Tech Nuggets

December 2014

Google Apps in the Classroom

During Tech in the Building this past month, I asked the question, "What Google Apps are you using and how do you use them?" While the answers varied, it is clear that almost everyone is comfortable with the following: sending and receiving emails, looking at calendars shared with them, and looking at documents shared with them. In an effort to help us advance in our Google App skills and use, I am working on a blog series entitled "Google Apps in the Classroom" to showcase the various apps and new ways to use them in your position and with students.

Tech in the Building - December

I will not be coming around for Tech in the Building this month. If you have any technology issues, resource needs or questions, please email me. I will be happy to assist you with anything technology related.

My cursor has horizontal lines around it. What do I do?

The tech department has received a few calls recently about this very issue. Your computer will be working just fine and the you start to get horizontal lines on either side of your cursor. Sometimes they go away, but then they reappear. The problem seems to be a video distortion issue in the logic board. Most people get by ok using their computer, but over time it becomes a challenge to get your mouse to click on the area you want. The only fix we have for this issue is sending your computer into Apple for repair. Our normal procedure is to collect your computer, back-up your files and then set-up a new computer for you with your files transferred over to the new machine. This process can take between 24-48 hours, depending on the size of the files we need to back-up. We do send the "bad" computer into Apple so they can replace the logic board.

If you are having an issue like this, please contact the tech department. Don't be surprised if we ask you the severity of the issue and if you are ready for us to collect your computer.

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Google Calendar - Find out new ways to use Google Calendar to make your life easier

It just has this little ding... - Discover how much of a beating your laptop can take and still "keep on ticking"

What happens in TIG... - Get the scoop behind the latest technology trends and tools--this month was Demo Slams and Google Tour Builder

Changes to Google Spreadsheets - Learn about the new version of Google Sheets and how it will impact you

Google Apps in the Classroom - Gives you a quick introduction to Google Apps For Education
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Digital Citizenship

Provides essential information for students, teacher and parents about digital citizenship and being safe on the Internet. Contains games, learning activities, videos and teacher resources for both primary and secondary students.

13 Strategies to Improve Student Classroom Discussions

This article presents time-tested strategies to engage students in discussions as well as evidence anchor charts.

Hour of Coding

Introduce students to computer coding with the Hour of Coding. Site provides resources and tips to assist educators.

500 Prompts for Narrative and Personal Writing

Great collection of writing prompts you can use with students for narrative and personal writing. This would be a useful list if you are having students blog.

National Park Service: B-Roll Video Archive

Watch and download video footage from various national parks. These videos are part of the public domain, so you can use them without the concern of breaking copyright.

Delivering Differentiated Instruction in Your Classroom

Article from Edudemic providing the basic premise of differentiated instruction and implementation in the classroom.

The First Thanksgiving

Virtual tours, videos and slideshows for elementary students. Also includes teacher guides and resources - all common core aligned.

Infographic: Citizenship in the digital age

This infographic, by ISTE, compares and contrasts the characteristics of a good citizen to a good digital citizen.

3 Sites every teacher should try this year

Highlights the features in the following three web tools: Newsela, Kahoot and Tackk.

A Handful of Resources for Teaching About Thanksgiving

From Free Technology for Teachers this collection is geared toward upper elementary through high school age students. This is a good collection to have at your finger tips.

If you have any website recommendations you would like to share, please email them to Ms. Lehman.

Remember, you can access sites from past Website Wednesdays by going to Ms. Lehman's Diigo Library.

Not all sites are geared for students, but all sites are reviewed for ease of use, content and usefulness. Ms. Lehman makes every effort to check the accessibility of the sites for staff and students, but sometimes she misses one. If a site is ever recommended that you and/or your students cannot access, please email her and she will get it unblocked.

New USD 495 Videos

Embed iPhoto Slideshows on Weebly

Learn how to take an iPhoto slideshow and convert it to a movie format that can be embedded on your classroom website.
Embed iPhoto Slideshows

Working with Google Calendar

Event Reminders in Google Calendar teaches you how to create events and invite guests to your events in Google Calendar.

Google Calendar Sharing shows you how to share a calendar with other people.

Embed Calendar to Weebly walks you through the steps of adding a Google Calendar to your Weebly classroom website.
Event Reminders in Google Calendar

New Mobile Apps for Month

The following mobile apps were purchased for the district during the month of November. See one you want to try out with your students? Submit a USD 495 App Request form.

Check out other apps available for student devices on the USD 495 Apps website.