Tech Nuggets

January 2015

Shut Me down!

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Over the last few weeks, I've received calls and emails regarding issues with the Chromebooks. Issues included the touch pad not working properly and pages not loading or functioning properly. Along with the Chromebooks, I've received reports of the iPads not functioning properly. The slide bar won't slide so you can access the iPad and some of the apps won't open. These devices are no different than your school laptop, after about a week of never being powered off, they get tired and need to be refreshed. The best solution is to shut them down - totally power them off. On the iPad, make sure you close out all the apps first; remember that getting out of the app is not the same as closing an app. (Click HERE to access a quick video on how to quit your apps.)

Shutting down the Chromebook: Many people have the habit of just holding down the power button on a computer to turn it off, but this isn't the safest method. You will see techs use this method when the computer is locked up and not responding. It is often referred to as a hard shutdown. However, the best method for shutting down, particularly on a Chromebook, is logging out of your account and then clicking on the shutdown button in the lower left corner of the computer screen. The end of the day is a good time to shut down these computers. In fact, make it a habit in your classroom after students complete their final computer activity for the day. Although, if the computer is acting strangely, then go ahead and shut it down (don't forget to log out first). Count to about 10 and then restart the computer. This should resolve any glitches, however, if the issue remains contact the tech department.

Shutting down the iPad & iPods: These devices are trickier to shut down because once you power them off and plug them into the charging cart, they just turn themselves back on. That's OK. It is recommended that you shut down the iPads and iPods at least once a week. Again, have students power the iPads and iPods off after completing their final work with the device for the day. Make sure all the apps are closed first. Then hold down the power button until the slide bar appears and says 'slide to power off.' Slide the bar to power off, but don't plug the device into the cart until the spinning circle is gone from the screen. This means it is completely off.

As I stated earlier, your school laptop (MacBook Pro) should also be shut down at least once a week, possibly more often if you frequently travel between buildings. Like the Chromebooks, quit all your applications before shutting down the computer. Personally, I recommend choosing 'shutdown' rather than restart, letting it completely shut off, counting to 10 and then restarting it. If you are shutting it down at the end of the day, then just leave the computer off until you need it again. I normally do this Friday evening before I leave the office because I usually don't look at my computer again until Saturday or Sunday. This small task can resolve issues with applications and overall sluggishness of your computer.
If you type in, you'll notice that the district website looks different. You are correct! In fact, we are using an entirely different tool to create our website. So, you might be asking yourself "why did we get a new district website?" Like all things, part of the answer revolves around money. The new tool is costing less for creating and hosting our website. Saving a few dollars is always a plus, but that is not the sole reason for this facelift. We all know the saying, "If it's not broken, don't fix it," but sometimes we don't realize something is broken - or at least not fulfilling the purpose and goal it was originally intended to fill. While our site could have just been updated to remove out-dated resources and add new resources, the functionality was lacking in several areas. Webpage design tools have also improved over the years since we first obtained our district web site making it a little easier to format and add content.

As a result, those teachers and staff who have a class and/or organization web page created on our old web site will need to find a new tool. This past summer we offered a training session titled Develop Your Classroom Website that focused on three web site creation tools - Weebly, Google Sites and Blogger. Most of the teachers who attended this training opted to use Weebly for their classroom web page. With an easy drag & drop method, they could quickly format the pages to their liking. They were also able to copy content from their district web pages to their new web pages.

Here are some classroom web page examples:
Hanging with Mrs. Hatfield - created with Blogger
Mrs. Connelly's 1st Grade - created with Weebly
Mr. Deveaux's Homeroom Page - created with Weebly
Mrs. Wagner's Science Classroom - created with Google Sites
Mrs. Fitzpatrick's Classes - created with Weebly
Larned High School Choir - created with Weebly

Do you have your site started, but need ideas on what to include? Check out this article - Under Construction.

As I come around for Tech in the Building during January, I will be talking to each of you about your classroom web page.

Tech in the Building - Month

Location & Dates

Hillside - Wednesday, January 7th
Phinney - Tuesday, January 13th
Northside - Wednesday, January 14th
Larned Middle School - Tuesday, January 20th
Larned High School - Wednesday, January 21st

EEC & TriCounty Office - Friday, January 23rd (9am-11am)

*With the move to a new district website, my question for this month will focus on your classroom web page.
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Create with Weebly - Covers the transition to Weebly, a getting started video and other Weebly support resources

Out of My Comfort Zone at TIG - Covers online and app timeline creator tools and ideas for using selfies in the classroom
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Don't forget the next Intel Course: Mobile Learning and Creativity is now open for enrollment. Check out the flyer for more details -
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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.


For all those curiosity questions, Wonderopolis will meet your need. Check out the Wonder of the Day or explore various wonders from the category listings. Have a specific wonder? Then go to What are You Wondering and type in your question. Great tool for extended learning for learners of all ages!


Have a student interested in creating and recording their own music. Throw them at Soundtrap, an online music creator. You can connect your own instruments or use the software instruments to create your song recording. Use your computer mic to record your lyrics too. Soundtrap can be used on a variety of devices - Apple, Anrdoid, Linux, Windows and Chromebooks.

How to Build Your Own Custom Image Search Engine

From Free Technology for Teachers - This post shows you how to create a custom Google search for images that you can use with your students. The custom search can also be used for research projects. The video provides a great how-to.

Educational Videos: 197 Educational YouTube Channels You Should Know About - InformED :

This provides a more extensive list of channels for educators and includes categories for the arts, foreign languages, history, and university channels.

Resourceful YouTube Channels for Teachers and Educators

This list by EdTechReview is grouped by the following categories: general (more for your own professional learning), physical science, engineering & technolog, and mathematics.

The Best Places To Learn About Christmas, Hanukkah, & Kwanzaa

Collection of sites from Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day…

A Wonderful Poster on Failure

Famous Failures poster that you could post in your classroom to inspire all students and yourself.

The Best List of Reading Response Questions Ever. | The Caffeinated Librarian

Teacher explains using these response questions with daily reading response journals. This would be great to put into a format where students could either quickly flip through the list or where you could post a specific question each day - maybe a Google Slide.

The Complete List of 80 Teacher Discounts

Check out this list of stores where you can get teacher discounts on your purchases. Note that some discounts are based on location or only offered specific times of the year. Most require a school ID to verify you are an educator.

10 Best TED Talks of 2014 for Educators

An interesting collection of TED Talks for educators.

8 Uplifting Quotes For Discouraged Students

Inspirational quotes for struggling learners

Lights Project_Made with Code

Create the code that will light up the holiday tree outside the White House. Enter your code and state, then receive the date and time your code will display on the White House holiday tree. This is a basic drag and drop process to introduce students to coding.

The Big List of Educational Grants and Resources

A roundup of grants, contests, awards and classroom resources shared by Edutopia.

New USD 495 Videos

Google Classroom: Student View

Take a walk-though Google Classroom from a student's perspective.
Google Classroom Student View

Google Classroom: Unenrolling

See how students can unenroll from your Google Classroom course and what happens if they unenroll by "accident."
Google Classroom: Unenrolling

Getting Started with Weebly

This thorough look at Weebly is similar to what I show teachers who are getting started using Weebly.
Getting Started With Weebly

Closing Apps on the iPad

Learn the difference between closing and quitting the apps on your iPad.

New Mobile Apps for December

The following mobile apps were purchased for the district during the month of December. 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.
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Jumbled Sentences' series is designed for beginners to improve their writing skills. This app offers an easy and interactive way for beginners to learn the word order in a fun way. 'OK' button allows you to do self-checking on your own and get the correct answer without anyone's help.

How to play:
Put the parts in order to form a sentence. Tap on 'OK' to check your answer. You can earn one coin for each correct answer. If you get stuck, tap on 'Hint' and use one coin to find out the next correct part. Play as fast as you can to level up.

Jumbled Sentences 1
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Jumbled Sentences 3
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Jumbled Sentences 5
Jumbled Sentences 6

Enjoy this great holiday mash-up!

12 Days of Christmas

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!