Tips for teachers

Update: Classroom Tech funding & a couple other things

posted May 14, 2015, 9:36 AM by Dan Stay   [ updated May 14, 2015, 10:05 AM ]

I just gave an update to Sunderland FSO last night and I wanted to share that and a couple other notes for teachers.

First, DonorsChoose.org is in the news a lot lately and lots of famous people with money seem to like it.  Steven Colbert just funded a bunch of projects in South Carolina.  Google stepped in and funded every project in target areas including Calvert County last year.  DonorsChoose is an online charity which collects needs from teachers and offers the public a way to fund those needs.  You never know when someone may want to fund classroom needs in our area and for that reason EVERY TEACHER YOU KNOW should have at least a small project request posted on DonorsChoose at all times.  It could be supplies, technology, books, maybe a set of printer ink cartridges.  You can check out the site and see what others are asking for.  It's free but it takes a bit of doing to get setup on DonorsChoose.org, but you'll want to get on there so you can share in the donation buffet.  Here's a post I found with tips on how to get the most from DonorsChoose.

Google Apps for Education is available to all the classrooms I support, if you're reading this that probably means you.  The system is ready for you to roll it out to your students and if you contact me, we can try to make sure everything is ready for next school year.  Over the past year Google has taken a beating for their Classroom product because it did not allow multiple instructors in a team teaching setting.  I'm happy to report they have recently added this much requested functionality and Classroom is available on our system.

Margaret is up for re-certification this year.  As part of that process, we will produce a "Twitter for Teachers" video this Summer.  We are hoping to not only show how to setup an account but demonstrate some ways to use it to enhance classroom/parent communication and raise your professional profile.  Keep an eye out for it here.

TAC Video 5: Report Cards

posted Oct 21, 2014, 5:49 AM by Dan Stay

The 5th video of the teacher access center is ready.  This one covers how to prepare report card data.  You can get there with this link, just click right next to "Play this video".  Margaret and I hope it helps.

TAC Video #4: Interim Reporting

posted Sep 23, 2014, 5:42 AM by Dan Stay

The 4th video of the teacher access center is ready.  This one covers how to do interim reports.  You can get there with this link, just click right next to "Play this video".  Margaret and I hope it helps.

How did you learn this stuff?

posted Sep 11, 2014, 10:14 AM by Dan Stay

Lynda.com is a learning site I use.  They offer video courses on all sorts of topics including Office 365, SMARTboard, web content, learning management systems and such.  If you go here: http://twit.tv/sponsors#list you can get a 7 day trial.   Weekly Teacher Tips that are free are here: http://www.lynda.com/Business-Elearning-tutorials/Teacher-Tips/141465-2.html

What's a good App for learning...?

posted Sep 5, 2014, 9:05 AM by Dan Stay

A show just came across my desk at work where the founder of Balefire Labs was interviewed.  Balefire reviews educational apps for kids so they might be able to help you figure out good apps to recommend for your students for certain content areas.  They are supported by subscriptions but do offer a 2 day trial to see what it's like.  If you find it helpful please let me know and maybe we can try to get a site account for it so that many people can use it.

SMART Notebook web app

posted Aug 26, 2014, 7:53 PM by Dan Stay

Stuck on a computer without SMART Notebook and just need to make a few edits?  Surf on over to smartnotebook.com and you can make edits there.  I stumbled on this tonight while trying to help my teacher wife, no idea how well it works but it's worth a try in a pinch. 

TAC Video #3 - Adding & Grading Assignments is ready

posted Aug 26, 2014, 6:49 AM by Dan Stay   [ updated Aug 26, 2014, 6:51 AM ]

We've just finished our latest Gradebook/TAC/Teacher Access Center Video.  We might make some tweaks, but the links below will remain the same for you.  There are 3 ways to get to this video:
  1. Video description page, click right next to "Play this Video"
  2. The link of ALL TAC related videos.
  3. Direct link straight to the video.  You can adjust the player: see captions, chapters, and make fullscreen in the lower right corner.

Google has added "Classroom" LMS functions

posted Aug 26, 2014, 6:45 AM by Dan Stay

Google Apps for education has rolled out Google Classroom on this Google Apps for Education installation, the Product Forum can be found here.  This very new product might provide a nice way to have a learning management system (LMS) for your classroom.  Google bills it as "more teaching, less teching."  If this is something you might be interested in trying out, please contact Dan Stay.

Internet Access for needy students

posted Aug 25, 2014, 11:08 AM by Dan Stay   [ updated Aug 25, 2014, 11:08 AM ]

Comcast, the cable company for most around here is offering deeply discounted internet service to those families with students in the Free and Reduced Meal program.  I just saw an ad where they're even giving them, 6 months free then I think it's $10/month, a steal.  It's called internet essentials and you may want to let your students who may be in this situation know.

Do you need a free website for your classroom?

posted Aug 22, 2014, 12:08 PM by Dan Stay   [ updated Aug 22, 2014, 1:57 PM ]

Teacher websites are a part of Google Apps for Education (Google Sites) that any teacher can have free. I can simply copy Margaret's site and another teacher can customize that copied site.

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