Bits and Bytes

January 2016

Welcome to 2016. It's going to be a great year.

In June, ISTE, the International Society for Technology in Education, will release new standards for students. The updated standards will present a forward-thinking vision of how students should be using technology for learning and guide our integration of technology across the curriculum.


This month, we feature three resources for supporting learning in the content areas: Booktracks Classroom, The Google Cultural Institute, and Glean. We're looking forward to discussing with you how these tools might enrich your curriculum.


Steve Albrecht, Curriculum Specialist
Debbie Matchett, Content Coach
Ed Duclos, Content Coach

Engaging Readers

Booktrack Classroom synchronizes eBooks with movie-style soundtracks, creating an engaging experience for readers. Students choose titles to enjoy from a virtual library, plug in headphones, and read at their own pace.


Students may also create their own booktrack by selecting a story from the built-in library or by uploading their own writing. They then highlight passages to marry with audio tracks and sound effects. To do this well, students must read closely to find details to emphasize with sound and to justify their choice of track based on tone and mood.


Creating classroom accounts is free. To get started, visit this link and sign in with your Google Apps account.

Booktrack Classroom Tutorial Overview (Updated)

History, Culture, and the Arts

The Google Cultural Institute opens the world's museums, heritage sites, and concert halls to students. For instance, students can watch a performance of a Beethoven symphony, compare paintings by European and American impressionists, or learn about the wonders of Pakistan. In addition to the visual and the performing arts, the Cultural Institute also features rich galleries that center on the Holocaust, women in culture, and the collapse of the Iron Curtain.


Users can browse collections, search by keyword, and compile their own galleries to share with classmates.


Ready to explore? Open this link and sign in with your South Windsor Google Apps account.

Google Cultural Institute: How To Use the Site

Supporting Science and Math

Glean.co, a video-sharing app for science and math, is recommended by Ann Wolff, SWHS Teacher of Child Development and Child Care and Director of The Preschool Learning Center.


Glean gathers educational videos related to biology, chemistry, algebra, and geometry. (Physics and calculus are coming soon.) Teachers can use Glean to flip their classroom, and students can access them from anywhere with an Internet connection.


What sets Glean apart is that it works like Pandora, learning users' preferences and recommending the best videos for their style. Each video has been tagged by educational standard and wrapped in interactive tools (like Q&A and practice exercises).


To explore Glean, open this link. Click "Join Now," and sign up with your South Windsor Google Apps account.