Students Leading the Way

What happens when students become the teachers?

We have a very powerful tool in iLearn (based on Moodle). We’ve trained teachers to take advantage of some of the powerful options available in iLearn. Our focus though, is always on student learning. iLearn provides teachers with tremendous possibilities for student engagement and empowerment.

One way to provide student empowerment is to let them become the “teacher” and create an iLearn course. They can then use this course to teach others. Those others can be in their class. Or, those others could be in a different grade. Or, those others could be in a different school.

Over at Fordson, one teacher is “elevating” the students to become the teacher. These students are responsible for creating an experience for their learners. They are creating some very interesting material. (*The students are even writing Language Objectives and Content Objectives).

iLearn opens so many doors, so many opportunities.

Contact a Tech Coach if you’d like some support as well.

Free PD (with SCECH’s)

The REMC Virtual Courses are free and open to Michigan school personnel. You can take courses “just to learn” or you can complete all assignments. SCECH credits are available for successful course completion.

There is a multi-month schedule of course offerings. You may register for these courses at any time but note that courses have different start/end dates.

Courses take place over three weeks.  Each consists of two one-hour webinars and four hours of resource review, assessment development and written reflection and six SCECH credits are available. Exception: the What, Why, and How of Open Educational Resources (OER) course takes nine hours and nine SCECH credits are available.

Check the REMC Virtual Course FAQ for answers to often asked questions.

These courses are available through an agreement between Presidio/Dell and the REMC Association through its REMC SAVE device purchasing program.

January 2018 Sessions:

  • The What, Why, and How of Open Educational Resources (OER)
  • Applying Google Apps for Education in Chrome, Level 1
  • Literacy Instruction and Technology: Foundational Elements, Level 1
  • Professional Development through Social Media, Level 1


Instructor Led Sessions

(To Register, or for more information,click on a start date.)

Start Date  Time Days Location Session Title  Status
01/08/2018 12:00 AM-11:59 PM 1 Virtual / Online Applying Google Apps for Education in Chrome, Level 1  
03/05/2018 12:00 AM-11:59 PM 1 Virtual / Online Authentic Learning and Gamification  
02/05/2018 12:00 AM-11:59 PM 1 Virtual / Online Deeper Practices in Literacy Instruction and Technology, Level 2  
02/05/2018 12:00 AM-11:59 PM 1 Virtual / Online Google for Learning: Enhance Your Web Presence and ePortfolio, Level 2  
03/05/2018 12:00 AM-11:59 PM 1 Virtual / Online Google for Learning: Using SAMR and DOK to Design Authentic Learning Opportunities, Level 3  
02/05/2018 12:00 AM-11:59 PM 1 Virtual / Online Inquiry and Questioning: Igniting Student Curiosity with Technology, Level 1  
01/08/2018 12:00 AM-11:59 PM 1 Virtual / Online Literacy Instruction and Technology: Foundational Elements, Level 1  
01/08/2018 12:00 AM-11:59 PM 1 Virtual / Online Professional Development through Social Media, Level 1  
02/05/2018 12:00 AM-11:59 PM 1 Virtual / Online Social Media: Improving Student Critical Thinking and Collaboration, Level 2  
03/05/2018 12:00 AM-11:59 PM 1 Virtual / Online Social Media: Innovation through Authenticity, Level 3  
03/05/2018 12:00 AM-11:59 PM 1 Virtual / Online The What, Why, and How of Open Educational Resources (OER)  
01/08/2018 12:00 AM-11:59 PM 1 Virtual / Online The What, Why, and How of Open Educational Resources (OER)  

Registration for PD

As you know, we have upgraded our PD registration system. Since we changed from one system to another, we had many decisions to make. One of those decisions was what to do with the registrations that were completed in the “old” system.

We could leave the previous registrations in the old system. This would mean that teachers would need to log into two different systems to track all of their registrations and PD attended.

Or, we could transfer all of the registrations to the new system. We have chosen to undertake the transferring all of the registrations.

Since we are transferring the data, you will receive an email notification that are registered for an event.

Please check the dates of the event. If the event has passed, you can safely archive or delete the email.


Flash, Games and some Videos

The web is a constantly changing landscape. It can be difficult to keep up with the latest in technology advances and changes. Even those of us who literally spend their whole day working on technology are hard pressed to keep up with everything. Some of the changes that happen can be very frustrating. We are currently seeing a change that has the potential to frustrate a lot of educators.

Flash is a web technology that is being deprecated. Flash was developed by Adobe. Flash brought video and some interactivity to the web. However, it is a poorly executed technology that is rife with security issues. The security issues are so bad at this point, that even Adobe is abandoning Flash. Adobe has announced that they will end support by 2020. However, most browsers are not waiting until then to stop supporting Flash.

Famously, Apple refused to support Flash on the iPhone. This was because of the security issues with Flash. This also led to the development of better web technologies.

The problem arises because there are lots of different educational games and websites that use Flash. These are sites that were probably created many years ago. Many of them were pet projects, personal projects or college projects. These are generally free. The authors have little incentive to update the sites. A high proportion of these sites are math related.

Currently, browsers are starting to stop running the Flash plug in. Google Chrome is switching to an “enable” structure. This means that instead of the Flash media playing, the user must click an “enable” button on the page. If the media is not embedded, the end user won’t see an “enable” button at all. Soon, Chrome will not play Flash at all. MicroSoft doesn’t support Flash in their latest browser on Windows 10 at all.

This can lead to frustration for teachers and students since sites that they may have used in the past suddenly stop working. There is very little that we can do. Flash is going away.

The good news is that the web is constantly evolving. There are lots of other sites and options available. We have a couple of Technology Coaches who can help teachers create their material (and share with the district).


We’ve been transitioning to a new experience in DEC. As such, we are moving some of the links around. If you visit the Staff Resources page of the Dearborn Public Schools web site, the DEC link will now go to the new an improved version of DEC. Since we haven’t yet redeveloped every curricular area, the curriculum committees are hard at work on that, we’ve also maintained the link to “old DEC”.

Graphic showing where to find DEC links on the Staff Resources page.


In our new age of sharing, it can be easy to forget that copyright laws still apply.

This can be especially true in schools. After all, educators are trying to help students learn.

Copyright laws impact the use of images, videos and text. Frequently, schools use text, especially great stories, to help students learn. Many of these stories are still under copyright.

Even if our intent is good, we still must follow copyright laws. Unfortunately, copyright laws can be complex. Very complex.

General Copyright Dates

So, how do you know if the story that you want to use is under copyright? Here is a quick, general overview that may prove useful.

Created 1-1-78 or after When work is fixed in tangible medium of expression Life + 70 years1(or if work of corporate authorship, the shorter of 95 years from publication, or 120 years from creation2
Published before 1923 In public domain  None
Published from 1923 – 63 When published with notice3 28 years + could be renewed for 47 years, now extended by 20 years for a total renewal of 67 years. If not so renewed, now in public domain
Published from 1964 – 77 When published with notice 28 years for first term; now automatic extension of 67 years for second term
Created before 1-1-78 but not published 1-1-78, the effective date of the 1976 Act which eliminated common law copyright Life + 70 years or 12-31-2002, whichever is greater
Created before
1-1-78 but published between then and 12-31-2002
1-1-78, the effective date of the 1976 Act which eliminated common law copyright Life + 70 years or 12-31-2047 whichever is greater

Special thanks to Lolly Gassway for creating and sharing the table above. 

*Please note that if you purchased a copy of an asset (picture, song, video, text, book, story, etc.), it does NOT mean that you can then share that with everyone. “Purchasing” something normally means purchasing the right for one individual to use that piece of material. “Buying” something does NOT mean that you can do anything that you want with it.

Pinterest and Teachers Pay Teachers

Anything that is purchased from Teachers Pay Teachers is purchased with a specific copyright. Normally, that purchase includes the right to use it in that classroom. Teachers may NOT post the resource on the web. Teachers may NOT share it with another teacher.

Pinterest is filled with a wide variety of copyright. There is no general guidance other than one needs to check copyright carefully.


Generally, you can freely link to items on the web. Downloading, scanning, copying or otherwise having control of the item is where you need to know about copyright.


Copyright is generally in force once an item is created. Some publishers choose to copyright their material in a way that can be reused. The most popular way for authors to do so is through Creative Commons.  There are different license types that you should be aware of:

Creators choose a set of conditions they wish to apply to their work.

Attribution Attribution (by)

All CC licenses require that others who use your work in any way must give you credit the way you request, but not in a way that suggests you endorse them or their use. If they want to use your work without giving you credit or for endorsement purposes, they must get your permission first.

ShareAlike ShareAlike (sa)

You let others copy, distribute, display, perform, and modify your work, as long as they distribute any modified work on the same terms. If they want to distribute modified works under other terms, they must get your permission first.

NonCommercial NonCommercial (nc)

You let others copy, distribute, display, perform, and (unless you have chosen NoDerivatives) modify and use your work for any purpose other than commercially unless they get your permission first.

NoDerivatives NoDerivatives (nd)

You let others copy, distribute, display and perform only original copies of your work. If they want to modify your work, they must get your permission first.

Previous Posts about Copyright

Music and Copyright



One Google Document in Multiple Folders

One File, Two Folders

Sometimes, it can be beneficial to have one Google Document in two different folders. Maybe you are meticulous about organizing your files, but you have a file that could easily be in two different folders.

This can happen when you are collaborating with one group and need to give another group access to the document in a specific folder (for the sake of organization).

*Please note that files can’t be added to Team Drives; they must be moved.

Fortunately, this is easy to do.

  1. Click once on the file that you want to “add” to a different folder (the file should be highlighted in blue).
  2. On your keyboard, press the following keys: Shift + Z.
  3. The “Add” window will open.
    The Add Panel
  4. Navigate to the folder that you want to “Add” the document to. (Note that you will get an > symbol to navigate deeper into folders).
    Add panel selection showing steps above.
  5. Click “ADD” (this will say “ADD HERE” until you select a folder).

Note that this will mean that there will only be one document. Any changes to the document will be reflected in both folders. Also note that the privileges on that document will be the highest privileges of any document.

Let’s say that you create a Google Doc called “My Great Document” in a folder titled “My Team Work”. Then, you are asked to place this document in a “District Team Work” folder that is shared with lots of people with Editing privileges. Using the method above, you create a link to “My Great Document” and add that to the “District Team Work” folder. Anyone who has editing rights to the “District Team Work” folder will also have editing rights to “My Great Document”.


Need to remove the file from one folder but not the other?

  1. Simply locate the file (it doesn’t matter which folder).
  2. Click on once to select it.
  3. Click on the i in a circle to reveal the details of the file.
  4. Click the X to the right of the folder from which you want to remove.

Screen shot illustrating steps to remove a document from a folder.

Two Files, Two Folders

Please note if you want to share a document, but not have the original affected, you can use the File | Make a copy option. That will make a copy of the file at the moment in time. Any changes on one copy will NOT be reflected on the other.


New Google Calendar

Starting today, we are making the new Google Calendar available. This is an optional update at this time. You will need to click a blue button in the top right hand side of the calendar to upgrade. The new Google Calendar brings with it some nice features:

  • Pretty. The fonts and colors have been updated and modernized.
  • Add rich formatted text to events.
  • See contact information in events.

Google has some helpful information on the new calendar:

We hope that you find the new Google Calendar even more useful.


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