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: https://www.remind.com/blog/verizon-update/

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 https://www.freetech4teachers.com/

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.


Free Alternative to Microsoft Office: Libre Office

In case you haven’t noticed, there is an icon on your ProBook desktop that is labeled LibreOffice 6.0.  When you double click on the icon, you’ll quickly see that LibreOffice is a fully featured office suite that is very capable of delivering a desktop publishing and spreadsheet experience every bit as robust as Microsoft Office, when you need tools that are different than the Google’s G Suite.  Here’s a quick in introduction.  We think you’ll find that it is intuitive and easy to use.  For the getting started guide, click this link: https://documentation.libreoffice.org/assets/Uploads/Documentation/en/GS6.0/GS60-GettingStartedLO.pdf

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.



Why Google Sites is the Jack of All Trades

The New Google Sites is an amazing tool to use with students, and its simplicity is unparalleled when looking for a modern tool to help students create modern content that demonstrates their learning.  It is also a great way to share content as an educator and professional, as demonstrated by the following examples: https://sites.google.com/tcsnc.org/new-gsites-ncties17/teacher-sample-sites

One great way to use the New Sites is for student portfolios where students curate their accomplishments throughout the year.  Sites are easy to use, present very few barriers for students to use them, and teachers can get up and running quickly with minimal tech skills. Check out this video on using them for student portfolios: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k0NLXn-LYDU

To learn more about exciting Google Sites updates coming in the future, check this out: https://gsuiteupdates.googleblog.com/2019/01/google-sites-improvements-new-roadmap.html

5th Annual EdCamp at Schoolcraft College

The 5th annual Schoolcraft EdCamp will be held Sat. Feb. 9.

“EdCamp is an educational unconference that is educator-driven and educator-led. It is a powerful learning format that works—professional development for teachers, by teachers. Attendees determine the session content and serve as both presenters and audience. Bring your ideas. Be ready to network and share.”
Great way to learn and share with other local educators. AND earn 4 SCECH
and it’s free!  Click on the link below for more details or visit the website: http://www.schoolcraft.edu/edcamp

6 Ed Tech Tools to Try in 2019 – Jennifer Gonzalez

Jennifer Gonzalez On the Best Classroom Tech Tools

In this Cult of Pedagogy article, Jennifer Gonzalez updates her list of the six most helpful classroom technology tools, plus two honorable mentions. “I don’t think technology is the end-all be-all,” says Gonzalez, “and of course it brings new problems into our lives, but just watching the creativity behind these tools makes me so excited to live in a time when so many ordinary people can actually bring their ideas to life and watch those ideas impact the world.”

Equity Maps http://www.equitymaps.com – This iPad app helps figure out which students participate in class discussions, how often, and for how long. Having entered a seating chart into the computer, the teacher taps each student’s icon as he or she starts talking, and the app keeps track of each student’s contribution time and displays a summary at the end, including a breakdown by gender. The teacher can also tap for periods of silence, pair-shares, small groups, and even “chaos” – when general discussion gives way to many smaller conversations. In addition, the app can audio-record the whole discussion for later review.

Pro Writing Aid https://prowritingaid.com – This program does a deep dive into the quality of writing. The writer composes within the tool, copies and pastes or uploads the text, and gets a summary report with statistics on strengths and weaknesses, plus suggestions for changes when you hover over highlighted places within the text. Reports include readability (on four different reading scales), the number of times certain words were used, passive voice, overused words, use of clichés, sentence variety, unique words in the piece, average sentence length, the placement of different sentences by length, and adverb frequency. There’s a paid version of this software, but Gonzalez says you can get a lot of mileage from the free version.

Google Tour Creator https://vr.google.com/tourcreator/ – This new feature in Google Expeditions allows students to create their own tours using imagery from Google Street View and publish them into the Poly 3-D platform https://poly.google.com. These could be used as part of a research project, reflecting after a field trip, a tour of the neighborhood or the school, or a supplement to a creative writing project.

Great Big Story https://www.greatbigstory.com has short, professionally produced, positively themed videos about people and phenomena around the world – for example, a 12-year-old who took on the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, the accidental invention of the best snack food, and America’s oldest female BMX racer. Teachers should preview material because some may not be appropriate for younger students.

Geoguessr https://geoguessr.com – “This one is my absolute favorite,” says Gonzalez. “This would be a fantastic option for early finishers, lame duck days, or even as a reward for good behavior – it’s that fun.” Players are plunked down somewhere in the world using Google Street View and have to navigate around and figure out where they are. Players get points for how successful they are at pinpointing their location on a map.

Webjets http://webjets.io – Users create what looks like a bulletin board on which they post items on cards, which can contain an image, an embedded video, a live Google Doc, an attached file, or a table with a variety of elements organized in columns. Students can keep multiple folders on one board, and all cards can be collapsed or expanded. This is a good tool for group projects.

Yoteach! https://yoteachapp.com – This backchannel tool allows a teacher to set up a free, password-protected “room,” give students the URL, and they can come in and chat, adding pictures or drawings.

Classroomq https://classroomq.com – Students who need help or have a question can add themselves to an electronic queue and get help in order (and then get checked off by the teacher with one click).

“6 Ed Tech Tools to Try in 2019” by Jennifer Gonzalez in The Cult of Pedagogy, January 6, 2019, https://www.cultofpedagogy.com/ed-tech-tools-2019/

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. www.haveibeenpwned.com
  2. Get notifications of future breaches that expose your email address and potentially other sensitive data. www.haveibeenpwned.com/notifyme
  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.