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Showing posts from December, 2015

Technology Integration in BHS Sociology [VIDEO]

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I recently had the opportunity to visit the Sociology classroom of Barrington High School teacher and Associate Principal Ty Gorman. Mr. Gorman’s students were engaged in collaborative research to answer the essential question, “Does institutional racism exist in the United States?”

The class was structured into several stations and a group of students at each station was involved in online research on a particular aspect of the institutional racism issue, including data and statistics; personal anecdotes and stories; and images and videos.

Mr. Gorman described the structure of the activity as “station rotation” because each group would eventually have the opportunity to research every topic. This activity also serves as an example of one of the four models of blended learning (Rotation Model) as defined by the Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation.

Students were truly in charge of their learning in this activity since they were creating their own study guide collaboratively…

Keyboard Shortcuts Every Mac User Should Know

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A keyboard shortcut allows a computer user to access certain functions efficiently. Rather than using the mouse or trackpad to pull down the File menu and select Save, you can use the keyboard key-combination shortcut command+s.

If you are/were a Windows user who uses keyboard shortcuts, you have likely already noticed that on a Mac, shortcuts use the command key as the “modifier” key (not the control key). Aside from the different modifier key, most common shortcuts are the same.

Whether you are a veteran keyboard shortcut user or want to start using shortcuts for the first time to make your computer use more efficient, this recent article outlines 5 Basic Keyboard Shortcuts Groups that Every Mac User Should Know.

Apple also maintains a comprehensive list of commands on their Support pages.

IC Teacher Gradebook in Chrome and FDF Forms

Everyone knows browsers can be our best or worst friend, depending on the day, or more importantly, the most recent browser update. Infinite Campus published the following caution for all teachers using Chrome as their browser:
An issue has cropped up in Campus Instruction where modal dropdowns, which are popup dropdowns that appear after a first selection is made, do not allow the user to click and select an option with a mouse. Modal dropdowns can be found when switching schools and calendars, or in Post Grades and selecting Grading by Task, and then a Task selection dropdown pops up. This issue is specific to Chrome 47 and is only affecting Campus Instruction. Chrome has been working on their fix, and it looks like it is in the final stages of testing and check in. The IC tech team will be monitoring this closely and will take any required IC updates as soon as they become available. This recent communication appears we can anticipate an update for Chrome 47.

Speaking of bro…

New Elementary Portal to Your Favorite Online Resources

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Introducing a New Elementary Portal to Your Favorite Online Resources!

Barrington 220 Librarians, TSAs, and district web wizard Mandy Fischer have launched a new entry point for elementary students and staff to easily access commonly used technology resources all on one page. This page is still a work in progress.

Clicking Students on your school's web page will take you to this user-friendly page. You will find the district's many resources arranged by type. This launch page is customized for each school with an easy link to your library's home page and catalog.


The portal continues to evolve and change with your input and suggestions. For questions about access or resources, please contact your librarian or TSA. To provide feedback or suggestions, please contact Joe Robinson or LeeAnn Taylor.

iNACOL: iNcredible Blended Learning Opportunities!

In November, a few Barrington 220 District leaders attended the iNACOL (International Association for K-12 Online Learning) Blended and Online Learning Symposium. There were three main points about Blended Learning I'd like to share.
Blended Learning Empowers Students to Own Their Learning and Teachers to Coach Them Toward Learning Objectives, and That can be Really HardBlended Learning Preparation, Practice, and Assessment Maximize Personalized Learning Opportunities for StudentsBlended Learning Requires Best Practices in InstructionBlended Learning Empowers Students to Own Their Learning and Teacher to Coach Them Toward Learning Objectives; and That can be Really Hard The first major step in teaching a blended learning course is releasing control of student learning. We care so much as educators about making sure each student learns the content, that letting go of controlling each step to meet that goal is a potentially gut-wrenching proposition. But, part of our responsibility a…

The 5-Minute iPad Deployment!

Is it truly possible to deploy an iPad in 5 minutes? With some of the new tools at our disposal, we have now shortened the “user experience” to 5 minutes. OK, this is only looking at the deployment from the user’s perspective, once the iPad is actually in their hands, as there is still a great deal of back-end work that goes into iPad deployments, but the idea I am looking at is the “customer experience” for our staff and students.

How is this all possible? Thanks to continued innovation and adaptation by Apple and Apple partners such as JAMF, systems have been created to take some of the pain out of large-scale device and app deployments. For education customers, Apple has created the Device Enrollment Program that allows an iPad to be redirected to our new JAMF Casper Suite mobile device management system once the initial iPad setup process has been started. The user setup experience is then shortened to just a few questions which includes the user’s network username and password. As…