Friday, October 31, 2014

Digital Literacy Program Update

Recently, North Student Government had breakfast with the Board of Education and Dr. Gatta reported in her Friday letter to the Board the results of that meeting. The following is a excerpt from that letter; 
"Of particular note was the students’ continuous validation on how important the chrome books are to their life and how the digital literacy class, although a pilot, has taught many of them new aspects of digital literacy that they needed to know." 
The pilot continues with a big push this month to get more students to test-out or complete the self-paced Moodle lessons. As of today we have ~200 students have successfully completed the Digital literacy program.

News from the AAL Help Desk

Tis the season of thankfulness! So let's give thanks to all the Tech Leaders who have helped make the AAL program a great success! We appreciate all their time and effort.  

Tech Leader Tips

By Reema Gandhi

Need a Flyer?  Check out
Create high quality flyers for events. You can download basic flyers for free from their easy-to-use site with many templates like the picture here. Teachers can set up classroom accounts for free with no ads. *Students projects are never made public.

The flyer brings up a good point.  It is never too late to buy insurance. While buying hundreds of dollars worth of candy for the holidays are great, we recommend forgoing some chocolate and buying insurance. It's a better value.  Learn More

Do you know if you are D219 certified Digital Literate?  Did you take the Tech Assessment and 
score above a %85?

  • Log into Moodle
  • Go to the Digital Literacy Program
  • Badges you earn will display on the Programs 1st page.
  • See your Digital Literacy Coaches in your study hall if you have questions.

We are always available to answer your question.
Student Help Desk

Abraham Sihweil
Room 1500

Craig Phillips
Room 2150

English Resources at HippoCampus

English Resources at HippoCampus

Have you discovered San Jacinto College's Crafting an Effective Writer: Tools of the Trade? Check out the writing resources and accompanying reader at
NROC members also have access to a comprehensive Excel file "HippoCampus Links for NROC Members" that will allow your teachers to easily access a unique URL for each learning object at HippoCampus to embed in a website or lesson plan. Learn more at the NROC Network

Creating a Site? Here are some things to consider:

These are some things to keep in mind when creating a web site:
  • Central Teacher Template
  • North Teacher Template
  • West Teacher Template
Consider that part of your audience may have disabilities that require special attention to view your website, webpage, and/or content. The w3c web standards group developed guidelines that meet Section 508 policy on web accessibility.  These standards have specific guidelines that allow persons with disabilities to view content on websites.  You can learn more about these standards here:

Changes to Google Drive

Ever evolving, Google has streamlined the look and feel of Google Drive so it functions more like your desktop computer, making file management more intuitive.  Check out this video explanation:

And, for Google apps for Education users, they are offering unlimited storage, email and chat archiving. for more information follow this link.

November Tech Talks

November: Formative Assessment Options for Digital Teaching

Teaching in a digital environment affords us many advantages over traditional environments. Leveraging the power of tools such as Google Apps for Education, Web Apps such as Socrative, and platforms like Moodle and Mastery Manager all provide for immediate or just in time, detailed student feedback. These opportunities allow students to focus their efforts where necessary and for teachers to be spend for more time on other activities to promote / reinforce learning.

Add the PDC Calendar to your account: copy this link and add by url into the Other Calendars in your Calendar.

Week of November 3: Google Forms and Doctopus
Use Flubaroo (a Google Add-On) to create online assessments.
  • Computes average assignment score.
  • Computes average score per question, and flags low-scoring questions.
  • Shows you a grade distribution graph.
  • Gives you the option to email each student their grade, and an answer key.
  • Lets you send individualized feedback to each student.
Use Doctopus to manage student handin-folders and document / project templates
  • Organize Hand-in folders by class.
  • Disable access to documents at a specified time.
  • Assess a class of projects from a single spreadsheet.
  • Provide individualized feedback.
  • Share project templates to an entire class.

Week of November 10: Socrative, Quizlet and Study Stack
Socrative is a free online quiz program that allows students to use chromebooks or other mobile devices in place of clickers. It can even be used with their phone! Create quizzes and access over  21 million study sets and flashcards with Quizlet. With Study Stack, one set of flashcards generates over a dozen ways to study the information!

Week of November 17: Moodle and Mastery Manager
Create online tests in your Moodle course. Using Mastery Manager, create answer key-only or question bank formative or summative assessments. Assessments can be administered online via virtual bubble forms. Learning Targets can be associated with each question in an assessment to closely measure what the student knows.  Analyze performance and weaknesses from a variety of score-based and standards-based reports.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

October Tech Talks: Organize & Digitize

We receive information via email, invitations, docs, posts, links, blogs and tweets and we share information with our students and peers using all those tools. There are add-ons, extensions and apps. We can end up with quite a mess and a bit of confusion. Do we share our information with our students using Drive? A Google site? Throughout the month of October, we will offer several different tech talks to assist you on the road to organizing and digitizing!

Add the PDC Calendar to your account: copy this link and add by url into the Other Calendars in your Calendar.

Week of September 29: Google Drive
We’ve been using Google Drive for several years now. How many docs do you have? Spreadsheets? Presentations? Where are they? How can I find them? What’s the right way to share them? Google Drive looks different! What happened?

Week of October 6: Google Add-Ons
Google Add-Ons are tools to provide more features in your documents and spreadsheets. There are great new features such as mailing labels, mail merge in email or docs, templates and clip art!

Week of October 13: Google Email and Calendar
  • Learn how to keep your gmail inbox clean by using labels, filters and categories. Mail filters allow automatic actions of certain messages and Archiving keeps your inbox clean.
  • Utilize the calendar to keep your schedule, receive notifications via text or email, and share your calendar.

Week of October 20: Google Forms
Create Surveys, Quizzes and forms to collect data. Responses are all collected into a spreadsheet. Summaries with graphs and charts are available, along with graded quizzes.

Week of October 27: Chrome Apps & Extensions

Web apps, according to Google are "applications you can run inside your browser with a dedicated user interface and, typically, rich user interaction". Extensions are mini-applications that extend the functionality of larger applications. If this seems confusing and would like to learn about Chrome Apps & Extensions, this is the Tech Talk for you!

Atomic Learning: Using Web Resources in Your Classroom

October is Connect Educators Month

October is Connected Educators month. 

Join Educators across the world as they come together to celebrate and learn together "in October and beyond, with all stakeholders, leaving no device un-turned, no country or learning environment unexplored."

Originally developed by the U.S. Department of Education and its partners as part of the Connected Educators initiative, CEM offers highly distributed, diverse, and engaging activities to educators at all levels. 

D219 App Exchange
If you want to participate at a local level, join the D219 App Exchange. This is A Google+ Community where members can share information on apps, programs and resources that they have found useful in their daily lives whether it be school related such as Twisted Wave for recording sound files like student readings or like Roadify - an app that supplies real-time transit data.

Moodle MOOC 5 starts Oct 1
If you’re looking for a month long professional development opportunity that focuses on Moodle and tools used with Moodle the Moodle MOOC 5 on WizIQ may be your ticket. The course includes speakers and live events from around the world,

Illinois Computing Educators will be offering TWITTER Chats the last Thursday if every month at 8 pm.
Not sure what this is about, look here.

HippoCampus Content Updates

Check out D219's HippoCampus Portal at
This is available for all D219 students (their families) and teachers.

Bolstered by a fresh look and feel, is your go-to resource for rich, vigorous, no-cost educational media, including six new collections, spanning everything from Religion to DNA and RNA. 

For juicy details, read on.
Chattanooga State Technical College Collection
In addition to a "Religions of the World" course media update, we acquired Chattanooga State Technical College's "Chemistry of Global Climate Change," a course for non-science majors.

Concord Consortium Collection
The Concord Consortium Collection offers two flavors of content: activities in which students work a series of interactive screens, enhancing core concept learning, and simulations in which users manipulate the input and run a test to see what effect their changes make. Collection topics cover Algebra and Geometry, Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science, and Physics.

 Math Snacks Collection 
From the Mexico State University Learning Games Lab, we boast six engaging math animations and five online games (Flash) for middle school students. Each includes a companion "How to Teach with . . ." video, highlighting teachers' best practices for using this content in the classroom.
BioInteractive Collection
BIOINTERACTIVE COLLECTION (Howard Hughes Medical Institute)
With both videos and animations, this collection addresses biological topics, including DNA and RNA, as well as Earth Science.

Mt. San Jacinto College Collection
The 15 videos in the "Crafting an Effective Writer" course teach English basics, such as subjects and verbs, parts of speech, clauses and phrases, and composition. The format includes live-action video, featuring Mt. San Jacinto instructors, and display of text and highlighted concepts on a virtual tablet.

APES in a Box Collection 

Recommended by a teacher who responded to our annual HippoCampus survey, these slide-based videos help students master core concepts in preparation for the AP Environmental Science exam. 

Cleaning Up Moodle Courses

Over the past few years, we have had an impressive number of teachers use Moodle as an instructional tool. There are currently about 830 individual courses on our Moodle server, many actively used and many not. In order to keep the experience positive for both the faculty and students, we need to clean up the dormant courses.

There are 200 courses that have not been used since 7/24/2013 and an additional 104 that have not been used since 9/4/2013.

Beginning October 13, we will begin removing the courses that have not been accessed in more than a year. The list is available here. If there are courses you wish to archive prior to their removal, or there are newer courses that are not going to be used, contact your building's PDC and we will help you take care of it.

Mastery Manager Updates:

Email Student Scores

Mastery Manager has added a new feature over the summer that enables teachers to email students their scores directly out of Mastery Manager. View the video here.

Copy and Paste scores to Infinite Campus Gradebook
This brief video demonstrates how to copy and paste scores from Mastery Manager into your Infinite Campus gradebook.  View the video here.