Showing posts from November, 2015

Speakable Documents, Unspeakably Easy!

Kathy Hempel, Library Media Specialist at BMS Station Campus, has been helping staff get the most out of paper resources that they want to convert to digital format and uploaded to Schoology. She has outlined a few helpful hints when trying to utilize the text-to-speech feature. Documents scanned into the Xerox machine must be converted to a "live" Word document. If a PDF uploaded to Google Drive is viewed as an image, it must be converted.Use the conversion tool http://www.onlineocr.netOn your iPad, turn on text to speech:In Settings > General > Accessibility > Speech: Turn on Speech SelectionYou can adjust the speaking rate from Turtle to RabbitOn your Mac, follow these directions: you have technology tips to share, do not hesitate to reach out to any of the contributors to this blog to share in the next issue.
Thanks, Kathy!

Phishing: Sleepless Nights in IT

During this past week, our Barrington 220 colleague Bill received a phone call from a number that looked exactly like our tech support extension. The gentleman on the other end of the line asked Bill to work with him in changing his network password. Bill later realized that his password was never changed and that he had provided his current Google password information to a total stranger.

Not to be outdone, Marty was surfing the web one night and came across the absolute best chocolate lover’s website which asked him for a bit of personal information and an email address in exchange for some tasty samples sent his way. The next day he received an email that he thought was from another staff member. The email message read: “I share you special document. Click here.” Marty couldn’t help himself (he never can). He clicked on the link that brought him to a website halfway around the world. He then entered his Google username and password to receive the very special document. They didn’t e…

IC Grading Update

Spanish Grade Reports

The district is pleased to announce new and improved options for providing grade reports to our Spanish-only speaking families. The upcoming elementary fall grading period will introduce translated grade reports for Spanish-speaking parents. Spanish-translated grade reports are available at all levels, K–12, for the next grading period.

In prior years teachers needed to be aware of the specific language grade card each student needed. This year the process will be much easier for teachers due to the seamless translation of grades for any students requiring the Spanish grade report. Teachers will enter grades the same for all students, eliminating the duplicated standards translated in Spanish, thereby greatly reducing the amount of scrolling required to enter grades.

Elementary Grading Window

The grading window for K–5 will open on November 5, 2015, at 8:00 a.m. and close on November 18, 2015, at 4:00 pm. In an emergency the school office can make exceptions on a …

Elementary and Middle School Math on iPad (VIDEOS)

Over the past few weeks, I have had the pleasure of visiting several classrooms throughout the district to watch how our teachers are integrating technology at various grade levels in various subject areas. When I visit, I often capture very short snippets of video on iPhone or iPad.

Last week, I had the fortune of visiting a Grade 3 math lesson and then a Grade 6 math class on back-to-back days. The more I learn about the Math in Focus curriculum, the more I wish that my own math learning experience could have been like this! At the same time, I very much enjoy watching our creative and articulate math teachers provide authentic problem-solving experiences to our students who are genuinely engaged by the many learning modes used during a single math lesson.

I saw some excellent examples of iPad integration when I visited the classes of Kim Gillengerten at Barbara Rose School and Meg Knapik at BMS Prairie. Kim Gillengerten is part of Barrington 220's LaunchPad iPad initiative—our …

DTC Recommends Schoology as Barrington 220 LMS

Since last year, the District Technology Committee (DTC)—comprised primarily of teachers representing buildings, grade levels, and departments across the district—has been discussing the possibility of naming a single Learning Management System (LMS) for use in Barrington 220.

Many considerations have been part of the DTC's LMS conversation, including:
Availability of professional development for teachers.Ability to transition from former LMS platforms.Ease of use for teachers and students.Connectivity to Infinite Campus.Availability of specific LMS features (assessments, linking of resources, etc.).Flexibility of digital workflows.Compatibility with different device platforms (OS X, iOS, others).Appropriate user interface for multiple grade levels.Communication features.Simplified user experience for students (and parents) to be able to access and manage fewer systems to find day-to-day class information. DTC member representatives reported that many teachers were interested in be…

iPad Resources, Interactive Lesson Tools, and More!

Three topics comprise the instructional technology post for the bsd220tech newsletter this month:

1. iPad resources, apps for creation, and app discovery practices.
2. Versal, a tool for creating lessons with interactive gadgets for personalized learning.
3. An article about Twitter, and why you should be on it.

Connecting with educators on Twitter as part of my personalized PLN (Personal Learning Network). I constantly receive helpful resources to use myself and share with teachers. This month, I'd like to highlight three resources especially pertinent for elementary and middle school teachers with iPads.

Using Explain Everything and Book Creator to Create
This article demonstrates step-by-step directions for using the workflow of Explain Everything to Book Creator for students to create using the iPads.

Using @Appolearining to connect with teachers and resources
If you're like me, you are overwhelmed at the shear quantity of apps available and recommended through the App Store. Thi…