Week of 9-8-14

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This was my first scheduled week on campus.  Because of that, this is a lengthy e-mail.  Future e-mails will not be this long.  I visited several campuses this week and managed to touch base with over 100 different staff members.  I love being busy…it makes my day worthwhile.  Naturally, the great uses of technology in learning activities is my biggest highlight.  Students creating stories on iPad apps, using GPS units to actively engage students in a lesson, and using their cell phones as learning devices; these were just a few of the great activities happening on campuses.  I love seeing the wonderful activities and instruction occurring in the classroom.  It was great to meet and plan with so many excellent educators.  I see our students being highly successful this year.

The down side of being so busy, I did not get the chance to visit with everyone on my list.  If I did not get to you, I apologize and I have not forgotten you.  I will do my best to see you next week.  Below is a lot of information, so please be patient as you read through the message.  I am providing a lot of useful information and answering a lot of the frequently asked questions.  You may want to save this message for future reference.

At a Glance:

Edmodo

If you have not set up your Edmodo account and need assistance, please contact me.  We need to get you and your students going as soon as possible.  Edmodo is a phenomenal classroom resource.  It is an easy to use and secure way to communicate with both your students and parents.  We need to be using it regularly so the students and parents will one location to go to for all the classroom information and resources.  There are also a lot of great Edmodo resources on the iCafe.

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Student Privacy

We are all aware that student privacy is critical.  As we move further into the school year, please be sure to take caution with what you and your students publish online.  We don’t want to student personal information exposed.  Here are a couple of tips:

Edmodo:  Each student has a parent code specifically for their child.  The parent code gives the parent read-only access to anything their child posts and their child’s teacher.  Only one parent code is needed for the parent to see all of the classes in which the child is enrolled.  Do NOT publish online or give out the class code to a parent.  This will give the parent access to comments made by other students which does violate the confidentially of those students.  If you have questions on parent codes or anything in Edmodo, let me know.  I find Edmodo to be a great resource and am happy to help.

Other Online Tools:  There are many different online tools that we use with our students; Prezi, Animoto, blogs, websites, etc.  Please be cautious what you ask your students to post on these sites.  Check into the sites to find out if they offer confidentiality before having students post anything.  I know Prezi offers upgraded Educational accounts for free that allow students to mark their presentations as unpublished/private.  This protects their confidentiality while still being able to use this great tool.  Some sites offer these features, others do not.  If you have questions, please ask.  If I don’t know the answer, I will see if I can find out.

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Projectors

Please make sure you are shutting down the projectors when they are not in use.  Over the last couple weeks, I have found many projectors left on with no one in the classroom.  A couple projectors I found had been left on overnight.  Projectors need to be turned off during your conference, lunch, and any other time they are not being used.  Generally speaking, if it isn’t being used for instruction for more than 10-15 minutes…turn in off.  We need to conserve the bulb life.  Projector bulbs are very expensive, $250-$400 per bulb, depending on the projector.

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iCafe

Everyone in LCISD hears about the iCafe.  Please don’t forget about this incredibly valuable website.  You can get questions answered for a large range of programs and systems we use within the district.  There are extensive resources for Skyward, eduphoria, forethought, SMART Boards, Promethean Boards, and many others.  This system is created specifically for the benefit LCISD personal to assist with learning and addressing common questions.

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Setting Up Desktop Outlook

You will want to load the desktop version of Outlook so you have all the options available that the program has to offer.  Attached is a set of cheat sheets for setting up desktop Outlook and many of the common tasks performed within desktop Outlook.  Please take a minute to set this up.  You will no longer need to go online to check your e-mail.  As you go through the setup process, make sure your username is your full e-mail address (@lcisd.org not @lcisd.local).  Let me know if you need assistance.

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Web Page

Please remember to keep you web page up-to-date.  Parents love to see what is going on in your classroom.  Students benefit from your calendars and having access to notes and assignments.  If you are in need of assistance, let me know.  Remember, you cannot post the codes for your online textbooks.  This is a violation of the textbooks copyright.  If you are using eBackpacks or Edmodo, you can post them in these locations because it is a password protected, secure environment.

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Submitting Technology Work Orders

If you are having technical difficulties, please submit a work order directly to the technology department.  You can e-mail the issue to helpdesk@lcisd.org.  Be sure to include appropriate information so the work order can be routed appropriately.  Items to include, depending on the request, include room number, service tag number of the computer, make and model of the projector, and a detailed description of the problem.  You may also call x0220; they may be able to help you resolve the issue immediately over the phone minimizing your down time.

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Technology Staff Development Opportunities

Session Details Session Description
Edmodo SnapshotSept 11thSection # 99321 You already trust Edmodo in your classroom. Built into the product you know and love, Snapshot takes the guessing out of assessing.  With thousands of qualified questions, Snapshot automatically creates ELA and Math TEKS-aligned quizzes so you don’t have to. Get real-time feedback on classroom and individual student performance. Snapshot tells you what students know (and what they don’t).  Participants will leave with the ability to  gather student data while assessing in Edmodo Snapshot. This is not a beginner  Edmodo basic session.
Promethean Activinspire BeginnerSept 18thSection # 99327 Start at the beginning with ActivInspire…Learn the basics such as board care, flipchart navigation and the functions of buttons on the main toolbox.  Walk away with everything you need to get started with your board.  Remember this session is only for Promethean campuses.
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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Useful Sites

– eBackpacks – https://lcisd.ebackpack.com/
– iCafe – http://icafe.lcisd.org/
– Skyward – https://skyward.lcisd.org
– Eduphoria – https://lamar.schoolobjects.com

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Equipment Available From the District:

– iPods (Nanos & Touch), TuneTalk (audio recorder for the iPod Nano), iPads, GPS Units, Digital Cameras, Flip Cameras, Voice Records, Gaming Systems (Wii, Xbox, Dance Dance Revolution, Nintendo DS)

If you are interested in something, let me know.  There is not an unlimited supply, so the sooner you can get me dates of when you would like to reserve them the better.  This equipment is for student project use.

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