Connected Educators and Virtual Field Trips (Webinar)

Event Description

In this connected world of streaming content live as it happens, we need to look at how we can harness that global connection in our classrooms! How can we connect with other classrooms, cultures, and experts? How can we bring experiences from all across the globe right into our classrooms with the power of technology?

Join me as we explore Google Earth, Hangouts, Tour Creator, Arts & Culture, and FlipGrid to connect with other classrooms and create virtual experiences for our students. Many of these sites have pre-made experiences ready to go as well as the ability to customize experiences to your classroom objectives.

When you turn these tools over to your students, they can create unique digital experiences to demonstrate & share their learning as well as connect with other classrooms across the globe.


Julie Powell

Google Earth: The New Mentor Text (Webinar)

Event Description

When Google Earth is used as a mentor text, it becomes an empathy machine inspiring students to expand outwards beyond the classroom with curiosity and care. Learn how Earth’s many applications can be incorporated within inquiry-based instruction when students use Earth Voyager as an engaging nonfiction text and demonstrate their understanding with Tour Builder.


Tarah Tesmer. With over ten years of experience in education and seven years in EdTech, Tarah delivers coaching to empower others to find the best way forward by making deliberate choices when it comes to shifting instructional practices with technology integration. Guiding others to move learning experiences from static to dynamic, Tarah works with peers in the field to consider how we might strive to keep teaching and learning at the forefront while weaving in technology solutions for meaningful, rigorous instruction to meet today’s learners. Disciplines include GSuite integrations, the design thinking framework, inquiry-based learning, media and digital literacy, 20% Time, social and emotional learning, gradual release of responsibility framework, cooperative learning, and redesigning learning spaces.


Register here

STEAM Resource for K-5 Classrooms

Event Description

K-5 teachers are charged with the heavy load of implementing a vast array of standards. Fitting these standards into an already packed school day while teaching each subject with fidelity present unique challenges. Incorporating a STEAM challenge can combine multiple standards from a cross-curricular lesson plan. STEAM Challenges are great ways to practice SEL skills and inquiry questioning. Join us to explore a downloadable resource to get started.


Lisa Ward – Learning Supports Content Area Specialist, Illinois Classrooms in Action

Science Journal by Google

Event Description

Turn phones into a science lab using the free Google Science Journal App. Explore features that are available in the app like sound intensity, pitch, brightness, and learn experiments that you can do with your students tomorrow.

Presenter Bio

Lisa Schwartz – Regional Education Technology Coordinator, Learning Technology Center of Illinois

Show, Don’t Tell: Why Infographics Matter in the Classroom


Educators of all kinds know that using visuals is one of the strongest learning aids they can use with students. No matter how old students are or what individual skills they have, visuals drive the point home and make ideas easier to remember. Infographics are perfect to help students visualize data and use it to tell a story. The process of making infographics helps students improve their research skills, find trustworthy sources of information, and meet tech literacy standards. Join us to learn all about infographics, data sources, and the best digital tools to make your own.


Joe Cipfl, Regional Education Technology Coordinator for the Learning Technology Center


Creating a Culture of Digital Citizenship

Looking for new and engaging digital citizenship resources? Common Sense Education has revamped its Digital Citizenship Curriculum, which helps prepare young learners to critically develop thinking skills and mindful habits as they face dilemmas in the digital world. It addresses current issues students face, including cyberbullying, online privacy, hate speech, news literacy, and more. New lessons include real-life scenarios, videos, and engaging activities that help students explore complex topics. Take-home advice and activities are provided for parents. The curriculum is guided by the research of Project Zero at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and is free to all schools.

In this webinar:

  •  Learn about 6 six main digital citizenship topics 
  •  Explore teaching tips on skill development and positive dispositions in students
  •  Identify ways to implement digital citizenship into your classrooms, schools, or districts

About the Presenter

Jessica Lura, Director of Teaching and Learning, Bullis Charter School and Common Sense Education Ambassador.

A National Board Certified Teacher, Jessica has worked in education for twenty-one years teaching 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 8th grade. She designs and presents professional learning experiences for educators and students that focus on sparking curiosity and developing the skills, attitudes, and knowledge necessary for students to become active and ethical global participants.

 She is a Common Sense Education Ambassador and believes that schools and educators play an essential role in supporting students and parents in learning how to become responsible digital citizens.

Why Esports and Is It Worth It? (Webinar)

Event Description

Join Brock Frazier, Esports Head Coach at Massac Unit 1, as he shares information he has gathered the past few years about starting an Esports team for the High School level. He has seen success in areas and learned lessons in others, all for the benefit of the club and team. He will talk about some fundraising options he has explored, as well as the different leagues and tournaments his team has experienced. Brock is dedicated to continuing to help Esports grow in the State of Illinois and beyond.


Brock Frazier – Head Esports Coach – Massac Unit 1

Checking the Checkboxes: NIST Cybersecurity Framework

Checklists are widely recognized as important tools for many professions. Atal Gawande, a surgeon and the author of The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right, writes about checklists used in medicine and aviation to achieve better and safer results by ensuring that all necessary steps in a process, no matter how small, are completed. The checklist principle can by applied technology in K-12 schools and specifically to the area of cybersecurity.

Cybersecurity issues are regularly in the news, as illustrated by the number of incidents (681 at the time of this post) reported on the K12 Cyber Incident Map. The quantity of incidents increases each year, and it is the responsibility of the school district technology leader to ensure that either these incidents do not happen in the first place, or that the impact on people, time, and money is lessened. For many of the same reasons that medicine and aviation professionals adopted checklists, technology leaders should consider adopting a checklist like the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Cybersecurity Framework (CSF), which provides the functions, categories, and subcategories to form a high-level checklist of cybersecurity measures needed at an organizational level. The 5 major functions of the framework are Identify, Protect, Detect, Respond, and Recover and there are 23 categories and 108 sub-categories. This is the ultimate checklist for cybersecurity.

See the full NIST CSF
Google Sheet Format – 

The checklist is complex, and several organizations provide free resources to help technology leaders to understand and apply the framework. The Center for Internet Security (CIS) has a set of tools, controls, and benchmarks that can be used to help identify, protect, detect, respond and recover. CIS SecureSuite provides free membership to schools that include tools, resources, and webinars. The Multi-State Information Sharing & Analysis Center (MS-ISAC) is also available through CIS, and it provides advisories and notifications, webcasts, malicious domains/ip reports, and awareness/education materials.

Additional ways to learn about ways to begin checking the checkboxes of the NIST CSF are to attend workshops and conferences that are offered by organizations such as the Learning Technology Center (LTC), Illinois Education Technology Leaders (IETL, State Chapter of COSN), and Illinois Digital Educators Association (IDEA, formerly ICE and is the State Chapter of ISTE). In addition to learning about ideas and discovering resources, another reason to attend professional learning events is to build a network of people who are encountering and sharing many of the same experiences.

To give you a headstart, here is a checklist of items that you can use to begin the process of learning more about the NIST Cybersecurity Framework, so you can start checking the checkboxes and make an impact on your school environment.

Build Your Network

Research and Learn

Sign Up for Memberships

Attend Professional Learning Events

Resources to Teach Digital Wellness & Online Safety

Event Description

As our world moves more online, students are faced with learning to balance their online and offline lives while preparing for a technology-driven future. Students spend an average of 8.5 hours using technology every day, so it’s important to prepare them to be Digital Citizens who can navigate the online world safely and appropriately in both their academic and personal lives. In this session, teachers will be given free access to Ignition, a brand-new online course from EVERFI that teaches students about digital wellness. Ignition helps students acknowledge the benefits of digital communities and resources while guiding them to successfully navigate potential pitfalls in their digital lives. Teachers who attend will gain full access to the online course, supplemental offline resources, and ongoing technical and curricular support, all at no cost. Best fit for grades 6-9.


Lauren Pingul – Senior Schools Manager, EVERFI

Checking the Checkboxes: NIST Cybersecurity Framework

Event Description

This webinar will look at a “checklist” known as the NIST Cybersecurity Framework including the 5 functions, 23 categories, and 108 subcategories. We will examine the overall list but also start checking the checkboxes to secure your schools. Visit for more information on the NIST Cybersecurity Framework.


Chris Wherley – Network and Technology Services Coordinator, Learning Technology Center of Illinois