Congratulations Melissa Brinkerhoff
Powerschool New Logins
Teachers, we are excited to announce to you some new things are coming to PowerSchool. One of those new things is that the district is no longer hosting PowerSchool. That is why last week you could not access PowerSchool Thursday and Friday. Lynn and Randall were working with PowerSchool to move our data to their servers. Now, this does mean that our web address had to change, it is now https://dcsd.powerschool.com/teachers. We are excited about this change because it will offer us some more features and greater capability to provide for your needs. Please take the time and change any bookmarks.
Powerschool LMS for Secondary Teachers
This is another of those new tools coming for PowerSchool. We are wanting to roll it out to secondary teachers starting in second quarter. Along with this, we will be providing those teachers and administrators training. Again we are excited to bring you these tools.
Doing all that we can
Teachers and staff of DCSD, I recently had a discussion with my kids that surprised me. I thought I would share part of my takeaway from that conversation. My kids were frustrated with their schooling experience, especially my son who just graduated. As I listened to them I became curious as to why they were so frustrated, so I asked them.
My son, James, put it best to me, he said that at school they are told the mission statement of the school is to help students reach their highest potential and become lifelong learners. However, teachers repeatedly won't work with them to help them improve their grades.
They won't let them retake tests or makeup assignments they do poorly on.
To me, this was a very troubling statement. Now, he also said that it wasn't all teachers and that most teachers were great. If you know my son James he doesn't ever criticize anyone. So, for him to feel this way it was very surprising. I asked my other kids and they felt similar, that teachers were not always willing to help them improve.
With all of this being said I was a teacher, and I struggled to get my grading done and in the grade book on time. I didn't always do the best that I could to help students, and there are probably a lot of kids that share a similar feeling of my son about me. So, please don't take me as an expert, or that I know anything more than you. I just want to share some information with you.
First, standards-based grading/mastery grading, focusing on what is important, and not worrying about points makes sense to me. We need to help our students realize what they are learning and how it is important to them. I think that we all hate to hear a student say they are stupid because they didn't get an A. Grades don't show intelligence or ability. Currently, they focus more on the number of points a student has received. I even remember sitting at parent-teacher conference and only focusing on assignment and tests a student needed to make-up to get their grade up. That wasn't the conversation that needed to be had, but it was all I knew to do at the time.
I look at standards-based grading/mastery grading now as tools that we as teachers can use to make our lives easier and help us have the real conversations we need to have with our students.
Second, technology has improved and the district will be rolling out another tool here soon to help teachers communicate with students and parents. It is a learning management system through PowerSchool. We are excited for the capabilities that it will bring to the classroom.
However, all of these items our administration is giving us to use are just tools, in your teacher toolbox. How well they work depends on us as a school district. We need to come together and do whatever it takes to make our schools successful.
20 Ideas to Promote More Creativity in your Classroom
iBOSS is our filtering tool. We use it to limit access to inappropriate material. We know that nothing works perfect. Additionally we know that nothing can replace the power of a teacher monitoring and helping students to avoid inappropriate material. We also accept that at times it may block teachers from valuable educational material. To help teachers resolve this issue teachers have different internet privileges than students. To access these privileges, navigate your browser to the following URL ib1.dcsd.org/login. To login on this site you use your first initial and last name, for example jdoe. The password is usually the password you use to log into your computer, or DCSD-Registered. After you have logged in you need to leave the window open, but you can minimize it.
If you've ever wanted to email large files but couldn't because the file size was too large. Maybe you didn't want to sign into google drive or your email account. Give WeTransfer a try. This tool will allow you to easily transfer any type of file up to 2GB for free. All you need is a couple of email addresses. Watch this short tutorial to get more information.
Kid President's Pep Talk to Teachers and Students!
A little bit of incentive is always ok in my book.
Here are 21 google tools for students that are stuggling or have special needs.
All you math teachers out there, are you looking for a way to use more of google tools in teaching math to your students? Check out these 11 ways to use Google Drawing to teach math ! Just click on the image above.
Here is are some places you can go for some great classroom resources.
100+ GREAT GOOGLE CLASSROOM RESOURCES FOR EDUCATORS
Microsoft Educational Technology Newsletter
Last year we pushed out Adobe Creative Cloud to you all. I know that the constant popping up asking you to login can get annoying. However, I believe that the benefit out weighs the cost. The creativity you and your students can enjoy is marvelous. Adobe Photoshop is a part of the Creative Cloud, you also get other programs like InDesign, Dreamweaver, and Acrobat Pro to name a few. If you want to get rid of the annoying login pop up, create an Adobe account, and login just once to resolve the pop-up issue. If you want to get help with any of the programs, Tom and I would be glad to help any of you.
Test Your 4th of July Knowledge
Rewards For Trying Something New
Apple teacher is a free program that will help you improve your skills with a mac. Tom and I have both become Apple Teachers. We enjoyed learning new things about programs like iMovie, Numbers, Pages, and much more.
The program is setup with eight classes. You read and create a project. The project has step by step directions. When you have finished the project and reading there is a simple 5 question quiz. The quizzes are fairly easy if you have paid attention as you went through the material.
When you have completed the entire course you then have the right to post that you are an apple teacher. However the true reward is the skills you will have developed. So, if you are looking for something you could do this summer. Why not give Apple Teacher a try.
The new Google Sites makes it easy to quickly and easily build a website for your classroom, group, club, or team. Websites make it easy to publish important dates, provide access to important materials, and communicate. Making a website can sound like a daunting task, but google sites makes the process pain free. As a teacher and trainer I have used Google Sites to create and maintain my class website as well as for trainings. It's easy to add or change content. Adding announcements, calendars, online textbooks, or links to helpful videos is a snap, and if you don't like google's ready made themes you can create your own. Watch the videos below to learn more about the new Google Sites!
This is an amazing tool to use to teach students the world of coding while still making it fun. Teaching coding can often be very challenging and boring to your students. EarSketch allows you to connect coding to music theory and composition. By using simple coding lines and phrases, students can make musical masterpieces. Often things that if you did not know music, you would not be able to just make up. Earsketch even has its own curriculum for students self-paced learning. Watch the three videos about Earsketch by clicking on the links below: On the top is a TED talk about Earsketch. The center is a video demo of how to use Earsketch. Lastly, the bottom is a video of Earsketch being used for a coding camp.
Today we held the annual tech fair at Roosevelt Junior High School. We saw some marvelous projects from Duchesne County students. There were robots, google slideshows, graphic art, student-built 3-D printer, and more. We would like to thank Strata, Spectra, UBATC, Stewarts, and NUES for providing judges, and prizes. Next, year we hope to have more students and give away more great prizes.
"PhotoScape X is an all-in-one photo editing software which provides photo-related features
such as Photo Viewer, Editor, Batch, Collage, Combine, Create GIF, Color Picker, Screen Capture, RAW images and More."
PhotoScape X for Mac and Windows 10." PhotoScape X - Free Photo Editor for Mac and Windows 10. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 May 2017.
This is a new program that I have found through the Apple App Store. There is a free version and a pro version. I find that the free version is great and all I need. It allows you to use all of the features of the program, but lacks complete access to all of it's templates and pro tools.
The District Office Move
Ok, how many of us, non-math teachers have complained about learning math. How many math teachers have wished that there was something out there to help students grasp math. GeoGebra could be that tool. It is a math app you can download from the Mac App Store, or you could visit their website. https://www.geogebra.org/ Take a look and give it a try.
If your like most teachers, you're probably already thinking about next year. You've probably made a list of new things to try and things to throw out. If your looking for a tool that can making communication easier for you, your students, and their parents, then Hallr is right for you. Check it out at hallr.com/
Peergrade is a tool that allows students to peer review other students work anonymously. The teacher creates assignments and rubrics to go with the assignment. Students submit their work and Peergrade randomly distributes the assignments to students to evaluate. Students use the teacher created rubric to evaluate the work. Students can add comments as well to the assignment. When work is given back, students can see the review and rate the comments as helpful or not. This is a great tool for project based activities and writing projects.
Drawing for participants who complete the newsletter quiz. Please take a minute take the quiz. Entries will be taken till May 27, 2017.
1. Try just a simple restart, the chromebooks reboot in about eight seconds.
2. Try a hard refresh Ctrl + Shift+r
3. If you have any new extensions or apps uninstall them.
Chromebook is Running Slow
1. Try restarting the machine.
2. Check for system updates. You go to your settings, then about chrome OS, then check for and apply updates.
Chromebook keeps turning off and on
1. You are going to want to use the recovery USB drive we provided your school. Run the recovery program.
You do this by holding Esc + Refresh + Power button. Then follow the on screen instructions. You will be asked to insert the USB drive then.
If you don't have a USB drive for your chromebooks contact Tom Felkins or James Sasser.
For any other problems you can try this site, https://support.google.com/chromebook/answer/6309225. You can also submit a tech request through this site, https://dcsdtech.on.spiceworks.com/sign_in
We need your help. We are always looking for new things to share with you. We are looking for help to find tools and other ideas we might share. If you know of any tools or things to share please complete the form on the homepage.
Extensions are widgets within the chrome browser that add functionality to applications and websites used by google chrome. Click the image below to see a slideshow on 20 awesome chrome extensions.
This Month's Giveway
Nearpod allows teachers to create interactive lessons and share them with their students in real time. Easily add interactive websites, videos, animations, quizzes, and more right to a lesson. With Nearpod you can import lessons from powerpoint or google slides, create your own content or download content from the website. Quickly and easily give real-time feedback to students and share their progress with parents. The Nearpod App makes managing student devices a breeze. Best of all the App is free. Nearpod works on any internet capable device.
Click on the link here to watch a tutorial on how to use Nearpod.
Want to create a video but don't have the time. Checkout MySimpleShow. This simple app allows you to create simple, short explainer videos in very little time. Use mysimpleshow in the classroom with your students or contribute to open educational resources. Introduce, summarize, and explain topics worth sharing. Create your own content or import a slideshow from powerpoint. Templates are easy to use and customizable. Students can easily create content of their own to present in class and to the world.
When you are on-line we sometimes forget that other people may be able to see what we post. They may even be people you hope would never see the things that we post. The next couple of clips are some examples from the "Ellen" show. I bet these people never thought their pictures would have been shown on national tv.
I met a Nepris representative last week at UCET. I found their product very interesting. They have a couple of options available. You can schedule a meeting with an expert. The expert will meet with your class and help them to understand more about their career. They also have a video library available to previous experts that you can view.
You can signup for free and I encourage you to consider it. With the free account, you can schedule one free live session with your class, join one live industry chat, and access their video library. There are paid options that will give you more access. I would say give the free option a try, and if you like it then maybe look for options to pay for the upgrade.
Take the quiz and enter to win a drawing. The giveaway ends March 31, 2017
Momentum and Be Limitless are google chrome extensions that allow you to personalize your chrome browser every time you open a new tab. They have amazing images and quotes that help you keep your focus throughout the day. Because it's a chrome extension it syncs across all devices. Their is a place to add links for easy access to your favorite places and a to do list to help you accomplish your goals for the day. These extensions can be a great too for students to help them remember tasks they need accomplish for the day and because it syncs with their google account it's easily accessible anywhere.
Momentum & be Limitless
Here is one more extension that is very similar to the two above. Its called Start- A better new tab. This extension is very customizable and easy to use. Check it out.
Some Cool Websites
Recently Tom and I attended an eMints training. While we were there some cool websites were shown to us. I would like to share them with you. These sites provide free services. I hope that they will be helpful for you in your classes.
Teachers we are excited to once again be hosting the Duchesne County School District Tech Fair. This will be for any student from third grade to a senior. The categories will be from presentation technology like powerpoint, iMovie, robots, graphic design, programming, and anything else that your students might like to try that involves technology. We will be providing more details as the event comes closer. Any questions you can contact any of us at the technology department.
Welcome to Winter Weather
For all you scientists out there.
Would you like to give real time feedback to students when they are working on an assignment in class even if they are not all on the same problem? With the Classkick app you can. Classkick allows the teacher to give personalized, real time feedback, the moment students need it. Students can also collaborate and learn from each other. The teacher creates assignments, quizzes, and worksheets. Students complete the assignments on the ipad or in the web browser. Feedback is private and can be given by the teacher or by other students. Classkick is available for ipads and any web browsing device, and its free. Check it out at https://www.classkick.com/
A Trip Down History Lane
Have we really changed that much?
Looking for a great way to infuse technology into your classroom? Click the image below to register for the 2017 UCET Technology Conference.
This is a national multiplication competition for students K-6. Teachers can make a trial account for free and sign up their students to compete. There is no cost to participate and students can compete for class prizes as well as individual prizes. Join the fun and get your kids excited about math.
Thoughts of the Month
Which Browser Should You Use?
We often get asked this question. There are so many issues from flash, java, compatibility and other problems to make choosing the right browser for you a tough question. Everyone also has the one that they are most comfortable using, or the one they like the best. Even here in the department we are divided on the issue of which browser to use. Some of us use Firefox, some Chrome, most of us try not to use Safari. To try and answer the question here is a video that might help you, or just muddy the water more.
Https://www.facebook.com/digitaltrendsftw/. "Battle of the browsers: Edge vs. Chrome vs. Firefox vs. Safari vs. Opera vs. IE vs. Vivaldi." Digital Trends. Digital Trends, 08 Dec. 2016. Web. 23 Jan. 2017.
Searching the Internet Tips
There are many more options you can use to filter your search results. You can simply type a math problem into the search bar and it will solve the problem for you. Conversion can be do the same way too. So the simple internet search has become so much more if we choose you use it that way.
One final thought
If you find it necessary to create some type of art for your classroom, maybe you should try BigHugeLabs. This site has some great project options for you. It offers projects like the motivator you see illustrated here on the page. You create movie posters, jigsaw puzzles, badges and much more. The best thing about it is, that it's free. Every teachers favorite price.
A Grading Strategy
If you are looking for a tool to help your students collaborate or brainstorm ideas, try padlet. Padlet is similar to pinterest and its free. Padlet allows users to express their thoughts on any topic in any format available. (e.g. images, videos, documents, text), anywhere, and on any device. You can also costumize the padlet with beautiful wallpapers and themes. Each padlet can be shared with specific people or to the world and its edited in real time. This is a great tool to get your students to work together. Take a tour here: padlet.com
James Sasser, Tom Felkins, Ina Nielson, Jackie Loertscher, and Kim Murray