Catch a Wave (of great tech!) 🌊 🐟 💻

I always love my job, and where I work, but this week has been one of the absolute best of my career.  The annual MASSCUE fall conference was this week and it was the 35th anniversary of this incredibly inspiring event.  Spending the two days with 27 Viking staff members, who are visionaries at what they do, filled my heart. Talking to teachers, technology directors, sped directors, and administrators from other districts while at this event left me feeling inspired and thankful to be in our district.  We are in an incredible time in education, and we are so fortunate to be in the place that we are.  YOU are so amazing, and when we talk to other districts – many are in awe of YOU. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of that.   

I will share some of our pictures of this event next week, but this week – I’ll highlight our presenters below as well as two other AWESOME tech tips! Enjoy!

MASSCUE   OMG WE SAW THE PATRIOTS!!!!   

The Masscue fall conference was a wonderful event once again. This conference is the LARGEST conference-style event that Gillette Stadium hosts. East Bridgewater brought a record 27 staff members to the conference this year! Anyone who expressed an interest in attending, via the Google Form, was sent to the conference. It was a great two days, with a record number of staff members presenting and representing East Bridgewater.

On Wednesday, we had our picture taken on the field! While waiting to return to the workshops upstairs, we were held in a waiting area with a security guard. The ENTIRE PATRIOTS TEAM walked by us, onto the field, 5 FEET AWAY! Tom Brady smiled and waved to us! Why do I tell you this you ask? Because maybe this little bonus will entice you to attend next year! When you attend MASSCUE, you leave feeling empowered, you leave with new ideas and you connect with others outside of East Bridgewater with a similar vision as you! It’s an amazing day, consider coming next year!

Consider presenting – if you present you get to attend both days! You all do AMAZING things in your classrooms and buildings, and others love seeing it. MASSCUE is entirely teachers, administrators and school staff, interested in using technology some way in their practices – they would love to see what you do.

Thank you, BETH BARRA for taking some great notes on Wednesday to share with staff. Beth teaches fourth grade and she has a few great tools in here that would work well for k-6 classrooms! Click here for this resource.

Check out our EB presentations below! There is some GREAT stuff from AWESOME teachers in here!

Amazing Add-ons and Extensions 

Richard Byrne, of Practical Ed Tech, posted an awesome document this week that features 25 Great Google Add-Ons for teachers. There are some great ones in here that include a list of canned comments you can choose from when grading writings through Google Classroom, a really cool Word Cloud add-on for Docs, and a rubric generator for Sheets.  Check out (click here) this great breakdown of 25 (newer) add-ons and extensions!

Make your DOC so it cannot be copied! WHAT?!  

I was reading my weekly email from Practical Ed Tech Blogger Richard Byrne this week. It was an awesome post which I referenced above. While I was reading an item he posted, I tried to copy and paste something from it and email to a colleague, referencing him of course.  Docs wouldn’t let me copy it! It wouldn’t let me “Make a Copy” of the Doc either (I could screenshot it though)! If you create a Doc, Slide, or any other G-Suite item, you can do this too!  I had to research this magic and it was one of those simple little things that were there ALL ALONG. If you present on a particular topic or create a resource document, I would consider doing this. We don’t want anyone taking your work and claiming it as one’s own.

See my screenshots below:

The message I received

 

Go to Advanced sharing:       

Check the box:

Thanks for reading! And THANK YOU EB – it’s truly GREAT TO BE A VIKING!

oFISHally yours,

Erin Fisher 🐟 🐟 🐟

You’re Amazing – it’s for SHORE 🐠 😅 🏖

This week I was honored to present at the SEAM BSU chapter meeting at Bridgewater State University. SEAM is the Student Education Association of Massachusetts and falls under the MTA and NEA.  I talked about each and every one of you to the group, and showed off tools you’re using in the classroom to educate students.  The SEAM group was mesmerized, eager, and astonished at all that you do. When we step away from our own roles for a minute and take a look at what we’re doing and what we’ve accomplished, it’s truly amazing.   It’s easy, especially at this time of year, to feel tired and heavy. Teaching in the classroom can be isolating. The weather is changing, we’re go go going with our own lives at home, juggling families and school, managing our own adult responsibilities, we’re also trying new standards, curriculums, tech tools, and getting new students (STILL)…but keep doing what you’re doing. YOU ARE AMAZING and it shows!  I wouldn’t be surprised if we get a record number of BSU student teachers in the spring, they were so impressed at all that you do!

Let’s take a look at some tools below to assist you in your amazingness:

Catch of the Day: Printing ALL student’s assignments from Google Classroom 😱

Thank you, Melissa Leonard, 3rd-grade teacher, for asking me this question.  I went on a hunt to find the answer! There is actually a few ways you could do this, but I found the option below to be the most user-friendly. It uses the app PDF Mergy. Take a look, if you need to combine multiple files, not just from Classroom, to print.

Screenshot Tools  🛠   

There are so many great ways to take partial area screenshots.  Take a look at this short video tutorial of my three favorite ways. This is great tech that will help teachers and staff of all grade levels! Please just remember copyright law and fair use law when screenshotting.

Google Form Add-ons  Image result for google forms   

So many of us use Google Forms! It is such a versatile tool, and the best part is that it is always improving!  Check out the article below from Richard Byrne for some cool add-ons to use with Forms that will make it even better for you!

Add-ons for Forms Click Here

Are you Certifiable?      

Have you ever been interested in becoming a Google Certified Educator? Wondering what that even means?  Once you become a Google Certified Educator, you have access to the Google Forum as well as many other resources available only to trainers. You get the updates on anything new before the general public. The best part of being a GCE is being part of the forum and being able to ask questions of other Google Educators.  You are listed in a database for those seeking trainers which can provide for other opportunities outside of the classroom.  Plus you get the nifty little badge to put on your email. If you would like to see what certification entails, to be endorsed by Google, see the link below from my fav. blogger Eric Curts.

Google Educator Checklist

Typito     

FREE video service.  Do you like making videos of your class using pictures and music? Do you find MovieMaker or the YouTube editor a bit difficult? Then you may want to try Typito.  Richard Byrne did a great video how-to on this resource. It’s free and allows for many options when editing including putting text across pictures.

First Grade Tech Image result for child    

First grade is now on iPads and Chromebooks – how exciting! They really enjoyed their first experience with KaHooT!

 

 

Have a great weekend everyone!

oFISHally yours,

Erin Fisher 🐟 🐟 🐟

 

Adapting to Changing Tides 🌊 🐟 🌊 🐟 🌊

Hello Everyone! 

I could not help but have the title above. We have done so much adapting this year as a district! Central Elementary is doing such an amazing job adapting to new technology in the building! JRSRHS is doing an amazing job adapting to their technological circumstances (that will improve!). Mitchell continues to adapt to new tech tools and standards. We all adapted on Tuesday, when someone broke the internet 😜 whoops (it was me, I am sorry – it won’t happen again…I hope)!  Everyone is adapting, and when I see it, I am so impressed! We are preparing our kiddos for changing tides and it’s showing! Let’s see what changes are taking place in tech this week:

Catch of the Day: Typing Practice! ⌨ ⌨ ⌨ 🎣 🎣 🎣

Thank you, Sarah Beberman and Beth Barra for sending me the programs you’re using for classroom typing practice.  If you find your students need additional typing practice, after computer class where they also work on typing, Sarah is using Typing Club (click here) and Beth uses both typing club and Nitro Type (click here).  Typing Club even includes “Touch Typing” which gives practice for typing on the iPads as well. This may be a good use of downtime in the morning before school or “while waiting” for everyone to get up and running on their Chromebooks.

Google Slides Update               

Google Slides recently had a major update! Now, it has an add-on menu, chart feature, skip a slide option, and tile view.  Check out this video post to see the new features.  One of the best new features is the ability to insert charts. You can now have students EASILY create timelines with the timeline chart inside Google Slides and that is just one of six (so far) diagram options!

 

Reopen Closed Tabs 😲 💻 😲 💻 😲 💻

Do you ever close a tab accidentally? I do it ALL OF THE TIME!  Here’s a VERY quick video to show you how to reopen that tab in the exact same spot where you left it! It’s basically an “undo” for internet tabs.  Sometimes it’s the tricks that are so easy, that we forget to share them! What’s your quick trick? Share your trick in the comments below or send it to me via email! These little tricks help us all and together we are better!

 

Special Ed Presentation 🖥

This week I had the most wonderful opportunity to present at Bridgewater State.  You can view my presentation below, and you may find some helpful tools. You will notice Pear Deck Slides embedded into the presentation. This can now be accomplished with the Pear Deck add-on (see above blog post). Thank you to the IEP coordinators, James, and Special Education staff for giving a great presentation on our PD day. You’ll notice I used some of your content in my presentation.

 

Flipgrid Overview 

Have you caught the FlipGrid fever?  If not, give it a try!  This (free) program is EXPLODING all over the Twittersphere! Flipgrid started to gain momentum last year, and recently has just exploded! This is a great site/app that can truly be used at all grade levels, including PreK!  Picture a PRIVATE grid, that you can share with parents and/or students, that has little videos of a classroom activity, response to a prompt, quiz etc! You as the teacher/moderator control the grid. YOU decide what videos can be seen, and who can see them.  I can’t say enough about this tool! Since it’s exploding everywhere, some of the top ed-tech leaders have created “how-to” guides. So, see below if you’re interested in using this fantastic tool! You can book me as well and I can come in and help you use it or film!

Click here for a “how-to” guide. Don’t be fooled by the length of the guide, the font is really big. It’s a quick read.

 

 

As always, if you want to try any of this amazing task, reach out! You can find my booking calendar on the Contact page of my blog.  I love this stuff, and there is no task too small that I don’t enjoy! Even if you just want me to film for you, for FlipGrid! Maybe you just need an idea of how to get going with technology in your classroom, I’m here for you in these changing tides 🌊

I hope everyone has a great weekend! 

oFISHally yours,

Erin Fisher 🐟

OktoberFISH 🐟 🎃 🍂

Happy October Everyone!

Wow! Is it a busy time at school or what?! We are officially in the full swing of things.  The transition month has passed, and with it, the crazy that is “going back to school.”  The days are cooling off and the routines are set.  A teacher asked me a great question last week: “With so much tech out there to choose from, how do we know we’re using the right tool?” For instance, with math alone, you could use Prodigy, Moby Max, Front Row, IXL, XtraMath, Kahn Academy and the list goes ON AND ON! There are so many great ed-tech tools out there, but I think Alice Keeler said it best, last week, on Twitter: “There isn’t enough tech training in the world for whatever the tool is. The right tool is the one you’re excited to invest time in.” 

So, I’m here – to hopefully help EXCITE you! I LOVE THIS STUFF! So….here we go:

Catch of the day: Class Dojo Toolkit App  Image result for class dojo 

This catch of the day is a shout out to 3rd-grade teacher Kim Wolohojian, and her 3rd-grade team, for using Dojo App that contains the new, updated, amazing Toolkit!  If you open the toolkit on a phone it will project to your computer for display. Toolkit is only an option on the phone app and can’t be opened by the computer itself (but they are working on it). There’s a new feature in the toolkit called “group maker” that lets you pair and group students at random similar to Flippity. However, unlike Flippity, Dojo has a do not pair together option! That means if you have two students or groups of students that don’t work well together, it will not pair them together when you randomize! How AWESOME is that??!!

If you are not familiar with Class Dojo, click here for a preview. It is similar to the app Remind which I’ve seen widely used throughout the district.  With DOJO, in addition to a family communication piece, where you can send text-updates and photos in a safe environment, you can also have a classroom management piece.  Students have avatars and you, as the teacher, can award points. You can also take away points. The parents can see the management piece if you choose or it can be turned off to parents and only the texting option can be seen.  I have this as a parent for my own sons, and I LOVE it.

If you would like to see a great comparison of parent-communication apps, including Remind, Dojo and much more click here.

 

Halloween Google Slide Activity 🎃 👻 🕸 🎃 👻 🕸 🎃 👻 🕸

OMG, this is so cute (click here)! From Eric Curts (one of my favorite techies) – make a jack o lantern in Google Slides! The template is already created for you and students can use all of the images to create a digital Jack-O-Lantern. There’s even a writing component to the activity. You can alter the master anyway you would like, and then use Google Classroom to push it out to students.
You could go one step further and have each student make a Jack-O-Lantern that reflects his or her personality, submit it to you and you could put them all in a master slide deck and have kids try to guess who’s is who’s.

Halloween Hyper Doc 📎 💻 🌏 📰 🎃 📎 💻 🌏 📰

This is an AWESOME(click here) Hyperdoc full of all sorts of (free) Halloween activities. It is geared towards middle school, but check it out and you may find some activities you can use in your classroom. It has many interactive, appropriate, Halloween tech games, videos on the history of jack-o-lanterns and other traditions, an option to “Trollify” yourself (from Trolls the movie), a Halloween light show, and much much more!  Please preview any items on the Hyperdoc before showing students.

Book Creator  📚 📚 📚 📚 

Shout out to School Committee member Aimee McAlpine who created this great resource (click here) on online book creators.  A few 6th-grade teams plan to use these resources to create books to then read to their third-grade friends.

For those of you who do not know Aimee, she is an Instructional Technology Specialist for the Marshfield Public Schools as well as a parent and school committee member. Thank you, Aimee!

Math Resources 🔢

Another favorite techie of mine, Richard Byrne, put out free math resources that he enjoys.  We’ve seen many of these before but I feel like I should always include posts on math tech.  These resources span all maths, so take a look! The Geoboard is one of my favorite tools!

New Add-On: Magic Rainbow Unicorn! 🌈 🦄 🌈 🦄  🌈 🦄 🌈 🦄

This add-on is as silly as it sounds, but it’s still pretty cute! Take a gander and see how to “Lisa Frank” your Google Doc! Sometimes, it’s the little things that get kids excited to learn! This could be that “little” thing!

Who to Follow 📝

If you’re wondering the best tech bloggers to follow (aside from me of course – lol) click here for the top tech bloggers according to Ed Tech Magazine. This is a great run-down and I follow many of these ed-tech leaders myself! What’s great is that many of these bloggers provide FREE RESOURCES that they create and allow all to use. They are firm believers in the Teachers-Give-Teachers movement! I suggest finding just one to follow that is similar to your own field or interests, and check in on their blog or subscribe. You won’t regret it, I promise!

 

Enjoy the Tech!

oFISHally yours,

Erin Fisher 🐟

Gettin’ Fishy with it! 🎶 🐟 🎶

Hello EB!

COULD THERE BE A BIGGER WEEK IN ED TECH???!!!!!  In my role, I have never been so busy! It’s AWESOME!  A quick recap: second grade has now joined the Google party, Pear Deck had a huge announcement this week, Google made a HUGE announcement also and released “Add-ons” in Google Slides, and Front Row is really taking off with grades k-6, but wait…theres more!  Let’s take a look below:

Catch of the Day: Google Slides Add-Ons  

On Thursday, 9/27 at 11am, Google announced that it is launching add-ons for Google Slides. This is going to really transform Slides and allow much more versatility to an already amazing, FREE, product!  You can read more about this release here.  The rollout will start  on 9/27, and continue over the next month, so you may not see the add-ons menu yet, but it’s coming. Guess who is going to be one of the FIRST add-ons….PEAR DECK!

The BIGGEST fish in the small pond – Shout out Grade 2!  Image result for east bridgewater vikings

A really big shout out to grade 2 teachers and students! You all did such an amazing job getting on your Chromebooks this week and accessing many amazing programs and sites! I am so proud to say that ALL OF GRADE 2 PLANS TO USE GOOGLE CLASSROOM! This is simply amazing to watch our oldest, little Vikings using Google Classroom. My heart swells with excitement! I’ve enjoyed coming into each and every one one of your classrooms this week (and a few next week).  You’re doing GREAT!

Pear Deck add-on for Slides – WHAT?!!!! I KNOW IT!!!! OMG!!!! 

Gone are the days of importing a Slide presentation into Pear Deck and not having the ability to edit! Now, with the Pear Deck add-on for Slides, you can work directly in Slides to create your Pear Deck interactive presentation. Anyone using and/or creating Pear Decks knows how tedious it can be to import images and change backgrounds….No more!!  This is great news! Please click the link below to really see the fine details with this add-on! It is AWESOME!

Read more about it here.Image result for Pear Deck

Front Row Image result for front row

Thank you to the fourth grade for showing me this amazing program! If you haven’t checked out Front Row, it is a great FREE program for grades k-6 (although it does go up to 8, and they’re adding High School math soon).  Central school is using it this year and the children love it!  This is a great program that can run in the background for skill development, and as the teacher, you really can have as little or as much to do with it as you’d like. It’s not too game-based, and it still has a motivator with “coins” and shopping in the Piggy Shop!  It differentiates and levels children as well. See the video below to see it as a child….

Google Docs Newsletter Template 

You can do some pretty amazing things with Google Docs!  By manipulating tables, and inserting drawings, you can create some pretty cool looking templates!  Check out the video example below of Jen Rosher’s Newsletter which she created in Publisher and I was able to replicate in Docs. This now allows her to work on it anywhere since it’s in the Drive! If you would like a template to use for your own classroom please click here.

Quick Tip: The “redo” function saves so much time! ⏲⏲⏲

Thank you Amy Schleinkofer for this one!  She booked me for an appointment, and asked if there was a function within Google Apps that performed the F4 function in MS Word, Excel etc.  On the hunt we went, and she discovered Control Y!  Take a look at the video below! So simple, yet saves so much time!

 

You are doing AMAZING things Vikings and I’m so honored to be a part of it!  Please reach out anytime with your tech needs! Find my calendar in the Contact tab of the blog! Until next week…

oFISHally Yours,

Erin Fisher  🐟

SEAS the Day! 🐟 🌊 ☀ 🐟 🌊 ☀ 🐟 🌊 ☀ 🐟 🌊 ☀ 🐟 🌊 ☀

 

Hello Everyone! I hope you’ve had a great week. I had the most wonderful opportunity to start integrating technology over at Central with our Little Vikings this week! Great work Jen Rosher and Sarah Beberman in being the first to “dive in” and have me assist the children with using the Chromebooks! I’m so excited to be integrating with Central School this year!

Let’s see what we’ve got this week:

Catch of the day: Assistive Tech – New Tool – SPEECH TO TEXT Image result for voice in extension

This was my BIGGEST find this week, and it came from another Google Certified Trainer from my certified trainers’ group.  The extension VoiceIn allows students to dictate into all platforms, including Pear Deck, Kami, Forms, Slides, and Docs!  This is an incredible tool for those needing assistive technology. It is the first tool I’ve seen that works across all platforms. Check it out on video here.

Quizizz Image result for quizizz

If you’re an iPad classroom (PreK, K, and some of 1) you may want to check out the Quizizz app. It has a read-aloud option only on the Quizizz iPad app.  Quizizz is great “quiz style” game that will give you awesome data at the end of the completed quiz. Students enjoy this app because it has fun music, cute pictures, and is game based.  Quizizz also updated this summer and has GREAT Google Classroom Integration. You can see each student’s progress right from Google Classroom, and it will even show if the student took the quiz multiple times! Quizizz has many pre-made quizzes and questions in the bank online, so you don’t even need to create! It’s already there for you to customize!

KaHoot! Image result for Kahoot

Students can play Kahoot Challenge Mode on their phones in a student-paced mode (not teacher paced, on the board). This may work well in some of our JRSRHS rooms where students are using phones for technology integration (while the Chromebook issue is being resolved). Click here to see a video on this mode.

 

Clever Image result for Clever

Did you see the “C” on your Chrome Browser this week? It’s Clever, and I must say it certainly is clever! This extension will store passwords for both you and your students. It will then act as a single-sign-on. Please let us know if there are any apps you would like to add to the Clever portal.  We’ve even added SchoolBrains community portal.  It’s nice because, on the Clever portal, the district school brains portal is automatically chosen which is the common error students and parents face when trying to log in (they don’t choose the right district). For privacy purposes, however, SchoolBrains is the only application that will not store passwords. It’s simply a shortcut. See a video here for an overview of Clever.

I’m really looking forward to PLC’s next week with you, GWMMS! If anyone would like to book me, find my calendar on the Contact tab of my blog. Have a great weekend everyone!

oFISHally yours,

Erin

 

PS: Today is the last day to register for my course that I will be running through PCEA titled: Teaching and Learning with Google Applications.  It’s sure to be a great time and I look forward to seeing some of you in it!

 

Sail away, sail away, sail away….⛵ ⛵ ⛵

I couldn’t resist putting an Enya song in this week as we watched our 1:1 Chromebooks in grades 7-12, and a few classroom at the middle school, “sail away.” I’ll admit it, I cried…quietly to myself, in my car, alone. It had to be done, for the safety of our students, absolutely. Every day I feel so proud when I see all that everyone is doing with technology – from little tasks to HUGE assignments. However, this too shall pass and we will come out of better, stronger, and hopefully with even MORE Chromebooks! The technology is simply a tool, and it does not replace nor is it needed for GREAT teaching.

In the event you are unaware of what I’m talking about in this post, click here for one of the many local news stories.  A special thank you to Greg Shea, who brought coffee and donuts to the IT office Tuesday. You are so thoughtful. 😊

 

TIPS THIS WEEK 🙌🏻 🙌🏻 🙌🏻

How to use the cell phone to access Google Apps

Since the JRSRHS is without devices, many are using student cell phones.  SHOUT OUT to Curt Shippee who loves Google Forms and uses them regularly in class! Shout out also to Annemarie Meaney and Chris Dickey who were using Google Classroom with students Thursday morning on cell phones! We ran into one little snafu with student logins, so if you’re also using student cell phones to access Google Classroom and other G Suite apps, below are two video tutorials and/or Slide Decks to show you how to get the students on their school accounts.  If a student is not logged in on the school account on his or her phone, then they cannot open Google Classroom or any other google application. It will say “You need Permission.”

Using Iphones with School Accounts Video or Slide Deck

Using Samsung with School Accounts Video or Slide Deck

 

Tech for Cell Phones

The sites below are great on ALL devices. However, if you are using student cell phones, and want to use some technology in the classroom, these are some apps that run particularly well on a cell phone for technology integration:

🐙 Plickers (no student devices needed – just a “plicker”) 🐙

 🐙 KaHoot! (has a phone app) 🐙

 🐙Quizizz (has a phone app) 🐙

🐙 Pear Deck (go to peardeck.com/join on a phone) 🐙

🐙 Quizlet (has a phone app) 🐙

🐙 Flipgrid (has a phone app) 🐙

🐙 SeeSaw (has a phone app) 🐙

I’m sure there are many, many more great apps that work well in the classroom! Feel free to share and comment below, it may help your colleagues during these low-tech times!

NEW TECH 💻 💻 💻

KaHoot! Jumble

KaHoot! is a fun site to use in class all on its own, but now they have even more to offer! KaHoot! came out with KaHoot Jumble.  This game wants kids to sequence the answers into the correct order.  So, rather than choose the correct answer, students really need to think critically and order the 4 options correctly. This would work well for ordering numbers (fractions, decimals, whole numbers etc) or sentence parts, or anything really that follows a sequence. You can read more about this here.

KAMI

This application, that we purchased for teachers district wide, allows you to manipulate PDF’s.  It also allows you to push out PDFs to students to manipulate.  Here is a video with a very BRIEF overview of this program. I can’t say enough about it – it’s really cool!

 

🐟 🐟 🐟 If you would like to use any of the tech listed above or would like any assistance at all, please don’t hesitate to reach out.  Here is my booking calendar: https://efisher.youcanbook.me/  My calendar sometimes is the quickest way to get me! 🐟 🐟 🐟

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

oFISHally yours,

Erin Fisher

 

(PS – I will be teaching an online course through PCEA on everything Google titled Teaching and Learning with Google Applications! Check it out here: https://pcea.massteacher.org/courses/ )

What Fish are in your School? 🐟 🏫

Image result for blog

I learn an incredible amount on any given day about educational technology. The world of ed-tech is growing at such a rapid pace, one could easily learn something new every hour of every day! Students have taught me many new things, staff members, and famous ed-tech leaders out on that there interweb 😉 !  This week, I learned quite a bit from two of my favorite tech bloggers Richard Byrne of Practical Ed Tech and Eric Curts of Control Alt Achieve. I also learned of a new (to me) extension from teacher/Google Leader/blogger Alice Keeler and Matt Miller (Ditch That Textbook) while working with our own Lauren Dalton! Lastly, Chris Alles sent me a WICKED COOL FREE website that would be great for Elementary and Middle school teachers.  Check out some awesome click bait below:

The Fish in MY School 🐠 🐟 🐠 🐟 🐠 🐟 🐠 🐟 🐠 🐟 🐠 🐟 🐠

Chris Alles sent me a great site this week called “Whoos Reading.”  I created an account and fiddled around. At first, I thought, THIS IS TO GOOD TO BE TRUE. However, so far….it’s the catch of the day!  This site boasts that it is a FREE, and improved according to them, version of Accelerated Reader. Basically, teachers set up or import classes via Google Classroom (ALWAYS CLASSROOM – YEAH!). Students then can search for any book and take a quiz. However, the quizzes are open response style, and STILL, get scored! WHAT?! I know, right?! It’s a super cute owl who gives feedback for the questions too.  Students can also answer questions in an online journal WHILE reading and receive coins to upgrade their owl avatar. The site also reads aloud as well and has a speech to text option so students can dictate their answers rather than type.  It is a very cute site…I’m still waiting to find the catch, so if you find it, comment below!

Lauren Dalton is an amazing preschool teacher and early childhood coordinator at Central School. Speaking as a parent of a former student in her class, I can say she is AWESOME at sending home weekly emails and pictures to show what is happening in her classroom. This year, she wanted to find an easier way to do this. In our hunt, together, to figure out the best way we tried the extension DriveSlides (created by none other than Alice Keeler and Matt Miller).  This extension is SO COOL – it will take a whole folder of images….any images….and plop the whole thing into a slideshow. You have to see it to believe it.  Watch here!

Other Fishes in the Sea 🐠 🐟 🐠 🐟 🐠 🐟 🐠 🐟 🐠 🐟🐠 🐟 🐠 🐟 🐠 🐟

Practical Ed Tech Handbook 🐠

This Google Doc handbook is an incredibly useful resource written by one of my favorite techies, Richard Byrne. The best part is since it is a Google Doc, he constantly updates it! If you save it to your own Drive (File: Save to my Drive.…not make a copy) you will always have the most up to date version!It features some great tech including:

  1. Communication with students and parents.
    Text/ SMS/ push notification tools.  (A GREAT TEXT APP FOR PARENTS, besides REMIND)
    Email management tips.
    Blogging tools.
  2. Web search strategies.
    Getting beyond the first pages of Google.com results.
  3. Digital citizenship.
    K-6
    7-12
  4. Video creation.
    Video projects and tools for creating them.
    Tools for building & distributing flipped lessons.
  5. Audio recording and publishing.
    Web-based & mobile recording tools.
  6. Backchannels & informal assessment.
  7.  Digital portfolios.

6 Bad Ways to Write Email 🐟

The title above says it all! I love Eric Curts, he has so many great posts. Check this one out here – ESPECIALLY, if you are new…so many good tips!

There is still so much to learn that it’s hard for me to not get overwhelmed! I often take a breath and say to myself…”just keep swimming.”

What FISH in your school teach you new things? What fish in the sea do you like to follow? #togetherwearebetter

Comment below 🙂

GREAT to be a VIking

HAPPY LABOR DAY WEEKEND EB!

Wow! GREAT JOB THIS WEEK! There are so many days where I just feel so happy to be a Viking, but this week was exceptional.  EVERYONE has been so positive and upbeat – you can tell we all REALLY love our jobs! KUDOS TO YOU!  We have had our challenges, but we are owning them. We reflect, pull together, and discuss how we can improve such challenges going forward.

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for so many kind words this week! Everyone has a crazy first week, and the kindness and patience everyone has shown for technology has been very much appreciated! Erica, Josh, and Mary Ann are working so hard behind the scenes (LONG hours), while I’m working with teachers to put the tech in place! YOU make it happen with these kiddos, and we are here for YOU! 

NO MORE NEWSLETTER

Just a reminder, I will (in a few weeks) stop sending a weekly Techletter. In order to get a weekly Tech update, which includes tutorials, teacher highlights, and new tech we purchase, you will need to subscribe to my new blog or check out the new blog on your own.  By subscribing, you will get a weekly email showing all of my weekly posts. To subscribe, enter your email in the box to the right (like the one shown below).

GOOGLE SITES

This week, in only the first few days, I have seen amazing things with Google Sites. Nice work to those of you who are working on a new site, sent me a new site, or booked me to start a new site!  The NEW version of Google Sites is SO MUCH EASIER than the former version.  However, although easier, I’m running into a similar issue among many who have made a site: Publishing. Please view this video here to see how to “Publish” the site. Please view this tutorial here for an overview of creating a NEW Google Site.  Lastly, please see this tip here for MAXIMIZING a site with posting homework. 

MASSCUE

If you did not see the email from PD Academy, please check your inbox or let me know.  We are now accepting interest applications for the MASSCUE (Massachusetts Computer Using Educators) conference. This is an AWESOME technology-in-education event!  Please fill out the form here if you are interested in attending. Please also fill it out if you are presenting at MASSCUE as well. We will use the data from the form to determine who attends and also to provide a list to administration for sub needs.

NEW TECH

Lastly, as a quick reminder…we purchased a district-wide license for KAMI, PEAR DECK and NEWSELA*.  If you find that you are NOT RECEIVING the premium services from any of these resources (which are amazing), PLEASE LET ME KNOW! You SHOULD NOT have to pay for anything on these sites. Your EBPS.NET email address should automatically receive the premium account. Also, these resources link with Google Classroom. Setting up Google Classroom may be the easiest way to access these resources. (*NEWSELA is grades 2-12). Stay tuned for another blog post strictly about KAMI! It’s a really great tool in the middle to upper grades, and a perfect first tool for the “techno-toxic” (thank you Kathy Raulinaitis for that term). *Note: I don’t think anyone is techno-toxic.

REACH OUT

If you would like to try new tech with students, have help setting up new tech, have me set up new tech FOR YOU, try something new or just ask a question please, REACH OUT! I love hearing from you and/or seeing you. There are no silly questions and there is NEVER any judgment. I could have a tool to make your job easier that you may not even know exists! Let’s chat 🙂

NEW STAFF

On a final note, WELCOME new staff and GREAT JOB! I had the pleasure of working with many of you last week and you are so great! You made it, you did it! You got through the first week with flying colors, and guess what….it only gets better!

 

Have a great weekend!

oFISHally yours,

Erin

“Get Hooked” on NEW Technology for EB

Hello EB!

I hope everyone had a wonderful summer! I had a great time with my three guys over the summer, swimming in the new pool and enjoying our family time.  This time is always bittersweet, as I am excited to come back but sad to leave my little ones. Luckily, they are in great hands….including one of my guys at the wonderful Central School with the sweetest staff <3

 

For your viewing pleasure, and so I stop sending you so many emails every time I find or see something great, I created a blog.  Winner Winner Chris Traynor and Laura McPhee for naming the blog and the domain, respectively.  If you WANT to receive a weekly email from me (like last year) focusing on technology integration and tech tips, you can subscribe to the blog. Once subscribed you will get a weekly email on Fridays. I can post as many times as I want, but you will only see an email on Friday! Win-win for everyone!

NEW (purchased) TECHNOLOGY for EB 2017-2018

**THE PROGRAMS LISTED BELOW ALL IMPORT VIA GOOGLE CLASSROOM.  IF YOU ARE GRADES 3-12, SETTING UP GOOGLE CLASSROOM FIRST WOULD BE THE EASIEST WAY TO INTEGRATE THESE PROGRAMS.  (See previous blog post on Google Classroom here)

KAMI

 If you are new to a 1:1 classroom, this is a GREAT way to start.  Basically, KAMI will take any document (PDF, WORD, DOC, ETC) you have and allow the kids to write on it digitally. They can annotate, highlight, write text etc.  You simply push it out via Classroom by choosing the K (for KAMI) button.  First, you will need to sign up for KAMI via your Google account and students will also need to add the extension. You can find the extension to add here.  You can read more about this AWESOME program here.  I also included its highlights below:

PDF and Document Viewer

Highlight

Add Notes

Strikethrough

Underline

Voice Annotation

Text-to-Speech

Add Text

Draw Shapes

Freehand Drawing

Insert Images

OCR Text Detection for Scanned Files and Images

Split and Merge Pages

Google:

Auto-save to Google Drive

Google Classroom Integration

NEWSELA

Our district has purchased a district license for NEWSELA.   This is an amazing program that has nonfiction articles in all subject areas grades 2-12.  It also contains quizzes for the articles that auto grade. You can annotate the article as well if you’d like specific items to stand out for your students to see.  You can also have writing prompts within the articles for students to respond to.  It integrates with Google Classroom for easy use!  The program also provides great student data as well.

Click here to sign up (choose the JRSRHS as your school. Although we have a district license it only shows the JRSRHS as the PRO account)

Teacher shout out: Conor Pedro, our new 6th grade hire, told me that this program pairs really well with Common Lit, another great (free) program. You can assign an article in NEWSELA and find common content in Common Lit to really maximize the information in the NEWSELA article!

PEAR DECK

Login with your Google Account to activate your premium Pear Deck account. We have many teachers in the district who have used this program and love it! Reach out if you would like a personal training, or check out the program (and orchard with pre-made decks) here! Pear Deck is a LIVE teaching tool, or student paced. It’s extremely versatile and can do so much!

Go Guardian

We have purchased Go Guardian this year for many of our 1:1 classrooms. If you are not familiar with Go Guardian, this program is incredible. Once running, it “records” the online activity taking place during your instruction, whether you’re there or not!  It will send you a report each day, for each session so you don’t even need to monitor the program.  You can shut down a student’s device from your own, or shut down a window you do not want them on. You can even “set a scene” and have preloaded sites you want students to visit and it will block out all other sites.  

As of right now, we can guarantee all students in 7-12 classrooms will have the Go Guardian. Due to the large influx of children over the summer (Everyone knows it’s GREAT to be a viking), seats will need to be evaluated and the program needs to be set up. The tech department will roll this out soon and appreciate your patience.

REMINDER Go Guardian syncs with Google Classroom, so setting up Google Classroom is the easiest way to integrate Go Guardian in your 1:1 room.  

BIG UPDATES TO OLD FAVORITES THIS SUMMER:

*Click the links below to see how each program has updated

Google Classroom

Google Forms

PEAR DECK VOCABULARY (If you sign up again, they send you activation right away)

Quizizz Updates (Big)

FLIPGRID Updates (SO COOL!)

Google Earth for CHROMEBOOKS

 

If you have any updates to share of NEW TECH or any FISH PUNS for me, please comment below! As always, if you would like to work together this year on your techy needs and wishes click here to book me.

It’s GREAT to be back and it’s GREAT to be a Viking

oFISHally yours,

Erin Fisher