Tech Bytes

Columbus City Schools eLearning K-12 Monthly Bulletin

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It's NOT about DOING Technology. Its about finding and using essential TOOLS that SUPPORT teaching and LEARNING.

November 2017

In this edition:

  • What is Blended Learning?
  • Upcoming Professional Development
  • Student Working to Advance Technology (SWAT) at Ecole Kenwood
  • Top 11 Chromebook Shortcuts for Students
  • Guiding Questions and Key Elements to Using SAMR to Design Task.
  • Clever Update
  • Playing Youtube Safely in School
  • #MustHave Chrome Extension - Google Templates for Students Website
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What is Blended Learning?

Everyone in the education world seems to be throwing around terms related to technology these days...flipped classrooms, personalized learning, distance learning, blended learning are just a few. In Columbus City Schools specifically, many people are talking about blended learning.

Blended learning occurs in a situation when students have an element of choice or control over time, place, path, and/or pace of their learning. It includes learning experiences at the modification and redefinition levels of the SAMR model, incorporating different 21st century skills such as creativity, communication, and collaboration.

There are four typical models of blended learning: rotation, flex, a la carte, and enriched virtual. The rotation model can include station, lab, flipped, or individual. So far, most CCS schools use the station rotation model, as teachers are generally familiar with the use of centers in their classrooms already.

Advice to anyone thinking about jumping into blended learning is to start small and go slow. It can be very overwhelming to get started and also to keep going once the world of possibility is opened to you and your students. Leawood Elementary School piloted blended learning three years ago, beginning with one grade level and expanding it each year. A video of their first year’s experience is here. They are now a full K-5 blended learning school.

For more information on blended learning, visit . For more information on getting started with blended learning in a Columbus City School, contact the eLearning committee.

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Upcoming Professional Development

  • Introduction to Smart board Use for Beginners - Tuesday, November 28th

Hudson Center Professional Library - 4:30-6:30 p.m. Activity #1000028588

  • Intro to Google Drive, Docs, and SlidesGrades 6-12November 29, 2017

Linmoor Education Center Room 105 3:30 5:30 p.m. Activity #1000028247

Students Working to Advance Technology (SWAT) at Ecole Kenwood

Students Who Advance Technology (S.W.A.T.) is a group of 5th grade students at Ecole Kenwood who have extreme knowledge of technology. These students were selected based on teacher recommendation, application, and resume. SWAT members help teachers and students with Chromebook troubleshooting and Google Apps. Each SWAT member assists their own teacher and is also assigned a buddy classroom in grades PreK-3rd. Contact Lynda Ray ( for more information about S.W.A.T teams.

Top 11 Chromebook Shortcuts for Students

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Thanks to the SWAT Team at Ecole Kenwood for vetting chrome book shortcuts and developing the list of top shortcuts for students.

Ctrl+Shift+Q (twice) Sign out of your Google Account on Chrome OS

Ctrl and + Zoom in on the page

Ctrl and - Zoom out on the page

Ctrl+H Open the History page

Ctrl+T Open a new tab

Ctrl+W Close the current tab

Ctrl+0 Reset zoom level

Ctrl+C Copy selected content to the clipboard

Ctrl+V Paste content from the clipboard

Ctrl+X Cut

Ctrl+Z Undo your last action

Guiding Questions and Key Elements to Using SAMR to Design Tasks.

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Clever Update

Clever Sign-In and other tech issues are handled by the Help Desk. Contact 614-365-8425 with any Clever Sign-In issues.

Clever curricular issues and questions are handled by the Curriculum Content Specialist.

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How to Play Youtube Videos Safely in School

Once you sift through the dog and people following down videos, YouTube can be a great resource for educational content. There are hundreds of high quality videos specifically made for a YouTube audience that are short, snappy, entertaining and educational. However, you can run into a problem when having your students watch a YouTube video. Unfortunately, by default in addition to seeing the video they will also see ads, user comments below the video, suggested videos on the page, and then more suggested videos after their clip is done. At best these could be distracting. At worst they could be inappropriate for your students.*

So what can you do?

Option 1: Show the video through ViewPure

ViewPure is a website that shows YouTube videos without comments, ads, or other distractions. Here’s how it works:

  • Go to the ViewPure site at:
  • Paste in the link to the YouTube video you want to show to your students
  • If you want advance settings, click the gear icon in the link box to set the start and stop time, a custom URL, and more
  • Click the Purify button
  • You will now get a page that just shows the video and nothing else
  • You can simply copy the link in the URL bar at the top of the page and give that link to your students instead of the original YouTube link

For more options visit Eric Curts blog post How to Play YouTube Videos Safely in School*

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Google Templates for Students (TCEA website)

Looking for a template to get your students started on a project? TCEA has a great blog post of Google Docs and Slides templates to use as they are or change up to match your classroom.

Sometimes, a content area teacher may not want to worry with the trouble of having students start a technology project from scratch. Instead, he or she may want to use an already-prepared template so that students can focus more on the content than on the mechanics of the technology. Here are some great Google templates for students to use either as their project starting block or for ideas. Note: Make sure you make a copy of the template before you begin using it!

Check out the website here: Google Templates for Students

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Check out the eLearning Committee website for more information on technology integration in classroom instruction.