Monday, August 17, 2015

Digital Citizenship Lessons to Start Off the Year

Common Sense Media defines a digital citizen as someone who knows how to harness the power of technology safely, respectfully, and responsibly. Digital Citizenship lessons will help prepare our students for 21st century learning environments.

For the upcoming 2015-2016 school year, we are focusing on the meeting the Internet Safety Education Requirements outlined in the Children's Internet Protect Act (CIPA) and will be using the curriculum provided by Common Sense Media. They offer a wealth of standards-aligned, research-based lessons available beyond these requirements. All lessons can be low-tech with pen and paper or there is an option for a more teched-up version.  Lesson materials are also available in Spanish for our bilingual classrooms.

These are the required lessons for each grade level:
Once you complete the required lesson we ask that you complete the following verification form and send to Melissa Oliver via district mail or scanned email.  

You are highly encouraged to check out the lessons beyond those listed above.   Within the Common Sense Media Scope & Sequence, you'll find great lessons on teaching students effective searching skills, copyright, and much more that will complement your ongoing classroom instruction.  These are great lessons anytime during the year and especially at start of a new school year as you prepare to take students into the computer labs, use mobile devices, and collaborate with on another using Google Apps.  You may even want to consider becoming a Common Sense Media Digital Citizenship Certified Educator.  If you have questions or would like additional support, please reach out for support!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Google, Google, and more Google at Teacher University

We had 107 teachers participate in our Technology Offerings at Teacher University on August 12. The excitement in the room about Google Apps for Education (GAfE) was electric. Teachers jumped in and explored various resources and experienced first-hand the power of communication and collaboration that the Google Suite of Tools offers within Education. The Google Tech Sessions focused on Google Drive, Google Chrome, and Google Classroom. Teachers were flexible as we made adjustments to our sessions. locations, and devices to best meet the demand.

All the resources for our Google Sessions are now available on the WUSD EdTech Website for your reference. If you were not able to attend and/or would like additional support or practice, we have a full calendar of PD trainings scheduled for the 2015-2016 school year. Registration will open soon.

The entire tech team is here to support you with individual or small group coaching to best meet your needs. As you continue to work within the Google environment as questions arise, please reach out so we can support out. Who knows?  Your question may be the topic of a future blog post or tutorial.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Wireless Update: Connecting & Disconnecting Windows 7 Devices

Lots of exciting technology changes are happening within our district as our entire department is working tirelessly to prepare for the upcoming 2015-2016 school year.

Watch this short tutorial (1:34) that describes what you need to know and do when using your district-provided Windows 7 laptop to connect and disconnect from our wireless networks.

Following these steps will ensure that everyone enjoys peak performance on our networks and avoid any potential H:// drive confusion.

Look for more short tutorials on other exciting changes regarding student logins and Google Apps coming soon.  Also, be sure to check out our Technology Department Webpage for even more resources, including our Technology Training Calendar.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Teacher University August 12

The first WUSD Teacher University of the 2015-2016 school year will take place Wednesday, August 12 at Westmore Oaks Elementary from 8:30-3:00. There is an exciting line-up of professional learning opportunities to set the stage for the upcoming school year. Workshops include:

  • Digital Literacy
  • CA ELD Standards
  • ELA/ELD Framework
  • CA Common Core ELA Standards
  • CA Common Core Math Standards
  • Google, Google, and more Google
  • Introduction to NGSS
  • Classroom Management
  • Social Services
  • Formative Assessment to Support English Learners

With such a broad range of workshops, there is something for everyone. You can see full workshop descriptions here. If learning more about meaningful technology integration is part of your professional learning plan for the upcoming school year, we hope to see you on August 12.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Synergyse with your Chrome Browser

Are you seeking short tips for how to do various things in Google Drive? Or perhaps you're working in Google Docs and want to translate a document? Maybe you wish someone or something would demonstrate step-by-step how to perform a particular task within our new Google environment. We have a solution for all these scenarios.

Introducing Synergyse! Synergyse provides short personalized, responsive, and interactive tutorials within the Google environment. Working in Google Drive? Click on the Training menu and you'll see short tutorials just about Google Drive. Can't find what you're looking for, use the search menu.

Working in Google Docs? The training menu changes and reflects tasks specific to Google Docs. Working in Google Classroom? The training menu responds to your environment and will only show you topics related to Google Classroom.

To access Synergyse, you must log in to the Chrome browser using your WUSD Google Apps Account. Here's how:

1. Open the Chrome Browser

2. Click the Hotdogs, then Settings
3. Click Sign in to Chrome

4. Enter your full WUSD email address and password. Click Sign in and you are signed into Chrome.

5. To activate Synergyse the first time, go to Click on the Waffle (Apps Launcher) and go to Google Drive.

6. Once in Google Drive, wait a moment and you'll see WUSD Training appear. Click on Training to get started!

We think you'll like Synergyse with the just in time support. However, Synergyse is not just for teachers and staff. Students will also have access to Synergyse. As you're thinking of your procedures for the upcoming school year you may want to include Synergyse to your "Ask three before me" expectations when working within the Google environment. Students can access answers to their own questions at their fingertips. Just remember, you must log in to Chrome with your WUSD Google Account to access this tremendous resource.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Google Apps for Education is Here!

Google Apps for Education
Google Apps for Education (GAFE) is here and available to ALL teachers. We are excited about how Google tools will promote collaboration, creativity, and communication in the classroom. If you would like to get started with GAFE prior to attending our upcoming trainings scheduled this Fall, you will need to activate your account. This first step must occur on a hard-wired, networked school computer.

1.  Log on to hard-wired, networked computer using your regular WUSD credentials.
2.  Press Control + Alt + Delete
3.  Choose Select Change Password

4.  Type in Password 3 times (Note: You do NOT have to actually change your password. This action will resync you within our system and activate your GAFE account)

5. Visit, click blue sign-in button, and sign-in using your FULL WUSD email address and when prompted, your password.

6.  Welcome to your WUSD Google Account!  

Continue to watch this blog for more updates and tips and tricks. We look forward to seeing you at our trainings this Fall or at Teacher University on August 12.  If you are eager to learn more before our scheduled trainings, I recommend visiting the Google for Education: Training Center.