Archive for Uncategorized

2013-01-18 Weekly IT Update

This Week:

Tech TA (Green Days) – Branden Van Derbur

Classified Trainings – What Do You Need?

JSTOR – 1,200 Journals Online (Limited)

EQuizShow – Quiz Your Students

5 Things to Know – Education Technology

 

Tech TA (Green Days) – In case you see him running around, Branden Van Derbur is the new Tech TA for the semester. He will be following us around on Green Days and you may see him doing some basic hardware work to help us maintain the PODS and other areas. So, don’t worry if he is working on computers, organizing systems or cables, or other, he is authorized to do so. We look forward to showing him some of the different aspects of how a helpdesk works!

Classified Trainings – Classified staff, is there a training you are interested in receiving? Any tools or applications that you’ve been dying to learn? Let me know what you’re interested in as I’ve been tasked to get some sessions going for you all. The most common request would be for different levels of Microsoft Office applications, but whatever you feel you need, just let me know!

JSTOR – For those that have ever had the benefit of using JSTOR, they are actually opening up 1,200 of their journals for limited online use. Limited basically means that they will allow up to 3 articles to be seen once every two weeks. While it doesn’t seem like much, if you are using the site for a project, it may be more than enough for your students. JSTOR served me quite well on my theses for UCCS and is a great resource to dig around in, especially for primary sources. Check out more about it at: http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2013/01/09/jstor-offer-limited-free-access-content-1200-journals

EQuizShow – Although the PowerPoint Jeopardy templates on the internet can be decent, a junior high school student actually created an online tool to allow you to create and store your game show quizzes online. There is even a gallery of pre-made questions and answers if you don’t have the time to make one yourself (granted, this database is rather small at the moment but is growing). Check it out at: http://equizshow.com/

5 Things To Know – As it was announced this week, Pine Creek (along with the other tech strand schools) will begin a 1:1 device rollout in the coming school year. To get an idea of some of the stuff that is going on ‘behind the scenes’ in regards to preparation, take a look at this blog about deploying educational technology. The link can be found here: http://edudemic.com/2013/01/5-things-to-know-before-deploying-education-technology/

2012-12-05 Weekly IT Updates

This Week:

Trainings – 2013

Housecleaning – Backup Time

Sharepoint – Upcoming Changes

Beyond EdTech – Article

Fakebook – Gallery of Historical Characters

Deals for Teachers – 2 Web Sites

Weekly Giveaway – Edutopia Mystery Prize

Flex The Brain – Mental Flexibility and Agility Quiz

 

Trainings – So, App training for this year wrapped up this week and the turnout was, minimal at best. I do thank those that came in to learn about the different tools and apps that could be used across multiple platforms. With 2013 coming up, I hope to continue the trainings but look to you to ask what you would like. Next semester I will have some focus on the different things Google Apps can do for you including Docs, Presentation, Forms, and more. These different Apps are very collaborative and can make your life easier. Many of you may not know this, but every student at Pine Creek has a Google account already, all done through District and tied directly to their Infinite Campus account. Anyhow, let me know what you’re interested in learning for the Spring semester and I’ll do what I can to make sure it happens!

Housecleaning – With the Fall semester coming to a break, now is a great time to get some backups done. Losing any files or documentation now, or over the course of the break, would be a bad thing so we in the Tech Team want to send a friendly reminder to do so. Back up to blank DVDs, back up to a Flash Drive, back up to a Cloud Drive (my personal favorite), but make sure to backup those files! It’s not only highly recommended, it is suggested that you do this multiple times over the course of the semester to preserve your data. Be safe and back it up!

Sharepoint – In the coming months there will be the beginning of a structure to the PCHS Sharepoint site. Currently the site is only used for checking out portable laptop labs and the PODS, but, by May, they hope to have the entire school transferred BACK to the server once again. In conjunction with this shift, the PCHS web site will now be hosted on the Sharepoint server and will fit the ‘theme’ of ASD20. It wil be a lot of work to get this going from the ground up, but I hope to be able to provide uniformity across the site to make it nice, clean, and easily accessible for you. Neither of these changes will interfere with anything you have going on; it is just a piece of information you may be interested in.

Beyond EdTech – Let me start by saying, I am not sure why the font on this site is so darned big. That being said, check out http://www.digitalharborfoundation.org/2012/11/28/beyond-edtech/ for an interesting article about the future of Educational Technology.

To be sure: we need EdTech. We need great EdTech. We need inspired EdTech. Technologies built from the raw stuff of student and teacher experience. Technologies built from the raw stuff of serious experimental testing, observation, and evaluation.

Fakebook – I’ve mentioned Fakebook before as a site you can direct your students to to create fake profiles of almost anyone (which does NOT require a Facebook account), but there are actually quite a few profiles already made up for Historical Figures. I love how, out of the first 20 or so selections, Charles Manson comes up! Characters are broken down into different categories for easier searching. Check it out at: http://www.classtools.net/main_area/fakebook/gallery/

Deals for Teachers – Here are two sites that you can find some deals and contests for educators. The first is the We Are Teachers Dealfinder at: http://www.weareteachers.com/community/deal-finder . The other is Penniless Teacher and can be found at: http://www.pennilessteacher.com/ . Sometimes there are good deals, sometimes not, but hey, we can always use free or majorly discounted, can’t we?

2012-11-28 Weekly IT Update

This Week:

Food and Drink – Redux X2

Online Lesson Plans – Where to Find Them

How the Internet has Changed Education – Infographic

 

Food and Drink – It was brought up last week but since then there have been at least (2) incidents with gum and computers. Students, for some reason, believe that the computers are their trash can instead of a $1000+ piece of hardware that are supposed to last for 5 (or more) years. If you see any cases of vandalism through the computers, please feel free to contact us in the Tech Room or the Dean. Thank you for your assistance in this matter.

Online Lesson Plans – Here are five sites to check out if you’re looking for good online lesson plans. Whether you’re in need of a little help with a new lesson you’re trying to master or simply looking to find out what other teachers are doing around the world, the internet is a wonderful place to turn. So if you’re searching for online lesson plans, Edudemic has you covered. Check them out at: http://edudemic.com/2012/11/online-lesson-plans/

How the Internet has Changed Education – It’s pretty obvious that the internet has had a huge impact in education, but just how has the internet changed education? With each semester, more and more students are taking classes online, teachers are integrating social media into their courses, and everyone is turning to the web to do their research. Teachers, students, and parents are leveraging new technologies for learning a huge variety of topics, and schools are using web tools for all aspects of school life, from admissions to classroom time. Check out the infographic at: http://edudemic.com/2012/11/how-has-the-internet-changed-education/

2012-11-16 Weekly IT Update

This Week:

Food and Drinks – No No No

Movie Maker and Photo Story – Reminder

Try It First – Google Nexus 7

Phones in Class – 3 Reasons to Use Them

Timeline – History of Education

PCHS Technology – ALEC

 

Food and Drinks – The Tech Team has noticed an increase in the amount of students with food and drink in the Pods. Just a friendly reminder to please make sure your students do NOT have food in the Pods as they like to use the computers as trash cans for said food. We have found everything from candy wrappers to gummy worms in the DVD-ROM drives. We have had spills of every kind of drink, from coffee to Red Bull. If you’re in the Pods and see a student with food or drink, PLEASE, have them either throw it or put it away. Thank you for your assistance in this.

Movie Maker and Photo Story – As an education tool both of these programs can result in some interesting and creative projects. The problem that we get up here in the Tech Office is that students do the work at home, save the project, and come to school only to find that it does not work on our computers. The one thing that students need to know is that if they plan on transferring their projects to school they either need to A) save the project as a MOVIE, NOT as a PROJECT (if they save it as a project the file only points to the necessary resources which are, almost all of the time, on their home computer doing them no good at school) or B) make sure all project files (i.e. MP3s, Videos, Images) are located on a flash drive so that students can at least access the files from school. This is one of our more common things that we have no control over so if the student doesn’t have these resources the only thing they can do is return home to get them. This is just a general FYI as it is such a common problem.

Try It First – With the holidays coming up, the Tech Team does have a Google Nexus 7 for you to be able to look at, explore, and play with in the office. As I recently found out that Staples is the only place you can actually look at the product before buying, this is just another option for you to check it out. People ask me all of the time what my preference is for devices and, at least currently, it goes like this. 7” Tablet = Google Nexus 7. 10” Tablet = Apple iPad 4. (I am still researching cell phones but plan on going with the Google Nexus 4 as it is unlocked without costing and arm and a leg). So, if you want to see the Nexus 7, feel free to drop on by, I have it right by my desk (me being Jason). To get more of an idea on the Nexus 7 check out – http://www.google.com/nexus/

Phones in Classhttp://edudemic.com/2012/11/3-reasons-to-start-using-phones-in-your-class/ – Now granted, I am a strong believer in educational technology so you may take this with a grain of salt, but I believe cell phones can be an excellent tool in the classroom. (One of the problems at Pine Creek is the signal is so intermittent for certain carriers they aren’t an option for some students/teachers). BUT, using a cell phone can be a great way to actively engage your students. What about misuse of the phones? This article gives some guidelines on how to avoid that problem. How can they be used? Check the article above for more information.

Timelinehttp://edhistory.com/ –  For an interactive look at some of the historic moments in education, check out the link above. The timeline currently has about 85 entries but is being updated with some frequency.

PCHS Technology – Just a reminder that the PCHS Technology ALEC site has been up and running and I have been adding resources on a weekly basis. Some are added to particular sections (i.e. Videos, Images, etc.) while some have been added by department (i.e. Social Studies, Science, etc.). You can find the latest tools, information, and more here so check it out. Just add PCHS Technology to your list in ALEC.

2012-11-07 Weekly IT Update

This Week:

Projector Remotes – Teeny Tiny Remotes

Software Needs – Anyone? Anyone?

App Training – Haiku Deck vs. Skitch vs. ScreenChomp

4D Storytelling – Meograph for Education (Beta)

3 Free Presentation Tools – Boost those PowerPoints!

Lesson Plans – Google Has Them

Professional Pride – Celebrate

 

Projector Remotes – Some of you have received projectors in your rooms to replace hardware that goes back to the construction of Pine Creek. As a kind reminder, where the remotes to the old projectors were nice and big, the new ones are pretty thin and tiny. The biggest problem with this is that they are much easier to lose. What does this mean to you? If the remote is lost it will be a matter of having to start the projector by pushing the start button on the projector…on your ceiling! So far we haven’t found a source to replace these so keep an eye on them unless you like a little cardio when turning on your projector. Thank you for your help in this.

Software Needs – As we get closer to the end of the semester, specialized software requests begin to rise. If you have a piece of software that needs to be installed please let me know as I might need to get District approval (if it hasn’t already been approved). The process is that the software requests go to me, I check to see if they have already been approved, if not it goes to the CIO for approval, then it comes back to me and, depending on how much software needs to be installed it may go back to District to get a software push. If not we can install it right away with no problem. But let us know what you need and if you need us to check to see if any software is already installed on machines you need to use. Thank you for your assistance in this.

App Training – Training for this week will be on Thursday at the regularly scheduled times (see below). The apps this week will focus on presentation software including Haiku Deck, Skitch, and ScreenChomp. HaikuDeck = http://www.haikudeck.com/      Skitch = http://skitch.com/    ScreenChomp = http://www.techsmith.com/labs.html#screenchomp   Each have some unique features which may benefit the iPad users out there. And yes, this week requires an iPad. So drop on by the LMC at:

Session 1 – 11:40 – 11:55AM

Session 2 – 12:20 – 12:35PM

Session 3 – 2:45 – 3:00PM

4D Storytelling – Taking digital storytelling one step further, Meograph for Education (currently in beta) has a pretty neat site to create interactive projects. From what I can tell it uses a combination of Google Maps, Google Images, YouTube, and a timeline, to produce storylines about what happened where, when, and with the use of video, why. Take a look at: http://www.meograph.com/education (I am going to dig deeper into this one as it would be an interesting way to tell a life story).

3 Free Presentation Tools – Looking for a way to add a little pep to your PowerPoints? How about adding synced video to start at a specific point of a slide? Do you want to add yourself talking about a particular point? Check out: http://edudemic.com/2012/11/presentation-tools-for-teachers/  and take a look at Animoto, Knovio, and Zentation!

Lesson Plans – I don’t know how I wasn’t aware of this, but Google has thousands of lesson plans for all age groups, all types of subject, and all types of ways to limit searches to resources. So, if you were looking for a last minute activity for your students and needed a good site check out: http://www.google.com/edu/teachers/lesson-plan-search.html

An example would be – Social Studies (History) à Westward Expansion à Ages 13 – 18. There is a very detailed lesson plan for this all ready to go.

Professional Pride – Blogger Paul Barnwell gives five reasons as to the pluses of being an educator. His goal is to remind us why we teach and how small victories can refresh and rejuvenate our spirit throughout the school year. This one is for those that might be getting into a slump as finals are rapidly approaching and need a boost… Check it out at: http://www.edweek.org/tm/articles/2012/10/30/tln_barnwell_5reasons.html?tkn=TTCFkOb43h5HiP9tqUz90H56nV7UDROXB0nX&cmp=clp-sb-ascd

2012-10-31 Weekly IT Update

This Week:

IPTV – TKO

App Training – Flipboard vs. Pulse News

Google Nexus 10 Tablet – iPad Killer?

Tech Cautious? – Tips for You

Communication – Evolved

Apps Gone Free – What Went Free Today?

 

IPTV – If you haven’t already, I request that you please answer the 1-question poll about your IPTV use at: http://kwiqpoll.com/p/0pu1b4/  In case you haven’t noticed, the IPTV is having some issues at the moment. 4 of our 6 broadcasters have failed which means that instead of 12 channels available through the IPTV, now only 4 channels are available. We currently have an E-mail out to the company that supports the hardware but have not received any return contact. As the broadcasters are currently out of warranty we are at the whim of the manufacturers as to when they get back to us. While these are down, please feel free to use Michael Pollard’s CreekVision links to play them through your computer. We apologize for the inconvenience.

App Training – This week the App Training will be on Thursday at the regularly scheduled times. Come on by to get some insight into two fully customizable news programs, Flipboard and Pulse News. Flipboard is for device and tablets while Pulse News can be on devices and tablets AND accessible through the internet. Each allow you to pull news from multiple sources and are more ‘modern’ ways of finding multiple sources telling the same story. These may be good examples of how to compare different viewpoints on the same subject material and teach some media literacy.

Google Nexus 10 – So, another tablet has entered the fray and looks to be pretty impressive from the first viewing. Take a look at the Google Nexus 10 here: http://www.google.com/nexus/10/  It has a higher resolution screen than the iPad 3, works with the Google Drive for Cloud storage, has a more powerful processor, and, hey, it’s Google and syncs with all of your Google created material. Not only that but many of the Google Apps are free, free, free as opposed to the iPad which most Apps cost a couple of dollars. Am I swayed? Not sure yet as I will have to see it to test it, but my curiosity is certainly peaked! Will it be the iPad killer? Probably not, but it will certainly put up a fight! Take a look at the video review here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vCN7Y3e6MIU

Tech Cautious? – Have you tried out new educational technologies only to be burned by changes in procedures or what hardware/software is ‘hip’ at that moment? Frustrated that you’ve put your heart and soul into one program only to find that standards have changed? If so, take a peek at this article which does a good job of showing some tips to get past the problems and make educational technology work for you in a way that best suits your needs. Take a look at: http://www.edweek.org/tm/articles/2012/10/24/tln_crowley_tech.html?tkn=NNCC9K%2BuAqGZLUtSZlcshHI8AGXJ3WFciuw5&cmp=clp-sb-edtech

Communication – From quill and ink, to slate and chalk, to pencil and paper, to typewriter, to computer, to iPad…. each evolution of technology has allowed students to make their thinking visual, articulate their ideas, demonstrate their understanding of concepts and skills, collaborate with their peers, and communicate in complex and modern ways.

Each advance has made it possible for those who master them to go a little further and to communicate a little more effectively. Historically, people who have taken the time to learn these technologies, or develop new ones, have reaped great rewards. Take a peek at the full article at: http://edudemic.com/2012/10/evolution-of-education/

Apps Gone Free – There are dozens of apps that provide long tedious lists of every single app that ever goes free or short lists of apps that paid a lot of money to be included.  But only AppsGoneFree gives you authored, handpicked recommendations from an AppAdvice.com app expert of apps that belong on your device.  Take a look at: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/apps-gone-free-best-daily/id470693788?mt=8

 

2012-10-26 Weekly IT Update

This week:

Student Accounts – Slow Hands

App Training – PBS vs. NPR vs. Stitcher

iPad Mini – In Case You Didn’t Know

World Languages – Mandarin

Presentations – How to Spice Them Up

Worst Passwords – 25 of Them

 

Student Accounts – As there have been a rise of students coming to the Tech Office with accounts that students ‘can’t log in to’, keep in mind that, in some cases, they are typing their password rapidly and may miss characters in their password. 8/10 cases of students that come to the Tech Office are able to successfully log in after we observe them and remind them to type their password slow. This also fits with ALEC as students need to log in to that service as well and just need to slow it down when logging in. The Tech Team is always ready to help but just wanted to send out a reminder to everyone to let their students know to type nice and slow to successfully log in with their account. Thank you for your assistance in this.

Training –Tuesday will bring around the next batch of App Trainings with a battle royale between PBS, NPR, and Stitcher. Come see what each can offer you. Stitcher is one of my favorite apps that I use daily and is a great way to get Podcasts delivered to you on a customized playlist. My weekly list starts out with ‘Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me’, the ‘NPR Sunday Puzzle’, ‘This American Life’, ‘RadioLab’, and more. Drop on by the Project Room on Tuesday to find out more!

iPad Mini – In case you’ve been living under a rock, Apple announced the new iPad Mini this week. The base price on it is $329 (for a Wi-Fi 16GB version) and it is a nice palm size of 7.9 inches. So far the news is that any Apple Store App that is currently on the market can be run on it. When comparing to other mini-Tablets, the iPad Mini is a bit pricier but when have Apple products ever had to worry about this as their customer base stays fairly loyal. (To compare, the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire mini-Tablets are right around $254 and $199 respectively). If you’re looking at purchasing a tablet for your family, go ahead and try them out at the different stores and see what you like. For more info on the iPad Mini check out: http://www.apple.com/ipad-mini/overview/

World Languages – It’s not too much of a shock to see that Mandarin Chinese has been coming more and more to the forefront when it comes to world languages, but it is now one of the most requested language courses in public school and continues to grow. The article below gives a deeper look into why it is becoming so popular and why more and more schools in Colorado have begun offering the course in public schools. As a side note, I was debating on what language to teach my son and I think this, at least for me, is the route to go. Check out the article at: http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_21825189/mandarin-chinese-becoming-first-choice-second-language

Presentations – Need some quick tips on how to make your PowerPoint notes more engaging and interesting? Some basic tips include hints about contrast, length of slides, use of images, etc. In this short article the author gives some useful and practical tips on how to make your notes go from boring to interesting with a few simple rules. Check it out at: http://edudemic.com/2012/10/presentation-tips-slidevana/

Worst Passwords – CNN Tech recently had an article on the Top 25 Worst Passwords to have. The top two are ‘password’ or ‘123456’ but there are 23 more common passwords that you should avoid at all costs. Check out the article here: http://www.cnn.com/2012/10/25/tech/web/worst-passwords-2012/index.html

 

2012-10-18 Weekly IT Update

This Week:

Laptop Cart – Presentation Room

Presentation Room – Updates Coming Soon

Gymnasium – Updates Coming Soon

Training for the Week – Voicethread vs. Notability

Google Cultural Institute – Bring History to Life

 

Laptop Cart – Just an FYI, the upstairs laptop cart, which USED to be stored in the tiny closet upstairs on the 400s side of the building, is now being stored in the Presentation Room. As it was difficult for anyone to maneuver the cart in and out of that tiny closet (and there was damage done to the power strip), the Presentation Room seemed to be the most logical location for access. As usual, if you need to check the cart out, go ahead and schedule it and we have the key to the cabinet down here in the Tech room.

Presentation Room – The Presentation Room should be updated and configured within the next week or two. Building modifications have been approved, materials have been ordered, and sub-contractors have been hired. For those that may be unaware, the work that will be done in the room will complete the work that was started last year. So, in the near future anyone with the code can easily control the Presentation Room including the computer, projector, screen, DVD/VCR, lighting, and a new microphone system which will be installed soon. There will also be an AppleTV installed so that you can project from your iPad. Lots of cool stuff and once it’s done I’ll give a more thorough rundown of the room and the features.

Gymnasium – On another note, the gymnasium should be upgraded next week. While not as exciting as the Presentation Room, the gymnasium will be getting (4) new hard wired network drops (to help with events and future Parent/Teacher conferences) as well as (2) new Wi-Fi hotspots as connectivity has been limited prior to the upgrade. This should be completed within the next week.

Training for the Week – This week will be a comparison of Voicethread and Notability for tools to record and use audio in conjunction with other media. Both are excellent tools and can be very useful in the classroom. Come on by on Thursday at the regularly scheduled training times and I’ll see you in the Project Room!

Google Cultural Institute – For those interested in providing multiple avenues of information to your students, the Google Cultural Institute is a good way of doing so. While it does have heavy leanings towards the Social Studies, I can also see it being used in other types of courses as well. It is a growing site and includes many images and videos relevant to the topics. Right now it covers topics beginning in 1905 and up through 2008. Some ideas of topics that jumped out at me are the Holocaust, D-Day, Nelson Mandela (for some reason there are more topics about Mandela than anything else on the site), and Apartheid. Take a look at: http://www.google.com/culturalinstitute/#!home  and I will add this to the PCHS Technology page as a link under Social Studies as well.

2012-10-12 Weekly IT Update

This Week:

AppleTVs – Are You Interested?

Parent/Teacher Conferences – Laptops

Google Apps for Education – 20+ Million Users

American Family – Journey Through Time

School Life vs. Real Life – Connecting the Two?

AppleTVs – As many of you are using iPads in your classrooms now, I am starting to get more requests for AppleTVs to be installed. At this point I am trying to gauge how many folks are interested in having one in their room so I can put it in a grant request in the near future. For those that didn’t get to the Tech in Education Professional Development today, you may not know of all of the benefits, but if you wish to project from your iPad to your screen you will need an AppleTV (this is not the same as projecting your computer screen while using the iPad as a Whiteboard). Let me know if you’re interested so I can get an idea of how many are interested in adding this to their classroom.

Parent/Teacher Conferences – If you will be needing a laptop for the upcoming Parent/Teacher conferences, please let one of the Tech Team members know. Keep in mind, the laptops that we have available for checkout are at the end of their life and the battery may or may not last the entire time. If you are not in the gymnasium this isn’t as bad, but there are very few power outlets in the gym. We are more than happy to do what we can to help but just keep this in mind when checking out a laptop. Thank you for your patience in this.

Google Apps for Education – So Google Apps continue to grow and grow. They have just released a report that they have surpassed the 20 million mark of people using their suite of apps for educational purposes. As I have focused on iPad and universal apps this semester, next semester is going to be all about Google Apps as I believe they are the future of collaborative learning. Do you want to have your students work together on a presentation? Google Presentation. Do you want your students to give constructive criticism on documents created by their peers? Google Docs. Want to create a quiz using online resources and include multiple types of questions? Google Forms. “Seven of the eight Ivy League universities and 72 of this year’s top 100 U.S. universities (as determined by 2013 U.S. News and World Report’s ranking) have gone Google with Google Apps for Education”. There are a lot of great ways to use these tools and you can take a look into the growing popularity of them here: http://techcrunch.com/2012/10/01/google-says-apps-for-education-now-has-more-than-20-million-users/

American Family – Here’s a neat site that gives a breakdown of the United States Census from 1790 – Current. Each board piece gives statistics and information on that particular period of time in a cool infographic. I have added this to the Social Studies links on the PCHS Technology ALEC page for future use as well. Check it out at: http://www.archives.com/1940-census-facts.html

School Life vs. Real Life – I read an interesting article over at Mind/Shift about creating an educational environment where students do not learn for the sake of learning but instead create something that can be used in the ‘real world’. The article gives several examples which seem like they could be incorporated into any classroom. It proposes ways of merging learning with technology and encourages critical thinking in the classroom. If you’re interested check out: http://www.goupstate.com/article/20121003/articles/210041018 or check out the book Why School?: How

Education Must Change When Learning and Information Are Everywhere by Will Richardson for $2.99 (Kindle Version)

2012-10-03 Weekly IT Update

This Week:

iOS6 – Personal Device Network vs. ASD20

Mission Statement – Accountability

Pods – Food and Drink Reminder

QR Codes – In the Classroom

Tech-Powered Teacher – By: Salman Khan

 

iOS6 – So there were some general problems with iPads that had upgraded to iOS6 this week. Some people realized that they were now unable to get on the ASD20 Personal Device Network. This has since been remedied and once you go to the regular Authentication Page (to gain access to internet resources) there is an option that wasn’t there before to log in with an iOS6 device. Just click it and you’ll be ready and raring to go. Or, if you’re more inclined, I actually put all of the PCHS iPads on the ASD20 network at the beginning of the semester so you should be able to log in there. Reminder that the ASD20 network has fewer people attempting to log in so it will be better for you anyhow. If you continue to have problems with any device, laptop, or the like, please feel free to contact one of us on the Tech Team and we’ll be happy to help!

Mission Statement – If you didn’t already know, the Pine Creek High School Tech Team has a brand new mission statement. An idea of what it is all about: The Mission of the Pine Creek High School Information Technology Department will be to foster positive relationships with students, educators, and the administration team. Our goal is to make sure that any and all requests for assistance are resolved and, if they cannot be settled by the PCHS Tech Team, further needs will be addressed by Tier III technical support at the District level. By providing and maintaining high quality service through prompt and reliable technical support the PCHS Tech Team will be readily available for all of your technology needs. For the complete breakdown of how we plan to meet this mission, please feel free to check out the PCHS Technology ALEC site and the statement is right there at the top of the page. As the purpose of the statement is to promote accountability on the part of the Tech Team here at PCHS, please feel free to let Nathan Gorsch know if you are having any issues with the Team. Thank you for your assistance in this.

Pods – It has come to our attention that there have been a bevy of teachers choosing to eat food and drink water in and around our Pod computers. Reports have shown that this happens 1 – 2 times a month and there have even been reports of elevated noise levels in these areas during this time. If you see any of the educators from the picture below eating or drinking near the computers in the Pods, please feel free to report them to the Dean for a referral!

QR Codes – So, you may have seen QR codes around and didn’t know what they were or didn’t care. For those that don’t know, QR codes are basically bar codes that are scanned to provide information. Think of them like the UPC on a can of beans. The register scans the UPC and gives it information on the product. A QR code works exactly the same way but is accessible to anyone with a scanner (people with smart phones, iPads, tablets, etc.). The point is, there are tools out there that allow you to add a QR code to a document. For more ideas on how to use QR codes check out: http://edudemic.com/2012/09/start-qr-codes-classroom/

Tech-Powered Teacher – If you are unfamiliar with Salman Khan, creator of the Khan Academy (http://www.khanacademy.org/ ), you might not know that he has created a web site that has been used over 194 million times. It consists of videos covering a range of topics and each video has been created to provide tools and information in a simple and concise way. The point is, in this article by Salman Khan (see link), he writes about how technology is not the silver bullet that will solve all educational programs, but is a tool that can be used to help assess and educate in a different way. Keep in mind that in reference to educational technology it leans primarily towards the Khan Academy (as can be expected). Take a look at: http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2012/10/03/06khan_ep.h32.html?tkn=PRLFafgPAiYJydHYzIsVsZJHKYYH4hvuGqs5&cmp=ENL-EU-VIEWS1