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