Friday, December 19, 2014

Tech the Halls #15: The 12 Days of Twittermas Challenge


It's the final "Tech the Halls" post for 2014 and it's a good one! We are kicking off "The 12 Days of Twittermas Challenge" on Twitter using #AledoTweeps. Join the fun! 

Note: if this post looks a little different, it is! Posting directly from the blogger app on my iPad! 😉

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Tech the Halls #14: These Are a Few of My Favorite Things!


Let's face it, most of us would not be able to function without our cell phone, or is it just me?! One of the many, many things that I love about my cell phone, be it an iPhone or an Android, is the ability to snap a picture at any given moment. Whether it's to preserve a memory, to capture a family member or friend in a humorous moment, or to take a picture so I'll remember something later, having a ready-to-go camera in my pocket is always handy. Then, to sweeten the deal, my smartphone allows me to share my pictures in a variety of ways and in a variety of formats. One of my favorite ways to share my pictures, besides creating a Photo Canvas, is to create a mini video using my Animoto app (Animoto in Google Play Store, Animoto in iTunes, and also available on online). Once I've created a festive video, I can share it with thousands of my closest friends on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, email, and more. 
So, this Christmas I challenge you to create an Animoto video that portrays a few of your favorite things from 2014, either professionally or personally or both. Below is my Favorite (Professional) Things in 2014 video; watch my Facebook and/or Twitter feed over the holidays for my Favorite (Personal) Things in 2014 video. 


Aledo Ed Tech's Favorite Things in 2014

Tech the Halls: These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

Tech the Halls with my cell phone, fa la la la la, la la la la, la la la la.
If I lost it you'd hear me moan and groan, fa la la la la, la la la la, la la la la.

Take a picture to preserve a memory, fa la la, la la la, la la la. 
Upload it to Canvas People's directory, fa la la, la la la, la la la.  

Or you can upload and create a video, fa la la la la, la la la la, la la la la.
By using a cool tool called Animoto, fa la la la la, la la la la, la la la la.

Choose a theme and music for it, fa la la la la, la la la la, la la la la.
Then share it out so others can adore it, fa la la la la, la la la la, la la la la.



Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Tech the Halls #13: Common Sense for Parents


One of my favorite resources as a parent is Common Sense Media. (It is also an amazing resource for educators, but we'll save that for a future post.) Today's "Tech the Halls" tech tip is to share tips for using Common Sense Media, as well as direct you to their wonderful Holiday Gift Guide for 2014.

Tech the Halls: Common Sense for Parents

Tech the Halls with this great resource, fa la la la la, la la la la, la la la la. 
Referencing this site is par for the course, fa la la la la, la la la la, la la la la.

Use it to look up movie reviews, fa la la, la la la, la la la. 
Divided into categories you can use, fa la la, la la la, la la la. 

Consider it before your child gets exposed to, fa la la la la, la la la la, la la la la.
Content and images only suitable for you, fa la la la la, la la la la, la la la la.

What parents need to know and age recommendations, fa la la la la, la la la la, la la la la.
These two sections get my appreciation, fa la la la la, la la la la, la la la la.


As a parent (or even a classroom teacher), have you ever had one of those moments you wish you could take back? Maybe allowed your child (or students) to watch a movie or TV show only to hear them reference it later, and then realize it probably wasn't the most appropriate show for your child?! Well have no fear, Common Sense Media is here! This is my go-to resource to look up a movie or TV show before giving my teenager permission to watch something new. The analysis by category (see image below) is extremely helpful. After reading a review I feel like I have enough information to make a sound parenting decision. *Read more about their Ratings System.* Another wonderful thing about this site: they not only review movies and TV shows, but games, books, apps, websites, and music too! And be sure to check out their Holiday Gift Guide for 2014 where you can find suggested media gifts broken down by age groups.





















Watch this quick video overview about Common Sense Media partnering with parents.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Tech the Halls #12: Twelve Days of App-mas


In honor of the 12th "Tech the Halls" post, take a look at these 12 FREE holiday apps.

Tech the Halls: Twelve Days of App-mas

Tech the Halls with these twelve apps, fa la la la la, la la la la, la la la la. 
Twelve Days of App-mas for iPads, fa la la la la, la la la la, la la la la.

Download them now while they are FREE, fa la la, la la la, la la la.
It will feel like a "shopping" spree, fa la la, la la la, la la la.

Use the links below or search iTunes, fa la la la la, la la la la, la la la la.
Holiday related apps, you can assume, fa la la la la, la la la la, la la la la.

Games and stories for entertainment, fa la la la la, la la la la, la la la la.
'Tis the season may you enjoy it, fa la la la la, la la la la, la la la la.

Check out the apps below in the iTunes store by simply clicking on the title of each app. All are FREE as of 12/16/14 but may not be forever free, so download them now and delete them from your device later if you decide you don't want it. May your iPads be Merry and Bright!

  1. Let's Make a Snowman ~ FREE 
  2. 12 Days of Christmas Games ~ FREE
  3. Advent 2014 with a Surprise for Each Day ~ FREE 
  4. Bits and Pieces of Christmas ~ FREE
  5. Christmas Day HD ~ FREE
  6. Christmas Match Day ~ FREE 
  7. Fun Snowman Adventure Kindergarten Games ~ FREE 
  8. Kidomatic Christmas Camera ~ FREE
  9. Kwest Christmas ~ FREE 
  10. MagiKid Christmas ~ FREE
  11. Santa School of Kindergarten Games ~ FREE 
  12. Cut the Rope: Holiday Gift ~ FREE 

Tech the Halls #11: Totally Tubular!


Do you like to show videos from YouTube to your students? Wouldn't it be great to show those videos without all of the distractions around the video? If you answered "yes" to either of these questions, today's "Tech the Halls" tech tip is for you!

Tech the Halls: Totally Tubular 

Tech the Halls with learning videos, fa la la la la, la la la la, la la la la.
You'll now feel safe to play more than the stereo, fa la la la la, la la la la, la la la la.

An option you have is to use the embed code, fa la la, la la la, la la la. 
Paste it in the section you are told, fa la la, la la la, la la la. 

Use Safe Share TV to share a link, fa la la la la, la la la la, la la la la.
Share the link on your website or tweet, fa la la la la, la la la la, la la la la.

Quiet Tube is easy to do, fa la la la la, la la la la, la la la la.
I love this add-on and you will too, fa la la la la, la la la la, la la la la.

Here are three different options for sharing YouTube videos with your students without all of the ads along the sidebar and comments below the video. Check out each option to see which one works best for you. In my opinion, you may need all three at different times for different reasons. 

1. Embed a YouTube video into your blog or webpage. 
2. Generate a Safe Link using SafeShare TV.
3. Install the Quietube add-on for Google Chrome. 

Watch this video for a quick tutorial demonstrating all three options. (NOTE: I had some issues with my normal screencasting program so I had to make do with a freebie. I apologize for the glitches.) 


Friday, December 12, 2014

Tech the Halls #10: Flipping for Flipboard



Do you struggle with keeping current in today's fast-paced world? Do you have social media accounts but feel like you don't have time to check them? If you answered yes to either of these questions, then today's "Tech the Halls" tip is for you!

Tech the Halls: Flipping for Flipboard 

Tech the Halls with this great app, fa la la la la, la la la la, la la la la. 
If you don't have it get it stat, fa la la la la, la la la la, la la la la.

Flipboard is a personal magazine, fa la la, la la la, la la la. 
Create an account it is amazing, fa la la, la la la, la la la. 

Connect it to your social media accounts, fa la la la la, la la la la, la la la la.
All in one place to read announcements, fa la la la la, la la la la, la la la la.

Follow all your favorite topics, fa la la la la, la la la la, la la la la.
It can be addicting, you can't stop it, fa la la la la, la la la la, la la la la.

Flipboard is a digital magazine built around your tastes. Download Flipboard on your iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows, or Kindle device. Then, create an account and add any social media accounts (i.e. Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Google+, etc.) that you use. Choose to follow a variety of Flipboard topics that suit your taste (i.e. educational technology, teachers, iPads, fashion, sports, etc.). Once you set up your Flipboard magazine you can quickly stay up to date with all of your social media accounts and the latest news. The best part, it is all in ONE app; no more app hopping! 

Visit the Flipboard website for more information and don't forget to follow @Flipboard on Twitter!


Thursday, December 11, 2014

Tech the Halls #9: Featured Favorites



These are a few of my favorite things... 

Oh wait, wrong Christmas carol! 

Tech the Halls: Featured Favorites 

Tech the Halls with these great sources, fa la la la la, la la la la. 
These tech tools work across all courses, fa la la la la, la la la la.

Sites to help you get inspired, fa la la, la la la, la la la. 
You will never want to retire, fa la la, la la la, la la la. 

Check out Richard Byrne's full website, fa la la la la, la la la la.
Free Tech 4 Teachers is dynamite, fa la la la la, la la la la.

Thing Link, Kahoot, and Padlet too, fa la la la la, la la la la.
Put Todays Meet and Class Tools to work for you, fa la la la la, la la la la.


The following featured tech tools are a few of my favorite:

Richard Byrne's website, Free Tech 4 Teachers, is one you will want to bookmark and visit again and again. He shares a variety of technology tools and provides great examples to apply those tools in the classroom. 



ThingLink allows you to embed links, audio files, and videos into an image. Then, students can interact with the image, or ThingLink, you created. Use ThingLink to give project directions to students or use it to inspire students to learn more about a concept. 




Kahoot! is everybody's favorite game-like response system. Teachers (or students) can create quizzes or polls that will keep students engaged while demonstrating their knowledge or understanding of a concept. 






Create a Padlet to encourage discussion, collaboration, or demonstration of understanding when your students add their "sticky notes" to your Padlet wall. 






TodaysMeet is a great tool for students to post questions when they are too shy to ask aloud in front of their peers. Read Richard Byrne's article about 3 Ways to Use TodaysMeet in the classroom







ClassTools.net has a wide variety of tech tools to use with your students. From the random name pickers to the QR code treasure hunt creator and the Fakebook and Twister tools, there is definitely something for every teacher and every student on this site! 








Dear Reader, 
I'd love to hear from you if you use one (or more) of these tech tools. Send me an email (ariley@aledoisd.org) or Tweet (@April_Riley) to tell me about how you use it with your students or staff. 

Tech the Halls!
April 




Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Tech the Halls #8: Insta-Shoppers


Today's "Tech the Halls" is solely a just for fun tip! (Although, if you took this same concept and applied it to educational companies or programs, you could use it for educational purposes.) 

Tech the Halls: Insta-Shoppers

Tech the Halls on Insta-gram, fa la la la la, la la la la. 
Follow all your favorite brands, fa la la la la, la la la la.

Search the users for your favorites, fa la la, la la la, la la la.
Stores, boutiques post their special products, fa la la, la la la, la la la.

If you follow your favorite stores, fa la la la la, la la la la.
With their bargains, it will save you more, fa la la la la, la la la la.

You can even find great tips and tricks, fa la la la la, la la la la.
To help you stay healthy and fit, fa la la la la, la la la la.

Are you an Instagram user? Did you know that many of your favorite stores, boutiques and brands also have Instagram accounts? They often use Instagram to share pictures of new inventory, special sales, and tips for wearing their clothing or using their products. So, go ahead, search the users section for stores like Target or Michael's or any of your other favorite major stores. Choose the ones you shop at often (or would like to shop at often) and add them to your list of "people" you follow. I love to look at Michael's posts to see decorating and craft ideas, especially this time of year! I also follow several of my favorite local boutiques. It paid off on Black Friday as I discovered that my teenage daughter's favorite store (Retrospections in Hudson Oaks, TX) had a special deal that morning and saved me 40% off! I knocked out the majority of my Christmas shopping for her in one store and saved my pocketbook, win-win! 
There are also a ton of fitness and health programs/companies that use Instagram. It's a great way to get tips and tricks for workouts, healthy eating, recipes and more. Type in some keywords or topics that are of interest to you in the search section. You will be amazed what you will find and how these quick little images can save you time and money. 

Don't have an Instagram account? You can create one for free! Or, if you have a Twitter or Facebook account, you can also find your favorite stores and brands on those platforms as well. You just need to search for them and follow them. I prefer Instagram for this because I can see, in one quick glance, images of what is new, on sale, their tips, etc. 

Here are a few recommendations on who to follow on Instagram: 
  • me @Riley_Aledo - Shameless plug! I don't sell anything but I'd love to follow you to see the awesome pictures you share on Instagram. :) 
  • Retrospection @RetrospectionHudsonOaks (boutique in Parker County, TX) 
  • Michael's @MichaelsStores
  • Homegoods @Homegoods
  • Target @Target
  • Sweet Love and Sugar Britches @SweetLoveandSugarBritches (boutique in Austin, TX area)
Happy Instagramming! 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Tech the Halls #7: Vocalize with Voki




Tech the Halls: Vocalize with Voki

Tech the Halls by using Voki, fa la la la la, la la la la. 
It's as easy as karaoke, fa la la la la, la la la la.

No login needed to get started, fa la la, la la la, la la la. 
But your knowledge will be imparted, fa la la, la la la, la la la.

Choose a character and customize it, fa la la la la, la la la la.
Type in a message, don't memorize it, fa la la la la, la la la la.

Click on publish to get a link, fa la la la la, la la la la.
Copy the link to share and tweet, fa la la la la, la la la la.


Voki is one of my long-time favorite web tools and it is FREE! I used it as a librarian to share book reviews, as well as had students create Vokis for their own book reviews and other projects. I've used it to make announcements on my webpage, as well as shared students' Vokis on the webpage. It's one of those tools that can be used for just about anything by anyone!

Here are a few tips for using Voki that I have learned over the years:

  1. You don't have to create an account to create a Voki, which makes it a great web tool for students under the age of 13. 
    • If you and/or your students choose to create an account, you can go back and make changes on published Vokis. (No account login = no edits after you leave the Voki site)
  2. If you have students create Vokis without creating or logging into an account, have them email you their published link. (After clicking on publish, it gives you the option to email directly from the site; thus, students do not have to have their own email.)  
  3. Make sure you and/or your students don't choose a character with the graduation cap icon in the upper right corner. (Graduation cap icon = Voki Classroom or Voki Presenter which requires paid subscription)
  4. Beware that students can click on the character/avatar and move the character around in the Voki player. This can also be a beneficial feature, but I can't write this post and leave out this warning. :) 
    • This is only a problem for those students who are set on being inappropriate. I had a 5th grade boy who thought it was funny to move the avatar so that all you saw on the screen was the character's voluptuous chest. 
    • Note that this was one student out of hundreds, over several years of using this tool. Don't let this deter you from using Voki!  
  5. By using the text feature (click on text to speech "T" button under Give it a Voice), students learn the importance of spacing after each word, as well as punctuation. Without those critical text features, the Voki runs all of the words together and is practically impossible to understand. 
Here is a document I created with basic directions for teachers or students to create a Voki and here is a simple rubric. Feel free to use it, share it, and/or repair it! 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Tech the Halls #6: Mirror, Mirror



As more and more teachers in my district purchase iPads, I am often asked the question, "How can I display my iPad on my SMARTboard?" A few years ago when I was a librarian, the solution I turned to was Apple TV. However, most teachers or schools today can't afford to spend $99 for an Apple TV in every classroom. Today's "Tech the Halls" tip provides an alternative, and much CHEAPER solution. 

Tech the Halls: Mirror, Mirror

Tech the halls with your iPad, fa la la la la, la la la la. 
If only you could display it for your class, fa la la la la, la la la la. 

Download the Mirroring 360, fa la la, la la la, la la la. 
You and your students will think it's nifty, fa la la, la la la, la la la.

With iPad airplay you can share, fa la la la la, la la la la. 
Using the 360 software, fa la la la la, la la la la. 

You can still interact with your SMARTboard, fa la la la la, la la la la. 
You won't even need a cord, fa la la la la, la la la la. 


If you have an iPad or Chromebook that you would like to display on your SMARTboard or other projected screen, then Splashtop's Mirroring360 is the product for you. You will need to purchase a software license for your computer for $14.99. (Way cheaper than the $99 for an Apple TV!) Once you've purchased the license, you will then need to install, or have your IT department install, the Mirroring360 software. Then, just use the AirPlay-Mirroring feature that is built in to your iPad or iPhone. (For Chromebooks you'll need to install this app from the Chrome store.) Ta-da! Your iPad, iPhone, or Chromebook will be mirrored on your computer and SMARTboard!

My favorite Mirroring360 feature is the fact that it can fill my entire SMARTboard screen, whereas Apple TV does not, AND you and your students can still interact with your board! (Apple TV does NOT allow the interactivity functions of your SMARTboard to work.)

Another product that works well on the iPad is Splashtop remote. It works in reverse of Mirroring360. In other words, it mirrors your computer screen onto your iPad or Chromebook which will allow you to freely walk around the room using your iPad as a remote to control your computer. To use this program, you will need to install the Splashtop Streamer on your computer and then purchase the Splashtop remote app on your iPad/iPhone ($4.99), Android, or Chromebook. 

One of the best things about the Splashtop products: they are device agnostic. In other words, you can use Splashtop or Mirroring360 with iPads, Chromebooks, PCs and Macbooks! And even better: NO cords required!!! Go forth and explore the Mirror, Mirror! :) 

Friday, December 5, 2014

Tech the Halls #5: Let's Chat!


Previously, I mentioned my new addiction to Twitter and the benefits of using it for professional development of my choosing and on my schedule. Well, one of my favorite applications of Twitter is a Twitter Chat! Did you know that educators around the world will get on Twitter at the same time to converse about specific topics? Twitter Chats, also known as Tweet Chats, can be an incredible way to connect with other like-minded educators to discuss various hot topics in education. For example, just last night I participated in the weekly Educational Service Center chat for Region XI #Gueri11aEd. A local 4th grade teacher posed questions about authentic learning and several teachers, instructional specialists, administrators from all over the state of Texas as well as a few other states tweeted out their answers. Go ahead and do a Twitter search for #Gueri11aEd to see some of the conversation. 
Thinking of lurking or want to participate in a Twitter Chat, watch this tutorial.

Still want to know more about Twitter Chats, check out Cybrary Man's Twitter Chat list of resources

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Tech the Halls #4: PD in your PJs



Are you tired of sitting through staff development only to walk away feeling like you need a whole 'nother day to comprehend and apply what you were supposed to learn at the training in the first place?! Would you like to take control of WHAT you learn and WHEN you learn it? Wouldn't it be great to learn from home, on the couch, in your PJs?  Today's "Tech the Halls" will provide you with an anytime-anywhere solution! 

Tech the Halls: Tweet, Tweet, Tweet

Tech the Halls by using Twitter, fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la. 
Learn from home so forget the sitter, fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la. 

Follow other ed-u-cators, fa-la-la, la-la-la, la-la-la.  
Be inspired by innovators, fa-la-la, la-la-la, la-la-la.   

Tweet your favorite ed tech resource, fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la. 
Use a hashtag to encourage discourse, fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la. 

When you find something you'd like to repeat, fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la.
Mark a favorite or use retweet, fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la.


Do you have a Twitter account but aren't sure where to start or how to use it for professional development? Check out this organized and well-written blog post by David Truss about using Twitter for professional development

Honestly, I have had a Twitter account for over five years now; however, I didn't really see the benefit of it or even get the whole "Twitter thing" at first. Then, a year ago I attended the Tech Forum Texas conference and presenters and participants at the conference kept referring to Twitter. Suddenly, my interest was peeked and I discovered the relevance. Presenters were tweeting out links to their presentations and attendees were sharing their personal resources that corresponded with the topics. So, I jumped on the Twitter bandwagon - after all EVERYONE else was doing it! :-) The best part: even after the conference is over I can go back to Twitter and search the conference hashtag #TLtechlive and discover a wide variety of relevant resources, all while sitting in my PJs drinking hot chocolate! 

Get started by creating a Twitter account today. Then, follow some awesome educators for a little PD in your PJs! 


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Tech the Halls #3: Say Cheese!


Today's "Tech the Halls" tech tip arrives just in time for the holidays. While this resource is not exactly educational, it is too good of a deal not to share!
Often times throughout the year we use our phones to snap a picture, but then do nothing more than share it on social media. Don't let those pictures just hangout in the cloud; turn those images into lasting memories at the Canvas People. Visit the site right now and save 60% off during the Cyber Week special, or use this link to save $25 off your order if the Cyber Week special has expired. The Canvas People site is easy to navigate and allows you to upload pictures directly from your phone, tablet, or computer to create beautiful photo canvases. Create one today to give as a gift or make one for yourself; turn those snapshots into lasting memories!

Tech the Halls: Uno, dos, tres!

Tech the halls with smiles and laughter, Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la. 
Canvas People has the deal your after, Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la. 

Take a picture and preserve a memory, Fa-la-la, la-la-la, la-la-la.
Upload the pic to their site directory, Fa-la-la, la-la-la, la-la-la.

Cyber Week saves 60 percent, Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la.
Create a gift and get it sent, Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la.

Hang your canvas on the wall, Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la.
Then, you'll really deck the halls, Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la.



Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Tech the Halls 2: #GivingTuesday


Today's "Tech the Halls" technology tip (or deal) is in honor of #GivingTuesday, a day dedicated to giving back. Learn more about #GivingTuesday by visiting the Giving Tuesday website or watch the short video at the end of this blog post. 

Tech the Halls: Take Two

Tech the Halls by giving back, Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la.
Use these sites on Dell or Mac, Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la.

Season's Readings from We Give Books, Fa-la-la, la-la-la, la-la-la.
Helps children in need, so take a look, Fa-la-la, la-la-la, la-la-la.

For every book you read online, Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la.
Books are doubled if within the timeline, Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la.

Use We Give Books site in your classroom, Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la.
And at home with your little ones too, Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la.


Visit the We Give Books website for a variety of children's books that can be read online directly on your computer, smart phone or tablet browser. Choose from thousands of beautifully illustrated, well-loved books written for the wee-babies to the teenagers. The books on this site display perfectly on a SMARTboard or other classroom presentation system, which would be great for whole class read-alouds or as a balanced literacy station. Individually, students can choose a book to read on a classroom computer or other device when they finish their assignments early or as an independent reading station. 

"But I don't teach an elementary or intermediate grade, why do I need to visit this site?" We Give Books is a great resource to entertain your personal children after school or at home! It would also be a fun site to use to change things up a bit: 
  • Foreign language teachers can allow students to select a book from the site to translate a section of it into another language or have students write a book summary or review in Spanish, French, German, etc. 
  • Speech, theater or drama teachers can have students select a book and bring the story to life by performing it for younger grades either virtually or physically. 
  • Art, consumer science, journalism or digital graphics teachers can use the illustrations to facilitate discussions about design elements, page layout, illustration techniques, etc. 
  • English Language Arts teachers can have students scour the books for figurative language, characterization, author's purpose, etc. and then compare it to the novel you are reading in class. 
  • Science teachers can have students select an informational text as a foundation for research. Students can do additional research on that topic or concept and then follow the picture book model to create their own children's book as a way to present their research. Think how much more fun this style of research papers would be to read! 
  • Social studies teachers challenge your students to find a book and relate it to a time period you are studying in history. Geography teachers can have students locate the cities, states, or countries that the stories take place, where the book was published, or where the author and illustrators live, etc. 
  • Math teachers can select a short book and time students reading it aloud. Then create a class graph to analyze the data from students' top reading speeds. (This will also improve their fluency, which in turn means students can read those timed test questions at a faster rate.) Or, challenge your students to select a book to write a mathematical word problem for the rest of the class to solve. 

Be sure to check out the Educator Resources section for more great ideas to integrate We Give Books into your classroom at any grade level (grades Pre-K through 12th). 

The best part of this site: while you read a digital book, the organization gives physical books to charities around the world! During the Season's Readings challenge, the organization will double the number of books they give to children in need. What educator doesn't value the importance of putting books into the hands of kids?! And of course, you can also make monetary donations to the site if you feel inclined to give. 


#GivingTuesday Video 



Monday, December 1, 2014

Tech the Halls... #1

It's a Christmas Countdown with technology tips, tricks, steals, and deals to help you and your students get organized, stay motivated and engaged until the holiday break. We have fifteen {15} school days until Christmas break, so check back everyday for tips and tricks to "Tech the Halls."

Tech the Halls: Take One


Tech the halls with Google Drive, Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la.
Uploading your files can save your life, Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la.

Then you install Google Drive on your laptop, Fa-la-la, la-la-la, la-la-la.
Be sure to pin Google Drive on your task bar, Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la.

Click on the icon for instant syncing, Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la.
On other devices you can be reading, Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la.

Use Google Drive for safety measure, Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la.
When you learn it you will treasure, Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la.

Okay, so maybe uploading your files won't save your life, but it can definitely make your life easier! 

1. To upload your files, login to your Google Drive account via Google Chrome. 




2. Click on the red upload arrow (or in the New Drive click on "New") and choose "Folder" (in the New Drive click on "Folder upload").
 

3. Browse your computer for your "My Documents" or "Documents" folder in the pop-up box and click "OK." (You would also follow this process to upload files from your "Desktop" or another drive location such as a flash-drive, just choose "Desktop" or "Computer" and your flashdrive instead of My Documents.)













4. After a few seconds, or minutes (depending on how many files you have), a pop-up box should appear showing the progress of your uploads.
5. Install Google Drive software on your computer. If you have administrative rights on your computer, you can use the Install link from Google Chrome. If you don't and you are an Aledo ISD employee, you should be able to install by following the directions in this presentation.
6. Pin Google Drive to your computer's task bar to ensure syncing and access your files quickly. To do so, search for Google Drive from your computer's start menu and then right click on it and click on "Pin to Taskbar." 
                       





And that's a wrap! Don't forget to check back daily for the "Tech the Halls" Countdown to Christmas Break. Let's "Tech the Halls" this holiday season!

It's Never Too Late for a New Year's Resolution!

For the past year or so I've been toying with the idea of starting a blog as a way to promote and share instructional strategies and tips for K-12 Educators. Well, today, December 1, 2014, I've decided to jump in feet first! While December first may not be the start to a brand-new year, I decided it was the right time to start something new in hopes of inspiring and recognizing innovative educators. After all, it's never too late, or too early, to set a resolution!
So, join me on my journey as I ramble in text and rally the troops to provide inspiration and showcase innovation, too!