Showing posts from 2018

Interactive Boxlight Projectors

Does your projector look somewhat similar to this? With a big lens on the front and the words "BOXLIGHT"? Well, then you're in luck! You have an interactive projector, which works similarly to a SMART Board.

In order for your projector to be interactive, you need a specific cord to be plugged into your computer. This cord is called a Super Booster, and on one side it has a USB plug and on the other, it has a place for an ethernet cord to go. It looks like this, though it could be many different shapes and colors. In addition, you should have your VGA cord with your computer adapter and your audio plugged in!

Finally, you should have a black bag of supplies that go with your projector. This includes the remote to turn it off and on, a wand, and a LightPen. (Imagine the pictured white LightPen is black and that's what yours looks like.

One of the main uses of your LightPen is that it can act as a mouse for your computer. That means you can touch your whiteboard with it …

Summer Learning 2018

Learning never stops in GCISD. With summer break right around the corner, it's time to start planning your own professional learning. Take a look at the multiple sessions the Instructional Technology team is offering for Summer 2018. With a mix of in person and online learning opportunities, you're bound to find something that fits your schedule. Click the sessions below to learn more about our summer offerings.
Date Course Location Ongoing #Digital20Challenge - Register here Online Ongoing Overdrive ebooks & audiobooks Use your GCISD credentials to log in. June 4-22 Book Study: Media Moms & Digital Dads Online June 4-22

Will You Accept the Digital 20 Challenge?

Wondering what GCISD’s #digital20challenge is all about and why you should accept the challenge?  Want to earn some sticker swag while learning new skills? Read on! What: The GCISD Instructional Technology team has devised a list of twenty digital challenges, including reading books on Overdrive, being active on Twitter, and listening to a podcast. Why:Achieving each challenge will enrich your toolbox of digital skills and benefit both you and your students.

How: Visit only to GCISD staff) for the details, then register for the online class in Eduphoria When:Self-paced!  The challenge officially starts on June 4th and ends August 10th, however you can start your learning at any time and continue through the 2018-2019 school year.  When you’ve accomplished the twenty challenges, complete the Google Form on the website to receive your sticker!

Encourage your friends and colleagues to join you as you complete each challenge. To share your learning and see…

Checking out books with OverDrive!

GCISD has recently switched over to using OverDrive for our online library needs. Your campus librarian can help you and your students use this app to get eBooks, audiobooks and read along books! To find OverDrive, go to your Classlink App (or website). Click the Learning Commons folder, then OverDrive.

Browse the site for the titles you'd like to read. You can sort by Collections, Subjects, or Reading Levels. You can also use the search function to find something specific. Once you've located the title you want, click on it. From there you can view a sample, or click Borrow.

Once you click the button to go to your checkouts, you see that you have many options for ways to read your book. You can also view how many more books you can check out, how many you currently have out, as well as view your history, holds, and settings.

Reading in your browser is an option, and it is the only option if you are on a computer. I personally like reading in the Overdrive app itself in an eP…

The Magic of the Post-it® Plus App

To be honest, I’ve always hated using Post-it notes as a formative assessment in my classroom.
In theory, they are great. Each student gets a small square of brightly colored paper that I can quickly look at to see student responses as an exit ticket. In reality, at the end of the day I had 150 squares of brightly colored paper half of which had lost their stickiness and fallen onto the floor. By the time the last bell of the day rings, I have no desire to comb through 100+ post-it notes.

The Post-it® Plus App makes using Post-it notes a little easier by allowing you to digitize them. When your students post their stickies to your wall, just open the app, point your phone at the wall, and click to capture an image. Take a look at the app in action by watching this video:
The magic of the app is that once you capture an image of the post-it notes, the app lets you digitally maneuver them on your screen. You can organize the notes, move them around, delete them, or share them with students…


**Please check with your Learning Liaison to determine if your campus has purchased IXL.**

To begin, login to IXL @

Creating Class Rosters
A pop up window will ask you to input your class roster.
Click Go to my roster
Classes can be created by selecting Start Using Classes.
Begin entering your students names.  When Last Name is typed it should show students that match.  Select the student's name to add and continue until all students have been entered for that class.  If a student name does not show,  enter their first/last name, student id and click Save.  A username and password will auto-generate for them.  Subject will auto-populate. (You will see an M for Math or E for English Language Arts or both.) You will have the option to have all students usernames/passwords sent to you by email.

Edit your Profile
Select Profile & Settings from your account menu (upper right corner).

Enter your display name .
Select Texas.

Get your Class Started
Have stud…

Storytelling at South by Southwest EDU 2018

As a first timer to the South by Southwest EDU (SXSW EDU) conference in Austin, I wasn't sure what to expect. I knew I would be with others in the field of education and we would learn something. The 'something' is where it got fuzzy for me, especially when I looked at the the four day schedule of sessions and realized there were many more choices than I had time for. Thankfully, there were no 'wrong' choices and I was able to start at the easiest place: the opening keynote speakers from The Moth. Through their power of storytelling, I was reminded of the value of sharing our experiences with others as a way to learn and make deeper connections.

The Moth, which Wikipediaexplains as "a non-profit group based in New York City dedicated to the art and craft of storytelling" shares storytelling via radio station broadcasts, podcasts, and live shows by enlisting courageous people to tell a true story from their own life. The four speakers I listened to told…

Meraki app list for iPad

Meraki for iPad
For the 2017-2018 school year, we have switched to using Meraki for students to access apps to download on their iPads instead of the regular Apple App Store. This list grows every day as more and more teachers request apps. Each student can only see apps that are assigned to their grade level in their Meraki app. Teachers may see different apps than the students see.

In order for teachers to know ALL the apps that are in there, Technology Services and Instructional Technology have created a Google Sheet with all of the apps, regardless of grade level. You can find that list here:

It's quite an overwhelming document, so we have added some things in that might help you sort. First, apps are sorted initially by title. If you're wondering if an app is already on there, scroll down to its name. You can see grade level, whether it's lawfully appropriate for under 13, the subject, and some other notes about the apps.


Classroom Screen

Classroom Screen is a simple and easy-to-use online tool that allows teachers to add multiple widgets such as ClockTimerQR CodeRandom Name Generator Select one of their Backgrounds or Upload your ownRemove widgets by clicking the red x beside the individual widget, located at the bottom of the screen. You can also add 2 of the same widget by clicking on the +1.

Click the 3 lines in the upper left corner and select How it works for a quick overview of Classroom Screen.  

Or select Tips & Tricks for ideas on using some of the widgets. Please Note:  You are unable to save in the conventional way, but you can take a screenshot of your work.  Also classroom screen is designed for you to have all your information added in a short period of time.

Classroom Screen also has a built in Exit Poll, but each student has to vote on the same device.  (I think it would be fun to have this projecting onto the Interactive WhiteBoard and allow students to use the pen to select their vote as they leave …

Discovery Education

Have you ever looked for educational videos online?  Did you feel like you exhausted your search without finding just the right materials?  Now is a great time for GCISD teachers to explore the educational videos and digital media of Discovery Education!
Getting Started Discovery Education has a collection of learning tools that teachers can use to bring concepts to life.  Visit the Discovery Education website or access the site through ClassLink to get started.  If you need help with your username and password, your GCISD campus librarian can assist you.  
Ways to Search for Digital Media One way to search for digital media is by entering a topic/person into the search bar, such as George Washington, then filtering the results to find content either by grade levels (K-2, 3-5, etc.) or type of digital media.  Searching by grade level groups allows you to view content that is generally more appropriate and appealing for your age of students. Searching based on the type of digital media all…

Prodigy Online Math 1st - 8th

Prodigy is web-based mathematics software for grades 1st through 8th.  The layout resembles video/digital games.
Teachers click the + sign to create a class. Enter the name (Ex: 3rd Period) and select a grade level.  (Prodigy does show the option of adding rosters through Google Classroom.)

The class will now show in Your Active Classes. It will show the number of students in the class (0 since we have yet to add any) and the class code.  click View Class to see Dashboard, Students, Planner and Report.

While in View Class mode, select Students.  It will indicate you do not have any. If you follow through the windows, and select for students to create their own login, you will see the window to the left. It (a) shows class code,  (b) gives the address for students to visit and (c) instructs them to select New Student.  (The teacher is able to change students grade level, move them to a different class or delete the student account.)
When students click New Student …


DyKnow is a web based program used by GCISD teachers in grades 5-12 to monitor and manage student devices in a 1:1 Chromebook or laptop classroom. I had the chance to pilot DyKnow last year in my 9th grade English class and LOVED having the ability to manage student technology in ways I never was previously able to do. Here are a few of my favorite features:
Monitoring Student Screens
With DyKnow I could see what each of my students was doing at any moment during the class. By simply clicking on a student name, I could see the student’s computer screen on my teacher screen. Most of the time my students were on task, but this feature came in handy when needing to redirect those students who somehow found themselves on off task websites.
Sending Messages & Locking Screens Have you ever needed your class’ full attention, but they just can’t seem to find the willpower to stop typing and listen to your instructions? With DyKnow, you can control all screens with the click of your mouse, im…