TIES Learning and Technology Newsletter - January 2016

January 2016

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Happy New Year! We hope you had a restful and refreshing holiday break. Now that school is back in session we want to update you about upcoming TIES professional development offerings and the release of the TIES Winter-Spring 2016 Workshop Catalog!

Spots Available for Saturday Classes 

There are still spots available for upcoming Saturday classes at TIES. For example, this Saturday TIES will be offering the following classes:

  • Free and Fabulous Online Resources
  • Schoology Basics
  • Schoology Coaching
  • SMART Board Interactives
  • SMART Board Interactives Coaching
  • iMovie 10 Basics for Mac Computer
  • Programming in the Elementary Classroom

All course descriptions can be found here. Click here to register or contact Dorothy Harmon at dorothy.harmon@ties.k12.mn.us. Be sure to join the waitlist if the class is full as we often schedule additional sections based upon demand. 


Spring Classes at TIES

The spring classes for the TIES Training Center are open for registration. Take a look at the new TIES February-May 2016 Catalog, which includes several new courses including Computational Thinking in the Elementary Classroom, Novel Engineering, Creating a Google Site, and Thinking Critically with Data. Don’t forget to register and be waitlisted if the class you want is full.

TIES 2015 Was a Success! 


Our thanks to the more than 3,100 of you who both presented and attended the TIES 2015 Education Technology Conference in December. Highlights included outstanding keynote presentations by Sylvia Martinez and George Couros, multiple featured speaker sessions from both local and national experts, hands-on experiences in the Playground, and of course the amazing networking among everyone who attended. Whether you attended or not, feel free to explore the shared resource materials available for many of the sessions listed at http://ties2015.sched.org/

We hope you’ll plan to join us at the TIES 2016 Conference, which is December 10-13, 2016! Watch for the Call for Proposals for TIES 2016 in late March.


Bootstrap: Computing Creatively + Thriving Mathematically

Bootstrap, a three-day professional development workshop for middle school/junior high school algebra and computer science teachers, will be offered February 23-25 at TIES. Click here for more details about Bootstrap and the workshop. This event will focus on preparing students for 21st century/STEM careers through algebra and computer science lessons. The goal is to learn how to have students program their own video games and apps in a way that makes a specific connection to algebra education.


  • February 23-25, 2016
  • 8:30 AM - 4 PM 
  • TIES Event Center
  • Register online for only $50/person at http://bitly.com/BootstrapMN 
  • Lunch is included every day

Thanks to sponsorship by 3M, the three days of training and all workshop materials are available for only a $50 registration fee. TIES is partnering with Bootstrap to host this professional development opportunity. Questions? Contact Cara Hagen at cara.hagen@ties.k12.mn.us.


Our Favorite Things

Is the TED-Ed Innovative Educator Program Right for You?
“Are you an educator seeking a passionate community of learners and innovators? Are you dedicated to celebrating the ideas of students and teachers around the world? Do you find creative ways to solve problems in your classroom, school, or district?” If you answered “yes” to any of these questions posed by the TED-Ed team, then the TED-Ed Innovative Educator Program may be for you.  

Carla Staffa from TIES had the incredible opportunity to be part of the first group of TED-Ed Innovative Educators, which started last summer. It consists of two months of initial training followed by 10 months of support and collaboration to develop an innovative project for the program. She says that it has been the most rewarding professional development community she has ever been involved in. Check out this blog for additional information and for the application. The application deadline is January 29.

Powerball Statistics (and Life Skills) Lessons
The largest jackpot ever had the nation abuzz with talk of the Powerball. The big contest may be over for now, but there are still some great lessons to be learned about probability and statistics in the lottery, and the myths of winning it big. Yummy Math has a great free lesson plan (for older students) that uses a Powerball Simulator to repeated test projections. Upon seeing the simulator’s “return on investment,” students may just decide to study for that chemistry exam instead of banking on winning it big in the lottery.

Meet the TIES 2015  Exceptional Teachers 
For 11 years, TIES has been honoring educators who have had a positive impact on student learning through technology. Honorees have been teachers, technology integrationists, media specialists, and others who have inspired teaching and learning with technology.

Selected by TIES member superintendents, these educators are recognized at the annual TIES Education Technology Conference. Forty-three districts honored educators at December’s 2015 conference. We are excited to showcase these exceptional teachers throughout the year and share their stories with you.

Download the 2015 Exceptional Teacher Book to meet the honored teachers! The links to download the iBook and eBook are on the TIES 2015 Conference website at http://ties2015.ties.k12.mn.us/964.


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