Thursday, October 29, 2015

NROC Developmental English Available in Moodle

The latest initiative from The NROC Project, Developmental English is designed to help learners striving to meet college entrance requirements. The course integrates and compresses the standard developmental English curriculum—reading comprehension, writing, vocabulary building, grammar, punctuation and usage skills—and allows learners to accelerate into college-credit courses. This sequence enables learners to make predictions about their reading, analyze rhetorical structures, build vocabulary, and improve writing mechanics.

Download a fact sheet, including program scope and sequence.

To join the course as a student, teachers can use this link: NROC Dev Engl and enter nroc for the enrollment key.

Contact Phil Lacey if you have any questions regarding the course.

November PDC Tech Talks

 TechTalks Blog

It’s Google Time in the PDC!
Join us for Tech Talks exploring Google Chrome, Google 
Add-Ons and Google Classroom!

Click here to access the Tech Talks Blog for additional information and resources. Add the PDC Calendar to your account: copy this link and add by url into the Other Calendars in your Calendar.

11/3 - 11/5 - Google Chrome
Set your Chrome account so that your bookmarks, preferences, extensions, etc., follow you wherever you go - even home! Explore all the cool Omnibox features (search box). Did you know you can type in simple calculations and the omnibox works like a calculator? Or you can set a timer or check flight times right within the magical omnibox!

11/10 - 11/12 - Google Add-Ons
Google Add-Ons are tools to provide more features in your documents and spreadsheets. There are great features such as mailing labels, mail merge in email or docs, templates and clip art!

11/17-11/19 - Google Classroom
Google Classroom is a platform that allows you to easily share and manage announcements and assignments with your students. If you’ve been frustrated with sharing, organizing and grading student work with Google Docs, Classroom

SWIVL: A Great Tool for Flipping , Self Evaluating, or Student Projects

SWIVL is a tool that uses its proprietary robot base with your smart device to record the speaker's movements. Your recording device clips into the SWIVL robot, which "speaks" to a lanyard that you wear around your neck, the robot pairs with the lanyard and shifts to capture your entire presentation on your smart device.

Set the camera in the middle of the room to capture whiteboard content or the front of the room to capture classroom interactions.

Download the app (iTunes or Google Play) to your personal device and record, the content remains in your control at all times. Check out the User's Guide for additional details.

Drop by the PDC in your building to check one out.

Send Links Instead of Attachments

Google is all about collaboration, so here's a reminder that should help you to keep your content fresh and reduce the headache of version control. 

When you want to send someone a file, simply email them the Google Drive link, that way if there are any changes to the file, every user who has been given access will see it. If you later choose to adjust sharing policies after your email has been sent, instead of trying to sweat about the inability to retract your message, go into your Doc and change the sharing settings. 

By sending the link as opposed to attaching the document via email, you'll be sure that every person who should have access does, and that they are accessing the most current version. If you send a link instead of a file, you eliminate the concern for attachment size exceeding 25MB.

News From the AAL Help Desk

Tips to be Thankful For!

Force Users to Make a Copy of Google Drive Files

The main selling point of Google Drive is the amazing built-in collaboration elements.

Here is a great tip from the Shake Up Learning Blog.  You can force users to make a copy of a Google doc by simply changing the word “edit” to “copy” at the end of the shared link.

Example: Here is a Science Fair Google Document that users have view-only rights. 

Users not logged into a Gmail account request access to edit the document all the time.

By changing the “edit” to “copy”

All users will now get prompted to make a copy of the document and be prompted to log into their gmail account if not already logged in before proceeding.  Great tool for those teachers who post many assignments on their websites.

Learn More...

Accessing Foreign Language Characters and Keyboard Inputs
One of the advantages of students going through the Digital Literacy Program is that they learn how to access their Chromebook’s potential.   

Setting up your Chromebook to access foreign language characters is easy.  Click here for a short step-by-step video.  

Computer Buy Reimbursements Reduced

The holiday shopping season has historically meant an increase in Computer Buy loan requests. Budget restrictions have reduced the reimbursement cap from $3000 to $1500. Do not despair, nowadays $1500 can purchase a lot of computing power. 

You still must complete 10 hours of technology training within the first twelve months of your loan, and retailers are still offering K-12/Government discounts if you ask. 

If you're in the market for a Dell computer, visit their Employee & Student Discount page and enter our code when prompted: KS29260470. Apple asks that you search for your school and then shop.

If you'd like to apply for the Computer Buy program, please complete the form in Eduphoria. Click here for instructions. Submit a Form

If you have any questions about the Employee Technology Purchase (Computer Buy) Program, please contact Daphne Watson at x3930 or

Call Forwarding Phone Scam

Tis the season for tricks and treats. This latest trick doesn't leave its victims laughing at any punchline. 

There's an old scam cycling back around, that if successful, would give scammers access to long distance and international calling at no charge to them. Those calls would instead get charged to the unsuspecting people who were conned into “helping out”.

Here’s an example: You receive an external call from someone posing as a police dispatcher claiming that an accident has occurred on the highway and the victim’s mobile phone had your as the emergency contact. You are urged to call the state patrol officer at the scene immediately by dialing a “phone number” sequence that begins with *72, *73, 72#, **21*, or another unusual pattern. By doing this, you could be forwarding your own incoming calls to that number, thus allowing the scammer to call their desired destination while you will be footing the bill.

A variation to this con might come from “the phone company,” asking you to dial a strange number sequence to help them test your line for a problem. 

The forwarding feature is widely available from phone companies, although the activation codes vary. On the district’s phones these dialing patterns are disabled; however, your mobile phone and home phone might be at risk, so avoid dialing any phone patterns that are unfamiliar to you.