Showing posts from November, 2015

Throwback Thursday - Kaizena: Audio comments in Google files


Amy posted about Kaizena in March of 2014. As she said, "Kaizena is a free resource that let's you leave audio comments, text comments or links to resources on Google Docs.  What a great way to give feedback to your students!  Students can share their work with you through their Google Drive account (all GCISD students have a Google Drive account using their email address and password). Then you open the document in Kaizena (on a computer) and quickly and easily record comments."Since posting about Kaizena, they have updated a bit so that you can add "groups" or classes based on what you teach.

If you use Google Classroom and Google Docs pretty extensively, this is a really great tool for giving feedback to students or grading. For instructions on how to get started, see Amy's original post!

The Great Thanksgiving Listen

Social studies, history, government, or other humanities teachers, sign up for The Great Thanksgiving Listen! The idea is that students interview a grandparent or other family member over the Thanksgiving break then upload their story. It is created by StoryCorps and designed specifically for students ages 13 and over in an effort to engage people of all ages in the act of listening.  There is a free teacher toolkit that includes a lesson planning guide, permission slips, StoryCorps Great Questions, and follow-up activities for students.
StoryCorps App

To participate, your students need a smartphone and the StoryCorps mobile app. The app is user friendly and walks you step by step through the interview process. 

Discovery Streaming

Discovery Streaming is an amazing resource that is provided to all GCISD teachers and students through Region XI.  If you don't already have a login, you can get your campus passcode from your librarian.

Here is a quick start guide created by the Technology Department:

Once you're logged in, you can search for videos (and video clips) by keyword, subject, grade level and even specific TEKS standards

When you click on a specific video's page, you can read a short synopsis, preview the video, select specific clips or download the video.  Some videos also come with lesson plans (found under the Materials dropdown).

From the "Classroom Manager" dropdown at the top, teachers can create classes and student logins.  Discovery Streaming has great instructions for creating student accounts (  Tip: make their login the same as their GCISD Google account.  …

Throwback Thursday - WatchKnowLearn Videos


We first blogged about WatchKnowLearn in this post in May 2013.  WatchKnowLearn is an indexed collection of over 50,000 educational videos for K-12 students.  It's a great resource for teachers to find videos to include in classroom instruction (add them to a Blendspace!) or for students to use for independent (Genius Hour!) research.  You can search by keyword and even filter by appropriate age.  A login is not necessary but, if you create one, you can "favorite" videos for easy access later. 
Interested in exploring other video learning sites? Check out these other options: Safari Montage - students can login with the GCISD network loginDiscovery Streaming - teachers can create student loginsKnowmia - video lessons created by teachers

Throwback Thursday: Blendspace!

Today's Throwback Thursday goes to Blendspace! No idea why they changed their URL but we have an elementary school called TES, so it should be easy to remember! We originally posted about Blendspace back in January, so not that long ago. Blendspace is a fantastic way to curate information for your students. You can collect several resources about a certain topic and put them together for your students to use. You can add videos, websites, text, quizzes, and photos. If you've never done a Blendspace before, it's super easy!  See the original post by Amy Phillips for a step by step.
We have been collecting GCISD Blendspace resources since posting about this topic. You can see those examples in this Google Doc. Use these freely! We would love for you to send us the great resources you've put together to add to our list! The more we collect, the more we can help each other. Please fill out the Google Form below with your Blendspace link.

The New GCISD Podcast!

Lead GCISD is a new podcast we created to explore topics around our school district. We'll talk about LEAD 2021, best practices, educational technology, & more! 
What to do: Subscribe in iTunes for any new episodes: our Google Voice number at 817-755-0838 to leave a voicemail with any questions you may have. Your question may make it onto the show. Leave a message with a topic idea for a future episode or if you'd like to be interviewed.You can also subscribe to the Lead GCISD blog for supplemental materials or to be notified when a new episode has been released.
If podcasting is a new topic for you, podcasts are an audio file made available on the internet for consumers to listen to. Edison Research has reported that fully one-third (33%) of all Americans 12 years of age or older now say they have listened to at least one podcast. People like podcasts because they're free, easy to listen to, and on a variety of topics that you can choose from. F…

Hour of Code

GCISD K-8th grade teachers are invited to participate in Hour of Code during the week of December 7-13, 2015.

Check out this video to learn more about Hour of Code.

Why?:  There will be 1,000,000 more computer science jobs than computer science students by 2020.

Teachers will choose from a variety of resources and tutorials that expose students to foundational concepts of computer science. Computer programming allows students to practice perseverance, problem solving, and critical thinking. Skills necessary for coding align with our Portrait of a Graduate, particularly skilled problem solver, effective communicator and self-regulated learner.​
Let us know you're participating by filling out this form  We will again be partnering with developers to Google Hangout with interested classes.  Be sure to indicate your preference on our form.Also, register on the site:, schedule…