EdTech & Innovation

Goal: Develop the capacity of educators & administrators to engage in continuous improvement cycles that promote innovative educational practices and successful implementation of educational technology.

Below are samples of some of the services our EdTech team can offer schools and districts.


Don't see what you need listed here? Please contact Stephanie Sumarna, ssumarna@santacruzcoe.org to discuss.  Professional learning is offered at no-cost to county schools and districts.


These offerings span multiple sessions, months, and years to help support implementation and adjustment throughout the process.

Google Productivity Trainings

It's not just educators that benefit from getting Google-y.  Making the most of Google's tools can help all staff maximize their efficiency.  In this series we will walk through getting started with Google Creations (Google Docs, Drive & Google Forms basics), Organizing Your Google Life (Google Drive organization, labels & naming conventions, gmail & calendar basics), Collaborating with Google (shared drives, commenting & suggesting on shared files) and Scheduling, Time & Task Management with Google (Tasks and advanced features of Google Calendar and Gmail).

shiftED: Constructing Roadmaps to Digital Equity & Literacy 

In partnership with the California Department of Education and the California Department of Education Foundation, the Santa Cruz County Office of Education has been commissioned to develop a cadre of educators to implement and create strategic plans to integrate digital literacy skills into the core curricula. 


Digital Portfolios in Action

Made possible with on-site support & dedicated planning time, the Santa Cruz County Office of Education team will work with your staff to implement Digital Portfolios across campus.  Digital Portfolios leverage the power of technology to simultaneously grow students' digital literacy skills while giving them a way to celebrate their achievements.  They make for a show-stopping display at Open House!


These workshops go in-depth into topics over the course of a whole day, with the goal of having participants walk out with everything they need to deepen their practice.

Back to School Reboot

Educator choice reigns supreme in this mini-conference.  Join regional leaders in EdTech & Educational Innovation for a morning of inspiring sessions, exploring how to leverage the power of technology to foster meaningful connections and enhance learning experiences.


Transforming Our Classrooms with Technology: Creating Digitally Literate Students

In this full day workshop, educators will engage in a variety of sessions designed to illustrate how technology can be used to both capture and showcase artifacts of learning.  Breakout sessions may include: Digital Literacy - What & How?, Chrome Extensions for Accessibility, Gamifying Your Formative Assessment with Kahoot & Quizziz, Using Flip to Tell the Story of Learning, and Digital StoryTelling with Screencastify & Adobe Express.


The sessions listed below can be done as a one-hour session that is more content-focused or as a two-hour workshop that is intended to give participants time to build materials and practices to help with the implementation of the content.

Awesome By Design: Using Design Thinking to Co-Construct PD with Educators

Is there a “bug” in your current educational practices? If so, then utilizing design thinking might offer a way to explore potential solutions. In 2022, we noticed that the joy was missing from our professional learning spaces and decided to try a new approach. Rather than designing PD for teachers, we decided to design WITH them. As education evolves, it is paramount that teachers have a seat at the decision-making table. Utilizing practices from Stanford’s d.school, we led educators through the design thinking process to develop a prototype based on their needs — the Teacher Innovation Network, or TIN. At educators’ requests, TIN provides a space for teacher leaders to connect, create, collaborate, and heal in order for them to move towards innovating and inspiring one another. 

Computer Science for Littles - It's Easy & Integrated!

As busy elementary educators we know how hard it can be to add one more thing on our proverbial plate.  We're here to tell you that you don't have to!  Computer Science is suprisingly easy to integrate into other content areas, including math, science, literacy, art & more.  Best of all you'll watch your student engagement soar.  Leave the session with fresh ideas for integrating both plugged & unplugged computer science activities into classrooms for your littlest learners.

Computer Science Leadership: Scaling Computational Thinking TK-12

How do you build and scale computer science initiatives? You create partnerships, develop courses, facilitate community events, and provide ongoing professional development for educators. Learn how the Santa Cruz County Office of Education has built an initiative, driven by data and equity, that promotes and guides a region in leading computer science education from kindergarten to careers. Access resources, promising practices and templates to help leverage your own work as we are all in this together!

Fabulous (Google) Forms

Google Forms are an amazing tool! In this session we will cover how to get started with Google Forms, how to use them for instructional practice as well as how to use forms for your office life.  You will leave with a better understanding for how to use forms for everything from surveys and asessments, to streamlining your workflow!

Genius Hour: Student-Centered Learning

In this session we will explore how we might use Genius Hour as an entry point to student-centered learning.  Participants will further their understanding of Genius Hour and develop an action plan that fits the needs of their context.  They will leave with fresh inspiration and plenty of resources to get started right away.

Love Your Space: How to Transform Your Learning Environment with Design

Winston Churchill famously said, "We shape our buildings and they shape us." The environments we design in school spaces impact how they are used by those inside of them - students and staff alike.  Therefore it is imperative that we design with intention.  In this session we will review top tips for constructing learning environments to move toward student-centered instruction.

No Homework - Now What?!

Let's talk about rethinking traditional homework to design something that's more student-centered, fosters an internal love of learning, promotes student agency and makes the most of the hours outside the school day.  At the end of the session, participants will feel empowered to make a change in the way “homework” is implemented at their school site. They will have access to several ideas that they can take away and use immediately in their own school, ranging from whole school changes to small tweaks in what they are already doing.

Personalizing Learning with Technology

In this session we will answer the question: How can technology support ensuring all students have access to content?  We'll touch on Universal Design for Learning and then explore some of our top tech tools for personalizing learning.  Participants will have time to explore the tools and make a plan of action for how best to use them within their own contexts.

Raising Your Own Rainbow Flag: Here's How to Do It

Did you know that Harvey Milk Day is celebrated each year on May 22?  This session will illustrate how teachers, school sites, districts and even county offices can harness the power of this event to engage teachers in providing LGBTQ+ inclusive curriculum for their students in the month of May and beyond. We will showcase how our county office of education utilized technology to create connected learning spaces for students as well as build on-ramps for teachers looking to access and teach more LGBTQ+ inclusive curriculum with their students.  Participants will leave with insight on how they can leverage edtech to build teacher and student engagement around a topic, while reimagining how blended learning models can amplify the power of their lessons.  Participants will also receive everything they need to host a Rainbow Flag raising at their site including curriculum, activities, event ideas and more. Come for the session and then join us in May as we lead the charge in constructing safe spaces for all!

🛑 Stop, Collaborate & LISTEN: What Vanilla Ice Got Right About Leadership

It might not be your first instinct to lead by listening, but listening can be an incredibly powerful tool for identifying strengths, challenges and next steps when decision making.  In this session we will explore the how, what and why of empathy interviews and showcase how implementing them has the power to lead to more human-centered learning systems.  From crafting more meaningful professional development to rethinking your classroom practices, this powerful routine can be used by anyone for nearly any situation. We will walk through what empathy interviews are, examine some use cases, and connect this idea to your work.  Maybe you’ve already heard of empathy interviews and have been meaning to give them a try, or perhaps this idea is completely new to you- either way, you will leave the session with everything you need to implement empathy interviews at your site to start making meaningful steps towards becoming more user-centered right away.

Student Video Projects Made Simple

The Santa Cruz County Office of Education is pleased to announce that we are partnering with Community Television of Santa Cruz to host a program in student filmmaking using Padcaster Kits.  The program is open to Santa Cruz County educators teaching in grades 2-12.  Teachers will attend two 90-minute trainings in-person at CTV and will then be given access to up to 5 Padcaster Kits to use with their students for the duration of the program.   

Yeehaw! Welcome to the Wild West of AI

The release of chatGPT and other forms of Artificial Intelligence can feel like an unfamiliar frontier - but it doesn't have to!  Don't miss this opportunity to embark on an AI adventure like no other. We'll unleash your inner pioneer with hands-on demos of how to use AI to streamline your workflow while you pan for nuggets of wisdom in this interactive session. 


For our complete collection of curated resources involving Educational Technology & Innovation, please see our website https://outsidethebox.santacruzcoe.org/

Outside the Box

We hope this website can support you in implementing EdTech & Innovation.  Our team at the Santa Cruz County Office of Education has collected items here to encourage you to grow, explore, engage with and track what's new in innovative approaches to education.