Tech Tip Tuesday: Differentiate and Optimize Online Reading

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With so many tools to help personalize and differentiate the classroom experience, combing through them all can be a hassle. Don’t fret! I’ve done most of the work and have pulled the ones I think are best and sharing them with you.

This weeks tool helps you share online articles/sites with students while decluttering the page and simplifying the site layout. Check out Mercury Reader! This is a Google Chrome extension, that you can install and activate whenever (this is a great one to share with students). This extension will remove unwanted banners and ads from an online article or webpage, allow the reader to edit the text size/font/color to optimal viewing (great for students with visual issues), and cleans up the page so it is easier to print, download, or attach to Schoology.

To get started: simply go to the Chrome Web Store here –> click to “add to chrome” –> allow the install of the extension to your Google account. A rocket ship icon will be added to the right of the URL box. Whenever you are on a page, click on that to activate!

Hope this helps!

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Tech Tip Tuesday: Pro Tips with Schoology Calendar

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So for those of you that want some cool Schoology Pro tips, here are a few:

  1. Create Assignment in the Calendar View: You can actually create assignments from within the Schoology calendar. To do this, at the top of your Schoology window, click on the “calendar” icon –> select the day you want to create the event or assignment on –> select whether this will be for an “event” or “assignment” –> then complete the rest of the form as you would when you create a regular assignment. You can still embed various tools, lock it, enable/disable submission etc.
  2. Sort and Color-code Calendars: While in the calendar icon, you can change which calendar(s) you see as well as color-code them to better differentiate between them all. Simply click “All Calendars” –> check the box next to the specific calendar(s) you want to view to sort. To color-code click on the “calendar” icon –> then click on the colored box to the right of each specific calendar to change its color!
  3. Change Dates on Calendar Events/Assignments: This one is super easy. Just click and drag an event or assignment to the new day. No need to click on it and edit from within.
  4. Add Assignments to Calendar/Upcoming List: To do this you will need to create an assignment, discussion, or test/quiz. Pages won’t work here. When creating, make sure you set a due date, as well as publish the assignment and allow submissions. Once you do that, the assignment/material will get added to your course calendar as well as your upcoming list. If you turn off “submissions enabled” then it will remove itself from the Upcoming list, but remain on the calendar. Once it is unpublished, it will no longer appear on the calendar or the upcoming list.

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!