March Newsletter

Evans School Tech News

Feature Story

8 Reasons to Use Google Chrome

Google Chrome is a web browser just like Safari, Firefox, and Internet Explorer. Here are 8 Reasons to Use Google Chrome:

  1. Chrome is always up to date. You will not see an Adobe Flash or Reader update for Chrome. You will not be asked to update Chrome - it updates in the background.
  2. Chrome is fast and loads your pages quickly.
  3. Chrome lets you search from the top. No need to type google.com to perform a search, just start searching right at the top.
  4. Chrome can save your bookmarks and browsing info. If you log in to your Chrome at school, you can also login to Chrome on another computer (like at home) and have access to all of your bookmarks and saved login info that you use at school.
  5. Chrome offers some really awesome tools that you can add to it to make your internet browsing even more productive. These tools called extensions can be added to Chrome to allow you do things like: Shorten a web address or create a QR code instantly (ShortenMe), take a screenshot of an entire webpage (Explain and Send Screenshots), turn off everything in a YouTube video, including the ads (YouTube Options), pin directly to Pinterest (Pin it Button), and remove ads (Ad Blocker). This is just a few of the hundreds of extension offered. You can look for extensions at: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/category/apps or you can look for the Chrome Web Store while using Chrome. Click Here for a list of extensions which would be helpful to teachers (Note: these will only work on the computer and not the iPad).
  6. You can also add 'apps' to your Chrome browser. These apps are mostly just quick links to websites. They will appear when you click the apps button at the top left of Chrome. Once you're logged in to Chrome, as you use the 'apps' you will find that your Google login will be used and will keep you from having to login to everything.
  7. Have two or more Google accounts? In the settings, you can add a user. This way you can have a Chrome setup for your EVSC Google account, and one for your personal Google account. Both users will have their own apps, extensions, and saved info.
  8. Get quick access to all of your Google stuff without having to login. If you want to access your Google mail, calendar, or drive in Chrome, it's as simple as a click. No need to login every time.

As always, let me know if you need assistance getting the most of Google Chrome or other tools!

New Information

Update your iPad and Mac

This section is not meant to alarm you but it is highly advised that everyone using a Mac or iOS device (like iPad, iPhone, iPod) check for an update. Apple has released some important updates that fix a security issue that was discovered. On your Mac click on the Apple and select "Software update . . . " On the iPad, go to Settings -> Software Update. If you use your Mac or other Apple device for anything personal like accessing online shopping, banking, accounts or purchasing, you should definitely update.

App Requests - New Information!

App requests should be sent to webdesk@evsc.k12.in.us from now on!
App Request Form

Earbuds

As you consider creating class supply lists for next year, you may want to add inexpensive earbuds to the required list of supplies for for the 2014-2015 school year. Our school supply is depleted and will not be replenished. Many other schools have added this as a class supply for use with student technology.

Mediacast Update

If you use or used the CCC! video content that was previously available on Mediacast, it is no longer available. The district subscription for that service was not renewed.

AirPlay - Yay!

It appears that all of the previous issues with AirPlay have been resolved. Several teachers have expressed to me that they have been using it without issue. AirPlay allows you to mirror or display your iPad on the Promethean Board through the Apple TV. Don't forget to switch your remote to HDMI to use it. Just look for the AirPlay sign to the left and select your room. If you would like a refresher on using this feature, please let me know!

EVSC eRev Summer Conference

I encourage and challenge you to consider attending the EVSC eRev 2014 conference at North High School this summer. This years's conference has some special surprises in store including an added pre-conference day (optional), student-led sessions, and some surprise guests that will wow you. The keynote speakers this year will be worth attending alone! The conference is July 9 and 10 with the optional full day workshop before on July 8. Visit http://www.evscicats.com/erevolution/ for more info. If you are interested in attending, let me know.

Force Quit that Wonky Program

Ever had a program on your Mac or an app on your iPad just go wonky? (Wonky is a technical term for when something doesn't work as it normally does). You can always Force Quit that app or program. Here is how to do that (try the steps below in order).

On the iPad:
  1. Double click the home button to reveal the most recently used apps. Hold the app you want to close and slide up. The app will go off the screen and this will completely quit the app.
  2. Another important tip is to fully power off your iPad by holding the lock button until you get the red bar to turn off the iPad. Power back on.
  3. The last tip is try a hard reset. Hold down the home button and lock button until your iPad turns off and then let go. Power back on.
On the Mac:
  1. Click on the Apple at the top, select Force Quit, select the program to quit and then relaunch the program.
  2. If you cannot get to the Apple at the top press Command + Option + Esc to open the Force Quit window.
  3. If those options don't work, find the power button and hold it until the computer turns off. Power back on. Note: Quickly pressing the power button will just put it to sleep.

What about that Gross Guy on YouTube

Are you tired of seeing this gross guy when you're trying to show a YouTube video to your students? I highly recommend trying the Chrome Extension called YouTube Options. YouTube Options removes all of the unwanted ads, distractions, and recommended videos which sometimes can be embarrassing to display in class. Look for YouTube Options in the Chrome Webstore.

App Ideas!

Kahoot Response System

Kahoot is a colorful and fun way to engage students as a class or small group with questions. Great for exit tickets or test review, Kahoot allows you to display a question on the board and give students an opporunity to answer questions from a computer or iPad. The game is colorful and has fun sounds and shows an analysis of student answers. Go to https://getkahoot.com/ today to create your free teacher account.

Chirp App

This is an incredibly fun app your kids will like. If you have ever wanted to share a photo, message, or web link with your students quickly this is an app you should try. To use this app everyone in class would open the Chirp app and their iPads will begin listening. The teacher will open the Chirp app and then choose what to share. Once the teacher presses the Chirp button, it will send a funny sound to the iPads which are listening. They will instantly receive the photo, link, or note that the teacher sent. Give it try: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/chirp/id529469280?mt=8

Reminders

Promethean Board Bulbs

Please be sure to turn off your Promethean Board projectors when they are not in use. We are starting to see a lot of them left on during lunch, plan, and times when the room is empty. Your bulb will not get replaced until it completely quits working, so save the hours it is on and save energy - they do use a lot of power too! Rumor has is that the Promethean gnomes will be in our building this month and turn off energy wasting boards!
Promethean Board Video - Please Watch

Google Email Forwarding

If you did not already do so, please be sure to follow these steps to make sure your EVSC Google mail is forwarded to your main evsc.k12.in.us account. If you don't set up forwarding, you will not get email reminders when documents are shared with you. Click here for forwarding instructions. If you have not done this and need assistance, please let me know and I will assist you. Everyone should do this!

Jeff Thornton, Elearning Coach

Jeff comes to the technology world following 8 years as a high school music teacher. Originally from Illinois, he attended The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Jeff earned a bachelor degree in music education followed by a graduate degree in Piano Pedagogy. After completing a graduate degree, he taught music in the Jefferson County Public Schools in Louisville, KY. Following 4 years in Louisville, Jeff became the director of choirs at Bosse High School. Throughout his time as a music teacher, Jeff was always interested in finding ways to use audio and video technology in the classroom. Jeff is currently an elearning coach at Evans School.