Welcome

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: G Suit Training and Learning Center

tech-tip-tuesday

Are you struggling to keep up-to-date with Google or learn a little trick when trying to get work done? Wish you had on-the-spot training help when it comes to learning Google related tasks? Google offers a pretty good resource where you can learn more about using the various Google Apps as well as news and updates from Google. The site is called the G Suite Learning Center.  They also have a useful YouTube channel  where you will find a variety of videos and how-to’s, tips, and updates about new features.

Want to take your training a step further? Google also has the Google Educator certification where you learn valuable skills inside and outside the classroom. Plus you get to walk away with a pretty neat certification and badge from Google. PLUS- you can get PD hours for doing so! You can access the PD opportunity in Schoology here.

One final resource when it comes to Google training. Better Cloud offers some really good tips, tricks, and resources for working with the various Google tools. Check it out here. 

Hope this helps! As always, should you need more Google help, please reach out to me when needed.

Tech Tip Tuesday: Add Music or Voice Over to Google Slides

tech-tip-tuesday

For years, PowerPoint has had the ability to add music or sound files to a presentation giving you the ability to incorporate background music during a presentation, or voiceover during a self-paced lesson/study.

Well, Google has finally added this same feature!

First, you’ll need to add audio files to your Google Drive. The one caveat to using this feature is that the audio file MUST be in your GDrive. So, if you have it on your Mac hard-drive, you’ll first need to upload to your Google Drive. Once you have music in there the rest is pretty easy…

First, open your Google Slides Presentation –> click INSERT –> and click AUDIO. A popup window will load finding all audio files you have in your Google Drive. Select the one you want then click SELECT.

The file will be added to your Google Slide Presentation as an audio icon. You can move this icon anywhere on your slide. You can also edit some features. Right-click on the audio icon, then click FORMAT OPTIONS. This will popup. From here there is a lot to choose from, but click AUDIO PLAYBACK –> then decide how you want your audio to play. You can choose for it to play automatically or on a click, and you can choose for it to only play on this slide, or across all slides by unchecking the box. If your audio file won’t last the length of your slide deck, you can even make it loop upon finishing.

What a fun way to spruce up you (or your students) presentations!

So what if…

  • You created a slide deck as part of a self-paced learning module/activity and you added voice overlay to the presentation.
  • Students added music to a multimedia presentation to make it more engaging and lively. Imagine a history of film presentation, complete with music from major motion pictures. FUN!
  • English teachers added audio files of books/readings to go along with some direct instruction content in a slide deck.

Hope this helps!

 

Tech Tip Tuesday: Using Schoology’s Workload Planner

tech-tip-tuesday

How many times do your students complain when you assign work that they already have too many things due that day from other teachers? What if there was a way to check and see what other assignments your students have from their other classes before you assign yours?

In your Schoology course, in your left navigation menu, there is a Workload Planning App. Click on that, and it will load all of the students in your course as well as the weekly schedule. This tool will show you see when your students have things due on the same day. You can also break down the information at the top by only looking for days with 2 or more assignments, 3 or more, etc.. just by clicking the dropdown menu.

For example, if I wanted to assign something for Wednesday January 8, I would notice that the teacher below has 2 assignments due that day already. By clicking on it, it will tell me exactly what type of work she has due from other courses.

Screen Shot 2020-01-06 at 9.52.44 AM


Screen Shot 2020-01-06 at 9.52.55 AM

This is a really great feature when trying to make an informed decision as to whether or not assign something for a specific date, or change it to help my students be more successful on it.

Hope this helps!

Tech Tip Tuesday: Varsity Tutors for Students and Canva Pro for You!

tech-tip-tuesday

With students always looking for help with SAT/ACT prep I came across this resource by Varsity Tutors. This is a website/program that offers a FREE SAT/ACT prep course that includes key concepts in Algebra, English, Trigonometry, and more! Students take part in 25 hours of live group instruction online with a certified tutor. They also get access to a mobile app, an adaptive assessment tool, practice exams, and tutor office hours. All of this for free! Varsity Tutors has partnered with organizations to offer SAT/ACT help for students for free thinking that all students should be able to do well on the test with appropriate preparation.

You can access their link and page here: https://www.varsitytutors.com/free-sat-act-prep-course

Hopefully you know what Canva is and utilize it in your classroom or role, but I think it is an invaluable tool that can be used for so much. Have you checked out their infographics? But now, you can get the Canva Pro license for free as educators. Which means even a class of students (up to 30) can get it as well. It doesn’t include premium pictures or graphics (but you can use Unsplash.com or Pexels.com and upload the image to Canva). But you get extra colors, features elements, templated, etc.

To apply for the Canva Pro for Education go to this link: https://support.canva.com/account-basics/canva-for-education/apply-canva-for-education/?uid=06f0a8b6-49c2-4640-8cf7-b24184580dfe

Hope this helps! Have a safe and warm holiday/winter break!

Tech Tip Tuesday: FlipGrid Updates


tech-tip-tuesday

So Flipgrid, only one of the HOTTEST edtech tools of the past 1-2 years, just ran a few updates out. If you are not a user, take a moment to check it out.  But here is a rundown of their recent updates/ feature additions.

  • Flipgrid AR Experiences- with Fipgrid AR you can now download QR codes for all of your student video responses, then when scanned, the video will appear as an AR element right then and there!
  • Flipgrid Shorts- these are short video you can record with then editing capability. Which means you can cut and trim the video, overlay images/emojis, apply filters, or even utilize a whiteboard mode to teach a lesson/concept! Better yet, have your student teach something using whiteboard mode and share with the class! Once done, just send out the link or post it in Schoology!
  • Sort Student Videos- this allows you to sort by last name.
  • Record Without Audio- exactly what this says… no audio needed.
  • Added Built-in Immersive Reader- an immersive reader is a lot like the ReadWrite chrome extension. Basically, when opened with a video, it adds features such as dictionary, translation, and more.
  • Added Playback Speed- allows you to view videos at different speeds.
  • Flipgrip Mixtapes- you choose which video make the cut and it compiles a mixtape of the best submissions of that assignment!

If you have more questions or want to utilize Flipgrid in your classroom, please reach out to me.

Hope this helps!

Tech Tip Tuesday: Using Adobe Spark for Education

tech-tip-tuesday

Adobe Spark is a platform of education tools (called Posts, Videos, and Pages) that give you the required apps and resources to create websites, digital stories, images and graphics similar to Canva, and short videos/trailers. Adobe Spark also includes templates you can use to get started. My favorite use personally is the Spark Pages. Spark Pages are scrolling websites that move as you tell a story or include information. Simple, yet effective.
This is a full free education suite that all teachers and students can utilize. Just go to https://spark.adobe.com/  and signup with your gmail account. Once in, you can upload images, search within their platform and freely use the images you find, start with a template and customize, editing photos, and more. Once you are done, you have the option of downloading the image/video or sending a link that someone can use to access your creation (perfect for students to share it to you in Schoology, you can just have them post the link in the comments section of the assignment).
Here are some resources I put together to help you learn more about Adobe Spark:
Hope this helps!

Tech Tip Tuesday: Edpuzzle Integrates with Schoology

tech-tip-tuesday

Schoology has been undergoing a lot of changes recently, integrating with more apps, and partnering with other companies (some for better or worse, but we’ll get to that later). Edpuzzle has always been able to be embedded as an assignment material in Schoology by using the embed code. But now, there is an Edpuzzle LTI app that can be installed and linked to your Edpuzzle account so that all of your Edpuzzle classes and videos can be assigned to your Schoology classes. Pretty cool! It does take some steps to set up, but once you do, you won’t have to do it again.

Here’s how to do this. First, go to the app center in Schoology –>

Screen Shot 2019-11-19 at 8.09.37 AM

–> then scroll down and locate the Edpuzzle app –> click on the app and then click to “install app” –> you will be prompted to agree or disagree to allowing Edpuzzle to connect with your Schoology account (this is OK) –> on the proceeding window checkmark every class you would like to attach this feature to then scroll to the bottom and click “install”. 

Screen Shot 2019-11-19 at 8.14.54 AM

Ok, so now that we installed the app across our classes the Edpuzzle icon should appear in your left navigation of each course. Next, you’ll need to go to Edpuzzle (open a new tab but leave the Schoology one open) and sign-in to your account –> Click on your profile in the upper right corner –> then click on your name –> click the “school” tab –> then scroll to the bottom and click on the LMS integration dropdown button and select “Schoology”.

Two codes will open: 1 called the Consumer Key and 1 called the Shared Secret. Leave this window open and return back to Schoology. 

Go to one of your Schoology courses –> under your course image click “course options” –> select “external tool providers” –> you should see 2 Edpuzzle integrations in the list, select the one with the greyed out “x”. In the window the opens, you’ll need to enter the consumer key and shared secret from your Edpuzzle window that we left open in another tab then click submit.

Once you do this, you’ll want to follow this procedure for each of your courses. After that you are set to use the tool. Here’s how:

Click to “add material” –> select Edpuzzle from the right side of the window that opens –> it should locate all your videos –> select a video to “watch” –> then after the video opens click “assign”. The assignment will appear in Schoology!

You can now track student completion, see question responses, edit video settings, go LIVE, and add grades to your Edpuzzle assignments.

If you have any questions, please reach out to me and I will walk you through the setup process. Hope this helps!