Long Sands Beach York, ME Google Street View
The school year is winding down and those last minute assignments, projects, graduation requirements and finals are all being feverishly completed, turned in and studied for in these final weeks of school. The weather is starting to change for the better, and there does seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel.
Summer can be a refreshing time for educators and students looking for a break, a change of pace, or just some time to get outdoors and enjoy the weather.
For some, it is a time to take a college course, revamp a website, attend that professional development webinar, or tutorial, that there just wasn't enough time for during the school year. The summer months can afford this time for growth, reflection and edits without the disruptions of the regular school year.
This year the tech team will not be collecting educator devices at the end of the school year as in the past. In fact, we encourage you to hold onto them and use them to enhance your own learning, or create that jaw dropping lesson that you have been meaning to accomplish during this busy year.
New devices for professional staff K - 6 and 9 - 12 will be shipped to the schools during the mid summer weeks. The tech team will be on hand to schedule some times to come in and swap out devices (calendar invites will be sent out).
The tech team will then assist you with Apple's "out of the box experience" to setup your new device(s) with your own preferences and needs. Once again you will be the administrator of your own device.
Be sure to backup your vital data and files prior to swapping out your machine. This can take hours if you have a lot of files and you may not be able to setup your machine and take it with you on the day of the swap if a backup has not been performed ahead of time.
Before backing up, it is a good idea to weed out files you no longer need, and organize the ones that you want to keep. It's easy to say that this can be done at a later date, but a clean backup is really worth the time and energy.
It is not necessary to have all of your files located on your new machine either. Photos and video files take up a lot of space. For this reason, it may be a good idea to place these file types onto an external hard drive, the school server, or a cloud storage solution (iCloud, Google Drive, Dropbox, etc.). For tips and best practices for backing up your essential files, refer to the Teacher Laptop Backup Guide embedded below.
Along with new teacher devices, we are looking at teacher presentation tools within the learning environments as well. Whether you have an interactive white board, TV, projector, or even an overhead projector, we want to make sure you have what you need to deliver your content in the best way that you can to your students.
The tech team is walking around and updating the inventory and budgeting for new dongles, Apple TVs, external disk drives and converters. An Apple TV would allow teachers and/or students to wirelessly broadcast what they have on their Apple devices up to the screen at the front of the room. (To learn more about the wireless streaming solution in the classroom, refer to the previous blog post, "Apple TV: Will it Replace the Interactive White Board?")
If you need any assistance weeding and/or storing your files, please do not hesitate to contact a member of the tech team. Also, if you have any known problems with your current device, please let a member of the tech team know about that as well so that we can address these issues during the summer months to get them ready for redeployment to students.
Lastly, remember that technology is everywhere you look, and has become a huge part of our daily tasks in our busy lives, but balance is always the key. Technology can enhance and share your experiences, provide collaborative and efficient ways to communicate, and offer ways to be creative, however, sometimes you just have to put down your device, look up and enjoy all that life has to offer in the physical world.
Have a wonderful summer!
York Support Sites
Tech support for all of your needs. Check out the tutorials section for website transitions and creation. REMINDER all First Class and iWeb pages will no longer exist after July 1st, 2014.
All things Google Apps for Education. Watch tutorails, research helpful links and get started on your journey through GAFE.
Have you registered for Summer Institute featuring GAFE Peak yet? Don't miss the fun June 23rd - 26th.
New Links for Teachers
By “branching,” I am referring to the option in Google forms to, “go to page based on answer.” You may or may not have noticed this little check box when creating a Google form. This little box can make a big difference, and can offer ways to use Google forms to differentiate for students.
As educators, we are continually trying to help our students learn. We’re always telling them the importance of learning and that the skills we teach them will be useful throughout the rest of their lives. But, sometimes we, as educators, forget that we should also be learning. An educator is a life-long student. Educators should always be bettering their craft and finding the newest and best ideas to share with their students. How can we continue learning?
With technology playing a central role in education, teaching Digital Citizenship I believe, is a foundational and non-negotiable message that should be taught explicitly to all students. Digital Citizenship not only teaches students the etiquette involved in being a smart and effective participant in a digital world, but it empowers and equips students with essential life tools to help them navigate challenging digital based situations.
Professional development for educators often means going to a conference for a day or hosting guest speaker for a day at your school. Too often teachers come away from those experiences inspired, but unsure of how to actually get started on the path to better utilizing technology in their classrooms. The purpose of each Practical Ed Tech course is to pick up where those traditional professional development opportunities leave off.
This year, I asked my students what skills they think they would need to be successful in the 21st century workplace. They said things like perseverance, collaboration, hustle, being personable, being tech savvy, and strong, asynchronous communication. I then showed them pictures of 21st century workspaces and explained how they were designed to foster those skills.
Expert reviews of kid apps, video games, websites, and smart toys.
Called “Using iOS Apps for Teaching & Learning,” it’s 8 pages long and really, honestly isn’t as self-embracing and superificial as you’d expect. Of course, it’s only 8 pages and acts more as an overview than the book, PD, and years of experience it actually requires to get it just right.
You don’t have to be in a one to one iPad classroom to integrate this powerful tablet into your everyday routine. Here are just a sampling of some great apps to use with your one iPad...
New Google Tools
This cheat sheet focuses more on the management side of Google Drive.
You can find thousands of apps on the web to do things like create documents, edit photos, and listen to music in the browser. The Chrome Web Store makes it easier to find the exact apps you need with its collections and categories. Once you find an app you like in the store, just add it to your Chromebook to find it in your apps list. In addition to the apps pre-installed on your Chromebook, here are just a few apps that you can use everyday, at school, and at work.
MSAD 60 decided to implement a 1:1 Chromebook project for students in grades 4-12 this year and opt out of the state MLTI program. Here is a brief history and tips for using these devices with staff and students.
New users of Google Drive frequently ask me “how do I change the orientation of a document?” To create a Google Document with a landscape orientation select “Page setup” from the “File” drop-down menu.
Google’s launch into the learning management system world was received with a lot of buzz.
Classroom, a centralized place for teachers and students to communicate, work on assignments and have discussions, is scheduled for release in September 2014.
The only requirement is that you use Google Chrome as your browser, and be sure to perform all of these steps while you have internet connectivity.
Click on this list to see some of the authors favorites. Add your favorites to the comments section to have it added to the list.
Read & Write is a Google Chrome Web App that increases the accessibility of the text of documents in your Google Drive account.