Bits & Bytes - Tech In Ten

Curated Tools and Resources for our K-12 Teachers and Staff

Issue #4 03/20/13

CSI: Cheltenham

It has been reported all over the school district that people are using Google for everything. They are getting lost on the information superhighway. This does not have to be ! We are going to help you navigate the ins and outs of using the Internet for all of your research needs.

If you are frustrated by search engines that give you unrelated responses...if you are spending too much time looking for on-line resources ... if you are worried that students may access the wrong kind information or inappropriate information read on ! There are many search engines that can help you find pertinent, accurate, safe and age appropriate information.

There's no place like home, there's no place like home .......

Like Dorothy, at times we don't need to look any further than our own backyard.

Destiny's WebPath Express is a research tool that allows students to find reliable resources quickly and easily, while spending their time focusing on content. Expansive filtering options make it easy for students to use search and browse capabilities to help create self-guided searches. Content is differentiated by grade level and searches may be saved. To access go to your schools Destiny page then select Web Path Express on the left hand side. See your local librarian for more information.

Click here for our safe search site. You can also access from our main website under the student tab.

SDCT Safe Search Site

Most Wanted : Java Update*

If you've noticed that Java and/or Adobe Flash stops working on your Mac, it is actually a good thing. The Mac operating system has a built-in mechanism known as XProtect that disables software on your computer that is vulnerable to malicious attacks due to bugs in the code. While this creates an inconvenience, it prevents your computer from being infected with malicious software. Recently, there have been a lot of on-going attacks on the Internet that use bugs in how Adobe Flash and Java are coded. Apple is proactively disabling affected versions of both.

We are doing our best to push out updates to everyone's computer (both Mac and Windows) as they are released, but some of these updates are being released every few days. When updates are released, we push them out, but it takes time for each computer to receive and install the updates. If a computer is off when an update is pushed out, it will download and install it the next time it is turned on. PowerTeacher relies on Java and many web sites use Adobe Flash, so we understand how critical it is to be able to have these working. If you find that one or the other is disabled on your Mac, try rebooting your computer, as sometimes this is required for an update to be active.

*submitted by Tim McCleary

You Should Really Check These Out!

  1. noredink: Practice and master grammar and writing skills. Create a free account, create classes and quizzes. Switch to student mode to take a practice quiz. This is also an Edmodo app. Check it out.
  2. readwritethink: Access high quality practices and resources in RLA instruction. All lessons are aligned with common core.
  3. Yummy Math: Math, math, and more YUMMY math! Created to help math teachers bring real-life into their classrooms. We shared this with one of our HS math teachers after a C4 session surrounding this topic and she used it in her classroom and loved it so much she passed it on to others.

Teacher Tech Spotlight

Room 402 at Myers Elementary is the place to be if you want to witness technology integration in the classroom. This fourth grade classroom belongs to Mr. Mike Schmidt. Mike has been using Google Apps and Edmodo this school year and loves the way these programs allow students to work from any computer and collaborate in a safe environment.

While studying genres, these 4th graders were asked to create their own fairy tale comics. Students worked in groups to map out characters and scenes and dialog. Using the iPad app Comic Life, students took pictures of each scene and then imported them into the app to create their comic. Finished comics were exported in PDF form to their Dropbox account where they were able to share with the rest of the class in their Edmodo virtual classroom. Here are some examples, Ogre Attack, The Knights Save The Day.

Way to go Room 402!

What's On Our iPad?

  1. Haiku Deck: Create stunning presentations in minutes. This app is what everyone is talking about right now. Over 300,000 people have downloaded the new version since it was released this month. Create with your own images from a multitude of sources, share via the most popular social sites, and now you can export to PowerPoint, Keynote, or a PDF. It is so easy, look at what this 5th grader submitted for his school project just last week... Haiku on New Hampshire.
  2. Google Drive: You already know how much we love Google Drive, but did you know there is an app for that? Install it on your iPhone and/or iPad and enjoy all the same features as the web based site. Create, edit and view offline documents. You can also upload files created with other awesome is that!
  3. Open Table: Do you like to eat out a lot? Yes? Then the Open Table app is a must have. Open the app and it will show you a map of nearby restaurants who participate..most of the better ones do! Make a reservation, check out the menu and invite friends. I used it last weekend and it worked like a charm!

Did You Miss This???

Free Group Video Calling For Educators

Skype announced free video calling for educators at the recent SXSWEdu conference. Previously this feature was only available to Premium subscribers. Group video calling allows users to connect via webcam with up to 10 parties. Click on this here for instructions to sign up. Happy Skyping!

..In Our Next Issue...

Wednesday, April 10th, 2pm

This is an online event.

  • Making your browser do the work for you
  • Google Docs research tools
  • PSSA timeout, fun sites to give your students a break

...and a few other items you will probably want to know about, so stay tuned!

How To Contact Us

Dana and Lisa are technology trainers for the School District of Cheltenham Township.

We are available to come to your school or classroom.

Email us at and

Visit our technology website, Bits & Bytes, or our Learnist page.

We'd love to hear how you are using technology in your classroom.