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Showing posts from September, 2013

Be a good digital citizen...

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and encourage your students to do the same!

Especially with the high school students set up with laptops, it is going to be more and more important for us to be raising good digital citizens. If you are setting up your norms in your classroom with the laptops, I highly recommend that you work on creating a class pledge to become good digital citizens. This infographic is a great place to get you started! I came across it in an article on my RSS feed from Edumemic entitled "How to Take the Digital Citizens Pledge".

6 Innovative Ways Students are Using Technology from Edudemic

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Today I saw this article (6 Innovative Ways Students are Using Technology from Edudemic) come across on my RSS feeds. I'm not sure that these ways are innovative, per say, but I do think they are great to think about, especially if you aren't as comfortable with all of this technology like I am. So, what do you think? I think the statistics with each heading are pretty interesting. I'm definitely an "Early Adopter" since I replaced my alarm clock with an app on my cell phone ages ago.


Tech. Agenda & Announcements for 9/30-10/4

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Hi, Everyone!
It has been an absolutely insane week at the high school and we still have a lot of work to do. We greatly appreciate all of the help and understanding from everyone from the HS teachers and dealing with the interruptions to the MS teachers and not having Jim or I there for you guys this week. We can almost see the light at the end of our tunnel!

Here is what is going on during next week in my world, September 30th through (GASP!) October 4th:
Topic of the Week:Accepting Assignments through Infinite CampusDescription:Are you loaded down with tons of papers from students already? Did you know that you can accept assignments right through Infinite Campus? I'm going to show you how to set up "Student Work Products" on IC to do just that. We're going to start with baby steps and focus on just accepting work with this session. Later on we'll build on this and go through how to do online assessments and question banks.
Monday: Based at the the HS for conti…

The Idea of the Flipped Classroom

Many teachers said on their tech skills survey that they really wanted to learn more about how to flip their classrooms, especially now that the students at both the high school and the middle school have laptops. I will be attending a workshop in October to help me help you better with making that transition. In the meantime, many of you may be wondering what this latest trendy phrase is. And this morning an article came across in my RSS feeds from eLearning Industry to guide teachers through it. Within the article is this awesome, but brief, YouTube video that gives you a great handle on what we're talking about. Check it out and let me know what you think!

Student Printing

We have had several students coming to room 109 at the high school claiming they are unable to print. Just like the staff, they need to set up the printers they need. It is up to the staff to demonstrate to their students how to add the printer in their classroom. Directions are located on the Bonny Eagle website.

In the end, my goal is that we are doing less that involves printing in the first place. I will be talking about how to accept assignments through IC next week and will be exploring our other options for such as the year goes along.

Please brag to me!

Now that the majority of the high and middle school students have their laptops, it's time that we start bragging about what is going well around here with technology. I have posted this form as a tab up above, but here it is if you have something to share with me now. Thank you!
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How to Pull an Attendance Report in IC

An easy way to keep track of your kiddos and their attendance is to get in the habit of pulling an attendance report on each of your classes on the same day each week (such as Mondays so that you have the week to follow up with the students and parents). Here is a screencast on how to pull that report to make your life (slightly) easier.

Running the PHET Colorado Science Simulations

I had a teacher from the middle school run in to problems getting these really awesome science simulations from PHET Colorado to play on their MacBook Air. It's actually pretty simple to get it to work once you see the process. So here is a screencast to walk you through it.

Installing NWEA Testing Software

In preparation for the NWEA testing, the students need to download and install the software from Self Service. We have introduced this program to them during roll out, but here are directions on where to find it. Please make sure that your students do it as soon as possible that way they have it ready to go before the testing period.
Click on the magnifying glass in the upper right hand corner of the screen (called Spotlight). Type in Self Service and open the application. (If your student does not see self service yet, it is likely because they missed a step during the set up. It should populate to their computer shortly.)Once in Self Service, click on the "Web" category on the right hand side.Select the install button next to "Install NWEAlockdownbrowser". It should download and install automatically for you.You can now find the software via the "Applications" category in the finder window or via "Launchpad" in the toolbar (the icon looks like …

Creating Word Clouds with Tagxedo

If you can't get Wordle to work, I'd recommend checking out Tagxedo.com instead. I like it much better and it worked for it (unlike Wordle).

IC Gradebook Issue (with Grade Calc Options)

I've had a couple teachers come to me with gradebook issues this week with things not calculating or show up right. More often, it is an issue with not having your grade calc options set up right. Here is a screencast to show you how to fix it.

Tech. Agenda & Announcements for 9/23-9/27

Hi, Folks!
I will be out of the office tomorrow (9/20), so I wanted to take a moment to give everyone my update for next week.

The high school students will be getting their laptops next week (9/23-9/27). As a result, my focus will be on that and I will not be offering any workshop or office hours. However, drop me an email if you have something that you want to know about and I will try my hardest to get you taken care of as time allows.

As a heads up for the following week (9/30-10/4), I am going to continue to focus on Infinite Campus by using it to collect student work products and to do assessments. It may not be as fancy looking as some other sites that you can use, but you already have a login (as do you students) and so it may prove to be the easiest way to start eliminating some of that pile of paperwork from your desk while being able to spend more time on teaching. I will be putting my schedule out for that next week and will have it on my calendar on my website as soon as …

Google Drive Inspiration Infographic

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I am going to be hosting workshops on using the tools right within our Google Drive over the course of the year. But I just found this infographic when I was reading an article from Edudemic that intrigued me and got my brain going. There is certainly TONS of potential within Drive, so give this a look and see if it gives you any inspiration.



A Map of Ed. Tech. Through 2040

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I have a long list of educational technology blogs that I attempt to follow. I try to start my day by having my computer read at least one article to me. Today I've browsed through the long list of unread posts and came across one entitled "A Map of Education Technology Through 2040 [#Infographic]" from EdTech magazine. I'm a sucker for a good infographic and this one certain jam packs tons of information in to it. If you read nothing else, I'd click on the image below to blow it up and then read the gray boxes that walk you through the transformation that we could see in the next 25ish years.


What do you think? Do you see any of this happening? Or perhaps you are seeing it already...

Policy Discussion on Google+ and Hangouts

I have been asked a couple times this week about Google+ and Google Hangouts and if we were going to have either service enable for faculty and student accounts. This morning I had a conversation about it with the powers that be and I have been told that we are seriously exploring both options and it is being discussed in the policy committee at the school board. So, as much as you might want it right this moment, we are going to wait for the school board to decide how we are going to proceed with it (and all other social media). I am optimistic that we will be able to gain some traction in this area. I would really like to be able to offer Google Hangouts as an option for my workshops so that staff at either building could attend at any time. It would also make it easier for me to record my workshops to put them out for future reference if a staff member either can't make it or needs a refresher down the road.

I will certainly be working to keep in the loop as to what happens wit…

Online Game: Math Run

I've started to explore online educational games now that the middle school has their laptops and the high school is getting them next week. I came across MathRun.net this morning which reminds me a bit of Tetris.

Here are some ideas to think about:

This summer I attended the Math 180 workshop and one of the things I like from the program is a "Do Now" question that the kids do at the beginning of class. So, as a spin off of that, I could see a teachers having this on the board or giving the students the URL for it to "play" for a couple minutes while everyone is getting settled in for class.If you are having your students do an in class activity and they finish before others, this could be something to keep their brain working so they don't get too far ahead.If you wrap up your lesson for the day with a couple minutes to spare, have your students play it. Have them track their results each time. You can then graph their results over time to see if there is …

WS: Getting to Know the New Gradebook (Beta)

After getting everyone up and running with setting up their gradebooks last week, this week I wanted to turn my focus to those of you who are experienced IC users and get you on board with the new gradebook before you are forced to use it and the old option goes away. I worked with a couple of the middle school teachers on it yesterday and will be at the high school going over it tomorrow.

Infinite Campus: How to Print A Roster with Students' Photos

As you prepare your "Emergency Sub Plans" packet for the year, it's a great idea to have a roster available for your sub with the students' pictures. It helps your sub know your students and also ensures that the right students are being marked on attendance. You can view the written directions by clicking here or view the screencast below.

Installing Fonts on the MLTI MacBook Air

This screencast actually came from a request from students that their teacher brought to me. Apparently in years past it was quite a process to install fonts on the laptops. With the new MLTI MacBook Airs, it is super easy. The key is to find the file that you downloaded, which defaults to the "Downloads" folder in your finder menu. If the file is a .zip, you should be able to double click on it to "unzip" it to a regular folder. Once you open the "unzipped" folder, double click on the .ttf file and it will open in the Font Book. Clicking on the button in the bottom right hand corner of the font book will verify and install the font. From there, you should be good to go.

Setting Up Your Signature in Gmail

Just like its important to make sure your voicemail greeting is accurate, you should also be checking your email signature as well. If you have never set one up or set up up years ago and haven't looked at it since, check this screencast out to learn how to change it.


I made this screencast because someone asked me how to do it. Is there something that you want to know how to do? Just drop me an email and I'll do it up for you!

9/16-9/20 Calendar of Events

Just wanted to send out a general "What's Up?" email to everyone so you know what is going on next week in my world.
Topic of the Week (9/16-9/20): IC Gradebook (Beta) Now that many of you are all set up with the gradebook after the mini workshops this week, I want to take some time to talk to those of you who are more seasoned with IC about that dreaded "Gradebook (Beta)". It can be overwhelming just looking at it, but it is really awesome! And the old one will be going away at some point, likely this school year, so you are better off getting to know it NOW before you are forced to do so. Therefore, next week's topic will be on just that.
Monday (Middle School): 8:25, 10:05, 10:50, and 1:15 Wednesday (High School): 7:30, 8:45, 10:00, 11:15, 12:50
Please check my calendar on my website for the location. If you know you want to meet with me, I'll make it easy and come to you if you let me know first!
Office Hours (9/16-9/20) If you have something specific t…

PD Opportunity: Digital Learning Transition (DLT) Free Online Class

Hi, everyone!

I just wanted to take a moment to send along this awesome professional development opportunity that just came to me this week. And, better yet, it's free and doesn't involve travel! The Massive Open Online Course for Educators (MOOC-Ed) hosts PD opportunities that "are professional development experiences that will engage you in new technology-enabled learning opportunities that are becoming widely used for both adults and students". With the 1:1 environment becoming live at the high school this year and the middle school teachers many years in to it, this course sounds very applicable. It isn't about how to use technology, but more on how to be an effective leader in regards to making technology actually work in your classroom.

Here is the information that was sent out about it:

The Alliance for Excellent Education (the Alliance) wants you to know about an upcoming free, online course designed to help district and school leaders plan for the effect…

WS: Get to Know Your Mac

Over the past two weeks, I have been working with the staff after school to make sure that everyone is comfortable and familiar with their Mac as well as all of the awesome new features they have to offer.

I used Google Presentations for the workshop, which is a Google tool that I will be showing off a great deal this year (as well as offering workshops on how to use it down the road). Here is my presentation:



Alternatively, if you'd rather have a PDF to look at complete with my presenter's notes, you can download it by clicking here.

I know that there is a lot of new stuff being thrown at you guys this year, but I am here to help! If you have any questions about how to use this awesome device you were issued, just let me know.

Getting Your Mac to Type for You or Talk to You

This is one tool that is super handy for both students and teachers and definitely got a lot of buzz at our opening meeting with the Apple dude. And it is way easier than you think it would be. Here is a screencast to get you started.

MS: Correcting LanSchool Issue

If you have started up LanSchool and can't get it to see any of your students, here is what you need to do to fix it.

WS: Setting Up Your Infinite Campus Gradebook

This week's workshops were geared towards getting new teachers up and running with their gradebook on Infinite Campus, otherwise known as IC, and to refresh the memories of those who are returning. As with all of my gradebook workshops this year, I will be using the Gradebook (Beta) versus the old style one. IC will be switching over to the Beta, likely this year, so it's best to get used to it than to stick with what will be leaving. Also, it does not require javascript, which should take care of a lot of the issues everyone has had with it loading.

To walk you through the process, I created this Prezi. Feel free to refer to it at your own pace as you get rolling this year. If you aren't familiar with Prezi, I'll be talking about online presentation tools as the year goes along as well as trying to use a variety of them when doing my presentations so that you can experience them for yourself.

Tips for setting up a successful gradebook:Use the teacher's preference …

Sharing Sound Files in your Classroom

A foreign language teacher at the high school today wanted to know how to share audio files that she makes for her kiddos. Upon some searching around, I found SoundCloud.com, which is a free website that lets you upload sound files or record them right within your browser without having to download software. It really looks promising!

Here is a screencast on how to use the site to show you just how easy it is. Below the video I'll embed the sound file I made while recording the video.


Sound File:

As always, let me know if you use it and how you make out. :)

ALERT! Please back your gradebook up (via screen capture)!

As we switch from quarters to trimesters, there have been reported instances of glitches as you change your categories from Quarter to Trimester. Before you change ANYTHING in your assignments tab, please make sure that you take a screenshot of your grades to back them up. If anything happens to your gradebook once you make the switch then you can reenter your grades. Best case you don't need it. But worst case you have it. PLEASE make sure you follow these directions and screenshot before you do anything. And share it with your coworkers so we can be sure that everyone is ok before making the switch.


How to Use Airdrop

AirDrop is one of the new features on our MLTI MacBook Airs that we were issued this fall. It certainly got a lot of you excited during our opening Apple talk on the first day. One question that was asked afterwards was how you find people in what was becoming a very long list as others were opening AirDrop. As far as I can tell (and I've been search, as time allows, since then), there is no way to search or sort the list. It wasn't intended to have so many users with AirDrop running at a time that you would need to sort or find someone in such a length list. Because you only show up on the AirDrop network once you have opened the link in your finder window. So, if you were going to transfer a file to someone, you'd more than likely only have that one person visible in your AirDrop since they would have it open to be ready to accept your file. Does that make sense?

For those of you who want to take a look at AirDrop again, here is a YouTube video I found that shows you how…

Adjusting Your Scroll Speed on MacBook Air

In this short video, I'll show you where you can make adjustments to your scroll speed on your new MLTI MacBook Air. And I'll talk about why I don't change anything.