Tuesday, November 29, 2016
Technology Update: Digital Citizenship - Must do's, Should do's, and the Can do's and the Why - 11/29/16
Monday, November 28, 2016
Monday, November 21, 2016
Want to learn more? Register for Geo Workshop on 12/1/16, from 3:30-5:00 at the District Office, Room 48. Teachers will be paid at their professional development rate.
Wednesday, November 16, 2016
Friday, October 28, 2016
Today’s segment will discuss GETTING YOUR PARENTS SIGNED UP AND INVOLVED. Class DoJo’s best feature is the fact that it brings parents right into your classroom in real time! Class DoJo makes it easy to get your parents set up, especially using parent emails. I click on “Get Parent Invites.” This allows you to print out parent invitations, and send them home with your students. Each parent and student gets a code to use in the app to get signed up.
Monday, October 24, 2016
Sunday, October 23, 2016
It all started with a search of the App store for educational apps. I saw the Class Dojo, read the description and promptly downloaded. This is now my fourth year using the app, and it has become a vital part of my classroom and pedagogy. I will publish a series of weekly blogs explaining why I love DoJo, the features, the many ways it helps in my classroom and the awesome team of developers. This week we will look at random picker and class management.
The first feature I fell in love with was the random picker, for many reasons. No more numbered sticks! I’ll never forget the time I realized one student was never getting picked from the sticks. It turned out the student had stolen the stick! With the Dojo random picker there are no more arguments about who is being picked for what. The students are able to accept the pick and move on. The Dojo often nabs students who are not paying attention, and we have a mantra “Dojo always knows!” The system also tends to steer the teacher from those “go to” students who you know will give a quick, correct answer. It cycles through the kids as long as you keep the app running. Alternatively, it will re-randomize the students every time you start the app.
Another excellent feature which can be used right away is positive and negative points. No more color cards, magnets on the whiteboard, or clothes pins for management systems. How many times have you said to yourself that the only time those systems are used is for negative situations? Plus, taking the time to have a kid get up and move the token is just not a good use of valuable class time. I have seen students distract and disrupt as they slowly walk across the room. With DoJo, a simple tap on my phone generates a rewarding sound or a recognizable negative sound. There is a neutral sound option if you want to give a warning or do not want to hand out negative points. You can have as many rewards and negatives as you want, all customizable by you. I have positive points set up for class answer, shaky point, one for each of our school rules and special ones with added point value, like Crushed It +3, Super-Duper +4, Wild Reader +5, and “It was a great day to be a Lion” +5.
Next week we will look at getting parents on board and the messenger feature.
If you have any questions please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to hear your comments, answer questions, or just to collaborate with you. Until next week happy DoJoing!
Friday, September 16, 2016
Instead of learning new language and unforgiving syntax, the new Google Sites allows for simple dragging and dropping of elements, resizing of pictures, and most appealingly easily accessible navigation. Now, not only can teachers create good looking websites to share with kids and parents and the community, but now children can too. Best of all, it fully integrates with the rest of the Google Apps, so you can embed YouTube videos, Maps, Slides, Docs, Sheets, or Forms right into your webpage.
The best part of Sites is that, like Google’s other great products, it will update over time and only improve.
If you’re interested in learning more about the New Google Sites, come to our Digital Communications PD on September 27, 2016! Register Today. https://goo.gl/forms/MGLdvnodJtqnv6jt2
Tuesday, August 9, 2016
If you would like your laptop this week:
- Complete a Help Desk Ticket at http://helpdesk.wusd.k12.ca.us/ requesting your laptop.
- Your site tech will work to accommodate your needs.
- If you cannot remember how to create a Help Desk Ticket, please see the helpdesk guide.
- You will need to complete and sign an Equipment Check Out form that your site tech will provide.
If you do not need your laptop until next Monday, August 15:
- Your laptop will be placed in your classroom on Thursday or Friday with an Equipment Check Out form.
- Please add your name and sign the form and return it to the folder in the front office at your site.
Site Tech Assignments for 2016/2017:
- River City: James Corson
- Stonegate, Westmore Oaks/MOT, Alyce Norman/Bryte: Damien Sintes
- Southport, Westfield, Riverbank: Jorge Monterrubio
- Elkhorn, Bridgeway Island, Yolo/District Office: Steve Calibo
Thursday, May 26, 2016
Cleaning up Google Classroom.
You will want to archive your classes at the end of the year. This will make them disappear from student dashboards while also preserving them so you can re-use assignments next year. Here's how.
- Login to Classroom. classroom.google.com
- Choose the meatballs on the classroom tile and select archive.
- Your class is now archived.
Tuesday, May 24, 2016
Are you interesting in becoming a Google Certified Educator this Summer?
- an overview of Google Certifications and process
- ensure everyone can access the GoogleEDU Training Center
- helpful tips and skill checklists
- enrollment in our online community to ask questions and support one another throughout the summer as we work towards becoming Level 1 and/or Level 2 Google Certified Educators.
Ongoing Office Hours for Drop-in Support.
- Friday, June 24, 9:00-11:00
- Friday, July 8, 9:00-11:00
- Friday, July 22, 9:00-11:00
- Friday, August 12, 9:00-11:00
Please note that attendance at the launch is not required to participate. If you're interesting in participating but are unable to join us on the 10th, send Robb Perrine or Melissa Oliver an email and they'll be sure to add you to our online study cohort. All meetings are voluntary and will take place in Room 48 at the District Office.
Tuesday, May 3, 2016
Student-Powered Playground - May 26, 2016, 4:30-6:00 PM @ Yolo Education Center
Have a tech related project your students created this past school year? The inaugural Student-Powered Playground will celebrate our students’ skills and knowledge gained through the increase in technology to the classroom. This event is open to all TK-12 teachers and students and is completely voluntary. During this 90 minute event, students will have an opportunity to “show what they know” to their families and friends in an informal “playground” of student-led hands-on learning. We are looking for projects or activities that integrate with STEAM and the California State Standards (CCSS). Support our students by signing up for a classroom table - see more information at http://goo.gl/eNsFc9
Summer Coding School
A couple of weeks ago, flyers for the upcoming Summer Coding School should have been placed in the boxes of 4th - 7th grade teachers to be passed out to go home. This is a program that we are contracting with Code for Hood to provide to existing 4th-7th grade students as part of the regular summer school program. Summer school begins on June 13 and ends on July 14 and students would be expected to attend all 5 weeks (Monday-Thursday). The form is to gauge interest from our families and those who complete and submit the form will receive first priority when registration opens on May 12 (pending board approval on May 11). If you need a copy of the form, please see the attached PDF. Basic information for parents can be found at http://goo.gl/Hi5LQi
If you have interest forms that you’ve collected from your students, please send those to Christy Jourdan, Technology Department, via district mail.
There will be 60 spaces available and we hope to accommodate all that are interested while still maintaining equity of school site participation across the district. The content will most likely include the following (details are still being finalized):
- Digital Art Media – Intro to graphic design
- Fun with Electronics – Introduction to electronics
- Fun with Sketch Up – 3D Modeling introduction
- Fun with Scratch – Coding class
- Build a website – using open source software
Wednesday, April 6, 2016
Early this morning, Yolo County Office of Education (YCOE) added an additional 1 GB Internet circuit for outgoing bandwidth to school districts. This is greater than what we’ve had before (100MB which is 1/10th of 1GB) but less than the dedicated bandwidth that we hope to have when they upgrade to 10GB. This means that rather than servicing all of the districts in Yolo county on 1GB, they are now able to provide 2GBs of Internet bandwidth. We have seen a noted increase in traffic efficiency based upon this addition at YCOE. Kuddos to YCOE for problem solving on how to best support our students in Yolo county!
Help Desk Tickets
Thank you for submitting your help desk tickets! This helps us better meet your needs and is greatly appreciated! If you are doing a password reset, please make sure you include the student’s first and last name as well as lunch number. In most cases, we are able to do the password reset as soon as the request comes in. If you are in a crunch and can’t do a help desk ticket, pick up the phone and give us a call at extension 1411. We are here to help!
Tuesday, March 29, 2016
by Amber Joplin, Westfield Village
Quick and easy formative assessment? Sounds too good to be true, right? Wrong. At #gafesummit Roseville in February I learned about an awesome FREE assessment tool called Plickers. What’s Plickers you ask? “Plickers is a powerfully simple tool that lets teachers collect real-time formative assessment data without the need for student devices.”
- Create a free account on Plickers.
- Download app to your phone (which is available for free for iOS and Android. Who doesn’t like free!?).
- Import your roster.
- Start creating questions.
Amber Joplin, 5th grade, Westfield Village
Monday, March 28, 2016
What this means for you
As a result of this new obstacle, we are putting internal measures in place that will ensure that our students have the testing environment they need for success. This means that we will be implementing the following measures beginning on Tuesday, March 29, at 5 pm:
- All video and audio streaming traffic will be blocked for students, including YouTube.
- All video and audio streaming traffic will be blocked for teachers and staff, with the exception of YouTube. Pandora, Spotify, Amazon Prime, Netflix, Hulu, and all other streaming traffic will be blocked.
- Google traffic will be reduced from 70 Mb to 50 Mb.
Thank you for your patience as we work together to make the best online testing environment possible for our students.
As always, please let me know if you have specific questions or concerns,
Thursday, March 24, 2016
Copies of math placement exams will be delivered to sites on March 28. If you would like a sneak preview, these exams have already been uploaded and shared within Illuminate. Find and click on your grade level placement exam (remember that grade levels correspond to 16-17 school year) and click download materials to preview the exam.
Printing Pre-Slugged Answer Documents.The following screencast will walk you through accessing and printing out pre-slugged answer documents for students to complete so they will be ready to scan when complete.
Hand-Entering Student Scores into Illuminate.For grades K and 1, teachers may prefer to hand enter student scores directly into Illuminate. If so, the following step-by-step screencast will be helpful once you have administered and scored your student assessments.
Scanning Answer Documents.If your students use the answer documents to complete the test, you can scan them directly into Illuminate using the camera on your district device. Here's how:
- Login to Illuminate
- Locate and click on your desired assessment via Favorite Widget on Dashboard
- Click Scan
- If needed: Install GradeCam Plugin if you see the image shown below. Click on the image and follow the steps.
- Hold Student Answer Documents up to the camera. When scanned you'll see student responses and scores.
- Note: If student responses are unclear due to erasures or light bubbling, Illuminate will automatically generate a pop-up menu that will ask you to verify student responses. Verify and complete as needed.
The following message was sent to affected teachers on 3/29/16 by Gwyn Dellinger regarding Math Placement Assessments for Summer School.
Dear K-3 and 8th Grade Mathematics Teachers,
Due to the importance of SBAC testing, we have determined that instituting another assessment during this critical time is not the best use of time.
We will be looking at an alternative way of identifying students to invite to participate in summer programming. Your site administrators will be receiving more information about summer programs in the coming weeks.
Therefore; the Math Placement assessments are optional. If you’d like to use them as additional indicators of math proficiency, you can. Otherwise, disregard.
We apologize for the confusion and wish you the best as you guide your students through the remainder of the school year.
Wednesday, March 23, 2016
WUSD Illuminate Online Testing Manual. You can easily remove the Outline Pane by clicking the X. But the true benefits of this outline tool is the ability to quickly navigate a longer document. Clicking on any of the headings in the Outline Pane will immediately take you to that section of the document. Imagine the possibilities within the classroom! You could create a single document for an assignment with each student's name as a header. Students could complete the assignment under their heading. Both you and their peers could then easily navigate the document to provide peer-to-peer feedback. Or, students could practice their technical writing by creating help documents that could be used by your students during the 16-17 school year.
And if you tire of the Outline Tool and have removed it, you can always get it back under the Tools Menu > Document Outline.
I hope you enjoy the added functionality provided by the Outline Tool. I look forward to seeing how you and your students utilize this feature in the future.
Monday, March 21, 2016
Tuesday, March 15, 2016
The much anticipated launch of the Innovative Educator Cohort 2 is finally here! The Technology department will begin accepting online applications for partner teams (teams of 2) and individuals on Tuesday, March 15. Applications will close on Sunday, April 17 at 8 pm. Don’t wait – start planning your collaborative partnership now!
Please visit http://goo.gl/Sj0Wld for the online application, FAQs, a list of current Innovative Educators, and the *new* application evaluation rubric.
Take a minute to read through the information, find a partner, and post your immediate questions to the Padlet.
We will be offering 2 informational meetings on March 30 from 4-5 pm and April 7 from 3-4 pm at the District Office in Room 48.
We look forward to supporting yet another one of our fabulous Innovative Educator cohorts!
Wednesday, March 9, 2016
To gain these insights, we must provide BrightBytes with a complete picture of technology use at school and at home within our district. We will be asking students and teachers to participate in the project and to provide input.
Your participation is important to us and will make the difference between having a complete versus a limited understanding of our district’s technology use. Beginning next week, keep an eye out for an email from your site administrator on how to participate.
If you have any questions, please let myself or Melissa Oliver know!
Thursday, March 3, 2016
As we near our testing window for CAASPP, please be considerate of our network bandwidth by refraining from streaming music for purposes other than instructional (Pandora, Spotify, etc.). This negatively impacts our network. To help preserve the network bandwidth for testing and instructional purposes, I have asked the Systems Engineers to block music streaming for all students. Also, consider your use of video streaming (YouTube, Vimeo, etc.) as well. Rather than have each student access audio or video individually, consider sharing this resource in a direct instruction model with follow up being independent practice. By having all students not streaming audio or video at the same time, we should be able to conserve bandwidth to support our CAASPP testing.
On January 21, the WUSD Board of Education approved a contract with WAVE to upgrade our Internet connectivity between the district office and Yolo County Office of Education. As mentioned in the Technology Update from December 3, we will be moving from 100 MB to 1 GB connectivity once this is installed - essentially going from 100 to 1,000 in terms of how large the “pipeline” is and will become. We should see less strain on our network prior to actual testing starting, especially when combined with strong stewardship of our bandwidth from the classrooms.
As part of the federal E-rate program, the district is applying for circuit and equipment upgrades. This will allow us to better support additional devices as we increase access for our students. Please take note of your role as a classroom teacher in supporting the E-rate application by teaching Internet Safety to your students. This is a requirement of E-rate and requires verification from each teacher that lessons on how to stay safe online is being taught in all of our classrooms. We are using Common Sense Media curriculum for standards-aligned, researched-bases lesson plans that meet these requirements. Many of these lessons are low-tech using only pen and paper and can be completed in approximately an hour.
At a minimum, we are asking that you include the lesson(s) below for your grade level as part of your curriculum. The days before Spring Break might be a good time to incorporate the lesson(s) into your instruction (see links to lessons by grade level - create a free account at Common Sense Media to access these lessons).
- Grade TK/K: Going Places Safely
- Grade 1: Sending Email
- Grade 2: Show Respect Online
- Grade 3: Talking Safely Online
- Grade 4: The Power of Words
- Grade 5: Digital Citizenship Pledge
- Grade 6: Safe Online Talk, Scams and Schemes
- Grade 7: Cyberbullying: Crossing the Line, Trillion Dollar Footprint
- Grade 8: Which Me Should I Be?, Cyberbullying: Be Upstanding
- Grade 9: Private Today, Public Tomorrow
- Grade 10: Risky Online Relationships
- Grade 11: College Bound
- Grade 12: Taking Perspectives on Cyberbullying
If you have questions, we are here to assist!
Wednesday, March 2, 2016
Do you have a shared Google Drive Folder? Starting today in your Google Drive, you'll notice a new shared people icon that streamlines viewing and managing sharing settings. Once you click on the shared people icon, you'll see a drop down that shows everyone the folder is shared with as well as their privileges. The owner is listed. The pencil shows that person has editing rights and the eye illustrates view only privileges. You can make changes to your shared Google Drive folder by clicking sharing settings.
Monday, February 29, 2016
Now that you have verified that all your devices in your newly deployed carts are ready, be sure to follow the steps described in this previous blog post when you are ready to administer the Interim Assessments on the Chromebooks.
Friday, February 26, 2016
To access voice typing and commands, select the tools menu and choose voice typing.
Voice Typing functions as a toggle switch that turns red when recording.
You can reference onscreen help by clicking the question mark and have all the Voice commands at your fingertips.
Tuesday, February 23, 2016
We are offering a Google Forms 101 session at Super Saturday on March 12. Whether you are new to Google Forms or a frequent user comfortable with the old interface, you'll love this 2.5 hour session to play, explore, and create Google Forms to use in your classroom for assessment, surveys, choose your own adventures, and much more! Registration for Super Saturday is available here.
Thursday, February 11, 2016
Following these steps will ensure connectivity to our wireless network when using the AIRSecure App in the required kiosk mode. These steps are outlined in this screencast and are also available in written form.
All Chromebook carts deployed before 2/5/16, including School Site shared carts purchased with title monies, will work for CAASPP testing, both interim and summative testing.
Currently, all Chromebook carts deployed after 2/5/16 will not work for CAASPP testing. This is a known problem related to both the AIRSecure App and how Google provisions new Chromebooks. CAASPP is currently testing the AIRSecure App for compatibility with the newer Chrome OS and there are pending requests with Google to disable the auto-update feature during provisioning. Launching the AIRSecure App on these new Chromebooks will result in an compatibility error message. All districts will recently purchased Chromebooks are currently experiencing this issue and we are unable to provide a timeline for resolution at this time. We are actively monitoring this situation and will let you know of any updates.
If you have any questions about using Chromebooks for Interim & Summative Assessments, please let us know. The tech team is here to support you and your students.
Update (2/29/16): The AIRSecure App is now compatible with the new Chrome OS on the recently deployed Chromebook carts. This CAASPP Chromebook Update contains recommendations to check these devices in advance to ensure connectivity.
Wednesday, February 10, 2016
This is the login screen you will start seeing next week on the Chromebooks. Notice the automatic addition of @wusdstudents.org. This means that students will only need to enter their username when they login to district Chromebooks. I think this change will make it easier for ALL of our students, especially our youngest.
Staff logging into Chromebooks will still need to type their complete email address, including @wusd.k12.ca.us.
Please note: This change does not change how students login to Google at home or in our computer labs. Students logging in at home or in our labs will still need to type their complete email address.
Thursday, February 4, 2016
ReminderIf you are using any apps with your students, please make sure you have permission (if necessary) and that you are linking to the privacy page for the app on your teacher website. It is important that we inform our parents and families on the types of services we are using to support instruction and what information is being shared with these service providers.
As always, please let us know if you have any questions!
Wednesday, February 3, 2016
1. Find your desired animated gif. There are numerous sites to search for animated gifs. I tend to use giphy.com a lot or Google Search. Giphy allows you to search multiple categories and even provides the opportunity to create your own. (That's another post!) If you search using Google, refine your results to just images and further refine them by choosing selecting animated under type.
- Now that you've found your desired animated gif, regardless of method, you need to save the image.
- Do this by right clicking on the image and selecting "Save Image As..."
- You will have a chance to name your image and take note as to where your image is being saved. You'll need this information for the next step!
- Open up your Google Slides where you want to place the animated gif.
- Choose Insert > Image
- Select Choose an image to upload > Locate file you downloaded above > Select
- Move your animated gif to desired location on the slide.
- If needed, resize your image using the corners to avoid distortion.
Friday, January 29, 2016
As one of my many New Year’s resolutions, I decided to try a few new activities in the classroom to shake things up. Google Classroom was at the top of my list. This whole “Google Drive this and that” platform does not come natural to me (yet). I sometimes can’t find documents in Google Drive (which I’m told I can not lose things in it) it's in there somewhere I'm informed by experienced Google people. Google Drive becomes fuzzy when I have to share documents with others and it becomes even more fuzzier when I have multiple Gmail accounts to manage. I think my documents know how to hide well from me.
Why was I afraid? Maybe because I don’t understand everything about Google Drive. Maybe part of me was afraid of losing the personal conversation I have with my students everyday. Will they all be so immersed with the devices that the human contact diminishes. The start of a New Year gave me new energy to realize that it’s okay, it’s another tool I could use in the classroom to assist my students in their learning. I understand that I don’t have to do it alone and I don’t have to do all of it at once. I'm feeling more comfortable using Google Classroom. My classroom is not paperless but I have reduce the amount of paper I use to assign engaging activities. I'm not an expert but I will suggest to others that it's okay you do not have to be afraid.
We have an awesome Tech Team here at WUSD. I would highly recommend Edmund to visit your classroom and demo or assist you with any technology schoolwork. The whole team Kim, Melissa, and Edmund are very approachable and are our biggest cheerleaders. They understand our hesitations but they also understand what future tools can be used in the classroom to help our students learn. They enjoy working with teachers and our students. It’s a win-win-win for our students in this district.
Wednesday, January 27, 2016
How Teachers Can Access the Google Play for Education Store.
1. Visit play.google.com/edu-world. You will need to be logged into your WUSD Google Account to access the Google Play for Education Store. If you are logged in and still see an error message stating you need authorization to view, please send me an email so you can be granted access.
2. Find a App you want to learn more about. (3 methods)
- Use the Search Bar
- Search just Chrome Apps
- Click on the name of the App
- Visit www.teacherdashboard.com
- Click on the class folder that you wish to push out the approved app
- Click on Class Info Tab
- Scroll down to the bottom of the page and locate Student Address List
- Highlight List, Copy (Control+C) and Paste (Control+V) in
- Click Install
Remember, if you don't see an app on the list that you'd like to use in your class, please submit it for review.