Showing posts from 2017

Beyond an Hour of Code

Recently GCISD K-8 students were able to participate in Hour of Code, a week-long global event to encourage students to engage in computer science activities! We thought some teachers might be looking for ways to go beyond an Hour of Code as we head into the spring semester.

One option is that offers all new courses in Computer Science Fundamentals for students ages 4-13. Students can log in through Classlink by clicking the button after sign on and logging in with their GCISD Google account! They can code from there on one of the courses below or you can set up a class beforehand for them to join (similar to Google Classroom). A benefit to setting up a class for your students is that you can view their progress as they work through the courses. There is also an express course to use with older students, such as middle school, that covers the materials in Courses C-F. Find the lesson plans for all Courses A-F here.

Watch the video below to learn how to set up your c…


ClassLinkis available for both students and teachers to use as a single sign-on portal for GCISD sites.  ClassLink is intended to simplify the log-in process by saving usernames and passwords for some of your accounts.
If you're a first time user of ClassLink, I highly recommend following the steps that Kat Sparks from technology services briefly outlines in CL Instructions. She also includes how to connect your Google account.  There are two options for accessing ClassLink, either as an iPad app or on the GCISD ClassLink website.  
Option 1- ClassLink iPad App Open the iPad app
Type the teacher or student username/password (view the CL Instructions link above for help with this step).  Click the box next to "Save password" if you want to save your log-in information (recommended for students). 

On the iPad home screen, students have access to frequently used learning tools such Istation, ARMS, Prodigy, Library resources (including Overdrive) and more.

Important: Students will…

Hour of Code in GCISD

The 'Hour of Code™' is a nationwide initiative by Computer Science Education Week and to introduce millions of students to one hour of computer science and computer programming. It was launched in December of 2013 to demystify and promote Computer Science.  Hour of Code has since become a worldwide effort to celebrate computer science, starting with 1-hour coding activities but expanding to all sorts of community efforts. Over 200 million students have participated since its inception. 

Great features in iOS 11

In the fall, Apple usually comes out with a new operating system for their phones and tablets called iOS. It can be a pain to continuously update your devices. But even if the update seems to be trivial, it is really important for the safety and security of your device, where you might keep a lot of sensitive information.
Over half of our iPad users in GCISD are still on iOS 10 or below. We (Technology Services and Instructional Technology) are recommending our teachers and students be updated to iOS 11.1.2, or the most current version of the operating system for Apple devices.  I know in the past, we've waited a few versions to update, but the iPad Pro will work best when updated. There are several benefits to updating, so watch the video below for my favorite features for the GCISD classroom.

Features include:
Screen recording & customizing your control centerSplit screen viewQR code scannerKey flicksScreenshots Scan and annotate documents in the Notes app Watch the video be…

Recording Student Voices

Retro handset

If you've been on Pinterest in the last year, you've most likely seen pictures of classroom recording booths.  Students are able to use their device to make video recordings about their learning, however the process of recording the videos can present certain challenges.  
A majority of the time students work in large open areas or hallways to make a video recording of themselves.  Both the echo of each student's voice and extraneous background noises are picked up by the microphone in each recording device.Recording booths, as well as external microphones, are some of the options that can help students' voices be heard.
Christina Hayes, a 5th grade ASPIRE teacher at Glenhope Elementary, has created a unique solution.  Using funds from an Education Foundation grant and a plywood structure (4' x 4' x 6'), she built a recording booth that is similar in size to a refrigerator box.  She believes that it gives students a space to privately reflect on …