Innovation in TSD by Kelly Sain - blog header

Innovate in I.T.S. Blog

  • End of the School Year: Technology Updates

    Posted by Kelly Sain on 5/17/2023 7:00:00 AM

    Preparing for Summer: 

    Technology Changes and Tips

    As we approach the end of the academic year, I.T.S. is looking ahead to summer projects, from device refreshes to software changes. Here are a few things to keep in mind for a smooth start to the next academic year, or if you are leaving the district this year.

    Student Device Collection

    To prepare for our recently-announced student device changes, I.T.S. will be collecting all student devices over the summer in order to redistribute according to our new sustainable model next year. Please see this blog for more information. If you would like I.T.S. support for deployment or check in processes, please sign up for a time for help.

    We have created some additional supports for check-in. Please see this student generated video explaining our check-in process. Please print a check-in form for each student to use during device collection. 

    Please use the following slide decks to help with the process.

    Moving to a new room? Leave your phone.

    If you are moving to a new building, classroom, or office over the summer, please leave your phone in its place. Desk phones belong to the room and it’s important we have accurate records for safety purposes. If you need assistance setting up your voicemail in your new room, please create a Telecom Support Ticket.

    Departing the district? Turn in your devices and transfer your files.

    If you are leaving the district this year, please leave all devices at your building. We ask that you turn your device into your school site tech.  We also encourage you to transfer ownership of any files other will need after your departure, or move them to a Shared Drive. Please create a ticket at if you have questions about moving your files.

    Staff Laptop Clinic & New Teacher Deployment 

    Staff laptop clinic returns. Get your computer tuned up or have a problem looked at on the spot. If you receive an email that you are eligible for a new computer, you can come and get it before classes start! New staff can also sign up to get their computer issued to them before NTO. We have many summer options if you are available, as well as options during NTO and TENS week to support all staff. 

    We have many options available to accommodate staff this year. 

    • Summer Slots - July 11-Aug 4th,

    • NTO Week - Aug 1st, Aug 2nd (MVHS) & Aug 3rd

    • TENS Week - Aug 9th and 11th

    You can book a 30-min appointment slot using this calendar. Unless otherwise noted, all appointments are at SSC, located at 2890 N Monroe Ave, Loveland CO 80538. The Aug 2 timeframe at MVHS will be held in the Media Center from 8-12 and is first come, first serve.

    New Staff Computers

    Are you eligible for a new computer for the 23-24 school year? If you are, ITS will notify you by May 19th. You can pick up your new computer anytime during our Staff Laptop Clinic by making an appointment using this calendar. We will take your old computer and give you your new computer at the same time, so please make sure to backup your files to your Google Drive prior to coming to your appointment. 

    Google Classroom cleanup and archive

    Over the summer, all Google Classrooms from previous academic years (22-23 and earlier) will be archived to help teachers and students start the new year with a clean dashboard. If you still need a class from a previous year, you can easily unarchive it.
    We will also be tightening our security settings to ensure only users inside TSD can join Google Classrooms. This change will only affect about 1% of classrooms, but if you have any questions please create a Software Support Ticket.

    Kami Retirement

    As part of the ongoing process of evaluating what platforms and systems are being utilized within the Thompson School District, we have looked at the usage data of the Kami premium application. This application was purchased using ESSER funds to handle remote learning. The usage of Kami has decreased since we have returned to in school learning. As a result, TSD will not renew Kami at a district level purchase and it will no longer be rostered in Clever. The free version is still available. There are also several alternatives available in the Digital Catalog as well as native features on both Chromebooks and iPads that can annotate on PDFs.

    • On a Chromebook: Download the PDF from Google Classroom (or however else you give the PDF to students), then open in Gallery (native CB app) where you’ll find text, highlight, and drawing features. After annotating, students can save the file, then go to Google Classroom and upload the edited file.

    • iPads offer the Markup tool when viewing a PDF. 

    Help with any of these options is available from the Technology Implementation Specialists.

    Google Takeout

    Students or staff leaving the district can use Google Takeout to transfer data out of their TSD Google account. They can get started with this self-help document.  Please share with your graduating seniors.

    You're invited to the Summer Empowered Learning Institute, and it all kicks off with live sessions on June 20th!

    Inside the Institute, you'll find 70+ differentiated sessions, go at your own pace sessions that provide you with a blueprint on how to create future focused classrooms that inspire playful learning and authentic engagement. View the Empowered Learning Institute flyer or go directly to the TSD Empowered Learning website 

    • This experience supports everyone with sessions customized to specific grade levels, content areas, and roles. Access to the institute will be provided after registration in mid May, along with a Google Classroom invite. 

    Click the following link to log in and view the TSD course: #10716 Empowered Learning Institute at TSD - Summer 2023. Register for the classified, Relicensure licensed or TIC credit that works for your summer learning needs!

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  • Tech4All Changes and Support - the Rebranding of our 1:1 program

    Posted by Kelly Sain on 4/28/2023 8:00:00 AM

    Rebranding 1:1 Ubiquitous Technology Access UTA


    A Chromebook displaying on the screen    An iPad showing apps on the home screen

    For the last few years, TSD has achieved Ubiquitous Technology Access (UTA) for all students. Utilizing ESSER and district funds, we have one iPad or Chromebook for every student in TSD. Part of our 1:1 work has involved rebranding the name of the Ubiquitous Technology Access (UTA) program. Through collaboration with district representatives and groups, we have a new name, Tech4All.

    Since Tech4All is about students using technology, we would like TSD students to create a logo design to represent our new name. Please ask your students to create a design and share their design ideas (via the linked form) by May 26th. The winning logo design will be announced next year and will be incorporated into our website and communications.

    Innovation iPad Carts

    As part of the New Device Deployment plan, Tech4All, I.T.S. will provide a cart of Innovation iPads to all schools. The iPads will be set up as shared devices. This means that multiple students will be able to log in and save their work. A suite of creativity apps will be pre-installed. 

    App icons for various multimedia apps on iPad

    The school cart of 30 iPads will be stored in a common location available for your learning community. The Technology Implementation Specialists working in collaboration with our Digital Learning Cohort members and library services team, will collaborate with schools to determine the utilization of the Innovation iPad Cart. Professional Development will be made available to any staff and teachers who would like support using iPads so students can create and demonstrate their learning.

    Interested in having an Innovation iPad Cart? Principals, complete the form to request one. Carts will be delivered at the beginning of the year. 

    Get Your Learning On, The Empowered Learning Institute

     June 20th Kick off Date

    Empowered Learning Institute

    Select from 70+ “go at your own pace” sessions. These asynchronous sessions are rigorous and will be available from (June 20th - Aug 31st) 

    • Join us for the LIVE Kick Off Event on June 20th (the only live day)

    • 70+ Sessions 

    • Classified Employee Support

    • Google Workspace Training

    Check out the schedule, and details. The Empowered Learning Institute website has topics and strands including: math, ELA, digital citizenship, and formative and summative assessments. More information for credit with our PD department will be coming soon. 

    Comments (-1)
  • 1:1 Student Technology Access Changes

    Posted by Kelly Sain on 3/28/2023 8:00:00 AM

    1:1 Student Technology Access Changes

    In order to “empower the TSD community to grow in the future with innovative technology today”, we need to continue the great work that was created around the digital divide and access and equity challenges during the global pandemic.

    Waves crashing on a rocky coastline overlaid with quoted text 'Every challenge, every adversity, contains within it the seeds of oppertunity and growth.' by Roy T Bennett

    Districts across the US received ESSER funds to solve digital access and equity for students. TSD purchased devices to support our current UTA program. Based on supply chain challenges, device shortage and chip challenges and the quick pivots associated with emergency response teaching, we made the right decisions. ESSER funds are not ongoing so we need to make some changes and create systemness within our 1:1 program. Currently, TSD supports 11 different Chromebook models and 7 different iPads. As you can imagine, this is not a sustainable plan for us moving forward.

    Why do we need to continue our 1:1 program?

    1:1 student device initiative supports Strive 2025 and TSD Equity by:

    • having students "demonstrate their learning in meaningful ways", including using the digital tools of their present and future. 

    • by having access to digital tools, TSD is creating "learning conditions that enable students to reach their fullest potential." 

    • assuring students have digital access and equity so they can engage in our digitally connected world.

    How do we sustain our program now that ESSER funds are going away?

    We have met with the following stakeholder groups: TALC, TPAC, TEA and EC-12 leadership. Through collaboration, we voted on the levels we could alter to keep 1:1 student access.

    Based on these levels and discussions, we have selected a new vendor to support our new 1:1 learning model and have changed the device type/allocation to get to systemness in TSD.

    Grade Level Device
    Pre K-1 iPad
    2-5 Touchscreen Flip Chromebook
    6-12 Clamshell Chromebook

    Refresh more frequently & equitably

    We are also decreasing the number of years a device is in use. TSD's current model is to keep Chromebooks for students in a 5 year refresh. After looking at surrounding districts and listening to stakeholders, we are moving to a 4 year refresh model. This will help reduce the repair expenses and will give our students new devices more frequently. Our new model will refresh devices at the K, 2nd, 6th and 9th grade levels. Each year we will refresh at those grade levels, allowing all schools to get new devices each year. The TSD 1:1 device will follow the student to their next grade level.

    How can I get more information on the costs of repairs and the 1:1 program?

    Check out our new website with additional resources and details about our 1:1 program.

    Next Steps

    We will continue to work with TALC, Leadership, Librarians and our community to support the changes. Over the next few months we will:

    • Create a new name for 1:1 by changing it from UTA (Ubiquitous Technology Access) to Tech4All

    • Gather extra devices at schools

    • Collaborate to create plans to collect devices and bring all devices back to I.T.S.

    • Determine dates for May pick up of devices and August deployments at schools

    • Finalize professional development to support these changes

    • Prepare a new device rollout protocol and plan

    • Prepare for digital citizenship training in collaboration with deployments.

    If you are interested in helping with any of these tasks, please contact me or your TALC representative. Thank you to our business services partners and our RFP committee members for their diligent work on devising a new way for us to keep 1:1 digital access and equity for our TSD community.

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  • Technology in Elem, MS & HS Learning Session

    Posted by Kelly Sain on 2/28/2023 7:00:00 AM

    Technology in Elem, Ms & HS Learning Session

    On Thursday January 19th, the Innovative Technology Services Department (I.T.S) had the privilege of presenting to the Board of Education (BOE) about some recent accomplishments. Interactive stations were used to give the board members a hands-on experience with innovation technology that is being used by students as well as seeing the Apprenticeship Program in action. 

    Apprenticeship/Intern Program

    Innovative Technology Services partners with our High Schools to offer a unique learning opportunity for TSD students! Course 5092 is a course for high school students that want hands-on experience to explore the field of technology. Students enrolled in this course work directly with the I.T.S technicians that provide technical support at their school.

    In this class, students learn how to;

    • fix both software and hardware issues,

    • gain customer support skills,

    • learn how a professional IT department works.

    Student interns will support students at their school with problems they may be having with their school-issued technology. Student tech’s also support building staff with audio visual equipment, printing, and any software problems they run into. Want to learn more about the program?

    Board members sitting around table with technicians who are repairing Chromebooks

    Multimedia Studios

    Traditional computer labs used to have the purpose of exposing students to information technology when few options existed. Now that the district has achieved 1:1 with student devices, the traditional computer lab is no longer necessary. I.T.S is supporting a move to Innovation Labs. These are labs of specialized equipment to augment the technology learning happening in the classroom. 

    One of the more popular Innovation Labs in the district is the Multimedia Studio. Included in these labs is equipment for video recording/editing and podcasting. Students from Walt Clark Middle School showed the BOE members all the work that goes into creating a newscast for school events. 

    Three students showing a media project on a computer to two board members


    In 2019, Jo Conlon and Steve Moos were awarded a Colorado Department of Education Computer Science Professional Development Grant for elementary schools. Since then, we have received this grant yearly. These grants provided professional development to each elementary tech facilitator, plus one classroom teacher and classroom materials. The materials were code curriculum and robots.

    Teaching computer science during elementary specials means each student is learning critical thinking, coding, problem-solving, and using design sprints to create collaboratively. Computer Science, or CS, helps us address the persistent gender and racial gap in technology fields. A 2021 report confirmed that girls and students of color are still underrepresented in computer science. Thompson has taken action by developing the K-12 Computer Science Pathway, which offers each student the opportunity to develop skills each year to be ready for a job in computer science upon high school graduation or continue onto a 2-year or 4-year degree in computer science.

    Board members looking at students' Sphero project


    The Loveland Rotary has a long history of supporting Thompson District students. They have  provided dictionaries, student devices, and other support for many years. More recently, they have seen the benefit of providing Innovation Lab access to students. Since the inception of the Innovation Lab model, they have helped get 8 labs installed across the district. We look forward to continuing our relationship with this fabulous group.

    TSD Innovation Labs Menu

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  • New Year, New Communication

    Posted by Kelly Sain on 1/24/2023 8:00:00 AM

    New Year New Communication

    As we start a new year, we wanted to start a new process for communication, an Innovate in I.T.S. blog.

    Communication is always a challenge, so we will use this blog to share with our TSD community important news and Tips and Tricks for staff to learn on their own. 

    Our Technology Advisory Leadership Council, TALC has met a few times this year. During those meetings, TALC asked us to focus on a few topics;

    • Better communication - limit the long ITS newsletter and share as much info as possible in short, easy to digest chunks 

    • Professional Learning - Staff would like to learn on their own

    • Self-Help Articles - Learn and support yourself as needed. Of course, our Technicians and help desk Extension 7777 are here to support you at any time

    Staff Laptop Replacement has started 

    Professional Development  

    Self-Help Articles

    Thanks for reading our first Innovate in I.T.S. Blog, come back each month to learn more about how I.T.S. can support you. We want to help you so that we can “Empower the TSD community to grow into the future with innovative technology today.”

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