TheTechProfe's Blog

Learnings about technology integration in education from a local ed tech head in the Monterey Bay.

Common Core Resources for Parents and Guardians


Parents and guardians are crucial partners in laying the groundwork for a smooth transition to the new standards. Here are a few of our favorite resources for sharing information about the CCSS with parents and guardians. These, and many more high-quality tools for communicating with families, are available on the Student/Parent tab on the CDE CCSS Web page.

Resources for Parents and Guardians (DOC)

This one-page handout includes a list of resources developed by various state and national implementation partners (including the PTA and California’s county offices of education) for parents and guardians interested in learning more about the CCSS and how to support their child’s attainment of these standards.

CDE Informational Handouts

The CDE has developed four informational flyers providing overviews and highlights of the CCSS. These flyers have been translated and are available in 19 different languages.

Council of Great City Schools Parent Roadmaps

The Council of Great City Schools (CGCS) has developed parent roadmaps for understanding the English language arts (ELA) and mathematics CCSS in kindergarten through eighth grade. For each grade and subject, the roadmaps explain to parents what children will be learning and how parents can support learning outside of the classroom.

Council of Great City Schools Common Core Videos

The CGCS has developed a three-minute video explaining the CCSS and a 30-second Public Service Announcement to increase public awareness of and engagement with the CCSS. Both videos are also available in Spanish.

Shifts for Students and Parents

EngageNY has created a practical guide that provides steps that parents can take to improve their child’s learning of the CCSS.

Need Money for Your K-12 Class or Higher Ed?

It's almost that time of year again when educators and parents are seeing the timely "Back to School" sales at your favorite mall or superstore. For educators, it's a reminder of the all the great projects and lessons we taught last year and how we can improve them if we just had the materials we could not afford or ran out. If you are not a teacher, be aware that teachers do get some money for classroom materials but it varies from school to school and they get very little.

During my time as a classroom teacher throughout California my teacher material allowance range was between $60 - $250 to spend on a year' supply. On average, I had 35 students sitting in my class at any given time throughout the year. This meant that supplies went out by mid year and I was left to either pay out of pocket or fundraise. I would always do both. As a teacher, I never really knew how much out of pocket money I spent on my class at first. I can tell you that in all the dozen schools I taught over my career It was not abnormal to see my fellow teachers spend at least an eighth of their salary on their students.

As a parent, I too am torn between seeing these signs at every shopping location I walk into during this time of summer. Especially, since I have one child who is on the horizon of going into higher education after his last year of high school coming up. I can not begin to explain the sticker shock I have about higher ed and whether the money will really prepare my child for his vocation.

With todays school and family budgets on a diet, I would like to share some resources that can help:-) is an online charity that makes it easy for anyone to help students in need. Public school teachers from every corner of America post classroom project requests on their site, and you can give any amount to the project that most inspires you.

When a project reaches its funding goal, they ship the materials to the school. You'll get photos of the project taking place, a letter from the teacher, and insight into how every dollar was spent. Give over $50 and you'll also receive hand-written thank-yous from the students! I wish they had this service back when i started teaching. Learn more here!


FInd funding fast for K-12 schools.Grant Wrangler is a free online listing service of grants and awards for teachers.

Karen Greenwood Henke has been helping schools and nonprofits apply for grant funding since her work with Smart Valley in 1995. She worked with a Challenge Grant project in Silicon Valley and reviewed grants for the Department of Commerce TIAPP program. She has run grants and awards contests for National Semiconductor, eBay, the International Reading Association, the Air Force Association, and the University of Arizona Graduate and Professional Student Association. Karen is interested in how technology makes our lives easier and more fun. She shares her thoughts about the future of learning at 


edRover is a new mobile application that aligns businesses' goals with schools' fundraising needs. The application, which can be downloaded free to an iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad or a Windows Phone 7 (more platforms to come), allows consumers to direct donations from participating businesses to the school of their choice by confirming each visit to a sponsor's location. also contains a charity mall that allows registered consumers to earn donations back for their favorite school program when they shop through the links on the site.

Tania Mulry, a concerned mother of three boys frustrated by shrinking school budgets, founded EdRover, Inc. and developed the edRover application as a solution to help address school fundraising challenges. She brought together an extensive understanding of business, location-based marketing, technology, school involvement and motherhood to create a win-win-win for businesses, schools and concerned citizens. Learn more here!


The $1 trillion US student loan market is broken. SoFi was founded to offer an innovative approach to addressing this problem using the power of social communities to transform the industry. SoFi connects students and alumni through a dedicated lending pool and an original social community approach where students, alumni and schools all benefit. Alumni earn a compelling double bottom line return, students receive a lower loan rate than their private or federal options, and both sides benefit from the connections formed.

Double Bottom Line Investing

Alumni have a unique opportunity to participate in a SoFi Community that is custom built around your alma mater. Alumni invest in a pool of loans for students (or recent alumni) from each school. Alumni provide immediate value for borrowers by giving a lower fixed loan rate, while at the same time receiving a return on their investment. We call this opportunity a "double bottom line" return, in that alumni gain both a social and financial benefit (i.e. "SoFi"). Learn more here!



Causera is an e-commerce platform dedicated to making fundraising for your cause easy.

Causera was founded by a group of tech veterans and parents who were frustrated with fundraisers for their kids’ schools and activities. These fundraisers were time-consuming. Many sold the same overpriced stuff. They often involved sending kids to sell door-to-door. There were too many paper forms. There had to be a way to run fundraisers more efficiently and to offer products, services, and events that people really wanted.

Out of this desire to apply technology to make fundraising better, Causera was born. Using Causera, any organization can set up its own e-commerce site in 5 minutes or less. Simple, right? But it’s also rich in features to match just about any fundraising need. Learn more here!

Are you in higher Ed?  

The USEED crowdfunding platform taps the power of social networks and the voice of your students to win new donors for your college or university.

How It Works

Our platform is an easy-to-use web application that empowers your students, faculty, alumni and staff to tell their stories using video and other rich content. It enables them to leverage their social networks—through email, Facebook, and other sites—as they raise funds for the projects at your school that are close to their hearts. Learn more today!

Salinas City ESD PLAYDATE 2013

Today I had the great oppertunity to present at the first Salinas City Elementary School District P.L.A.Y.D.A.T.E. (People Learning & Asking "Y": Digital Age Technology Exploration) 2013. There where over 100+ teachers in attendance for the "UnConference" and were enthused to see that the presenters were facilitaters and their own colleagues who stepped up to present their knowledge of what is working for them in their classrooms using their new tools.

All teachers in attendance today recieved either a new iPad or a Chromebook. Many of the teachers in my sessions stated that this was the first time using either tool but were excited at the oppertunity to learn how to use it and integrate it into their learning and teaching for the classroom. Many were thrilled that they will be able to have the rest of the summer to "play" with their new tools and get familiar with all the features so they can have a great start in learning how to integrate educational technology in their classes next school year.

What is a P.L.A.Y.D.A.T.E.?  "This conference will be geared towards those who just want to explore - or play with - apps, websites, programs or tools that they've always wanted to dig into more deeply, but never had the time or support to do so. Modeled after an unconference or an EdCamp, the sessions will be participant-driven and hands on. Most importantly - there will be no sit and get. Period. No Presenters. Period. All of the content will be learner driven, exploration based and hands on. Just like the model of education we hope for our students. At the end there will be a share out of learning and take aways "The Play Off" - and digital content and notes will be disseminated to all." (Taken from Jennie Magiera's Technology in Education Blog)

This is the first of the "un-conference" for the Salinas CESD but from what was seen today will not be their last. At the end of the three sessions, the PLAYDATE was ended with a share out from the participats who volunteered to show and tell what they had learned this morning from sessions attended. The energy in the crowd could be felt all over campus! The following are the presos and info I shared in my sessions today.