Google’s Chromebook App Hub

Chromebook AppHub

An idea that’s been in the works for quite some time, Google has made it official — the Chromebook App Hub went live on Wednesday, June 19th and is their online resource to help educators, administrators and developers work together to learn about Chromebook apps and activity ideas for schools. 

Google is inviting educators to share ideas on how to use apps in their classrooms, and will be reviewing submissions quarterly — let ’em know via this form.

Looks like a promising site to learn about and consider apps that might be worthwhile. Below is a snapshot of part of their search filter:

AppHub Filter view
A screenshot of their filter search

Exciting Book Creator Updates

As you might already know, Book Creator (we have their IOS app installed on many district ipads) is a simple tool that can be used to create awesome digital books. It allows teachers to create their own teaching resources or have their students take the reins.

Combine text, images, audio and video to create:

  • Interactive stories
  • Digital portfolios
  • Research journals
  • Poetry books

Most recently, Book Creator added New “Magic Ink” and Autodraw Tools for Making eBooks. Check out Richard Byrne’s breakdown of what’s new: https://www.freetech4teachers.com/2019/06/book-creator-adds-new-magic-ink-and.html

For those using Chromebooks, learn more about how it works on those devices and consider if their limited free version (1 library with 40 books) might be of interest.


New Features in Seesaw

Many companies that have education technology tools time their announcements of new tools as well as new feature adds to coincide with, and be announced at, the annual International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Conference.

One such company, Seesaw, has come out with many new features that are highlighted in this post from Richard Byrne. Features include importing Google Classroom rosters, collage creation, Chromebook optimization, and video and audio integration. Click on the link also shown below to read more.

https://www.freetech4teachers.com/2019/06/5-new-seesaw-features-for-teachers-and.html

Seesaw is an installed IOS app found on most of our district ipads. Seesaw can also be used on Chromebooks and students can find and install it through the Chrome Web Store.

EduPaths – FREE online PD

Check out EduPaths which has 285+ FREE Professional Development courses (& FREE SCECHs) for educators.

EduPaths is a FREE professional development portal for ALL Michigan Educators. EduPaths courses are designed to expand understanding on a wide variety of topics and help educators share best practices. Courses are available online and are completely self-paced and intended to help educators personalize their own learning plan anytime and anywhere.

It is FREE to register for an account, and once registered you will be able to access an ever expanding set of FREE courses. Here’s a snapshot of the courses now available for SCECHs.

And Many More…

CleverPDF is an online tool for PDF conversions

CleverPDF is a FREE online service that anyone can use to convert a PDF into/from the following file types: Microsoft (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), Apple (Pages, Numbers, Keynote), assorted image file types and ePub files. In all, there are 27 different ways the service can work with PDFs including the aforementioned converting AND merging, splitting, watermarking or encrypting.

https://www.cleverpdf.com/

“GENIAL.LY” IS A MULTI-PURPOSE TOOL

Genial.ly is more than just a free tool to create infographics.

The site – which is FREE to use – lets you create an amazing array of interactive tools, including games, quizzes, annotated photos, and presentations – just to name a few.

Consider checking it out at https://genial.ly/!

[Heads-Up] The FBI Warns Against Phishing and Advises How to Spot Attacks

The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) released a PSA warning that attackers are exploiting people’s trust in sites that use HTTPS. Cybersecurity training has in the past rightly encouraged users to look for the lock icon next to the URL in the browser, but many users still believe this icon is proof that the site they’re on is legitimate.

While the lock is important, it only means that traffic to and from the site is private; the lock DOES NOT ENSURE that the SITE’s operator is trustworthy.

FBI RECOMMENDATIONS:

The following steps can help reduce the likelihood of falling victim to HTTPS phishing:

  • Do not simply trust the name on an email: question the intent of the email content.
  • If you receive a suspicious email with a link from a known contact, confirm the email is legitimate by calling or emailing the contact; do not reply directly to a suspicious email.
  • Check for misspellings or wrong domains within a link (e.g., if an address that should end in “.gov” ends in “.com” instead).
  • Do not trust a website just because it has a lock icon or “https” in the browser address bar.

See the Public Service Announcement (PSA) here.

Notice of change for students in availability of Chrome Web Store extensions and apps

This August, our district will change the Chrome policy around what apps and extensions students may use from the Chrome Web Store.  

We will be shifting…

FROM:   ALLOWING ALL apps and extensions EXCEPT for the ones we actively BLOCK

TO:   BLOCKING ALL apps and extensions EXCEPT for the ones we actively ALLOW.

Also in August, we will reduce the number of force installed apps and extensions for students and will relocate some of those apps/extensions to the district section of the Chrome Web Store to allow students the choice of whether or not to install them. Students may need assistance in installing apps and extensions desired by instructional staff (see this support page for some guidance).

Students and staff may request to have apps or extensions unblocked and/or made available on the district section of the Chrome Web Store by using the form linked below.

http://links.pccsk12.com/requestforapporextension

Please Secure Equipment before Leaving for Summer Break (reposting)

Before leaving for your well-deserved summer vacation, please comply with the directions of your principal and main office to turn in or secure all classroom technology equipment such as document cameras, microphones, interactive pens, and remotes. On your last school day, please also power off projectors, interactive flat panels, sound amps, and desktop computers, etc. You may leave printers and copiers plugged in and powered on.

Please also secure or take home all District-assigned devices (laptop, Chromebook, iPad, etc.), as well as all personally-owned devices.

District-assigned devices should be brought back when you return to school in the fall OR upon separation of service from the District (retirement, resignation, lay-off, etc.) (please see this document if you are separating from service).

Thanks for your cooperation in helping safeguard district tech!

Tech Returns: For Staff not Returning to the District for the 2019-2020 School Year (reposting)

Thanks for your service! Before heading to your next chapter, please remember to return your District-issued technology equipment, including laptops, Chromebooks, iPads, Apple TVs, etc. Please complete this form and please make note of any damages or issues when you turn it in as well.

Equipment provided directly by the District should be returned to the Technology Department via the building technician. Please submit a Service Request to arrange a pickup with the building Technician. We suggest that you back-up any personal files to a personal flash drive (or upload them to a personal cloud storage account such as a personal Gmail Google Drive account or a Dropbox account), and then remove any personal data from District equipment before you return it.

Equipment purchased via overage funds, EEF grants, PTO funds, etc. should be returned to the building office secretary.

If you need to take your data with you, please follow the process outlined by Google and Google Takeout: https://takeout.google.com/settings/takeout

More info and directions on Takeout: https://support.google.com/accounts/answer/3024190?hl=en