Monday, April 28, 2014

Google Chrome Browser, Apps & Extensions

Since GCISD employees and students have Google accounts, there are benefits to using the Google Chrome Browser. Install it by using this link:

With your Google account you can use Chrome apps and extensions to add functionality to your web experience. So, what is the difference in a Chrome app and a Chrome extension? The primary difference is that Chrome apps function as a standalone application or web site while Chrome extensions function across all web sites you visit.

There are many Chrome apps that interact seamlessly with Google Drive. These apps may be found by going to CREATE->CONNECT MORE APPS. You will also notice that these apps have a gray Drive icon next to them in the Chrome Web Store.

All other Chrome Apps are accessible via the Chrome App Launcher icon on your Chromebook or Macbook dock. Two types of apps appear in the Chrome App Launcher. Web Apps are shortcuts to web sites. These have a small arrow icon indicating a shortcut. Packaged apps are standalone applications that open in their own window.

Visit the Chrome Web Store to install Apps or Extensions:

Friday, April 25, 2014

ClassFlow to Connect and Engage Your Students

This is a special guest post from Diane Norwood, 1st grade teacher at Cannon Elementary. 

Do you have something to share?  Fill out the "Tips from our Readers" form and maybe you'll be selected as our next guest blogger!

ClassFlow Teacher app
ClassFlow Student app 

ClassFlow is a great website (used with a student app) that allows you to send slides to your students on their devices for them to see up close and respond to.  This is similar to Nearpod, but ClassFlow is by the Promethean people so you can import ActivInspire flipcharts (that you have already created) easily into ClassFlow (or create one from scratch) and use them with all students at once instead of one at a time on the interactive white board.  

Students login with a short numeric code and their name.  Slides are not automatically sent to the students' devices.  You can send them a slide as an open-ended response and they get a pen, highlighter, and basic shape tool.  The students submit their work and you can put their slides up on the screen to compare strategies and ways they showed their work.  

When you import a flipchart, it does not have all the functions of ActivInspire, but you still have the basic tools for the teacher to annotate onscreen.  You can also bring in slides and graphics created with other software or search for other teachers' presentations to use or adapt.  

One glitch we found was that it seemed to log the students out when their screens went to sleep, but we solved that by setting their iPads not to go to sleep so quickly.  This has been a great find since I use the ActivInspire software a lot and already have flipcharts that I can easily use with ClassFlow to keep all students engaged.  They love to see their work onscreen and explain what they did!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Skyward App for Attendance

Did you know that there's a Skyward app that makes taking attendance on your iPad a breeze?
Here's what to do:

  1. Download the Skyward Mobile Access app from the App Store: (
  2. Choose to locate "By District Name" and search for Grapevine-Colleyville ISD
  3. Choose "School Management"
  4. Login with your Skyward user name and password.
  5. Set a passcode.  This will allow you easy access to the app without having to type in your full user name and password each time you take attendance.
  6. Choose Educator Access Plus.
  7. Choose the desired class and take attendance!

Friday, April 18, 2014

EdCamp GCISD - June 10, 2014

Have you heard about EdCamp GCISD?  All GCISD teachers and staff are invited to attend this great day of self-selected learning!

What Is an EdCamp?

EdCamp GCISD is an “unconference”.  It’s free professional development for teachers by teachers. Instead of one person standing in front of the room talking for an hour, teachers are encouraged to have discussions and hands-on sessions. Edcamp strives to bring teachers together to talk about the things that matter most to them: their interests, passions and questions. Teachers who attend EdCamp can choose to lead sessions on those things that matter, with an expectation that the people in the room will work together to build understanding by sharing their own knowledge and questions.

Watch this video to learn more about EdCamp:

How Will EdCamp GCISD Work?
Come enjoy a day with colleagues from GCISD. Arrive with an idea for a session that you would like to lead or with the anticipation of a full day of learning about topics that interest you. A session might explore a technology tool, a discussion about best practices or a collaborative presentation with multiple facilitators.  During the first hour, you will have time to meet other teachers and share your ideas for session topics.  
Over the course of the day, you will have the opportunity to attend four sessions. The rule of the unconference is to “vote with your feet”. If a session doesn’t meet your needs, simply get up and move on to another room.
You will learn something new, maybe make a new friend and receive information that you can immediately apply in your classroom and professional life!

Who Is Invited?
All GCISD teachers and staff are invited to attend.

What Should I Bring?

Bring your  laptop and/or iPad so that you can  view the session board online, take notes and view websites discussed throughout the day.
How Do I Register?
Register in Eduphoria:

Out of District Registration:  

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