WHS Technology Newsletter


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Google For Education First Newsletter

This month, Google launched their first Google for Education newsletter.  Here are some highlights:

  • Drive for Education, now with unlimited, free storage
    In a blog post yesterday we announced Drive for Education, which allows you to work without limits. Free to any school using Google Apps for Education, this upgrade will give you free, unlimited storage in Drive, and, later in the year, free archiving and e-discovery with Google Vault.
  • Big ideas are Made with Code
    The next generation of girl coders will change the world. Check out Made with Code to inspire young girls to turn their dreams into reality with these role models,events and resources.
  • No more papers…
    Looking for an easy way to send, organize, track and grade assignments?Classroom is a new, free tool in Google Apps for Education that helps teachers stay organized and improve communication with students.
  • 15 ways to change the world
    Check out the winners of the Google Science Fair, including inspiring projects such as keeping the elderly safepreventing cyber-bullying and helping the disabled communicate. Congratulations to the Grand Prize winners from Ireland!
  • Teacher’s Tools
    Don’t run out of time: Did you know that if you type “timer” into a Google search, you get a timer instantly? Update the time, go full screen, and voila!
    Show and tell: Make a class website or student digital portfolio in seconds — no coding required. Get started with this guide.
    Chrome Top 10: Going digital this year? Edudemic highlighted 10 free tools for the Chrome Browser ranging from class management with ClassDojo to video creation with GoAnimate.
    Calling all bookworms: Teaching DraculaRomeo & Juliet? You’ll never have to hear “I left my book at home” again. Google Books lets students read and annotate digital books from any device.
    Explore the world’s cultural treasures with the Google Cultural Institute:


    World Wonders
    Take your students on a virtual field trip anywhere in the world, like theTaj Mahal in India.
    Art Project
    Discover works of art from more than 300 museums and private collections. See every detail of Van Gogh’s famous Self Portrait.
    Historic Moments
    Explore the stories behind significant moments in human history like South Africa’s first post-apartheid elections.


    You deserve a break too. Try the Google A Day trivia question or challenge your students.
    P.S. Don’t forget to check out…
    The Spell-up Chrome Experiment
    Spell-up is a fun game to help students improve their English language skills. Students use the voice API tool to practice spelling and pronunciation. Challenge your students to set high scores.


  • Sign up to get Google for Education Updates in your inbox.
Posted in Google Apps, Google Chrome Apps | Leave a comment

Chrome’s Address Bar: Great Tricks

Just saw this from Genius Bar re-tweet.  Thorin Klosowski posted on lifehacker, The Secret Powers of Chrome’s Address Bar.  

Check it out and see if you learn something new.

Posted in Google Chrome Apps | Leave a comment

iPass: Gradebook: Moving students into a new section

If you are moving a student from one section to another, prior to the schedule adjustment, teacher #1 should run a progress report for the student and send to teacher #2.

You should follow the same process if it is the same teacher for both sections. The grades are then manually entered from the progress report in the new section.

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Sharing Videos and Pictures Using AirDrop on IOS Devices

Check out this article from Peachpit.  It is easy to transfer video and photo’s from one IOS device to another.

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The Art of Failing in School and Succeeding in Life

Below is a link to a post by A.J. Juliani, a blogger who is about to publish a book, Inquiry and Innovation in the Classroom: Using 20% Time, Genius Hour, and PBL to Drive Student Success.  

I had written about the concept of 20% time this summer; a concept I believe we should implement at the high school.

Juliani’s latest post is about letting students fail and that high school is not about the grade, it is about learning.  I know we all agree.  Here is the article,  The Art of Failing in School and Succeeding in Life

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Flipping Experiment: Explain Everything

Flipping Experiment: Explain Everything.

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Flipping Experiment: Stage

Flipping Experiment: Stage.

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Flipping Experiment: Knowmia

Flipping Experiment: Knowmia.

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Genius Hour

I stumbled upon this concept while reading Edutopia, Why “20% Time” is Good for Schools for some “flipping classroom” work.    It brought me back to a Google visit I had a couple of years ago in Cambridge.  I remember how powerful Stephen Vinter said “20% time” was to each and every person at Google.  So why not implement it in our classroom?

What is Genius Hour?  It is giving students time to explore their passions, their questions and their creativity.  As I learned in June when many students came to me asking for their laptop as soon as possible, we already have many students who are pursuing their interests in their own time.  But why not foster that inquiry in school?

Daniel Pink defines Genius Hour in the following way, “Each week, employees [students, in our case] can take a Genius Hour — 60 minutes to work on new ideas or master new skills.” (Pink 2011).  (See Pink’s Ted Talk about motivation)

Here are some comments that educators who have tried it, made earlier this month.  Follow this link to see the impact it can make on all student learning.

Here a couple of videos that inspired me to float this idea through this post.

There are many resources out there to get you started.  I thought this was a good time to begin thinking about the possibility of adding it to your classroom sometime this year.  Let me know your thoughts.

Posted in 1:1, Genius Hour | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments