Monday, January 23, 2017

Why have I been so quiet? 3D Printers are to blame, I swear.

This post has been cross posted onto the Bonny Eagle Technology Department blog as well. Given that I've been so quiet on this blog lately, I thought it would be a good idea to share it here since this has been my focus so far this year.

Last Spring, the Technology Department came upon an opportunity to bring 3D printing into our schools through a package deal offered by MakerBot, one of the most well known 3D printer companies out there. Bonny Eagle Middle School opted to take advantage of the offer and was subsequently able to bring two MakerBot Replicators (5th Generation) as well as MakerBot Digitizer, which can scan 3D objects, into their school. The printers spent last spring in the technology department as we learned more about the best practices and support methods we could use to ensure the technology would be ready to go before implementation.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Creating a Table of Contents in Google Documents

If you are like me and live your life with Google Drive now instead of off line options, you might find yourself getting overwhelmed by navigating Google Documents as they get longer. In that case, paying attention to your styles and creating a table of contents (and using outline view) will likely be helpful for you. If you aren't familiar with how to make it happen, check out the screencast below and I'll show you how easy it is.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Conditional Formatting with Google Sheets

Do you often find yourself starring down a sea of numbers on a spreadsheet not really sure what it all means? For more visual folks, conditional formatting might be a great option for you and it is super easy to do. It is a tool that formats the cells in a spreadsheet based on the data in it. You can do more basic "if this is true color it that" type formatting or get more complicated with a color scale based on the distribution of the numbers. It is certainly one of my favorite features of Google Sheets! Check out my quick screencast below to learn how to use this awesome tool.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

What happens if.... the dilemma of missing assignments when posting grades.

The time has come, the walrus said, to talk of many things. In my case, this walrus is talking about posting grades on Infinite Campus pretty much nonstop as of late. The "What happens if..." questions are likely the most frequent beyond the simple "how do I post" question (and I'll have more on that one later this week 💭).

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Customizing Assignment Order in Infinite Campus Gradebook

Now that the trimester is well under way, you might find yourself wanting to customize how you assignments are displayed in Infinite Campus. Fortunately, using the sort option in your gradebook, you can do just that. You are able to sort the following items in ascending or descending order:

Monday, October 3, 2016

"Fix" for No Categories Issue on Infinite Campus

I've been meeting with a number of teachers lately who are having problems aligning assignments to certain standards/indicators. Fortunately, the fix is really simple and the line that states "No Categories" under the standard gives us a hint as to what is wrong. Simply put, you need to attach your standards to the summative and formative categories. This quick screencast will walk you through what you need to do to fix it.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Assessing the Guiding Principles at BEMS on Infinite Campus

Earlier this week I was asked to share my directions for how to assess the guiding principles on Infinite Campus. For those of you who were at BEMS last year, not a lot has changed beyond that we are assessing on three guiding principles only twice per trimester. If you are new to BEMS or would rather have a 1:1 refresher, you can certainly make an appointment with me and I can walk you through the process and show you how easy it is.

Connecting to Your AppleTV at Bonny Eagle

It has been an absolutely nutty start to the school year. Teachers have been doing an amazing job at booking me fast and furiously with my data showing more appointments than ever before (on average). Along with appointments, I've been working with the technology department to roll out the new AppleTVs as quickly as we could. In the last round, we could setup a bunch of them at once and we were also installing them based on request. This time we decided to push them out to as many classrooms as possible all at once to make the experience more consistent across the board. With that, each unit had to be set up individually, which took half an hour or so per unit with the updating, etc. that was needed to be done. We wrapped up the set up process and really hustled to get the AppleTVs installed, the majority of which were completed by the end of last week for both the middle and high schools.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Using Messenger in Infinite Campus' Campus Instruction (2016)

Did you know that you can send messages to parents and/or students right within Infinite Campus? It makes it really easy to communicate with either party about a wide range of common items. The Class Message tool works well for when you want to send home a newsletter or other mass communication that isn't student specific. The Grade Message option will let you send out a message to only a specific set of students/guardians based on the grade that the student currently has in your class. I love this option for ensuring that parents aren't surprised to learn that their student isn't doing well in your class (or at least to attempt to). The final option is for Missing Assignments. I would often use this one on Thursday afternoon so that the student could gather the necessary materials from me on Friday and then spend their weekend getting caught up.

If you are interested in getting started, I have a few resources available for you.