Showing posts from September, 2017

Reducing Blue Light

I wanted to let you know of some ways you can reduce blue light on your digital devices. Reducing blue light can help with digital eye strain. The Vision Council states that digital eye strain is physical discomfort in your eyes after viewing a screen for too long. That more than 83 percent of Americans report using digital devices for more than two hours per day, and 53.1 percent report using two digital devices simultaneously, with 60.5 percent reporting experiencing symptoms of digital eye strain.

For most people, taking breaks from your computer, viewing your screens at a safe distance, and reducing screen glare are enough to reduce the effects from digital eye strain. But for some, reducing the blue light your screens emit can also ease some of that discomfort.

from the Vision Council
Not all blue light is bad. And reducing it during the day is usually not needed. There is research that 2-3 hours before bed, reducing blue light can help with your circadian rhythms and increase s…


GCISD teachers now have premium access to Nearpod!

                                                       How to Begin:
Select Sign In
Select Log in with Google

                                                           Go to:
My Library to see Nearpod Lessons you have added or created.
Explore to find already created Nearpod Lessons and easily add to My Library.
Join to enter a class code (Experience what a student sees.)
Create to begin making your own Nearpod Lesson.
Reports to view post-session student responses.

Begin Exploring lessons that have already been created in Nearpod. Filter by Subject, Resource Type and Grade.

If you are viewing lessons in the the My Library, click Explore and select Nearpod Store to access premade lessons.  Select a lesson (by clicking on it) then click preview. Click Add to my Library to create a copy in My Library.  You can also create your own lesson. You can do this by clicking Create from the homescreen or the + New button from My Li…

Safari Montage

Safari Montage is a digital resource that provides access to a video streaming library as well as access to your school news and a limited number of cable channels. GCISD has had access to Safari Montage for a number of years, but there are a couple of "new to us" features to note:

1. Google Classroom Integration - Teachers can share Safari Montage videos directly to Google Classroom.
2. View & Chat - While the teacher is showing a video, by giving the students a session code, the students can chat about the video.
3. Students have Safari Montage accounts and can upload videos.

If you haven't used Safari Montage lately, check it out!

The Power of Google Calendar

The Power of Google Calendar

Setting AppointmentsFinding time to meet one-on-one with parents, students, or even colleagues can be difficult when everyone has such busy schedules. Read more about using Google Calendar to open up appointment slots here.
Getting Students Organized
Some of my friends use their handy-dandy paper planner to stay organized. I on the other hand have switched entirely to using my Google Calendar. I like that I can receive alerts on my phone to remind me about scheduled events. It really simplifies my life by eliminating one extra thing I have to carry around.
Since Google Calendar has been so life changing for me, I figure students should have the opportunity to digitally organize their lives as well. To help them do that, I created the following HyperDoc. It was intended for a high school classroom, but feel free to modify it to fit your needs!

Apple Classroom in GCISD

Apple says that Classroom is a teaching assistant, meaning it's a great tool to use in your elementary classroom to guide learning and monitor student iPad use. It is not a workflow solution or learning management system, like Google Classroom. In Apple Classroom, you can: lock screens to pause work or refocus your classhelp open an app on student's iPads and lock them in that apphelp navigate their iPads to a specific website you've bookmarked in Safarimute audio on student devicessee an overview of all screens at onceget a closer view of one student's screenuse your teacher iPad to push a student's screen to Mirroring360 through AirPlay

To learn how to use Apple Classroom, the best advice I can give is open it and see what you can do!

When you choose a class from the home screen, you'll see a grid of your students. Check out the photo to the left. Students that are 'active' or in range of the teacher iPad show up in a circle with color. The offline st…

Flipgrid & Student Voice

This is a cross-posted entry from Suzanne Barker's blog: Ponderings of a Lifelong Learner.
Student Voice is a passion of mine and Flipgrid is a tool that helps amplify those voices!  For those new to Flipgrid, it is a web-based video reflection tool that allows teachers to provide a prompt and students then create a video response.
Before I share with you the ins and outs of using Flipgrid, I want to share some reasons why you would want to use Flipgrid! Voices that are often silent in class have an avenue to share their thoughtsReflection is powerful. Flipgrid allows you to set the maximum amount of time for a response ranging from 15 seconds to 5 minutes. For shorter reflections, students must reflect and synthesize the information to provide a succinct video reflection.Video reflections can be shared with the family through a private link allowing parents to see first-hand their students thinking through their learning.Flip the family connection and ask family me…