Tech Tuesday 2.18.14 – Some things to do over February Break

This post was originally published 4.02.13. I made a few slight updates. Enjoy!

Have some extra time over break? Yeah right. Well, just in case you do, here are some ideas.

Review our Tech Tuesday blog posts:

Watch a TED Talk or two:

Think of ways to change 20%  of what you do in the classroom using concepts from PD Day:

Watch this video: Did You Know? Shift Happens 2013 – 2014 / Higher Education

Have a great Break!

Tech Tuesday 2.11.14 – How to get the most out of Google Calendar

We are a Google Apps for Education (GAFE) school, and we have been for about 4 years. As a school, we have not yet tapped into the power and convenience that GAFE provides. One of the most common untapped resources is the calendar. There is nothing more annoying than emailing 4 people and trying to find a common meeting time. You proceed to “reply all” to the email until choices are narrowed down. There is a much more simple and elegant solution to this problem. Use Google Calendar for everything. Enter your class schedule, enter your appointments, create potential appointments and meetings for others. We should also be using this with our students. Some classroom teachers do utilize Google Calendar and create a class homework/project calendar. Watch the short videos below for some ways to incorporate Google Calendar into your everyday workflow.





How can we utilize Google Calendar better with our students?

Essential iPad Apps in our Middle School iPad 1:1 (according to the 7th grade)

After a semester of co-teaching our middle school students in a new class, Digital Literacy, I decided to get some information from the 7th graders. The question: what apps are essential to your life and education at school? Here is the list.

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Annonymous 7th graders in action, supervised by Ms. Van Alstyne.

Notability – digital note taking app. (price $2.99)*

Box – access to Box.net cloud storage. (free)

Pages – word processing/publishing software for iOS. (free with iOS 7)

iMovie – movie editing software. (free with iOS 7)

Gmail – access to student email accounts via Google app. (free)

Google Drive – access to Google Drive cloud storage for editing, collaborating and sharing work. (free)

Keynote – presentation creation software. (free with iOS 7)

Destiny Quest – our library catalog and book reservations. (free)

QR Reader – for scanning QR codes. (free)

Canvas – access to learning management system by Instructure.Canvas (we are currently piloting this LMS in middle school). (free)

Safari – web browsing and research. (free, built into iOS)

GarageBand – music creation and editing. (free with iOS 7)

Blio – book reading app. (free)

Meraki MDM – our mobile device management app, let’s manage the iPads and distribute apps. (free)

Educreations – a simple white board and screen recording presentation app. (free)

Adobe Ideas – for drawing, mind mapping, note taking, annotating pdfs and doodling. (free)

Free Graphing Calculator – self explanatory. (free)

Facetime – video conference and chatting service. (free, built into iOS)

iBooks – book reading app. (free)

Messages formerly iMessage – instant messaging service built into iOS. (free, built into iOS)

App Store – the place where all of the apps come from. 🙂 (free, built into iOS)

The next question I asked: what are essential iPad skills that you need on a daily basis at school? Check back for the answers.

*Many paid apps are eligible for a discount through Apple’s Volume Purchase Program.

I wrote this post originally for the Allendale Columbia School blog – ACSRochester.org.

Tech Tuesday 3.12.13

Allendale Columbia School, Librarian, Judy Van Alstyne (@bibliopheme) presented a Tech Tuesday faculty workshop today on NoodleTools.

Faculty were encouraged to attend if they…

  • teach students in grades 5 – 12
  • ever require a works cited page
  • ever require a research project
  • ever require a project using photographs or other images (other than what the students take themselves)

We experimented with a slightly “flipped” workshop. Faculty were asked to follow two screencasts so that all would be ready to jump into NoodleTools at 3:30:

Flipped Classroom overview video:

“How to log in to NoodleTools for the first time – for Faculty” –  http://www.screenr.com/hdG7
You’ll need to know your ID and default password (sent in a separate e-mail)

“How to create a ‘drop box’ for students to share their work with you” –  http://www.screenr.com/0dG7

NoodleTools provides scaffolding for creating thorough and accurate works cited pages. The structure promotes good research habits and the many “Show Me” tutorials and various prompts encourage smart resource analysis and the ethical use of information. There is also the option to use virtual notecards, outlines, and sync it with Google Drive.

Many classes and their teachers had already been introduced to NoodleTools this year as the kick-off to various research assignments. This workshop focused on more than the navigation of NoodleTools, however, with emphasis on the instructional support provided by NoodleTools. Especially wonderful are the “Show Me” slideshows on types of resources which NoodleTools offers free for anyone to use.

Tutorials on types of resources (NoodleTools “Show Me”)


Attendees represented all three divisions (from grades 2 – 12!), several departments, and even administration. Everyone seemed to agree that NoodleTools is robust and accessible enough that you almost want to write a research paper again!