November Tech. TidByte.

November 27, 2017

A Note from Melissa Williams-Scott, Ed. D.

The holidays are upon us and for many , what we traditionally do during the holidays will not occur this year. This can be tough, but take the time to make new traditions with family and friends. It is also a good time to take stock of your technology use. When and how does it positively or negatively impact your day? How can you best use technology to engage students in a lesson? How can you not allow technology to interrupt time the time our brains require to properly rest? I recently heard a speaker who reminded the group that students in Kindergarten this year are expected to live to the year 2091. Think about that for a moment. As adults many of us remember thinking of the Year 2000 as a Jetson’s type of future and now our incoming students will potentially live to the year 2100! Our students do not know how to live without technology, adults are all learning to incorporate it more and more into daily life. Perhaps we need to allow our students to lead experimental learning with our guidance.

Applied Digital Skills

Here are some ways to apply Google digital skills. Contact Jennifer Rushing, Claudia Valastro, or Caroline Lightfoot for assistance.

Language Arts

Reading a novel? Have students map the plot or imagine different story paths using If/Then Adventure Stories. Check out this example.

Showcase learners’ writing at a poetry slam or storytelling competition. Students can collaborate and organize it with
Plan an Event.

Use Create an Editing Tool with Programming to check for common writing mistakes and overused words.

Social Studies

Use If/Then Adventure Stories to re-write history (and learn about cause and effect). Check out this student example about Napoleon at Waterloo.

Explore geography or design a site or landmarks tour with Guide to an Area

Research Technology’s Role in Current Events and social movements

Default Web Browser

We recommend using Google Chrome as your default web browser. Internet Explorer is ok, but we see problems on a day-to-day basis with Microsoft's Edge.

To update your browser, click on the magnifying glass at the bottom left of your desktop. Type default and select Default Programs or Default App Settings. Scroll down to Web Browser, and select Google Chrome. You only have to update your web browser once. This is machine-specific.

Please note that Internet Explorer is required for Employee Access Center Leave Requests.

More Chromebooks are Making their way into DISD!

Chromebooks are making their way to your campuses. Our whole department is busy preparing for the deployment of Google Chromebooks to your campuses. We sent several carts to campuses before Thanksgiving, and our biggest order is being placed soon.

We will host a Chromebooks unConference on December 14th for you to explore instructional practices with these new devices, as well as learn a few tips and tricks.

Register for our 3:00 session here.

Register for the 4:00 session here.

Classes will take place in the Technology Showcase Room at 2801 Oak Park, Dickinson, TX 77539.

For Chromebook Management & Care, as well as a sign in sheet, visit

Password Security

As we enter the holiday season and time away from daily computer work, we highly recommend that everyone take this time to change their district passwords. This will keep your password from potentially expiring over the holiday break but also provide an extra layer of security to accounts.

It is a good time to do the same with personal passwords for email and social media. Periodically changing passwords lessens the likelihood of accounts being hacked.

Bit Defender

It is the time of year when Hackers hibernate inside their caves, hunting and pecking away in an attempt to steal identities and data virtually.

Please DO NOT open any Zip files. We do not use Zip files in the district, all large files are shared via Google Docs.

Please be aware of links from unknown sources. Look for spelling errors in the subject line, in the email address, or in the body of the paragraph. If the sending address looks at all suspicious it probably is.

We are very aware that not only is the holiday season a hacker’s favorite time of year, but many of us area also dealing with emails dealing with Harvey. It is critical that we all be mindful of the data we are accessing and allowing on district devices.

Finally…you are likely seeing pop ups from BitDefender. This is our security software and it is strong. If there is a potentially malicious file trying to access your computer it will tell you and us. The attached pop up will show up on the right hand lower side of your monitor. Please select “BLOCK” if you see this pop up.

We also ask that USB stick use be limited. These are easy ways to bring viruses into the district network. If you must use one please allow BitDefender to scan it so that we can be certain that it is safe, but better yet…use your Dickinson ISD Google Account.

There is no need to block things from known sources. If you see the message to block something from a site or program you have always used, do not block it. If you've blocked something and need to go back in and allow it, instructions can be found at

Teacher Feature: Ms. Gatewood at Hughes Road Elementary

Google Classroom and Skyping with Florida Classroom

Jennifer Rushing helps Ms. Gatewood's 2nd graders at Hughes Road Elementary learn how to use Google Classroom. They plan on connecting with another 2nd grade class in Florida using these tools and Skype. Look at those Chromebooks in action!

Contact Jennifer Rushing, Claudia Valastro, or Caroline Lightfoot if you are interested in connecting with classrooms around the world.

Previous Tech. TidBytes

October: We are Here to Help

September: Online Textbooks

August: Eduphoria Forethought & Windows 10