Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Video Notes App for Google Drive

This is a super exciting tool to use with Google Apps for Education accounts! is an app that is added to your Google Drive.  Once you add this app to Drive it allows you to launch the extension, add a video link and take notes while watching the video.  The notes are linked to the spot in the video that you found the information or comment you are taking notes about.  
From what I hear about the test samples on the Smarter Balanced Assessments, this tool becomes a great resource for experiencing some of the similar test questions that were seen on those that piloted the test.  Let's take a closer look.

To Add this App:
  1. Add the app by either going to the link here and clicking Connect to Google Drive. Another way to add it is to click the RED Create button in your Google Drive, Click "Connect More Apps" at the bottom of the window and search for in the search bar of the apps for Google Drive menu.  
  2. Once you have added the app, when you click Create you will notice that becomes on of the Create options within Google Drives' menu.  To explore, click Create then VideoNotes in that menu list.
  3. When you open the Video Notes app the screen will appear like the one shown.  Simply enter the video's URL in the space indicated and click Load Video.
     4.  I tried this to see how it worked and it was awesome.  I loaded the sample video to test it and see how it worked.  It was perfect.  The notes link to the video so that if I click on any note I take, the video is automatically advanced to the place in the video where I took that note.  All the notes are saved in Google Drive and it prompted me to use the app to open the notes.  Like all Google Drive files, it is share-able and therefore a collaborative document or file.  

Think about how this might change the video experience! This is an amazing tool to make a static individualized learning experience of watching a video a truly interactive learning opportunity!   When we start looking at the SAMR Model Technology Integration this app would be one that would be in the highest level of Redefinition or doing a task previously not possible because of the technology.  This would fall into the highest level not because of the ability to note-take but because you can share the notes, replay them and the tool advances or rewinds the video to the place in which the notes were taken.   Give this tool a try!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

2012-13 Final Technology Update

Good morning,

I apologize in advance for the length of this update; however much has happened in the past few months and will happen over the summer that I'd like to update the staff about. 
Basic Summer notes:
  • Please remember to copy ALL files from your computer to your H: drive before you leave for the summer.  All district computers will be reimaged this summer, and so anything left on them will be gone when staff returns in August.
  • If you currently have a laptop assigned for your use AND you'd like to check that out for the summer, the office Administrative Assistant in your building has a form that you need to fill out and sign before leaving for the summer.
  • Google Apps for Education classes are set for the summer; the June 18th and June 26th sessions will be held at Lake Denoon Middle School and all other sessions will be at the ESC.  All sessions are scheduled from 8am-3:30pm.
Hardware replacements:
  • Tess Corners, Mill Valley, and Muskego Elementary will be receiving new Chromebooks for their student use and Dell laptops for teacher use.  High School and Bay Lane teachers who do not currently have laptops will receive Dell laptops in the fall.
  • All 5th and 9th grade students will be assigned Chromebooks for their use.  If you are interested in learning more about this, please see the 1:1 Chromebook pages on the district website.
  • The current 5th grade laptop carts will be re-assigned to other areas within the middle school.
  • All Project i students will be assigned Chromebooks as well.  The current laptops used by Project i will be transferred to Country Meadows and Lakeview.

As most of you know, I will be leaving the district at the end of this month to become the Director of Technology for the Kettle Moraine School District.  I'd like to thank everyone for the past 7.5 years.  Working here with all of you has been one of the most rewarding experiences in my professional career and I will miss the people that I have worked with tremendously.

I'd like to think that a strong foundation has been built for further advances in technology use by all staff and students that will continue into the future.  I believe the team that we have here in the district is extremely talented and will make Muskego-Norway a shining example of how technology can help every student to learn, grow and succeed. 

Until we meet again,


Don't be dismayed at goodbyes, a farewell is necessary before you can meet again and meeting again, after moments or lifetimes, is certain for those who are friends. - Richard Bach

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Google Plus Find

Today I spent some time on hold waiting for a tech support at Google and decided to multi-task.  I paged through the recent resources on Google+  I found the link : Google Apps and Training Resources.  While it is not a specific resource but a list of many links, I think they are some that might really be helpful.  Some of the m I will be adding to our district Google in the Classroom site but for anyone just looking to build bookmarks of information on Chromebooks and Google Apps for Education, these are fantastic!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Research Made Easier

The slogan "Say more with fewer links" is the slogan for FatURL.  This service, would be great for teachers who want students to access only certain resources and would be a fantastic way to ensure safety online and keep kids from doing the "random Google search". This services allows the user to share multiple (up to 3 dozen) websites or URLs by sharing only one URL.  What is great for teachers is that this service allows you to edit and add to the URLs that are shared with your link.
When I think of the classroom connection of this service, it would be a great resource for a teacher to use in many situations:

  1. Research -If you beginning a new unit or a research project.  A teacher would be able to share one link with the students and that link would lead kids to the teacher approved sites that the students can use to learn from.  
  2. Skills Practice - Another idea would be to collect websites that students could be using for math or spelling practice.  As students complete work in class they would always know that they can find an educationally supported game or skill practice site.
  3. Web Tools - FatURL might be a great way to share presentation tools that you have approved for student use in your classroom.
There is a little tour here.  Consider this for next school year!

eQuizshow Online Tool

We all love a good free tool.  The online tool, is a fantastic tool for making quiz how style games to review content.  However,  it is made even better because it was created by a student.  Seriously!  Henry Wilson a New York City high school junior created this site over his winter break.  How cool is that?

This tool is SUPER easy to use.  Give you quiz a title, and password protect your information with a password so that others can not edit the content.  Select your categories or proceed onto the template.  You then enter in the information you want to quiz students about.  You can edit or add categories.  Tips appear that will help you through more advanced things like adding images.  This would be a great bookmark and a fun end of the year game to review all the content that you have covered!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Additional Ideas for Creating Presentations

We are always looking for new ideas and resources to use with our students and the great thing about technology is that it is always changing an evolving.  One of the things teachers are always seeking is a way to either create more engaging presentations for our classes or for the students to have access to presentation tools that fit the task of the assignments.  A great Blog post came across my feed last week that identifies 40 different sites and Apps for Creating Presentations.  For all those teachers that stop me int he hall and say, "Any ideas Rachel?  I am SO sick of Prezi!" This one is for you!

Check out this post!