Wednesday, September 30, 2015

CAASPP Scores Now Available in Illuminate

2014-2015 CAASPP Scores are now available in Illuminate.  There are some nice custom reports available that will allow teachers and administrators to dive deeper into the data.  To access your CAASPP scores, complete the following steps.

  1. Login to Illuminate.   You can also login to Illuminate using our very own WUSD Illuminate Chrome App!  (Be sure you are logged into Chrome using your WUSD Google Account and visit your Chrome apps and click on the WUSD Illuminate logo.)
  2. Enter your username and password information.  Complete a helpdesk ticket if you need your Illuminate login credentials and/or have forgotten your password.Illuminate Login Screen
  3. Once logged in to Illuminate, locate the Favorites Widget on your dashboard (landing page) and make sure District Favorites is pressed as shown below.

    This favorites widget is currently customized to list all the available prebuilt Smarter Balanced Reports with great visuals along with raw data that can be viewed, downloaded, and further analyzed.

Classroom Teachers

You will find the Smarter Balanced Assessments Student Roster Report the most helpful initially.  Click on that prebuilt report title.

Do you want to see scores of your current students? (Example: As a current 4th grade teacher, this would display my current students scores from 3rd grade.)

  • Don't change the roster date, choose your desired subject area, group students as comprehensive, and click on view in browser.
Do you want to see scores of your students from last year?

  • Change the roster date to 14-15, choose your desired subject area, group students as comprehensive, and click on view in browser.

Use the Additional Filters to drill down into your data for subgroup information.

Looking for Student Level Reports for IEPs or to share during conferences?

On the Favorites Menu, click on the Smarter Balanced Assessment Student Report.

Administrators & Specialists

The Smarter Balanced Assessment Performance Summary Prebuilt report will initially be the most helpful in providing an overview of student performance.

Depending on your level of access you will see a screen similar to the one below that you can customize to meet your data inquiry question and/or reporting needs.

Spreadsheet View

If you prefer viewing your data in the form of a spreadsheet, then you will want to select State Assessment - 2014-2015 SBA Summative (Final) English Language Arts or Mathematics from your District Favorites Widget as shown below.

This view will provide you a spreadsheet with all the raw data based on the filters you choose.

If you have any questions as you are accessing your CAASPP scores within Illuminate, please let me know.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

New Explore Feature in Google Sheets

Visualize your data in Google Sheets instantly!

The new Explore Feature in Google Sheets automatically generates multiple graphics of your data like that seen on the left. This graph was generated from sign-ups for a recent technology professional development.

To explore your data visually:

1) Open a Google Sheets file that contains your data.

2) Click on the small explore icon found on the bottom right of your screen.

3) Explore the different auto-generated visualizations of your data.

4) Find one you like? Click the Insert Chart Icon which will appear as you hover over the top left corner of your chart.

Imagine all the possibilities for your students with this Explore Feature now available within Google Sheets.  If you are looking for large data sets for students to explore, check out  They have different data sets on a wide variety of topics designed exclusively for students in grades 3-12.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

New Templates in Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides! Oh, My!!

This is an exciting week of new features available in Google. If you visit your home page of Docs, Sheets, or Slides you will notice new templates readily accessible at the top of the page. You can get to the each apps homepage by clicking on the waffle and then clicking on your desired apps icon (Docs, Sheets, or Slides).

Try out some of these preexisting templates to make your workflow more efficient and productive. Students can use them as a starting point as they create different projects.  Within Docs, you can find report, letter, and resume templates and much more! Within Sheets, there are planners, calendars, and scheduling templates. In Slides, you can find templates for student certificates, book reports, and much, much more!

Monday, September 21, 2015

New Themes in Google Slides

NEW to Google Slides this week are brand new themes!  When you create a new Google Slide file you will notice new theme choices on the right side of your screen.  These choices have been updated and modernized to give you and your students more choices for their presentations.

If you still can't find what you need, there is a choice to import theme at the bottom of the screen.

1. Choose Import Theme

2. Choose a Theme from an existing presentation or Upload a Theme.

3.  Looking for additional themes to upload?  Check out for even more FREE Google Slides Templates.

How might you use some of these new themes in Google Slides?

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Voice Typing in Google Docs

NEW Voice Typing Tool in Google Docs is being released to our domain this week! When using Google Docs, users will be able to navigate to the Tools menu, select Voice typing and then see a microphone icon on their screen. This icon functions as a toggle switch. When gray, recording is paused. When red, recording is in progress. This tool will record your words as well as substitute punctuation marks that are said. "Isn't this a neat feature question mark" will be recorded as "Isn't this a neat feature?" Do you want to skip a line?  Just say "New Line."

Like any voice recognition tool, it isn't always 100% accurate. But it can provide a powerful tool for students to get their initial thoughts down on paper and then continue editing and revising within the writing process. How might you use this new tool in your classroom?

Please Note: The release of this feature begins September 21. It may take a few days until it appears in your tool bar. For best results, the use of a microphone is recommended.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Dear WUSD EdTech Blog: Adding Your Teacher Picture to Google Classroom

Dear Not Part of the Blue Man Group,

I applaud your efforts to add your image to your Google Classroom.  Your students will appreciate seeing a friendly, familiar face as opposed to the default Shadow Icon.  Besides solving your Google Classroom dilemma, adding your image will also keep you from appearing as an initial in shared Google Files.   

Like most things in Google, there are multiple ways to accomplish this.  You can set up your Google+ profile and add an image there or if you're already in Google Classroom, here's another way to add your picture.   
  1. Open Google Classroom. (Do you need to be verified as a teacher?  If yes, send an email to Melissa.)
  2. Click on Hotdogs and go to Settings at the bottom of the page. 
  3. Click on Change Profile Picture
4. You will be presented with the following choices: Upload Photos or Take Picture from Web Camera.  If you are uploading a photo, it is recommended that the size is no smaller than 250 px x 250 px.  If you are taking a picture, you may be prompted to allow access to your camera.

5. Click Set as profile photo.  You will no longer appear like a member of the Blue Man Group.

Thanks for your question, Not a Part of the Blue Man Group.  

                                                   WUSD EdTech Blog

PS: If you have more questions for the WUSD EdTech Blog, let us know!  We're here to answer them for you and the larger WUSD community.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Volunteers Needed. Youth Hackathon West Sacramento

On September 11-13, Code for Hood is hosting a Youth Hackathon in West Sacramento at the Community Center and is looking for volunteers to help make this event a success.  Many of our students, ages 12-17 are participating and will have the opportunity to explore game design, web design, coding and much, much more!

The event organizers are looking for volunteers, no tech experience required, to help in a variety of roles over the three days.  They have divided the volunteer schedule in 4-5 hour blocks.  You may commit to as little or a much time as you're willing to give. This is a great opportunity to support our community and learn more about the maker movement in education.  Visit the Code For Hood website to learn more about the event and see the attached schedule with event organizer contact information if you'd like to volunteer ASAP.