literacy
  • From Connection to Collaboration
  • 21st Century Classroom Management

Check out these Connected Educators Links: