DISD Ed Tech News

March 25, 2016

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Virtual Field Trips in Your Classroom - Discovery Education

There is an entire world of resources to be found in Discovery Education. What is currently referred to as Discovery Streaming is really Discovery Education. DISD teachers have access to a wealth of resources besides the very rich library of video resources. All of Discovery Education's resources are searchable by grade level, content area (science, social studies, math, fine arts, etc.) AND Texas state standards. Do you want to search for resources to teach a particular TEK? You can find them there. Want songs or reading material on a particular topic? They can be found there too.

But there is also a vast library of virtual field trips that you can participate in right from your classroom. You can browse upcoming live events and look through archived field trips on the Discovery Education Virtual Field Trips web page. There is a calendar where you can view upcoming events and toward the bottom of the page you can read about Featured Virtual Field Trips and search the archives by subject, grade level or themes such as Earth & Space Science, Plants & Animals, History, Careers, Technology, Food & Agriculture and Art & Design. Take a look to see if there is an adventure for your students to go on right from your classroom.

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Google Drive Explained - The Apps Show on YouTube

Are you confused about how Google Drive works? Have questions about Drive share settings, and who can see your files? Tune into The Apps Show on the Google for Work Channel on YouTube where hosts John and Debbie explain various Google Tools and Resources in short engaging videos. Watch this one video or subscribe to the channel to get updates when new videos are posted.

While you on YouTube also check out the Google for Education Channel and subscribe to it as well. There are lots of good resources and tutorials posted almost daily.

AND.... if you might want to watch some YouTube videos to learn new tips and tricks but you have other things you need to be doing at the same time (and you don't have two monitors where you can run videos on one and work on the other) there is a little Chrome Browser extension called Sideplayer that you might want to check out. Add this extension to your Chrome Browser and when you find a YouTube video you want to watch you will now see the option "Play in Sideplayer" in the lower right corner of the video window on YouTube. Click it to play the video in a minimized view while you continue to work on files, browse the web, etc.

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Gmail Mini Tips

Do you ever find yourself wondering if you replied to someone's email when you come across it again in your inbox? If so, you might consider turning on the Conversation View in your gMail settings. This feature can be easily turned on or off so try it and see if you like it.

First, go to the Settings icon in Gmail (the little gear in the upper right), select Settings, and then look down the page until you find Conversation View. You can turn this view on or off as you prefer. Be sure to click Save at the bottom of the page before you exit Settings.

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If you turn it On, you will now see a small number beside emails in your inbox when there have been replies sent back and forth. You can always go into your Sent folder to see whether you replied to someone but the Conversation View will let you see at a glance how many emails are in that particular conversation.
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Using J/K To Move Items in Google Forms

Using Google Forms and the Flubaroo Add-On is a great way to write and assign quizzes to students and have them automatically graded for you. Assigning a Google Form quiz to students inside of Google Classroom simplifies the process even more. There are also some keyboard shortcuts to simplify moving items around in Google Forms as you are designing your quizzes.

Alice Keeler recently posted one such tip on her website Teacher Tech. There are a couple of ways to move questions up or down when you need to change the question order in a Google Form. One way is to select a question and look for the 2x3 grid of little dots that will appear at the top center of the question. Hovering over those dots will allow you to hold down your mouse button and drag the question to another position.

Using Control+Shift+J and Control+Shift+K is even easier. Control+J will let you move down to the next question without changing the question order. Control+K will let you move up to the previous question. Add the Shift key to the mix (Control+J+Shift) to actually move the entire question down. Control+K+Shift will move the question up in the Google Form.

The Teacher Tech website is a great source of tips and tricks for using Google Classroom, Google Add-Ons and Templates. You can sign up for her Teacher Tech Newsletter on the left side of the home page.

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Last Chance to Win a Set of Clickers for Your Classroom!

I will occasionally have technology items and/or tools to give away to teachers. These may range from iPad and Chromebook cases to webcams to ........whatever becomes available to me that I think a teacher might use. We're starting off with a big one. I have one (1) set of the Elementary Clickers (Student Response Systems) from eInstruction to give away. DISD Elementary Teachers can fill out an entry form here and I will draw a name in a random drawing on March 31.
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Teacher Training Center Now Open!

DISD Instructional Technology has a new home. You will now have a dedicated Teacher Training Center where you can come to trainings in a very nice classroom set up just for you. While it's a little hard to locate the first time you can get to it by coming down 4th Street between the DHS gyms and Central Office and looking for the driveway behind (west of) the high school gyms with the sign that says "Food Services". Come down that driveway toward the high school main building and turn into the small parking lot tucked into the west side of the high school. There is a portable tucked into the area that once housed tennis courts at the back of high school and the Teacher Training Center (TTC) is in the west side of the portable. Come by and check it out! As soon as we are completely moved in I will start holding trainings here that were formerly held in the Central Office Board Room.
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Reminder - Free and Sale iOS Apps and Kindle Books Lists

Just a reminder that if you would like to receive the (mostly) daily emails with lists of Free and Sale iOS Apps and Free and Sale Kindle Books you can sign up for either or both of those lists a thttp://bit.ly/freeappslist.

Upcoming Trainings for Spring 2016

Remember - trainings are open to anyone who would like to attend! They are not just for teachers. You can pre-register for any of these trainings in Eduphoria.

If you would like to arrange a training on your campus or a personal one-on-one session please email Rhonda Artho at rhonda.artho@dumasisd.org.

March 2016

03/24/16 - What Can I Do With My Document Camera? (Samsung Doc Cams)

03/29/16 - Symbaloo in the Classroom

April 2016

04/05/16 - Video Creation in the Classroom

04/12/16 - Texas Gateway - Online Resources for Texas teachers