Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Hapara Class Email Group Change

Some of you may be experiencing issues with class email groups you created in Hapara.  These problems could be in the form of an error message when you try to email your students or docs and sites becoming unshared with your students.

Hapara and our tech team are working on the solution for this problem.  In the meantime, you will want to update your contacts with the new Hapara class email group.  Jill and I would be happy to walk you through the process or you can view this video.

In addition, teachers have reporting students missing in Hapara Interact.  This is due to students becoming temporarily disconnected from the wifi. Once they are reconnected, if you click refresh in Hapara, their tabs will appear.

Be sure to follow our blog to view other helpful tips!

Jill & Katie

Monday, November 16, 2015

A Smoother Ride in Drive Part 3: Using Drive Without Going to Drive

We have two amazing little tidbits for you today!  You can search your Google Drive and create new Google Docs, Sheets, Drawings, and Slides without actually opening Google Drive!  Say WHAT?!?!

Searching Your Google Drive From the Address Bar
Search your Google Drive directly from the address bar using the Omnidrive Chrome Extension.  Simply type the word drive in your address bar and press the space bar.  You are now searching your Google Drive.  So type in some keywords, press enter, and voilĂ ! 

Creating a New Google Document Anywhere!

The Google Docs Quick Create Extension is one of the Divas' favorites!  You can create a new Google Doc, Slides, Sheet, or Drawing from anywhere in Chrome, without the hassle of going back into Drive and clicking New.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

The Right Way to Switch Between Google Accounts

You probably have multiple Google accounts: elmhurst205, personal, graduate school, etc.

You may have let students or colleagues log into their Google accounts on your computer.

If you log into these Google accounts in the wrong way, it can cause Chrome, Hapara, WeVideo, Google Classroom, and Google Drive to get confused about which account you want to use.

Don't use this method!:

Instead, you should create multiple Chrome user profiles:

Here's a video about how to add Chrome user profiles:

Note #1: Make sure to also remove the accounts that were added in the wrong way.

Note #2: This will only help if you are fastidious about going to "switch person" to access your other account.  If you "add account" even once, you'll be back to square one.

A simpler way to avoid the problem is to use Internet Explorer or Firefox to access your personal account and Chrome to access your account.

Contact an ITC if you'd like help setting up multiple users.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Create Interactive Video Lessons with EdPuzzle

EdPuzzle is a great tech tool to use when you want your students to watch videos independently, either at home or during class.  You can upload your own videos or select videos from sites like YouTube, KhanAcademy, TedEd.  Most importantly, you can embed multiple choice or short answer questions during the video. This allows you to quickly and easily assess your students’ understanding of the material in the video.  

It’s great for flipped classrooms, because you can see when students watched the videos and how many times they watched each part of the video, giving you insight into their study skills.  You can also get a “pulse” on the students’ understanding before class and adjust your in-class lesson plans accordingly.

Some fun features include being able to re-dub your own audio track over someone else’s video and to crop videos to cut out unimportant parts.  Once you create a class for each class period, you can set due dates and quickly grade students’ quizzes.  

To Get Started:
  • Create a teacher account, complete the tour, and link to your Elmhurst205 Google account
  • Go to “My Classes” to add a class for each class period.  (Students will use the class code to sign up)
  • Create an assignment from the “Search” or “My Content” pages

If you’d like help getting your EdPuzzle account set up, contact an ITC to schedule an appointment.

Monday, October 19, 2015

A Smoother Ride in Drive Part 2: Getting Media Off of a Phone

There are three solid options for transferring files from a smart phone to a Chromebook or laptop.

1.  If you have the cord handy, you can always connect from the phone to the device.

2.  Email is great option for photos, but doesn't always work for sound and video files, due to their larger file size.

3.  We recommend downloading the Google Drive App.  Google Drive is available for Android devices in the Google Play Store and for iOS.

Simply sign-in to Google Drive app on your phone and upload your files.  They will sync and appear on any device when you are logged into Google Drive.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

A Smoother Ride in Drive Part 1: Save to Google Drive Extension

Our next few posts will focus on how to improve your experience in Google Drive.  These are great tips to share with your students as well!

One of the struggles of working in the cloud, especially on a Chromebook, is storing your media files.  With the Save to Google Drive Extension, it is easy to save images, sound files, websites, and PDFs directly into Google Drive directly from a tab in Google Chrome.

Get the Save to Google Drive Extension from the Chrome Webstore here.  After adding to Chrome, it will automatically appear in your extensions bar.  It looks strikingly similar to the Google Docs Quick Create Extension, for those of you that have both.

After installing the extension be sure to change set your destination folder in Drive and change your options to save as either a Google Doc or image file (JPG or PNG).  Please see the screenshot below for directions.

You are now ready to use the extension!  If you are on a website that you would like to save, simply click on the extension and boom!  If you see an image that you would like to save, just right-click on the image and choose "Save Image to Google Drive".  Enjoy your new extension!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Google Sites Refresher: Adding Pages

Adding new pages to your Google Site is not an easy process, and if you don't do it frequently it's easy to forget all of the steps.  Many teachers have asked for a refresher as they add new unit pages to their sites.  Laura Olson has put together some step-by-step directions and pictures and given us permission to share it with you!  I added a few directions on how to embed Docs and Folders into pages.

If you're looking for a quick reference guide for Google Sites, click here to check out the document. You may want to bookmark the Doc or add it to your Drive so it's easy to find when you start your next unit!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Tech Divas Blog Again!

Every few weeks, we hope to share some of the amazing ways the York staff is using technology to educate, challenge and enrich our students. Here's a quick run-through of some of the great learning happening so far:

  • Students in Invite to Teach & Food and Restaurant Management are creating portfolios showcasing skills and evidence they are developing through these classes. 

  • Advanced Sewing students are creating instructional tutorials using WeVideo
  • American Government students are creating visual representations of the Path to the Presidency using Google Slides and Screencastify 
  • Criminology students are creating PSAs to bring awareness to factors that contribute to crime using WeVideo 
  • Research Methods students are creating PSAs using WeVideo about digital citizenship topics such as cyberbullying and identity theft. 
  • Math students are using Snagit to capture images from Desmos and embedding them in Google Documents. 
  • Biology students are researching threats to biodiversity and creating collaborative reports using Google Slides. 
  • Spanish III and IV students are blogging about their perspective on different ideas and reviewing the writing of their peers. 
  • Band students are using Screencastify to record videos of themselves playing, and receiving video feedback from their teachers. 
  • Counselors and teachers are digitizing their feedback for 504s, Blue Forms, and failures/incompletes to enable them to deliver more targeted and timely support.
  • Individual Relationships and Parenting class is creating infographics on how dating progresses.
In addition, teachers are using Google Classroom, Sites, Blogger, and Hapara in powerful ways to manage the daily workflow in their classes.

Keep up the good work, and as always, remember that it’s not about how much you use the Chromebooks …. it’s about improving the quality of learning your students are able to demonstrate as a result of having access to technology!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Bookmarking in Google Chrome

Want to stay more organized in Google Chrome?  Check out the video below to see how you can create quick bookmarks!

Friday, March 20, 2015

MLI @ 205

Over the past few weeks we have visited department meetings to update staff on what is happening with the Mobile Learning Initiative at District 205.  Below is the information that was included in our FAQ Sheet.

Please let us know if you are interested in attending the April 14th Board of Education meeting to support the Mobile Learning Initiative.  We would love to have you!

  • What is MLI@205?
    • MLI stands for Mobile Learning Initiative.
    • In order to prepare students for the digital environments in which we work and learn, District 205 students must become agile learners with academic agency and real-time access to authentic resources. (See visual on back.)

  • Why Chromebooks? Why Now?
    • Chromebooks provide powerful access to the internet for a relatively low cost.
    • Chromebooks startup in less than 12 seconds and have a battery life of 8-10 hours!
    • They have been widely used in the middle schools for two years now, so students coming into York are used to learning in this way.  We have also been piloting Chromebooks at York for the past two years.
    • Technology is one powerful way to help students learn more effectively.   Similar to a pencil, this is becoming an essential tool for learning.
    • Technology is something kids are encountering and will continue to encounter when they leave York.  Their future success hinges on their ability to use technology effectively.  Employers and college professors will expect it.   
    • Believe it or not, technology can actually help save you time!  Come see us to find out how!

  • Would I be expected to use the Chromebooks all the time?
    • No! Good teaching is good teaching with or without a Chromebook.  As the professional, you will dictate when the Chromebook is used to enhance learning and when it remains in the case.  Our hope is that you will feel comfortable trying new things and exploring different strategies.  There’s no expectation that it will be right the first time, and that is okay.  We want you to feel supported in your efforts to try new things, not pressured to have your students using the Chromebooks 24-7.  

  • What about Danielson?
    • No new components are being added to your evaluation.
    • As teachers, we are evaluated on our ability to be flexible and responsive, engaging students in learning, and communicating with students.  Technology is one way to accomplish these things more effectively, not an additional factor in your evaluation.
  • Will I be trained in how to use Chromebooks?
    • Yes! Your ITCs (Jill & Katie) are available throughout the day, whenever you are ready! They can answer your questions, work with course teams, help plan lessons, model teach in your classroom, and be on call when you’re trying something new!
    • Classes are currently being planned for this summer. We need your input so we know what trainings to offer!

  • Where is the money for this coming from?
    • The current proposal is that students will pay an annual fee (~$75 per year), which will cover the entire cost of the  Chromebook over four years.  After four payments, they would be able to take the device with them when they leave York.  The cost of the devices will not take away from current resources.  

  • How will this benefit me as a teacher?
    • Less schedule conflicts with computer labs!
    • Fewer lost assignments, since students’ assignments will have a digital trail in Google!
    • Fewer papers to carry around to grade!
    • Expand the learning opportunities beyond the traditional classroom setting!