Wednesday, January 28, 2015

2014 #EdTechCheer Wrap Up

Come visit me over at my blog to check out a series of posts on the 2014 12 Days of EdTech Cheer!

  1. 2014 EdTech Cheer Wrap Up
  2. 2014 EdTech Cheer - Yearly Analysis
Want a sneak peak at some of the charts you can see in the Yearly Analysis post?

Friday, January 23, 2015

Mac Tips: [ctrl+alt+delete] on a Mac

Do you struggle with knowing how many applications are currently open on your Mac? Do you find that sometimes an application will freeze or is unresponsive? On a Windows computer most of us are familiar with the command [ctrl+alt+delete].  This command allows us to see which applications are not responding and close out of them.  On a Mac computer that process is called "force quit". To bring up the "force quit" menu, press [command+option+esc] then select the unresponsive application from the force quit window that appears, and click force quit.

The Apple Support article here goes into a little bit more detail about force quit if you are interested in making Mac experience more efficient.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Monthly Tech Survey {December Results}

Last month, we sent out a survey to our staff asking their opinions on professional development.  We intentionally left this a bit vague and did not focus on specifically "technology professional development," but rather professional development in general.  We received 20 responses and had so many insightful comments about professional development/learning that will definitely help us with future planning!

Listed below are the extended responses we received to our open-ended survey questions.

Another question we asked if the respondents had checked out the 2014 12 Days of EdTech Cheer (an online, self-paced professional learning opportunity).  This question was posed as the 2014 12 Days of EdTech Cheer was currently underway and it was the GLPS Tech Team's mid-year professional development that was open to everyone.  We like to carry the spirit of Rebel U throughout the school year and support teacher instruction and student learning in anyway that we can.  Of the 20 respondents, more than half of them had check out EdTech Cheer (and some were actively participating), which is great news!

So what does this mean?  Well, based on the given responses, we feel as though we are meeting some of the professional development/learning needs of teachers through Rebel U and EdTech Cheer.  Our PD is not just limited to those two events though and we are always open to hearing ideas from teachers and administrators how we can provide appropriate and relevant services to help increase student achievement.  We strive to empower our teachers to feel comfortable with the provided technology resources and want them to feel confident to use those resources with their students.  

As a way of helping our teachers keep track of their professional participation, we are also issuing digital learning badges.  To learn more about how we are using these, please click here.

We always ask for input from our teachers about how we can improve upon our PD to fulfill their needs.  Which leads us to our January Monthly Tech Survey!  We want to know your thoughts about Rebel U 2015 and the upcoming Digital Learning Day.  If you are a GLPS staff member, please check your email for this months' survey!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

GLPS Professional Learning {Digital Learning Badges}

Last year our GLPS Tech & Media Team started issuing digital learning badges for participation in professional development involvement.  We used Credly as our service for issuing (free!) digital learning badges.  It was great to share accomplishments with teachers and is a different way for our teachers to display their professional involvement.

So What Does This Mean to You?

Well, this year the TLA Department and the Tech & Media Team are working together to issue digital badges for professional learning participation.  You can look forward to receiving some digital badges in your inbox soon for your participation in professional learning that was provided by the TLA Department or the Tech & Media Team.

I Received a Badge, Now What?

Credly is a service that allows you to reward people with "credits" for participation.  It is a free service and users do not necessarily need to have a Credly account to receive a badge.  Once a badge has been issued to a person, an email is automatically sent to the individual notifying them of their badge, as well as a picture of the badge.  If a user signs up for a Credly account, they then have the options to organize their badges and even embed a collection of badges on a website.

If you are a teacher that has received a digital learning badge - now what are your next steps?
  1. You will receive an email from GLPS Tech & Media notifying you of your badge.  If you choose to do nothing with your badges, you are done at this point.  We recommend saving the email though in case you would like to reference it in the future.
  2. If you would like to keep track of your badges, we recommend creating an account with Credly (the service we are using for issuing digital badges - it is free to create an account).
  3. Once you have created an account, it is helpful if you create a "Category."  This will help you organize your badges and allow you to embed them on your website if you choose to do so.
  4. To create a Category, under the Earned section on the My Credit page, click on Categories.  Click on the +Add Category button.
  5. Select your badges and place them in a category you created.  Once you create your category and place badges in that category, you will see a button that looks like "< / >" that will provide you with some HTML code.
  6. If you would like to show off your badges on your website, simply copy this code and paste it onto your website.
  7. After this initial set-up, when you receive a new badge, simply accept the badge from the email (or log in to Credly) and select a category for it to be placed in, and your website will then automatically be updated with your new badge!  If you would like to see an example of how they would be displayed on your website, take a look at Sarah Wood's website to see.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

10 Minute Tech Tools - Epic! Books for Kids

Are you looking for a way to access free books from your iPad(s)?  Look no further!  Epic! books has thousands of interactive books that are available free to educators.

To read more about this "10 Minute Tech Tool," check out my blog post here!


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