Google Drive File Stream for Mac/Dell Laptops

Google Drive has launched Drive File Stream to replace the Google Drive desktop app. The older Google Drive desktop software will no longer be supported beginning on December 11th, 2017, and it will shut down completely on March 12th, 2018, Google says.
Drive File Stream allows you to access your Google Drive files from your computer, without going to your browser and it takes up almost no space on your computer hard drive.

Image from Google Help

How does it work?
With Drive File Stream, you can: Quickly see all your Google Drive files in Finder/Explorer (including Team Drives).Browse and organize Google Drive files without downloading all of them to your computer.Choose which files or folders you'd like to make available offline.Open files in common apps like Microsoft Office and Adobe Photoshop. Download Drive File Stream here:
I personally like this because it doesn't take up very much space on your computer, unlike the older version. And when you click…

Screencasting for iPad, Mac, or PC

Screencasting is a powerful tool with many different applications. Teachers have used screencasting to create “How-to” videos for students, leave instructions to the class when they’re out with a substitute, provide accommodations for students who need texts read aloud, or provide directions at different stations in the room for small group instruction.

Screencastify is a Chrome Web extension many people use to create screencasts. This is your best bet when screencasting from a PC. This Chrome extension is free in your Google Chrome browser; however, the free version limits recording to 10 minutes per recording and 50 recordings per month. It also places a watermark of the Screencastify logo on the bottom of your screen. Read more about how to use Screencastify here.
QuickTime Player
My favorite screencasting tool is to simply use QuickTime Player. If you are a Mac user in GCISD, you’re in luck because QuickTime Player should already be on your computer.
Here’s what you’ll do…

Reducing Blue Light

I wanted to let you know of some ways you can reduce blue light on your digital devices. Reducing blue light can help with digital eye strain. The Vision Council states that digital eye strain is physical discomfort in your eyes after viewing a screen for too long. That more than 83 percent of Americans report using digital devices for more than two hours per day, and 53.1 percent report using two digital devices simultaneously, with 60.5 percent reporting experiencing symptoms of digital eye strain.

For most people, taking breaks from your computer, viewing your screens at a safe distance, and reducing screen glare are enough to reduce the effects from digital eye strain. But for some, reducing the blue light your screens emit can also ease some of that discomfort.

from the Vision Council
Not all blue light is bad. And reducing it during the day is usually not needed. There is research that 2-3 hours before bed, reducing blue light can help with your circadian rhythms and increase s…


GCISD teachers now have premium access to Nearpod!
How to Begin:
Select Sign In
Select Log in with Google

Go to:

My Library to see Nearpod Lessons you have added or created.
Explore to find already created Nearpod Lessons and easily add to My Library.
Join to enter a class code (Experience what a student sees.)
Create to begin making your own Nearpod Lesson.
Reports to view post-session student responses.

Begin Exploring lessons that have already been created in Nearpod.
Filter by Subject, Resource Type and Grade.
(If you are viewing My Library, click Explore and select Nearpod Store)

Select the lesson (by clicking on it) then click preview.
Click Add to my Library to create a copy in My Library.

Select Create to begin from scratch.
You can do this by clicking Create or the + New button.

Add your content
Easily add Slides from Google Drive, upload videos from your computer, or Google Drive. (You can create in powerpoint and upload to Nearpod.  PDF's can also be upload…

Safari Montage

Safari Montage is a digital resource that provides access to a video streaming library as well as access to your school news and a limited number of cable channels. GCISD has had access to Safari Montage for a number of years, but there are a couple of "new to us" features to note:

1. Google Classroom Integration - Teachers can share Safari Montage videos directly to Google Classroom.
2. View & Chat - While the teacher is showing a video, by giving the students a session code, the students can chat about the video.
3. Students have Safari Montage accounts and can upload videos.

If you haven't used Safari Montage lately, check it out!

The Power of Google Calendar

The Power of Google Calendar

Setting AppointmentsFinding time to meet one-on-one with parents, students, or even colleagues can be difficult when everyone has such busy schedules. Read more about using Google Calendar to open up appointment slots here.
Getting Students Organized
Some of my friends use their handy-dandy paper planner to stay organized. I on the other hand have switched entirely to using my Google Calendar. I like that I can receive alerts on my phone to remind me about scheduled events. It really simplifies my life by eliminating one extra thing I have to carry around.
Since Google Calendar has been so life changing for me, I figure students should have the opportunity to digitally organize their lives as well. To help them do that, I created the following HyperDoc. It was intended for a high school classroom, but feel free to modify it to fit your needs!

Apple Classroom in GCISD

Apple says that Classroom is a teaching assistant, meaning it's a great tool to use in your elementary classroom to guide learning and monitor student iPad use. It is not a workflow solution or learning management system, like Google Classroom. In Apple Classroom, you can: lock screens to pause work or refocus your classhelp open an app on student's iPads and lock them in that apphelp navigate their iPads to a specific website you've bookmarked in Safarimute audio on student devicessee an overview of all screens at onceget a closer view of one student's screenuse your teacher iPad to push a student's screen to Mirroring360 through AirPlay

To learn how to use Apple Classroom, the best advice I can give is open it and see what you can do!

When you choose a class from the home screen, you'll see a grid of your students. Check out the photo to the left. Students that are 'active' or in range of the teacher iPad show up in a circle with color. The offline st…