Friday, November 30, 2018

Post #9:, Kahoot, Subscription Renewals, & Tech Committee,

Just wanted to let you know that Joe no longer has a "set" tech schedule at the school. We want him to have more flexibility so he can be available to flow from school to school as needed.  With that said, please do not leave items on his desk with notes as who knows when he would see it. Please fill out a tech request or connect with me. Thanks. Thank you to everyone for your assistance in the collection and reminding students about permission slips. Much appreciated. I have almost all of them! Phew! All classes will start coding next week using a variety of resources and continue for the month of December.

Kahoot: Kahoot is a fun online tool used to check students learning. However, they declined to sign our Student Data Privacy Agreement (SDP). If you wish to use Kahoot, please see me for a parent permission slip.

We have found that Quizalize is a very similar tool to Kahoot and they HAVE SIGNED our SDP agreement so no parent permission needed. You may want to give this tool a try. It appears to work with Google Classroom as well.

Subscription Renewals: Thank you for your feedback about our subscription services. We have renewed Starfall and Tumblebooks. I am in the process of renewing BrainPop and BrainPop Jr. 

Tech Committee: The December Tech Committee meeting is Wednesday, December 12th from 2:30 - 3:30 in the computer lab. All are welcome to join our discussion.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Post #8: AV Refresh, PebbleGo Resources, Wordle Update

Image result for online tools

Happy Friday Everyone. Several updates below regarding our AV classroom refresh as well as updates regarding several online tools.

Please let me know if you have any questions. Enjoy the long weekend!

AV Refresh: As mentioned at Tuesday's staff meeting, we are looking at interactive touch panels as a possible replacement for our classroom projector and speaker system. The other option would be an interactive Epson Brightlinks projector. Loker went with the BrightLinks when that school was reopened K-5.

Last week we had the opportunity to test out an interactive touch panel manufactured by ViewSonic called ViewBoard. 

We found it to be very easy to use. It's like a giant iPad that would be mounted on your wall. Here are some of the benefits and features - 
  • Easily connect laptop
  • Easily connect doc camera
  • Attach an external camera for use when hosting a video chat (Skype or Google Hangout) as it captures the entire room not just those in front of your computer screen.
  • No need to calibrate a stylus
  • No need to charge a battery for the stylus
  • Use stylus or finger
  • Built-in speakers (No external speakers needed)
  • No projector needed
  • Crisp image
  • Several HDMI and USB slots
PebbleGo and PebbleGo Next: We added these 2 subscriptions last spring. I just wanted to remind you that they are available could be helpful as you are planning out your curriculum. See a quick video tour of each below:

PebbleGo (generally good for K-2)

PebbleGo Next (generally good for 3rd-5th) 

Wordle: FYI - May brought it to my attention that Wordle is not working on any of our browsers. I connected with Joe and it appears that Wordle will not work anymore as browsers are blocking Java applets, which Wordle requires. Below are a couple of other options you can try if you wish to create word clouds. (May is using this tool so she may have some advice or guidance)

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Post #7: New Google Doc Features, Google Docs Menu, PBS Education - Free Reading Webinars,

Happy Friday Everyone! I am at MassCue today with Chris, Deb D, Miriam and several other teachers from the district. 

We will be spending some time in the vendor area exploring what's new in the AV world. Our classrooms will be getting an AV refresh over the next 5 years. We will be looking to gather information on the latest interactive projectors and touchscreen panels to inform our purchases. 

Please let me know if you have any questions and enjoy your weekend!

New Features in Google Docs: Earlier this week, Google Suite released 2 new features based on customer feedback. They are:

1. Vertical Ruler to manage tables in docs

2. New controls on header and footer

When using tables in a Google doc, there is a vertical ruler along the left side of the paper. This ruler will allow you to manage the height of the rows. 

The second feature allows you to manage the margins for the header and footer. After you click in the header or footer, click on the OPTIONS button to show the Headers & Footers window. 

Google Docs Menu - Did you know that you can collapse or expand the google docs menu bar? Students maybe unintentionally collapsing the menu bar and then not sure how to get it back. 

However, by collapsing the formatting bar, you and/or your students would have a larger working space in google docs. Chromebook users may find this helpful.

Before Collapsing - the typical editing/formatting menu bar is shown. (File, Edit, View...)

By clicking the down arrow you collapse the editing/formatting menu bar.

PBS Education - Hosting 4 Free Webinars for Reading called "For the Love of Lit: Professional Learning Series". The series is designed to help ELA teachers engage their students in learning about literature. PD certificates are available after attending each webinar.

The four webinars in the series are as follows:
  • Inspiring Young Authors, with NaNoWriMo founder Chris Baty
  • Including All Readers, with student activist Marley Dias
  • Encouraging Bright Thinkers
  • Cultivating Young Book Lovers

Monday, October 15, 2018

Post #6: Chromebooks, BrainPOP, and

Just a few updates this week. 

Student Chromebooks: There were a couple of Chromebook issues this past week. Please go over device care with your students. Carefully carrying, plugging and unplugging headphones, and power cords. Thank you! 

BrainPOP login accounts have been created for students in grades 4 and 5. 

Student Login:
Username: Firstname_Lastname
Password: wpsStudent ID

Here is a quick video on how to set up a class in BrainPop then your students can join your class. Great for assigning videos and such. Like last year, I will need to get parent permission to use I am in the process of organizing this information and will be emailing families this week. I will also be sending home with students the printed permission slip for families to sign. Please do not have students use this resource until I have acquired signed permission slips. Please let me know if you have any questions and THANK YOU in advance for your assistance in gathering the lists when they are returned. 

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Post #5: Gmail Contacts, SplashMath, Tech Committee, Website Updates

Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend. Here are this past week's updates!

GMAIL Updates: Don't you just love it when Google makes changes 😬. Well back in May, they rolled out a newer version of Gmail. As a district, we didn't roll it out until this fall. I just made the switch this week on my school account and here are a few things that I've noticed already. 

1. GMAIL CONTACTS has now moved. It is no longer under the Gmail drop-down triangle. If you are running the "Classic" version of Gmail then you will still see contacts as shown in the image to the side.

Under the new version of Gmail, you will now find contacts in your google apps sorter. 

Mine was at the bottom of the list. But you can drag and drop it anywhere you want in the google apps box to make it convenient for you to get to.

2. Quick Access to a few apps along the right side - you will find google calendar, google keep and tasks.

Here's a video of the above 2 updates:

SplashMath Update: SplashMath is ready for use this year!!

Student Login:
Username: wpsStudentID, example: wps1234
Password: Student ID

New Teachers:
Username: e-mail address
Password: teach2

Technology Committee: The HH Technology Committee met on Thursday, September 27th. Thank you to those that were able to attend. We had a great discussion around hardware needs, including budgeting for replacement of our current equipment. This can be challenging due to the fact that many of our tools were funded by WPSF grants. You can find our discussion notes here. All are welcome to attend our meetings. 

Website Menu Updates: In case you missed my email earlier this week, here is a VIDEO where I outlined some of the changes I made to our website menus and how to navigate to the bottom of the menu lists.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Post #4: MassCue Conference, Student Accounts, Tech Committee

A few items for this week!

MassCue: We are organizing a group to attend the MassCue conference to take advantage of the discounted rate. The dates are Thursday, October 18th and Friday, October 19th. If you are interested in attending, please let me know ASAP.

**So far I have the following responses: Beth C (Friday), Deb D (Friday)

Student Account Update: AMC Anywhere is now ready.

The following list of titles are ready for student use:

  • Lexia and Lexia Rapid
  • Symphony Math
  • AMC Anywhere
  • Track My Progress
  • Google Apps

**Online Tools That Require Student Accounts: If you wish to use a website that requires student login accounts (outside of our core titles), then please check the MSPA website to see which providers have signed our Student Data Privacy Agreement. If a title says "Legally Drafted Guardian Release", THEN please see me for the appropriate forms to send to parents for signature. FYI - I will be sending a form home for**

Technology Committee: Thank you to those that have signed up. First grade would love a representative so please let me know if anyone is interested. Be on the lookout for an email next week to set up our first meeting.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Post #3: Student Accounts, Username/Passwords, Website Update

Just a few items to share with you this week. Wishing you a wonderful weekend. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Student Accounts: Eva is plugging away at getting our curriculum accounts ready for the year. So far: Lexia, Symphony Math, Lexia Rapid and NOW Track My Progress are ready for use!!

Track My Progress: 
Student Login:
Username: Student ID
Password: Student ID

Username: e-mail address
Password: activation e-mail was sent to teachers

Usernames and Passwords: I have updated the teacher and student username cheat sheets (Thank you Ally for the reminder). Please use as needed. If anything is missing, please let me know and I will add it to the list.

Website Update: Yesterday I updated the "For Students" menu on the HH website so that the list is not so terribly long. You will now see ELA, Information Literacy and Mathematics as categories in the list. Please hover over the category title to see the sub-menu of website links. Some links may appear in several categories.

**I will be showing students as I see them for technology class. Until I see your class, you may need to show students the change to the "For Students" menu.**