April 2020 Agenda—Saginaw, Michigan

Facilitating Technology Enriched Classrooms for 21st Century Learners.

Begin at 9:00am

Getting Connected


Get connected to our Google Hangout – click this link to join.

Our Agenda – www.tec21connect.com

Ice Breaker – Sentence Starters


In the Hands of a Loving Father – A Good Friday Devotional by 2cherish2commend.

Today is called Good Friday. What a strange designation! On this day, we remember the execution of a supposed criminal who threatened the power brokers of his society. Thus, he needed to be eliminated.

Notice the other hands that were involved in the cruel events of Good Friday. A perfectly innocent man was delivered into the hands of sinners who tortured and crucified Him (Matthew 17:22-23). He was betrayed by a sinner into the hands of sinners (Matthew 26:45). With “wicked hands” (Acts 2:23) they crucified Him.

How comforting it must have been now for Jesus to entrust Himself into the loving hands of His heavenly Father! How encouraging it is to know that today is called Good Friday because death died the day Christ died.

Where do we appeal when life throws us its worst? To use the phrases of Max Lucado: What do you do when life seems futile, sin seems fatal, and death seems final?

Throw your anchor into Psalm 31:1-5. The climax of the passion narrative in Luke’s gospel reads: “Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, ‘Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” And having said this he breathed his last.’” (Luke 23:46)


1. The next workshop date is scheduled for Thursday, May 14 (probably online meeting).

2.  Other learning opportunities:

  • Online webinars from EdWeek (many free and archived)
  • Google Certified Educator Training  (online anytime)
  • miGoogle – November 5-6, 2020 at Notre Dame Prep School, Pontiac, MI
  • #LuthEd Twitter chats take place on Monday evenings from 8:00-9:00CST throughout the school year

3. “Celebration Day” is next month and it is a time to celebrate each other’s successes! What does the format of the day look like and what can you do to prepare?  This will be an opportunity for you to share what you have learned and how you have grown as an educator through the processes of inquiry, investigation, and implementation. How can you prepare?

Helpful tips:

  • Think of the day as a mini-conference and each of you will be the presenters.
  • 10-15 minutes show some things you’ve accomplished this year – what you did, how you did it and why you did it. You might include a Genius Hour project or perhaps share the variety of ways you integrated technology in your teaching strategies or student learning activities.
  • Click on the SHARED DOCUMENTS to add your first & last name, description & links to your respective center’s Google Doc in preparation for “Celebration Day”. Do you have samples of student projects hosted on the web? Share those links, too! Here’s an example of a variety of different ways past TEC21 Teachers presented their learning with one another – SAMPLE.
  • Use the outline below with its questions and strategies to prepare for Celebration Day. To download and print a copy, click HERE.

How to Obtain 3 Graduate-level Credits Through Your TEC21 Experience

Will you be needing to renew your teaching license soon? Are you wanting to advance a step on your school’s salary schedule? Are you thinking about pursuing a master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, consider applying to Concordia University, Nebraska, to receive three graduate-level credits for your TEC21 experience. There is no additional work that is required of you and the process is simple. The online application is open now and runs through May 1, 2020. Follow these four short steps to apply:

      1. First, select the “Apply Here” link below to create an account.
      2. Next, complete the fields. Where it asks for Academic Level, select “Non-Degree Coursework”. Where it asks for Entry Term, select “Summer Semester 2020”. After completing the remaining fields, select “Create Account”.
      3. Now, check your email for confirmation that your application came through successfully.
      4. Lastly, select the link provided in the confirmation email to make your online payment in the amount of $240 ($80/credit hour) using a debit or credit card.
      5. That’s it! You’re done!

On June 1, transcripts will be available upon request. If you ever have questions regarding how these three graduate-level credits could be applied to a master’s degree program in the coming years, contact Anna Boriack, Director of Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction, Instructional Innovation Specialist. She will be happy to help you. Her email address is anna.boriack@cune.edu. Concordia University, Nebraska is a ministry partner of TEC21, so they may email you from time to time to share opportunities of how these credits could be applied toward graduate-level programs they offer.

Please note: The opportunity detailed above is optional. Additionally, all TEC21 participants will receive a certificate on the final workshop day stating 35 professional development hours have been completed through the TEC21 Workshop Program. How state board of education departments and the 35 LCMS districts recognize these 35 hours of professional development vary from state to state and district to district. (For example, see how the Kansas District’s (of the LCMS) Licensure Renewal has a distinct process in place for the teachers serving in this district.) So, be sure to contact your respective state’s board of education department or your LCMS district office if you have any questions on how to renew your certificate or license using your TEC21 experience!


Let’s take some time to reflect on last month’s TEC21 Challenges and share experiences. Share a success, a challenge you experienced or a lesson learned.

1. Discover the educational value of student-created video activities.

2. Explore video creation tools and resources to use with your students.

3. Design a student-centered project or assessment involving the use of video.

4. Be a resource to another teacher by sharing with them a digital tool, a resource, a learning activity, or an assessment strategy you learned about at today’s workshop.


1. Discover …the value of project-based learning for your students.

2. Explore … virtual field trips to use with your students.

3. Design … an online learning experience for students.

4. Be a resource to another teacher by sharing with them a digital tool, a resource, a learning activity, or an assessment strategy you learned about at today’s workshop.

Remote Learning

Guidelines and Suggestions for Online Teaching

A Letter to Educators Teaching Online for the First Time – a must-read article that helps to adjust your mindset to the new teaching paradigm.

Resources for Remote Learning

Common Sense Media – a family friendly site with lots of resources for parents and teachers.  See this page for some online learning tools.


200+ Amazing Online Learning Resources – organized by grade level, includes many complete lessons.

Guide to Online Education Resources for Elementary School Teachers

Virtual Field Trip Resources

Google “My Maps” allows you to create an interactive map using Google maps or Google Earth.  Students can mark locations and attach information, pictures, videos to those markers.

Google Tour Builder allows you and your students to create your own virtual tours using a combination of Google Slides, Google Earth,. and Google Maps.  Check out this instructional video on how to build a Google tour!  Here is an example of a tour built with Google Tour Builder.

Google Lit Trips are downloadable files that mark the journeys of characters from famous literature on the surface of Google Earth. Along the way, placemarks with pop-up windows contain “just in time” resources including relevant media, thought-provoking discussion starters, and links to supplementary information about “real world” references in that portion of the story. The focus is on creating engaging and relevant literary experiences for students.  Here is an example video.  Here are instructions for Getting Started with Google Lit Trips.  Here are instructions on Viewing Google Lit Trips with Google Earth for Web.

Tour the States – Official Music Video       YouTube video that shows all the states and capitals along with a highlight of the state set to a catchy song

Tour the World – Official Music Video        YouTube video that tours all the countries in the world showing their location and some pictures to help remember.  All of this set to a catchy tune!

4D Interactive Anatomy – 4D Interactive Anatomy lets you tilt, rotate, and dissect real human specimens online. Try the free trial to see how you can remove layers of the anatomy to reveal muscles, bones, and organs.


Here is a great website that gives examples of virtual field trips and great tips for making the field trip fun and effective.

CommonSense.org put out this great list of 31 Virtual Field Trips and Experiences.

The First Thanksgiving – Briana sent in this one from Scholastic that she uses around Thanksgiving time.

Twelve Famous Museums with Virtual Tours – from the British Museum in London to the Guggenheim in New York City to the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterday.  Take a virtual trip through these amazing museums and view art and artifacts that have influenced our world.


Google Earth – Search for locations, view information cards, check out voyager with tours, quizzes, and games.


Patrice found these excellent articles with “Ten of the Best Virtual Field Trips” and “5 Best Virtual Field Trips.”


Center for Interactive Learning and Collaboration – for $75 a year, students can experience 10 virtual field trips.  See link for the 2018-19 offerings.


Joy sent in a number of resources:  EducationWorld (check out the technology section), eSchoolNews (great resource for lesson plans and technology ideas), ScholasticSmithsonian National Museum of Natural History360 CitiesThe WhitehousePanoramasAnne Frank House,Airpano (aerial panoramas), NASANational Parks and Monuments.


Earth Day is Wednesday, April 22nd.  Check out these great field trips offered on that day by Connect2Texas.  You can register and then use an archived copy at a later date.  Here are some other field trips to consider.


Skype in the Classroom – great resource by Microsoft that makes it easy to bring the world into your classroom in five different ways:  virtual field trips, Skype lessons, Skype collaborations, Mystery Skype, and Guest Speakers.


Discovery Education – explore a large number of both live and archived field trips and guest speakers.  A subscription is not necessary to use.


Ellis Island and Immigration – interactive tour, contains great teacher resources.


Reach the World – brings the world into the classroom with a large number of “journeys” to countries far and wide.


American Museum of Natural History – explore exhibitions and try interactive experiences.


Edutopia – an article that links you to 6+ virtual field trips and resources.


Explore Virtual Adventures – tons of virtual field trips and ideas for engaging students.

Learn Around the World – new free field trips each month (both global and USA focused), optional paid field trips or virtual guest speakers also available.  Private shows can be arranged.  There is also a way to connect with classrooms around the world.


iPad Apps for Virtual Field Trips – tons of iPad apps where your students can explore at their own pace.

International Space Station Live –  Explore the International Space Station, interact with the crew, see live data and use a number of educational resources.

Virtual Field Trips That Every Teacher Should Know About – article by Simple K12 that links 6 great field trip resources including art museums, astronomy, the White House, Smithsonian, and more.

Get Outta Class with Virtual Field Trips – From Education World.  Tons of virtual field trip resources along with some that are “make your own.”

Teacher Tap – Teacher blog that lists lots of virtual field trip resources.

Project-Based Learning

PBL Resources

8 Engaging Early Literacy Activities that Use Technology and Hands-On Learning

The 6 Must-Have Elements of High Quality Project-Based Learning: Intellectual challenge & accomplishment, authenticity, public product, collaboration, project management, reflection

An Introduction to Design Thinking: Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype, Test

Project-Based Learning Using Technology: Activities

What is Project-Based Learning?  15 PBL Ideas Fit for Use in Your Classroom

50 Smart Ideas for Project-Based Learning

10 Project-Based Learning Ideas from Around the World

10 Ready-to-Borrow Project Ideas

Projects by Jen  – a wonderful website for PreK-6 (although other grades are welcome) teachers that promotes creative, collaborative problem-solving.  They use math, science, art, music, writing, reading, etc.  Use archived projects with your class or participate in a current project.  There is opportunity to collaborate with other classrooms around the world.  Sign up your class to participate.  Projects still available this spring:  poetry, crayon project, photographer/artist.

Ideas for the Little Guys (K-1)

Digital Citizenship Integration

What aspects of digital citizenship need to be addressed when conducting virtual school regarding Self-image and Identity?

  • Internet Safety
  • Privacy & Security
  • Relationships & Communication
  • Cyberbullying
  • Digital Footprint & Reputation
  • Self-image & Identity – Student video     Parent video
  • Information Literacy – Video #1      Video #2
  • Creative Credit & Copyright

Genius Hour

TEC21 provides the opportunity for educators to explore technology tools and implement those into a meaningful project that enhances their current pedagogy and content. This gives educators the opportunity to make choices based on their interests and adapt those to benefit students. This concept is a natural pairing with Genius Hour. 

Genius Hour Unit 5: Create and Step Out of the Box

This is the time to put all of your planning and research into motion. Give the project structure and practical applications for your classroom. Most of all, make sure that it is meaningful to you. This would also be the time within the next month to introduce a piece of this with your students as a field trial. Step out of the box to see what works well and what needs modification. Continue to add to the project and make adjustments. Record or share your struggles and triumphs.

Genius Hour Unit 6: The Final Stretch

Next month will feature our Celebration Day and project presentations. As we approach that, consider the following questions:

  • What have I accomplished so far?
  • What pieces still need to be added to the puzzle?
  • How will I use this project moving forward?
  • What revisions have I made?
  • What have I learned?
  • How did this benefit students in my classroom?
  • What were some of my struggles?
  • How did I overcome these and move forward?
  • What was the most exciting part?
  • What would I like to do next?

Continue developing your project and adding the final touches. If you have not completed a field test, this would be a good opportunity to do that. Take some pictures or add some personal notes for the presentation.

Digital Tools & Resources

Connect with your students using the video-conferencing platform. Zoom is offering it for free to schools who have been mandated by the state board of education to close school.

The Concordia EdTech Podcast is a collaboration of Concordia’s Tech Coaches. Each week they discuss the latest headlines in Ed Tech, interview an innovative individual or company and toss in a few free tech tips. This podcast is brought to you by Concordia International School Shanghai, one of our sister LCMS international schools. 

Connect with your students using the video-conferencing platform called Hangouts Meet. Here’s a video (14:19) by Wes Fryer giving some excellent tips on what to do and what not to do – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n3tDfXhgWs0&feature=youtu.be

Corey Nelson

Corey Nelson, TEC21 Facilitator, recently shared a link to his personal website where he is equipping not only his own school faculty, but so many other teachers too because of his collaborative spirit. He writes, “This is the page on my personal site that I’m placing resources for our teachers as we prepare to go online, if needed. More will be added as I discover other items!” Thank you, Corey!   Here is the link.

Mark Hess

Mark Hess, Facilitator in Munster, Indiana has has developed a website full of helpful digital resources! Thank you, Mark, for sharing this with so many teachers! Here’s the link – http://bit.ly/linksMark

21 Websites for Poetry – April is National Poetry month!  Explore these websites to get some new ideas for using poetry in the classroom

GeoGuesser – Let’s explore the world!  Embark on a journey that takes you all over the world – from the most desolate roads in Australia to the busy, bustling streets of New York City.  Play as a single player or challenge a friend.  Game uses Google Earth.

Freeology – a plethora of free resources including ready-to-go worksheets for various grade levels and content areas, templates, calendar makers, graphic organizers and more.

Free resources available. You can share the online link with your students to go through the videos and activities at home!

15 Strategies for Online Learning When School is Closed

For those of you trying to figure out how to run a choral program online, there may be some helpful ideas here.

Daily devotions for kids.  The home page also has links to Bible crafts and teaching tools and tips.

At home brain breaks + example schedule for an eLearning day

150+ Enrichment Activities for Children While Parents are Working Remotely

Day-by-day projects to keep kids reading, thinking, and growing. (20 days free)

Many education companies are offering free subscriptions due to school closings.

Read Works offers FREE content, curriculum, and tools to power teaching and learning from Kindergarten to 12th Grade.

75+ free online resources for online teaching and everything is free!

Lunch Hour at 11:30am/Back to Work at 12:30pm

Project Development

TEC21 Challenges

1. Be a resource to at least one new person on your faculty before we meet again.

2. Prepare for Celebration Day! Have fun with this! Use the outline below with its questions and strategies to prepare for the day. To download and print a copy, click HERE.

3. Registration for the TEC21 Workshop Program for the 2020/2021 school year opened on January 2, 2020. Please encourage a fellow teacher to join us next year! Share with them the value of connecting with other teachers serving in Lutheran schools and the impact it’s having on you and your students. Thank you in advance for being an ambassador for TEC21 and supporting our vision and mission for the sake of the Gospel! #TEC21lcms #LutheranSchoolsThrive #LuthEd


Dismiss at 2:00pm

My Contact Info

Email me at:   lmeyers@vlhs.com

Call me at:  989-324-0666 (cell) or 989-790-2871 (home)

Connected teachers inspiring students in Technology Enriched Classrooms.