Technology Newsletter » October 12, 2020

October 12, 2020

Are you having trouble keeping up regular communication with your students’ parents or guardians because of a language barrier? Try using TalkingPoints.

TalkingPoints is a free online platform used to communicate with parents in various languages via text message.  Simply create a class and then add your students’ parent/guardian contact information (including their home language). TalkingPoints allows you to send text messages that can include Google images, documents from Google Drive, or photos. TalkingPoints will translate those messages into each contact’s home language and theirs back into English for you! You can also send announcements or poll questions to groups of parents without worry that they’ll all be able to see each other’s contact info. Furthermore, TalkingPoints provides message templates for common communication topics such as intro messages, messages for positive feedback, etc. You can even create your own templates to reuse!


The latest Zoom upgrade now includes LIVE CLOSED CAPTIONING! Provide additional support to your ELs and visual learners during your Zoom sessions by turning on the new, auto-closed captioning feature so that your students can hear AND SEE what you’re saying.  


Click HERE for a 2-minute tutorial on how to enable this update.


If you’re finding that Google is taking longer than usual to open webpages or keeps freezing, try clearing your cache.


Click HERE for easy to follow instructions on how to do so.

Have a tech question? Or want to share any tech advice, tips or tricks that may be useful for your colleagues? Post it now on the Virtual Staff Room located on top left of the EPS Virtual Learning website’s home screen. This is a space for all of us to help support each other as we navigate digital education.    
Join us again, this Friday at 1pm for another Tech Round Table session! As always, the first 15 minutes will be spent addressing technology-related issues/questions, while the final 45 minutes will be spent exploring Quizlet, a website that enables you to create vocabulary lists that are both interactive and printable. During this time, learn how to create a list in multiple languages and how to include both visual AND audio components (perfect even for non-readers). We will also explore the interactive activities available for students to use during independent learning as well as how to use Quizlet Live!, an online game, during live Zoom sessions.

Click HERE to register  for the Tech Round Table
The link to the meeting will be sent out Friday at 11 a.m., so be sure to register before then in order to receive it.

NewsELA is a phenomenal platform for the virtual learning block and for assigning meaningful, cross-content reading comprehension assignments to all students.  You can adjust the reading level of each text to instantly differentiate.

Interested?  NewsELA is hosting two 30-minute kick-off trainings to help you set this up for your classes:
Tuesday, October 20 at 1:45 (middle school teachers)
Wednesday, October 21 at 2:30 (high school teachers)

Please email EL Director Ann Auger if you and/or your team would like to attend.


Want to learn more about the ELL Edition extension connected to your Reading A-Z/Raz Kids account?  Here are some optional sessions with a Reading A-Z expert trainer.  Once you register using the links below, you'll receive additional information and a recording afterwards.

Register HERE for the Raz-Plus ELL Edition for Virtual Learning: Grades 2-3 on Oct 20 at 2:45 PM.

Register HERE for the Raz-Plus ELL Edition for Virtual Learning: Grades 4-5 on Oct 21 at 2:45 PM.

Register HERE for the Raz-Plus ELL Edition for Virtual Learning: Grades K-1 on Oct 22 at 2:45 PM.