Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Tech Staff's Favorite Web 2.0 Resources for Staff and Students

The tech department was up all night like little elves preparing for the holidays and making lists of their favorite web 2.0 tools and resources. Take some time over these next few days and explore some of their suggestions.  Happy Holidays!  

This has become a favorite of students and teachers alike. A nonlinear way of doing presentations allowing those that want to get away from the page by page turn of Powerpoint to something more dynamic without the need to create a video. (Abe)

It has to be one of the most convenient tools since Google Drive. The ability to keep files in sync across the multiple devices has allowed to keep important documents at my fingertips all the time. The best part is there is almost no file limitation when sharing. If I had a 100mb video to share, drag and drop, and wallah, the other person has it in 10 minutes. (Abe)

It is one of my favorite apps to use. Not only to does it sync to all my devices, I can quickly add and organize those random notes that I would normally put on a sticky note under my keyboard or all over the side of my screen. (Abe)

It has become one of my most used tools. It helps me to keep track of all the log ins and passwords I have to try to remember. Dashlane encrypts your personal information and makes it available on a variety of platforms, like my phone, tablet , desktops, etc. (Guy)

You may start to see a theme for me (organizing stuff before I forget it). Tripit helps me to keep all my travel documents and plans organized. Whether that be a trip across town to a meeting, conference, or on vacation.  (Guy)

Online Convert
Nothing is more frustrating than having a file in one format and needing it in another.  Here is an online file converter that will do the work for you. (Edwin)  

Dipity is a free digital timeline website. Users can create, share, embed and collaborate on interactive, visually engaging timelines that integrate video, audio, images, text, links, social media, location and timestamps. (Calvin)

SlideRocket is a revolutionary new approach to business communications designed from the start to help you make great presentations that engage your audience and deliver tangible results. (Drew)

Poll Everywhere
Audience response system utilizing text messages, Twitter, and the web. No clickers required. Use it for surveys, polling, auctions, quizzes, brainstorming, etc. Free for up to 40 respondents. (Mike U)


An online Interactive whiteboard that captures voice and writing to create shareable lessons. Use online or download the app from the Apple Store. Perfect for using on iPads or for subs when teachers can't be available. (Robert)

Brainstorming with words doesn't get any creative or easier than Wordle.  Could be used as a classroom activity or within presentations. (Craig)

Easy Prompter
Planning on making a quick video to share in your class but you are "camera shy" and keep forgetting your lines? Run this free, web-based teleprompter on your netbook to help you look relaxed and professional. (Marcelo)

Chrome/Chrome Webstore
All things Google run best on Chrome. In addition to more functionality of Drive, Calendar, Gmail, etc.; there's a whole slew of apps/plug-ins to install that make Chrome not only a great browser, but a reliable alternative to your standard operating system. Some apps are solely web-based and others you can download and run from your hard drive. Log-in anywhere and take your apps with you. Go explore! (Daphne)

An elegant way to embed a multipage document, magazine, or book on a webpage. I use this service on a number of blogs; it gives the reader a lot of great options for flipping through the pages, changing the size of the font, and a number of other variables, including subscription/distribution schemes. (Tim)


Elegant, versatile audio embedding. There are a number of audio embedding services; Soundcloud is one of the better ones. What I like about them is that their gadget is visually appealing-- whenever I post a blog entry with a Soundcloud embed, it gets a lot more traffic. (Tim)

Take Screenshots: Capture an image of what you see on your computer screen. Record Screencasts, up to 5 minutes of onscreen video. (Chris)


The one online tool that I use quite often and recommend is Zamzar, a free online file conversion site. Upload your file and Zamzar will show you the conversion options for that specific file type. Once it's converted, the file will be emailed to you. (Judy)

A screen-capture program that works with Evernote or independently. It does need to be downloaded, but it a wonderful tool for annotating a marking up a screen capture. It is available for the iPad, Android and Windows. (Judy)

One site that I really like is - it's an online tool that allows you to see information from multiple financial sites (banks, credit cards, etc.) all in one place.  (Becky)

Share My Lesson
Educators create and share best practices. This AFT developed site contains tons of resources to support Common Core Standards. (Richard)

Khan Academy
Self-paced learning tool providing video tutorials and interactive activities for students. Parents and teachers can monitor progress through detailed reporting for targeted interventions. (Sebastian)

Search any topic, results display as computational result for equations and report style format for topics. (Benju)

Expanded Google Search Features

Google recently expanded its search features to help simplify life for the end user. Some tools may be especially useful during this holiday season. 

Flight Tracking and Schedules:  Type in an airline and flight number or enter your departure and arrival locations, Google will let you know the status and provide you with flights scheduled for your desired route. 

Maps: Going someplace new or unfamiliar? Type it in and Google will provide you with a map to help you get around. 

Sunrise & Sunset: Need to know the precise time daylight begins and ends? Add "sunrise" or "sunset" before the city and hit "Search"

Time: Name the city and Google will tell you the time in that location. 

Local Search: Type in what you're looking for and the zip code, Google will give you a list of options. 

Movie Showtimes: Get movie times by typing in "movies" and a zip code. 

Package Tracking: Enter a UPS, FedEx, or USPS tracking number and Google will provide the status and link you to the service provider's site. 

For a full list of features and how best to maximize them, visit: 

Google Apps for Education Illinois Summit

Google is hosting its first annual Google Apps for Education Illinois Summit at Glenbrook North High School, in Northbrook on March 27 & 28, 2013. 

Organized by a dynamic team of educators, this gathering is sure to be rich and informative. Attendees will hear from local technology leaders as well as renowned Google Certified Trainers, Teachers, and staff. 

If you're just beginning to branch out beyond Gmail and your Google Drive or you're looking to put Google through its paces and utilize the dynamic apps available, this conference is for you. 

All levels of experience are welcome! 

For more information or to register visit:

Keeping Equipment Safe

Keeping Equipment Safe

The picture above depicts a very bad habit. Some students think it's okay to just leave their locker unlocked or even open when they go to PE class.  Of course they contain their phones, netbooks, and other valuable equipment.  Please remind students to use their Hallway Lockers or to use the lockers specifically purchased to lock up and charge valuable equipment.  

North:  Located near security  desk ,Door 12, outside PE locker room.
West:   Located in the  PE Locker Room

Whether staff or student, thefts need to be reported to security immediately.  The longer you wait, the less chance item(s) will be recovered.   If you find a student’s netbook, please drop it off to the Student Help Desk.  We will contact security and the student about it.
North: 1500 West: 2150

Did you buy insurance?  Regardless how careful you are, accidents happen.   Invest in insurance early can save you a ton of money later.  Read our Insurance Information page and download the form or stop by if you have any questions.  

It is the time again to return all borrowed equipment before Winter Break.  It is a recommend as well to check to see if your equipment has been repaired.  

Have a great Break

Five apps for getting rid of aggravating crapware

If you buy new PCs from OEMs, you are probably all too familiar with the plague known as "crapware": the useless applications that come installed with Windows. Crapware wastes space, often ties up your RAM and CPU power, and can be a pain to get rid of.  Here are five tools to help you deal with it.
Note: You can read the full post in the Five Apps blog.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Flipped Classroom Tutorial

Flipped Class Webinar with Crystal Kirch 11.29.12

Live recording of the Flipped Class Webinar presented by Crystal Kirch on Thursday, November 29, 2012. The presentation focuses on her WSQ flipped teaching strategy.

Share Google Drive Files Through Gmail

Gmail and Drive - a new way to send files

*Reposted from the Official Google Entiprise Blog



(Cross-posted from the Gmail blog.) 

Since Google Drive launched in April, millions of people have started using Drive to keep, create and share files. Starting today, it’s even easier to share with others: you can insert files from Drive directly into an email without leaving your Gmail.

Have you ever tried to attach a file to an email only to find out it's too large to send? Now with Drive, you can insert files up to 10GB -- 400 times larger than what you can send as a traditional attachment. Also, because you’re sending a file stored in the cloud, all your recipients will have access to the same, most-up-to-date version.

Like a smart assistant, Gmail will also double-check that your recipients all have access to any files you’re sending. This works like Gmail’s forgotten attachment detector: whenever you send a file from Drive that isn’t shared with everyone, you’ll be prompted with the option to change the file’s sharing settings without leaving your email. It’ll even work with Drive links pasted directly into emails.

So whether it’s photos from your recent camping trip, video footage from your brother’s wedding, or a presentation to your boss, all your stuff is easy to find and easy to share with Drive and Gmail. To get started, just click on the Drive icon while you're composing a message. Note that this feature is rolling out over the next few days and is only available withGmail's new compose experience, so you'll need to opt-in if you haven't already.

Holiday Tech Deals

If you're looking for good tech deals this Holiday season,  Most retailers offer K-12/Government employees a discount. Just ask and have your ID handy. 

Online visit these vendors. Look for the K-12/Government Employee program. Savings have ranged from 10-20% off. 

Dell: EPP Winter Deals District 219's member number is: KS29260470

Apple: you'll need to enter 60077 as the zip code in order to locate the school district.

Your technology purchase may be eligible for the Computer Buy program. The items you purchase must be for your own use.
Program description

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Prezi Upgrades!!

Check out Prezi's new look and enhanced functionality!

Goodbye Bubble MenuWe've revamped the entire Prezi editor to make creating and presenting your prezis a more simple, clean, and fun experience.    See what has changed › got a makeover
The next time you visit Prezi, you'll notice that things are different. Everything about the new site is also simpler, cleaner, and more beautiful, so you can focus on your ideas.   Check out the new site ›

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Web2.0: Jeopardy, CrossWords, BINGO...

Check out these great Web2.0 Apps for students need to worry about formatting, operating system, or even device!

Allows you to create a customized jeopardy template without PowerPoint. The games you make can be played online from anywhere in the world. Build your own jeopardy template using our simple editor.

Bingo Baker - Bingo Cards

Bingo Baker makes it easy to create bingo cards. You can generate hundreds of random cards and print them using the printer-friendly PDF (with no ads or watermarks). You can also save paper (and waste electricity instead) by playing your bingo game online (it works on the iPad).

Crossword Labs - Crossword Puzzles

Crossword Labs is the simplest way to build, print, share and solve crossword puzzles online. It's free, fast and easy.

Serif Design Suite

Serif Design Suite

Check out the newly acquired Serif Design Suite.  With a variety of easy to use tools suited for classroom and instructional projects, it is worth a few minutes of your time. 

Page Plus - Desk Top Publishing
Create professional-quality documents with a range of cross-curricular tools in PagePlus X6 – and not just for print. As well as brochures and posters, students can produce interactive documents like PDFs and eBooks for sharing on screen with the very latest technologies.

Draw Plus - Drawing & Graphics
Get creative and produce high-end vector artwork, web graphics and even Flash® animations with flexible tools in DrawPlus X5. Add creative flair to coursework, communicate ideas and encourage conceptual thinking while introducing professional design skills.

Movie Plus - Movie Editing
Capture and create exciting videos in MoviePlus X6 using the latest industry-relevant formats. Easier editing and new high-end tools engage students to communicate ideas, whatever the subject, while learning real-world ICT skills.

Photo Plus - Photo Editing
Transforming photos into sophisticated works of art is easy in PhotoPlus X5. With high-end tools at their fingertips, PhotoPlus inspires students to create professional layered graphics you’d expect from an industry-standard package.

The Suite has online Student Project Resources, and each product includes an excellent template repository with access to many more free options on-line.

In order to optimize your experience, we recommend that you request your roaming profile be disabled. The Help Desk will both install the software and disable your profile upon request.

Also, staff and students are eligible to purchase the same versions at a discounted price.
These are full working versions of the software titles for home use. All prices are inclusive of sales tax.

Any individual Serif program:                                    $15 (each)                    

PagePlus, PhotoPlus, DrawPlus & WebPlus:       $50

PagePlus, PhotoPlus, DrawPlus & WebPlus,
MoviePlus & CraftArtist:                                             $70

Monday, November 26, 2012

New Features in Google Drive

* RE-POSTED from:
In case you haven’t noticed them already, here are a handful of small updates that will make it easier to find, organize, and view files on Drive.
  • Search by person: Can't remember the name of a file but know who shared it with you? Now Drive search auto-completes people’s names, making it easier to find the stuff you’re looking for.

  • View Google Earth map files: You can now open, preview, and interact withGoogle Earth files (.kml and .kmz) right inside Google Drive on the web.
  • Drag and drop folders in Chrome: If you’re using Chrome, you can drag and drop entire folders from your desktop to Drive on the web (at
  • Search includes items in your trash: Sometimes files you are looking for accidentally end up in your trash, so now search results include files there too.
  • Create new folders while organizing files: Now when you select files in your Drive list, in addition to adding them to an existing folder, you can add directly to a new folder.

NEW* Student App for Android Devices

The programming team at District 219 has developed a mobile app for students. Currently the app is only available for Android devices. Visit the Play Store and search for "NTHS". Or, use the QR code below. 

The app acts as a one-stop-shop where students can access the ILP, PIV, Moodle, AAL Help Desk, Webstore, D219 TV, the schools' online newspapers, and the District's three websites. All useful resources for students.

Logging in to the ILP is seamless from the NTHS219 Student App. Students who have their NTHS219 account synced to their device (smartphone or tablet) will bypass the initial set-up. All others will be prompted to authenticate their NTHS account to their device in order to log in to the ILP. 
QR Code
All other features use a separate log in, if required. 

20 Coolest Augmented Reality Experiments in Education So Far

20 Coolest Augmented Reality Experiments in Education So Far

Augmented reality is exactly what the name implies — a medium through which the known world fuses with current technology to create a uniquely blended interactive experience. While still more or less a nascent entity in the frequently Luddite education industry, more and more teachers, researchers, and developers contribute their ideas and inventions towards the cause of more interactive learning environments. Many of these result in some of the most creative, engaging experiences imaginable, and as adherence grows, so too will students of all ages.

Ian Jukes has posted this resource from his Blog the 21st Century Fluency Project.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Wireless Access at NTHS

District 219 provides staff and students unlimited access and use of our wireless service as long as the user abides to the AUP.  Connecting and using  our WiFi is simple but requires some basic information that can be found on our wireless@NTHS web site .

On this site you will find step-by-step instructions for connecting your wireless device to our WiFi network, tips to try when troubleshooting a wireless issue, as well as a form where you can submit your WiFi feedback to the Help Desk.  

We continually monitor the network for coverage and capacity but your timely input regarding the "end user experience" in your classrooms or workspace is appreciated and provides us with valuable feedback that help us maintain a consistent and seamless network coverage throughout the district.

So remember, if you have issues, we want to know about it!

Please visit and report them.

Technology Innovation Grants 2012 Accepting Submissions

Technology Innovation Grants 2012 Accepting Submissions

Each year the Technology Committee for School Improvement (TCSI) and the Board of Education provides a grant to foster technology innovation in the classroom. There is $25,000 available in competitive funds for each building.  Each application will be judged by members of TCSI. Note: They are looking for innovative ways to infuse technology and digital literacy into the curriculum. If you have questions about the programs or need help with your application, your TCSI representative will be happy to help you.

TCSI is recommending that we expand the Technology Innovation Grants to include development of innovative instructional projects, such as: lessons enhanced by technology and curriculum resources, in addition to the more traditional requests for technology hardware.  The grants may follow a similar structure as Summer Projects; i.e. pay based on the number of hours allotted for the type of project proposed.

For consderation, log into Eduphoria, under Formspace: Look for IS/Technology Dept and then Technology Innovation Grant Form.

Submission deadline is Monday, November 5, 2012 at 4pm. All requests will be judged at the next TCSI meeting on Thursday, November 8, 2012.  

TCSI Department Reps:

Niles North
Niles West
Chris Powell
Chris Powell
English / Reading
Ivan Silverberg
Joe Edwards
ESL / Foreign Languages
Josef Neumayer
Josef Neumayer
Fine Arts
Mike Beeftink
Matt Fahrenbacher
Dave Ruth
Matt Fahrenbacher
Physical Welfare
Mike Beeftink
Susie Lim
Mike Beeftink
Susie Lim
Social Studies
Ivan Silverberg
Joe Edwards
Special Education
Ivan Silverberg
Joe Edwards
Library / Media Services
Angie Condon
Angie Condon
Student Activities
Ivan Silverberg
Josef Neumayer
Literacy Centers
Dave Ruth
Chris Powell