Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Update for Google Drive

If you use Google Drive a lot in your work, you may have noticed a recent addition - Team Drives.

In the past, If I know that I'm going to be sharing a lot of materials with a certain group of people, say my PLC, I would create a folder and share it with all of the members of the team; doing this means that any materials that are saved to that folder will be automatically shared with the people who have rights to the folder. The one problem with this was that if a team member left for some reason, their documents left too. Team Drives fixes this issue, when a team uses Team Drives, all documentation stays with the drive even if a member leaves.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Scanning Bubble Sheets into Illuminate

It's been awhile since I've talked about Illuminate, so I thought I'd share what many of you might find a time-saving tip. For those of you who are not using the hybrid online assessment where students log into the student portal, and see the test and the question bubbles side-by-side, but are having students fill out the bubble sheet printed on paper, you can actually take your stack of bubble sheets to one of the copy machines and scan the sheets that way.

Scanning Documents into the Copy Machine

Step 1: Place the stack of bubble sheets in the copy tray at the top as you would for making general copies.

Step 2: On the copy machine, push the Scanner button in the lower left-hand corner.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Copying the Contents of a Cell to the Bottom of the Column

I find it really annoying when I'm working in a large spreadsheet and have to copy a formula that I just entered all of the way down to the bottom of the column. Mind you, this isn't much of a problem if the spreadsheet only goes down to the bottom of the screen, but I often work with spreadsheets that contain information on students in multiple buildings; this can mean that I'm dealing with thousands of rows of information. Having to click on the "auto fill" cursor (you know, the little plus sign in the lower right hand of the cell) and drag down through thousands of rows can be a real pain...if only there were an easier way.

Monday, January 9, 2017

How To Join Multiple Cells In A Spreadsheet.

In my last post, I showed you how to take information from one cell and split it into two different cells. In this post, I'm going to show you how to take multiple cells and combine their data into one cell.

There are a couple of ways to merge the cells, but they are both based on the concatenate feature. When you concatenating things, you are linking, or joining them together. In the example that we'll be looking at today, we're going to be taking lists of student first and last names that we have in different cells and putting them together in a different cell.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

How To Split Cells In A Spreadsheet

Have you ever had a spreadsheet where you'd really like to split a cell that contains multiple data points (last name, first name) into individual cells with only one data point each? I know that I used to use this a lot for taking my class roster and separating the last and first names. Today I'm going to show you how to use the Text to Columns feature, in both Google Sheets, and Microsoft Excel to do just that.

Google Sheets:

As you might expect, with Google Sheets generally being a simplified version of Excel, the process of splitting text to columns is fairly simple.

  1. Right click on the column to the right of the column that contains the text you'd like to split.
  2. Choose the option Insert 1 left; you're going to need to do this for each additional word. Since I will end up with two separate words in this example, I only need to do this step once as I only need one extra cell.
  3. Highlight the cells that you want to split.
  4. Click the Data heading from the toolbar.
  5. Click Split text to columns. This will take the first name and place it into the second column that you just added.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

You Asked For It, We Answered!

Since we started using Illuminate and Schoology as a district, teachers have been lamenting the fact that students are able to open other windows or tabs in their browser while taking online tests. While there are programs that can lock down the browsers, those have a cost associated with them.

I'm happy to announce that I've developed kiosk logins that can be used with the Chromebooks that are similar to what we used with the M-Step assessment last year. Now, you can have students log into one of two kiosks before they log into the Chromebook and they will be taken either to either the Illuminate student portal, or to Schoology.

Before students login to their Chromebooks, they should click on Apps which can be found in the lower left hand corner, right next to where they click to shut the Chromebook down. Once they click there, a window will pop up with the different Kiosks that we have loaded into the machines. Have students choose the app associated with the program in which they are testing.

If they're using the Illuminate Kiosk, they will go to the Student Portal and will be asked to input their username and password as usual. If they are logging into Schoology, they will be asked to enter their email and password.

When logged into any of these kiosks, students are unable to leave the window that they're logged into, making it impossible to tab over to different websites to look up answers. When students are done with the assessment, they will need to power down the device in order to freely move around the web.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

REMC Classroom Maker Project (#cmakers)

I just wanted to share some exciting information with you that I just heard about through the CISD.
The REMC Classroom Makers (#cmakers) project is a multi-year effort to provide local REMCs with maker training, curriculum and materials to be used with their districts to support and expand curricula and learning.  Makering is the convergence of hands-on DIY and technology.  It involves problem solving through failure, creativity, exploration and often collaboration. 
I went to one of the training sessions with Melinda Waffle last week and got some hands-on training with the different kits that she is putting together, all available for you to check out!

Some of the kits available for you include:

  • Circuitry Kit - create circuits that turn on lights, make noises, spin motors, etc.
  • Coding Kit - create code that makes robots move and interact with their surroundings
  • Construction Kit - allow your students to be creative with hands-on manipulatives
  • Gaming kit - create games that can be played on tablets
  • Robotics Kit - program robots to perform different actions

Individual Items
  • 3D Printer with laptop Bloxel set
  • Breakout EDU Box Dash (robot)
  • Google Cardboard (up to 5) Green Screen
  • Keva Planks Little Bits kit
  • Makey-makey kits (up to 5) Osmo (Numbers, Letters & Tangram)
  • Ozobot set Snap Circuits (up to 2 kits)
  • Sphero Strawbee connectors
If you're interested in learning more about these exciting items, check out the CISD website.