Tech Snacks

Byte-Sized Treats to Transform Learning 8/21/18

EdTech VIP Challenge #4: Google Sites

The #EdTechVIP Challenge is back and looking for FCPS teachers to try new things and share their work. This month’s challenge is to share a Google Site that you or your students have created. Maybe it’s your classroom website or a student project from last year. Simply tweet a quick description (include grade level) with a link or picture and tag it with @fcpsoit and #EdTechVIP or send us an email at We will send you your very own badge for participating and we may highlight your work in future editions of Tech Snacks!

Want to catch up on the first three #EdTechVIP Challenges? Visit the EdTechVIP Challenge page on our blog for all the details.
Big picture

Getting to Know Your Students using Google Apps

Looking for creative and collaborative ways to learn more about your students during the first weeks of school? Google Slides and Forms to the rescue! Instead of scouring the web for hours, try one of these ready-made activities.

Student Snapshot with Google Slides
Use this template to create a Student Snapshot activity with your students. By using a collaborative slide deck, students will use text and images to give a visual snapshot of their favorite things. Students can then comment and ask questions to their peers. Once completed, you will have a student directory that you can refer back to or even share with your parents. The directions for sharing and completing the activity with your students is embedded within the template. Want more inspiring ideas and examples for using Slides in the classroom? Refer to this presentation.

Preview (take a look at the activity)

Get Your Own Copy (make your own copy of the activity to use/modify)

Google Forms Student Interest Inventory
What are your students interested in? Ask them! Ask them often and in a variety of ways. Knowing the answers will allow you to know how to engage them and how to relate content to their lives. Google Forms is just one way to collect data from your kiddos and it’s easy to review the results whenever you need. Two examples are linked below to inspire you, or feel free to make a copy to use and modify with your students.

Primary Example:


Make Your Own Copy

If the copy link doesn't work, open the preview link. Choose "file" and "make a copy".

Upper Example:

Preview (take a look at the activity)

Make Your Own Copy (make your own copy of the activity to use/modify)

Inspired? We would love to see examples of how you are using these (and other) tools with your students.

Big picture

Taking One for the Team - FCPS Help Desk

For a couple of years, our Tech Support crew has been grouped together in teams to support our six high school feeder patterns of schools in the district. These teams consist of LAN techs and computer technicians working together to maintain hardware such as PCs, Chromebooks, network switches, iPads; to support numerous software programs in the district; and to upgrade wired and wireless infrastructure throughout the district. Their missions and priorities change weekly and sometimes hourly depending on the greatest needs in the district to keep instruction running in the classroom. To keep track of repairs and needs, Tech Support Teams rely on the Help Desk ticket system.

A Help Desk ticket is triggered by clicking on the “Help Desk!” icon on your Windows PC desktop or by visiting this address -

When you reach the website, be sure to click on “Computer Technology Help Click Here.” After you sign in and fill out the form, you can attach a file to help describe a problem. Often, technicians will ask what error message was displayed, and it is sometimes difficult to remember the exact wording. Do yourself a favor (and the techs too!) and take a screenshot of the message. My favorite tool to do this is the Snipping Tool. I have pinned the Snipping Tool to my taskbar so it is easily accessible when I need to take a screenshot of something. Did you know that Snipping Tool has a delay feature? This is really handy when you need to capture a dropdown menu or your mouse hovering over an active object. After you take a “snip” of your screen, be sure to save it on your computer so you can attach it with your Help Desk ticket.

Think your tech should see a video of what is going on with your computer? You can easily take a short video of your screen with the Google extension, Screencastify. Here are some tips to get you started! How to Use Screencastify Tips

Big picture

Let InsertLearning Rock Your Classroom World

Turn a webpage into a self-contained lesson that can be imported into Google Classroom? Sign up -- stat -- with a Chrome extension called InsertLearning. Add sticky notes, questions, and discussions, or highlight text passages, to offer students an interactive experience to guide their learning. Then with a click on the button, assign the annotated page to a Google Classroom course. Click on this link to see a time-lapse video on this great resource, which is also FERPA compliant, meaning it's approved to use with students.

Big picture

Google Forms Update

As you create or reuse Google Forms, you’ll notice updates - some created just for teachers. You’ll find everything in the same place, so don’t hesitate to get started. If you’d like some help, please let us know. Updates include:

  • Theme Options - Background and font choices

  • Quiz answer suggestions

  • Autocomplete answers

  • Decimal grades

  • Quiz total points at top while creating quiz

More information

Technology Professional Development

Be on the lookout! Technology related PD sessions will be delivered to your inbox very soon. You will always be able to access sessions through
Big picture