NBPS November Technology Newsletter

Read about technology tools being used during instruction

Google Meets Update! (Background Changes and Noise Filtering)

What's New:

  • You can now add backgrounds that have been added by Google or you can use the blur background feature as well.
  • You can click a button to filter out noises such as doors slamming, dogs barking, etc.

Watch my video below to get a quick overview.

Google Meet Update 11/17/2020

Update Since Recording

  • After my recording, Google has added the Raise Hand feature at the bottom of the screen for students.
  • Also, just a note that depending on the Chromebook, students or staff may have trouble getting the backgrounds to work.

NBPS Software Request Form

Below you can click the button to access our Software Request Form. Many of the staff members across the district are requesting for us to look into new extensions, applications, and subscriptions. Please complete as much information as you can on the form below, in order to be able to process your request efficiently. Thank you in advance from the Technology Department.

ALC Teacher Highlight Using Hyperdocs!

The Google Map Project is an assignment that supplements my English 12 study of Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist. It is a separate hyperdoc from my core hyperdoc for The Alchemist. I created the American Horror and Suspense HyperDoc for my English 10 class. It links to CommonLit and other sources. We used this as an engaging way to look at American Literature just before the November break.

Some info about me:

  • I am the C.A.R.E.S. English teacher at the ALC and started working for NBPS in the Fall of 2016.
  • I am a Level 1 Google Certified Educator since 2019 and would love to continue with the Level 2 certification as well as becoming a Google Certified Trainer
  • I attended a Google Certified Trainer Workshop in NYC in February 2020
  • I was the ALC teacher of the year for 2019-2020
  • I also work with ETS (Educational Testing Service) as an Outside Item Writer of test development for assessments like the Praxis and the Winsight ELA Program

Roosevelt Teacher Highlight!

Hi! My name is Alexandria Edvin and I am a teacher at Roosevelt. This is my 5th year here at NBPS. My first four years in New Brunswick were spent as a Self-Contained Teacher Grades 1 & 2. I am excited to say this year is a new adventure for me as a 5th Grade ELA Pull-Out Teacher. Special Education has always been near and dear to my heart and technology has always played a vital role in my instruction and my students’ learning, however, needless to say, in very different ways.

Once we entered this period of virtual learning, like everyone, my dependence on technology grew exponentially. There was an influx of resources that were becoming available to teachers. While the sharing of resources was invaluable, my inbox struggled to handle it. I was flooded with resources, information, and emails. To alleviate some of that “flooding” I created a Virtual Humanities Resources document. (The document is attached in a button below)

This sheet is the quintessential example of staff collaboration and teamwork! In total, we collected 50+ resources broken down into two categories: Student-Centered and Teacher-Centered. The goal of this document was to organize all of the resources being shared between staff in an effective way. The document provides the name, grade level, subject matter, link, description, and potential ways of implementation in the classroom, for each resource.

One of the resources that I would like specifically to highlight is Insert Learning. I am very pleased to say that the Insert Learning extension has been pushed out onto student Chromebooks! Insert Learning is a Google Chrome extension that allows you to:

Use tools to embed content directly into lessons:

  • Inserting questions and discussion points
  • Highlighting text
  • Insert video supports
  • Personally created video
  • Linked to a YouTube video
  • Differentiate
  • Create different lessons for diverse learners
  • Scaffold text with questions and media
  • Engage students as active learners
  • Using interactive questions, discussions, videos, or live annotations
  • Real-Time Assessment and Intervention
  • Monitor student responses
  • Connects directly to Google Classroom
  • Easily choose a class to assign a lesson

Ultimately, this extension helps you to enhance so many of the materials we are using during virtual learning to ensure student learning. From my personal experience, I felt Insert Learning was most effective when used on Newsela or other supplementary reading materials. By incorporating Insert Learning, students are actively engaged, independent, and accountable for their learning.

Please watch the short video below to help enhance a lesson using Insert Learning.

Insert Learning Example

Woodrow Teacher Highlight!

Edward Cohen, 5th grade, Humanities. Long time teacher, first-time BrainPop creation used! I appreciate the Brain Pop creation tool such as Make-A-Movie because it allowed the students to share their thoughts with their own voice or with their own thoughts being read by the computer voice. This helps a lot of shy and reluctant learners. The kids really liked completing the task and have asked if they could do more. They had fun sharing with their peers and learning how to improve their process.

Description: The students reviewed the WWII Brain Pop movie as an exemplar. They also watched the 2-minute instruction video on how to make a Brain Pop on their own. The task was to identify an area of interest from WWII via the Newsela articles, Number the Stars and Brain Pop. They had to create their own Brain Pop explaining parts of WWII they learned from their resources and their reactions to those new facts. Students could use any of the images available.

Make-A-Movie Explained

Make-A-Movie Tool Explained in 2 minutes!

BrainPop Espanol

If you need help accessing BrainPop Espanol, please watch the quick video below to get easy instructions to help your students. BrainPop Espanol translates every aspect of the BrainPop website including videos, questions, and directions.
BrainPop (Espanol)

Clever and Creating Teacher Pages

Clever helps students and teachers instantly log in to all of their online learning programs and resources in one centralized location. It is customized for the school, to provide a personalized experience for students in particular grade levels. Linked with OnCourse and Google, Clever updates your students’ accounts in their learning applications daily. It also provides a quick and easy way for students to access resources, to help teachers maximize their time in the classroom.

Clever Overview

Don't Forget To Check Out Our Technology Resources

Our Staff Corner has a Technology Resource page with a menu of different subscriptions that we have access to in our district or recommend to be utilized during virtual or hybrid instruction. When you click on the icons, you will have access to a variety of resources and information pertaining to that particular technology subscription or tool. This can include newsletters, videos, documents, presentations, etc.

This year if you would like to highlight a staff member...

Please email Carla Segarra at carla_segarra@nbpsnj.net, to be considered for our district-wide newsletters. This is a great way to recognize our staff for all the amazing work they do.