Thursday, February 14, 2019

Post #15: Computer Lab, IFPs, Newsela, Teacher Laptops, Tech Committee







Wishing you all a wonderful week! Please let me know if you have questions or concerns, I'm always available to chat.




Computer Lab: The main lab next year will look a bit different. The lease on our desktop computers is up in June. The desktops will be replaced with a dedicated cart of iPads. iPads will be used with skills classes that are in the main lab as well as technology classes 1st-5th. The upper grades (3rd-5th) when not using iPads will bring their assigned Chromebook from their classroom. I'm excited about the change and the opportunity to do more with our iPads and Chromebooks. 


The hallway lab will remain in tack as long as the desktops continue to function.

Interactive Flat Panel (IFP): Leisha was notified this past week that a newer version of the IFP we are purchasing is coming out in May. It doesn't seem to make sense to order one model in March and then a different model in the summer. Therefore, our thinking is to hold off on ordering until the newer model is released in May so we can all have the same IFP. 

Newsela: This past week several teachers had issues with printing articles from Newsela using their MacBooks. Here are the 2 solutions to print from Newsela:


1. Download the article to your computer. Open the article with Adobe Acrobat Reader NOT Preview. Then print. Check out the video below for directions.



2. Print articles from a Chromebook.

FYI - Below is the error message printed on the paper from the printer when printing with Preview or directly from the Chrome browser.





Teacher Laptop Update: As many of you have heard, the district is considering alternative options for teacher laptops, specifically Chromebooks (again this would be a larger durable Chromebook, not the student model). We understand that such a change has caused many concerns. 

While budget restrictions are still an issue, Leisha has been able to extend the current lease on our teacher MacBooks for one more year. This will give us over a year to research Chromebook models, software solutions and any other challenges that would arise from such a change. Technology is always changing so it's hard to predict what exactly will be our laptop options (Mac and/or Chromebook) for the summer of 2020. 

Thank you for expressing your concerns and how such a change would affect you and your students. If you have any questions, please let me know. 

Tech Committee Update: The technology committee met on Wednesday. We had thoughtful discussions around teacher laptops, interactive flat panels, and using Google Docs vs MS Office. Check out our notes for more details!!




Friday, February 1, 2019

Post #14: Report Cards, Tech Committee, TumbleBooks





Wishing you all a wonderful weekend. 
GO PATS!! 🏈🏈🏈

Report Cards - I was asked about a reminder on how to print out report cards. I know for some this makes editing a bit easier or if you want to share information with your special educator. In order to do that, you must first generate a report. Here are the directions on running a report. You can generate a report for one student or your entire class. 

Technology Committee Meeting: Our next tech committee meeting is on Wednesday, February 13th @ 2:30 in the computer lab. All are welcome to join in our discussion. If you are unable to attend and have a question or concern, please connect with your grade level representative or stop by the lab to see me. 

TumbleBooks: February is here and with that here is the latest calendar to help you incorporate TumbleBooks this month!




Friday, January 18, 2019

Post #13: Computer Lab, Google Classroom, Lab/iPad Sign Up Calendars, Report Cards, WeatherSTEM





Several items in this week's update. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

Wishing you all a wonderful long weekend. 😀


Computer Lab: We are having an issue with computers freezing at login in the main lab. I have made it part of our end of class procedures for students to restart their computers before lining up. If you bring your class into the lab, please remind students to restart their computer before leaving. Thank you for your help with this.


Google Classroom: For those using Google Classroom, you may have noticed a few changes over the past week or so.
  • New theme options. 
  • Class Code is now shown in your classroom header below your class name. See the example below. If you click on the brackets, it will display the code for all to easily see. (Nice when students are joining your classroom for the first time.)

  • Drag and drop assignments to reorder them on the CLASSWORK page.
  • Adding Material Section to your Google Classroom 




Lab/iPad Sign-Up Calendars: Just a reminder that when you want to use either of the labs (main or hallway) or iPad carts (lab or skills cart), you should reserve them online by accessing the appropriate Google Calendar. If you are unable to access any of the calendars, please let me know and I will reshare the appropriate calendar(s) with you.


Lastly, when adding an event to the calendar, Google will default to your personal calendar. You must click the drop-down arrow near your name to select a different calendar. If you do not, then the event will only show up on your calendar :(  Hoping to avoid any scheduling conflicts.



**The paper calendars on the iPad carts DO NOT reflect online sign-ups. They only show who has a permanent sign-up spot for the year.**

Report Cards - Accessing last year's report cards: eSchoolPLUS does not provide access for teachers to see last year's report cards. However, Leslie can generate report cards from previous years. 

WeatherSTEM: You will now see a link under FOR STUDENTS for WeatherSTEM. This links to the weather station at CH, which was part of a WPSF Grant from last year.

Friday, January 4, 2019

Post #12: AV Uupdate, Report Card Update, Tech Committee, TumbleBooks




AV Update: We are continuing to move ahead with replacing classroom projectors with Interactive Flat Panels. Leisha is negotiating with local vendors regarding best pricing/installation for the ViewSonic IFP. We are also connecting with other districts that have installed panels to learn from their process and answer our many questions we have about ease of use, features... I will continue to keep you posted as to our progress.


Report Card Update From Leisha: Just in case you missed her email yesterday.

I want to apologize for the confusion regarding the Elementary Report Card entry in eSchoolPLUS.

An error occurred that caused T2 to be entered for every standard. This will be corrected for next year!

For Term 1/T1 Standards, you can click on the magnifying glass next to T2 and enter the appropriate grade. Otherwise, leave T2 next to the standard, as it indicates that the standard will be graded next term.

If you have any questions about which Term 1/T1 standards to grade, please contact Tricia or Karyn.

Thanks for your patience as we continue to learn in this new system!

Tech Committee Meeting: The Tech Committee will be meeting on Wednesday, January 9th at 2:30 in the computer lab. All are welcome to join our discussion.

TumbleBooks - If you are looking for books to incorporate in the month of January using TumbleBooks, check out this out...



Friday, December 21, 2018

Post #11: Lab Color Printer, Report Cards,








Lab Color Printer: This week Joe installed the new Lab color printer!! Please let me know if you have any trouble printing to the new printer.
Report Cards: Elementary Report Cards are NOW open for grading for Term 1. In case you need a refresher, here are directions on how to enter competencies in eSchool.






Friday, December 14, 2018

Post #10: AV Equipment Update, Code.org, Lab Color Printer, Tech Committee,



Several updates this week. Please let me know if you have any questions! Have a wonderful weekend.




AV Equipment Updates: Yesterday, Susan Cherwinski, Deborah Niles and I attended a Viewsonic Flat Panel demo at the HS. This was similar to the one we hosted at HH several weeks ago. I continue to be impressed with the ease of use and functionality of the interactive flat panels. We are very close to selecting a model. 

Features:

  • touch screen with finger or pen - like a giant iPad on your wall
  • multiple people can be writing on the panel at one time
  • connect your laptop (use the same software you currently use to project to the flat panel)
  • connect a document camera
  • speakers are embedded in the panel - no need for wall mounted speakers
  • students can cast their Chromebook screen up to the flat panel to share their work
  • mount a video camera on top for skype or video sessions




Code.org: A HUGE thank you to everyone for your assistance in getting signed permissions slips!! I have all but a couple. 👏



Lab Color Printer Update: A new printer has been ordered and delivery looks like early next week. Joe will need a little bit of time to get the new printer up and running. In the meantime, the old color printer appears to be working. I have noticed that larger print jobs do seem to make the printer unhappy 😞.




Technology Committee: We canceled our December meeting due to the Holiday Staff Party. We will meet in January on Wednesday the 9th from 2:30 - 3:30 in the computer lab. All are welcome to attend.


Friday, November 30, 2018

Post #9: Code.org, 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.


Code.org: 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.