Shields Tech

Tips, Tricks, Info

January 2016

Setting Clear Intentions for 2016!

I hereby intend to "Wow" you periodically with Tips, Tricks, and Info that pertain to the use of Technology at Shields Elementary. Welcome to my first attempt at "Wowing"! If you have something you'd like me to include, please contact me!

Multiple Desktops (Spaces)

Having met with each staff member before handing over the new laptops, allowed me to go over some great features that you may or may not have known about. One of the features I discussed with most of you was Multiple Desktops. Have you found this feature to be useful? Here's a reminder of how to use this feature. I hope you find it as useful as I do!

Screen Recordings

Ever wished there was a really easy way to record your laptop screen to show what you're doing? This would come in handy to demonstrate a procedure to your students. Use the following steps to create screen recordings on a mac or on an iPad. (The screen recording below, "Using YouTube Videos in the Classroom", was done using the Mac version listed here.)

On a Mac:

  1. Open Quicktime Player, Choose File, then New Screen Recording.
  2. To change the recording settings, click the arrow next to the Record button. If you don't want to record a voiceover or other audio, choose None as your microphone. If you want to show a black circle for every onscreen click, choose Show Mouse Clicks in Recording.
  3. To monitor audio while it's being recorded, use the volume slider.
  4. To start recording, click the Record button (red circle), then click anywhere on the screen to begin recording the entire screen. Or drag to select an area to record, then click the Start Recording button within that area.
  5. To stop recording, click the Stop button (the black square) in the menu bar, or press Command-Control-Esc (Escape).

On an iPad:

  1. Connect your iPad to your laptop with a lightning cable.
  2. Open Quicktime Player on your laptop, Choose File, New Movie Recording.
  3. To change the recording settings, click the arrow next to the Record button. Then choose your camera or IOS device, microphone, and recording quality.
  4. To monitor audio while it's being recorded, use the volume slider.
  5. Click the Record button (red circle) to start recording. Click it again to sop recording.

If you make recordings and save them to Schoology, think of the time saved as you ask your students to watch the videos online. Play around with this feature and let me know how you have implemented it in your classroom!

Regarding YouTube Videos

Chances are, you've had an issue arise when trying to show a youtube video in your classroom. Possible issues that occur include:

  • Slowness or buffering problems. We share bandwidth and streaming videos takes up a lot of that shared resource, slowing down all access to the internet.
  • Internet connectivity problems.
  • Video blocked due to Safety Mode being on.

If you have a video you wish to view in school, simply download it at home. Once a video is downloaded to your laptop, you can copy it to your smartboard iMac to show anytime. Or, share it with your team members.

Downloading the video from home and showing from the downloaded file is good practice that will increases your chances of being able to view the video during classtime without a problem.

"How do I do this?" you might ask? I've created a quicktime video demonstrating how easy it is! (I've used the above "Screen Recording" method to create this video!)

Using YouTube Videos in the Classroom

There have been times in the past when we weren't able to access the Staff Links from the School Website because of network issues. If you download the Staff Links folder from the server and place it on your desktop, you'll be prepared if this happens in the future. Simply go to the shieldsmac server, but instead of signing onto YOUR area, select the Groups volume. Select the Resources folder and then drag the Staff Links folder to your desktop. Once the folder is on your desktop, you can double click on any of the links, opening the website in your default browser.


- Please remind your students to shut the student laptops down after use.

  • Select the apple on the top status bar
  • Select Shut Down
  • Wait for the Screen to go completely black, the gear to stop spinning and for the fan to do silent. (This may take 20 seconds or so.)
  • Close Lid

- Our current version of Reflector will not work for devices that have been upgraded to iOS 9.

- For the District App Request Form follow the link below to our District's Technology Resources page (I recommend bookmarking this site.) Then select the "Link to App Request Prior Approval Form." Fill it out and submit it online.

- Please do not upgrade your staff laptop to El Capitan.