Oregon School Boards Summer Camp 2014

Oregon School Boards Summer 2014 Welcome Poster

Dateline: 8:00 a.m. on a beautiful, if a little smoky, Sunday morning in July 2104. Bend, Oregon.

Notice that 8:00 a.m. on a Sunday morning part. Who in the world would be awake and alert for an 8:00 a.m. Sunday conference session?!? As I drove from my house to the beautiful Riverhouse event center that morning, I was certain there would be 2-3 hearty souls in my presentation room. Once those hearty souls realized I was going to talk about online learning and software, I expected eyes to glaze over and heads to droop. I questioned the wisdom of Steve Lamb, OSBA conference organizer extraordinaire, for scheduling this slot.

I was wrong.

The ORVSD: Tools for Your District’s Digital Curriculum Transition session was well attended and folks were engaged and asking questions. There is a need for these services and support right now. The ORVSD Training Team is excited to provide both. I waked away from the Riverhouse with several new connections and requests. The training team meets in just a few weeks for our annual retreat and we’ll fold them all into our plan for 2014-15.

The session handout is available as a pdf. And the slides are embedded below:

Google Gearing Up for 2014 Virtual Summer Maker Camp

Reuben Hoffman at the #ipdx14 makerspace

For the 3rd summer in a row, Google is teaming up with Make magazine to provide 30 days of Virtual Summer Maker Camp. Each week from July 7 to August 15, a new set of themed activities will be posted on the Google Maker Camp website, and each weekday, a different maker project will be shared.

Librarians and Summer Camp Directors, as well as individuals and families, are encouraged to integrate Google Maker Camp into their activities and summer programs.

Exciting events include cool Virtual Field trips to exciting venues via Google Hangout, online sessions with celebrity Makers, and more. Posting of photos and videos of local events and creations to the Maker Camp Community Page on Google+ are encouraged.

Themes included in this summer’s Maker Camp will be Makers in Motion, Create the Future, Health & Science, Art and Design, DIY Music, and Make: Believe.

Materials needed for the projects are generally found around around the home or at grocery, hardware, or electronics stores, and lists of needed materials will be posted online in advance.

Join the fun and excitement of Google’s Virtual Summer Maker Camp by going to

SketchUp Pro for Oregon K-12 Districts

SketchUp Pro Model

ORVSD is excited to provide access to SketchUp Pro at no cost to Oregon school districts. We are a grantee under the Statewide License Grant Program. To access your license keys, please follow the steps below:

  1. Complete the request form on this page. (See below.)
  2. Download SketchUp Pro 2014. (Please select the correct version. There are several to choose from.)
  3. Install in your lab environment or on individual machines.
  4. Open SketchUp. Click the Add License button. Use the serial number and key provided to you by the ORVSD help desk.
  5. Disable auto-check for updates in SketchUp. This will prevent update messages.  (Here how’s to disable the auto-check.)
  6. Visit the SketchUp Help Center for tech support issues. Or, as always, you can email

Photo credit: “The Northeast Side or ‘Back’ Side of the House” by Darren Barefoot is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0.

Google Launches Helpful GApps Tutorials


Google recently launched a new series of mini-courses to support teaching and learning with technology. Each course has tutorial videos, supplementary links, periodic quizzes, and a final assessment. Topics include Internet 101, (Google) Apps for Education, Gmail, (Google) Drive, Chrome OS and Chromebooks.

For schools and districts who have adopted Google Apps for Education as well as districts with mobile initiatives or those going BYOD, the GApps Tutorials could be a fabulous supplement to the ongoing professional development necessary to truly integrate technology into teaching learning. The courses are freely available online and participants who log in with a Google account can track their own progress and even receive completion certificates.

Access the GApps Tutorials at

via Virgina Petitt
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The Hour of Code – Celebrate Computer Science Week Dec 9 – 13

Join classrooms around the country next week by doing an hour of coding with your students. has pulled together resources to make coding simple to introduce to students at all grade levels as well as being easy to understand for teachers who are unfamiliar with coding.

Why coding and why introduce computer science to your students?

The site as some jaw dropping statistics.  By 2020, there will be 1,000,000 more jobs than students in computer science.  9 out 10 schools don’t even offer computer programming classes.  Just to list a few.

Visit the site, look though the tutorials,and try a few out for yourself.  Do you have limited access to computer labs?  Only a few tablets in your room?  The site gives many different options, including non-tech lessons.   For coding and programming apps check out the post on iDevice in the Mountains Blog.

Not only will you be introducing them to computer science, but you will be helping them build problem solving strategies and teaching them perseverance.

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