TEA News and Updates | Textbooks and Materials | Library - Media

TexQuest Tips & Tricks: Sharing Digital Resources

Discover ways to promote and integrate TexQuest in your school/district.  Review the TexQuest resources, as you create links to share via emails, websites, or library/learning management systems. Bring a laptop with access to your email, and find appropriate classroom materials as you learn.

A review of the new TexQuest college and career resources will be included in the morning. Participants must bring their own electronic device. Access to Google Drive is helpful, but not required.

When: March 6th, 2019

Where: Region 13 Edcuation Service Center, 5701 Springdale Road, Austin TX 78723

Trainer: Ann Vyoral, TexQuest Support Center at Region 20

This is a free workshop available to librarians, teachers, instructional technologists and curriculum leaders. Register now at https://ecampus.esc13.net, workshop number SP1941029.

TexQuest state supported resources are available to Texas K-12 public and open-enrollment charter schools. To find out if your district is a participant, email TexQuest@esc20.info.

EdTech Training and Survey

Youth Code Jam

5/5/18  9:00-12:00

Have you thought about hosting a family computer science night at your school to inspire computational thinking and programming skills but not sure you have the coding skills or staff to really do it up right? The Youth Code Jam is a FREE workshop that will show you how to uniquely engage youth, their parents and community volunteers and get them excited about computer programming in a proven, one-of-a-kind event that’s easily manageable and scalable.

For more information or to register for this session see our Region 13 eCampus description.


Edgenuity Pathblazer Training Session

5/30/18  9:00-4:00

Edgenuity is ready to help you make the most of your middle summer school program by incorporating Pathblazer tools provided through TEA’s Texas SUCCESS program. In this FREE session participants will discover the Edgenuity Pathblazer platform from both the student and teacher perspectives with depth and context to help you successfully implement Edgenuity Pathblazer into your grade 6, 7 or 8 classroom.

Participants will  

  • understand the Pathblazer Learning Acceleration process
  • participate in a simulation student experience
  • explore the teacher interface and set up classes if needed
  • access and schedule reports to monitor student progress
  • review best practices for successful implementation
  • access help and support resources
  • dive deeper into reporting and explore tools for progress monitoring
  • learn new strategies for ELL & struggling learners to help them succeed
  • explore activities to support Figure 19
  • learn how to disable the screener and unassign student assignments
  • gain knowledge on how to assign student assignments

For more information or to register for this session see our Region 13 eCampus description.


EdTech Tools & Statewide Tiered Pricing

There is power in numbers! The statewide consortium of ESCs is gauging district interest in creating an RFP and securing consortium tiered volume pricing for various digital tools. The current focus is on Canvas LMS and Clarity BrightBytes, but could expand to more tools if there is sufficient district participation.

If your district is interested in participating in consortium pricing for Canvas LMS and Bright Bytes (and potentially other tools) please let us know by completing this brief survey.

Digital Resource Training

Discovery Education subscribers are invited to attend a FREE session on Discovery Education, STEM & the 4Cs on October 23, 2017.

In this BYOD session attendees will explore the 4Cs  and discover ways to use them, along with high quality digital resources from Discovery Education to enhance STEM educational practices.

Participants will:

  • Make STEM connections through the 4Cs and Discovery Education.
  • Get students creating with Discovery Education’s Board Builder.
  • Learn about STEM instructional resources offered free of charge through partnerships with Discovery Education.
  • Leave with ideas, strategies, and activities that are ready to implement in your school right away.

Please bring a wifi connected device, your charger, and your campus Discovery Education login. Register for this session via our Region 13 eCampus system.


Region 13 will host Britannica School on November 8, 2017 for a FREE training for all TexQuest subscribers.

This interactive session will cover how Britannica School resources can be used to accommodate all students, and will specifically focus in on supports for SPED and ELL students.

Topics covered will include:

  • Supplemental material, correlated to the TEKS, to support curriculum and differentiation
  • Text to Speech features
  • Translations  for multiple languages
  • Searches by content level and lexile level
  • Simultaneous access to full text E-books
  • Persistent links to articles and searches to share with students and parents
  • Topic lists by content area
  • Graphic organizers

Please bring a wifi connected device, your charger, and your district TexQuest/Brittanica login.  Register for this session via our Region 13 eCampus system.

Collaborative Workshop for Collaborative Teaching

Region 13 EdTech is teaming up with our Special Education group to offer a technology-infused workshop aimed at General Education and Special Education Co-Teachers.


What? Learn how to enhance instruction and improve student outcomes by meaningfully integrating technology into your gen-ed/sped collaborative classroom.

Who? This workshop is designed to address the needs of a variety of collaborative instructional arrangements, whether providing co-teaching, inclusion support, or classroom consultation. This workshop is designed for YOU:

  • Edtech
  • Co-teachers
  • Inclusion support
  • Assistive technology
  • ESL support
  • GT
  • Total tech novice
  • I feel pretty confident in my tech skills
  • I don’t have access to technology in my classroom
  • I only have my teacher computer and 1 iPad/Chromebook

How? Through guided practice, you will use a variety of simple yet powerful technology tools for planning, data collection, formative assessment, differentiated instruction, and instructional accommodations.

You will also have a chance to explore additional self-selected technology tools relevant to your particular instructional arrangement and student needs.

Why, again? Having participated in examples of meaningful technology integration across varied classroom activities and practiced using the tech tools, you will be able to hit the ground running with engaging strategies for students and strategies for your own productivity and organization.

Where? Region 13

This workshop is a joint effort between Region 13 Specialists including Leslie Barrett (edtech/librarian), Kim West (special educator), Chris Teter (special educator/administrator) and Nichole Kertis Barton (AT/OT).  We’re excited to bring our different perspectives as well as be able to differentiate support based on your needs!  Please let us know if you have any questions.

For more details login to Ecampus and use workshop code SU1736528

Instructional Tech Updates

ViTaL Survey

The Region 13 Technology Team has gotten some inquiries about meetings we used to host called ViTaL.  We are seeking input from district technology staff (information technology as well as instructional technology) about what directions to take with our ViTaL group.  Whether you’ve participated in ViTaL in the past or not, we would love to hear your ideas and opinions related to a regional technology collaborative.  Please take a moment to answer a few survey questions to help us know the best ways to meet your technology-focused needs.


Discovery Education

If you are a DE subscriber district, we have a new online course that may be perfect for you our your teachers as the summer PD season approaches. The course covers the basics of DE navigation, and spotlights resources many folks don’t realize are included with a Discovery Education Streaming account. The course is perfect for new DE users (including folks recently added to a campus or district) as well as seasoned DE users who want to refresh their memories of all the wonderful tools and artifacts Discovery Education streaming has to offer!  It’s a self-paced course that teachers can complete on their own or could be used as the content of a summer PD study group.

To register or learn more about Discovery online course, please see our Region 13 eCampus system.

Region 13 also offers DE implementation support. We would love to work with you to develop a customized plan to support effective implementation of DE resources in your district. Please let us know if we can help you make the most of your DE subscription!





TexQuest Mini Conference

TexQuest Mini Conference – June 19

If you are a TexQuest subscriber district, make plans to join us this summer at Region 13 for a TexQuest Mini Conference.  This event is open to any district personnel (teachers, ITS, librarians, curriculum folks, instructional coaches, etc.) looking for ways to enhance digital learning environments and incorporate curriculum-aligned authoritative online resources into instruction.

The Mini Conference will consist of breakout sessions where representatives from the TexQuest providers will be present to help you get to know the TexQuest resources and learn about best practice for implementation in your district, school, and/or classroom. There will also be opportunities to process your learning and collaborate with peers during unconference-style collaboration sessions.

It will be a fun day of learning, and registration is FREE for participating TexQuest districts.

Texas Virtual Schools Network (TXVSN) Grants to Rural Schools

TEA is preparing to award Texas Virtual Schools Network grant funding to rural schools who

  • are experiencing a staffing shortage and are unable to assign a teacher to a course or courses needed for students to meet graduation requirements
  • are experiencing scheduling difficulties and are unable to meet the individual needs of students by scheduling them into a course or courses needed to meet graduation requirements
  • do not have resources to offer courses locally and wish to
    • expand course offerings and endorsement options;
    • provide additional Advanced Placement® (AP®) and dual credit options;
    • provide additional accelerated instruction options; and/or
    • provide additional credit recovery options.

For more information about timelines and eligibility for TXVSN grants please see the TAA Correspondence issued by TEA on March 15, 2017.

STAAR Technology Exceptions for Eligible Students















Preparing for STAAR takes a village!

There is information on slide 64 in the 2017 ESC Testing Coordinators Training Presentation on exceptions to the prohibition on internet access for tablets used in STAAR testing that are not in any other TEA document.

These exceptions are important to students who have been using web-based speech-to-text as a support for spelling assistance and transcribing.

Conversation and planning among instructive technology, assistive technology, testing coordinators, and special education teachers will be important.

For discussion and details about this update, please read the Chat Transcript from January 31 on this topic… and consider joining our Accommodation Central Community.

Please contact Nichole.Kertis@esc13.txed.net  for assistance.

STAAR Online Testing Preparation

In preparation for the upcoming testing season, you may want to be making plans to install the STAAR Online Testing Platform Secure Browser appropriate for your operating system(s).


STAAR is now available online to ANY student and required for ALL students who have documentation in their IEPs about the need tof embedded digital accommodations (Text-to-Speech, Content Supports, and Language & Vocabulary Supports via pop-ups and roll-overs).


Familiarity and practice using the online platform and tools needs to begin as soon as possible for teachers and students to feel sufficiently prepared.


Teachers and students need to plan and coordinate the time in labs to take the STAAR online tutorials… as well as the practice tests.


The 2016 STAAR online released practice tests are available through the STAAR Online Testing Platform Secure Browser, which requires a download/installation. Secure Browsers for various platforms are available for download at http://www.texasassessment.com/technology/


Should anyone be interested, here is a link https://acentral.mightybell.com/posts/947979 to a chat transcript on this topic:  “Online STAAR: How do I prepare my students?”  It states that providing frequent opportunities for students to experience text-to-speech (TTS), content supports and language supports in any form of practice is useful.  To this end, suggestions for websites and applications that can be used during instruction AND that replicate the STAAR online features are provided.


For questions about STAAR online please contact Nichole Kertis at  512-919-5246 or Nichole.Kertis@esc13.txed.net


TexasSUCCESS Spring Training

If you missed any of the TexasSUCCESS training sessions this fall, you have another opportunity to attend during the spring semester. Mark your calendars for the following FREE sessions, and click here to register.

TexasSUCCESS spring 2017

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