Monday, November 24, 2014

Instructional Technology & Digital Learning Update For November 1st -7th 2014 Andover Innovation Lab & Help Desk

Parth Valecha Andover Innovation Lab Student Inducted Into National Honor Society At Andover High School

I had the opportunity to attend the national honor Society induction because one of my former students that I had at the Andover innovation lab had selected me as a teacher who had inspired them. Parth Valecha  had worked on a business project last year during his time at the Andover Innovation Lab which combined bluetooth technology for headphones and sports which required swimming or boating. Parth and I had many in-depth conversations on his business plan and how he could more narrowly target his market.  It was an honor that he had invited me to this important event and selected me as a teacher. Parth is a hardworking student who will surely be successful in any venture he takes on.

Release Of Our Help Desk Promotional Video
With the editing of Dan Brennan and the assitance of some of our help desk students we have been able to produce a video which outlines the work we do at the Andover innovation lab & Help Desk.
Check it out below!

Math Department Head Working On Blog With Bryce Corbitt

This week Bryce Corbitt from the Andover innovation lab also began working on the Math Department website with Math Program Coordinator Katherine Richards. They were able to determine a layout that they would like to use with Google sites and also begin to conceptualize some of the content that will be included on the site.  Bryce is been a great asset to the team this year and I know he will do a great job working with Ms. Richards.  This project will probably take the next couple months to complete and will become one of his projects. Bryce has been a great resource to several teachers with his great attitude and approach to helping.

Homework Document for Google Drive

In the process of trying to simplify how to add homework in a streamlined way and Sherrett with parents and students using Aspen I have been showing the use of a Google doc with a shorten link.  On this Google doc I create a table and organize the tables according to the days and weeks of the school day this is an opportunity to keep it consistently organized homework schedule on a live document that teachers do not have to go into Aspen to edit.  This is one of the huge benefits of Google Docs and using shortened personalize the links in order to share materials.  By being able to edit the doc you can consistently update the homework assignments with those who view the consistent link located on the Aspen pages.

Best Practices for Sharing & Editing With Google Drive

I recently started having conversations with both the English and Social Studies Department members about creating a series of best practices for the use of Google Docs and the editing of longer papers.  This process requires an in-depth look at what are the best ways of using the commenting features, sharing features and add-ons that are available with Google Apps for Education.

One of the very cool add-ons that’s available is the Easy Bib for Google docs.  This add on enables students to select a piece of text in their paper and then search for a source for citation on the add one. 

The add on locates the source and adds the citation to an area at the bottom of their page and organizes the citations for the student.  This tool ultimately saves a lot of time and helps keep citations organized within a document.

Flubaroo Training-Tech Byte

This past week I conducted a training for the use of Flubaroo at the Andover Public Schools Tech Byte training. Flubaroo is a great add-on to assist with grading quizzes that are you created with the Google Apps for Education Forms documents.  I have created some tutorial videos that I will link to which shows you how to get started with using Flubaroo and how it can improve the way in which you streamline your quizzes that you provided classes. View Part 1 Of My Video Series On Flubaroo.

Pixlr Tool as Web Based Photoshop Alternative
This past week I was able to recommend the Pixlr tool to our web design teacher Mike Messina.  He was looking for a web-based alternative to Photoshop that allowed him to create graphics of different resolution and size and also enabled the ability to add different types of text and layer styles.  This tool is a great web-based tool that allows you to download any of the images that you create as well as upload images into use within the interface.  Definitely check this tool out if you're on a computer that you're not used to working on our really just need a great web-based option and don’t have Photoshop.

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