Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Sharing iPad Creations with Edmodo

Edmodo provides teachers and students a secure place to connect and collaborate, turn in work, participate in class discussions and receive notifications. 

With the latest Edmodo app update, this became a solution for students to turn in work created on the iPad in Pages, Keynote, or the camera roll. (Remember that many other apps can be shared to the camera roll. From there, they can be uploaded to Edmodo.)

After creating a document in Pages, for example, the student would do the following:

  1. Tap the wrench button in the top right corner.
  2. Tap Share and Print
  3. Open in Another App
  4. Choose a format (Pages, PDF, or Word)
  5. Click the Choose App button.
  6. Open in Edmodo. (You may have to swipe right or left to see the Edmodo option if you have a lot of apps installed.)
  7. If the student is not already logged in to Edmodo, they will be prompted to log in. If the student is already logged in to Edmodo, they will be asked if they want to upload the document to their library. The file will reside in the library and will be accessible when the student is ready to attach it to a post.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Tips from our Readers--Youtube Buffering

If you are showing a Youtube video and it begins to buffer here are a couple of tips:

1. Pause the video and allow it to load. You can see the progress by watching the gray bar.

2. Pause the video and select the gear button. Change the resolution to a lower quality which will allow the video to load faster. It is not ideal but could be helpful in a crunch.

This tip is brought to you by the GHS teachers at their recent Instructional Focus Day. If you have a tip please share it here:

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Inserting Music From Freeplay Music into iMovie for iPad

Inserting Music From Freeplay Music into iMovie for iPad

If you are tired of the same sound tracks found in iMovie for the iPad, check out our freeplay music subscription site!

From the GCISD website, go to For Employees > Teacher/Staff Resources and click Freeplay Music.

Searching for Music

  • Search by CD Volume, Style or Feel by clicking on the search option (the search will automatically begin) or type a keyword in the SEARCH BY KEYWORDS box and click RUN SEARCH.
  • The “Search Guide” is a printable PDF that lists the CD Volumes that would be appropriate for a variety of themes.
  • Use ADVANCED SEARCH to select multiple search options.

Navigating the Search Window

  • The number of tracks found in the search is indicated at the top. Ten tracks are displayed in the window at a time (use the “next 10 results” or “previous 10 results” to view them). 
  • Each track is displayed with a block of information about the track, including the name of the track, the volume, the feeling, styles, instrument, and tempo of the track. Each track is available in a variety of time lengths.

Previewing a Track 

We do not recommend previewing in the Chrome browser.
  1. Click on the desired track length in the PREVIEW section in the bottom right of the block of information about the track. 
  2. The file opens and plays in the default program for playing music (probably iTunes or Windows Media Player). You may have to click OPEN on a window that pops up.  
  3. After the music has played, close the player program.

Downloading a Track 

  1. Click on the desired track length in the MP3 section in the bottom left of the block of information about the track (For example, click the "30" link for a 30 second track)
  2. Click SAVE on the File Download window. 
  3. Navigate to the desired location to save the file (give a new name if desired). 
  4. Click SAVE

Opening the Track in iMovie via Dropbox

  1. Copy the sound track file to a DROPBOX folder
    See for directions on how to set up a Dropbox account
  2. On the ipad, launch DROPBOX and navigate to the preferred sound track file
  3. Once selected, tap the OPEN IN button found in the top, right corner
  4. Select OPEN IN IMOVIE 
  5. In order to trim music, be sure the LOOP BACKGROUND MUSIC setting is turned off in iMovie:
    a. Tap the settings icon found in the top, right corner
    b. Slide the LOOP BACKGROUND MUSIC option to OFF

Monday, December 10, 2012

Embed Video into iBooks Author

Embed Video into iBooks Author

When creating an iBooks Author file, there are several widgets available within iBooks Author, however when inserting a YouTube link, one easy way to do this is with a widget provided by iBooks Generator.

Simply copy and paste the YouTube URL into the provided text field and click the Generate button.  Download and double-click (to expand) the provided zip file.  Simply drag and drop the WDGT file into the iBooks Author page to insert the widget.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Inspiration Maps Lite

Inspiration Maps Lite - iPad App

Use Inspiration Maps Lite for the iPad to create thinking maps, brainstorm ideas, do a quick formative assessment, and more.  With the "LITE" version (which means FREE in our Education World), you can save up to five diagrams.  The diagrams can be viewed or revised in the diagram view as well as an outline view.

Click here to read more or download the app.

View a demo video to learn how to use Inspiration Maps Lite.  NOTE: The last few seconds mentions opening the document in Pages or saving to Dropbox or iTunes... these features are only available when you upgrade to Inspiration Maps (NOT LITE).

For more information, see the Inspiration website.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Sharing iPad iMovie Projects

Sharing (iPad) iMovie Projects

After creating an iMovie project on an ipad, one may wonder, now what?  There are various ways to move the project off of the iPad to share with others.  Here, we have explained three methods for doing this:

Sending iMovie Projects to YouTube

NOTE:  Success with this method will depend on bandwidth and video file size.  If unsuccessful, try another method.

  1. If you’re not in the PROJECTS view, tap the MY PROJECTS buttonin the upper-left corner above the viewer.
  2. Scroll to center the preferred project or trailer.
  3. Be sure to name the movie:

    • Tap on the PROJECT NAME.
    • Erase the name given and enter a new name and tap DONE.
  4. Tap the SHARE button and select YOUTUBE
  5. Type the YouTube USERNAME and PASSWORD, then tap SIGN IN.
  6. Enter a movie title into the TITLE field.
  7. To specify how your project is categorized on the YouTube website, tap CATEGORY, scroll the options, then tap the preferred category.
  8. Tap TAGS to add terms users can use to find your video on YouTube.  To enter more than one tag, tap RETURN after each one. If you previously shared the project to another website, any tags you specified appear in the TAGS field.
  9. In the SHARE PROJECT window, select the size you want to export.
    Medium produces a smaller file that uploads more quickly to the web. HD produces a larger file that is great for viewing on a Mac or on a high-definition television (HDTV).
  10. Tap to set a PRIVACY setting.
    Unlisted videos can be viewed only by people who have the link to the video. Private videos can be viewed only by you and a limited number of users you invite to view the video.
  11. Tap LOCATION to specify where you shot the project, if you want.
  12. Tap SHARE in the upper-right corner of the SHARE PROJECT window.

Changing Privacy Settings on YouTube:

  1. Log in to YOUTUBE
  2. Click your username in the top right corner and select VIDEO MANAGER
  3. Place a checkmark next to the video(s) for which you need to change the settings
  4. Click ACTIONS
  5. Click UNLISTED under PRIVACY

Sending iMovie Projects to a Mac Computer and Downloading via iTunes

  1. In iMovie on the iPad:  If you’re not in projects view, tap the MY PROJECTS button in the upper-left corner above the viewer.
  2. Scroll to center the preferred project or trailer.
  3. Be sure to name the movie:
    • Tap on the PROJECT NAME.
    • Erase the name given and enter a new name and tap DONE.
  4. Tap the SHARE buttonat the bottom of the screen, then tap ITUNES; Tap OK when iMovie indicates that the export is complete.
  5. On the computer, from APPLICATIONS, launch ITUNES.
  7. Click DEVICES.
  9. Connect your device to your computer.  After a moment, your device appears in iTunes, below DEVICES on the left.
  10. Select the device, then click APPS at the top of the iTunes window.
  11. Select IMOVIE in the Apps list below FILE SHARING (you may need to scroll down to see it).
  12. In the IMOVIE DOCUMENTS pane, select the file shared above in step 4, then click the SAVE TO button; Save the file to your computer in a place where you can find it easily.
    NOTE:  You can also save the file by dragging it to the desired location on your computer.
  13. DISCONNECT the device from your computer and click OK and QUIT iTunes.
  14. Complete any necessary editing in iMovie on the computer.
  15. After the video is complete, select SHARE > EXPORT MOVIE from within iMovie.  Select the save location and the preferred export size and click EXPORT.

Sending iMovie Projects to a Mac Computer Via the Camera Roll and the Image Capture Application

  1. In iMovie on the iPad:  If you’re not in PROJECTS view, tap the MY PROJECTS button in the upper-left corner above the viewer.
  2. Scroll to center the preferred project.
  3. Be sure to name the movie:
    • Tap on the PROJECT NAME.
    • Erase the name given and enter a new name and tap DONE.
  4. Tap the SHARE buttonat the bottom of the screen, then tap CAMERA ROLL.
  5. Select the size you want to export.
    Medium produces a smaller file that uploads more quickly to the web. HD produces a larger file that’s great for viewing on a Mac or on a high-definition television (HDTV).
  6. When the export is complete, the finished project is copied to the CAMERA ROLL. You can access the Camera Roll within the PHOTOS app on your iPad. The next time you connect your device to your computer, you can sync the project to a photo application, such as Image Capture, on your computer.

Using Image Capture

Image Capture can be accessed from the Applications folder and can be used to download pictures or videos from an iPad camera roll, iPhone, digital camera or card reader without going through the sync process. 
  1. On the mac computer:  From APPLICATIONS, launch ITUNES.
  3. Click DEVICES.
  5. Click OK and QUIT iTunes. 
  6. From APPLICATIONS, launch IMAGE CAPTURE and connect a device.
  7. Use the IMPORT TO drop-down menu to select the desired location to save videos.
  8. If applicable, check the DELETE AFTER IMPORT box on the lower left side to remove the photos/video from the device.
  9. Select the video(s) to import using one of the following:
    • Single click the preferred video.
    • Hold down COMMAND while clicking multiple videos.
    • To select multiple videos in order, click on the top video and then click the last video in the group while holding down SHIFT.
  10. Click the IMPORT button.
    NOTE: Do not use the IMPORT ALL button unless all the pictures/videos are to be imported.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

November Tweets

Check out these great resources.  Click this link if you're viewing this blog post via our email subscription and can't see the embedded "story" below.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Safari for iPad Tips

Here are some basic tips to make using Safari with a classroom of students easier:

Bookmarks are essential when using websites with students (especially young ones!)  Rather than waiting for them to type in a long URL, turn on iCloud Safari syncing in the settings for your iPad class set so that you can add a bookmark to one student iPad in the set and all the others will see it too.  Go to Settings and iCloud.  Be sure that Safari is turned ON.   (Don't turn on iCloud syncing to the class set Apple ID on your teacher iPad.  Any bookmarks you set would show up on all the student devices as well.) 

Be aware that if a student bookmarks an inappropriate site, it will show up on all the iPads.  Be sure to teach proper digital citizenship and monitor iPad use.

Open tabs also sync through iCloud.  Click the cloud icon in Safari to view open tabs on all the devices currently syncing to the same class account.

Home Screen "Apps":
Use "Add to Home Screen" to create a bookmark to frequently used sites.  This will create an icon on any home screen that looks like an app.  Then students can just tap it and go!  Simply go to the desired URL in Safari.  Tap the "send to" icon (looks like a rectangle with an arrow) and choose "Add to Home Screen".  Give the bookmark a name and tap the blue ADD button.  An icon will be added to the home screen.

Saving Pictures to the Camera Roll:
To save a picture from Safari to use in another app or project, simply click and hold on the picture and choose "Save Image".  

Scrolling to Top:
To quickly get back to the top of a Safari webpage, just tap the status bar at the top of the screen (the very top... by the time display).


  • To zoom in to a webpage that uses column, double tap in the desired column and it will automatically zoom to fit that column on the screen.  Double tap again to zoom back out.
What are your favorite Safari tips?  Share in the comments below.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

GCISD Tech Lessons

The GCISD Tech Lessons website ( is a great resource for finding websites and activities for all areas of the curriculum.  It can be easily accessed from the GCISD Important Websites page that should be a default tab on any browser on a district computer.  

Some resource links you'll find on Tech Lessons include:
  • Activities and websites for every subject and topic taught in grades K-5 (Click the green button for your grade level, choose a subject and then choose a topic.)
  • Keyboarding practice for all grade levels
  • Free clip art and media resources for all grade levels
  • Activities and websites for all stations of Reading Daily 5
  • Links to Web 2.0 sites and other GCISD resources like BrainPop and Tumblebooks (much easier than having students type in URLs!)
  • Interactive websites that work on the iPads
  • iPad app recommendations and resources
  • Math resources for grades 6-8
  • And much more!
Bookmark it and check it out today!  If you find a broken link or have a site you'd like added to Tech Lessons, email a Digital Coach or leave it in the comments below.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Mac Tip- Air Drop

AirDrop is the easiest and fastest way to share files between Macs.  It's a great way for Digital Classroom students to share work from a MacBook Air to the teacher's MacBook.   Here's how it works:

1.  Open AirDrop on both/all Macs that need to share files by clicking GO and AIRDROP.  (If you don't see GO on the menu bar, click anywhere on the desktop or open any Finder window.)

2.  All the Macs in the area with AirDrop open will show up on the AirDrop list.
3.  To share a file, simply drag the desired file onto the appropriate user's icon in the AirDrop list.  Click SEND when prompted.

4.  The recipient will get a notification of the file and can choose SAVE AND OPEN, DECLINE or just SAVE.

That's it!  Easy as pie.  How could you use AirDrop in the classroom?  Leave us a comment with your ideas!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Videoconferencing in GCISD

Videoconferencing allows two or more locations to communicate by simultaneous two-way video and audio transmissions. Your classroom can connect with another classroom in the district or with a museum or other location through the use of a videoconference cart. 

Connect2Texas is a searchable database of videoconference opportunities throughout the state.
There are also many museums and schools throughout the world that are able to connect with us through videoconferencing.

If you find a videoconference on Connect2Texas in which you would like to participate, contact Jason Brown in the technology department and he can facilitate the set-up. We have 3 mobile videoconference carts in GCISD. Jason will facilitate having the cart delivered to your classroom and set up prior to the date of your videoconference. If you would like a digital coach to help facilitate on the day of the videoconference in your classroom, this can be requested through your campus learning liaison.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Math Fonts

Are you familiar with the 1, 2, 3 Math Fonts that are available in the district?  There are 32 total fonts like counting beans/cubes/tiles/bears, clocks, dice, dominoes, fractions, geometry, math symbols, money, pattern blocks, and place value.   Below are just a few examples. 

To see more of the fonts and to learn about how to use them, check out the official manual online. 

How do you get this amazing resource?  Follow the instructions below to install on your Windows or Mac computer.

Windows- Go to the Microsoft Software Center (Start, All Programs, Microsoft System Center 2012, Configuration Manager, Software Center) and choose 123 Math Fonts.

Mac-  There are 2 options for getting the 123 Math Fonts on your Mac.  You can either turn in an Eduphoria work order or install them yourself from the Activities server.  Follow the instructions below to install yourself:

To Connect to the Server:
1.  From the desktop of the laptop, click GO and CONNECT TO SERVER.
2.  Type the server address and click CONNECT.
3.  Enter your network login information.
4.  This will mount a server named WEBFS.GCISD.NET to your desktop.

Installing the Fonts:
2.  Click LIBRARY and FONTS.  Leave that window open.
3.  In a new window, open the WEBFS.GCISD.NET server that you just mounted.
5.  Drag all the fonts from the Activity server Mac Fonts OSX window to the Library Fonts window.
6.  Close all windows after all the fonts have copied.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

iMovie New Features

What is new in iMovie for iPad version 1.4?

iMovie for iPad has just upgraded to version 1.4.  Once installed, there are several new features listed below.

The one that may be most helpful to GCISD teachers is the help icon:

By using this help feature, teachers may have fewer technical questions to field, offering them more time to focus on content.

Friday, October 19, 2012



Socrative is a tool that can be used for an exit ticket, formative assessment, quick class voting, and class reviews in a game format.  Teachers create a Socrative account at and students can interact via smartphones, iPads, and computers.

Watch the video to learn more:

Other Links

Socrative User Guide
Socrative on GCISD Training Wiki
Students as Teachers - Designers of Weekly Activities

Follow Socrative on Pinterest

Monday, October 15, 2012

Trading Cards App

The Trading Cards app from Read, Write, Think is a great FREE app that students can use to create and share trading cards for a variety of educational purposes.  

The app supports multiple users so student work can be separated for safekeeping.

Flashcards can be created in a variety of categories:
  • Fictional Person
  • Real Person
  • Fictional Place
  • Real Place
  • Object
  • Event
  • Vocabulary Words

Each category has guiding questions to assist the students in creating high quality trading cards.  Students learn summarizing skills since they have to make the most important information fit onto the card.

Cards can be saved to the camera roll or emailed.

For more information about the app and lesson plan ideas for using it, visit the official app page on Read, Write, Think.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Tips from our Readers-YoutubeClean

YoutubeClean strips away all the extra videos and advertisements from a Youtube screen. After finding the video you want on Youtube, simply add the word "clean" to the URL--after Youtube and before dot com.

Find the Youtube video you want:

Add the word clean as shown here:

It's that simple!

This tip comes to us from Heather Cato, Instructional Coach.

Do you have a technology tip or resource up your sleeve that needs to be shared throughout the district? Complete the form below and your idea may be featured on our blog!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Digital Classroom Tool: Evernote

What is Evernote?
Evernote is a web-based service for keeping notes and notebooks. Think of it as a virtual binder! You can create notes and notebooks on the Evernote website ( ), on the Evernote software (free download from, and/or via the app on your iPhone or iPad (also available for Windows, Android or Blackberry phones). Everything is automatically synced together so you can access all your notes from anywhere.

Here’s a great guide to getting started with Evernote:

Note:  Evernote's Terms of Service require parental permission for all students under 18 to create an account.

Ideas for Using Evernote- As a Teacher:
  • Take notes at faculty, team or PLC meetings
  • Document parent communication in a notebook for each student
  • Keep anecdotal records on students
  • Use the browser bookmarklet to save web page resources

Ideas for Using Evernote- With Students:
  • Keep a fluency notebook with audio recordings of the student reading selected passages.
  • Use with Skitch- students annotate a picture in Skitch and send directly to an Evernote note.
  • Reading log- students take a picture of the book they’re reading and type their reflections or connections
  • Science- take pictures of experiments in progress and go back later to type CER
  • PBL- record driving question, need to knows, take notes, etc.

Other Evernote Ideas and Resources:

Ready to get started with your students?  Here's instructions for setting up student accounts and creating/sharing notebooks.   

The GCISD Digital Coaches would love to come help you get started!  Contact your Campus Liaison to make arrangements.

Sunday, October 7, 2012 - URL Shortener and QR Creator

Looking for an easy way to share long URLs with students?  Try

So why should you try Google URL Shortener instead of any of the other URL shorteners like Tiny URL? When you login with your Google ID, Google URL Shortener actually becomes a 2 in 1 tool.  It shortens your URL and creates a QR code all in one step!

How to use:
  1. Go to
  2. Login to your Google account.
  3. Paste a URL into the box and click SHORTEN URL.
  4. Your URL will be shortened into a "" address on the right hand side of the screen.  
  5. Click DETAILS below the shortened URL to view the QR code.  The code can be copied/pasted to a document or saved with a right-click.
  6. All URLs that you've shortened will be tracked in your main list so you can always go back to access the code.
Want to learn more about QR codes in the classroom?  Check out our QR code blog post here:

Thursday, October 4, 2012


Chirp is a super cool way to share things from one iPad to another.  It's a free app that can be downloaded from the GCISD App Catalog.  Chirp uses sound to transmit a web link, a note or a picture... sort of like an audio QR code!

Ideas for using with students:

  • Links- Having young students type in links can often be a painful process!  With Chirp, you can Chirp the link and they just click it to open in Safari.
  • Notes- Send students instructions, story starters, text to edit, etc.  You could also create a group shared story.  One student could start a story in a note, Chirp it to another student.  That student can add one and so on.
  • Pictures- Many apps export the product to the camera roll.  Students can chirp their completed project to the teacher as an easy way to turn in work.
Check it out and let us know your ideas for using with students in the classroom.  

Monday, September 24, 2012

WebDAV Nav

WebDAV is now available in the district!  What's WebDAV you ask? Not only is it a great way to access files from the server on an iPad, but it's the new way for you to be able to access your district servers from home!

Setting up the iPads is a little different for elementary and secondary classrooms so choose the appropriate handout below.  

All staff members (whether or not you have access to iPads) can follow the instructions on the last page of the handout to access your district server files from your home computer!

Elementary Setup Instructions:

Secondary Setup Instructions:

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Safari Montage for Students

Safari Montage has been activated for student use!

Middle and high school students will log in with their network login.
Elementary students will log in with the campus student network login.

Use the PERMANENT LINKS button to create a link to your playlist or individual video that can be shared with students via your web site or QR code, etc. Be sure to tell your students how to log in to Safari Montage as you may be the first teacher using it with students.

If you uploaded the video to Safari Montage, you must SHARE it before any other users can access it.

Students can't upload videos to Safari Montage.
Students only have access to the GCISD channel and their campus channel, not all the cable channels teachers can access.

Monday, September 10, 2012

25 PC Troubleshooting Tips

Not sure what to do if your keyboard stops working? What if your mouse freezes? What should you check if you cannot hear any sound from your computer? Not sure where you saved a much needed file?

Here is a list of the 25 most common computer problems that both students and teachers can troubleshoot.

Go ahead and print the list out! Maybe even hang it up near your student computers. Before long, you'll no longer be a novice at basic troubleshooting your PC! 

Friday, September 7, 2012

GCISD Wireless Speed

Wireless Speed

We are very fortunate in GCISD to have the ability to take an electronic device like an iPad or a laptop, go to any GCISD campus, the Administration building or the Professional Development Center and connect seamlessly to our wireless network.

There are however, times when you may find yourself waiting for an extended period of time to download an app or a file. If so, no matter where you are (at home or school), you can check the wireless speed.

If you are at home or in a GCISD building:
Download and use the following app on your iPhone or iPad: Mobile Speed Test

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Mac Tips

Mac Tips

New to the Mac environment?  No problem!  Refer to the list below for some helpful hints on transitioning to the mac world!

How do I right click?
Place two fingers on the track pad while you click

How do I take a screenshot?
Hold down the Command and Shift keys and press 4, The cursor becomes a crosshairs.  Click and drag the crosshairs to select the portion of the display you’d like to capture.  The screenshot file can be found on the desktop.

How do I exit (QUIT for Mac users) an Application?
Press the Command key and the Q key on the keyboard simultaneously

Help - My scroll bars are missing!
Turn on Scroll Bars Permanently
From the Apple menu, go to System Preferences, select General, and choose Show Scroll Bars Always

Why isn't my desktop showing on my projected screen?
Mirroring needs to be turned on.  Here's how:

  1. Connect the MacBook to the projector by using the video cable and video adapter
  2. Use the Source Search or Input feature on the projector
  3. If the computer icons do not appear on the projected screen, complete the following steps:
    • From the Apple menu, select System Preferences
    • Click the Displays icon
    • Under the Arrangement tab, click the Mirror Displays checkbox in the lower, left corner
      The resolution will automatically change to meet the projector’s requirements
    • Select Quit System Preferences from the System Preferences menu
Did you know?

While watching a video, press the spacebar to pause and/or play the video

Keyboard Shortcuts:
Copy - Command/C
Cut - Command/X
Paste - Command/V
Print - Command/P
Quit - Command/Q

Take a few minutes (6 or so!) and view Apple's "Basics" video (written for those transitioning from the Windows environment):

Other Apple Resources:
Macbook Air Quickstart
Macbook Air Manual

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Are you on Twitter?  If you are, please help us build a list of GCISD Tweeters by adding your information to the form below. (If the form doesn't show up in your email notification, please visit the blog at

To view the list and find new people to follow, visit the link below (check back often too!) 

Not on Twitter?  Check out this "Beginners Guide to Twitter" to get started!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Call Us Maybe

Welcome to the 2012-2013 School Year from the Digital Coaches! We're looking forward to a great year of working with you.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

QR Treasure Hunt

QR Treasure Hunt Generator

 Teachers, create a mobile device treasure hunt for your students

QR Treasure Hunt

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