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Showing posts from March, 2015

Managing Your Google+ Circles

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I had a teacher email me this morning asking about what Google+ Circles are and how you can basically remove folks that follow you in their Circles. Here are my thoughts:

Circles are basically the way of grouping folks you follow much like lists in Facebook. Except folks don't have to "Friend" you to be able to add you to their circles. In a way, it's like people on Facebook being able to follow you if you have it enabled for your account. It sets it up so that they can see what you are posting publicly. If you never post anything publicly then they shouldn't be able to see anything.
If you have concerns about someone that has added you to their circles, your best bet is to block them for an added layer of protection. Information about blocking is at this link, but here are the directions.
Open Google+.At the top of the page, use the search bar to find the person you want to block.Open their profile, then click the down arrow next to their name .Click Report/block…

(Updated) Upcoming MLTI Workshops with Common Sense Media

Bonny Eagle has partnered with MLTI to host workshops from Common Sense Media on April 15th, which is a late arrival day. We will be hosting them at the technology office. Please consider attending as they are a great way to learn more about digital tools with Graphite and Digital Citizenship. You can sign up for just one or both sessions! And you can't beat having them hosted so close to home. I look forward to seeing you there!

Dear MLTI Schools,
Common Sense Media training sessions start next week! Don’t forget to register online. Please use this direct link for registration as the state site is still experiencing issues
https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/mlti_csm
Thank you The MLTI Team
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MLTI has worked with Common Sense Media to bring a spring training dedicated to helping educators harness the positive impact of technology. Learning how to use media and technology wisely and safely is an essential skill for life and learning in the 21st century. The two workshops listed b…

3D Printing has come to BEHS!

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I am super excited that we now have a 3D printer in Industrial Technology at Bonny Eagle High School! I've had a blast helping Don Denico with the workflow and curriculum components surrounding this new piece of technology. Check out the Dremel 3D20 in action!



Now in a loo near you!

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If you have been paying attention while you are visiting the faculty loos, you may have noticed that there is some reading material now posted for your enjoyment. Goo in the Loo was started in January of 2014 by Jessica Johnston as part of her Google Teacher Academy action plan. Although I first heard about it a while ago, it took me until now to put her plan into action in Bonny Eagle Middle and High Schools.


The idea is pretty simple! Each month, posters with different Tips and Tricks for Google are posted to her site. The tips and tricks are put together by Google Certified Teachers and Trainers and range from super easy to a bit more complex. As of today, I have posted fourteen different tips in the different faculty loos at the two schools. I plan to rotate them sporadically to change up your reading material and even have a check list so I can make sure each loo gets a different poster.

Give them a read, let me know what you think, and then feel free to reach out if you want hel…

Are you just hearing crickets?

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Do you ask your students questions and then hear crickets? Getting any sort of feedback can be a challenge to say the least. But you can implement a backchannel or informal assessment tool in order to change that. Students are more apt to tell you what they think if they are more comfortable doing so or if the expectation is that they are ALL doing it and not just those who volunteer.

I have talked about Socrative and Kahoot! before and both have been big hits in many classrooms. I can tell when a classroom is Kahoot!'ing when the noise level goes up, in a good way, because the students are so engaged.

But there are lots more options to consider and more are coming on the market all the time. If neither Socrative or Kahoot! does what you want or you want to compare them to other options, I highly recommend that you go check out Richard Byrnes comparison chart he posted last fall. It compares nine of the options that are on the market and gives you an easy way to decide what one yo…

EdTechTeacher Summer 2015 Workshops

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Being in my position gives me a lot of opportunities to present and attend awesome workshops and conferences. My latest excursion was to the EdTechTeacher Google Jamboree in Cambridge a few weeks ago. It was an incredibly inspiring day! If you aren't familiar with EdTechTeacher, they are based in Boston and put together really awesome trainings and resources for using technology in education. I recently came across their workshop listing for this summer and wanted to be sure to pass it along. Many of them fall into the next fiscal year, so I would think it would be possible to get it on the books now if you want to attend any of them. Although they offer sessions across the US, there are a ton right in Boston. Be sure to check them out if you are interested in furthering your tech skills for your classroom and don't feel like you have time from September to June.
Here are the topics that are covered in Boston. Be sure to click on the image to go to their website for more detai…

Are you on Twitter?

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I've been leveraging Twitter more and more lately to boost my own personal learning network with like-minded educators. It gives me a great way to stay connected to the awesome folks that I am meeting at workshops and conferences. I can easily reach out to a wide range of experts to help me through problems or to simply inspire me to do more awesome things. And it also means that I see a steady stream of innovation in my tweetdeck every day. If you are on Twitter, please come and follow me! And, while I'm at it, I've been using the #bonnyeagle hashtag to share stuff that I think folks in our district should see. I'd love it if you were, too! To inspire us all and form a better community, I think this image I saw would be a great place to start:


I'm going to start making a conscious effort to tweet out one awesome thing I've done or seen in our classrooms each day. The more positive vibe we have, the better off we will all be! So please join me!

Are you about to be replaced?

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I didn't write that subject line to be mean. I wrote it to get you to actually think for a minute. If you aren't integrating technology into your classroom, how do you think you are preparing your students for the future? If you rely on the dreaded photocopier to disseminate information, how are you students being taught how to manage digital information?

I saw this image come across my Twitter feed just now and it spoke to me enough that I had to share it here.


What are you doing to future proof yourself?

Customizing Your Google Classroom Theme Image

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I'm sure that many of you have already discovered the latest "features" to hit Google Classroom, but I wanted to share them here just in case you hadn't.

The most requested feature they had is now release! What is it? Well, simply, the ability to change your header image to create a more custom theme!


Yay... I know, I know. It's not bells and whistles, but it was their top requested feature. So now we have it!
While I'm on the top of requested features, last week I actually met Jennifer Holland from Google. She works on the Google Classroom development team. Did you know that you can actually submit feature requests and Jen will read EVERY SINGLE ONE?!? Just click on the question mark in the bottom left hand corner of your Classroom screen to be given ways to get in touch with them.

She couldn't confirm any new features that they have coming, but did emphasize that submitting requests would boost the tools you want to see the most and (potentially) make t…

Using the TLDR Extension for Chrome with Text to Speech to Read Through Articles Super Fast!

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I first heard about the TLDR extension for Google Chrome thanks to the always lovely Alice Keeler. And the timing was perfect since I have a long list of articles that I have been meaning to read for weeks now. In this screencast, I'll show you how to use the extension in combination with the text to speech function on your Mac to get through all of your articles in no time. Be sure to click on the resource links under the video to install the extension and for directions on how to enable text to speech on your Mac. This tool could also be very helpful for students who have problems processing longer spans of text, who have attention problems, or even to help those students who are a bit too verbose in their own writing.



Check it out and let me know what you think! ResourcesGet the TLDR Extension for Google ChromeHow to Enable Text to Speech on Your Mac

Using Extensity to Manage Google Chrome Extensions

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If you are like me, you likely have a TON of extensions and add-ons in your Google Chrome. They can really help a ton! But they also use up your battery life and slow down your computer. Ugh! That is where Extensity comes in handy because it lets you turn your add-ons off/on as needed. I do see the humor of adding an extension to manage your extensions, but it has already been helpful to speed up my computer. Basically, it adds in an icon to your Chrome broswer that lets you see all of the extensions and apps that you have in your profile and then turn them on/off from there.


It's super slick! I highly recommend checking it out if you haven't already. Let me know what you think!

Keynote Address from the ETT Google Jamboree

As many of you know, I attended the amazing ETT Google Jamboree last Friday down in Cambridge. It was an inspiring day, as you can imagine! I tweeted about everything during the day and you can check out my feed over at this post. One of my favorite parts of the day was actually the ignite keynotes, which had each presenter inspiring innovation for 10 minutes. It was super quick and had SO MUCH AWESOME in it that I had a hard time sharing it all. Fortunately, I just saw that EdTechTeacher just posted the keynote over on their website. Do yourself a favor and watch it all! It is totally worth it.

Upcoming PD Opportunity: Apple Curriculum Series - Social Studies

As a follow up to the World Languages session that I just posted about, here is the second part of that day, which is covering Social Studies.

Social Studies classrooms support the development of young people who are knowledgeable, skillful, and committed to democracy and to participating as members of a global community. At this hands-on event, you’ll see how educators can use iPad, Mac, apps, iBooks Author, and iTunes U to create and deliver engaging Social Studies content. You’ll also learn how creating and leveraging digital content can personalize learning and help students of all learning styles grasp challenging concepts. Participants will have the chance to see how:
...using Apple accessibility features to support all learners can help everyone fully engage with Social Studies content....iBooks can be used in multiple ways in the classroom. ...using multimedia capabilities and tools in both iOS & OS X can increase student engagement with Social Studies content. ..iTunes U pl…

Upcoming PD Opportunity: World Language - Apple Curriculum Series

I received the following email from the fine folks at Apple this morning to share an upcoming PD opportunity for teachers of the World Languages. I wanted to pass it along and hope that some folks would be interested in attending!

With Apple tools possibilities exist to make language learning a new experience. At this hands-on event, you’ll see how educators can use iPad, Mac, apps, iBooks Author, and iTunes U to create and deliver engaging content. You’ll also learn how creating and exploring digital content can personalize learning and help students of all learning styles grasp challenging concepts. Participants will have the chance to see how: ...using built in Apple language capabilities can help everyone fully engage with World Language content....using multimedia capabilities and tools in both iOS & OS X can increase student engagement with World Language content....iBooks can be used in multiple ways in the classroom....specific World Language apps can transform language att…