No more exceptional PowerPoints or Excel Spreadsheets mangled by Google Slides & Sheets. Find the power of WOD!

Do you ever find it annoying that your only option to open up a PowerPoint is through Google Slides AND THEN it mangles all of your images, equations, and formatting? Or maybe you would still like to use Excel for your data, but Google Sheets doesn’t have exactly what you need? No more, Broomfield Nation!  You can do all of this on your Chromebook – say what?!!

Check out Windows on Demand through Chrome RDP.

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Let me break it down for you:

1. Install Chrome RDP.  Chrome RDP stands for Chrome Remote Desktop. 

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Follow the Screencast about how to install Chrome RDP.

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2. Install Windows on Demand.

Follow the Screencast about how Windows on Demand works!

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You can access your desktop just like you were in your own classroom, but remotely!

WOD is not limited to Word, PowerPoint, Excel, etc.

Chrome RDP/WOD has limited access only at school.  

Eagle Nation, don’t worry about your desktop not being replaced one day.  Chrome RDP and Windows on Demand can help you get around this hurdle!

If you have any questions or need one-on-one help, don’t hesitate to ask.  If you have other uses for Windows on Demand, comment on this blog post to help others.

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BVSD IT Knowlege Base and Teacher Chromebook Help!

Help is Out There If You Need It!

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As Broomfield continues to use Chromebooks in the classroom, support is often needed. BVSD IT provides help for all things technology posted in their KnowledgeBase (KB).  The IT KnowledgeBase is described as “a collection of articles that helps you find solutions to technical problems and answers to IT questions.”

The KB contains information about:

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Most importantly, the KB contains a Chromebook folder with Teacher Chromebook FAQs and a Troubleshooting Guide:

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How to access BVSD IT Knowledge Base Articles:

The easiest way is to go to the bvsd.org home page and type “knowledge base” in the search box.

You can also use this link: IT Knowledge Base Google Drive

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Once you get there, you can go to the folder that best meets your needs.  I know we sometimes need help and hopefully, these resources are beneficial.  You can also ask a Teacher Tech Team member or come to our Student Genius Bar in the library!

 

 

 

 

 

 

So Many Virtual Realities + Phone = 1 Google Cardboard

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Google Cardboard uses a phone and viewer that is inexpensive,  between $10-30 online through Amazon or Google.  The use of the viewer and apps can let you experience virtual reality to visit places, museum spaces, play games and whatever else you can imagine – through your phone without leaving your classroom.

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Watch our BrHS Student Tech Team in action with Google Cardboard – it’s hilarious! I wish I would have caught their reaction right from the beginning.  Priceless.

Part 1 Link   Part 2 Link

 

Who has access to Google Cardboard viewers?  We all do as a staff!  You can check out a class set from our librarian, Jane Schissel.

How did we get 30 Google Cardboard viewers?  Stacy Harkness received a class set as part of her 1:Web Cohort and she graciously shared it with BrHS.  You can thank her later!

Useful links for ALL content areas:

Google Cardboard: everything you needed to know

10 Simple Ways to Use Google Cardboard in the Classroom

12 ways to use Google Cardboard in your Classroom

Mindblowing VR Videos

20 Top Virtual Reality Apps

5 Top Apps to Use with Google Cardboard

Great apps to use with your Google Cardboard:

YouVisit – virtual college tours

Nearpod – virtual field trips

Thinglink – virtual field trips/ecosystems

New York Times VR – visit places around the world

Discovery Channel VR – an app that has way cool stuff!

Miscellaneous Links by Content Area:

History

Art

Science

Math

LA

World Language

Results and Infographic from a Samsung backed survey:

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There are so many VR sites out there.  Google what you’re interested in and I’m sure you will feel the same way my Student Tech Team did after some investigation – it’s awesome!

BVSD Save$ has discounts galore…but forget Hamilton tickets.

With all the extra money you may save, you too can make it rain!

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This may be the least tech-y post you’re going to read about, but maybe this will get you to start reading our Teacher Tech Blog!

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One of our staff members talked about a link to a discount program if you are an employee of BVSD called “BVSD Save$” through Beneplace.com.  (Go to Employee, Benefits, BVSD Save$)

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At first, I was a bit skeptical thinking I may not find any deals of interest but I was wrong!  From big discounts on Garmin, Cubs (vs. Rockies) tickets and ski passes to concerts, Disney Vacations, All-inclusive Resorts and more!  FYI: There are no tickets for Hamilton available on this website. Boo.  In addition, discounts are not limited to the Denver-Boulder-Colorado area.  You can choose different cities to find deals if you are traveling.

 

Here are some other screenshots of deals that can be had through BVSD Save$:

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The pictures shown represent a VERY SMALL part of the discounts listed.  In review, logging into BVSD Save$ to check out all of the deals may be worth the time and money.  Happy saving and happy shopping!

The Love-Hate Relationship of Continuing Ed Classes – MOOCs for ALL!

Doing the Right Thing for Our Students!

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After earning my Master’s degree, I wanted nothing to do with taking more classes…..unless that meant moving up on the pay scale.  Maxed out at Master’s +60 hours later, I still want nothing to do with taking more classes for recertification…..in the traditional way.

Recently, I’ve enrolled in a MOOC at Stanford University.  A MOOC is a “Massive Open Online Course”.  The acronym can be summarized below:

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MOOCs provide access to free, online courses from many outstanding institutions such as Harvard, Yale and even the University of Illinois!

Screen Shot 2018-03-08 at 7.49.04 PMIf you have an internet connection, you can enroll in a MOOC.  The basic features of a MOOC include a video component, reading materials, integrated activities, course-specific forums, sectional or weekly organization, sectional test or project, and a final exam or project.

MOOCs can even benefit our own high school students.  They could enroll in a course and determine if that career path is the right decision for them before spending money on costly tuition. According to the article in Reviews.com, there are several ways high school teachers can use MOOCs in their classroom:

  1. Extra Credit
  2. Supplemental Course Material
  3. Optional Preparation for College or Exams

A MOOC is not equivalent to a college degree but provides access to just as many courses if not thousands more.  Below are the category list and the top MOOC platforms of 2018 according to Reviews.com.

Brilliant!  So, if you’d like more information on MOOCs, check out the link to Reviews.com that explains and evaluates the best MOOCs of 2018.  It’s worth the time to peruse the course catalog whether or not it’s for yourself or your students!

Happy learning!

 

 

 

 

Broomfield & Birch Tech Collaboration

Proud of our BrHS Student Tech Team!

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Back Row From L to R: Jana Compesi, Sophie Ortleb, John Zack, Diego Diaz, Wes Keodara, Mitchell Gorman.  Front Row: Daniel K. from IT.

The BrHS Student Tech Team (STT) was invited by Birch Elementary librarian Kim Butler to teach 2nd, 4th and 5th graders about tools in their makerspace kit.  What is a makerspace?  It is “a place in which people with shared interests, especially in computing or technology, can gather to work on projects while sharing ideas, equipment, and knowledge.”  Broomfield High School will have one in the Fall.  The Genius Bar will be relocated to the new area so sayonara windowless paper room!

The STT spent a week reviewing, taking pictures and making videos of all the tech tools they would be using at Birch.  Nothing would prepare them for SUPER excited elementary students and their willingness to learn from high schoolers – who they thought were “so cool.”  By the end of the day, we made new friends, taught them about some new technology tools and are returning next week to continue our collaboration.

 

 

 

 

S.O.S. or S.S.O.? The new “one-stop” login worth a look & bookmark, for sure.

We arrived at school on February 16th and were asked to comply with BVSD’s new password management system if you logged into a desktop, CB, tablet, iPad, etc.  I chose the 5000 questions to answer instead of the incredibly efficient email or pin number to start the process of S.S.O. – Single Sign-On.  IT kindly corrected me and said I answered only 5 questions….not 5000.  It looks like 5000, so whatever.

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I hadn’t looked at CIO Andrew Moore’s blog or email from February 15th regarding the new S.S.O. portal….until today.  The rollout is amazing for both teachers AND students, so keep reading!

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Start by doing yourself and your students a favor by bookmarking: my.bvsd.org.  Once you get there, this will pop up:

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“One-stop” shopping icons appear for things I use on a regular basis: Gmail, Calendar, Drive, IC, My Passport, Schoology and the IT Service Request app. Thank you BVSD and IT!

If the February 15th email from Andrew Moore was TLDR*, see below or just bookmark my.bvsd.org. It’s worth the 5000, er, 5 security questions to answer that “proactively manage the security of your identity and BVSD data!”

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*Too Long, Didn’t Read.  But….if you read this and would like to know about Google Level 1 Teacher Certification, let me know.  😉

 

BrHS blogging about BVSD blogs

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We have a wonderful group of people at the district supporting BrHS technology and the 1:WEB program behind the scenes. Their work has made great things happen for our students and staff.  You can read their blogs to find out more about what’s new in the district, why changes are happening and what’s ahead for BVSD!

BVSD’s Technology Blog – Written by our CIO, Andrew Moore, he shares the progress of technology in the district and explains what’s new and why!

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IT Communications Blog – Want to know where all of those IT Tips and Tricks went?  Interested in finding out?  The blog has everything you wanted to know about using technology in your class.  Totally worth bookmarking!

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EdTech Blog – So many people in EdTech helped us get to where we are today with 1:WEB and keep moving us forward and up!  Read their blog to stay on top of what’s happening in BVSD schools.

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Now that you’ve read about some blogs, would you like to create your own?  Let the Teacher Tech Team or Student Tech Team know.  We can take you from beginner to blogger!

Where have you been all my life?! by Lena Carroll

Okay, so, this statement may seem a bit strong  but we know in our day-to-day teaching worlds that the little things mean everything.

The other day, I finally clicked on a button in IC that’s been staring me in the face for a while now and…

…I discovered a quick and efficent way to enter grades  without having to open the full Gradebook.

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Okay, head into IC and head to the Control Center

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Then, click on one of the buttons under Assignments labeled Score next to any of your sections.

This beautiful box will pop up:

[Please don’t judge me for the two assignments I still need to enter full class grades for…]

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This box serves as a command center for *Missing and Unscored grades in your Gradebook where you can enter grades without having to open the full Gradebook and scroll through the whole thing to verify a grade or update late or *Missing work. It’s all right here. This early in the semester it’s not too bad, but, later when there are tons of assignments, let’s be honest, it’s a pain.

So, for example, for the class listed above, I can now quickly enter grades by assignment or by status (Unscored or Missing). Usually (well, since I discovered this on Monday, haha), I will click on Missing and then it’ll take me to the assignments that have scores I have marked as *Missing in the full Gradebook.

I will then click on the assignment I want to enter the grade for and it’ll give me something like this:

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From this screen, I can now just easily update the scores that need updating without having to open up the full Gradebook.

I also love that I can quickly change the status for an assignment, again, also without having to scroll through the full Gradebook. This works great for when you have something marked as *Missing and they turn it in and you want to quick change the status to “Turned In”.

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Those assignments will then make their way to the Unscored tab where you can easily put the grade in when you have a change to grade it.

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It *will* give you the option to enter grades for a whole class but I find the full Gradebook is easier to navigate for that as you can easily jump down to the next grade to enter. However, if you’re giving a blanket score for an assignment, this option is also very quick and efficient.

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Happy Efficient Grade-entering!

ZipGrade: One way to grade multiple choice questions quickly and efficiently.

Receiving feedback from department PLC’s this past Wednesday morning, there was a lot of interest in learning ZipGrade.  Personally, I have not used ZipGrade, but I am going to blog my experience with setting it all up.

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Details:

  • Cost: Free for 100 scans per month, $6.99 yearly for unlimited scans
  • Answer Keys: 20, 50 and 100 question forms, multiple key versions

Pros:

  • Item analysis provided
  • Immediate feedback to the teacher
  • Cheaper than Scantron sheets
  • Don’t have to hear annoying buzzing sounds with incorrect answers on the machine
  • Can grade anywhere
  • Students can’t Google the answers on another tab when using their Chromebooks
  • Can use pen or pencil on the answer sheet.

Cons:

  • Entering student roster manually (unless you can figure out a CSV file)
  • It’s on paper
  • Does not provide immediate feedback to students like on Google Forms/Schoology
  • You HAVE to use an iPhone, iPad or Android device to scan answer sheet

Getting started:

1. Go to http://www.zipgrade.com and create an account.

2. On a CB, PC, Mac, or whatevs, create a class.

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3. Enter your class roster.  You’ll notice that each student is assigned a ZipGrade ID necessary to match up the name and results.

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4. I now have 4 students in my practice class.  If you choose the “Answer Sheet Packets”, you can print an answer sheet for each student in that class with their name and ZipGrade ID filled in.  Ingenious!  The left answer sheet is filled in, the one on the right is not.

5. Entering the answer key is on your device’s ZipGrade app.  You cannot access it from your CB, PC or Mac.  Here were the instructions for your iPad/iPhone/Android:

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  • Left Panel: I added a new quiz.
  • Middle Panel: Editing the key meant either manually entering answers or scan for a key.
  • Right Panel: The quiz menu is very straightforward.

According to the instructions above, I could start grading!  Check out these YouTube videos on ZipGrade and what it offers:

Some helpful hints from Jake Teske in Social Studies, whose department uses ZipGrade:

Make sure the grade sheet is completely flat.  When you are done scanning, close the program on your phone or it will drain the battery.

Mark Little in Science also has some suggestions:

Mark doesn’t assign a ZipGrade ID number or handout prefilled answer sheets.  “I have students write forms by name”.  He also records scores by hand going through the tests or writes it directly on the answer sheet.

Hopefully, your next experience with grading multiple choice assessments will be easier thanks to ZipGrade.  Many teachers in our building use it, so ask around…..I know they will help you!