Pythonroom– lets ANYONE teach computer science

Written by Sarah Weston on . Posted in Computer Apps offers free computer science curriculum for educators to use in their classrooms, or students to use individually.  Pythonroom has a problem-based approach to computer science, which is the best next step after block based enivronments like Scratch or Tynker.  Python works on any device with an internet connection, including Chromebooks, tablets and smartphones.



2017 UCET Award Winners

Written by Pam Turley on . Posted in Uncategorized

Congratulations to the following UCET Award winners announced during the opening session of the #UCET17 on Thursday, March 16, 2017, at the University of Utah.                                      


Rick is the Educational Technology Specialist at USBE, and has worked for decades at the state and national level. His reputation is impeccable.  He knows and is well respected by key national and state leaders.  He truly loves teaching an learning.  And to top it off, his personality is easygoing and fun. 
For the past several years, Rick leveraged his knowledge and was essential to the conception, crafting and documentation with districts to bring about the state Digital Teaching and Learning master plan.
Rick has served on the board of SETDA (State Educational Tech Directors Association) including a stint as the board chair where he interacted with national leaders promoting best practices of technology integration.



 OUTSTANDING LEADER: Cody Spendlove, Alpine School District

Cody Spendlove is the Ed Tech Curriculum Director in Alpine. He is the essence of leadership excellence. He is a champion of Alpine's teachers. He knows how to get folks in the boat and pulling the oars in the same direction. Working in Alpine District, Cody also benefits the state, He knows how to communicate about the role of public education and the value of ed tech.  One of the best things about Cody is that he is always willing to take time to talk and think through the tough ed tech issues Utah is facing at the district, region and state levels.
Cody earned his CETL (Certified Educational Technology Leader) three years ago. It's a national certification. The past two years he's been mentoring other Utah ed tech leaders and helping run the Utah CETL cohorts program where others are earning their national certification. He also helps conduct National CETL trainings.


 OUTSTANDING  EDUCATOR : Ben Smith, Rowland Hall

Ben kindled a passion for Computer Science at Rowland Hall after completing his masters in Instructional Design and Education Technology at the University of Utah. Several years ago, the CS offerings were limited and disconnected and Ben saw the opportunity in working with stakeholders throughout the school to begin to formulate a schoolwide CS curriculum.  
Ben was instrumental in forming a Computer Science track including AP courses and a Joy of Computing course. He has also developed an Arduino for Middle School course in which students explore the Internet of Things by creating projects using Arduino microcontrollers. This curriculum has been so successful, Ben has presented it in regional conferences over the last several years.
Ben was also integral to securing grant funding for a redesigned learning space which became the Middle and High School Makerspaces. Through Ben’s guidance, the space became a fruitful laboratory for design, creation, and innovation.

OUTSTANDING YOUNG EDUCATOR: Ashley Lennox, Draper Elementary

Ashley Lennox is an outstanding young educator who combines creativity, technology use, classroom management, and superior teaching skills to create a classroom where all students learn and achieve. Don't let her easy-going nature fool you — she is a skilled educator who knows how to reach each individual student. Ashley is first in line to write grants, implement new technology, and combine the tools she receives to improve her pedagogy and focus on educational priorities. For example, right now in her classroom Ashley has a Chromebook lab, iPads, an iPod Touch lab, a Sphero lab, and Makey Makey kits. Unlike in some classrooms, these tools don't just sit. Ashley uses these resources masterfully to engage her students in the curriculum in new ways and push beyond the traditional walls of the classroom. She also happens to have exercise balls for chairs, an iguana, a chameleon, a turtle, and an altogether interactive classroom and teaching style that encourages students to think, problem solve, and create. When entering her classroom, what becomes instantly obvious is the passion Ashley has for teaching and learning and the love she has for her students. She motivates, encourages, and inspires.

UCET 2017 Award Nominees

ISTE Making it Happen

  • Ben Smith, Rowland Hall
  • Rick Gaisford, USBE
  • Bri Pela, Provo School District
  • Deborah Morgan, Sevier School District
  • Dallas Gledhill, Provo School District

Outstanding Leader

  • Courtney Johnson, Alpine School District
  • Jamie Hagan, Wasatch School District
  • Bret McCabe, Provo School District
  • Brett Zabell, Wasatch School Disrict
  • Sarah Weston, Mountain Heights Academy
  • Cody Spendlove, Alpine School District
  • Tim Smith, Cache County School District
  • Sam Mitchell, Granite School District
  • Joe Keddington, Good Foundations Academy

Outstanding Teacher

  • Kim Parsons, South Sevier School District
  • Landon Ashcroft, InTech Collegiate High School
  • Keenan Hart, Iron County School District
  • Kelly Witkowski, Odgen School District
  • Staci Rodriguez, Salt Lake City School District
  • Richard Peterson, South Sanpete School District
  • Wendy Radke, South Summit School District
  • Daniel Potter, Alpine School District
  • Matt Hiatt, Provo School District
  • Angie Frabasilio, Washington County School District
  • Cindy Butterfield, South Summit School District
  • Scott Brady, South Sevier School District
  • Ben Smith, Rowland Hall High School

Outstanding Young Educator

  • Jeremiah Tijerina, Dixon Middle School
  • Matthew Rhees, North Sevier Middle School
  • Amanda Lotine,  Old Mill Elementary School
  • Ashley Lennox, Draper Elementary School
  • Jordann Vaha, Manti High School
  • Danae Huizenga, Canyons School District
  • Stuart Baggaley, Edith Bowen Laboratory School

Momentum Chrome Extension

Written by Tricia Jackson on . Posted in Uncategorized

Momentum is a Chrome extension. It provides a beautiful picture in a new tab, has a daily quote and offers a few widgets for customization. More information can be found at

They also offer a Plus version that offers some integrations, countdowns and notes.

"What integrations are supported? Todo integrations: Trello, Todoist, Wunderlist, Google Tasks. Metric integrations: Fitbit Steps and Todoist Karma. Next integration: Asana."

UCET Enjoys “Luck of the Irish”!

Written by Leslie Lewis on . Posted in #UCET17

Day One of #UCET17 began with a smooth check-in process for attendees and volunteers.  We all felt the magic of Big Band Era music as The Mixed Nuts Band enlivened our early morning.   A hilarious video starring the UCET Board had everyone laughing.

Guitarist Jim Fish rolled out the day with Ozark Mountain beats that had us all tapping our toes on Day Two of #UCET17. 

An all-star cast of super heroes crashed the opening meeting on Day Two.  Dora the Explorer, Batman and Darth Vadar showed up to fling socks and Tshirts into the audience along with Tina Fey, (a Dani K. Sloan lookalike).

Alice Keeler’s presentation, What if School Were More Like World of Warcraft, caught and kept our attention as we learned about gamification in the classroom.  Her slides are located here.

As an educator, climber, and base jumper, Steph Davis encouraged and challenged us to take risks and embrace failure as a teaching tool.  Visit her breath-taking blog here

Travis Allen, President and Founder of the iSchool Initiative, presented both days.  On Thursday he spoke about Becoming a Lifelong Learner and Friday about Overcoming the Top Ten Barriers to Technology Adoption.  Visit his website here

There were so many excellent presenters it was hard to chose who to visit.  The playgrounds, the vendors and the Wonderment Bus added to the general excitement and enthusiasm for topics dear to our hearts, educating students and ourselves and technology!  There we many innovative ideas, lessons, and products available. 

If you missed it this year, mark your calendars for next #UCET18.  Coming Spring 2018!

Free STEM Education Webinars From NASA Educator Professional Development

Written by Nathan Smith on . Posted in STEM and STEAM

Audience: In-service, Pre-service, Home School and Informal Educators

The NASA STEM Educator Professional Development Collaborative (EPDC) at Texas State University is presenting a series of free webinars open to all educators. Join NASA education specialists to learn about activities, lesson plans, educator guides and resources that bring NASA into your classroom. Registration is required to participate. To register, simply click on the link provided beneath the webinar description.

March 14, 2017, at 6:30 p.m. ET: Earth Right Now — GLOBE Atmosphere (Grades K-12) — NASA’s fleet of satellites, its airborne missions and researchers address some of the critical challenges facing our planet today. Learn about clouds and contrails using the Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment, or GLOBE, program. This international science and education program provides students and the public worldwide with the opportunity to participate in data collection and the scientific process, and to contribute meaningfully to our understanding of the Earth system and global environment. Register online to participate.


March 16, 2017, at 8:00 p.m. ET: Astrobiology and Looking for Life (Grades 6-12) — In this webinar, we will discuss how NASA has turned the search for alien life from science fiction to a quickly growing research field. Topics in Earth and space science linked to biology will help us understand the most current theories for how life came to be here on Earth and where we could find it next. Classroom activities for numerous grades will put this exploration into the hands of the next generation of scientists. Register online to participate.


March 21, 2017, at 4:00 p.m. ET: Teachers Connect: NASA's Langley Research Center Centennial Badge (Grades 6-8) — The first half of the webinar will focus on clouds and their role in Earth’s energy budget and on implementation ideas using GLOBE for different classroom settings as part of the “Earth Right Now: LaRC 100th” digital badge. Participants will talk about student badge implementations, extension ideas and extra resources. The second half-hour will center on the engineering design process using the "Drag Race to Mars Engineering Design Challenge" as part of the “Journey to Mars: LaRC 100th” digital badge. This portion of the webinar will focus on forces and motion and on math calculations using paper airplanes and testing different materials as part of the “Aeronautics: LaRC 100th” digital badge. This webinar meets requirements of teacher discussions within the NASA Langley 100th Educator Professional Development Collaborative digital badges. Register online to participate. To learn more about the Langley 100th digital badges, log in to and search for LaRC 100th.


March 21, 2017, at 6:30 p.m. ET: Earth Right Now — Weather to Fly By (Grades K-12) — Participants will learn about basic meteorological concepts including the general characteristics of the atmosphere and how weather conditions and weather phenomena occur. There will be hands-on, standards-aligned mathematics, science and engineering activities about density, mass, fluid dynamics and weather so participants can new ideas take back to their classrooms. Real-world connections with NASA and the airplanes that do weather research will be discussed as the webinar highlights a partnership between NASA Armstrong and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, with the Sensing Hazards with Operational Unmanned Technology, or SHOUT, mission. Register online to participate.


March 23, 2017, at 6:00 p.m. ET: Earth Right Now: From Earth to the Moon (Grades 4-12) — Earth is influenced by our moon. Humankind has always observed and asked questions about the moon. NASA has studied our moon for almost 60 years and has sent humans there. Explore that technological accomplishment and the Earth/moon relationship by integrating NASA missions, online resources and STEM classroom lessons. Experience some real “classroom lunacy.” Register online to participate.


For the NASA STEM Educator Professional Development webinar schedule, go to:


For US Educators: Amateur Radio on the International Space Station–Students Talk to Astronauts

Call for Proposals — Window is February 15 – April 15, 2017

The Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) Program is seeking formal and informal education institutions and organizations, individually or working together, to host an Amateur Radio contact with a crewmember on board the ISS. ARISS anticipates that the radio contact would be held between Jan 1, 2018 and June 30, 2018. Crew scheduling and ISS orbits determine the exact dates. To maximize these radio contact opportunities, ARISS is looking for organizations that will draw large numbers of participants and integrate the contact into a well-developed education plan. Students learn about technology, communications, and science studied on board the ISS.

The deadline to submit a proposal is April 15, 2017. For proposal information and details such as expectations, proposal guidelines and proposal form, and days/times of Information Sessions, go to Please direct any questions to .