Category: Updates

Beat the Post Spring Break Blues

‘Tis the season of testing and student squirminess. That means many schools experience reduced access to student devices, and teachers need to dig deep to engage students in the waning weeks of school. Here are a couple options that might help:

1.) Digital Breakout games. Pirate kids image

You are likely familiar with Escape Rooms and Breakout EDU. You can run similar games in your classroom with just one device (though a couple more would help). Follow these steps:

2.) Use one of the options from our REMC Maker Kit. See our list of available options that you can check out – FOR FREE – for 1-2 weeks. Your students could design objects to be printed on the 3D printer, explore circuits with Little Bits, record with a green screen, and much more. Ron and I are available to train and to help facilitate activities with students.

Let us know if you have questions or needs we can help with. We are here to serve and connect.


Learn how to delete online accounts in a jiffy!

Learn how to delete online accounts in a jiffy!

Almost every day, we’re required to register for and set-up accounts on more and more websites to use services or receive information. But what happens when it comes time to stop using a service or a site? What do you do when you hear of a data breach? Most of the time information on how to remove your account from these hundreds of places where we’ve deposited our digital footprint is not easy to find.

delete facebook iconIf you find yourself in that situation, where there is a particular site or service that you wish to remove your account and information from, then you can try visiting is a site that gives specific information on how to remove and/or delete your account from hundreds of popular sites and services. The site offers direct links to remove your account when possible and helpful information for sites that don’t offer an easy out.

You can search by the name of the site, look through popular sites, and also see what sites are ranked by the ease of account termination. Blacksites mean that removing your account is more difficult vs the whitelist where there is usually a direct and easy way to remove yourself.

Check it out today to minimize your exposure of personal information loss.



Need a new media room? Just answer 1 question, submit a few photos, and your media room could get a total makeover!

The Grand Rapids Griffins and Farm Bureau Insurance are teaming up to provide a media room makeover for one deserving elementary or middle school in Kent County, Ottawa County, Allegan County or the Thornapple-Kellogg district, through their fourth annual Media Room Makeover contest.
Click here to submit your entry.

Depending on the winning school’s needs, its media room makeover could consist of a variety of new resources for its existing media room, computer lab or library, such as computer hardware, software, books, furniture, paint, carpet and light construction, with a value up to $15,000.
Following the application deadline on April 6, all entries will be reviewed by the Griffins and Farm Bureau Insurance and narrowed to a pool of three finalist schools, each of which will receive a site visit as part of the final selection.

The Griffins and Farm Bureau will choose the winning school by April 30, assist school officials in the makeover of the school’s media room this summer, then host a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the start of the new school year in August or September. The two runner-up schools will each receive $250 toward upgrading the amenities of their current media rooms.

Check out the link for details.

Farewell Andrew – Now What?

Farewell Andrew – Now What?

We are sad to announce that Andrew has accepted a position with Plymouth-Canton Public Schools. He has been an excellent colleague and friend over the past six and a half years, in which he amassed a notable body of work. It has been a pleasure to learn from him and grow with him through our collaboration, and we wish him well in his endeavors.

You may be wondering what’s going to change for the Kent ISD Ed Tech team. The good news is that Andrew will remain as a contributor to this blog, though I am not sure he will be finding much time to post to it. Ron and I will be supporting many of Andrew’s continuing projects, and, as with everything we do, we will strive to optimize them for those we support. Please contact us to explore how we can coach, train, consult, or build around tech integration with you.

Craig Steenstra – – 616.447.5673

Ron Houtman – – 616.365.2320

Personalized Learning Conference: #PLCON18 Call for Proposals is Open!

Personalized Learning Conference: #PLCON18 Call for Proposals is Open!

Kent ISD is pleased to announce the hosting of the third Personalized Learning Conference on May 2, 2018 and is searching for presenters to share their experiences in this evolving educational practice. Personalized Learning is a model of learning that promotes flexibility within the learning environment to allow students’ needs to drive instructional strategies, assessments, use of time, and materials.

We are searching for presentation proposals that include the innovative and systemic use of blended learning and/or technology to drive or support elementary, middle and high school learning to ensure students are college and career ready. In particular, we seek case studies, action research, and stories of success related to innovative learning that facilitates one or more of the following:

  • Blended Learning Implementation
  • Individualized Instruction
  • Assessment & Feedback
  • Authentic Practice
  • Promoting Transfer and Universal Design for Learning
  • Active Learning
  • Mastery Learning
  • Data-Driven Decision Making
  • Project-Based Learning

Click here to submit your proposal for the Personalized Learning Conference

Proposal submission deadline is February 23, 2018 at 11:59 p.m.

Have a great idea? Get it funded through the Idea Slam!

Have a great idea? Get it funded through the Idea Slam!

The Idea Slam ’18, sponsored by the METS Group and REMC Association of Michigan, is scheduled for Wednesday, March 7 from 7:00 – 10:00pm.

The Idea Slam is a fast-paced “pitch fest” and networking event for educators. Selected projects will be presented and attendees will vote on their favorite ideas. The winning project will receive a minimum of $1,500 towards their innovative educational idea.

The rest of the evening is an informal meet-up with fun conversations and delicious offerings from the new Downtown Grand Rapids venue, the Knickerbocker, owned by New Holland Brewing Company.

What makes the Idea Slam possible and successful?
YOUR IDEAS! Submit a proposal by completing this registration form. If chosen as a finalist you will be assigned a pitch coach to help you prepare for the event.

Idea Slam Pitch Rubric

Please contact the METS group at if you have any questions!

Pitch proposals are due February 9, 2018 at midnight.

MI Coding 2018-19 professional learning cohort registration is open!

The Michigan Math Science Centers Network and are bringing free professional learning and curriculum resources to educators to implement AP® Computer Science Principles and Computer Science Discoveries.mmscn-logo-wname-1

Applications are now being accepted for the 2018-19 professional learning cohort. Click here to view the application and visit for more information on the program.

The professional learning for teachers is FREE and includes two components:

  • Summer, 2018:Teachers attend a 5-day in-person, conference-style workshop designed to introduce the CS concepts from the curriculum and core teaching practices. There are no registration costs for this event. Lodging, breakfast, lunch, and materials will be provided free of charge.
  • School Year, 2018-19:Teachers continue with 4 job-embedded workshops held in Michigan and online modules focused on supporting teachers in their first year of implementation.

There are two steps to the application:

  1. Teachers fill out and submit the application.
  2. Administrators receive an automatically generated email with a link to complete the application process.