Charlotte's Web ThingLink

Friday, September 11, 2015

Using QuickTime to Display an iPad on a MacBook

I've had several teachers ask me about being able to display your iPad on your MacBook so that students can view a doc camera or iPad app and a Chrome browser at the same time. After playing around with different options, I've found that this is the easiest FREE option.

*I have to warn you that this only works if your MacBook is updated to Yosemite. 

Here's a Slide Presentation that I put together... It works more like a multiple-page ThingLink. It should give you all of the information that you need. Don't be afraid to click around on all of the links  and icons that I added on each slide to learn more.

If you just want to watch my video tutorial, here's a link to: Using Quicktime to Display an iPad on a Macbook

If you have any questions, please let me know.

An Easy Way to Share Webpages/EduWin for Lisa Merkel

I love Chrome extensions. You may notice a (ridiculous) number of them to the right of the search omnibox on my Chrome webpage whenever I record a screencast. Extensions add functionality to your Chrome Browser and can easily be added through the Web Store found in the Chrome App Launcher.

One that I recently came across makes it super easy for teachers to share a webpage through Google Classroom. You can push a webpage to students, no more tiny URLs or goo.gls and the time it takes for students to type it in. By using the "Share to Classroom" extension, when you "Push" a webpage to students it will open on the students' Chromebooks almost instantaneously. If you prefer to assign a webpage as part of an assignment, that's easy too. Once you click on the "Share to Classroom" extension, you can assign a name and due date. You'll also be able to save a draft of the assignment, or simply send the webpage as part of an announcement.

While you can send assignments and announcements to your students without their having to add the extension, your students will also need to install the extension for you to be able to Push a webpage to them. You can find it in the Chrome Web Store, or by going to and adding it as a Chrome extension. An added benefit to having students install the extension, is that students will also be able to push a webpage to you, the teacher. You'll receive a popup notice. Once you click on it, the webpage will open in a new tab.

Here is a short video showing how to find, install, and use the extension. 

EduWin for Lisa Merkel and Google Forms

This school year is off to a running start, party due to the hard work put in by the techs in the IT Department (shout-outs to Eddie, Jason, Ray, Sean and Trent), and partly due to the new site techs who have worked closely with teachers to make sure all the tech is working and teachers are comfortable with it. 

In the midst of all the back-to-school whirlwind, Lisa Merkel created a Google Form for all the Alta Vista teachers to use at Back-to-School night. The form collected the usual information on parents' names and email addresses, and also provided places for parents to sign up for Home and School Club and classroom volunteer positions. Once collected, Lisa was able to send each teacher and Home and School Club Chair the relevant information quickly - no more waiting for the information to be typed into a spreadsheet, sorted, and compiled. It was ready to go! Thank you, Lisa, for helping to save a tree, and help make BTSN go just a bit easier for everyone at Alta Vista.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Digital Citizenship / EduWin to Alice Baum from DMS

Digital citizenship is a topic that is essential for all students. Our goal this year at USD is to become a Common Sense Media school district. In order to do that we, the Tech ToSAs, are working hard to create ready-to-go digital citizenship lessons at every grade level. You can already find some of those on our USD Learns website.

It's been so exciting walking through the Union and Dartmouth Middle School campuses and watching the 6th grade students and teachers embrace the new take-home Chromebook program. I have to give a HUGE kudos to all of the 6th grade teachers and everyone who put time and effort into planning and executing the rollout of the Chromebooks. It was definitely not an easy task, and it will be interesting to collect and analyze data throughout this school year. 

It is especially important for our 6th grade students who have access to the USD issued Chromebooks 24/7 to be responsible digital citizens. Common Sense Media has a lot of great digital citizenship curriculum for all grade levels, but there is one brand new resource for middle school students that was just released this year. Digital Compass is a choose-your-own-adventure game that gives students the responsibility to make tough digital citizenship life choices in a fun, safe way. There are 9 possible endings to this game and it's all based on the 50 combinations of paths and decisions that students make along the way. The better their choices and the more lessons they learn, the more points and better badges they earn.

Here's a video trailer for the game:

The 6th grade team at Dartmouth has taken an impressive blended learning approach to teaching the Digital Compass lessons to students.

This week's EduWin goes out to Alice Baum, a 6th grade ELA and social studies teacher from Dartmouth Middle School, for the great work that she's done using Digital Compass to teach her 6th grade students about digital citizenship.

It's never easy implementing something completely new into your curriculum, but I was super impressed when Alice showed me a Google Slide presentation that she put together to help teach her students how to begin and navigate through the game. It was clear that she had taken the time to go through the Educator Guide and the game in order to capture screenshots and important information that her students would need in order to be successful. We will be continuing what she has started by putting together Common Sense Media lessons in Google Slide Presentations that will reinforce the most important lessons learned in Digital Compass.

Alice has done a great job stressing the importance of digital citizenship in her classroom! Thank you, Alice Baum and all of the 6th grade teachers for all of your hard work and dedication to your students and the Union School District!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Using Your Max iPad Stand

Check out How to Use Your Max iPad Stand by Tech ToSAs on Snapguide. Note: Tutorial made with Snapguide, a free app for your iOS device.

How to Create a Redirect Link on School Wires

While SchoolWires is the official webpage host for our District's information for the community, many teachers have begun using Weebly or Google Sites to provide information to parents and families.

It is easy to create a link that automatically redirects viewers to a page outside of SchoolWires. This provides a seamless transition without asking the viewer to click on a link. 

Here's a video I made earlier to show a teacher how to do it.