Posts

Holiday Highlights: Google PD, Gizmos, Securly, and More

Image
It's the most wonderful classroom management of the year... Wishing you the best as we barrel through the winter holidays and toward the next school vacation. Here are a few holiday heads-ups from your Technology Integration crew. Google PD Recap Matt and Sean ran two packed sessions of Google "Serenity Now" training on the November 8 PD day. We've posted the resources that we used in the session over in the Staff Training area of the site - head over to check them out. There's on-demand help in all of these areas: decluttering and organizing your Gmail and Drive managing Google Classroom classes creating digital task lists for yourselves or students Many folks have asked us to run this and follow-up sessions in the near future. We are working on making that a reality. We're always excited to have time with in-person groups and to focus on skills that save you time and energy. Securly Classroom New Features You may have spotted an email from Securly highlight

Spotlight On: New, Free Research Sites

Image
Great news for all of you who build research and nonfiction reading skills with your students (and that's...um...all of us?). As some of you may know, the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners offers free access to a number of digital research databases for all Massachusetts residents. This fall, they announced that they were adding new databases to this list, and three of them stand out as extremely useful in the classroom. This morning, we added special links to these resources to the the district's Clever portal . You can read a bit more about each them below. PebbleGo PebbleGo is an amazing, easy-to-use site that gets kids excited to learn facts about our world. For this year, MBLC has purchased the Animals and Biographies sections of the product. From the PebbleGo website:  "PebbleGo is a curricular content hub specifically designed for K-2 students. Packed with informational articles, ready-made activities, and literacy supports for students of all abilities,

Spotlight on: Clever Portal

Image
In this first Spotlight post, we want to focus on one of our most fundamental tools for teaching and learning with technology - the Clever portal! For those familiar with Clever already, there are some feature updates in this post that will get you up to speed for the coming year. Read on! What Is Clever? Clever is the service that gives us one-click access to many of our digital learning tools, without extra login steps. It does this by acting as a go-between for PowerSchool and other software services we use. With Clever's help, we can log in one time only to access many other learning platforms...tools like Star Assessments, our math textbooks, and much more.  What Do I Do With It? Well, if you're a teacher, the first thing to do is bookmark it! Our Clever login page is linked here , but you can also install the Clever Chrome Extension to get quick access to it from your Chrome browser's toolbar. Select any app from the District Page to sign in instantly with your WRSD

Back to School '22: Need-to-Know DL News

Image
Welcome back, all! Your Technology Integration team truly hopes you had a relaxing summer with plenty of opportunity for resting and doing as little as possible! The fall start brings with it a lot of hurry, stress, and uncertainty that takes days and weeks to resolve. We're wishing you continued peace as things threaten to cause you anxiety. Take those small moments to relax, reset, and reframe your situation - here are some quick and helpful resources for doing this! Now, in the spirit with which we send any communication to you - - that is, to make your job easier, not harder - - here are some things in WRSD digital learning that are new, better, or different this year. Elementary Schools: New Eureka Math Components Last Spring, WRSD worked to secure additional print and digital materials to accompany our Eureka Math program. The digital platform that we use, called Great Minds (and available in your Clever Portal), now holds the following Eureka tools: Digital Suite  - a robus

Saddle Up for a Google New Feature Roundup...

Image
  Gather 'round, y'all - here's a Texas-sized list of the goodies that Google has added to its apps and services over the past few months. Your TIS friends keep an ear to the rail for these updates, and we try to roll them up in bundles (bales?) so you can focus on them. These little updates pepper us all year long, so it helps to say "whoa" for a moment and look for features that directly impact you and your work with students. Creating (Google Docs, Google Forms) A new twist on feedback:  Emoji reactions 😃 as comments 💬 in Google Docs Coming soon, you (and the students, when allowed) can react to content within a Google Doc in the same way you might on a text message thread. Sometimes, a thumbs up 👍 is all you need! Google taking on Grammarly:  More assistive writing suggestions in Google Docs Now, Google Docs will offer suggestions in the areas of Word Choice, voice, conciseness, and more! Collaborate on an email draft in Google Docs (Insert > Building Bl