Brenham Tech Daily [BISDwired]

Via the @BISDwiredTeam: Tom Spall, Brittni Branton, and Troy Kuhn

Summer Sunday Shout-Out: TechBuzz via @Teach0285 and T-TESS via @BISDLearnTech

Great Resources via @Teach0285 and @BISDLearnTech

Along with our blog, (Brenham Tech Daily: BISDwired), we would also like to share out these two awesome resources we've seen circulating and shared out via Twitter.  Both of these resources provide tools, tips, and strategies to increase technology engagement in your classrooms.  

The first resource comes from Deena Wilson (@Teach0285).  Over the years, Deena has curated a comprehensive list of resources, tools, and assessment pieces for her educators in Nederland ISD and her PLN.

The second resource comes from the Burleson ISD Tech Team  (@BISDLearnTech).  This amazing team created a fantastic Google Site to help educators tie the T-TESS domains and dimensions to their instruction.  They provide educators with numerous instructional tools, resources, and strategies based off which domain and dimension you choose.  Take a look:

Final Friday

  If didn't happen already, it will soon enough for many of you; those two beautiful words educators love to hear - summer break. While my team and I aren't out yet, since this being the last official day for most of our students and teachers here in Brenham, this will be the last post of the 2017/2018 school year on this blog.
  No matter what role you have in education, you played some part in student growth this year.  Take time this summer to celebrate that, and to find what you can do to grow as well. If you come to this blog, then you are someone that is obviously a lifelong learner as we all should strive to be. So thank you!
We will be back in August to give you all the best and latest in educational technology we can find.    But in the meantime, may your summer be like this:

And go see Solo: A Star Wars Story. 😉😉

T-TESS Thursday: Your Comprehensive T-TESS Toolkit

It's that time of the year again!  You made it through the school year!!!  Congratulations!!

We assume you are feeling like this:

So, to help you out we compiled all our T-TESS Thursday Blog Post into one, easy-to-read, organized, toolkit for you to use!  

So HERE you go, enjoy your summer break, and we'll see you next year!

You're Welcome.

Troy Kuhn, Tom Spall, and Brittni Branton

Web Tool Wednesday: Quizlet Live Relay

Web Tool Wednesday: Quizlet Live Relay 

Mrs. Calvert (BHS English teacher) had read the exact same email from Quizlet that I had read. We talked about the blog post, and we sought out to try it. This blog post talks about different ways to play Quizlet Live in the classroom. For the final review, we tried a version of Quizlet Live Relay.

It was a little different than the blog post. We had the students type in the game code and join the Quizlet Live game. After creating groups, we had the students get together with their group. Then the group put their Chromebooks together on the back counter (touching one another). 

Then the group sat in their desks, and they decided who would go first, second, third, and fourth. When the game started, the students went one at a time to their cluster of Chromebooks sitting together on the back counter. They answered the question, and went back to their table/group. Then the next person would come up to answer the question. They could not help each other, so it was a relay on how fast and how accurate the students could answer the questions.

The students got into the game. They were cheering their teammates on and everyone was engaged.

This happened last week, Thursday, and over the past weekend, another English teacher, Mrs. Kocian saw on Twitter the post about the students playing this version in Mrs. Calvert’s room (the power of a tweet). Mrs. Kocian wanted to try this out in her room this week. 

She had the students play the normal version of Quizlet Live together as a group helping each other for the first few times. Then she explained to the class that they were going to be doing a relay where they could not help each other the last three times.

The Chromebooks were lined up on the back counter, and her students stood mostly in a line where one student would answer and then go to the back of the line. 

Her students got into the game, and after repeating it several times, they truly learned the terms with the repetition. 

Changing Quizlet Live up a bit has made a game that the students all play normally more exciting and engaging. I encourage you to put a twist on a game that you play regularly.

Teaching Tip Tuesday - The Teaching Channel

There are so many great resources out there for educators to find tips, encouragement, and solid classroom advice. One of those sites is called the Teaching Channel.  Check it out if you haven't ever or recently gone to it.  Some entries are short articles with video, some just video.  
Two of the most recent tips that could be used immediately:

Must Know Monday: Lunapic Website

Must Know Monday: Lunapic Website

The best thing about going to conferences, summits, workshops, or any kind of PD, is you usually snag a couple of good ideas, tips, or tricks. This weekend when I was talking to fellow teachers at the TXGoogle 2018 Summit, they were excited to share this Lunapic website. They were talking about one of the sessions that they went to, a presenter had mentioned Lunapic. 

What is Lunapic?
It is a free website that let’s you take a picture with a white background, and it turns the white background into a clear/png background.

How does it work?
1. Find the image’s URL link and copy it.

2. Paste in the URL on the Lunapic website and click go.

3. Go to File-Save As. Then save it as a png to have the transparent background.

*Check out all the other cool tools you can use to adjust your image.

Fab Find Friday: Pic Say App

Pic Say Chromebook App

Have you heard of the Pic Say app? This is a great app to use in the classroom, and it works great on our classroom Chromebooks. In the app, you can take any photo and add a speech bubble. This is great for historical figures throughout history, characters from books, and more!

How do you do it?

1. Open the app.

2. Click “Get Picture”

3. Upload image 

4. Add “sticker” to picture

5. Type in text in the balloon sticker

6. Click “export” to send or save picture.

*You can have students turn it in on Classroom and they could make comments on each other’s picture. Or, you can add it to Padlet or another platform.

*The possibilities are endless!

Tech Tip Thursday: Lock Cells in Sheets

Tech Tip Thursday: Locking Your Cells in Google Sheets

Have you ever shared a spreadsheet with a colleague, friend, parent, or student, and they messed up your columns or rows or changed up all the information or data? If we are honest, we all probably can think of that one time someone changed your spreadsheet. Most likely, it was probably a total accident, too.

Make sure you lock your rows, columns, and cells next time you create a spreadsheet! Then everyone can work in their assigned cell, row, or column.

Here’s how to do it-
1. Highlight your row or column or cell you want to protect.

2. Click on “Data” and “Protected Sheets and Ranges” from the menu on the top.

3. Title the data, and click “save permissions” and then check and uncheck who you want to be able to access that column. Click done to save changes.

You can do this for as many rows, columns, or cells that you want to.

WOW Wednesday: New Tech Gadget to Stay Safe! LYNQ from @lynq_me

WOW Wednesday
New Tech Gadget to Stay Safe!

Yes, almost every single one of our blog post integrates with education in one way or another.  However, sometimes we just like to share with you the latest and greatest tech gadgets whether they relate to education or not.

LYNQ, the newest tech gadget we've come across is currently being crowdfunded on Indiegogo by a company called, LynQ.  The approximate release date is November 2018. 

So what is this new tech gadget?  Their gadget, LYNQ, is a location tracker.  Here's a description from their website:
  • Location tracking even when cell phones fail
  • Real-time distance and direction. No phones, apps, maps, wifi, networks, or monthly fees.
  • Private and secure
  • Works globally
  • Connect up to 3-mile range

Keep your kids safe on vacations, trips, or even around the house.  As a community of educators, we always like to ensure the safety of our students even when they aren't at school.  This seems like a great way to do that.

Every day, technology is helping us more and more in all aspects of our lives.  Think of all the ways you could use LYNQ in education:

Feild Trips
Nature Walks
Scavenger Hunts

Here's a video from LYNQ that sums up their new gadget:

Teaching Tip Tuesday: Tag Standards in Quizizz

Teaching Tip Tuesday: Tag Standards in Quizizz

We all love Quizizz, and their updates keep getting better and better (like the option to have five answer choices and the option to add images for the answer choices). 

Now Quizizz has made their quizzes useful by adding the option to align questions with the curriculum. Quizizz now lets you tag standards to each question. Go back into your old Quizizzes and tag standards. Or, you can add standards when you create a brand new Quizizz.

Check out how easy it is to add standards to a question (image from's blog)-

After students take a Quizizz, teachers can instantly know what standards were missed. The reports show the standards, and principals and teachers will love the data reports.

Read more about this great update here.

Making It Happen Monday - 6 New Features for Quizzes in Google Forms

Google for Education has announced six new features for Quizzes in Google Forms based on from feedback from teachers over the past two years. They are:

1. Quiz answer suggestions: Forms can now predict the correct answer as you type the question, as well as provide options for wrong answers.

2. Autocomplete answers: After you type one answer, Forms will now propose related answers.

3. Automatically grade checkbox and multiple choice grid questions: Now, in checkbox grid and multiple choice grid-style questions, you can denote correct answers in the answer key, and completed quizzes are automatically assigned points based on answers,

4. Give decimal grades: You can give partial credit in Google Forms. If an answer is partially correct, you can give a half or quarter point.

5. Improve understanding with YouTube video feedback: You can now give customized feedback to students by attaching a video from YouTube.

6. See the total number of points in a quiz: Teachers told Google they would like a way to quickly reference the total number of points in a quiz as they’re editing. Now, there’s a tally of points at the top of the quiz that updates as you create or edit questions.

Fab Find Friday - Assign Random Names in Kahoot

You are trying to review for the end of the year tests and some student(s) try to ruin the fun by using inappropriate names when you are playing a Kahoot game.  Well for some time now, Kahoot has had the ability for you to eliminate that problem.  Though it's been around awhile, I've found many teachers aren't aware of the feature - Nickname Generator.  

When hosting a game in Classic mode, the nickname generator feature gives you the option to assign a random friendly and funny 2-word nickname to players such as Wise Turtle or Charming Cheetah. There are over 800 unique combinations available so no worries of running out of options. 

Here’s how you can turn it on:

  • Launch the Kahoot game you want to play.
  • In the lobby, toggle on the Nickname generator feature from the game options menu (it supports Classic mode).
  • Players will join at or in our app as usual. After entering the game PIN they have up to three tries to choose a nickname generated at random, before joining the game.

Time to VOTE Thursday: Doodle 4 Google National Finalists #doodle4google #google

Vote for the Finalists of this year's Doodle 4 Google Contest!

Many students, including some amazing Alton Elementary Students from Brenham ISD, entered pictures into this year's Doodle 4 Google Contest.  Even though we didn't have any of our students selected, we are still encouraging you to go vote for this year's Finalists!

Go HERE to cast your vote!  Cast your vote before May 18th, 2018 at 12:00 am PDT.

Web Tool Wednesday: EOY Google Classroom Clean Up

Web Tool Wednesday: EOY Google Classroom Clean Up

It is almost that time of year again! It is getting near the end of the year, and it is time to start cleaning up your Google Classroom for next year. 

What can you do to get your digital classroom ready?

*Archive your classes

*Return Student Work
#1- Frees up/Cleans up space in your Drive
#2- Students can edit assignments (like websites they created or resumes they made)

This screen will confirm that you want to return the work to the students.

*This semester, Mrs. Lynch and I helped the students create websites about themselves with resumes, experience, work, skills, and more. When the students turn it into classroom, then the teacher becomes the owner/editor. Students can view only, so this would be a good assignment to return to the student, so they can be editor again.