Bits & Bytes

February 2016

EdTech News

This spring will bring more than warm temperatures and song birds to South Windsor. In March, all teachers at South Windsor High School will receive a Chromebook. This exciting step will give teachers hands-on time with these new devices before moving to the next phase of our highly anticipated one-to-one initiative.

Chromebooks, which have been used by South Windsor students for several years, are mobile devices that offer a host of cloud-based productivity tools, including Google Docs, Slides, and more. They are lightening fast, and they facilitate collaboration anytime, anyplace.

SWHS teachers will receive their Chromebook in late March, when they will also attend an orientation session led by a member of the EdTech Team. When fully implemented, our one-to-one program will create a digital learning environment that will foster personalized learning in a globally connected world.

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


The world of educational technology is rife with jargon and acronyms, but such language need not be intimidating. For example, educational technologists often use the acronym TPACK when bringing technology into the classroom.

TPACK refers to the intersection of technical knowledge, pedagogical knowledge, and content knowledge. To bring all three of these areas to instructional design, today's teachers must consider not only their content area and select teaching strategies, they must also decide how technology can serve as an aid to learning.

Three questions help teachers achieve TPACK:

1. Does this technology fit the task?

2. Might a different tool be better suited to the job?

3. How will this tool serve diverse learners in my classroom?

Would you like to know more? includes resources and a question forum for all things TPACK.

Credit: Llennon. TPACK. Digital image. Wikimedia Commons. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 Mar. 2012.

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Merge Documents with AutoCrat

Do you create certificates of recognition or prepare form letters? Have you ever wrestled to complete a mail merge?

AutoCrat, a Google Sheets add-on, is an easy-to-use document merge tool that creates PDFs or documents from spreadsheet data. Given information recorded in a Google Sheet, AutoCrat fills in fields in a Google Docs template, a PDF, or an email attachment.

To use AutoCrat, open a Google Spreedsheet. Click on "Add-ons" in your toolbar, select "Get add-ons," and search for AutoCrat. Our technology content coaches will be glad to help.


Use Google to Scan Docs and Create Editable Text

Would you like to create an editable version of a printed document? Google Docs offers a simple text-conversion tool.

As a rule of thumb, the simpler the document, the better the conversion since the final product will be plain text. A document rich with italics, ordered lists, and graphics will require lots of editing after Google converts it.

The following video demonstrates how this process works.

How to Convert an Image of Text into an Editable Google Doc