Archive for category Audience: Texas Educators

Legislative Update #2 – Structure and Student Performance

Brian Moore, Director of Research and Accountability in LCISD, is back to share more insight in Legislative Update #2. This video focuses on the new Texas Accountability System, specifically structure and student performance. Brian shares an in depth explanation of the index based system and how it impacts LCISD.

Again, take a few minutes to watch and find out how this legislation will impact the student of LCISD. Happy viewing!

Did you miss the first Legislative Update? Check out the new Research and Accountability page on the iCafe to see all of the Legislative Update videos.

Legislative Update #1: How will this Impact LCISD?

The Texas Legislature has been busy creating laws and legislation regarding education in the state of Texas. Brian Moore, LCISD’s Director of Research and Accountability, summarizes the changes and additions to Texas legislation and helps us understand what these changes will bring for our district.

Take a few minutes to watch and find out how this legislation will impact the student of LCISD. Happy viewing!

T3 – 2013 Teaching Through Technology Conference

T3 - Teaching Through Technology

T3 2013 – Mark Your Calendar!

We are so excited to announce the date for this year’s T3 – Teaching Through Technology – Conference. T3 is a one day conference put on by the LCISD Technology Staff Development team where teachers, technologists, trainers, and more come together to share ideas and learn from each other on how they use technology in their classrooms! The goal is to learn the best instructional practices for integrating technology in the classroom. So, here are a few of the details for you:

Date: Tuesday, August 6th

Time: 8:30 – 4:30

Where: Reading Junior High

Register to Attend!

Maybe you aren’t interested in presenting, but you definitely want to attend. Well, be sure to register now before we run out of space! This conference day is open to any educators inside or outside of LCISD, so invite your friends! Visit the registration page to reserve your spot now!


iCafe at TCEA 2013

TCEA 2013

Attending an iCafe session at TCEA 2013? Need to checkout the resources and presentation notes? See the full list of our sessions below with links to resources, presentation notes, and more!


Presenter Session Link
 Chris Nilsson  Advanced Movie Maker



Presenter Session Link
 Jeff Peterson  Making of the Most of Your SMART Board Lessons
 Holly Dornak & Jennifer Mitchell  Promethean Academy:  Get Up & Move



Presenter Session Link
 Robyn Hrivnatz  Don’t Ban it, Bring it – A Lesson in Mobility
 Chad Jones & Chris Nilsson  Staff Development that Works?  Seriously ?!?!
 Robyn Hrivnatz  50 People to Follow
 Jennifer MitchellHolly Dornak & Katie Marchena  Putting the “I” in IWB
 Katie Marchena, Jennifer Mitchell & Holly Dornak  Google Earth Walks
 Holly Dornak & Jennifer Mitchell  Learning that Lasts:  Student ePortfolios
 Amanda Peterson & Jeff Peterson  Travel Bugs + VideoConferencing = GeoConferencing
 Katie Marchena & Jeff Peterson  Bonjour, Hola, Ni Hao:  Tech and Foreign Language
 Robyn Hrivnatz  Windows in the Classroom
 Jessica Dyer & Amanda Peterson  Top 10 Tech Tools for Teachers
 Jessica DyerDusty Roden & Paul Wagner  Google Apps Walk and Talk



Presenter Session Link
 Robyn Hrivnatz  Think Globally, Teach Locally
 Chris Nilsson  iOS Headache?  Get a grip on your devices
 Holly Dornak  & Jessica Dyer  10 Killer iPad Projects Students Will Love
 Chad Jones  Lessons Learned from Buster the Guinea Pig
 Paul WagnerMandy Bryan Dusty Roden  Let’s Get Dig-i-tal!  Dig-i-tal!
 Robyn Hrivnatz  Head in the Clouds



Presenter Session Link
 Robyn Hrivnatz  Get edmodofied!
 Chad Jones  Sailing Down the Backchannel
 Chris Nilsson  iCafe – A Fusion of Technology and Curriculum

Book Creator: New Update Opens New Doors

The Book Creator app has been one of my favorites for some time…that is no secret.  This last week, Dan Amos (@bookcreatorapp), released an update that gives everyone even more reasons to love it!  Here is a brief summary of what is new with this update.

book creator

Adding Hyperlinks

You can now link both text and images within your book to resources on the web.  Connect to audio files, a YouTube video, or a document or article that houses more information…just to name a few.  They made it very easy to use, just like the rest of the app.  As an added bonus, you are now also able to format individual words within your text to make it stand out.  Two great additions.

Import Books

Another amazing option.  This allows you to bring a book back into the app to add to, or edit, a book you have previously sent to iBooks…even if you don’t have the original file anymore.  This also allows you to import a book from another iPad and work on it.  A great classroom addition.

Combine Books

I saved my favorite for last!  This update allows you to combine 2 or more books into one.  Have students work individually on a section of a book, even on different iPads, and then combine them all into one final class project.  Have students write chapters and then combine for a “novel”.  Share a Science Experiment with different members of a group addressing each part of the scientific process.  What a fabulous option.

Those are the big 3 (actually 4) upgrades that I think make this app one of the best on the market.  To learn even more about these upgrades, as well as instructions on how to use all these new options, check out What’s New in Version 2.4 at

If you have the app but have not yet upgraded, what are you waiting for?!?  If you have not purchased the app yet, I can tell you it is the best $4.99 I have ever spent.  Teachers and students alike love this app.  You will too!

Metamorphosis: Converting Files to New Formats

Occasionally during the course of creating a digital project, you’ll need to change the format of the audio or video clip you’d like to use so that it matches the formats accepted by whatever editing software you’re using.  Here at the iCafe we have a few tricks up our sleeve when it comes to reformatting audio or video files.  Below are a few of our favorite FREE converting tools.


Format Factory

Format Factory is a great piece of FREE software that can quickly reformat files already saved on your computer.  Have a video file that was taken upside down or sideways?  Format Factory can take care of that too!

Download Format Factory

If you’re using Format Factory for the first time, view the Format Factory Video Tutorial before getting started. (1 min 30 sec)

Media Converter is an online tool that does a fantastic job of reformatting files, and even allows you to download media from various online sources.  As always, be sure to practice good Digital Citizenship when downloading files by honoring any copyright restrictions that may apply.


Similar to Media Converter, Online-Convert is an online tool that can be used to re-format files.  What we like about Online-Convert is the fact that they offer an ebook converter so that you can convert your .pdf or Word .docx into .epub so that they can be read in apps such as iBooks.


Happy Converting!






Texas Public Schools Rock! Video Contest

You know it, and I know it…there are some AMAZING things happening on your campuses!  Now it’s time to invite students to tell the world about what makes their Texas Public School so special.  The Texas Association of School Boards is now accepting entries for its first ever Student Video Contest.

Original, student-created videos must be between 30 seconds and 2 minutes long and should focus on one of the four themes below:

  • What makes your school exceptional?
  • Why your school deserves the support of your community
  • How the funding cuts of the last Legislative session have affected your school
  • Why Texans should be proud of their public schools

This is a great opportunity for students to write, produce, and star in a movie that could have real impact on your community as well as their classroom.  First prize in each of 3 divisions is $5,000 – for classroom equipment and materials!

Click here for contest rules & details.

Need help getting your video project started?  Check out our Digital Storytelling Resources to get your video project off on the right foot.  January 31, 2013 is the contest deadline – so you’ll want to get this project underway soon.  Have fun & be sure to share your entries with us!