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.

 

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Tech Tip Tuesday: Raising Digital Hands with ClassroomQ!

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I wanted to share a neat app that was shared with me over the summer at a conference I attended by one of the actual teachers who created it, right here in good ole’ NJ! ClassroomQ is a web-based application that helps teachers organize student questions in an easy to see live feed. What’s great is that this app helps bring voice to those students who are shy or feel hesitant to ask questions. They simply log into the classroom you create via the access code. Then when they have a question, those post it in the ClassroomQ feed for your class. It then keeps track of the order students have questions, and aggregates data in the background (with a Pro Plan) such as how many times a student has logged in, and information from each class session.

To set up a free account, simply go to ClassroomQ.com –> click the “teachers” tab at the top –> then register. Select the free plan, then fill out the necessary information. Once you are in, just simply click “start” to begin a new session. Share the classroom session code with your students, then they go to ClassroomQ.com, click students, then type their name and the session code to enter the room! Simple as that. Toward the end of last year they were giving away a free code for the Pro plan for the year.

Check it out and let me know how it goes!

Tech Tip Tuesday: Using the MLP Request for Professional Leave Form

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If you are attending an out-of-district conference or workshop (this includes any online training that is not hosted by our district) you will need to submit a Request for Professional Leave Form in MLP (done prior to attending with advance notice) and “mark complete” after to receive your PD hours/cost reimbursement (if applicable). “Marking complete” is imperative to the overall process of tracking everything in the system, even if you are attending something after contractual hours or aren’t seeking cost reimbursement. Here’s how to do this: Continue reading

Tech Tip Tuesday: Set up Self-Paced Lessons in Schoology

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One of the benefits of using a learning management system like Schoology is the ability to really personalize, and allow students to work at their own pace when completing lessons/units and track student completion through mastery of assignments. Another benefit? This is like having a digital playlist that you can facilitate in class and REALLY use to differentiate as you bounce from student to student. Even better? When you’re out, the lesson/unit doesn’t stop. Students can continue to work at their own pace through the lessons. Schoology really is one fo the few systems that offer this. Here is how to do it…

Access one of your courses in Schoology on the main “materials” page. Side note here: to truly make this work, you’d want to consider making the main page nothing but folders of units, then building from there. If you want to learn more about the nuances of online learning design, please reach out to me so we can chat and work through this process.

So with everything in a folder for you unit, go into that folder. Once in that unit folder, click on “Options” –> “student completion”. From this window, add “requirements” for each assignment you have in the folder by clicking “add requirement” –> clicking the dropdown arrow under the assignments –> and designate a completion setting by saying “member must” and choosing something from the dropdown. Do this for every assignment in your folder! Last but not least, check off the box at the top right of this window that says “requirements must be completed in sequential order”. This will mandate that student follow the order of the assignments in this folder and NOT be able to move until until they complete the completion rule you set forth on the assignment.

This is a TREMENDOUS tool to be able to personalize and truly differentiate in your class. Please feel free to reach out to me to learn this in more detail!

Hope this helps!

Tech Tip Tuesday: Access Your Archived Schoology Materials

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Today’s tip comes on behalf of Lauren Smalley and shows how to access your archived Schoology materials/courses and copy them over to your current courses.

At the end of each school year, all of your Schoology courses and materials within are archived and stored in the backend automatically. But don’t fret! These aren’t lost. In fact, you can bring whatever you need right back and make whatever edits necessary. To do this simply . . .

  • Click the “courses” tab at the top
  • Click on “my courses” at the far right side
  • Switch the “current” button to “archived”
  • Scroll down to find the course you want to pull resources/materials from and click on the title (the archived course will open)
  • Find the material you want to copy to your current course –> click the gear icon –> copy to course –> then designate the course you want it to go to

That’s it! This is a really REALLY useful and time saving feature.

Hope this helps!

Tech Tip Tuesday: Actively Learn

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If you like edtech tools like EDpuzzle to track whether or not your students watched a video, you can do the same with text! With Actively Learn, you can pull a page out from EDpuzzle and embed questions directly into a text/reading. Oh, and it’s free!

You can embed an Google Docs, links to websites, PDF’s, or questions. There are a variety of question types including: multiple choice and short answer. You can also embed notes, links, images and even video! Even if you are only teaching a part/segment of a text, you can “whiteout” the part you don’t need.

Just like with EDpuzzle, as the students read, the question will pop up, forcing them to slow down, answer the questions, and engage with the text. This is great and can be used in ANY subject area.

Hope this helps!

Tech Tip Tuesday: Field Trips and Virtual Tours Made Simple with Google Maps

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So you want your students to learn about Shakespeare and The Globe Theater. Better yet, you’re teaching about ecosystems and you’d love for them to experience The Great Barrier Reef. What if you want them to experience a new culture and learn about Barcelona? Or visit a college campus whenever they want to see if they would like to attend? No problem. Google Maps is an easy and inexpensive (free) way to set up virtual tours.

Here’s what you do:

  • Go to maps.google.com
  • Type in a location (Ex. Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom) and do a search
  • Google Maps will bring you to the location.
  • In the bottom right corner is a little yellow person, click and drag that over the map to the location you want to see. Roads/paths that highlight in BLUE on the map are areas you can drop the yellow person on and be teleported to a virtual view.
  • From here you can look around the areas in 360 degree, or proceed along the path to your destination.
  • If you click the 3 dots in the upper left corner (more options button) you can click SHARE, copy the link, and send it out to whoever you want. When they access the link, it will send them to the exact spot you were at when you copied it!

Imagine creating a virtual scavenger hunt for your students as they go through the tour virtually to learn about the topic while looking/collecting information (or things) along the way.

Hope this adds something extra to your class! If you want to work together to bring this into your classroom feel free to reach out so we can brainstorm/design together!

Tech Tip Tuesday: New Gmail Customization

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So by now you have witnessed the changes to Gmail. Some for the better and some for the worse. Here are a few things that you can do to help ease the change and make your Gmail do what you need it to.

  1. Configure Inbox Filters: Click on the GEAR (settings) icon toward the right of your inbox. Next click CONFIGURE INBOX and then check off any of the filters to add tabs across the top of your inbox that will help filter out social media, promotions/sales, etc.
  2. Access Snooze: When you hover over emails in your inbox, a few buttons will appear. The last one (a clock) is the SNOOZE button. Which temporarily removes emails and then brings them back as though they are new/unread. If you do not see the snooze button, click the GEAR (settings) icon and then click SETTINGS. In the GENERAL TAB,  locate HOVER ACTIONS and make sure they are enabled. Sometimes, you will also need to turn on CONVERSATION VIEW. Then scroll to the bottom and SAVE CHANGES.
  3. Set Unread or Important Messages First: If you want to set different emails (unread, important, starred, etc) to show up at the top of your inbox click on the GEAR (settings) icon and then click SETTINGS. In the INBOX tab, select the INBOX TYPE to what you want to show first in your inbox.
  4. Mass Delete or Select All Unread: To mass delete or select all unread, read, or starred messages click on the checkbox just above you inbox to select all or click the dropdown arrow to the right of it to select the type of messages you want to select.

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After you click the box, a message will appear above the inbox that says “all messages on this page have been selected”. However, you can mass select by click the message to the right of that (in blue) that says “select all conversations in …” By doing this you can do a mass delete of your inbox. Note** This popup message may not appear if you are using the inbox filters noted in #1 above.

Hope this helps!