Author: Jared Covili

Jared Covili has been a regular UCET presenter and attendee since 2003 - when the UCET bug first bit him. Jared has been on the UCET board since 2008 and served as UCET President in 2011-2012. He is currently serving as ISTE Affiliate Rep. Jared works at UEN (tech training), the U of U (adjunct teaching), and Corwin Press (book writing and speaking).

GIS Day 2015


Last week a few UCET board members had the chance to participate in GIS Day at the Larry H. Miller SLCC Campus.  What is GIS Day you might be asking yourself?  GIS stands for Geographic Information Systems – in a nutshell, GIS is all about maps and the data used to create them.  GIS Day is an annual event to introduce people to the amazing world of digital mapping.  The event was sponsored by the Utah Geographic Information Council and organized by a committee of GIS professionals from across Utah.  Almost 700 students from 6 different elementaries were able to come to the event and they paricipated in 4 workshops to learn about digital mapping.  Here is a break down of the day:

Workshop 1 :  What is GIS?  Students learned how a map helps us learn about the real world.

Workshop 2:  Using Lydar to Make Mapping Easier.  Students used lydar to help them determine the height of box towers they created in teams.

Worskhop 3:  ArcGIS Online.  Students help identify the spreading zombie contagion using ArcGIS online.

Workshop 4:  Putting it all Together.  Using skills and data from other workhsops students created a final project.

Overall, GIS Day was awesome!  I loved watching the kids get excited about using information in new ways.  If you are interested in learning more about GIS and ArcGIS Online please contact Jared Covili –



#utedchat questions for 10/28 – Night of the Living Dead: aka Motivating Students

Q1  What do you think is the largest factor influencing student motivation? Why is it so influential?

Q2 – Kids, like zombies, tend to travel in herds.  What roles can peers play in motivating one another?

Q3a – Zombies are motivated by eating brains, what are some extrinsic motivations for your students?

Q3b – What effect does extrinsic motivation (i.e., candy, extra credit) have on students?

Q4 – What are your tools (stories,videos, activities, etc.) to help motivate students intrinsically?

Q5 – Share you best story of a “It’s alive" moment for a student or for yourself. What brought them back?

Q6- What keeps you motivated as a teacher?  How do you make it til the Great Pumpkin arrives?

Q7 – Share your favorite Halloween tradition – either for your classroom or in general.


Utah partners with

State Partnership with to bring Computer Science to Utah K-12 Students

Utah STEM Action Center and Utah State Office of Education Partner on Computer Science Scale-Up

 SALT LAKE CITY, UT— Today the Utah STEM Action Center and the Utah State Office of Education announced a partnership with that will increase participation in computer science courses by women and underrepresented students of color. is a non-profit dedicated to expanding computer science education by making it available in more schools, and increasing participation by women and minorities. Their vision is that every student in every school should have the opportunity to have access to computer science education. believes computer science should be part of the core curriculum in education, alongside other courses, such as biology, physics, chemistry and algebra.

“Our partnership with and the Utah STEM Action Center is another great example of how Utah is leveraging public-private partnerships to offer better educational opportunities for students,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Brad C. Smith. “This partnership gives students a chance at a better, more prosperous future for themselves and a better, more prosperous future for Utah.”

The partnership will begin in November 2015 with a statewide call for applications for current classroom teachers who are interested in being trained in computer science. Students at these schools will have increased access to computer science courses, curriculum and resources. The partnership will also provide new opportunities for professional development and training for Utah teachers, in addition to creating a sustainable program via a community of support for the teachers. is excited to partner with both the Utah STEM Action Center and Utah State Office of Education to expand access to computer science.  They are among our first state partners leading the nation in this movement,” said Cameron Wilson Chief Operating Office/VP Government Affairs of “This partnership can help change the lives of Utah’s students by preparing them to think critically about real world problems and put them on a pathway toward the highest demand jobs in the U.S. economy.”

This will be a three-year partnership to infuse Utah’s schools with more computer science teachers, expertise and leadership capacity. The goal is to transition the continued development of teachers back to the State after the partnership ends. 

"The Utah STEM Action Center is committed to supporting students in their education and career efforts,” said Dr. Tamara Goetz, executive director of the Utah STEM Action Center.  “This project with aligns with that commitment. It not only provides students exciting opportunities in computer sciences but also helps to address the talent needs of Utah's growing and vibrant information technology and software companies." 

More information about is available on their website at

Edcamp Utah

This coming Saturday 200 teachers from across Utah will join together  at Neil Armstrong Academy for Edcamp Utah, a free professional development event.  Now, this is nothing new for teachers to sacrifice their time to improve their skills and learn new ideas for the classroom – the difference with an edcamp is that the teachers will be leading the conference themselves!  Edcamps are user-led conferences where participants decide on the topics, then a conference is built using everyone's ideas.  It is the ultimate grassroots style of learning!

Last year we held the first Edcamp Utah and over 120 participants spent the day learning from one another.  To be honest, none of really knew what to expect.  I mean,  a conference where there are no session topics or presenters that are pre-arranged?  That's unheard of.  There were only two things we knew for sure:  1.  Teachers are always looking for ways to improve.  2.  Creating a supportive community of teachers is a great way to learn.  Everything else  was left to the "let's see what happens" mantra.

In the end, things couldn't have gone better.  Teachers were able to attend sessions that mattered to them.  Friendships were formed.  PLN's were developed.  Two of my favorite comments about the event were:

Screen Shot 2015-10-08 at 10.15.13 AM"Edcamp is what professional development should be about. Teachers coming together to discuss individual challenges and interests, while sharing resources or possible solutions based on real needs, interests, and experiences. Participating in Edcamp Utah was one of the most authentic professional development experiences I have had in years." Jeremy Smith

"I have been hungering for a collaborative experience like this. Edcamp Utah met my expectations and beyond." Sharon Moore

Now we're back for Edcamp Utah 2015.  If you've already signed up – we'll see you there.  If you aren't able to attend – follow #edcamput on Twitter.

Thanks to our generous sponsors:

Kyte_logo university-federal-credit-union logo foundation_icon uen_logo_web_colorCanvas-by-instructure

Questions for #utedchat for 9/16 – Developing your PLN

Here are tonight's questions:

Q1 – How do you use social media as part of your personal and professional life?

Q2 – For a newbie to Twitter, how would you recommend finding people to follow or topics to research?

Q3 – Share a way in which you’ve used your PLN to help you with your professional learning. 

Q4 – Beyond Twitter, why/how do you use Facebook, Instagram, Voxer, or Pinterest in your classroom? 

Q5 – Pick one:  Share a question you have about using Social Media for a PLN or Share your best pitch for having a PLN.

Q6 – Share your favorite educators to follow, hashtags to explore, chats to join.  

See you at 9 pm!

Utah Coalition for Educational Technology Copyright © 2014-2020