Z Drive & Network Storage Update (August 2018)

Hello everyone!

THE BAD NEWS 🙁

The Z drive network storage disk died this summer and became unusable mid-July. We were unable to access (from our end) any of the data, and all the tricks we had up our sleeves didn’t work (which included techniques like putting the drive in the freezer to cool off for a bit…)

THE GOOD NEWS 🙂

We contracted with an outside vendor (more on that later, in a separate email, because we setup a partnership with them should you ever need data recovery services yourself) and they were able to recover 99% of the data for us! Continue reading “Z Drive & Network Storage Update (August 2018)”

Cultural Connections – Learn About Fika, a Swedish Tradition

Standards Connection

Ohio’s Social Studies Standards, grade 2

  • CS 8: Cultures develop in unique ways, in part through the influence of the physical environment.
  • CS 9: Interactions among cultures lead to sharing ways of life.

What is fika?

via http://www.swedishfood.com/fika

Fika is often translated as “a coffee and cake break”, which is kind of correct, but really it is much more than that.

Fika is a concept, a state of mind, an attitude and an important part of Swedish culture. Many Swedes consider that it is almost essential to make time for fika every day. It means making time for friends and colleagues to share a cup of coffee (or tea) and a little something to eat. Continue reading “Cultural Connections – Learn About Fika, a Swedish Tradition”

Improve Literacy with Read&Write

Have you noticed a little purple puzzle piece decorated with the letters “rw” appear while you are navigating on Google Chrome? That puzzle piece is the Read&Write Google Extension that has been added to all Chromebooks, grades k-12, in the Streetsboro City Schools.

So, what does this extension do? Read&Write is a software created by Texthelp that offers the support that many students need with their reading and writing.  This tool has over 80 features that help student literacy including text-to-speech, a picture dictionary, translators, and various study skill aides.

To learn more about how you can maximize usage of Read&Write in your classroom, click on the following links for resources from Texthelp.

Read&Write Introductory Video

How-To Guide for Students

Read&Write Accommodates Every Learning Style

How To Create A Dynamic Reading Experience

Psst…Math teachers… Don’t feel left out!  Texthelp also has a math program, Equatio. To learn more, click here!

Thinglink your Images

thinglink

So many of my students find it easier to explain their understanding with pictures than with words. My challenge, though, is that I don’t always understand what they might be trying to say with those images. Thinglink is a content platform that allows students to upload photos and add annotations. Those annotations can be text, images, links, other images, and much more. Thinglink images can then be shared via Google Classroom or added to Google Sites or other platforms. It’s a powerful tool that’s easy to use!

Image result for thinglink images

“Keep” Yourself On Track

If you are like me and need to check tasks off to prove to yourself you are actually done, Google Keep is a great tool for you. If you are also like me and fill your planner and calendars with assignments, birthdays, family events, and everything else going on in your life, Google Keep is for you.

I recently started using Keep as a weekly checklist/ pacing guide to keep my classes on track.

It’s simple. I add a list for each week in the quarter. I then color-code the quarter so that I can easily find where I am in the year. From there, I add the tasks that need to be completed each week with my classes; this eliminates my mind from wandering to everything else going on in life! When I’m done with a task, I simply click the box to check it off! If I don’t get something  done that week, I simply move the task to the next week. If I think of something I forgot, I just add it!

This tool has really helped me stay on track.  Keep has also helped a few of my students who get overwhelmed balance workloads from multiple classes.

Simply look for the Keep icon in your Google waffle grid and start making lists!  I can truthfully say there are very few things that feel better at 3:00pm on a Friday than a Keep list that is completely checked off!

Quick Formative Assessments with The Answer Pad!

It is pretty common for a teacher to say to their students, “Put your thumb on your chest. If you feel like and expert on this topic, point your thumb towards the sky. If you’re feeling pretty good about the topic, point your thumb to your heart. If you need more help, point your thumb at your desk.” Yes, this method is good for a quick formative assessment, but we know that students are sometimes afraid to show their level of understanding in front of classmates. So how can we easily give our students a formative assessment that is more private? Welcome The Answer Pad into your classroom.

The Answer Pad is an interactive website and app that teachers can use for free (there is an upgraded version for under $20) to check student understanding at any point in a lesson or unit. Therefore, this app-website combo can be used to administer formative assessments to students directly to their own device whenever the teacher feels a checkpoint is appropriate.

Connecting with students is simple. The Answer Pad generates a code for students to join a “Quick Connect” session.  Once students are in, the teacher can present a question verbally or visually on the board, and simultaneously send a question response style to the students that will show up on their device.  The response styles range from true/false all the way to plotting on a coordinate grid! The variety of response styles is one of the major reasons I would choose this site over other similar response systems.

You can create an account by going to The Answer Pad.  However, I am warning you, once you create an account, you will play around for hours testing out all the awesome features!

SlidesCarnival adds Style

slidescarnival

Google has come a long way from the plain white slide format from years ago. But some of the designs lack the panache and wow factor that you may be looking for. Consider using SlidesCarnival to download some fresh templates to brighten up your slide decks. SlidesCarnival is a database of free downloadable templates for both PowerPoint and Google Slides organized by vibe and all named after characters from Shakespeare’s works.

Once you find a template you like, click “Use as Google Slides Theme” and you’re ready to go! To find that template to use again, just click “Import Theme”

Next time you need to dress up your slides, use SlidesCarnival to “but mend the style” (Sonnet 78)

New Theme Options to Help Brand & Customize Your Google Forms

To help Google Forms users create more personalized surveys, feedback forms, quizzes, and more, Google is introducing new theme customization options.

Specifically, you can now choose colors and fonts to theme your form. This has been a top feature request from Google’s users, who have asked for more options to create forms that match their organization or team branding. They hope these options help you build forms that look and feel just right.

Continue reading “New Theme Options to Help Brand & Customize Your Google Forms”

About the General Data Protection Regulation

You’re likely getting a lot of email from various vendors about the GDPR. It only applies to companies that do or want to do business in the European Union, but some companies in the United States are following suit and matching requirements here regarding data protection for individuals.
 
It does not necessarily impact how we handle data protection here at Streetsboro Schools since we are not in the business of aggregating, collecting, and selling user data to others. In fact, we take several measures to protect both student and staff data and only disclose the legal minimum to vendors and other partners – enough data to create a username, for example.
 
Regardless, your personal data in accounts like Twitter, Facebook, and other online services are likely impacted by the now enforceable regulation in the EU, and you will be able to make choices about your data with some of those vendors. It’s important to fully understand how it impacts you as a private citizen, and how you may take steps to protect your data, and yourself. 
 

So, what is the GDPR?

 
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (EU) 2016/679 is a regulation in EU law on data protection and privacy for all individuals within the European Union and the European Economic Area. It also addresses the export of personal data outside the EU and EEA. 
 
The GDPR aims primarily to give control to citizens and residents over their personal data and to simplify the regulatory environment for international business by unifying the regulation within the EU.
 
Superseding the Data Protection Directive, the regulation contains provisions and requirements pertaining to the processing of personally identifiable information of data subjects inside the European Union. 
 
Business processes that handle personal data must be built with data protection by design and by default*, meaning that personal data must be stored using pseudonymisation or full anonymisation, and use the highest-possible privacy settings by default, so that the data is not available publicly without explicit consent, and cannot be used to identify a subject without additional information stored separately. 
 
*Apps like Facebook and Twitter operate quite the opposite, with the intent of collecting and selling your information – it’s how they make money.
 
No personal data may be processed unless it is done on a lawful basis specified by the regulation, or if the data controller or processor has received explicit, opt-in consent from the data’s owner. The data owner has the right to revoke this permission at any time.
 
A processor of personal data must clearly disclose any data collection, declare the lawful basis and purpose for data processing, how long data is being retained, and if it is being shared with any third-parties or outside of the EU. Users have the right to request a portable copy of the data collected by a processor in a common format, and the right to have their data erased under certain circumstances. 
 
Public authorities and businesses whose core activities center around the regular or systematic processing of personal data are required to employ a data protection officer (DPO), who is responsible for managing compliance with the GDPR. Businesses must report any data breaches within 72 hours if they have an adverse effect on user privacy.
 
It was adopted on 14 April 2016, and after a two-year transition period, became enforceable today, 25 May 2018. 
 
Because the GDPR is a regulation, not a directive, it does not require national governments to pass any enabling legislation and is directly binding and applicable.
 
For the complete text of the GDPR, visit https://gdpr-info.eu/

Kahoot Floods

Kahoot

I often use Kahoot to review with my students. My classes love the game and request that we play to help prepare for our assessments. So when a request came in to use Kahoot to review for an assessment, I was happy to oblige.

In my class of 10 students, suddenly there were 200 people playing this Kahoot. How?

Bots.

A student in my class went to a spam site and inserted the game code, then we were playing with my 10 students and 200 of our closest robots.

But don’t despair, it’s easy to keep bots from playing your games. In your game setup, where you choose to play in Classic Mode or Team Mode, scroll down to turn on “Enable 2-Step Join.” It will require players to answer an additional question before they can join the game. Now you can play without worry!

Kahoot 2 step join