Charlotte's Web ThingLink

Friday, August 29, 2014

Now What Do I Do With all Those Email Addresses?/Carly Sturm's EduWin

The District Office folks were talking about how impressive you all were at Back-to-School Night. Congratulations on a great start to another school year.

So now that you'e collected all those parent e-mail addresses, you might be thinking that having a contact group to use for e-mail or to use to share documents might be a nice thing. Luckily, creating a group is pretty easy to do. Here is a screencast with directions on how to do it. You'll find Contacts in the drop down menu under Mail. Just click the arrow to find Contacts to get started:

A really nice thing about Gmail contact groups is they also work when you want to share a Google Drive file.

For those of you who prefer to read directions, here is a step-by-step post by Alice Keeler. 

Once you have a contact list set up, it is super easy to edit it during the year should your parent information change.

This Week's EduWin

This week, I'd like to recognize Carly Sturm. Carly is new to the Union School District. She is a fourth grade teacher at Lietz and is piloting the flexible furniture in her classroom. Lucky for Carly, being assigned a room with flexible furniture had the up-side of coming with a Chromebook cart. Carly jumped right in and had her students learning Google Drive. 

"The students learned how to use Google docs to word process and type a paragraph based on a community building activity we did the first week of school. (CCSS 5.W.6) I presented the lesson yesterday as students followed along on their Chrome BooksToday, I had "experts" come to the front of the room to explain basic word processing functions that we learned yesterday like how to center text, how to double space, etc." The students were excited to be "expert teachers" and the whole class was energized by the activity.

Giving students the spotlight is always motivating. Thanks, Carly, for sharing your EduWin. 

If you or one of your colleagues are doing something in your class that uses edtech tools, please let me know. I'd love to share it with other teachers.

Have a great weekend.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Collecting Parent Info at Back to School Night/Todd Sinclair's EduWin

As you are preparing for Back to School Night, one of the forms you might be thinking of making is a sign-in sheet to collect information from families. I always liked doing it electronically. This way, any information I choose to include gets automatically uploaded to a file in my GAFE and has less chance of being lost or misread.

Here's a screencast that walks you through the process. It also shows how the URL shortener creates a smaller URL to easily use to sign in to multiple computers, and creates a QR code so families can even use their smart phones to respond.

This week's EduWin

Todd Sinclair went to the Tech I training at the Krause Center for Innovation this summer. In addition, Todd was very excited to attend the Union School District Technology Innovation Summit. Starting the year off with a Chromebook cart, Todd decided to jump right in. One of the first projects he introduced to his students was one Lisa Highfill demonstrated in her opening Keynote address. Students fill in a Google Form, reporting on their summer vacation. This information is used to populate a Google Map Engine Lite. From there, students can add information to the pins.
Here's Todd's students' map:

View Room 19 Summer Vacation in a larger map

Now that you know how to make a Google Form, you may want to try this in your class. Here is a How-to YouTube video made by Joe Wood, one of the presenters at the USD Tech Innovation Summit. Start the video about 3 min 40 sec. to see how to do it.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

International Dot Day

The message of The Dot by Peter Reynolds is, "Make your mark and see where it takes you."  

International Dot Day is day to share this message with your students.The website has activities you can use to celebrate International Dot Day in your classroom, and even has suggestions on how you can give your student work a wider audience and possibly connect with students around the world who are also celebrating the day through Skype in the Classroom 

I'd love to hear if you decide to join in.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Welcome Back, Send Quick Texts with Remind

It's August, and many of you are readying your classroom in anticipation of welcoming your new students. Welcome back. Hopefully, your summer was fun and refreshing.

This year, I have chosen to trade the excitement of the first day of school for a new adventure. After ten wonderful years teaching Third Grade at Alta Vista, I have assumed the role of Tech Integration ToSA at the District Office. 

My mission is to be available to USD teachers to help you integrate technology into your common core lessons and to help you with the introduction of devices and tools, making technology seamless in your classrooms.

One of the tools I've chosen to help facilitate this is this blog. I will post a weekly tool or tip, in response to teacher questions or needs, or to tell you about something cool I've learned about.

This week, I want to tell you about a great tool for keeping in touch with parents. Remind, provides a way for you to safely send a one-way text to parents. Just use an iPad or Android app, or the web version, and send a quick text message off to parents. Parents easily sign up by texting a unique code to a phone number created for you by Remind. Here is a short screencast I made to show you how easy it is:

While you can introduce this tool anytime, Back-to-School Night might be the perfect opportunity to have them pull out their phones and join. Click here to read more about using Remind in your class.

This video, and other screencasts I've made as a result of conversations I've had with teachers, can be found on the USD Instructional Videos YouTube channel found at 

I'm looking forward to visiting your school sites and getting to know you and how I can help you introduce digital tools into your lessons. In the meantime, feel free to contact me through my e-mail address at lynchm@unionsd,org

Thanks for all the support I have felt already. I can't wait to see what we can accomplish this year.