Super Connected 2016

Super Connected Conference

The Education Technology Team from Poudre School District, Weld RE-4 and Thompson Valley schools collaborated to present the 2nd, biannual, Super Connected Conference.  If you missed the conference in November you can join us for our second Super Connected Conference on February 4th, 2017 @ Fossil Ridge High School.  Check this link for more information.

Check out the posts from our #COSuperConnected hashtag from the conference.

Teachers were engaged by over 40 different session titles, a keynote speakers and LOTS Of prizes.  Some of the highlights from the Super Connected Conference were:

1) FRHS Robotics team showcased their t-shirt shooting robot and spoke about the process of building the robot from the ground up. Teachers were impressed by students efficacy and know-how.

2) Many presenters brought students to the table to help teachers learn about coding, robotics, Thinglink, and many exciting projects during lunch.

3) At the closing address, students participating in the Hack-a-thon and Designathon spoke to the audience about the things they were create to boost health and wellness for students in our community.

Tweets from the conference:



This slideshow requires JavaScript.


An event for students age 9-14 to solve challenges using the design thinking protocols.  Some highlights from Designathon include

  • Students brainstormed ideas for solving an important health and wellness problem facing our community.  Problems included lack of sleep, too much sugar, student wellness centers, anxiety around homework, and the transition between 5th and 6th grade and 8th and 9th grade.
  • Heidi Olinger from Pretty Brainy and Robin Steele of Colorado School of Mines helped to lead students through the design process.
  • Students were able to prototype their ideas using a variety of materials, including 3D printers with the help of Jamie Leben from Loveland CreatorSpace.
  • We are grateful to all of our incredible mentors from Otterbox, CSU, and FRCC, and our panel experts who evaluated the solutions – Deanna Scott, Stephen Krausse, and Kim McMonagle.

Learn more about the Designathon in February here.


The Hackathon engaged students aged 10-18 in developing solutions using coding. The solutions were to challenges in the mental health areas.  Students designed apps, websites and computer programs to help students with mental health issues.

We had 27 total students. Two groups from high school, two groups from middle school, and one group from elementary. The  students looked at problem sets themed around health and wellness. They worked in team to pick a problem and then design a solution. Three teams stayed for the entire time and compete at the final presentations that were open to parents, guardians, and friends. All three teams did amazing and received a standing ovation from the audience for all that they accomplished.

Languages students coded in throughout the event were:

  • HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and Scratch (elementary)

Technology students used:

  • Brackets, Visual Studio Code, Pivot Animator, Github, Atom, Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Premiere, Bluefish
  • Prezi, MS paint, Boscaieoil, Unity, visual studios

 The winners weimg_6095re: Gamify. Check out their winning presentation here

 Learn more about the Hackathon in February here.


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Attend or Present @ Super Connected in February, here are some details…



Staircase Piano @ FCHS

Some music students at Fort Collins High School performed an original song in an original way earlier this month. Adam McBride, from the Ed Tech team, visited John Hermanson’s Beginning Music Theory classroom and helped them convert an entire staircase into a working piano. Using a Makey Makey circuit kit, a computer with some drum beats, and a strategy about who would play which part, the students used the staircase piano to play an original composition they had written for Mr. Hermanson’s IMG_0211class.

The students worked hard and collaborated throughout the composition process. They were able to apply some engineering skills to create an instrument they could all play at the same time. Congratulations to these students for creating a great piece of music, and sharing it with the world in a unique way!

New Functionality Added to Google Forms

#web20 #google #googleapps

A couple of months ago, Google added some functionality to the Forms section of Google Apps. These changes have recently been added to anyone with a Google EDU account. Users can now add images and dates/times to their forms. Check out this screencast to see the new changes!

Online Photo Editing

#edtech #web20 #edchat #photoediting #elearning

Ever needed to crop, resize, or change a photo in some way only to discover that you have no photo editing software?  Fear not!  There are browser based photo editors available for you to use without the need to download and install software.

The First, and most versatile, is Pixlr.  Pixlar comes in three “flavors”: Pixlr-o-Matic (playful), Pixlr Express (efficient), and Pixlr editor (advanced).

The Pixlr-o-Matic app has functionality similar to that of Instagram or other smartphone apps.

jibspixlrmtcAs you can see from the picture, using the Pixlr-o-Matic version allows you to browse many automated settings to change things like hue, color balance, contrast and effects.  If your students are creating online posters (like Glogs) this would be a useful app to quickly modify pictures to match the theme.

Pixlr Express has a little more functionality.  You can still add all of the effects that are available in Pixlr-o-Matic, but there are other added features.  jibsexprssYou can add text and other special effects as well. The menus are easy to follow and use.


The Pixlr Editor has a layout and functionality similar to that of programs like Photoshop.  Users have the ability to use layers, crop, and free transform to name a few.  The Pixlr Editor also has a lasso tool (although not a magnetic lasso).

The Pixlr suite of browser based photo editors can prove to be very useful to you and your students.  You can choose the best one for your classroom based on your needs and abilities.

Another browser based photo editor, called ChromaPad, developed at, is also easy to use and has mixed functionality.  The best part, it’s free to use and, like Pixlr, there’s no need to download and install anything.  

Smartphone Video Editing

#edtech #web20 #edchat #videoediting #elearning #phoneapps

For this blog, Herb Saperstone of PSD’s Channel 10 offers some good advice for using smartphones to take and edit video.

Posted on February 8, 2013

20130209-130111.jpgFor those with an on-the-go spirit and small fingers, you too can edit video on your phone. Here at Channel 10, we like our big-lensed camcorders to catch all the action-and not to mention the weighted feel of a study camera on our shoulder to provide stability and minimal shakiness.

So, what if you or your students want to make movies with their mobile phones?
3 Important Dos/Don’ts
• Always compose and record your scene in landscape or horizontal mode. TV is a horizontal playback device.
• If you want to get clean audio, use a video camera with an external microphone.  But, if you don’t have that option, just get as close to the sound source as possible.
• When you are recording, press the record button 3 seconds BEFORE you say ‘action’. Same for stopping. Let the action finish…count to 3 then hit stop. Your editor (or you) will love you for it.

Here are some recommendations you can check out.

Then there’s Apple’s I-movie for the iphone. Not bad for $4.99


For those of you with Android/Google phones, here is a website with 10 video editing apps for iOS and Android

Taking “Pictures” on Your Computer

#edtech #web20 #edchat #screencapture #elearning

One of the most useful tools in the teacher’s toolbox is the “Snipping Tool”.  The snipping tool was released with Windows 7 and allows you to take a “snip” of anything on your computer.  You can access the snipping tool by using the search bar in the start menu or by following the pathway Start Menu>All Programs>Accessories>Snipping Tool

The snipping tool works great to capture all or part of your screen.  In fact, almost all of the pictures used in this blog were captured using the snipping tool.  The ideal time to use the snipping tool is when right click (to save an image) is disabled or you only want a specific part of an image.

For example, here’s a picture of the water cycle, taken from the web by the traditional right click>save as route:


As you can see, the image is very large and has a lot of information.  If we wanted to focus on a specific part of this image, we can use the snipping tool.  snowfall

Now, we have focused on a specific part of the larger image.  As part of an interactive (SMART Board) activity, you could take “snips” of each section of a poster like this, mix them up, and then have your students arrange the “snips” in the correct positions.

image source: