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Introducing the Appy Slappy - A Fight Club demo slam from the Instructional Tech Team

The Coloma Instructional Tech Team is getting creative! In a fun way to share some tech that we are familiar with that may help in the classroom, the team will be competing for a traveling trophy based on the Appy Slappy - a championship fight-club style competition on the team - to share relevant, helpful and really cool technology tidbits in short, approachable videos.  Watch the entry's below. Ben shares how you can easily create helpful GIFs for your students. Dan shares a way to help keep kids on task with YouTube, and Tonya shares how to stop Microsoft Teams in it's tracks from opening when you start your computer!  Once you have watched the entries, follow the link at the bottom to cast your vote so that we can award the trophy. Be on the lookout for the next round when the defending champ will have to risk the trophy as the challengers try to get it.  Ben's Entry - Adobe Express to GIF Dan's Entry - The Yout-ube URL Hack Tonya's Entry - Stop Microsoft Teams
Recent posts

Edlio Website Personal Profile Page How-to!

An important part of Coloma Community Schools is the staff directory. We value being able to see and know a little about the people working with the students in our buildings. Thus, one of the requirements of staff is keeping a picture and short bio on our Edlio staff pages.  Here is a document on how to update those Edlio Staff pages . If you run into questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to the helpdesk. As a reminder, you will only be able to log into the webpages of the buildings that you work in. One of the most common fixes is making sure that you are on the proper building page. 

GoGuardian Refresher to Kick Off the School Year

GoGuardian is a tool that we use for our secondary students to filter internet but also provide teachers with more control over devices in the classroom. This tool is a wonderful addition to the classroom as it provides teachers with an at-a-glance view of what the students are working on. Although, like any technology service, it is not foolproof.  In this document, the GoGuardian Refresher , it covers setting up classes, excluding absent students from any scenes, and some additional general tips and strategies for managing a 1-1 classroom. In addition, I wanted to provide a few common solutions to some of the most common problems experienced with GoGuardian.  Students say awaiting activity but are clearly active on their device.  In a situation like this, a quick power-refresh of the device will go a long way in helping re-sync that student to the classroom. As classroom teachers, you can easily ask the students to reset their device using the power-refresh shortcut and they should m

Accessibility for Student Chromebooks - Easily Dictate Speech to Text

The Chromebooks that our students use just got a huge update in regards to speech to text accessibility! Now, a simple keyboard short (search + d) will enable dictation for the students! This is a huge game changer when it comes to our students that have a difficulty typing responses.  In order for this to work, you will have to enable accessibility features, specifically the voice to text option. Then, students will be able to have speech to text available in any input field! 

Google Docs Smart Chips Updates - Drop Down Menus

Google continues to improve Google Docs and the Google Workspace platform! In one of the newer updates, they have added the ability to do Smart Chips that add drop down menus to documents. While this is usually useful in project management, and if you have the students working on complex projects you could introduce these items, but you can also create standardized test like questions where students have to select the proper response.  To set this up, open up your Google Doc and then type a quick reading passage or text set for the students to review. Once you have that, figure out what words you want to remove from the text. Highlight the words and then high the @ sign on your keyboard. Then, create a new drop down list.  Next, add the words that you want to the drop down list. Don't forget to add a blank option first so as to provide the students with a blank. You must add a space or five to create the drop down option. Change the color to allow for easy, quick visual cues as you

Open Educational Resources - A New Way

Educational materials cost a lot of money. Whether it is buying curriculum, purchasing items from Teacher Pay Teachers, or taking the time to develop your own and make it truly unique.  There is one other option, and this option keeps getting better and better. Open Educational Resources, or OERs, are resources that are developed by educators, for educators. These resources, which are openly licensed under Creative Commons for use, remixing, and re-sharing, are an excellent alternative to curriculum packs and Teachers pay Teachers.  Currently, there is group of Michigan Social Studies educators that have developed an entire textbook series, the MiOpenBook Project , that is openly licensed and freely distributed. In our current review of science curriculum, we have also found OpenSciEd , a collection of middle school level curriculum aligned to the NGSS standards. One of my favorites, that I had used in the classroom prior to my knowledge of OERs, was CK12.  CK12 is a collection of res

Google Docs - Email Building Blocks

Google Docs has recently added the Smart Chips to allow for more functionality in a document, allowing you to tag other people, pull templates, and have a document in a more collaborative environment. Now, Google has added the ability to draft an email in Google Docs and easily transfer this to Gmail for sending.  This update is extremely useful if you have an important email to send and you don't want to accidentally send it prior to it being done, you have an email to send as a team and you want everyone to have the ability to craft and have their say, or you have a list of running items that need to be included in the email over the course of time. Once you are ready to send it, click the Blue Gmail Logo and it will open in your Gmail. Once it is open, you only have to click send! No more accidentally sent too early emails!