Tech Tip Tuesday (Belated)- Force Users to Copy Google etc.

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Ok, so I realized I forgot yesterday’s tech tip. But this one is simple- and cool – and effective.

Instead of making your Google Doc, sheet, or slide only viewable, and having your students or colleagues go to File –> Make a Copy, there is a simpler and cooler way! When in editing mode of a Google Doc, Sheet, or Slide, go to the URL link of the document, go to the end of the URL, and remove everything after the last “dash” (usually it looks like this: (/edit . . .)

Replace it with the word copy, so it looks like this: (/copy). When you post this link or share it out and the user/student clicks on it, it will automatically direct them to “Make a copy” of it. They won’t have any other option and it doesn’t affect your edit copy. This is really really cool.

You can send a user a Slide presentation and automatically send it in “presentation mode”. To do this open a Google Slide Presentation –> remove everything in the URL after the last dash (as noted above) and replace with the word “present” (looks like this: /present). They won’t get editing mode, won’t be able to copy, and see it like you would present it.

Hope this helps!

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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!

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!

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!