Taylor ISD DuckLink # 50

empowering student success and school improvement

January 7, 2016

a publication of the Taylor ISD Technology Department

EdTech Habits for 2016

Happy New Year! I hope you had a fantastic 2015 and are looking forward to an even better 2016. Here are 3 educational technology habits (not resolutions) I would like for you to all consider in the coming year.


  1. Unplug at Times- How many times do you see people at restaurants, waiting rooms, and living rooms just staring at their devices? Let's not ignore the times we have with friends and family face-to-face and make the most of it.
  2. Take a Risk- How much longer are you going to put off learning how to do xyz technology? It could be the very thing that revolutionizes the way you complete tasks or engage with students.
  3. Hand Over Control- Admit it. Most of our students know more about the latest technology than we may. Be flexible and willing to let students lead with technology. Don't avoid those potentially awesome lessons just because you aren't an expert in the technology it may require.


Wishing you all the best!


-JP Hale, Director of Instructional Technology

BrainPop: Much More than Videos

Have you checked out Brainpop in awhile? It has some great resources for your students. Brainpop includes all these great features:


  • teacher & student accounts
  • class accounts
  • lesson plans
  • quiz maker
  • concept mapping tool
  • games


Create an account today using these codes.

iPad / iPhone Apps

Teach with Your iPhone Using Nearpod

Nearpod released version 8 of it's iPhone app on January 7, 2016. This makes is easy to truly work in the power zone. Now you can access your library of activities, launch them live or assign them for homework. You can also explore activities others have built.


If you haven't checked out Nearpod yet, you should. It's one of the best digital tools available for the classroom.


Download the app today! Learn more here.

Chrome Apps

Beware of Smart Watches

You probably have learned about smartphones but have you learned about smartwatches? With the introduction of the Apple Watch, more and more of these watches are being sold. A smartwatch is a computerized wristwatch with enhanced features beyond just telling time. These watches can be used to calculate, translate, play games, make calls, text, monitor your heart rate, listen to music, etc. These devices can be very useful but be mindful that students can use them for cheating in class too. This Classroom Guide to the Apple Watch might be useful.

Subscribe to the IT Blog!

I've started posting items on the new Instructional Technology blog. I hope to post a few tech tips per week. You can get a feed of the post via Google+ or visit the blog and sign up via email.


Taylor ISD Instructional Technology Blog

Help Desk Contact

Eduphoria Help Desk- https://taylor.schoolobjects.com

Phone: 512-365-5015 or x1900


Be sure to visit the Taylor ISD Technology site for more information.