Brenham Tech Daily [BISDwired]

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

Tech Tip Thursday: Using Google Sites for Student Portfolios

Tech Tip Thursday: Using Google Sites for Student Portfolios

Last year, I had the opportunity to go into Mrs. Lynch's classes at BHS, and I was able to show her seniors how to make websites using Google Sites. These websites could then be taken with them, once they graduated, to use for a business they may one day open, for a place to host YouTube videos, or to show a portfolio of their work.

This year, I was asked to come to Mrs. Lynch's graphic design classes with a variety of grade levels. Mrs. Lynch created an assignment where students created personal digital portfolios using Google Sites. She required them to have a home page, experience and skills page, reference page, contact page, and about me page. 


Google Sites does not have a ton of fancy features, but that is quite okay because it is perfect for our goal of digital portfolios. Google Sites is super user friendly to use, and the students caught on quickly how to create and upload because it utilized Google products. I love the fact that it is in their Drive, constantly saving as you work, and then it gives you the option to publish it to the world wide web or keep it private. 


Furthermore, the students have surprised me with how creative they made their portfolio websites look. They personalized it with their touch, and it looks amazing. 

Another classroom, Mrs. Ruiz's class, is using Google Sites to build a Digital Break Out (Digital Escape Room). I was amazed how the students carried over what they learned in Graphic Design class to AP World History class. Those same students were making their Google Sites creative with beautiful page layouts. 

*Stay tuned.. I cannot wait to see the final products the students create in Mrs. Lynch's classes and Mrs. Ruiz's classes.

Where do you find Google Sites (in your Drive)?

Web Tool Wednesday - Bensound : Royalty Free Music

Music can make an ordinary video into something greater.  Looking for free to use music in the classroom isn't easy. When I came across Bensound, and the close to 200 tracks that are availble for free download, it was a nice find I wanted to share. 

The music is instrumental and is separated in eight different categories. There is a preview feature for each selection and a download button for any you want to use.  
*Be mindful there are songs that are are not free but you will see "purchase"  in place of the download button.




Tech Tip Tuesday - Chrome Keyboard Shortcuts


Google Chrome has a lot of great shortcuts.  Here are a few handy keyboard shortcuts you your students can use:

Ctrl+1-8 = Pressing Ctrl and any number 1 through 8 will move to the corresponding tab in your tab bar.

Ctrl+9 = Switch to the last tab.

Ctrl+H = Show history.

Ctrl+J = Open Downloads window.

Ctrl+K = Move the cursor to the omnibox (address bar).

Ctrl+T = Open a new tab.

Ctrl+Shift+T = Undo any closed tab.

Motivational Monday: Surviving the Weeks Before Holiday Break

Motivational Monday: Surviving the Weeks Before Holiday Break

What are your wishes for the two weeks before the holiday break? Quiet time or sanity? I think above all we just want to keep calm, from the holiday stress, these last few days with our students. 

This is a hot topic, and actually quite a few articles are written on this topic for a good reason. We even had a blog post by Mrs. Jessica Johnston in 2016 that still can be used today. An article, by Elmer's, states that you should take time for yourself, plan for the unexpected, and more. Read about it here.

After reading these articles listed below, I concluded my favorite re-occurring tips:
*Stick to routines
*Don't go too Pinterest crazy
*Go with the flow
*Give yourself breaks


My favorite tips-
*Do your shopping online (curbside, anyone?) (online holiday shopping)
*Use your slow cooker or pressure cooker or whatever will make cooking meals hands off and quick!

*Be sure to implement at least one tip these next two weeks, and then enjoy your holiday break!!


Fab Find Friday: Get your Social Media posts seen using RiteTag


RiteTag Chrome Extension

The RiteTag Chrome Extension shows you how hashtags (#) are performing on Twitter and Facebook before you post your content. Once you log in to RiteTag using your Twitter or Facebook credentials (I used Twitter to log in since that's where I use this chrome extension), it checks the hashtags you begin typing in real time and color codes them based off these identifiers:

  • If your hashtag is green, it means the hashtag will help your content be seen now.
  • If your hashtag is blue, it means the hashtag will help your content be seen over time.
  • If your hashtag is gray, you should select a new hashtag because it has low levels of engagement.
  • If your hashtag is red, you should select a new hashtag because it's so popular, your content will disappear into the crowd.

Want some help setting up a Twitter account?  Check out our instructional videos below (via the @BISDwiredTeam

How-To:  Get Started with Twitter







Throwback Thursday-- Web Tool Wednesday: Newsela

Throwback Thursday-- Web Tool Wednesday: Newsela

Are you using Newslea? It is a great tool to find articles based on reading level, topic, reading skill, and more. They have updated their site, and it is amazing. Check it out here.

Newsela


Have you tried Newsela? Try the free educator account today. Newsela provides educators with over a 1,000 non-fiction literacy and current event articles for students at different reading levels. Teachers can assign articles for students to read and take a quiz over. There is also a writing topic for teachers to assign with the article. There are articles for every subject- math, science, language, history, and art. Plus, if you have ELL students with a Spanish background, the articles have the option of being in "spanish" text.


I signed up with my Google account, and then I was even able to connect my students in Google Classroom with Newsela. You can assign your students in Google Classroom a certain article you want them to read. Then have the students complete the quiz and writing assignment. Students login into Newsela with their School Gmail Account to see assignments in "Binder" that have been assigned to them.

What are you waiting for?
Try Newsela today! Let us know how you are using it in your classroom.

Web Tool Wednesday - Flipgrid Guest Mode & More

Guest Mode!
Now educators can involve families, community members, experts, and more by granting them special permission to specific Topics, without providing access to the other Topics in your Grid. From within your Educator Admin, simply activate Topic Guest Mode on any of your Topic settings!

Guests are granted access through a unique Guest Code. You decide whether guests have view-only or view & respond access. You can share the Guest Code with whoever you’d like and you can revoke access at any time by simply regenerating the Guest Code. If you don’t want to send out a code, have no fear, QR codes are here! Simply print and post for your guests to scan. When guests click to record in the Topic, they’ll be prompted to enter their First and Last Name (and, if you want, their email address) prior to recording. Then they’ll be launched into the same recorder your students know and love!

PLUS Flipgrid recently announced SEVEN updates based on ideas and feedback! Check them out.

Teaching Tip Tuesday: Explorer Series via @Flipgrid!



From the Flipgrid blog:

The Flipgrid Explorer Series is a fun mixture of a career day, digital field trip, show and tell, ask-an-expert, and #GridPals!
Meet the Explorers
We welcome scientists, engineers, creatives, and more to share their amazing work and challenge students on unique topics related to their field! Each Series is available on-demand and designed to be broad so that you can adapt the material to fit your lessons!
Launching a Series
It’s easy to create a unique Explorer Series experience for your class - just click the Disco Library links and add the Topics to your Grid! If you want to expand involvement and welcome other classes from your school, district, community, state, or even the world, connect with a fellow educator (or educators) via #GridPals and then share your Grid with CoPilots!









Motivational Monday: Hour of Code Kick Off and Recap!

 Motivational Monday: Hour of Code Kick Off and Recap!

This week starts the Hour of Code week. What is the big deal? Why should students learn about coding?

According to Media Planet- Education and Career News, "Teaching code not only prepares students for STEM careers, but gives them a better understanding of machines they will interact with the rest of their lives." 

According to Tynker's Blog- Ten Reasons Kids Should Learn to Code, "As they write more complicated code, kids naturally develop better focus and organization."

According to IDTech's 9 Reasons Why Kids Should Learn to Code, "Time has passed, yet we are still seeing STEM education stats like by 2018, 2.4 million STEM jobs will go unfilled. And others like 71% of all new jobs in STEM are in computing, but only 8% of STEM graduates are in Computer Science."

According to GettingSmart's Why Students Should Learn to Code and How to Get Started, "Students build relationship skills through the collaboration during activities, seeking and offering help when needed and learning to cooperate with one another to solve a coding challenge."

Here's our 2018 Hour of Code participation page:

Look at who participated in the BISD 2018 Hour of Code Week!
Final Update:  as of 4:00 pm, Fri. 12/7/18

Total  Number of
Participating Teachers: 65
BES led with 29 teachers
Total Number of
Students Impacted: 3,093
BES led with 1,221 students
(Students may code in more than one area and be counted more than once (example: multiple classes, STEAM, Library, Specials, ETC…)

Teacher name
Campus
# of students impacted?
Shannon Altman
BES
19
Kristie Barker
KES
21
Hannah Bosse
KES
21
Ellen Castro
BES
34
Janna Chovanec
BES
19
Lisa Clark
BHS
115
Kristin Cokins
BES
42
Christin Coston
BHS
58
Danielle Courville
BES
20
Heather Deramus
BES
15
Sarah Doelitsch
BES
17
Laura Eben
KES
41
Kristi Felder
KES
116
Megan Fridye
KES
21
Heather Garner
BES
19
Ricardo Gonzalez
KES
19
Sara Gresham
BES
18
Trenton Hall
BHS
65
Stasie Hansen
BHS
93
Heather Hinzie
AES
16
Toni Jezisek
BJH
65
Jeremy Johnston
BJH
109
Vicki Jordan
BJH
110
Jordan Kapchinski
AES
22
Heather Kaldis
BES
22
Christopher Kenjura
BHS
164
Nikki King
BES
34
Jonna Klump
BES
18
Stephanie Koehler
KES
18
Diana Kohring
BJH
43
Lyndsey Kubos
BES
40
Becky Kuecker
BES
(See Polk)
Kim Kwiatkowski
KES
22
Heather Leija
BES
18
Konstance Lester
BES
37
Jessica Lewis
KES
18
Tori Lopez
BES
18
Kim Lucherk
KES
17
Cindy Markwardt
BES
20
Kayla Martinez
BES
20
Kimberly McCorkle
BMS
74
Renate Moudry
BES
22
Shelby Parker
KES
39
Nikki Phillips
KES
22
Charlotte Polk
BES
625
Jennifer Prazak
BES
8
India Randermann
BES
22
Lori Reyes
AES
35
Paolo Rodriguez
BES
9
Kaylee Roznovsky
AES
29
Madison Ruiz
BHS
35
Aide Paola Salgado
KES
18
Jenny Schaer
BJH
28
Emily Schulte
BES
22
Amy Seeber
BHS
120
Sarah Shelnutt
AES
29
Adrienne Siemsglusz
KES
35
Wanda Smith
BES
22
Amber Verwold
BES
21
Jen Walberg
BES
18
Laura Weiss
KES
34
Melinda Wiggins
KES
39
Wynne Winkelmann
BES
22
Janae Wittner
BMS
70
Brittany Yoder
AES
17







Want more resources? Check out our website HERE on coding in Brenham ISD.