Technology Integration Update

 

In this issue: Welcome to issue 17! In this issue, we take a look at ways to stay organized on your Mac, learn about a new website you can use to help students find the web services you use and then review some of the new apps that are available to you this year on both the Mac and the iPad.

eMerge Thought of the Week

Each issue, I’ll feature a tutorial or example lesson written by a teacher in the eMerge program. These teachers, from all grade levels and buildings, are passionate about using technology to help improve teaching and learning.

This issue’s thought of the week comes from April Allen, teacher at Westside Middle School.

Symbaloo is a user-friendly, creative bookmarking tool. Not only can you bookmark websites on Symbaloo, you can also upload videos, PDFs, documents, images, etc. You can create tabs, select colors, etc. to organize all of your bookmarks for each subject, class period, topic, or any way you wish. Symbaloo is also effective (and FREE!) for students to use. Read more and view the tutorial here!

Tips and Tricks

It’s All About The Tabs

One of the new features of macOS Sierra on your MacBook Air is the ability to use tabs in many applications. We’re used to using tabs in Safari or Chrome and now you can do that with almost ANY app!

Why would you want to do this? Many people prefer having new documents open up in a new tab instead of a new windows in order to keep things more organized. Having just one window for all your Pages documents is easier to keep track of than having many windows floating around. While not every application supports tabs, most do.

To turn on tabs, go into System Preferences and click on Dock. There, look to the setting that says, “Prefer tabs when opening documents” and select “Always”. Now when you create a new window in Pages/Keynote/Word, or open up a new window in the finder, it will create a new tab instead!


Stay organized my friends.

Showcase

The start of the school year brings many new and updated applications for your Mac and iPad. Check out just a small selection here below. As always, please test out and become familiar with the apps before using them with students for the first time. If you would like help, talk with an eMerge member (elementary AND secondary), or contact Bridget or myself.


Macintosh

Google Earth for ChromeGoogle has re-designed Google Earth to work as a Chrome plug in. You can now view interactive, guided toors put together by professionals, check out a new 3D view and much more! Check it out!

 

Pages/Keynote/Numbers: Apple’s iWork applications have been updated this summer to include several new features. Chief among them are the inclusion a a HUGE shape library. You can now pick from a number if shapes to use as clip art in your documents and presentations. All of the shapes can be customized in any color or pattern and can be combined with each other to create new shapes. No more searching for clip art on the web!

LockDown Browser: Westside Community Schools has a license for LockDown Browser, a custom browser that prevents students from cheating during online quizzes and tests in Blackboard. It’s easy to use and we recommend it for any online tests where you don’t want students to access other resources on their computer or device. This page will help you get started: http://www.respondus.com/products/lockdown-browser/k12-resources.shtml. The LockDown Browser is already installed on all Student laptops!

 

iPad

Pages/Keynote/Numbers: Apple’s iWork applications have been updated this summer to include several new features. Chief among them are the inclusion a a HUGE shape library. You can now pick from a number if shapes to use as clip art in your documents and presentations. All of the shapes can be customized in any color or pattern and can be combined with each other to create new shapes. No more searching for clip art on the web!

 

Swift Playgrounds: NEW this year is our ability to access Apple’s Swift playgrounds. This is a great way to learn programming! I would start students off with Tynker and once they master the free content in that app, move them to this one! Apple also has created FREE curriculum designed for teachers who aren’t comfortable with programming themselves to effectively teach it to students. Stay tuned to future issues of the Technology.Update for more coding / programming resources.

 

Explain Everything: Explain Everything received a major interface update over the summer. It’s now more ‘modern’ looking and simplified. Be sure to check it out and get comfortable with it before using it with students. Things may not be where they used to be!

 

Google Expeditions: Google Expeditions received a major update for the iPad. Improved 3D views, guided tours and much, much more have been added. Use this app to take virtual field trips, explore places that students read about in social studies and use it to expand their concept of place.

 

Book Creator: The full version of Book Creator has been made available to students and teachers in grades K-2. It’s an easy to use, yet powerful way for students to create their own eBooks that can be shared with other students and parents!

 

Toontastic 3D: Want students to be story tellers? Check out Toontastic 3D. Available for all students and teachers, Toontastic is a modern version of PuppetPals. What makes it great? So much! There are new 3D models and backgrounds! There are also built in scaffolds to teach students about how to write a story. Younger students can learn about beginning, middle and end, while older students learn more detailed story arcs.

In Closing
As always, if you ever have any technology integration related questions, please let us know. We are happy to work with you to design lessons, develop workflows and even come into your classes and work with you and your students.