Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Viewing Google Sites Shared With You From Outside Your Domain

Our school district is made up of at least 7 different Google domains (, one for each school and one for the central office.  While this makes it easier on the Google Administrators in the district, it causes some issues when it comes to sharing between these domains.

One issue that has come up recently is the sharing of Google sites.  Teachers are not able to view sites shared with them by a teacher in another school or at the district level in their "sites" app.

If you are having this issue, the easy solution to this is to go to for a list of all personal sites that have been shared with you OR where is the domain of the person who shared it with you.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Digital Voice Recording with Vocaroo

One of the most powerful, yet underutilized, features of technology today is the ability to record students' voice.  This can aid in assessing reluctant writers, give a voice to the shyest students, help students proof-read their own writing, and assist students in developing reading fluency independently.  There are a myriad of applications that can be used for this, but I have recently discovered a simple tool that is perfect for use on our school's new Chromebooks.

Vocaroo is a web-based audio recording application that allows you to embed, email, or share your audio files to a variety of social media sites.  You can also create a QR Code for your audio file, which others can scan to hear.

Test it out.  I'd love to hear how you are using it in your classroom!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Resetting Mac Network Printer List

Having trouble printing to our network printers?  If you keep getting the message that your computer is unable to find the printer you have chosen, even if you JUST printed to it, you can fix the problem in a few easy steps.  First, check to make sure that lights beside the white cable in the back of the printer are flashing.  If they aren't call me.  If they are, try to trouble-shoot using the steps below.

Go to System Preferences and select Printers & Scanners

Look at your list of printers...Is the printer you just printed to "paused?"  This can happen if there was an issue with the printer earlier (low toner, no paper, etc.).

You can restart print jobs by clicking "resume."
If this doesn't seem to be the issue, you can also reset your printing system.  This will remove all of the printers in your list, so ONLY do this if you don't have any printers installed from home.  (You can remove each printer by selecting the printer and clicking the "-" at the bottom of the list.)  

Resetting the printer list needs to happen within our building, since the printers are on our network.  To do this, hold down "CONTROL" and click on the printer list.  Select "Reset printing system."  

You must then restart your computer, allowing it to sync both on log-out and on log-in.

If you go back to your Systems Preference, you should now see a freshly repopulated list of printers.  

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Storytelling & Movie-Making with Stupeflix

Digital storytelling is one of the most engaging activities for students.  While many of us are familiar with iMovie on Macs or iPads, iMovie cannot be used on PCs or Chromebooks.  Stupeflix, however, is a web-based application that can be used to create digital stories with pictures, video, audio, text, music, etc.  You simply drag and drop your video and/or images, then add text or record audio.  Add background music for added fun.  An added bonus is that you can create an account using your Google account, so there is one fewer account to keep track of.

I created the movie below in about 10 minutes at at tech conference I attended recently:

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Adobe Flash Updates

There is nothing more annoying that to have planned the PERFECT lesson, complete with technology integration, and find that Adobe Flash needs to be updated.  There are a few easy ways to work around this in the short term.

1.  Use Google Chrome instead of Apple's Safari
Chrome includes Flash and is set to update on its own, so it should run any content requiring Flash with no problem.

2.  On your Mac laptop, go to "Systems Preferences."  On the bottom of the window, you should see an icon for Flash Player.  Click on the icon, then select "Advanced" at the top of the screen.  Under "Updates," click on Check Now.  If an update is available, you can download and install it.  Make sure that you close the Systems Preferences and Safari window after the download is complete so that it can finish installing.

Friday, March 21, 2014


Educreations is a free interactive whiteboard app available on the BES iPads.  You can use the app to create lessons containing audio, video, drawings, and images.  Thousands of lessons are available publicly for viewing.  

In the school setting, teachers can set up classroom level accounts that their students can join using a course code.  Once students have their accounts set up, they can submit their own lessons for teachers and classmates to view.

To learn more, visit the Educreation website.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Organizing Shared Files in Google Drive

As can be expected, Google advertises their Google Apps for Education as a powerful tool with a multitude of benefits for the educational community.   Not only is it a secure, user-friendly platform that can be accessed from the cloud anywhere in the world, it also encourages collaboration within the classroom, a skill that the International Society for Technology in Education identifies  as one of the six core standards that students must acquire to be prepared for the digital age.

The school where I work has a been a Google Apps for Education school for many years.  The teachers who do use it regularly know that the collaboration features can bolster student learning and provide teachers with valuable formative assessment data, but constantly sharing files can become cumbersome.  I conducted some research and found a few easy strategies to facilitate sharing of files within a classroom that will help to maintain organization within Google Drive.  I hope that this will help to encourage more teachers to put Google Drive to use with their students.

Please check out my Diigo library to learn more of the capabilities of Google Apps for Education.