Brenham Tech Daily

Fab Find Friday: Voxer (Expand Your PLN)

Our school district and fellow PLN educators have recently discovered the great (and FREE) app, Voxer.  This simple-to-use messaging app is great for campus staff's to utilize in an educational setting.  Not only can you use it as a great walkie talkie to message other people, but you can also add text, pictures, videos, gifs, and more.

From the Voxer website:
"Voxer makes it simple for friends, family and colleagues to talk from anywhere in the world, whenever it's convenient." 
"Communicate in the fastest, and most efficient manner there is -
Instant Voice."

Currently, I use Voxer on both my Android smartphone and laptop computer.  It's so incredibly easy to communicate with fellow educators using the features that come with the free version.  We use it like a chat room (or Twitter chat) by asking questions and answering each other.  We provide instructional and leadership ideas to each other. 
I also use it during the day to contact other educators in my district.  The sound effect is really cool!  Like an old-school walkie talkie.  Much easier to have a fast conversation and get immediate feedback from the person I'm trying to reach.  I don't have to take the time to write it all out or deal with a crummy speech-to-text function.   

We've had and/or seen educators use Voxer for:

  • Professional Development
  • Book Studies
  • Instant and Speedy Communication with Staff
  • PLN Groups
  • Educational Chat Rooms
  • ETC....

Want to know more about the differences between the free version and the paid version, check out Voxer's website HERE.

Come find us on Voxer!!!!

T-TESS Thursday: Taking Your Lesson and Stretching it Across the Curriculum

Take Your Lesson and Stretch it Across the Curriculum

In this blog post here, Mrs. Domel talks about stretching your lesson across the curriculum. Listen to her interview below-

How do you stretch your lesson?
Math- lesson on percentages
English- write about tipping at a restaurant (what would your tip be, if you tipped 15% of your bill)
Science- lesson on biomes
English- research how much of the Earth is tundra, forest, etc.
Social Studies- lesson on vegetation in South Asia
Math- find the percent of South Asia that is tropical grassland?
English- research and write a paper on the deforestation problem in South Asia

One way to stretch your lesson across the curriculum is to use writing in all subjects. Every subject can apply writing, and this will help students not only understand your material more but become productive citizens with the ability to write well.
How do I use in writing in my subject?
Math- write the steps to solve the equation
Science- explain why your hypothesis was correct or incorrect
Social Studies- write about the impact of the industrial revolution 

Web Tool Wednesday: Google Doc update lets you convert text to all CAPS

It may seem like a simple update, but Google has recently added a very useful feature in Google Docs. You can now capitalize a large portion of text, make it all uppercase, or do the opposite and make it all lower case.

It's easy to do. 
  1. Click the Format menu in Docs
  2. Select “Capitalization” from the drop down
  3. Select one of the following:
      • lowercase, to make all the letters in your selection lowercase.
      • UPPERCASE, to capitalize all the letters in your selection.
      • Title Case, to capitalize the first letter of each word in your selection.

Teaching Tip Tuesday: Engagement W/ Apple

Having the ability to use the above apps in the classroom can be incredibly beneficial to students.  In BISD we are mostly 1:1 with Chromebooks, however, we still have some iPads in the classroom.  Thanks to Apple, their productivity apps are now free.  Now would be a wonderful time to go download these apps and start implementing in your classroom.

My favorite app to use, from the list above, is iMovie for iOS.  Amazing, and powerful app for recording, editing, and creating videos.  Easy to use for the students, and creates incredibly visual videos and trailers.  Enjoy!!

For more information, and links to the downloads, check out a recent blog from Business Insider (Tech Insider) about how "Apple just made its Microsoft Office killer free - here's how to download it." by, -Kif Leswing

Monday Reflections with Students: Michael Hayward

Monday Reflections with Michael Hayward

What are you liking the most about BHS right now?
I am liking the fact that it is almost over.

What lesson have you enjoyed the most?
I have enjoyed learning about the value of silence (not talking for three days and limiting texting).

What technology tool do you most liking using in class?
I enjoy using Adobe Illustrator.

What is one thing that you appreciate when teachers do?
I appreciate when teachers take the time to care about the students and they don't just follow the curriculum.

In the past week, what is one new concept to you that you learned in class?
We learned how to identify a sonnet.

What are you looking forward to this school year?
I am looking forward to spending the last few weeks of school enjoying time with some of my friends that I may not see again after graduation.

What are your plans after high school?
I plan to get my bachelor's degree in anthropology at Texas State, and later I plan to get my doctorate in archaeology with a specialization of Mesopotamian civilization.

Fab Find Friday: Google Drive Just Made Things Easier, Again!

Have you noticed that Google Drive just made things easier for you? 

When you click the "New" button, you will now find that under Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Forms, you have the option of a blank doc, sheet, slide, form, OR you can choose one of the already made templates to edit.

Do you see the template option?

These templates are awesome because you can find templates from our school domain and public domain. These templates include- 
report templates
essay templates
lesson plan templates
letter templates
resume templates
newsletter templates
brochure templates
calendar templates
budget templates
book report template
certificate template
recipe book template
exit ticket template
and MORE

Go check out the templates today!!

TTESS Thursday: Taking Your Questioning to the Next Level

Take Your Questioning to the Next Level

In this blog post here, Mrs. Toni Schwartz explains how to move from proficient to accomplished in TTESS by simply changing up your questioning. Listen to her interview here-

What exactly can you do to make your questions at a higher level for your students? Here are some ideas:


  • Instead of what was the ending to that story, ask the students to decide on a different ending to the story.
  • Instead of can you recall the main character of the story, try to ask the students if they agree or disagree with the actions that the main character took throughout the story (explain their answer).
  • Instead of what is the answer to that problem, have your students explain how to work out this problem to another student in the room.
  • Instead of giving the students a quiz, let your students create questions for a quiz you will give the students.
  • Instead of students stating their results of their science experiment to the class, have your students justify why their results turned out the way they did.
  • Instead of students explaining their lab, ask students what would have been made the lab better or different (have them defend answers).
  • Have students decide what would have happened to the US if the US would have lost a certain war. Explain how things would have turned out differently.
  • Have students award the best historical person in history, but justify your answer (and be ready to debate)