Technology Tidbits

January Edition

What We're Sharing This Month

This month the technology team is providing you with information on how to add Chrome apps and extensions to help make your teaching life easier, how to utilize features in Skyward that you may not know about or forgot about, a blog to help you utilize Google more, and apps worth exploring. Stay with us, there's a lot in this edition. If you're really just interested in apps, scroll down to the bottom. Don't have time to read right now, but curious about what's in this edition? Click on the button or video below for an overview.
What's In This Edition?

Click the button to get an overview of what's in this month's Technology Tidbit. Or, play the video below.

Snag It-Using Google to Provide Audio Feedback and More...

Many staff are already using Snip It to make it easier to share things on our screens. Another great tool is Snag it. Click on the button below to see how it's been used with students, and then click on the second button to take you to a Snag It video showing you how to get the tool and add it to your desktop. You must be in Chrome to use this tool. The new school laptops have a good built-in microphone, so no real need for an additional microphone. The second video was made using an older, personal laptop.
Student Feedback Using Snag It

This video was made using Snag It. It is providing the student with feedback on their Google Slide presentation for conferences.

Skyward: There's More Than Just Grades and Attendance

Message Center

If you do not want to manually create a contact list in order to send an email to all of your parents, use the Message Center in Skyward. For third through fifth grades, you can send an email to your students. This is helpful if you aren't finding that Blackboard is not what is working best for you.

  • Go to Skyward and log-in to your gradebook.
  • Click on Other Access. It is on the top left side.
  • Click on Message Center. From this point on it is easier to watch the video (I didn't want to violate my student privacy by having their grades up for all to see.). However, i will try to list out the steps.
  • Go to the right side of your screen and click on Add Message for Current Class.
  • At the top you write your message. Then, go down below to choose whether you want to post to Family and/or Student Access. If it is a newsletter or general information, I go ahead and include Student Access.
  • Now, to send as an actual email, go down below to Emailing Options. Again, I send newsletters and general information to both parents and students. I also select email to guardians. This way all who should receive emails for that student gets it. If you want a copy, add yourself as an additional recipient. Your students are already selected if you go that route. Be careful, I believe choosing Post to All Students sends it out to the entire student body.

Changing Grades in Skyward

You may need to change grades If you have a student who was absent at the end of the grading period and you need to enter the scores from the work they missed, Another reason may be if you had a student retake a test, but they retested after the testing window. Either way, it is a fairly easy process.

  1. Log-in to your Gradebook.
  2. Click on Posting Status. It is just right of the middle.
  3. Choose the quarter you need to change.
  4. Click Change Grades on the right side.
  5. It will prompt you to give a reason for changing grades. Do this as it will leave a record as to why you changed a grade and could protect you should you need it.
  6. Then go ahead and change your grades.

Learn More About Utilizing Google Resources

Awesome Blog for Utilizing Google in Your Classroom

Alice Keeler has an awesome blog with many resources and tips for using Google in the classroom. It is through her that Snag It was found. If you have questions, she is so good about answering your DM through Twitter, or by email. Her website is , and her Twitter handle is @alicekeeler. She also has a Chrome extension (info on her site) that places her current posts right on your toolbar.

Apps for Students and Teachers


This month we are sharing apps for writing, green screens, podcasting, and sharing student learning. Click on the app title to take you to more information.

  • Write About This-This app provides prompts for students and a place for them to write within the app. It also allows you to take photos for your writing and add audio. It also has a save feature.
  • Show Me-This app looks like a whiteboard and has audio features. Once you've taught your kids how to use it, the possibilities are limitless. It's been used to explain how to solve math problems when parents are unsure how to help, create a problem for students to solve. They solve it on the app and explain verbally as the app records them.
  • Green Screen-This app does not require you to have a fancy green screen. Just use a green sheet or bulletin board paper. It's great to use if creating a newscast, sharing student writing with a thematic background, reader's theater where the set is created with a green screen, reports on animals or monuments and those are in the background. Coleen and Deb have both used them and are happy to share.
  • Boss Jock Studio Lite-This is pretty cool and we're just beginning to explore. The lite version is free, but has plenty of great features. If you've ever listened to a podcast you hear intro music, sounds separating parts of the podcast, and then finale music. This app allows you to do so, quite easily. So many possibilities to use with this one.
  • Running Record Calculator-This is a great and free app. You can use it at the basic level to quickly calculate wpm, sc, and errors. However, you can use it to record the student reading as you collect data. There's even a feature for you to tap each time a certain error is made. Lots of possibilities!
  • Quick Grader-This is like the old cardboard EZ-Graders. For those in grades 3-5, you can enter points possible (even to the half-point) and then choose either number correct or number wrong to get your percentage.