Teachnology Today

February 27, 2017

Virtual Reality in Grade 3

Virtual Reality Solar System Field Trip
Want to see more? One of my goals this year is to showcase the learning happening in classrooms across the district, and I'm doing that by creating short videos of technology tools in action. Check them out by clicking the yellow button below.

Interested in bringing Virtual Reality into your classroom? Click here for more info!

Turn your Chromebook into a Remote Control!

Chrome Remote Desktop

If you've ever felt tied to your computer or SmartBoard in your classroom, I can give you the option to teach from anywhere!

Chrome Remote Desktop is a free extension that, once installed, allows you to use your Chromebook to control any application on your computer. Your computer's screen shows up on your Chromebook, and you are able to use the touch pad to navigate, and they keyboard to type just as you would sitting at your computer or standing by your SmartBoard. You may still opt to touch your board or control your computer as normal--this just gives you the option to stand anywhere in the class, join a small group, work next to a student, or even sit on the floor with your little learners.

Interested in trying it out? I'd be happy to help. Please email me at jocelynn.buckentin@isd423.org and I will set up a time to get you started. The process takes about 10 minutes total.

To use Chrome Remote Desktop:

  1. You must be logged in to Google Chrome on both your computer and your Chromebook.
  2. Open Chrome Remote Desktop on your Chromebook.
  3. Double click on your computer's name, then hit enter.
  4. Type in your 6-digit pin.
  5. That's it! you're now controlling your computer from your Chromebook. You can click the two directional arrow to make the window bigger. You can also minimize the screen and go back to using your Chromebook on it's own anytime.
  6. Click "Stop Sharing" to end.

I created a short video to show this in action. Sorry it is in portrait mode, but it was the best view to show both screens at the same time. It should give you an idea of what this process looks like.

**Note: I have "Multiple monitors" on my computer, so that's why I had to scroll to the left and right on the Chromebook to control both sides.


PDF's in the Chromebook Classroom

One big request that I've gotten this year from teachers is to find a tool that allows students to annotate PDF's on their Chromebooks or other devices. The tool "Xodo" fits the bill here. This tool allows teachers to easily share an article or resource that is in PDF format, and students can add their own information such as notes, highlights, circles, and other markups. While the ability to add text to a PDF may be at the substitution level of the SAMR Model, there are MANY features of Xodo that allow both teachers and staff to move into Augmentation and even Modification!


  • You can open documents from your computer or Google Drive
  • Write directly on a PDF, highlight and underline text, and more
  • Markup, merge, and edit documents from your local machine or Google Drive
  • Save edited PDFs to your local machine or Google Drive. Students can submit them through Google Classroom.
  • Annotate PDFs with others in real time
  • Free - no ads, in-app purchases, or premium tier
Editing PDF's on Chromebooks with Xodo

Cool Tool of the Week

Gmail Sender Icons

Ever worry you're going to miss an important email? Do you get a lot of spam? I came across a fabulous and powerful little tool for helping you see at a glance what email is important and what can wait for later. It's called "Gmail Sender Icons" and it places an icon to the left of new email messages. Once I activated it, all messages that came from an isd423.org email address showed up with an H logo next to it. (See picture on the right.) Anything from Google had the G logo. Other mail can easily be identified as well. Give it a try by clicking the link below.