Welcome to The Pirate D.L. Blog! We hope you find a lot of great resources for digital learning that you can use in your classroom.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Canned Response in GMail

Provided by Brandy Whitley

Canned Response in GMail

This tip is for perfect for those who get the same question over and over again by email. Instead of retyping the answer or searching for a copy of the answer in a previously sent message, create a response that can be saved and inserted into the message as needed. Here’s how:

First you will need log into your gmail account. Click on the Settings gear in the top right corner under your name.

Select Settings from the menu. Click on the labs tab. Select Enable for Canned Responses, and click Save changes.

Next you will compose a new message. Once you have your message ready to go, click on the drop down arrow located at the bottom right corner of the new message. Click on Canned Responses, then click on New Canned Response.

Give it a name that will make it easy for you to identify.   

Now you are ready to send a canned response as needed. To insert the canned response, simply, compose a new email, click on the drop down arrow located at the bottom right corner of the new message. Click on Canned Responses, then click on the name of the canned response under the Insert category. Personalize/modify it or fill in any specific information for that recipient, and your ready to send. It’s as simple as that.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Email Signature

To add your Signature to your JCS Email:
1. Open your Google Mailbox and go to the settings
2. On the General Tab - scroll to the bottom and find the signature box.
3. Please be sure to include - Name, Title, School, Phone number, and Extension if you have a direct line
4. Scroll to the very bottom and SAVE your changes. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Quick Key App (Mobile Scanner)

An English teacher at another school in Johnston County shared this exciting app with me today. 
Check out it out; it's called Quick Key, a mobile scanner! It's a free app that turns your phone into a mobile scanner. Please watch the short video below that explains how it works or click HERE to view. Quick, easy, and FREE!!!

Quick Key Free

Free unlimited instant mobile scanning
No Internet required to make, take, scan, or score a quiz
Instantly see quiz results on your mobile
Simple quiz builder
Export quiz results to Excel
Easy account setup/class list importer
Up to 440 students per account

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Sweet Search

Many of us resort to Google to perform topic searches. A great alternative that I recently learned about is Sweetsearch! Sweetsearch is a type of customized Google search engine that provides better hits for educational purposes. Sweet Search was created by Finding Dulcinea. The 35, 000 sites included in the search engine have been evaluated by librarians and research experts. Please encourage your students to use this search engine instead of Google. They will find the results to be more relevant and advertisement-free.

Comparison for "Shakespeare" in SweetSearch, Google and Bing.
Again, Wikipedia ranks first for Google and Bing. Also appearing prominently, again due to the specific domain names, are "Shakespeare.com" and "Shakespeare-online.com." Each of these is a well-written "passion site," one created by an individual who is passionate about the subject, but does not possess academic credentials that would enable a student to rely on the sites when writing an academic paper. Each engine also contains several sites that are only about selling products.
On SweetSearch, you again find some outstanding academic resources, many of which are buried in Google or Bing. These include sites from the Library of Congress, the British Library, PBS and Project Gutenberg.
Information provided by the Finding Dulcinea Blog. 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Beginning of the Year IT Presentation

IT Ticket

Are you having trouble with your computer, SmartBoard, or printer?
Submit an IT Request:
  1. If prompted, enter the Organization Account number (252107268) and click Submit Organization.
  2. Make sure you are on the “IT Request” tab.  If not, simply click on this tab to access the IT request form.
  3. Be VERY SPECIFIC! Include Room # and Computer Name (HCHHSTD…)
Type in the submittal password of: password

Microsoft Office 2013 Home Use Program

You, as a JCS employee, are entitled to a one-time download of Office 2013 for $9.99 (download only) or $19.99 (disk). Johnston County Code: 951537B753

Please go to www.microsofthup.com to start your home download today!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Faculty Events Calendar

To connect or import this calendar, you will need to:
1. go to your Google calendar
2. Click in the box under "Other Calendars" where it says "add a coworker's calendar"
3. Copy and paste the following info or "link" into that box: jcsnc.org_03sq3hieo1k5ic0k5okd424sb4@group.calendar.google.com 
  4. Press Enter

You will see the "The Ship's Log of Events" appear under your "Other Calendars" section. In order to see the events on your calendar, it must be selected (it will have a colored box to the left of it, if it is selected). Check to see if September 10, 2014 2:30 Faculty/Staff Senate Meeting shows up to ensure it was "imported" correctly. 

*This calendar is purposely separated from the school webpage calendar as this one is specifically for faculty only events. If you have dates you would like for me to add to this calendar, please send me an email. 

Teachers, Do you want a Chromebook to use this year?

Sponsored by JCS Digital Learning Team

Chromebook Grant for JCS Teachers

Deadline is October 17th! It will be awarded at the Digital Expo on October 28th in the JCC Auditorium Lobby and teachers must be present to receive or it will go to the next person! 

Technology can't replace good teaching practices, but sometimes it can be a step in the right direction. A lack of  resources are often a barrier to implementation, and we want to help by investing in you and your students.

We invite you to apply for a Chromebook to use this year.  Please read all the information, and click on the link (at the top of the first page) to the rubric we will use to evaluate your proposal.  The number of Chromebooks and accepted proposals will be determined by the number of submissions.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

More on Google Classroom

Provided by Pam Batchelor

Google has just released Google Classroom to our domain and so far, it is showing to be a great learning management system that is simpler than Edmodo or Moodle and very user friendly. All JCS teachers can use Classroom to create an online space for your students to view class materials, complete assignments, and collaborate together. 

If you have not seen this brief two minute overview of Classroom, take a look at it:

To get started with Classroom, go to: https://classroom.google.com

The first time you visit the site, you may see a screen like this:

Click on the "Go to Classroom" button.

Once you are at the Classroom site, make sure the correct account is signed in (left side) and click on "Teacher" to request access to your account. Your account will then be verified as a teacher account within 24 hours.

Once your account is verified, you will see this on the top right of your Classroom homepage:

By clicking on the + icon, you can create your first class.

Once you enter your class name and section/block, click on the blue "Create" button.

Classroom will now create a homepage for your class:

Each class has three pages: Stream, Students, and About.

Stream is the default page for the class and what the students see. You post your announcements and assignments to this page. Students can comment and make their own posts to this page.

Students is where you add student information and invite students to your class.

About is the class settings page where you can add additional information about the class and also control the classroom folder for handouts and materials.

Let's take a closer look at the Stream page:

1. This is the main box where you can post announcements and assignments.

2. This box shows upcoming assignments and students can click on them to complete.

3. This is the class code box that shows the student code for them to join the classroom. You can click on the down arrow to disable the code if you do not wish students to join your class via code.

4. This box in the top left corner takes you to the Classroom home page and allows you to switch to different classes.

5. This box on the top right allows you to change the theme of your class, there are several color schemes available.

Let's take a closer look at the Students Page:

You have two options for how to invite students to your class. You can have them enter the classroom code (which you can disable once everyone has joined your class) or you can enroll them by entering their email address.

To have students join by code, simply give them the code and direct them to https://classroom.google.com and have them click the + icon to join a class with your code.

To enroll students by email, click on the blue "Invite" button.

You can select students that are in your contacts, you can also select contact groups if you have them setup in your Gmail. You can also search by student name by entering in the search bar at the top right.

Once you have students in your class, you will use the Students page to remove students from the class as well as you can email any or all students by clicking on the email button.

Finally, let's look at the About page:

On this page you can add a class title and description, as well as a location. Students will be able to see this additional information. Classroom automatically makes a folder on your drive with the same title for each class you create. If you wish to change the name of the folder to something else, you can do so from this page. Also, if you have a lot of documents you wish to share with your class, you can upload them on this page and Google will make a copy of the documents for each student.

So, by now, your class should be set up and students added (or codes given out). You are ready to add your first assignment...go back to the Stream page and click on the assignment box.

You will need to add a name and description of your assignment as well as the due date and time if desired. You can attach a resource or Google file to the assignment. If you choose a Google file, you will have the option for the students to complete the assignment on one file or it will make a copy for each student to complete their assignment. Click on the blue "Assign" button to create the assignment.

Here is what the Stream page looks like with an assignment. Students can easily see what is due next in the top left box - "Upcoming Assignments".  Your class is now ready to use! If you need to setup multiple classes, just repeat the steps above.

Want to learn more about Classroom?

Come to our Digital Learning Sessions on Google Drive and Classroom
September 25th, 4:00-5:30pm
October 30th, 4:00-5:30pm
Details and registration are in My Learning Plan

D.L. Power Up Sessions!

Sponsored by the JCS Digital Learning Team!