Will You Accept the Digital 20 Challenge?

Wondering what GCISD’s #digital20challenge is all about and why you should accept the challenge?  Want to earn some sticker swag while learning new skills? Read on! What: The GCISD Instructional Technology team has devised a list of twenty digital challenges, including reading books on Overdrive, being active on Twitter, and listening to a podcast. Why:Achieving each challenge will enrich your toolbox of digital skills and benefit both you and your students.

How: Visit only to GCISD staff) for the details, then register for the online class in Eduphoria When:Self-paced!  The challenge officially starts on June 4th and ends August 10th, however you can start your learning at any time and continue through the 2018-2019 school year.  When you’ve accomplished the twenty challenges, complete the Google Form on the website to receive your sticker!

Encourage your friends and colleagues to join you as you complete each challenge. To share your learning and see…

Checking out books with OverDrive!

GCISD has recently switched over to using OverDrive for our online library needs. Your campus librarian can help you and your students use this app to get eBooks, audiobooks and read along books! To find OverDrive, go to your Classlink App (or website). Click the Learning Commons folder, then OverDrive.

Browse the site for the titles you'd like to read. You can sort by Collections, Subjects, or Reading Levels. You can also use the search function to find something specific. Once you've located the title you want, click on it. From there you can view a sample, or click Borrow.

Once you click the button to go to your checkouts, you see that you have many options for ways to read your book. You can also view how many more books you can check out, how many you currently have out, as well as view your history, holds, and settings.

Reading in your browser is an option, and it is the only option if you are on a computer. I personally like reading in the Overdrive app itself in an eP…

The Magic of the Post-it® Plus App

To be honest, I’ve always hated using Post-it notes as a formative assessment in my classroom.
In theory, they are great. Each student gets a small square of brightly colored paper that I can quickly look at to see student responses as an exit ticket. In reality, at the end of the day I had 150 squares of brightly colored paper half of which had lost their stickiness and fallen onto the floor. By the time the last bell of the day rings, I have no desire to comb through 100+ post-it notes.

The Post-it® Plus App makes using Post-it notes a little easier by allowing you to digitize them. When your students post their stickies to your wall, just open the app, point your phone at the wall, and click to capture an image. Take a look at the app in action by watching this video:
The magic of the app is that once you capture an image of the post-it notes, the app lets you digitally maneuver them on your screen. You can organize the notes, move them around, delete them, or share them with students…


**Please check with your Learning Liaison to determine if your campus has purchased IXL.**

To begin, login to IXL @

Creating Class Rosters
A pop up window will ask you to input your class roster.
Click Go to my roster
Classes can be created by selecting Start Using Classes.
Begin entering your students names.  When Last Name is typed it should show students that match.  Select the student's name to add and continue until all students have been entered for that class.  If a student name does not show,  enter their first/last name, student id and click Save.  A username and password will auto-generate for them.  Subject will auto-populate. (You will see an M for Math or E for English Language Arts or both.) You will have the option to have all students usernames/passwords sent to you by email.

Edit your Profile
Select Profile & Settings from your account menu (upper right corner).

Enter your display name .
Select Texas.

Get your Class Started
Have stud…

Storytelling at South by Southwest EDU 2018

As a first timer to the South by Southwest EDU (SXSW EDU) conference in Austin, I wasn't sure what to expect. I knew I would be with others in the field of education and we would learn something. The 'something' is where it got fuzzy for me, especially when I looked at the the four day schedule of sessions and realized there were many more choices than I had time for. Thankfully, there were no 'wrong' choices and I was able to start at the easiest place: the opening keynote speakers from The Moth. Through their power of storytelling, I was reminded of the value of sharing our experiences with others as a way to learn and make deeper connections.

The Moth, which Wikipediaexplains as "a non-profit group based in New York City dedicated to the art and craft of storytelling" shares storytelling via radio station broadcasts, podcasts, and live shows by enlisting courageous people to tell a true story from their own life. The four speakers I listened to told…

Meraki app list for iPad

Meraki for iPad
For the 2017-2018 school year, we have switched to using Meraki for students to access apps to download on their iPads instead of the regular Apple App Store. This list grows every day as more and more teachers request apps. Each student can only see apps that are assigned to their grade level in their Meraki app. Teachers may see different apps than the students see.

In order for teachers to know ALL the apps that are in there, Technology Services and Instructional Technology have created a Google Sheet with all of the apps, regardless of grade level. You can find that list here:

It's quite an overwhelming document, so we have added some things in that might help you sort. First, apps are sorted initially by title. If you're wondering if an app is already on there, scroll down to its name. You can see grade level, whether it's lawfully appropriate for under 13, the subject, and some other notes about the apps.


Classroom Screen

Classroom Screen is a simple and easy-to-use online tool that allows teachers to add multiple widgets such as ClockTimerQR CodeRandom Name Generator Select one of their Backgrounds or Upload your ownRemove widgets by clicking the red x beside the individual widget, located at the bottom of the screen. You can also add 2 of the same widget by clicking on the +1.

Click the 3 lines in the upper left corner and select How it works for a quick overview of Classroom Screen.  

Or select Tips & Tricks for ideas on using some of the widgets. Please Note:  You are unable to save in the conventional way, but you can take a screenshot of your work.  Also classroom screen is designed for you to have all your information added in a short period of time.

Classroom Screen also has a built in Exit Poll, but each student has to vote on the same device.  (I think it would be fun to have this projecting onto the Interactive WhiteBoard and allow students to use the pen to select their vote as they leave …