Winter Tech News Update

Tech News for Kelso Schools

Online Tech Class: Google Forms (and Quizzes)

Last year I offered my first online class. It was a popular option, so I am offering it again. Learn how to create and share forms, build quizzes, and even have students take quizzes in "locked" mode which prevents them from browsing for answers. Google Forms and Quizzes will be held between February 3rd -March 27th. Class activities will be completed online and are not time-specific as long as they are completed by March 27th. It has been approved for 3 clock hours. The course will take place in Google Classroom with all activities being completed and submitted online. Office hours will also be available for those wanting face-to-face support for the course. If you are are interested, just click on the link to register:
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Are Your Students Consumers, Producers, or Decomposers?

Science teachers are familiar with these terms when it comes to how organisms get their energy, but they can also be applied to how students use technology.

Consumers: Take in and respond to information that is provided for them. They read stories, view videos, play "response" games, answer questions, etc.

Producers (often called creators): Take what they learned to make something new, a drawing, a story, a slideshow, a video, and more.

Decomposers: I'm not talking about how they smell after gym class ;-) . Decomposition is a type of computational thinking. They learn to take something apart, explore the components to see how it works and maybe use their knowledge to create or change something: website evaluation, coding or computer programming, robotics, etc.

Ideally our students should play all three of these roles as they use technology, but often we find them leaning more towards the consumer mode. Here are some ways we can move them to being producers or even decomposers. (It's not as gross as it sounds!)

Language Arts

Consumers- Have students listen to one of the fun read aloud videos on

Producers- Students create their own read aloud video in the style of Ryan and Craig using the video option in Seesaw on their Chromebooks. (Hint- you'll get better quality if you have them fill out a storyboard and practice a few times prior to recording.)

Decomposers: Use the CSFirst lesson on Characterization to break down character motives: .


Consumers: Listen to music performances such as those that can be found on PBS Media.

Producers: Create sounds and songs on the Chrome MusicLab site .

Decomposers: Listen and recreate a melody in block programming in the Play that Tune game.

Social Studies

Consumers: Show students a Discovery Streaming video on the US Constitution.

Producers: Have students recreate a historical event using

Decomposers: Have students analyze news articles to see if they are real or "Fake News". Here is a great site to pull from for satirical articles that might seem true at first glance. Students can use a site like to check facts.


Consumers: Students can study vocabulary terms using Quizlet flashcards and finish up with a whole class round of Quizlet Live.

Producers: Small groups are assigned a Biome to research and present a Google slideshow to the class. They wrap it up with a Kahoot quiz that they create.

Decomposers: They can use analytical skills in the activities found on the CSI Activities website.

These are just a few ideas. For more ideas or support in moving students from just being consumers of technology, just contact me. I'd love to brainstorm ideas and share more tools with you. Better yet, I can come help you utilize them with your students.

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When Chrome Knows Your Password and You Don't

Your Chrome browser knows you so well. It knows where you've been (History), it knows where you might be going (predictive search) and it sometimes knows the magic combination of letters, numbers and symbols to get you into your protected sites (remembered passwords). Many like the convenience of having Google remember your logins. When you are signed into your Chrome browser, it often gives you that option when you first login to a site. With so many passwords to remember, it's tempting to let Chrome do the remembering for you. You can tell that there is a remembered password if you see a key icon in the address bar. Clicking on that key will allow you to see your username or trash your remembered password if it needs reset or you change your mind.

Are there times when you wish you knew as many passwords as Chrome does? Some folks are surprised to learn that the remembered passwords in Google are accessible, viewable, and removable. If you type this into your Chrome address bar: chrome://settings/passwords it will take you to a Setiings page that lists all of your remembered passwords. They are encrypted initially for security purposes. If you click on the "eye" symbol, it will show you your password, but ONLY after you provide your Windows password (the same one you use to get into your computer/email). This provides another level of security. If you want to remove the remembered passwords, just click on the "more" menu (three dots) and choose to remove the remembered password.

Another option is to use the Google Password Manager: This site will ask you to login with your Google Account first, and then will show you your remembered logins. It will also offer to run a password security check which will tell you if you have compromised passwords or duplicated passwords.

All of this password remembering begs the question, "Is it safe to let Chrome remember my logins?". While Google promises they encrypt our passwords, any online storage can fall victim to hacking or breaches. The practice of jotting down passwords or sharing them with others also puts you at risk. If your email and Google address is written on a sticky note near your computer, then that one piece of paper might provide the keys to your online kingdom. The better question to ask is "How secure does this password need to be?". If the password gives access to a site that stores or shares financial or personal information, you should think twice before saving passwords in Chrome. For work logins, email and Skyward passwords should be kept secure in order to protect yourself and your students. While convenience is handy, it's better to be safe than sorry. If you would like to find a way to securely manage passwords, you might want to look into a password managing tool such as (free and paid versions) or (small fee).

Navigating our New Website and App

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Have you downloaded the new Kelso School District App? It's available in the Apple App store and the Google Play store. The app allows you to view Live Feed announcements, News Articles, Events and more. If you click on Settings in the menu, you can sign up to receive emergency notifications for the district and the schools of your choice. You can also choose your default school in the Settings. The new website has even more to offer, with department and school pages to name a few. One thing that's new is the Staff Links page. This replaces the dropdown Staff Resources menu. You can find a link to this page in the district and school menus. If there is a link that you'd like added to the page, or if you have a question about our new website, just email

Have You Checked out Discovery Education Resources?

Remember that Kelso subscribes to Discovery Education. This resource provides videos, video clips, images, songs, lesson plans and more for Kelso teachers and students. They add new materials all of the time, so if you haven't checked it out lately, you might want to see what's new. If you don't have an account, or need your login information, just email Brenda Sargent for account information. (You can also try the "forgot username/password" link on this site: )

Tech Integration Specialist

Tech Integration Help Desk: 360-501-1925

I make Classroom Calls (think housecalls!). I'd be glad to visit you during your planning time or after school. Just contact me, and we can schedule it.