Friday, September 14, 2018

New Google Chrome Look

Have you notice Google Chrome looking a little different? There's a useful new update that you may want to take advantage of!

Thursday, September 6, 2018

What's New for the 2018-2019 School Year!

The Office of Technology and Learning has been hard at work all summer to get ready for 1-to-1! 

OTL student workers cleaned, organized, and labeled our in-stock Chromebooks. Also, they opened, labeled, and charged 1,000 Chromebooks that were delivered in July. Finally they organize all the Chromebooks into homeroom classes so that they can be distributed the first week of school.

All students in grades 6-12 will be issued a Chromebook that they will be able to take home to use. Students in 5th grade will be one-to-one also; however, those devices will stay in the classroom.

All K-4 classrooms will receive 6 Chromebooks for student use. These will be great for stations or group projects. Each year OTL will continue to purchase Chromebooks until all students have a one-to-one experience.

We announced that Schoology would be our Learning Management System at the mid-year point. We were excited about the possibilities and opportunities it would provide for students and teachers this school year, and now that 2018-19 is here, we are ecstatic.

Because all 6-12 graders will have a Chromebook to use at school and at home, we wanted to make sure we provided teachers with the easiest way to communicate, grade, and curate content. Our search committee researched several LMS's and finally concluded that Schoology would best fit teachers' needs.

Non-teaching staff member have access to this product as well! Any person who needs to organize training materials or content can benefit from this

WeVideo is a web-based video editing and creation platform. We are very excited about this product! Students and staff (not just teachers) can easily edit videos for all kinds of projects! If you are new to video editing, use the storyboard mode. When you are feeling more comfortable and need more options, use the timeline mode.

In order to get started, simply go to and use "Log in with Google."

Students can download the WeVideo app on their phone to import video they've taken with their phones straight into WeVideo. Also, WeVideo can connect to Google Drive so that users can import video and photos already Google Drive.  Another great feature of WeVideo that isn't typical of video editing is collaboration. Teachers can create groups in which students can collaboratively edit video!

Using ClassLink is a truly exciting step for CHPS. Elementary teachers may be familiar with ClassLink's concept after using Clever, but secondary teachers will find it to be extraordinarily helpful. We were introduced to it by its ability allow students to change their passwords.

What teachers and students are going to find to be a breath of fresh air in a dense digital world is the fact that ClassLink will be a dashboard to the various web applications, programs, and sites we use as a district and even sites you use as an individual. As we continue to build the dashboard, you will find that many of the apps will be single-sign-on, meaning when the students click on the icon, they will be taken directly to the website without having to remember a username or password!

Screenshot of a sample ClassLink dashboard

The Office of Technology and Learning is committed to making 2018-2019 a truly wonderful school year. Please do not hesitate to reach out if you need help with anything!

Since you made it to the end, here's a great Chrome App for your classroom: Zero Noise Classroom -- an elegant classroom timer and noise monitor. 

Monday, August 20, 2018

Performing Chromebook Triage

Here are a few solutions to common problems that students may encounter when they are using their Chromebook. 

Before sending a student to the library so that their Chromebook can be fixed, determine if it is an issue that you can solve, so that students aren't missing valuable class time. 

Tech Tips 04 - Printing from Chrome

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Technology Integration at CHMS

During faculty meetings, CHMS staff have been share technology integration ideas with each other. Recently, English teacher, Amy Henry and science teacher, Amy Jarvis presented how they used Chromebooks in their lessons.

Below is Amy Henry's presentation showing students using Kahoot! and rotating through stations. While Chromebooks are a part of the equation, they are not the sole focus of the block. The focus is learning! 

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Virtual Reality with Google Expeditions

Google Expeditions

Google Expeditions is a virtual-reality teaching tool. You can swim with sharks, visit outer space, walk through a museum, and more without leaving the classroom. There are close to 500 expeditions available and more in development.

Virtual Field Trips

A virtual field trip is a guided exploration through the world wide web that organizes a collection of pre-screened, thematically based web pages into a structured online learning experience. 
Google Expeditions makes it possible for teachers to take their classes on virtual reality field trips to amazing places like the Taj Mahal or Machu Picchu. Self-Guided Expeditions let anyone explore anywhere.

Be a Guide or Explorer

Take your class on a trip without boarding a bus. All you need is a Google Expeditions Kit. I borrowed a kit from Longwood University's Institute for Teaching Through Technology and Innovative Practices. The kit is available through a lending agreement for member school districts.  It includes a tablet for the teacher-leader, cell phones and twenty virtual reality viewers. The teacher chooses the expedition, focuses on scenes, and highlights points of interest. The students are the explorers who follow an expedition on a phone using Virtual Reality viewers. When going on a group expedition, only a Guide can lead an expedition. Explorers can't join a group expedition without a Guide. 

A fourth grader is using Google Expeditions to explore the underwater world. 

Underwater Exploration

I virtually took 175 fourth and fifth graders to the Galapagos Islands.  We entered the underwater world and saw images of seals playing in the water, tortoises, coral, sharks and beautiful tropical fish. Information is provided for each scene for the teacher-leader to share with the students.

Curriculum Alignment

It is easy to find a Google Expedition that can be used alongside existing curriculum. For history teachers, there are many lessons that enable students to see history through the eyes of those who lived before us, Pearl Harbour and Hawaii during World War II, Little Bighorn Battlefield, and The Great Depression are just a few. International Space Station, Circulatory System, Hydrogen Burning, and others allow students to discover science in an engaging way.

Teachers can take students on a tour of university campuses and help them discover different careers by taking them on Career Expeditions, examples are Airline Pilot, Wildlife Careers, Forest Ranger, and Radio Producer. 

 Arts and Culture, Science, Environment, History, Monuments, Museums, are categories of Expeditions that allow students to make discoveries, and see the world from a new perspective.

Virtual Reality

Virtual reality is a technology that lets you figuratively step inside a computer-generated 3D world. You can explore places in an exciting and engaging way. The students were very excited to use VR and see the underwater world. Google Expeditions has a variety of VR experiences helping students to see and experience the world in new ways, visit college campuses, gain exposure to new career paths and role models. Discovery Education provides four ways to experience VR Explorations. Students can watch DE's explorations on a desktop, projected for whole class viewing, on mobile devices, or by pairing a smartphone with a VR viewing device. 

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Tech Tips 03 - Editing Your Gmail Contacts

Note: If the video seems blurry, try viewing in 1080p by clicking the Settings Gear on the bottom right of the video, then selecting Quality.

New Google Chrome Look

Have you notice Google Chrome looking a little different? There's a useful new update that you may want to take advantage of!