LC News

Resources for you from the Learning Commons

December 10th, 2014

<Issue #4>

Review the following articles to be "In the Know" as it relates to issues that concern you. We have several items to inform you of! Featured in this newsletter is Club LC information, a Google Apps for Educators (GAFE) tip, a Schoolnet Info (PARCC Prep), and A Print Services Announcement early this week.

These publications are designed to minimize the number of emails in your inbox. Most of the information in this newsletter is important and gainful for you to read, while other articles are helpful but not necessary. None of this is fluff! Please read each article to determine whether it applies to you.

Team Meetings this Week

I will be stopping by one time this week to visit each team during your team planning time. If you have not already done so please use the sign up sheet to designate a time that works best for your team. Please do not take the same time and date as another team.

What to be prepared for:

  1. a brief overview of the items in this newsletter
  2. an opportunity for you to provide me with a list of programs/websites that you use with your students on a regular basis (so that we can support you when you or your students experience technical issues)
  3. a Q&A session

Change of Date for Club LC - Now Wednesday January 28th!

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Why the Change?

Thank you to all of you who provided me with feedback on the Club LC date needing to be changed due to the end of quarter and all the related responsibilities that would potential need to be taken care of on the prior date chosen. I have spoken with our administration and they have graciously offered up the 28th, which is a ROCK Wednesday. By combining ROCK Wednesday and Club LC, we thought that this would give all of you more time for planning both individually and with your teams. Club LC attendance will remain optional but we hope you decide to be a part of the festivities.

What is Club LC?

Club LC is going to be a social learning event consisting of:
  • Best Appetizer and Best Dessert Competitions Sponsored by the Social Committee
  • Club Themed LC - Come for Drinks, Food and Music!
  • Costume Competition - Dress like a VIP (Celebrity of your Choice)
  • Door Prizes too!
  • Micro-Workshops - 5 minute teaching followed by 10-15 minutes of "play time"
  • Options and Ideas that you can quickly take back to your classroom.

More Details To Come!

Help Out A Doctoral Student.. Fill Out A Survey

Derrel Fincher is researching how teachers' integrate BYOD in their classes, and whether or not these educators think it helps student learning. Please consider participating. You may find more information and the survey link on, including a link for contacting him if you need more information. I also have asked for a summary of the research results to be sent to us after the research is completed. Thank you for your help!

If you would like a copy of the results of the research after the analysis is completed, please click here.

Resources from your DLS

Team Computer Use

At the beginning of the year, the LC provided 3 laptops to each team for the purpose of student use. The purpose of these devices is to provide teachers with a quick response option for minor technical issues when in the middle of engaged learning opportunities. There have been several requests for clarification on how these devices should be exchanged between teacher and student.

Team Computers Should:

  • only be used for single class period (teacher hands to student, student give back to teacher at the end of the class period)
  • be stored and charged in team area (teams should determine a check in/check out process to communicate when and where devices have been checked out)
  • Given to student who have a temporary issue with their own device (E.G. Low/no battery, Java, Shockwave, or other website will not load issues, internet connection problems, etc.) <Please instruct these students to bring their own device to the LC the next morning during advisory for assistance with fixing the issue>
Team Computers Should NOT:

  • be given to any student to use all day long
  • be taken home by any student
  • be used repeatedly over consecutive days by the same student (unless certain arrangement have been agreed upon by a team for a specific student)

Tool in Focus - SendEmail Tool

Team 8-4 requested that a user friendly email assistant tool be created/found that allows messages combining both general and individualized sections be sent to each student within the mailing list so that group assignments can be communicated in a discrete manner.

After working with Google App Script a tool has been created that will do just that. It involves working with a Google Sheet included below. I have included a video that explains the tool and how it works, but I would also be happy to meet with you or your team and give you a live tutorial as well.

You will need the link provided to get started as the Script is associated specifically with this spreadsheet document. You will notice that the link will require you to make a copy of the spreadsheet document which is another cool tool trick which I explain in the video (written instruction for making copy only links is provided in the one of the tech news articles)

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PARCC Assessment Tip #2

With PARCC assessments coming soon, we've been working diligently to discover resources for you to use in your classroom. You can find sample questions using the Pearson provided resources but the number of questions are limited and they might not align with what your students are currently working on. A much more efficient and probably more effective approach is to take the questions you are currently asking on tests, quizzes, and assignments and "PARCCize" them using a tool. We have three goals in mind when searching for tools:

  1. The tool must allow you to build your own questions in a simple and user-friendly way.
  2. The tool should be free or low cost and can be used online (preferably in a Schoology if at all possible).
  3. The tool should require students to execute tasks exactly-like or nearly the same as TestNav (PARCC's testing program) without a lot of fluff which eats up valuable time from you and your students.
The second tool for your consideration is using edcite. The video below is a demo that allows you to see how the questions can be found or created rather quickly within edcite. If you would like to learn about how to design questions in edcite please consider scheduling a time to meet with me either during a CAT meeting or during your Team planning. I will also make individual appointments as well but in an effort to get this out as quickly as possible it might be better to meet with groups rather than individuals.
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Tech News

Central Print

Currently we are over budget on printing costs. There are a number of factors that contribute to our high printing costs.

#1 Too much printing from classroom printers.

Did you know that it costs far less to print to a copier than it does to print to a classroom printer? If you are printing more than 5 pages please use the copiers instead.

#2 Reprints of large volume print jobs

There are a number of times when print jobs get left in the print room or tossed out and the same large volume print job must be ran a second time. The following two scenarios seem to be the most frequent reasons for reprints and the associated solutions.

  • Papers get lost/taken due to being mixed in with someone else’s job
  • Use a runner or personally walk down to the copier immediately after you've sent a print job
  • Bring your laptop down with you and send print jobs while next to the copier
  • Send large volume print jobs to Central Print and they will make the copies for you (see below for more details)
  • The person responsible for the print makes changes based upon errors in the first batch of print
  • Perform a single copy test print before sending a large volume print job.
  • If you find minor typos or other minor errors that you can live with, make the changes to your electronic copy for future use, but use the documents you've printed for present use… You can even turn it into an activity for your students to see how critically they can read… Tell them that there are ___ errors in the document and see if they can find each error.

How to use Central Print:

  1. Send an email to with the document attached.
  2. Provide the following information using the Central Print Order Form and attach it to the email as well using the Drive attachment feature in Gmail.
  3. Relax and wait while you copies are made for you and delivered to your mailbox or classroom.

Google Docs Copy Only Links

Do you share Google docs with students but sometimes run into the issue of wanting them to make a copy of it before they interact with it? You can force them to make a copy of the file by making a minor edit to the url text. Look at the examples below: ⇐ Delete the text

​Copy the link and paste it, but before you send it out to students, change the word edit text in bold at the end to copy.

So now it would look like this: ⇐ Insert the text

​Now before students can even view the file they will be prompted to make a copy of it.​ Magic! This will work for all types of google files - sheets, presentations, drawings, and docs; but the text at the end that must be deleted and then inserted might be slightly different.

E.G. In sheets the end text to delete will look something like this:

The text to be inserted will look like this:
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How do you think we are doing?

Please take time to fill out the Learning Commons Satisfaction Survey. We want to know if you feel that we are doing an adequate job for you and your students. Your anonymous feedback will help us to set priorities and make any necessary changes for the upcoming semester.