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15 February, 2018-HIS Tech Bytes

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Your bi-weekly peek into the tech world, because tech doesn’t bite, but not being informed does!

tech t & t Tech Tips and Tricks

Here you will find helpful tips, tech tricks or new resources you can use in your classroom.  Please feel free to submit any you would like to have shared to the staff or a request for a feature to

Print a Google Doc with Comments and Annotations
doc Thank you to Kuda for finding this very helpful extension for Google Chrome and Google Docs.  If you are in Chrome and commenting on student work it is not normally possible to print a Doc with comments.  However, with this app added to Chrome you can.  Sorry Safari users, one more reason to switch to Chrome I guess. 🙂
Force Users to Make a Copy of a Google Doc

Yes again!

Do you have a Doc/Slide/Sheet you want students to have their own copy of?  Forcing them to make a copy (so they don’t mess up yours) is SUPER easy.  When you copy the URL of the doc replace the word “edit” with “copy” (without the “” marks).  When they click the link it forces them to make a copy and then sticks it in their Google Drive.
News icon What’s Making News

Here are some articles related to technology in education.  Each article is linked to the original story in case you wish to dig deeper.  Enjoy!

sd.png According to a three year long study from the International Journal of Science Education using web-based tools (click here for some examples) in science classes help increase science-based knowledge in all students, and particularly so in underachieving students.   Additionally, for students who are normally marginalized in science, kids with learning disabilities and ESL learners  improvements were quite significant.  An excellent summary of the study can be read at Science Daily.
Education Spending in Technology
 ed money They spent $1.2 billion investing in EdTech companies and that is expected to grow by 20% annually, or there are these guys whos families spend $70,939/year per kid and this country teaches coding starting in elementary.  Who are these global leaders?  Respectively, China, Singapore and Malaysia.  The article Education technology is a global opportunity looks at not only spending, but where the greatest area of growth in education is.  Can you guess where?

Chromebooks Have Landed!

A few years ago when I was working at Poudre School District in Ft. Collins, CO we looked at Chromebooks for our Middle School students.  At the time I was teaching tech and History classes and as the resident “Who would like to test this out?” guy (they actually called is DIPS!) I was asked to trial some.  At the time I was completely against them; too limited, too restricted and they (and here is the key) wouldn’t do half of what I was doing in class.  Why was that?  Well, prior to the trial the district had made a big push for two platforms Office and Google.  Now with the later, Chromebooks are a dream, but with the former…not so much.  As you’ll know from reading other posts I am a BIG advocate of OneNote Classroom Notebook Creator (among other MS products)…best thing for a classroom teacher since chalk!  But, not on Chromebooks.  OneNote online just doesn’t have the functionality.  The district ended up staying with PC and it worked out just fine.

So, fast forward to last year and a new school, this one is, or has been until now, strictly Apple.  We have had iPads (1:2) from EC to Grade 5, 1:1 iPads from grade 6 to 8 and MacBooks from 9-12.  Thankfully when I arrived as the integrationist we also got a new tech director who has very similar ideas to mine, especially in regards to what is best for students.  Seems that when schools hire tech folks that have been in the classroom they have a much more empathetic view as to what goes on in the classroom, go figure! We both saw a need for students to be more productive, better managed and to stop thumb-typing five page science labs!  Hence Chromebooks.

Fast forward one year and one ordering cycle later and we are now in the middle of rolling Chromebooks (CTL NL6’s) out to two different grade levels: Grade 8 (1:1) and Grade 5 (1:2).  After a year of trying to manage iPads it is incredible how easy it is to adjust and control the Chromebooks.  The Admin console allows for such easy administration, especially if you can focus on separate grade levels or division levels.  I’m still getting into the nuances of managing the devices, and any suggestions or tips are always appreciated!

Next post will be an update on the progress for both students and teachers.  Wish us luck!