Tips for Taking Great Photos with an iPad

Did you know that you and your child can take fantastic photos with the school-issued iPads?

This article shows you how and offers six tips for improving your photos.

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At what age should my child get a smartphone?

What age is right for a phone?

In this article, Dr. Devorah Heitner, author of Screenwise: Helping Kids Thrive (and Survive) in Their Digital World, suggests that this is not the question we should be asking ourselves. Instead, she suggests we ask, “What independence milestones has my child achieved?” And “What role will a phone play in my child’s (and my) life?”

Read the full article for suggestions from Dr. Heitner to help you evaluate your child’s readiness for a smartphone.

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Want to improve your tech skills?

The Longmont Public Library is holding a Tech Café once a month through the month of May. A Spanish version, Technoguía @ la Biblioteca, is also available.

See more information below, or call the library at (303) 651-8470.

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Connecting with Families and Community at Leadership St. Vrain

We had a wonderful conversation with parents and community leaders at Leadership St. Vrain last week. The opportunity to connect with this group each year is something we look forward to and is of great benefit to us as we work together to provide a world-class education for students in our community. We talked about the kinds of learning experiences students are having with technology in our district and how technology supports communication, learning, and innovation.

If you would like to experience the Nearpod we used with this group, go to and enter the following student code to join a self-paced lesson: LWDCE

(You do not have to create an account or provide an email address to try out this tool.)

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Did you know that students can use technology tools to help increase well-being?

Sometimes in my school counseling office I see middle school students who are feeling challenged to manage anxiety.  I hear students report anything from “I feel anxious” to “I’m having a panic attack.”  It can be so hard for people in the middle of intense anxiety to know how to calm their system down to become regulated and comfortable again. 

Technology has given us some new resources that students (and adults) have at their fingertips to increase their ability to confidently manage anxiety symptoms and increase overall mindfulness and well-being.   I first learned of some of these apps a few years ago and  have since used them numerous times with students. I even like to use some of them myself to create an overall sense of calm.

The apps have a variety of resources, including basic ambient sounds to relax to (or have running in the background), guided meditations of varying lengths and purposes, breathing exercises, and even storytelling.  Often, just having students sit quietly while breathing and listening to ambient sounds of their choice helps them feel at peace, regulated, and ready to return to their studies. Who doesn’t need a mental break sometimes?

One of the things that is super exciting to me is that recently students have begun telling me about apps they have found and are using on their own to practice mindfulness and breathing exercises. Sometimes they come to my office seeking their own self-regulation time to use their app in a way they know already works for them, which is so cool! 

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