Tech Snacks

Byte-Sized Treats to Transform Learning

EdTech 50 Must Read Blogs = Tech Snacks!

We normally don't toot our own horn around this office, but some recent recognition has us pretty excited. The FCPS Office of Instructional Technology's Tech Snacks was highlighted in EdTech's 2017 Honor Roll of Must-Read K-12 Blogs for March 2017. Since the blog format changed this year due to teacher feedback, we feel this honor also belongs to our readers. Thank you for always allowing us to share our passion and knowledge with you!

"But who are the trendsetters creating how-to guides for new tools? Where are the administrators juggling paperwork and innovation? Here at EdTech: Focus on K–12, we are happy to spotlight some of the education industry’s most innovative thinkers as top K–12 IT bloggers."

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The Power of the Digital Sticky Note - Google Keep

Post-it notes are a staple for most teachers and leaders, but they do have limitations -- they are only as good as the place you stick them when it comes to being a reminder. Enter Google Keep with an assist! With one basic tool you get:

  • Color coding

  • Synced access across devices (iOS and Android apps)

  • Ability to add images and drawings

  • Labels for “filing” notes

  • Searchable

  • Part of G Suite Core Apps - so students can use it too

  • Integrates with Google Docs

  • Schedule reminders

  • Set up to-do lists

  • More, more, more…

There are so many exciting ways to use Google Keep, we can’t possibly cover it all here. Check out this video and accompanying blog post by Matt Miller of Ditch that Textbook for more details.

10 ways Google Keep can streamline your life at school
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Google Forms are truly AMAZING and definitely one of my favorite tools! I spend lots of time trying out new ideas to enhance Forms and make them more interactive and engaging. Nevertheless, my love for Google Forms at times plays out like a tragic scene from Romeo and Juliet after I find the Form’s link has gone viral!

Here’s the deal. If students can find the link to your Google Form before class begins, I guarantee they will do much better than expected on the quiz or test! Once that Form is live, students can easily check Google Classroom or a teacher’s HyperDoc to find the link and preview the Google Form. Students can also pass along a Form’s link to their friends through texting and instant messaging. I am astounded by how many students can accurately text without even looking at the keys on their phone. Impressive!

So, let’s shield the Form and password protect your assessment! First thing, you will want to create a new section for your password. Creating a new section will restrict students from seeing the rest of the assessment questions until they have correctly entered the password. So, here is how you to use a password with a Google Form.

  • Create a new section.

  • In the new section, create a Short Answer question called Password or Secret Code.

  • Select Advanced settings (the 3 dots) from the bottom right corner.

  • Check the box for Data Validation.

  • Select “Text” and “Contains.”

  • Put your Password in the TEXT field.

  • Enter a custom error message like “Sorry, that is INCORRECT” Otherwise, the form will reveal the password and report “Text must contain [the password].”

  • Check the box to make it a required question.

Alternately, you may choose “Number” instead and choose a condition to make the password entry be a number. Be sure to update the password throughout the day to keep it fresh and viable.
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Join us for a great day of learning - IFL 2017

The Innovations for Learning (IFL) Conference is a free one day edtech technology conference produced by the Office of Instructional Technology at Fayette County Schools. The conference focus is on innovative instructional strategies that engage students to improve learning through the use of technology. We invite you to join us for the 14th annual IFL Conference which will be held on June 1, 2017 at Bryan Station High School in Lexington, KY. Space is limited so register now!
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