Tech Tip – Google Calendar App

Want to access your Google calendar on your phone or iPad?  Try the Google Calendar App.  In the past, I’ve recommended Calendars by Readle but Google now has a free iPhone and iPad app.  I’ve been using it for the last few weeks and Google’s app works just as well if not better.  Just download the app and log in with your Google credentials and you’re ready to start using your personal/work calendar from your device.

END OF YEAR TECH DETAILS FOR STUDENTS AND PARENTS

Below you will find important details about how to handle your files and accounts in eBackpack, Google Drive, and Veracross.  Please be sure to read the entire post.

eBackPack
*Access to eBackpack will end June 26 – Grades 6-9

*For students who are graduating or leaving Pike, all files will be erased after June 26th.  

  • Any file in the “My Files” area that students want to save should be moved to the E-Portfolio area.  All other files will be deleted.
  • If you want to save assignments turned into the teacher.
    • Navigate to that assignment.
    • Open the file that you turned in.
    • Click the “share square” and then move it to Notability or Google Drive.
  • Any file in the E-Portfolio area will remain available as read-only next year for returning students.

Google Drive Grades 4-9
*Access for graduating or leaving students ends June 26th 

*Access for returning students ends August 21 – Between August 21 and the first week of school there will be no access so that we can change passwords and perform other maintenance

There are two options for saving files.

Option 1 – When you only want to save a few files.

  1. Log into your account on a laptop or desktop (not an iPad).
  2. Select the files you would like to save.
  3. Go to More Actions (three dots) > Download…
  4. Make the appropriate choices for file formats and then click download.
  5. This will download a .zip file containing your documents.  You can open these documents on a home computer.

Option 2 – When you want to save all of your files.

  1. Log into your account on a laptop or desktop (not an iPad).
  2. Then go to Google Takeout
  3. Under “Select data to include”, put a check next to Drive only.
  4. Scroll to the bottom and click “next”.
  5. Click “Create Archive” in the “Customize download format” section.
  6. If you have a lot of files, this process will take a good bit of time.
  7. It will say that you will receive an email when it is finished but you won’t because students don’t have access to email.
  8. Instead return to Google Takeout later and choose “Manage Archives” at the top of the screen.
  9. Find your archive and click download.  Your files will be downloaded as a .zip file.  You can transfer these files to a home computer.

Veracross – all grades
*Access for graduating or leaving students ends June 27th

  • Reports must be printed before June 27th.  As of June 27, 2015, there will be a $15 fee to receive a copy of your child’s report(s) if you did not download and save or print the report(s) prior to the parent report portal closing.  Please make your check payable to “The Pike School” and send it to the attention of Gale Mender.  After payment is received, you will be provided with a copy of the requested report(s).
    • For your reference, below are the dates that Term 3 reports will become available on Veracross:
    • Lower and Middle School reports will be published on Veracross on Thursday, June 16th.
      Upper School reports will be published on Veracross on Monday, June 20th.

Access to reports for returning students ends July 24th.

  • Reports must be printed before July 25th.  As of July 25, 2015, there will be a $15 fee to receive a copy of your child’s report(s) if you did not download and save or print the report(s) prior to the parent report portal closing.  Please make your check payable to “The Pike School” and send it to the attention of Gale Mender.  After payment is received, you will be provided with a copy of the requested report(s).
    • For your reference, below are the dates that Term 3 reports will become available on Veracross:
    • Lower and Middle School reports will be published on Veracross on Thursday, June 16th.
      Upper School reports will be published on Veracross on Monday, June 20th.

Zoom in on your Mac Screen

Ever wanted to zoom in on something on your computer screen so your students can see it more clearly?  Use the accessibility feature called Zoom.  First you need to set a few things up.  

Open System Preferences and choose Accessibility.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once inside the Accessibility options

  1. Select Zoom on the left
  2. Check the box next to “Use scroll gesture with modifier keys to zoom” and make sure “^ Control” is chosen in the pull down box.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once you’ve done that you are ready to use the zoom feature.  To use the zoom feature.  Hold the control button down with a finger on your left hand.  Then use the two finger scroll gesture to zoom in.  See video below.  

Tip: Place the cursor where you want to zoom.

Seesaw and Google Drive Integration

Seesaw has added integration with Google Drive. You can now add Google Drive Docs, Spreadsheets, Slides, videos, and pictures directly to Seesaw. This allows you to create documents in Google drive with text, drawings, and pictures and then insert them into your Seesaw feed. Write a monthy letter to parents and share it with them in Seesaw.  Add multiple pictures to a document and then share the doc via Seesaw. Find out the details here.

 

 

Capture, organize, and share student thinking with Post-it Note Plus

Some teachers have students use post it notes to handwrite feedback about topics or as an exit ticket after class.  Do you use post it notes in your class or have you wanted to try something like this?  If so, the Post it Note Plus App will be a great addition to your technology toolbox.  Post it Note Plus allows you to scan a group of Post it notes to a digital board where you can sort, organize, add notes, and share the board with others. Click the image below to watch a short video with specifics about how to use this useful app. Have you used this app? How might you use this app in your classroom?  Share your thoughts so we can learn from each other.  

Google Expeditions – Field Trips from the Comfort of your Classroom

Google Expeditions allows you to take your class on a Virtual Fieldtrip. Tour the Aztec and Mayan Ruins, the International Space Station, or Gettysburg National Military park. You can do all of this with your classroom iPads. When using Expeditions, you become the leader on your iPad and students join you on the tour with their iPads. Edtech teacher has created and quick video to show you how this works. Start by downloading the app on your iPad.  After that, you will be ready to take your students on a virtual Field Trip!

Formative Assessment Apps

Formative assessment is assessment for learning rather than assessment of learning.  It is a way to check for understanding along the way and guide teacher decisions about future instruction.  It allows teachers to differentiate instruction and ideally occurs on a daily basis.  This can feel overwhelming due to the competing interest of covering material.  But, reflecting and checking for understanding is an important part of learning.  It helps students get a better sense of how they are doing and teachers know what needs review and what doesn’t. Formative assessment apps can help with the time aspect.  They are easy to implement, ensure that all students are heard from, and organize the results into quick to understand bar graphs, pie charts, or excel spreadsheets allowing teachers to easily see if the class is ready to move on.   Tony Vincent has put together an excellent blog post called “Know Students Better: 16 Tools for Formative Assessment” where he details the ins and outs of 16 different formative assessment apps. Many of the apps are the same but some offer short answer, others offer premade exit tickets, fast past quizzes, or drawing features.  I encourage you to read through the brief descriptions of each app and choose 1 or 2 to try out and work into your repertoire of formative assessment strategies. Do you use one of these apps regularly? Which one is your favorite?