Frequently Asked Questions

last updated Tuesday, May 19, 2020 - for current professional development opportunities, please visit https://wke.lt/w/s/NW6z5K

"Ideas for independent writing projects, please."

Here are some options:

  • StoryCorps Connect is a new iteration of the popular portal which allows interviews to take place and be recorded remotely

  • Student Journal, designed by Bay Area teacher Bryan Shaw and expanded by UC Berkeley's History-Social Science Project

  • "Write. Right. Rite." series from author Jason Reynolds, National Ambassador for Young People's Literature, includes videos and writing prompts

Need more options? Please contact Marifran DeMaine for personalized learning!

"I want to record my laptop screen to share with students."

Here are some options:

  • Screencastify: a simple way to record your screen from within the Chrome browser

  • Screencast-O-Matic: upload your screen recording to YouTube or store them on Screencast-O-Matic's website

  • Loom: Pro version is currently available to teachers at no charge

Need more options? Please contact Marifran DeMaine for personalized learning!

It's time for me to use Google Meet with my students; give me a crash course."

Here are the basics:

  • Grab this "cheat sheet" from the G Suite Learning Center, which reviews how to schedule a meeting and invite folks to join

  • Read this blog post by Meagan Kelly to secure your meeting before you arrive and after you leave

  • Share a list of expectations with students (and parents) in advance so everyone is on the same page

Interested in more details? Please contact Marifran DeMaine for personalized learning!

"I'm looking for science resources - live labs, experiments, anything!"

Here are some options:

  • Flinn Scientific: good for middle and high school students; hosting an "At-Home Lab Series" live

  • Ward's World: articles, free activites and videos, searchable by grade, to share with students

  • NSTA's Daily Do: an Open Educational Resource (OER) from the National Science Teaching Association adaptable for elementary and middle school

Need more options? Please contact Marifran DeMaine for personalized learning!

"Which authors are doing online activities for students?"

Here are some options:

  • Kate Messner, children's book author and former teacher, is curating the work of author friends and organizing by grade level

  • We Are Teachers is updating a list and categorizing their resources by elementary, middle and high school

  • LibrarianBookends are publishing a daily schedule of author, illustrator and celebrity read-alouds ( NOTE: you do NOT need to have a Twitter account to access their feed)

Need more options? Take a look here or contact Marifran DeMaine for personalized learning!

"What resources do we receive through PNWBOCES School Library System?"

Each school in the district receives a number of premium databases that are easily accessed through their BOCES portal:

These databases have either been purchased by the district, provided by the School Library System or funded through New York State Library and are password-protected. You are welcome to share the common username and password with students and their families through Google Classroom, email or any communication done behind a firewall.

Need more information about the databases? Please contact Marifran DeMaine for personalized learning!

"I need an answer to my tech question RIGHT NOW!"

When your talented techie coworkers are asleep at 3am, here are some options:

  • Shake Up Learning is Kacey Bell's blog where she addresses all things Google-y - her Google Classroom Cheat Sheets answer many common teacher and student questions

  • Alice Keeler is another Google expert who offers creative ways to use Forms, Slides and other tools in the Suite

  • Putnam Valley High School Library YouTube channel has a number of how-to videos created in response to student and teacher FAQs

Need more options? Please contact Marifran DeMaine for personalized learning!

"Where can I find special education resources?"

Here are some options:

  • Resources shared in a memo from the NYSED's Office of Special Education was carefully curated by PVFT member Toni Petrillo - be sure to sign into your school Google account to view the document

  • PNW BOCES shared a list developed by the Education Technology team in their April newsletter

  • Digital Promise has a list of resources to support learners with disabilities (NOTE: free and premium resources listed)

Need more options? Please contact Marifran DeMaine for personalized learning!

"Google Slides is useful but I'm using the same themes again and again."

Here are some options:

  • Slides Carnival has dozens of themes for both Google Slides and Microsoft PowerPoint searchable by style and color

  • SlidesMania hosts several literary-inspired themes in their Education section, including Wizard of Oz and Harry Potter

  • SlidesGo can be tedious to search but has the added support of SlidesGo School, a collection of tutorials about Google Slides

Need more options? Please contact Marifran DeMaine for personalized learning!

"Is there self-paced professional development available that I can begin right now?"

Here are some options:

  • Enabling Distance Learning in the Google for Education Teacher Center organizes basic, intermediate and advanced lessons to enhance use of all of the GSuite tools (Mail, YouTube, Classroom, Hangouts, etc) that can be accessed through a pvcsd account

  • PBS TeacherLine is known for their facilitated graduate-level courses but they have several self-paced 1.5-3 hour courses - quite a few are available without charge

  • List of professional learning opportunities, containing product-specific trainings, updated daily

Need more options? Please contact Marifran DeMaine for personalized learning!