Tech Tips & Information will be posted here periodically.

Hour of Code Week: December 8-14

posted Dec 8, 2014, 12:33 PM by

This week, Dec. 8-14 is the Hour of Code, a worldwide event to promote computer programming to kids. It is predicted that 57,000 classrooms around the world will participate. There are fabulous activities that can be done on Chromebooks, ipads, or any desktop computers which require no background knowledge on your part. 

Go to and click "Teachers Host it" to sign up your classroom. Your students go to and click "Students Try It" to be taken to the various activities. You don't have to sign up in advance (or at all) in order for your students to participate.  

There is a great video on the main site which is just a few minutes long that gets kids excited about computer programming and features teachers and kids who participated last year.  

Once students click "Students Try It" there are many options for coding games they can play.

For 6-8th grade students can do either of the K-5 options or try one of the "Tutorials that Teach JavaScript."  or "Tutorials in Other Languages" which are found in headings a bit farther down the student page. 

For 3rd-5th grade we recommend "Code with Anna and Elsa" or any of the options under "Tutorials for Beginners."  For K-2nd grade, "Tutorials for Beginners." Kids need to be able to read directions so pairing students or pairing younger kids with older kids (like with Reading Buddies) may work best.

If you have iPads we recommend either Lightbot or Kodables, both of which are free apps.

If you would like more specific recommendations for your students, feel free to the Instructional Technology TSA for your site.

Happy Coding!

The Instructional Technology TSAs (Wally Gutierrez, Allison Krasnow, Robin Harley, and Mary Ann Scheuer)

Parent Resources 11.25.14

posted Nov 25, 2014, 11:14 AM by

The Common Sense Media website is a great resource for information on Digital Citizenship & Cybersafety. Their motto is " We rate, educate, and advocate for kids families and schools." They provide reviews and age ratings on a variety of media - movies, games, TV, books, apps, websites, and music. Here is the link to the site:

They recently added a section that addresses parental concerns about Screen time, Cyberbullying, Privacy & Internet safety, and Social Media: A link to this webpage can also be found in the How To section of your school's library website.

Jason Brand, a BUSD parent who specializes in helping families create a healthy relationship with technology, spoke at the Thousand Oaks PTA meeting last week and provided this handout that addresses a common parental concern: Screen Time 

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

10.22.14 Google Classroom

posted Oct 22, 2014, 4:12 PM by

Hello Teachers,

As a follow-up to last week's PD on Google Classroom, here is a Google Doc with basic directions and a Google Presentation to help you introduce Google Classroom to your students:
For those of you who couldn't attend or would like more information, you can go to their website at:

And let us know if you have any questions or need help.

10.22.14 Typing Club Ready for Action!

posted Oct 22, 2014, 4:10 PM by

Dear 3rd, 4th and 5th Grade Teachers,

Typing Club is a great way for students to practice typing, enabling them to become familiar with the computer and keyboard. 

You do NOT need to teach typing all year. Devoting 20 minutes, three times per week, for just 8 weeks is sufficient.

Here are resources to help you get your students started:
Please contact us if you have any questions or would like our help in the classroom.

Allison Krasnow, Wally Gutierrez. Mary Ann Scheuer & Robin Harley

9.2.14 Accessing Google Login Info for Students

posted Sep 2, 2014, 5:34 PM by

Some of you have been asking how to get the usernames and passwords for your students account. Here are the steps:

1. Go to Power Teacher and login (You may have to select your student roster for a particular period if you are a Middle School Teacher)
2. Click Reports
3. Beside "Which Report would you like to print?" Select Elementary Gmail Login Info
4. Select Submit
5. Once completed, select View (You may have to click the Refresh button)

Now you are ready to print the page(s).

Doodle 4 Google 2014 - US Winner

posted Jun 8, 2014, 11:40 PM by

11-year old Audrey Zhang of New York wins the 7th annual Doodle 4 Google contest. Check it out!


posted Sep 26, 2013, 2:20 PM by   [ updated Sep 26, 2013, 2:23 PM ]

Please encourage your students to practice typing! Typing is an essential skill. A good, free site is Dance Mat Typing at It’s great practice to encourage for kids to do once or twice a week using the Chromebook carts or student computer workstations in the classroom. Students may also use this site from home for free. Typing practice can be done in as little as 10-15 minutes. And kids have a lot of fun with the fun animations, narration and activities, so they would need headphones.

Students can also get there through your school library website, there is a clickable link that says Dance Mat Typing.

Teaching Resources on BUSD Website

posted Sep 11, 2013, 7:11 AM by

There is a page dedicated to teaching resources such as online components of curriculum textbooks and curriculum websites that contain information and resources for BUSD teachers: ELD, RTI, BUSD Academic Vocabulary, etc.

OR you can go to: 
  • Click on Teachers & Staff in menu on the left side of the page
  • Then click on Teaching Resources button

4.29.13 Youtube for Education

posted Apr 29, 2013, 10:45 AM by

You can show educational videos from

If you would like to show an educational video that you're still not able to access within the district, send a request to the Technology Department by emailing Tom Landis at with the URL or web address. If approved, the link to the video will be posted in the Educational Video Library section of the Central Media Library web page at 

The Central Media Library also lists Additional Educational Video Resources.

Wireless Available Throughout All Elementary Schools

posted Feb 21, 2013, 10:19 AM by   [ updated Feb 21, 2013, 10:45 AM ]

Wireless connection is available throughout all elementary schools. The wireless network name is BUSD Teacher at all the school sites. If you don't know the password or network security key to access the network, you can contact the technology help desk, your zone tech, or me.

For directions on how to access the wireless network using a Mac laptop, click on the link: Connecting to Wireless Networks Using the Airport/Wi-Fi Icon

If you are using a Windows laptop, follow the directions below:
  1. Choose Start and select Connect to.
  2. You will see a display of wireless networks detected by your laptop. Click the BUSD Teacher network and click Connect.
  3. Enter the network security key or password. Click OK.
  4. If you have successfully made the connection, you will get a confirmation message. Click Close.
Please contact the tech help desk at if you don't see the BUSD Teacher network or not get a wireless signal in your classroom.

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