Plugged In!


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Sir Ken Robinson is here!


Virtual Speaker Series

focusing on

21st Century Competencies

Bi-weekly, Thursdays at 8:00 p.m. February 16 through June 1

A full description of topics and registration information can be found at

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Chrome is Awesome.

Google™ offers free extensions and Apps to their Chrome Browser to have text read back to kids too...and it's FREE.

I use 'SPEAKIT!" and grabbed it from the Chrome Store. With all our learners (and teachers) with Google accounts/Drive space, downloading the host of free extensions designed to help them learn makes sense. Doesn't it?

Here's the link to SpeakIt!:

Mindmapping software:

One of my goals this month is to have all learners add extensions to their Chrome/Google Accounts to put from as needed. Plus, these helpful apps follow the children to whatever device they use.

Well, that's about it.

Reporting woes?

Apple's "Safari":

- works well with the report card, but likes data copied from a Google Doc rather than Word or Pages (access your Google account by using your " address)

- notorious with Java™ updates. Make sure you update your Java™

- doesn't seem to enjoy the IEP program

Google's Chrome:

- loves the IEP program and runs well with it.

- can run the Report Card program, but seems buggy.

Microsoft's Explorer:

- unless your running the most current version, forget about it.


- haven't really explored this with the new report card update, but apparently it's quite stable and can run both programs.

Moi? I use Safari for my report cards AND Google Chrome (at the same time) for my IEPs. Works well.

A great site for Literacy in the classroom through Skype.

Thanks to Nancy M for this great resource.

STEPS iPad and Desktop App is ready to use!

From Nancy,

I want to share with everyone that the ESL STEPS need to be updated for the Ministry by mid December, but it is a good idea to start looking at your students now and watch for the observable behaviours that are part of the descriptors on the STEP continuum.

A fabulous new way of doing this is now available to everyone. A new App was developed by a Peel techie that will allow you to access your students on an iPad or computer and "vote" for updates to their STEP. (No longer a paper version that can get lost)

1. Download Chrome, as it only runs on Chrome

2. URL: htpp:// for the iPads

3. Download the app and open it using your P# and password that you use for report cards

If it will not open....

Go to Settings

Go to General

Go to Profiles and Device Management

Click on Peel District School Board

Click accept or trusted

Then reopen the App. Sign in with your P# and password again. You should see your class.

If you prefer to use your computer, this is the URL: pc version

Download chrome

You will need to allow pop ups to open the app.

Use your P# and password.

Play around with the app. It is wonderful. When you have made updates by "voting", let your support person know, so that we can confirm and send it to SIS.

Updates from Jyll:

Make stories come alive with Google!

St. Patrick's Day is upon us!

Hello staff,

On March 17th, 2016, many staff members and students will be celebrating Saint Patrick's Day. Here is the history and links to activities you can do with your class.

St Patrick is one of Ireland's patron saints and many Americans and Canadians with Irish ancestry remember him on March 17. Patrick's Day is fixed on March 17, but may occasionally be moved by Catholic Church authorities.

Every year on March 17, the Irish and the Irish-at-heart across the globe observe St. Patrick's Day. What began as a religious feast day for the patron saint of Ireland has become an international festival celebrating Irish culture with parades, dancing, special foods and a whole lot of green.

Here are the links for videos and activities to celebrate Saint. Patrick's Day. ( history and important symbols) ( writing and reading ideas related to St. Patrick's day for K-8) (lesson plan) (crafts) (art and craft) ( St. Patrick's Day song)

Enjoy these activities with your students. If you have your own activities that you would like to share, please feel free to share as we love to have more ideas.

Happy Saint Patrick's Day in advance to all the staff members and students.


Your Own Cultural Diversity Team

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Ross Drive PD Session: EduCreations rock!

Here are 3 short videos from Youtube for self-directed learning when time permits...

Educreations Tutorial: Getting Started:

Educreations Tutorial: Sharing Lessons:

Educreations App Tutorial:

Come see me if you have any questions...

Information about Educreations Interactive Whiteboard

Educreations is a unique interactive whiteboard and screencasting tool that's simple, powerful, and fun to use. Annotate, animate, and narrate nearly any type of content as you explain any concept. Teachers can create short instructional videos and share them instantly with students, or ask students to show what they know and help friends learn something new.

Finished lessons are stored securely in your online Educreations account, so they're available whenever and wherever you need them. You control who sees what. Even if something happens to your iPad, all of your videos are safe.

Create classes that students can join right within the app. Lessons sync automatically between teacher and student iPads, so it's easy for students to access teacher instruction and for teachers to monitor student work. Students without iPads can access classes and lessons on the Educreations website.

Lessons can also be shared via link, email, Messages, Facebook, Twitter, or by embedding them on your blog or website. Upgrade to Pro to export your videos to the Camera Roll, open them in other apps, and use them in other video projects.

• Offer students additional instruction outside the classroom
• Enable students to control the pace of their learning
• Provide rich audio/video feedback on student work
• Gain deep insights into student comprehension
• Free up class time for hands-on learning and projects
• Tutor someone remotely

• Record and replay your voice, handwriting, and drawings
• Snap a photo or import images from Photos, Dropbox, Google Drive, or the Web
• Add typed text in a variety of colors and sizes
• Draw on top of everything with brilliant colors of beautifully rendered digital ink
• Animate images and text by tapping and dragging while recording
• Edit out any recording mistakes with the built-in video editor
• Scroll pages up or down when you need extra space
• Save a draft of your work and finish it later
• Store your lessons securely in the cloud and control who can see what
• Create and manage classes that students can join
• Share your lessons with your classes, or via link, email, Messages, Facebook, or Twitter
• Embed your lessons on your blog or website

ChromeBook WIFI login error?

Follow these easy steps:

1.turn on "pdsb wifi"
3.set config to PEAP
4.put in identity/password aka student number/password continue
6.sign in

If all goes to plan then you're an expert at following instructions!

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Tech Update 3.1

Laptops in the Computer Lab

Having an issue connecting the laptop to the network? Try this:

1. Restart the laptop.

2. Pay close attention to the yellow or orange indicator light located at the front of the laptop that shows whether or the WIFI is enabled. If not, press CTRL/F3 to enable the WIFI and disable it.

3. Connect a blue ethernet cable to the ethernet jack in the wall and restart the computer. Keep the laptop plugged in OR remove the cable, then restart.

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Twitter Update

Twitter Summary 2014/2015

Term 1

I established the site and updated it daily adding and accepting new followers (e.g., mainly parents, teachers and other schools)

I also provided a few information packages to staff members that mainly contained links to learn more about Twitter and other social media platforms

Term 2

*I continued to monitor the site, though I reduced my Twitter time to 1 or 2 times per week

*when job-action started in the late spring I was compelled to stop being our Twitter site administrator

Main Ross Drive Twitter Rules (e.g., as stated by our Principals)

*do not post pictures of students faces on the Twitter site

*do not share the password

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Wednesday, Feb. 10th 2016 at 8:45am

770 Don Mills Road

Toronto, ON

Through exciting hands-on displays, fossils and life-sized replicas, you can put yourself in a scientist’s shoes to determine the factors that contributed to the evolution and extinction of mammoths and mastodons. Learn how researchers use cutting-edge science and technology to excavate and analyze tusks, teeth, skin, hair and stomach contents to learn more about these mighty creatures who roamed the northern hemisphere during the last Ice Age. Discover what today’s elephants reveal about mammoths and mastodons and what must be done to protect modern elephants from extinction.

Tech Update 3.0: More than just Googlin'!

Hi team,

No matter what, we all still Google. Here are the top four search engine alternative (that you may know of):

....and, of course, I started a Padlet:

Tech Update 2.3.2: Make me a Space!


There's been some talk about how to create a "MakerSpace™" at RD in the computer-lab-esque space. Well, I found this very cool playbook that can walk us through how to design a space that would fit at Ross.

Check it out!:

Tech Update 2.3.1: More iPad news!


The iPads in the cart upstairs have been re-labelled (thanks Janel!) "Cluster 1" and so on. Each iPad has it's own cluster identification which correspond with the on-line booking system:


Please remember to do the following:

- use the booking system to book your iPads

- remember to book ahead of time

- remember to take ONLY the iPad cluster you've booked

iPad Cluster Dance:

When the iPads get installed into their "...incorrect cluster group" (sounds like a great alternative band name IMHO), it's reaaaaaalllllyyyyyy difficult to troubleshoot and update iPads when the time comes.

HP Tablets:

​Who's got them? They are part of the downstairs library cart (where the laptops are stored) and are part of the program in that location. Please don't remove the tablets from the cart and take elsewhere.

More exciting tech to come, so stay tuned!

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Tech Update 2.3: Apple TV


The Apple TVs have arrived. If you are in need of one for your classroom, please arrange to see me sometime. The install is easy:


1. Open box (um....yeah). Keep box and inserts for warranty and transportation purposes.'

2. Connect one end of the black HDMI cable to the back of the Apple TV and the other to your HDMI switch box near your computer. I have extra HDMI cables for you if needed.

3. Place your Apple TV near your computer, or in a place where you can access it, the remote can access it, and the Apple TV can be safe.

4. Turn on projector (um....yeah), select VIDEO from your remote.

5. To access media from the TV, to stream video and to connect your devices, you'll need to set your HDMI switch to match the connection of your TV. That is, if you plugged it into port 1, then you'd need to select that port to access your Apple TV.

6. If all else fails, consult with a RD alumni who already has this set-up and is using their Apple TV in their classrooms.


Tech Update 2.2.1: Important news about the ChromeBooks


Just some FYIs for you:

iPads (cart only):

- the iPads within the cart have been updated to iOS 9.0.1

- Sesame Snap™, some music performance apps and other fun apps were installed

- all apps were updated to the new iOS

- a colour printer/scanner with USB port was installed on top of the cart (thanks, Deb!). If all things work as planned, you could scan a doc to a flash drive or print in colour from the drive (if we decide to score some colour ink for the printer).


- iPads may ask for a passcode. If so, please do NOT install one, or allow your students to install a passcode. BYPASS this step.

Laptop Carts:

- the laptops were moved to the computer lab/library for sign-out and application

- a new cart was installed in the upstairs Teacher's Workroom that houses 10 ChromeBooks and can charge tablets. The ChromeBooks offer better portability and access the internet with greater speed. We'll look at getting more in the future.

ChromeBook access:

Here's a handy video produced by a former student:

The sign-out system will have to be updated to reflect the addition to our RD arsenal of tech. Stay tuned!

That's it for now,

Ross Drive's How To Series: ChromeBooks

Tech Update 2.2: iOS9


A massive thanks to you for using HeatWeb and troubleshooting your tech issues with members within your team. In doing so, the powers-at-be can document/log our problems and help others with similar matters.

As you can imagine, it's a challenge for any one person to handle, however with your continued help, we can tackle all these crAzY techie issues together.

iPad-Wise, as you know, iOS9 is out and offers a lot of cool features. I'd like to update all the iPads in the cart onlysometime soon, so I'll let you know when I plan to perform that operation. I am thinking over this week-end so that it won't disrupt your program.


Tech Update 2.1.1: HeatWebbing 101

Hi team,

Bridgette Henry is our official Board Technical Specialist and can troubleshoot many, if not all, tech and media related matters. She's quick and responsive to your questions - provided you post them through the Board's "HeatWeb page" located on your My Site page (see attached).

Posting your concerns/questions through the HeatWeb not only documents the jobs and problems at our school, but provides Bridgette a mighty way of tracking recurring issues.

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Tech Update 2.1: Booking system


We're up and running at RD in technology and media....well, sort of.

I had sent this message to the illustrious RD Tech Team from last year who developed our current plan, but I am opening the discussion to all of you. Check it out:

"Hi tech team 2014-2015,

With new staff come lots of questions as to...

- how to connect to an Apple TV

- what connections are needed to be made to hook up to an LCD through the HDMI port

- how to use EasyMP Network Projection software if all else fails

- how to send sound to the speakers mounted by the LCD projector

- how to book out iPads and laptops

- what's a cluster

- how many clusters can be booked out and for how long

- how to troubleshoot iPad problems like flashing screens, updating software, installing Apps​ (although this latter one is dealt with using the Apple Configurator software)

Think of anything else?

If you would be willing to take on at least one of the above queries, would you post your solution on the Padlet below?:

Tech Update 1.1, iPads and connecting your personal device to your e-mail! :)


Just a mini-tech update before we dive right into things soon:

- iPads that were returned before summer were stored in the iPad cart and left charging all summer. You can retrieve your iPad from the cart at any time. Please ensure you only take the one assigned to you.

- some iPads may have been stored in the laptop cart, so be sure to check that cart too if you can't locate your iPad.

- Apple released updates over the summer (of course!), so you'll need to update the software by visiting the App Store on your iPad. Let me know if you're unable to do so.

- please try to keep all your wires untangled (hah! That sounded funny!) and use the power bar that's located on your computer cart

- continue to check with your teaching team buddies on how to connect your devices. We are a great team, eh?!

- we have a new cart of tablets soon ready to be signed out! More details soon. :)

I've attached a PDF on how to set up your MAIL on your devices.

Off we go!

Tech Update 1.0 (updated!)

HI all!

Several of you have reported that you are unable to:

- install new Apps

- create an e-mail account on your iPad or access your Board e-mail from within the Mail app​ only

- access the iTunes store

If you wish these features restored on your classroom iPad, I will be running a configuration on Wednesday of this coming week only (April 8th).

The remainder of the iPads are still ok to sign out from the iPad cart. Just some things to know:

- each iPad may ask you for a passcode OR to create a passcode. Please use the code: 1111

- an iPad may be reset and ask you to set it up. Follow the on-screen prompts. The WIFI access password to PDSB-MEDIA is already entered and there is no need to change it.

We're blessed at RD to have access to such diverse range of tech!