Week of 9-15-14

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I apologize now, this is another long e-mail.  As the year continues, these e-mails will be shorter so not to take too much of your time.  Please take a few minutes to read this information.  There is a lot of good information and useful resources for everyone.

This was one very wet week.  Hopefully everyone has been able to stay dry and safe.  Somehow I managed to get catch in the heaviest of down pours three times this week.  Things on campus are flowing well.  I’ve seen some awesome things happening on campus.  Several computer based projects reinforcing and promoting learning activities.  Video creation projects promoting National Hispanic American Heritage Month.  The students are in the full swing of the school year.  Let’s keep the positive energy going.  If I can assist, let me know.

At a Glance:

Editing Teacher Websites

If you have not done so, please add some content to your teacher website.  It’s important for our students and parents that they have somewhere to go for class information.  While teachers are primarily using Edmodo to communicate to their students and parents, please add a post to your teacher website letting them know this.  Add a simple comment that they need to go to your Edmodo page for class information and to contact you if they are in need of a student or parent code.  Ask for the directions for editing the teacher websites.  The most common issue I see is when logging into the teacher website, be sure to change the “Authentication Provider” to “LdapUsers”:

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Google Calendar into Edmodo

There are several people who are relying on a Google Calendar to refer important dates and information onto students and parents.  With the desire to make Edmodo the single landing page for students and parents, it would be great if they could pull up the calendar from within Edmodo.  Ask for the directions for one way to do this.  While Edmodo does not have the capability to pull a Google Calendar directly into the planner; the calendar can be embedded into a post.  If you’ve got questions, let me know.

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LCISD Free iOS Apps

From time-to-time, certain makers of iOS apps will offer there programs free to anyone for a limited time.  The district, wanting to take advantage of this for the employees, has setup an iTunes account for these free apps.  An example of why this was done, Splashtop, it was made available for free last year for a brief amount of time.  By putting it into the district’s free apps iTunes account, we could pass on the savings to all district employees.  You will need to sign out of your iTunes account on the iPad and then sign into the district free apps account.  You can do this through the Settings app à iTunes Store section.  Contact your CITS for the account information.

After signing into this account, open the App Store and go to the Purchased section to view and download any of the apps that are made available for free to district employees.  After installing, sign out of the district account immediately so you don’t accidentally add other apps to the account.  This account is only for LCISD district personal.  Do not share this account information with students or anyone who does not work for LCISD.  The password will change periodically, so visit the iCafe or contact your CITS for the current password information.

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Splashtop

If you are not familiar with this incredible app, Splashtop is a great tool for accessing and controlling your computer through an iPad.  If you have a district owned iPad, you can use it in your classroom.  Ask for the cheat sheet on configuring and using Splashtop.  Here are the two most common issues experienced by users:

  1. You cannot log into the Splashtop app.  You do not need to sign into the app.  On the login screen of the app, simply press the “I want to use Splashtop 2 in a closed network” at the bottom of the login box.  After doing this, you will be able to use the app to connect to any district computer.
  2. You cannot get your personal iPad to connect.  We do not have the ability to use personal devices for Splashtop.  We are not permitted to put personal devices on the districts secure network and Splashtop will not work through the Guest network.  This is a security protocol to protect our network from potential intruders.

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Microsoft Office 2013 for Home Use

Microsoft Home Use Program is available for LCISD employees.  Check out the blog post for all the information:

http://icafe.lcisd.org/microsoft-office-at-home

You will be asked for our program code.  Our code is:  (See Your CITS)

Remember this is for a Home Use Program for LCISD employees only.

Note: You will need to complete this whole process from your home computer (not from school).

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Technology Webinars

Technology Services is continuing to work to help our users feel comfortable in the variety of systems we have in the district and starting this school year one of those methods will be twice monthly webinars!  Each webinar will be designed to hit a particularly pertinent topic to our district at that time and typically last no more than 30 minutes.

We have scheduled our first webinar for this coming Tuesday, September 23.  The topic for this webinar is “Forethought Overview & Tips” and will be led by Mandy Bryan and Chad Jones.  We will review the basics of using the Eduphoria Forethought system as well as some useful tips for getting the most out of this program.

Since this is a teacher focused webinar, we will offer five times for these webinars:

  • 7:00 – 7:30
  • 7:30 – 8:00
  • 3:00 – 3:30
  • 3:30 – 4:00
  • 4:00 – 4:30

Staff are welcome to attend at any of these times.  We will be utilizing Microsoft Lync to facilitate these meetings – a program every staff member in the district should already have on their computer.  This will allow for individuals to see our screen, ask questions, and much more!  To join the meeting, staff only need to click on this link: Join Lync Meeting.  Ask for the cheat sheet for using Lync for the meeting.

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Technology Staff Development Opportunities

Session Details Session Description
Introduction to OneNoteSept 23rdSection # 99329

 

Why OneNote?  OneNote is the ultimate tool allowing you to create digital notebooks.  You now have a place to gather ALL of your notes and information with the added benefit of finding what you are looking for quickly, with powerful search capabilities.  It also integrates with the other Office products.  You can easily share notebooks to collaborate effectively with any group.  OneNote can free up space on your desk, your bookshelf, and your filing cabinet as you begin to use this ultimate tool and move those many files and notebooks online. Participants will leave with the knowledge to create, share and use many more OneNote tools.
Edmodo for BeginnersSept 30thSection # 99330

 

Join us as we introduce you to the world of Edmodo.  Edmodo is a secure social learning network designed for teachers, students, and schools.  It allows teachers and students to exchange ideas, share content, and access homework…all within a safe learning environment. Participants will walk away with the knowledge to start using Edmodo in their classroom.
iPad Classroom Best PracticesOct 9thSection # 99331 The iPad is fast becoming a norm in today’s classroom.  Teachers are excited to incorporate them in their students’ learning but often become frustrated with the management aspect of the devices.  This session will walk through best practices for keeping your iPads current and organized.  Learn about restrictions, guided access, and much more.
Weebly: An Online Window to Your ClassroomOct 14thSection # 99332 The need for communication between teachers and  their students/family continues to grow.  With the schedules of those involved filling more and more each day the opportunity for face to face contact dwindles.  A teacher blog is a great way to maintain positive contact with your audience in a way that can fit everyone’s schedule.  Come and discover Weebly, a free blogging tool that is easy to manage yet gives you control over what and how your things are displayed.  You will walk away from this course with class blog started and ready for the new year.
OneNote with StudentsOct 23rdSection # 99333 Feeling comfortable using OneNote as a personal productivity tool and ready to try it out with learners? Come explore some real world examples of how OneNote can be used as a collaborative tool in the classroom. Participant will walk away from this session feeling comfortable using OneNote with their students.
iPad Product CreationOct 28thSection # 99380 Tired of “Drill and Kill” apps being used in your  classroom.  Do you want to reach those higher levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy in a fun way?  Why not use an iPad? In this session, you will not only learn about some great apps to use for creation, but also, some classroom management tips that will get the creative juices flowing.
Boost Student Writing with KidblogNov 4thSection # 99334

 

Students in this day and age thrive to “go global” with their work.  They yearn to have others around the world read and respond to their writing.  It is motivating for them to know an audience awaits to critique and communicate how the student’s writing affects them, positively or negatively.  Blogging is the perfect format to allow students to accomplish their goal or going global.  Kidblog is a great free tool that allows students to have their own blogging site while still giving the teacher overall control of what is published.  You will walk away from this course with your teacher blog created and the knowledge to add your incoming students to your account so they have their personal blog pages ready to roll.
Promethean Activinspire IntermediateNov 13thSection # 99320

 

Learn how to create flipchart magic in this intermediate ActivInspire training. Explore the browsers and layers and begin to create flipcharts of your very own. To get the most out of this training, you must have basic knowledge of Promethean’s ActivInspire software. Participant will walk away from this session with a created flipchart page that can be used in the classroom.  Remember this session is only for Promethean campuses
Get in the MixNov 18thSection # 99381

 

Let’s face it. You’re kind of a big deal… with a lot on your plate. With that in mind, let’s explore Office Mix. Take your PowerPoint presentations and bring them to life as interactive online lessons. From recording audio or video of yourself giving a lecture, to directly writing in the presentation as you would at your whiteboard, to quizzing, to sharing, to seeing how it all worked – Office Mix helps you do it all simply.

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Let me know how I can help you.  I look forwarded to developing stimulating lessons.