60 With Saint

Weekly Tech Update 9/6 to 9/10

He's Back!!!!

There are a few things you can set your clock to every year, taxes are due on April 15th, an abrupt Syracuse exit from the NCAA tourney, my wife putting up Christmas decorations on November 1st, and school starting the Tuesday after Labor Day. Hopefully, everyone was able to enjoy a little time off this past summer to rest, recover, and get rejuvenated. And for those new to our district, WELCOME!!!! The WCSD really is a great place to work!

The weekly newsletter will be back for another year! I took the feedback I received this past June and will be modifying it where I can. The feedback was much appreciated, thank you. For those new to the district or new to the newsletter, here is what you are getting every week: a quick message, upcoming PD opportunities, video tutorials, tech tool of the week, share out, feedback, and a schedule.

Speaking of schedules, make sure to scroll down to the schedule section. I will be teaching a new course at the high school this year, Data Science. I am very much looking forward to that!!! Time to practice what I preach.

Hopefully, everyone saw Ms. Eger-Converse's instructional update last week. The district purchased or is in the process of renewing some tools to help us this coming school year. Just to name a few, SeeSaw, Kami, Zoom, GoGuardian, Parent Square, and EdPuzzle(in-progress). There are also some subscriptions that were purchased through the library that can be found in Ms. Eger - Converse's update.

Lastly, Mrs. LaBarr sent out a reminder to get those #WCSDEdugator pictures in. I have to thank her for that assignment over the summer. My family really had some fun with that little guy. Now, I just have to upload the pictures.

Google Updates

Here are just a few of the updates that have happened with Google over the summer or are about to happen.

📋 Google Forms

The autosave feature update in Google Forms has been applied to our accounts. Once you start a Google Form, it will be saved in your Google Drive for 30 days. Coming this fall will be the ability to choose from 20 fonts when creating a Google Form.

👨‍🏫 Smart Canvas / Smart Chips

Make your Docs, Slides, and Sheets richer and more engaging by tagging people, files, and events using smart chips.

💻 Google Classroom

Scheduled for release for the Fall of 2021 will be the ability to schedule posts across multiple classes as well as access to student engagement activity.

📹 ChromeOS

Scheduled for release for the Fall of 2021 will be an update to the built-in screen annotation tool. With the update, you will have the ability to annotate, mark key moments, and enable closed captioning.

🔐 Google Drive

On September 13, 2021, Drive will apply a security update to some of your files to make file sharing more secure.

This update will change the links used for some files, and may lead to new access requests for the impacted files. Access to these files won't change for people who have already viewed them. Learn more

After the update is applied, you can avoid new access requests by distributing the updated link to your file(s). Follow instructions in the Drive documentation

Things to Consider As We Start Off The 21-22 SY

Might not be a bad idea to consider these 3 areas as we start this school year. Have a go-to tool that you are comfortable using for screencasts, screenshots, and an online whiteboard.

Screen Casting

The Chromebook has a built-in screen recorder, but it might be a little limited. If you are looking for something with a little more flare then you may want to consider a tool like Screencastify. Just remember that when you are creating your screen recordings, the shorter the better. It is better to have two five-minute videos than it is to have a 10-minute video.


Whether you are working with a Windows device, a Mac, or a Chromebook, they all have a built-in screen capture tool. Windows has the Snip & Sketch tool, a Mac has the command+shift+4 or 5 shortcuts, and the Chromebook has the CTRL+Window Switcher shortcut. But if you need to annotate and mark up a screenshot, then you may want to consider an extension such as Web paint.

Online Whiteboard Tool

There are several online whiteboard tools that we already have at our disposal. For instance, Google Jamboard is an app within our Workspace for Education that integrates seamlessly into Google Classroom. We also have Kami! Yup, Kami. Start with a blank page within Kami and it's just like having a whiteboard, especially if you are using a stylus or the touch screen on the Chromebook.

If you are using a tool that is not located in the WCSD library found in Classlink, you should check with Lisa Blank, Tara Elmer, or myself to make sure it is compliant.

20 Tips To Use Google Classroom More Effectively

Matt Miller, from Ditch That Textbook, offers some tips and strategies to make your Google Classroom experience more efficient and effective. Check them out here or 👉.

🚨 Classlink PD Opportunities🚨

Want assistance using ClassLink? Here are some sessions that are being offered at the DO Conference Room.

Wed Sep 15, 2021 2:30 - 3:30 pm

Wed Sep 15, 2021 3:45 - 4:45 pm

Thu Sep 16, 2021 2:30 - 3:30 pm

Thu Sep 15, 2021 3:45 - 4:45 pm

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Getting in Compliance

In an effort to get in compliance with New York State's Data Privacy and Security Policy (NYS Ed Law 2D), WCSD has to check and make sure that the sites, software apps, and tools that are utilized at school and with our students are compliant. If there are sites, software apps, and tools that you are using with your students, could you please take a second and fill out the form below to let us know what those sites, software apps, and tools are? Fill it out as a team, a department, or on your own.

Here is the link to the form: https://forms.gle/tmbzuGeP7dttjZ6S8 or you can access it by clicking on the form icon located to the right.

Here is a link to more information on Ed Law 2D (provided by MORIC and RIC ONE).


Use Bookmarks in Google Chrome for Frequently Visited Sites

Yes, Classlink makes it quick and easy to navigate to the popular sites we use as educators at WCSD. However, it is only convenient when we are on the Classlink tab. For instance, If we are working in our Google Classroom and want to quickly check our email, you would have to navigate back to the Classlink page and click on your email icon. If you have your bookmarks set up in Chrome, you can alleviate this step. Check it out below. 👇👇👇
Frequently Used Sites

Tech Tool(s) of The Week


Canva is a one-stop-shop for educators! Canva has thousands of educational templates for every subject, grade, and ability. Such templates include, but are not limited to lesson plans, presentations, posters, reports, Google Classroom headers, video tutorials, and many more. When you upgrade to the Pro account, which you can for free as an educator, you will get access to millions of premium images, premium fonts, graphics, videos, animations, the ability to remove the background with the click of a mouse, and adding your Bitmoji and gifs to personalize your work. Click here for the link to upgrade. All you will need to do is upload a copy of your teaching certificate. Canva meets the criteria for the NYS Ed Law 2D requirements.


WCSD Informational Technology Website

The Informational Technology(IT) department is establishing a ticketing system to streamline the process of tracking technology issues. The ticketing system can be found using this link. (https://sites.google.com/watertowncsd.org/informationtechnology/home). This should be a website that you bookmark in case you need to reach out to the IT department.
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Let's Talk Tech Integration

Below are the dates and times that I will be in the following buildings exclusively. There is one exception. Every day, 4th period (9:41-10:20), I will be teaching at WHS. Up until that time, and immediately after that time, I will be at the location listed below.
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I will make myself available in the following locations:

HT Wiley: Wiley IMC

Case Middle School: Room 210

WHS: Student Help Desk 1st Floor

Would You Mind Sharing?

I have been fortunate to witness colleagues using strategies and techniques that have been really successful with their students. If you are willing to share, please click on the Flipgrid(left) or Google Form(right) below so we can compile some strategies that have been effective for you and share them with our colleagues. Just drop a quick note in the Flipgrid or Google Form and I will be in touch. THANK YOU!!!
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