Tech Tips

October 2016: Volume 4- Number 30

Happy Halloween!

You'll find a wide variety of apps, articles, and websites in this issue.

Spreadsheets: Data Validation & Conditional Formatting
Kids Need Vintage Tools

Chromebook Guide: Virus & Malware Removal

Chromebook Guide: Virus & Malware Removal

"Very few things in life these days are as scary as getting a virus on your computer. Rest assured however, that it is nearly impossible for a Chromebook to be infected by an actual virus. Chrome OS is one of the most secure (if not THE most secure) operating systems on the market. This is due mostly to the fact that Chrome OS does not allow you to install ANY programs (hard to install a virus when you can’t install anything), but is also due in large part to the operating system’s Verified Boot solution. Google also releases official updates to Chrome OS every 6 weeks (and some unofficial ones in between) that bring new features, and security updates.

I think I’ve made it pretty clear that you don’t actually have a virus on your Chromebook, but even so, it is possible for your Chromebook to be affected by malware or malicious extensions, which sometimes feel like a virus.

I’ll briefly explain what a Malicious Extension looks like, and what Malware is, then I’ll tell you how to get rid of them.

Malicious Extensions:

There are many many useful extensions available in the Chrome Web Store. Unfortunately, some of them are just plain crappy. Sometimes it’s crappy right away, sometimes it breaks after an update. It might make your Chromebook operate really slowly, or cause random annoying bugs. It might affect the performance of other extensions. Sometimes the malicious extension doesn’t even originate from your Chromebook. Often times what happens is a user will download and install something on their Windows or Mac machine that quietly adds a malicious extension to your Chrome browser. Then the malicious extension syncs to their Chrome browser on their Chromebook.

The reason people often confuse this with a virus, is because the user will usually do a browser reset, or even a Powerwash in an attempt to rid themselves of the “virus” and the problem just keeps coming back. It keeps coming back because it was never removed from the Windows or Mac machine, and it keeps re-syncing the extension from the Windows/Mac machine to the Chromebook every time the Chromebook boots up and connects to the internet. It seems impossible to get rid of. Really, you are getting rid of it when you do the browser reset, it’s just that it keeps coming back once it syncs with your other computer[s].


Sometimes users visit a website that has malware. It locks the browser and usually tries to convince you that in order to continue using your computer, you need to pay money. THIS IS A SCAM. You should never have to pay money to continue using your Chromebook. DO NOT call the number, DO NOT pay the money. This scam is commonly referred to as a “Browser Hijack”.

I’ll tell you how to get rid of a Malicious Extension, and after that I’ll tell you how to get out of a Malware, or “browser hijack” situation...."

Deep Learning with Google Tools: 20 Ideas

Deep Learning with Google Tools: 20 Ideas


It’s so easy (maybe too easy) to do shallow, superficial work with Google tools. One one day, we’ll do this activity. The next day, we’ll use a different tool to do a different one.

What if we want to investigate a topic thoroughly instead of going “a mile wide and an inch deep”?

Google’s got your back.

Instead of doing “one and done” activities, we can use several of Google’s offerings to do “deep dives” into big, important topics. We can investigate them at length, either in one intensive project or over the period of weeks, months or an entire year.

Here are some ideas for doing deep learning with Google tools:

Create Animoto Video from Google Slides

How Is This Better Than Paper?

How Is This Better Than Paper?

Using digital tools is a shift in mindset. Technology allows for interactions that were difficult or impossible before.

Ask the Question

How is this digital task BETTER than using paper?

If you don’t ask “how can I make this better” then it won’t be better.

Things To Add

Being paperless does not increase student engagement or improve learning.

Immediate Feedback

If the computer can grade it, it should.

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Google Forms for Formative Assessment
Google Forms for Formative Assessments Part Two

Create Posters to Clearly Communicate Ideas

Create Posters to Clearly Communicate Ideas (Alice Keeler)

"I saw Canva tweet a blog post “20 Easy Ways to Create a Professional Poster that Goes Above and Beyond [with Free Templates].” Canva is awesome, you should use it. One of the 21st century skills is for students to clearly communicate their ideas. (Communicate does not have to be with words.) In a digital age it is so important that students know how to communicate with media. We’ve all been victim to bad PowerPoint slides, we want to make sure this generation grows up knowing how to design attractive, clearly communicated media.

In any subject area, we can ask students to demonstrate their learning through an attractively designed professional poster...."

Vicki Davis Sketchnote: Seven Keys to Coaching Kids to Be Leaders

7 Keys to Coaching Kids to Be Leaders

For more great info from Vicki Davis, visit her website: The Cool Cat Teacher. She's awesome!



Free literacy resources and progress tracking tools

Hundreds of fiction and nonfiction reading passages for grades 5-12

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SCS Instructional Technology Information

Contact me if you have any questions or would like help using these tools.

The Turner Time Daily

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