Monday, November 30, 2015

News from the ALL Helpdesk Tech Leaders

Holiday Blogs from the Tech Leaders

Lucidchart Diagrams: Diagrams Made Easy

Has your teacher ever wanted your class to make a diagram as a homework assignment, but you can’t find a program that makes it look good? Enter Lucidchart Diagrams, which makes creating things like flowcharts and venn diagrams easy, and fast.

Lucidchart works a lot like Google Drive, where you can share your chart with other people and work on it together at the same time. You can sort out your charts using folders, too. There are several templates available in Lucidchart, such as venn diagrams, flowcharts, circuit diagrams, and tons more!

So if your teacher ever wants you to make a diagram of some sort as an assignment, then give Lucidchart a shot!

Try it out here, or learn more about it at:

By Franklin Moy, Class of 2019

Pushbullet - A must-have app for people with more than one device

Pushbullet is an amazing tool. Out of its many uses, the one I find most interesting is sending links. Once the app is installed on all of your devices, sending links between them is as easy as pressing 2 buttons. On phones and tablets, share the link to the Pushbullet app, and select a device to push it to. On your desktop or laptop, press the Pushbullet icon in the top right corner, and choose a device from there. This is extremely handy when something comes up, and you must leave your computer. Without this app, you would have to spend quite a bit of time searching for the same webpage on your phone, but Pushbullet saves you time and effort, as pushing a link will open it nearly instantly on your other device. If you were viewing a link on your phone, and for whatever reason you want to see it on a larger screen (useful for videos), you can send it to your computer quickly.

Pushbullet has several other features, including sending text messages from any device. If, for example, your phone is far away and you receive a text message, you are able to send one from the device you’re using (even if it doesn’t have a SIM card). The previous feature is especially handy when combined with another one of Pushbullet’s features: seeing your phone’s notifications on all other devices. If you have an Android phone, you are also able to interact with the notifications, e.g. snoozing an alarm or archiving an email. The final useful feature is sharing images or other files without the need of a cable. If you don’t have a photo editing app on your phone, you can push the image to your computer, edit it there, and push it back to your phone, ready to share to social media. If your friends have Pushbullet installed, you can push links, share images, and more to not only your own device, but to theirs as well. This could be useful for sharing things with family members faster than using text messages.

Mariusz Symków
Tech Leader

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PDC Tech Talks for December

Wrap up the Semester
It’s hard to believe that the end of the semester is almost here. Don’t let the season stress you out--you still have time to get your gradebook in order before the last minute rush.  The December Tech Talks will focus on everything you need to be ready for the end of the semester and finalizing grades. We will review settings and reports, using Messenger to send messages to parents and students and the proper procedures to finalize grades.  No lines, no waiting, no stress!

Gradebook check-up:
Get ready for the end of the semester. Review settings to ensure semester exam and semester grades are set to calculate properly. Add assignment flags and comments, view grades as a student or parent.

Finalize Grades, Messages and Reports:
Send class email and campus portal messages to students and/or guardians.  Review end of semester procedures: posting, comments and overrides.  Run student assignment or grade summary reports.

Discover the Power of Storytelling

In time for the holidays, StoryCorps and Google for Education has worked with teachers to create materials to encourage students to interview family members over the holiday. They can record an interview using the free StoryCorps app. With permission from the participants, each of these interviews will be uploaded to the StoryCorps archive in the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. This ground-breaking oral history project will help capture a generation of American lives and experiences while fostering meaningful connections within families, communities, and the classroom. Let your students be a part of the movement.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Announcing Google CSEd Week

Get ready for CSEdWeek December 7-13
Google is committed to increasing access and exposure to Computer Science (CS) for all students, and we are excited to support CSEdWeek on December 7-13. If you are looking to take part in the Hour of Code, below are a couple ideas you can try.
Made with Code Party:
What if every girl knew the amazing things she could create with code? Invite girls to come together to experience the wonder of code, including an exciting new coding project being launched for Hour of Code. Find resources here.
Sail the High Seas with CS First:
In this activity students animate an ocean wave to create the setting for a story set on the high seas. Who are the characters, and how did they end up in the middle of the sea in the first place? That’s for the students to decide and create through code. Find out more.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Speak Up 2015

Speak Up Survey 2015

We are excited to announce that District 219 is participating in Speak Up 2015 from October 1st through December 18th! This survey will help us answer questions, such as:
How are our students using technology for learning in and out of school?
How important are the use of technology to our teachers and parents? What types of technology would our teachers like and how would they use it in the classroom? Do our ideas about technology align with our students’ parents?
What are the hot trends in emerging technologies (e.g. mobile devices, online learning, gaming, simulations)?
 Speak Up Survey
Speak Up is an online national research project that provides an easy way for students, parents, and educators to participate in our decisions about technology, as well as contribute to the national dialogue about educational technology. Since 2003, Project Tomorrow has collected the viewpoints of nearly 4 million students, educators and parents – the Speak Up dataset represents the largest collection of authentic feedback from these key educational stakeholders.
As a participant in Speak Up, we receive free, online access to the aggregated results with state and national comparisons, providing us with valuable data that can be used for our strategic planning, professional development and budgeting plans during the school year.
T Taking the survey is easy!
Follow these instructions to take the survey:
Select your group (e.g. parents, educators)
Search for your school by entering your zip code 60077 and selecting your school’s name from the list. 
The secret word for surveys is nths219.
Read the instructions and begin the survey.
We look forward to District 219’s strong participation in Speak Up 2015! Be sure to take the survey from October 1st to December 18th.

SAVE THE DATE: NICE miniCon 2016 Niles North 1/30/2016

NICE MiniCon is coming
Saturday, January 30, 2016
at Niles North HS in Skokie, IL.

Deadline is December 7th. 

Doing something innovative such as redesigning learning spaces, running student led tech support centers, or designing maker spaces? Submit a proposal to be included in our new Innovation Space where you can share in a more informal and hands-on environment! 

CK-12 Update


Say Thanks This Holiday Season!

It’s the season of giving! From all of us here at CK-12: Thank you!
We’re making it super simple for you to thank anyone this season! Simply send them a free eCard to brighten up their day. They deserve it!
Send eCard

Teacher Voice: Ideas For Utilizing FlexBooks® 

Dr. Milton Huling, a Curriculum Specialist, discusses the many different ways teachers are using FlexBooks® in his Florida district of Polk County. Plus, you can take a look at the science books they've created (and customize them if you want!) 

Learn More

Now Choose From More Than 1,000 PLIX!

We’ve been growing our library of PLIX interactives! Now, students can engage and interact with content and manipulate it for deeper learning using PLIX. Use these as warm-ups, review, or practice, in your class everyday.

Browse Interactives

New And Improved Apps!

Students can now do their homework directly from their phones or tablets! Simply assign practice to your students, and they will be able to access them through our apps for iOS and Android. Bonus: We will take care of all the grading and track their progress!  
Download on iOS

District Saves $1,300 Per Student!

Watch how a school district in El Paso, Texas, said goodbye to traditional textbooks and made the switch to customized digital FlexBooks. Are you next?
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