District Home > Instructional Technology > The Server Volume 13, Issue 2

In This Issue...

Blackboard Engage- Mobile View
When a user accesses your school website through their mobile phones, Edline will display an easy-to-use mobile view which presents information in a read-only format. The mobile display simply appears when the user accesses the website — without needing to install an additional app.


Online Classroom Showcase
Online classrooms have become an integral part of a studnt's education experience at McAllen ISD. Online classrooms have many advantages for both teachers and students. They offer a potral for class resources, interactive assignments, disscussions, calendar items, and news. We have searched the district and listed some of the best online classrooms that our teachers have to offer.


Blackboard Engage- Features for Teachers
As the needs of educators continue to expand, Blackboard's online classroom seemlessly provides enhanced learning features that empower an educator's ability to reach his or her students.

  • Classroom Webmasters - Teachers, do you need help updating your BlackBoard Engage Online Classroom Pages? Let your students help!
  • Homework Drop Box - Students submit essays and other projects to the drop boxes directly through Edline.
  • Blogs - Use classroom blogs to engage students in discussion during and after the usual school day.
  • Online Quizzes/Assignments - Create online quiz/assignment with multiple choice answers, True/False, drop-down selection list answers, or text responses.


Happy Retirement to Don Keller!

Don, you have done a superb job at McAllen ISD.  We cannot thank you enough for your dedication and integrity. It’s difficult to part ways with a genius like you; you are an irreplaceable asset for all of us. Wishing you all the best and a life full of happiness and peace. Make the Best out of every moment!

Teacher STaR Chart Results

Ninety-eight (98) percent of teachers participated in this year’s assessment.  Way to go teachers!

The STaR Chart assessment tool helps teachers’ self-assess efforts to effectively integrate technology across the curriculum.  The STaR Chart focuses on the four focus areas and in each area there are levels of progress ranging from Early Tech, Developing Tech, Advanced Tech to Target Tech
McAllen ISD Teacher STaR Chart results indicate the following levels of progress in each of the following focus areas.

  1. Developing Tech - Teaching and Learning
  2. Developing Tech Educator Preparation and Development
  3. Advanced Tech - Leadership, Administration and Instructional Support
  4. Advanced Tech - Infrastructure for Technology

Click here to view results by campus and/or access STaR Chart information.

February 3 - 7, 2014Texas Computer Education Association (TCEA) 2014 Convention & Exposition, Austin, Texas. Fuel your inspiration for innovative teaching with more than 400 expert and peer-led sessions. Discover the latest products and resources to support your teaching and leadership efforts in the 900+ booth exhibit hall. This five-day convention brings together campus and district-level educators for a networking and learning experience that inspires innovative teaching and learning for classroom, campus, and district-wide success.

February 13, 2014.  2014 International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Virtual Conference.  Free to members or become a member and join the conference for free.  This virtual conference will highlight four areas, Professional Learning, Digital Age Teaching and Learning, Technology Infrastructure, and Leadership.

May 13-15, 2014.  The Region One ESC Technology Conference, South Padre Island, TX.  The conference showcases some of the latest technologies in education and provides educators and administrators in the following areas of professional growth: 

  • Innovation - Web 2.0 Tools - Mobile Devices - Open Source Products
  • Leadership - Systematic Integration of Technology - Monitoring Learning Progress - Appropriate Use of Technology
  • Promoting College and Career Readiness through Web-based Resources - Educator - Student - Parent
  • Teaching and Learning - Critical Thinking and Engaged Instruction Through Technology Tools K-12
  • Technology Support and Management - Security, Data Management and Green Technologies

Atomic Learning is McAllen ISD’s online training solution for staff and students.  Use it as a resource for yourself, integrate it into your classroom, and invite your students to use it from home 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Recommended Sessions:

  • Collaborative Writing in the Cloud
    This online tech integration classroom project guides students through a collaborative writing project using Google™ Docs.
  • Geometer's Sketchpad 5 Training
    Lear to measure objects and calculate with those measurements, how to graph functions and customize the appearance of the graph.
  • Glogster Training
    Make an interactive poster easily and share it by mixing images, text, music and video.
  • PhoneGap Training
    In this online training series, you will learn how to transform web applications into mobile applications using the PhoneGap Build service.
  • iPad as an i-Reader - An Orientation for Educators
    This workshop provides an orientation to the e-Reading capabilities of the iPad, to some emerging trends in e-Reading, and to iPad accessibility options that are pertinent to its use as an e-Reader.


Student Spotlight- Melannie, Jonathan, & Vallery "Learning with iPads"

Lamar Academy students Melannie,
Johnathan, and Vallery explain how they use their iPads in Science, English, and History.


Teacher Spotlight- Adriana Ochoa "iPad Classroom Management"

Mrs. Adriana Ochoa
is a veteran educator with 23 years of teaching experience.  She has taught 3rd through 6th grades and is currently a 5th grade teacher at Blanca E. Sanchez Elementary. She is a graduate of The University of Texas at El Paso where she earned a bachelor degree.  She has also earned a Master of Educational Administration from Lamar University.  Adriana hopes to one day be the principal of her own campus.
Managing iPads in the classroom is not as hard as some might think. By getting all students involved in setting up essential agreements for iPads right from the beginning, teachers can easily manage a classroom full of students with iPads.


Administrator iPad Spotlight- Albert Canales

Principal Albert Canales, a 1991 graduate of McAllen High School, is featured in our newsletter for his ongoing support of technology. In this interview he shares with us his vision of technology in education and how he uses his iPad on a daily basis. He talks about how iPads have enhanced the learning in the classroom and how he is leading the way for teachers to embrace and use technology.

Spring Instructional Technology Professional Learning

New Sessions! Get Apps Teachers and Students!

  • Sessions are held February – May. 
  • Register on ERO.
  • To request a session(s) for your campus, department, class or any other group comprised of (8) or more individuals contact carmen.garza@mcallenisd.net.
  • For complete training schedule – click here.

    LEVEL 1 – Beginner
  • Blackboard Engage Level 1
  • Google Tools for Teaching and Learning (SYNCHRONOUS ONLINE)
  • iOS Apps - Elementary
  • GarageBand for Music Teachers
  • iPod Touch for the Classroom
  • NEW! Starfall ABC's and Learn to Read Apps*
  • NEW! The Elements: A Vision of Exploration App*
  • NEW! Notability App*
  • NEW! Flip Your Classroom Level 1

    LEVEL 2 - Intermediate
  • Blackboard Engage Level 2
  • iOS District Apps 1
  • iOS District Apps 2
  • Creating Multimedia eBooks with Pages
  • NEW! Flip Your Classroom Level 2 (receive the Explain Everything app.)

    LEVEL 3 - Advanced
  • iTunes U Course Manager (ASYNCHRONOUS ONLINE)
  • iBooks Author

    *Receive a class set or teacher set of Apps.


2007- 2008 Volume 07, Issue 6
2008- 2009 Volume 08, Issue 1 Volume 08, Issue 2
2009- 2010 Volume 09, Issue 1 Volume 09, Issue 2 Volume 09, Issue 3 Volume 09, Issue 4
2010- 2011 Volume 10, Issue 1 Volume 10, Issue 2
2011- 2012 Volume 11, Issue 1 Volume 11, Issue 2
2012- 2013 Volume 12, Issue 1 Volume 12, Issue 2
2013- 2014 Volume 13, Issue 1 Volume 13, Issue 2