logoThis site is home to Ramapo Indian Hills High School District Instructional Technology and Staff Development. Here you will be able to find resources and tools to help you become more comfortable using technology with your students and implementing innovative methods in your classroom. Use this website for numerous resources, coaching appointments, newsletters, and workshop materials. I am committed to showcasing some of the great work our staff is already doing while helping to make the technology integration in the classroom both seamless and virtually invisible.


Tech Tip Tuesday: Adding Screenshots to Google Drive

Like many of you, I always need to take screenshots. It’s simple to do. You just COMMAND +SHIFT + 4 and you can drag the part of the screen you want and the Mac takes a screenshot. Then on the back end, most, if not all of you have your Mac set up (thanks to ITC) where the screenshot is then automatically saved to a Screenshot folder on your desktop. Easy-peasy and keeps you organized. So how do we do that when migrating to Google Drive?

There are two ways. The first, mimics what was done before, but requires you to use the Google Drive app on the Mac that backs up and syncs files to drive on the web. If you are already using that, then you are good to go. First, create a folder in your Google Drive called Screenshots. Go to drive.google.com –> click NEW –> Folder, and create one. Then back on your Mac, use the magnifying glass to search “screenshot” –> click options in the bottom toolbar –> then under locations click “other location”. Finder will open, then select the google drive app on your mac, and find the screenshots folder you just created previously. This will set screenshots to automatically save to this folder, which in turn, will sync to Google Drive on the web! All set.

The other option is to use a 3rd party tool to do something similar. You can also double up and install this so you have a few options available to you. Go to https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/save-to-google-drive/gmbmikajjgmnabiglmofipeabaddhgne?hl=en and install the Save to Google Drive extension. Once installed on Chrome, click the puzzle piece in the top right corner –> search for the extension you just added and click on the pin (it will turn blue) to add it to your toolbar. This extension can only take screenshots while on the web. Simply click on it and it will automatically take a screenshot of your entire screen and save it to your My Drive in your Google Drive. By the way, if you do a right-click on the extension, and click options, you can then choose what type of screenshot you want the extension to take. Simple!

Hope this helps.

Tech Tip Tuesday: App Subscriptions

It is always hard to keep track of what apps we subscribe to or pay for the premium service. This year we have brought back a number of premium app subscriptions we have used in previous years as well as added 1 new app subscription and are still evaluating the possible inclusion of another.

For your planning, please note that we have full access to the following apps:

  • Padlet
  • Edpuzzle
  • Gimkit
  • Screencastify
  • Zoom
  • Albert.io
  • SmartMusic

To get access to the premium versions of these apps, simply see below.

Padlet- simply email me. I will then email you back your login information that will be used to merge your old account with the new premium one.

Gimkit- is our newest addition. For IH staff, please use this link to join: https://www.gimkit.com/group/join/612e40ac4c24cc002328355b

For Ramapo staff, please use this link to join: https://www.gimkit.com/group/join/612e400d041ea70023407480

Edpuzzle- As long as tyou use your @rih.org email address you should be good to go. When in Edpuzzle, you can verify by clicking your profile in the top right corner and see if it says Pro. For new users who want to use Edpuzzle but have not created an account use this link: https://edpuzzle.com/schools/join/network/t449fc.

Screencastify- As long as you use your @rih.org email address you are set. If you are new to Screencastify, download and install the extension. To verify, when you click on the extension it should say unlimited in the title.

Zoom- This has been automatically pushed out to everyone. Nothing you need to do.

Smartmusic- This app is music specific and we only have a limited license.

Albert.io- As long as you register with your @rih.org email address you are set.

If you run into any issues with any of the services above, please let me know. You can also track what apps we subscribe to as well as information about their privacy policy here: https://rihedtech.wordpress.com/resources/approved-apps/ This is where I keep track of all services, note if we pay for the premium, what is being used around the district, as well as information about the app and its privacy policy.

Hope this helps!

Tech Tip Tuesday- StudyMate for Schoology

Not many know this, but included in our subscription and license to LockDown Browser (the app that lets students take a test or quiz in Schoology without any other apps/windows open) is an app called StudyMate. StudyMate makes it easy for you to create flash cards, self-assessments, and learning games – all from within Schoology. Students can use it too!

Here is a little overview of StudyMate…

We are currently working to install StudyMate and push it out so that anyone who wants to use it can install it on their end. We might even be able to push it out to everyone automatically. Keep an eye out for this.

Tech Tips Tuesday: Record Audio With Screencastify

There are many times when you just don’t need to have a full screencast. Sometimes you just need audio. First click on the Screencastify extension to activate it, then choose which type of Screencastify recording you need, either Browser Tab or Desktop.

  1. Turn the “Microphone” button on.
  2. Select the audio device you are using.
  3. You can even include audio that comes from a browser tab (like YouTube video):
    1. select “Show more options.”
    2. enable “Tab audio.”
  4. Click “Recording Tab.” You will hear a countdown, after which your audio recording will start. That’s it!

You can also do this another way. Simply record your screencast as normal. Then, after recording, it will open the screencast in editing mode. On the right are a set of options. Click on the “export” option –> and ” export audio only”. Screencastify will create an MP3 audio only version of your screencast and download it to your computer.

Hope this helps!

Tech Tip Tuesday: Convert Old Schoology Tests/Quizzes to Assessments

If you have old Schoology tests and quizzes that you created, but want to take advantage of the new assessments format and question types, you can convert these older ones to the new tool. No need to recreate your whole test/quiz by typing everything in.

To do this, first save your test/quiz to your Schoology resources. You can click the gear next to it then ‘save to resources”. From here go to “resources” at the top. In here –> find your test/quiz –> click the gear to the right of it –> then click convert to assessments. That’s it!

You can even do a lot of them at the same time! Simply checkmark the ones you need to convert –> then click the gear at the top –> then convert! This might take a little bit of time depending on how many you are converting and how big they are. A popup message might tell you it will happen in the background. No sweat! Just waste it out and you will see them when they are done.

After they are converted, you can simply open them in your resources, edit as needed, and then push them out to your courses. You can do this by clicking the gear next to it, then add to course or edit!

Hope this helps!

Tech Tip Tuesday: Mark Complete to Finalize Forms in Frontline

This is a repost

I’ve been asked for a reminder about what to do once a form has been pre-approved in Frontline. Regardless of what form you submitted (Field Trip, Professional Leave, PLC, Quarterly Assessment, SGO, etc) once your prior approvals are complete, the form will make its way back to you, before it can be final approved and award credit. The reason for this is so you can upload and attach any necessary documentation, certificates, etc. Here is what you will need to do:

  1. Click on the LearningPlan tab at the top right of the screen in Frontline.
  2. Locate the form you submitted.
  3. Click on the blue MANAGE button directly to the left of the form.
  4. In the window that opens, click on MARK COMPLETE
  5. The form will open. Note: This is when you will attach any documents you need to. If this is for SGO/Quarterly then you can skip attaching anything.
  6. Scroll to the bottom and click SUBMIT.

That’s it! The form will make its way over to me for approval and you will be awarded credit (if applicable) shortly after.

Quick Tip: To attach files to a form, first you need to click on your FILE LIBRARY. From there click UPLOAD, and find and open the file from your hard drive. It will save it in here. When you go to mark a form complete, there is a “files” section that will list all files in your file library. Check off the box next to the forms you want to attach and then proceed to submit.

Hope this helps!

Tech Tip Tuesday: Google Jamboard Revision History

One of the things many of you asked when we initially pushed the use of the Jamboard app was if there was a way to track who edited a Jamboard. Now, Google has added this feature to Jamboard!

This is the same behavior you’re familiar with from other Google Workspace products, like Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides. Version history makes it easy to see changes to a Jam and who made them. This is particularly useful in allowing teachers to view and track student changes to Jam files. Additionally, you can name different versions of your Jam files, so you can quickly revert to them when needed. 

Just like the other Google Apps, simply click the more options button (3 dots in upper right corner) , then click See History. Then you can click and revert to any previous change made.

Hope this helps!

Tech Tip Tuesday: Manually Update Chrome Extensions

Every now and then, your Chrome extensions will need to be updated. For the most part, it should happen naturally. But sometimes, you just need to do it yourself if you want it to roll out faster. No matter which extensions you use (extensions are those little app logos to the right of your URL bar), this can be Screencastify, bitmoji, polleverywhere, google keep, etc, this is how you can update them.

How to Manually Update Your Chrome Extensions

  1. Open up your Chrome settings menu (the three dots in the top right-hand corner of your browser) or paste chrome://extensions into your address bar
  2. Scroll down to More Tools -> Extensions
  3. Enable Developer Mode in the top right
  4. Once you do that, click the Update button that appears

This may take a bit, but once it is set you will see a popup message at the bottom say update complete. I always recommend closing your browser and opening it up new. This will help extensions or other updates fully take effect. After that, if there is an extension that updated or that you know had an update, click on it to see the change!

Hope this helps!

Tech Tip Tuesday: Bring Back Closed Chrome Tabs

We have all done it. You are working tirelessly only to accidentally close a tab you need, 5 tabs you need, or worse yet…. you close chrome altogether! No sweat, here is how you can bring any or all of those tabs back.

There is a shortcut to reopen closed tabs. Simply hit COMMAND + SHIFT + T on Mac to reopen it. Or, click the more options button (3 dots) in the upper right corner (sometimes it says “update” in red) –> click History –> then click on the most recent tab(s) you closed to open them or if your closed all of them, simply follow that step above, and if it says recently closed.

You can also go days back by click history, then history again, and sorting through the previous days to find a tab you needed!

Thats it! Hope that helps!

Tech Tip Tuesday: Improved Google Slides Presenter View

Google has updated their presenter toolbar in Google Slides with a better look and more intuitive controls. To open presenter view,  in the top right corner, next to “Present,” click the Down arrow . Click Presenter view.

Now when presenting, you will be able to select the previous or next slide, select any slide from the picker, or access the three-dot more options menu, which will open options for opening speaker notes, auto play, caption preferences, and more!

The toolbar has also been condensed so that it doesn’t take up as much screen real-estate and block your slide!

Pro tip: You can also use a personal phone or iPad with the Google Slides app as your presenter tool. This lets you control the slide presentation from the device as well as see the presenter notes without screen sharing them to your students over Zoom.

Hope this helps!