Scratchwork for Math Class

Scratchwork is an online whiteboard and video conferencing tool designed with math students in mind. The platform works like many similar services as it provides you with a whiteboard on which you can draw, type, and import images to annotate. Scratchwork is a little different than other services because it includes a Latex editor for writing equations.

Giving students an opportunity to use digital math tools is an important part of the modern classroom and allows students to:


  • Draw naturally… with what you already have: Turn your pen and paper drawings into digital objects with your webcam or phone. Or draw on a tablet and see the big picture on your computer.
  • Develop your ideas: Reorganize, resize, and mark up your drawings. Upload and annotate PDF documents, or arrange your ideas on virtual pages to export as PDFs.
  • Collaborate: Share and edit your boards with others in real time. Chat, audio, and video calls are built in.

There is a free version available that includes:

  • 4 boards
  • 100MB storage
  • 3-way collaboration + video chat
  • PDF export with watermark
  • Basic math recognition
  • URL sharing

UPDATE: Remind WILL Work with Verizon After January 28, 2019

Remind previously announced that their service would no longer work with Verizon after January 28, 2019 due to increased cost of Verizon text messaging services. It appears that Remind and Verizon have come to an agreement, which will prevent any interruption to Remind notifications sent to Verizon customers. While this is good news for now, we encourage staff to promote the use of the Remind app for notifications to avoid any potential future interruptions to text message notifications.

For additional details, please visit:

How to Create a Self Grading Quiz in Google Classroom

This resource comes from Richard Byrne. Richard is an Edtech expert and former High School social studies teacher. He is the lead author of

Use Google Classroom and Google forms to your advantage with creating quizzes that can be auto-graded. When students complete the quiz you will get a Google Sheet of all of the student’s answers and their scores from the quiz. And because it was created in Google Classroom, it will also allow you to assign a particular due date.


Be Internet Awesome(3rd-Adult)

Be Internet is a digital citizenship tool that was developed by Google to teach and prepare kids to use the internet in a safe and meaningful way. This site has videos, resources, and an interactive game called INTERLAND. Where kids can immerse themselves in different worlds and learn about including, What is ok and not ok to share online, discerning what is fake and real, security, cyberbullying, etc. Resources and games are intended for 3rd grade through Adults.


Online Data Breach Reveals Millions of Emails and Password

Last week another large online data breach was reported. (Read the article from CNET.) The technicians that checked the breach list found that much of it was current and accurate, which is rare for such a large data set.

What can you do?

  1. Enter in your email address(es) in the following website to see which websites/accounts have been breached, and potentially exposed data about your account.
  2. Get notifications of future breaches that expose your email address and potentially other sensitive data.
  3. Learn about data breaches and the types of fraud so that you are prepared when it happens.
  4. Change passwords! Make unique passwords for every account.
    • To keep track of all your unique passwords, consider using a password manager like 1Password, Dashlane, LastPass or one of the free ones reviewed here where you only have to remember one [unique and complex] master password and the app will save the rest of your passwords in AES-256 bit encrypted vaults.
    • When using a password manager, make sure to set the settings to automatically log you out after a short period of inactivity to prevent others from accessing your vault (it completely defeats the purpose of the vault if you leave the door always open!).
  5. Read this article: Data breaches can sucker-punch you. Prepare to fight back

Visit these sites for information and next steps if you have been a victim of identity theft:

Hope you find this helpful and that it serves to keep you digitally safe during harrowing digital times.

REMC Virtual Courses – February 2019

It’s easy to embrace your love of learning with REMC’s Virtual Courses! They offer a convenient way for teachers to connect and collaborate while reducing time and cost. These courses are available throughout the school year and are open to all Michigan school personnel. Best of all, all courses are instructor lead, free, and offer free SCECHs when completed.

Register Now for the February sessions

Five to seven courses are offered each month. Each course is open for three weeks and consists of two (2) one-hour webinars and four (4) to eight (8) hours of resource review, assessment developments and written reflection. SCECHs are available, ranging from 6 – 10, depending on the course.

Courses offered in February:

  • The What, Why, and How of Open Educational Resources (OER)
  • OER to Support Competency-Based Education (CBE)
  • Design Thinking made Practical
  • A Practical Guide to Global Success Skills in the Classroom for the 21st Century and Beyond
  • Social Media: Professional Development through Social Media, Level 1
  • Extending Your Classroom to the Cloud
  • Coding in the Classroom

Please feel free to contact the technology department if you have any questions.

Embed Content in Book Creator- Let the App Smashing Begin!!!

If you are unfamiliar with Book Creator, it is an app/web software that allows the users to sign in with the Google information and be able to create interactive EBooks. The user interface is both intuitive and user-friendly. All K-2 iPads have Book Creator on the students iPads. And Book Creator can be accessed for Chromebooks at

Recently they have posted an update that allows content to be embedded in the books. The update was from the summer, but due to bugs and technical glitches, the TIS team felt it was better to post now, as it is much more stable. Things to embed include Google Maps, Videos directly from Youtube, Audio Clips, Google Docs, and so much more.


For more information about the update go to

Go to learn more about Book Creator and gather some ideas on how to integrate into the classroom!

Remind Will No Longer Work with Verizon Starting January 28, 2019

Remind, previously known as Remind 101, is a commonly used notification system in the district. This is why it is important that all staff utilizing this tool read this blog post. Starting January 28, 2019, Verizon customers will no longer receive Remind notifications through text messaging. Please note that Verizon customers, as well as all other users of Remind, can still receive notifications through the Remind app. Please read below for further details from Remind’s announcement regarding this issue.

“What’s happening
Starting on Monday, January 28, text notifications will be ending for Verizon Wireless customers who use the free Remind service.

If you communicate with your class on Remind: People who normally get your Remind messages as texts may no longer receive them.

If you have Verizon Wireless as your phone carrier: You’ll no longer receive Remind text notifications. To get messages, you’ll need to turn on smartphone or email notifications instead.

Why the Verizon fee affects free text messaging on Remind
To offer our text messaging service free of charge, Remind has always paid for each text that users receive or send. Now, Verizon is charging Remind an additional fee intended for companies that send spam over its network.

Your Remind messages aren’t spam, but that hasn’t helped resolve the issue with Verizon. The fee will increase our cost of supporting text messaging to at least 11 times our current cost—forcing us to end free Remind text messaging for the more than 7 million students, parents, and educators who have Verizon Wireless as their carrier.

What you can do
IMPORTANT: If you have a phone plan with Verizon Wireless, click here first to make sure you can still receive Remind messages on the app or by email after January 28.”

In the wake of this change, Richard Byrne (from the Free Technology for Teachers blog) has posted Free Alternatives to Remind that you may also want to consider.

If you have any questions or need help with this adjusting for this change, please feel free to contact us at or submit a service request for technology integration support.