Athenaeum Columns

April 2016


Need professional development hours? Remember to use your Synergyse Google training for hours.

Google Quick Tips

Google Templates

Tired of that same boring Google Slide? Spice it up with new templates from Slides Carnival.
Use the Boomerang Chrome Extension to set up email to send at a future date. It integrates directly in your Gmail! Each month, you can schedule up to 10 messages to be sent, brought back to your inbox, or tracked for a response for free.

iPad & Web 2.0 Tools

Library Resources

Did you know we have an extensive collection of ebooks through Overdrive?

  • Log-in instructions for students and staff:
  • Need help? Come to the Athenaeum for help in accessing through your phone, laptop, or tablet or we will come to you!

Cardinal Techie at Work!

Mr. Chmiel

The Ed.Tech Team asked Mr. Chmiel a few questions. Let's learn a little bit more about this techie Cardinal!

Favorite technology you use (personal or business):

My favorite part of technology is Yelp. My wife and I love to eat good food, and Yelp helps us find great restaurants of every kind of food you can imagine. Without it, my life would be significantly less enjoyable.

What do you find most useful when integrating technology in the classroom?

I find it most useful to use technology in a collaborative way that gives students ownership of their learning, while at the same time taking work away from me so that I can focus on other things, like providing feedback to students.

What piece of advice would you give those trying to integrate technology in the classroom?

My advice to anyone who wants to integrate technology into their classroom: think about what any given tool can provide that isn't already provided by something else. I remember being at an AP conference once where some highly-awarded teachers did a session on using iPads in the classroom. All we did was use a "white board" app to write and display our answers to the group. Those were really expensive white boards. In that situation, we would have to think: what can iPads do that white boards, paper, textbooks, etc. could never do?

How Mr. Chmiel uses Google Sheets

A very non-flashy, but effective practice I have with technology is to use Google Sheets for students to create vocab lists. I have lists of words I want them to use, but they work together to create the definitions. Depending on the types of words and the level the students are at, they might write definitions in Spanish for some of the words, or they might choose a picture that best represents the word. When they're working in groups, after 20 minutes, we have 2-3 definitions for each of 75 vocab words. Then, over the next several weeks, the definitions (or pictures) that the students provided make up their vocab quizzes. The students feel empowered because they're designing their own quizzes, they're learning some of the words really well by having to think critically about what definition or picture works best for the word, and I spend less time on writing quizzes and more time on providing feedback.

Mr. Chmiel (credit to Ms. Rodgers Yearbook Class)

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Staff Book Club

Thursday, April 28th, 4-5pm

900 Coit Rd

Plano, TX

We are reading Bull Mountain by Brian Panowich.