Tech-KNOW-ology Notes

CRS Newsletter Fall 2013

NEW Outlook App for Smartphones

There's a new Microsoft app for your phone that makes it easy to check and send email from your school email account. The app is called OWA and it is available for both the iPad, iPhone and Droid smartphones. It does require you to set a passcode for the app. If you use this app, you will not have to have a passcode to open your phone. The thing that I like the best about this new app is that it shows my calendar with all my color codes. It's worth a try if you are one of those people that have to have constant access to your work email.

NOTE: The app is FREE for iOS devices, but there is a cost for the Droid version.

Android app -

iPhone app -

What's Going on in the Lab?

Protect Your Teacher Laptop

The laptops that are connected to the Promethean boards are over 3 years old and beginning to age. Here are a couple of important things that you can do to keep your laptop running properly.

  1. Close the lid of your laptop at the end of each day. Dust can get into your laptop and choke up fan.
  2. If your laptop looks dusty..dust it off.
  3. Unplug your laptop at least once a week and let the battery run all the way out. Then plug it in and recharge the battery.

EDuTechs Meeting - A User Group for Teachers to Learn About Technology

Tuesday, Nov. 12th, 3:15pm

Cooke School - Computer Lab

This is the first meeting of EDuTechs. It is a new user group that I'm starting for the teachers at Cooke School. We will meet a couple of times a month in the Computer Lab to talk and discuss technology. I'll have a new tip, software or website to share with you. Our meetings will be short (usually 30 minutes). If you have tech related questions, this is for you. Here are the dates for the first few meetings. Plan to stop by for just a few minutes and check out what's new in technology.

November 12 - VoiceThread (all grade levels)

Nov. 19 - Clicker 6 (best for grades K-3)

Nov. 26 - ActivInspire - Tips & Tricks (all grade levels - Come learn something new)

Dec. 3 - Web 2.0 Tools for Teachers (all grade levels - time saving tools)

Dec. 17 - PhotoStory 3 (best for grades 2-5)

Technology Users Survey

If you don't see an topic in my EDuTechs schedule that interest you, no need to worry. You can have a say in what I present during the EDuTechs sessions by responding to my technology survey. I sent out this survey in August but I didn't get a big response, so I'm re-posting the link here. It is a short survey and will only take a couple of minutes to complete.

Survey Link -

Checking Out Laptops & iPads

Anytime that you use laptops or iPads in your classroom, you need to check them out. All equipment can be checked out using the Equipment Check Out calendars located at the top of the Teacher Portal. Here are a few rules and guidelines to keep in mind when checking out equipment.

  1. ALWAYS check out the equipment -even if you are only using 3 or 4 laptops for FasttMath. The calendars are our only way to monitor equipment use.
  2. Be prompt when picking up and returning equipment. There are often teachers waiting to pick up equipment.
  3. Usually teachers check out equipment for use in the AM (8:00 am - 12 noon) or PM (12 noon - 3:00 pm). Fourth and Fifth grade teachers can sign out equipment for a full day so that they can cover both classes.
  4. Check out the same equipment for up to 3 days in a row. If you need it longer than that, check with the CRS.
  5. Always report damaged or equipment that is not working to the CRS, as soon as possible. Use the ETT Service Request form.

Equipment Check Out calendars -

Thanksgiving on the Web

I always like to share my favorite Thanksgiving website with teachers. It is from Scholastic and every year they add something new to this fabulous site. A cool feature on this site is Letters from the New World. You can sign up for this program, and beginning a week or so before Thanksgiving they will email you a letter a from one of the pilgrims. It makes a great story-starter or journal prompt for your students. The sign up on the front page of the site. This site is extensive. It will take you several minutes to explore everything that is available on the site. There is something for every grade level.

The First Thanksgiving -

Student Teachers & Long Term Subs

Student Teachers

Throughout the school year, some of you might have the opportunity to work with a student teacher or practicum student. Since these students are not employed by VBCPS I am unable to check out or assign a laptop to them. They are supposed to have access to the "teacher" laptop in order to use the Promethean board. We do not have extra laptops to provide to teachers who are supervising these students. You will need to share. Student teachers can access printers, the internet and software programs by using the generic log in.

Long Term Subs
If you are ever out on long term leave, remember that you must leave your laptop in your classroom so that the long term sub is able to use the Promethean board during your absence.

Don't Get Caught in the Dark!

Please remember to turn off your Promethean projector whenever you leave the room or not using it for more tahn 30 minutes. I often pass empty classrooms with projectors still burning brightly. Leaving the projector on all day long shorthens the life of the bulb and projector.

Fara T. Faust

Computer Resource Specialist
ISTE NET-T certified
District Level ActivInstructor