Taylor ISD DuckLink # 52

empowering student success and school improvement

February 9, 2016

a publication of the Taylor ISD Technology Department

Writing Notes vs Typing Notes

A few studies have been conducted comparing writing notes vs typing notes on a laptop. One of the most well known is from Pam Mueller and Daniel Oppenheimer. This post from Scientific American explains the idea in detail. Essentially, educators are challenged with teaching our students that simply typing the notes does not mean they have a deep conceptional understanding of the material. If we want students to truly understand the material, draw conclusions, make connections, apply concepts, and evaluate the evidence, we need to encourage them when they type notes to take it further.

Here are some ideas of how student digital notes can be improved and hopefully increase comprehension.

  1. Google Docs- Assign students to share notes from Google Docs and then add comments to each others, ask questions, etc
  2. Diagrams- Required students to take notes but then put them in a diagram with tools such as Google Drawings, Draw.io or Gliffy.
  3. MindMapping- Students can explain concepts using MindMup or Bubbl.us
  4. Sketchnoting- If students are using tablets such as iPads consider having them sketchnote using apps such as Paper 53, Skitch, or Flipink

Google Calendar: Appointment Slots

Are you looking for a great way to schedule parent conferences? There is a feature in Google Calendar called appointment slots that can be used for this. Follow these procedures.


  1. Go to https://calendar.google.com.
  2. Change the view to Week.
  3. Click a time period on the calendar.
  4. Click the link labeled Appointment slots.
  5. Click edit details.
  6. Fill out the necessary information.
  7. Copy the calendar appointment page link.
  8. Click Save.
  9. Share the link with parents to signup for slots.
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Nearpod is For You! Yes You!

If you are a classroom teacher you must try Nearpod. I have been a huge fan since it first became available. You can create or download existing lessons, share your presentations with students at your pace, provide them interactive methods to respond, and generate reports. These presentations can be teacher-paced or student-paced. They work on all devices too. Click here for a slideshow- Meet Nearpod.


The interactive features for students include, open ended questions, a pdf viewer, web page, draw it, poll, quiz, audio, video, slideshow (self-paced), virtual field trips, fill in the blanks, and memory test.


The free edition (Silver) of Nearpod doesn't contain all these features but is still a great tool. Contact me at jphale@taylorisd.org to be considered for a School Edition upgrade that contains all these features.

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TCEA Resources

One of the largest conventions in the country for education named the Texas Computer Education Convention was held last week in Austin. This conference brought together over 13, 000 educators to learn how technology can be leveraged to promote student success. This conference was for all educators. Here are many of the handouts from the sessions you may find useful.


TCEA Handouts

Growth Mindset video #2 produced by ClassDojo.
Big Ideas for the classroom: Growth Mindset - Episode 2/5

Subscribe to the IT Blog!

I've started posting items on the new Instructional Technology blog. I hope to post a few tech tips per week. You can get a feed of the post via Google+ or visit the blog and sign up via email.


Taylor ISD Instructional Technology Blog

Help Desk Contact

Eduphoria Help Desk- https://taylor.schoolobjects.com

Phone: 512-365-5015 or x1900


Be sure to visit the Taylor ISD Technology site for more information.