March 2021 Agenda—Green Bay, Wisconsin

Facilitating Technology Enriched Classrooms for 21st Century Learners.

Begin at 9:00am

Getting Connected

  • To Wifi: 
    • Network: PLCS-INTERNET
    • Password: pilgrim123
  • How to get to today’s agenda: If you can read this, you’re already there.
  • To each other – Greet your fellow TEC21 participants!
  • Sign up for Snacks – Here’s a list for anyone who’s willing to bring snacks for the rest of our dates.
  • Go to


Made with Padlet


1. The next workshop date is scheduled for Thursday, April 29, 2021.  In past years, we’ve done our morning time and devotions, shared some new technology & resources and then ran through our Celebration Presentations.  I’ve usually moved lunch to after the presentations (about 12:30 or so) and then we go to Margarita’s for a meal and beverages.  Let me know if that seems reasonable.

2. What else is going on?  Share & Tell

3. Our next cohorts for the 2021/2022 school year are filling up fast! We know that word of mouth and personal testimonies or words of encouragement can go a long way. So, if you can encourage a teacher to register, we would greatly appreciate it! As a thank you, for every teacher that registers on account of you, we will enter both your name and theirs into our drawing announcing two winners at the end of March for a chance to win your choice of a $50 gift card to Teachers Pay Teachers or Amazon! Do you have other friends or family members teaching in Lutheran schools? If so, you can encourage them to join a cohort near them and we’ll again enter your name and theirs also. The more teachers you get to register, the more times your name will be entered into the drawing. All you need to do is encourage someone to register for TEC21 for the 2021/2022 school year and reach out to Helena ( In order to be officially submitted in the drawing, she needs to have your name and the teacher you encouraged. #TEC21lcms #LutheranSchoolsThrive #LuthEd

#GBUpdate we are ‘full’ here in GB, but you can see if you can keep spreading the word!  Thank you for all of your support and kind words.  Together we are better!

4. “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 (Remember that you are sharing with friends, so keep this all in perspective and have fun with this.)
  • Spend approximately 10 minutes showing some things you’ve accomplished this year – what you did, how you did it, and why you did it.
  • 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 – SAMPLE.
  • You might also want to use the Celebration Day guide to help to organize your thoughts. To download a copy to print, 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 thinking about pursuing a master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction? If you answered “yes” to either of these questions, we encourage you to 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 now open and runs through May 15, 2021. Follow these four easy steps to apply:

First, select the “Apply Here” link to create an account.

Next, complete the fields in the form. Where it asks for Academic Level, select “Non-Degree Coursework”. Where it asks for Entry Term, select “Summer Semester 2021”. Where it asks for Academic Program, select “TEC21”. After completing the remaining fields, select “Create Account”.

Now, check your email for confirmation that your application came through successfully.

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. 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 now or in the coming years (they are good for 5 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 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 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!


1. Discover the educational value of bringing coding to life through codable robots.

2. Explore additional resources for Google Classroom, 3D Printing, and Photography.

3. Design a lesson that you can implement immediately with one of the digital tools you will learn about today.

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.

Coding Robots

Sphero/ Sphero SPRK+

Getting started with the Sphero Edu app

The Sphero Edu platform uses app-enabled robots to foster creativity through discovery and play, all while laying the foundation for computer science. Our program goes beyond code with collaborative STEAM activities, nurturing students’ imaginations in ways no other education program can. Cross-platform apps are approachable for all skill levels of programming JavaScript, allowing us to reach as many minds as possible. Think outside the bot and inspire your future. This is Sphero Edu. – Approximately $100 Sphero SPRK+

Dash – Wonderworks

Wonder Workshop

Teach kids how to program with Dash and Dot, toy robots that make coding fun using apps on iPads, iPhones, Android tablets and phones.  This is good for ages 6+ and costs about $150

Sphero Mini

Sphero Mini – Amazon

Basically the same as the Sphero, but smaller and less expensive. $40-$50 on at the moment.

Parrot MiniDrone – Jumping Sumo

Parrot Drones used to work with Tynker and Tickle (iOS), but I’m not certain they do anymore.  They are still fun to use, but I’ve been struggling with getting a simple iPad code app that will do what the previously mentioned ones can currently do.

Ollie – by Sphero

Sphero Ollie –

Ollie is engineered for speed, programmed for tricks, and customized by you. Ollie pairs instantly to your smart device via Bluetooth LE and is powered by USB charging. Protected by a durable polycarbonate shell and outfitted with glowing LED’s, this robot is ready to take on any terrain day or night. – About $80 on


Botley – The Coding Robot

Botley is a colorful robot and remote control combo that teaches kids beginner code. Children can program their Botley coding robot by entering a code on the remote and then ask Botley to ‘run the code’. Kids will learn the basic concepts of coding like algorithms, loops and debugging while playing with Botley.


There are ways to use this tech in the classroom, but you will need to do a little digging around and see what works for you.  Hopefully, after having seen this tech first hand, you’ll consider ways you can introduce coding into your classroom.

Even More 3D Printing


Here’s a list of resources that I regularly use for my 3D printing class at N.E.W. Lutheran High School.

Mike’s 3D Printing Project Folder

All3DP – A blog with a lot of 3D printing information

Facebook Ender 3 Pro Group – A great place to find answers… just be ready for some smart-alecky remarks

YouTuber CHEP – Great general information on Ender 3 and other 3D print ideas/topics.

YouTuber 3D Printing Nerd – One of the guys who really helped me get through my learning curve on 3D printing.  He’s got a fun/silly way about him and I enjoy his videos.

Google Classroom


Google Classroom is my go-to for classroom management.  I can post assignments, administer quizzes, get feedback quickly through questions and organize content.  Here are some resources for you to dig through that may help you to better utilize this awesome tool!

60 Smarter Ways to Use Google Classroom

20 Tips to use Google Classroom Effectively and Efficiently – January 2021

18 Amazing Free Sites and Apps to Use With Google Classroom – April 2020

Common Sense Education – Teachers’ Essential Guide to Google Classroom – April 2020

Yearbooks/ Photo Books


Photography is definitely a hobby of mine and I really enjoy sharing that hobby.   As times have changed and technology has improved, I’ve had the opportunity to shoot A LOT of photos!  Here are some of my favorite sites and some examples of what I’ve done with photography.  In addition, I’ve linked my equipment so you can see what I’m using.

NEW Lutheran Photos – – These are photos I’ve taken over the years at NEWLHS.  I am using Google Photos to host the photos and a simple Google Doc linked to a to share them out.  This has been the simplest method I’ve found for publishing and sharing my hobby.

Shutterfly – This site has been around a long time and I used it exclusively from 2000ish – 2017 (until Google Photos became an option).  It is still a great resource and one of the only places where you can upload photos in full format for free.

Shutterfly Share Sites – Share sites are basic websites where you can add photos to specific subcategories.  Back in 2012 was the last time I used a share site, but I’ve got a few you can check out if you like.  I like the share sites because they use Shutterfly’s ability to upload full-size photos.  On the downside, there is certainly a learning curve.  Here are a few examples of mine (from 2012 and older)

With the cap of 15GB Google Drive Storage limit that starts on June 1, 2021, I may have to dig into another place to house my photos.  I’ve begun the process of looking, but I have to say that it looks a bit bleak.  My hope is to find a good ‘free’ place that will have unlimited storage.  Here’s a post that I’m going to be digging into in my hunt – Tom’s Guide – Best Photography Sites.


In case you’re curious about what I’m using at the moment.  Here are my current camera equipment and the appropriate Amazon links.

  • Camera Body – Canon Digital SLR Camera Body [EOS 80D]
    • Great camera for the price and you may even be able to find one on Craigslist or FB Marketplace.  Be sure to check the shutter count before buying!
  • Fixed 50mm – Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Camera Lens
    • I use this lens for portraits or stills when the lighting is very low.  A great lens and fairly versatile… but you need to be close to your subject.  The link I have is a discontinued version, but I haven’t had the chance (or need) to test out a newer one.
  • Standard Zoom – Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Standard Zoom
    • This is your basic zoom lens.  Great one to start with and will get you many of your regular lighting shots.  My camera came with this lens and the camera body in a bundle.
  • Telephoto Zoom – Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Telephoto Zoom
    • This was my first zoom lens and I loved it for outdoor – sunlit photography.  Awesome in regular light, not so awesome in the gym.  For the price, a good learning lens.
  • Mike’s Favorite Zoom Lens – Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC G2 for Canon EF DSLR (this is a newer version than Mike’s)
    • This lens is amazing because of that second number (f/2.8). This means that the lens has a fixed aperture of 2.8 and can shoot very fast photos even in low light.  Amazing for indoor sports photography.  With the 80D and this lens, you can get just about any fast-action sport you come across.
  • Flash – Canon Speedlite 600EX II-RT
    • This is a great flash and works wonderfully with the Canon.  The swiveling neck and ability to set it to different distances/strengths helps a lot especially with indoor candids and posed shots.  I’ve used this for weddings and other ‘banquet’ events and it works great for quick lighting.  I recommend a basic diffuser to go with it as it can be a little harsh at times.

Digital Tools & Resources (FORMAT OPTION #1)

Wakelet is a content curation platform where teachers and students can save links, social media posts, videos, and images as items to later be organized into private or public collections. Users can add notes to each Item in order to tell a story, ask questions, or give directions.  Some say its like Pinterest for Teachers.

Surf School to help you learn how Wakelet Works

Example Wakelet

WriteReader is a favorite writing tool for elementary school students.  WriteReader is a free service that students can use to create multimedia eBooks.  Students can select pictures from a large gallery of drawings, including Sesame Street drawings, and place them on pages in their books.  Directly below each image, there is space for students to write and for teachers to add corrections.  Here’s a tutorial on how to use WriteReader.

Kid-Friendly Search Sites are search sites created for younger students.

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.

We covered so many topics and there are even a few we didn’t get to.  Here’s a list of each month and what we learned about.  I also included links to items we didn’t get to, but I thought were interesting.  Enjoy! hosts live streaming videos from all over the world allowing learners to observe a variety of animals in their natural habitats.

Kids Know It Kids Know It contains educational activities, learning programs, movies, worksheets and games for students.

The Teacher’s Corner Collaborative teacher Resources, Lesson Plans, Worksheets and Activities.  Web, free.

TeachersNetwork Lots of resources here for any teacher at any grade level.

Steve Sprangler Science This site is my go-to for every experiment that I can’t (or won’t) do in class.

KathySchrock In her own words, it’s her guide to everything!

YouthGroupGames Need some fun in class on Friday?

FunBrain Created for kids in grades Pre-K through 8, has been the leader in free educational games for kids since 1997. Funbrain offers hundreds of games, books, comics, and videos that develop skills in math, reading, problem-solving and literacy.

ReadWorks A great site that uses ELA lessons and units geared from K-8 aligned to the standards.  Plus, it’s free!

Truth For Kids A wonderful devotion for kids for each day of the month! Fantastic!!

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

Project Development

TEC21 Challenges

 1. Digital: Prepare for Celebration Day! Have fun with this! Use the questions and strategies on the following document to prepare for the day: click HERE.

2. Social: Registration for the TEC21 Workshop Program for the 2021/2022 school year opened on January 2, 2021. 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

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


Dismiss at 2:00pm

My Contact Info

Mike Schmidt – @tchrmschmidt – on Facebook – Instagram –Pinterest – LinkedIn – 715.509.0002

Connected teachers inspiring students in Technology Enriched Classrooms.