Resetting A Student Chromebook.

posted Aug 16, 2015, 1:52 PM by Tom Rademaker

The steps outlined below should be followed when a student is experiencing issues with their Chromebooks such as web page re-directs, wifi connectivity issues, commonly used apps or extensions failing to load, and a host of other issues.    

Rock the Test!

posted Mar 4, 2015, 7:51 AM by

YouTube Video

Kid-Friendly Search Engine Options

posted Dec 8, 2014, 6:50 AM by Autumn Howell

For students in the primary and intermediate grades, going to Google to search for research information or images could end badly whether at home or at school; a student could misspell a word and land on an image or page which they didn't intend or they could see something more suitable for teenagers to read or see. 

There are five free search engines that you can use with your students in the classroom as a teacher or at home as a parent, which are great resources to keep your students safe while navigating and searching online. 

SafeSearchKids -

  • SafeSearchKids offers both safe search for information as well as for images, which is a great alternative to using the regular Google Search with kids.

KidRex -

  • KidRex is a search engine that only offers the opportunity to search safely for information. Kids will not be able to specifically choose to search for images, as you can with Google. They would have to look for their image name + add “image” after the word to possibly find some (ex: ice cream images). However, their site looks great and engaging, so it would be great for students to use to find research.

InfoTopia -

  • InfoTopia offers both safe search for information as well as for images, which is a great alternative to using the regular Google Search with kids.

GoogleJunior -

  • GoogleJunior offers both safe search for information as well as for images, which is a great alternative to using the regular Google Search with kids.

SearchyPants -

  • This website allows you to create your own search page and customize it for your specific class. This could be a good alternative, but you would have to make an account and try it to see for yourself.

The Secret Powers of Chrome's Address Bar

posted Oct 30, 2014, 5:57 AM by Autumn Howell   [ updated Oct 30, 2014, 5:57 AM ]

With Google Chrome, there are already so many great tools within the apps and extensions for teachers and education. However, I never knew there were so many things you could do with the address bar! I think I'll start implementing some of these into my use of Chrome. Click the link below to read the tips & tricks. 

10 Free Google Chrome Extensions Teachers Should Try

posted Oct 1, 2014, 1:11 PM by   [ updated Oct 1, 2014, 1:13 PM ]

Region 8 Training Opportunities

posted Sep 26, 2014, 9:18 AM by

Region 8

Introducing the Chromebook

posted Sep 8, 2014, 9:01 AM by

YouTube Video

Technology Usage Chart

posted Sep 5, 2014, 5:53 AM by Autumn Howell   [ updated Oct 30, 2014, 5:58 AM ]

With our 1:1 rollout with Chromebooks at the high school this year, we have created a district-wide technology usage chart so common terms are being used at all grade levels. With Converse elementary students, the terms are being adapted for kindergarten and first grade students for better understanding by the students. Teachers have been asked to display this document in their classroom and use these terms when referring to technology usage in their classrooms. 

Google Classroom Introduction

posted Jul 31, 2014, 6:51 AM by Autumn Howell   [ updated Jul 31, 2014, 10:12 AM ]

Have you ever stopped and even tried to calculate how many hours you spend copying worksheets handouts, quizzes, and tests for your students? What about how many hours you may have spent at your desk just staring down the mounds of papers needed to be graded and returned to your students? With all that on top of your lesson planning, it's no wonder teachers grow quickly overwhelmed as soon as the school year begins!

As an English teacher and yearbook adviser, many days I was overwhelmed by the amount of work I needed to do to give adequate feedback to my students. With 120 English students last year, grading essays would take an entire weekend to get through going through lots of Sharpie pens in the meantime to give them feedback and respond to their work. I found implementing Google Drive assignments to be one great way I could return feedback to my students quickly, but I felt that sometimes they wouldn't check it and would make the same mistakes in their writing time and time again. 

With technology constantly evolving and Oak Hill adopting more and more advanced technology for teacher and student use ... the times are changing! One new technology Oak Hill will implement this year is Google Classroom -- allowing teachers more time to teach and students more time to learn. 

Google Classroom will allow teachers to create a course for each class or section of a subject they teach. For example, if I had five sections of English 11, I would be able to create a different "class" in Google Classroom for each period. Within the class, you will be able to post announcements and assignments for your students, as well as resources they may use in your classroom or at home. 

Being a teacher at heart, one of my FAVORITE features of Google Classroom is the ability to pass out assignments AND collect them through Google Classroom. The days of walking around the classroom picking up assignments might be nearly over! How much time could you save during your class period with students without having to collect, organize, and paperclip all the papers together for that period? 

You can post assignments that you have created in your Google Drive directly to your site, and you can even ask Google Classroom to make a copy for each student -- allowing students to complete the assignment right on the original document you shared with them! 

Another wonderful feature of Google Classroom with assignments is the ability to make comments and grade DIRECTLY IN Google Classroom! You can view their Google Drive document, give the grade, and return their work so they can view how they did and read your comments and feedback. 

I also LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that it will automatically organize all the assignments in YOUR Google Drive when students submit them. When I would use Google Drive for my students to submit their essays or other written assignments and projects, I would get so stressed out looking at my shared folder and seeing what felt like a million assignments piled up, wondering if I would ever be able to get through all of the grading. Now, with Classroom, you will have folders that are organized by class/subject AND by the assignment as you posted it. Organization has never been easier for teachers!

These are all tasks that college-bound students will be doing after they graduate from Oak Hill, and it's amazing that we have the opportunity to prepare our students for their lives post-high school.  

Google Chrome: Powerful Assistive Technology Resource

posted Jul 30, 2014, 7:14 AM by   [ updated Jul 30, 2014, 7:14 AM ]

Google Chrome is a freeware web browser developed by Google. It has valuable elements that make it an important assistive technology tool for schools. Assistive technology refers to any item, piece of equipment, or product that helps people with disabilities in a learning or work environment. One reason for choosing Google Chrome is that its apps and extensions offer access and supports to students with special needs.

Google Chrome is different from other web browsers in that when you log-in to Chrome, you can completely personalize it and manage bookmarks, electronic files, and special add-on tools. This personalization can extend across all the devices you use, including school computers, home computers, tablets, Chromebooks, and smartphones.

Here are three important caveats to understand if you are thinking about Chrome tools for schools:

  1. You (or the student) must have a Google log-in address
  2. A Chrome web browser must be used on your device of choice
  3. You must have an Internet connection

Google Chrome’s interface can be “tweaked” and enhanced with apps and extensions. The set of extensions and apps that follow are a starting point for personalizing learning to help support students with special needs.

Chrome Extensions

Chrome Extensions add functionality to Chrome, allowing the user to do things like hear text read aloud from any webpage. Some valuable extensions for students with special needs are highlighted below.

iSpeech | Link
iSpeech is a free text-to-speech software that converts text to a natural sounding voice. Highlight the text you want read and click on and it will read the text aloud.

Evernote Clearly | Link
Clearly makes webpages, articles, and blog posts, clean and easy to read by removing ads, banners, and other distracting elements. With one click, Clearly removes distractions, allowing you to browse multi-page articles in a seamless view.

Read&Write for Google | Link
Read&Write for Google offers a range of powerful support tools to help students with reading and writing. Students can:

  • Hear words, passages, or whole documents read aloud with easy-to-follow dual color highlighting
  • See the meaning of words explained with text and picture dictionaries
  • Hear text translated into other languages
  • Write using a “predict the next word as you type” feature

Chrome Apps

Chrome Apps are web-based applications designed to be used exclusively within the Chrome browser. Using apps, you can do things like create documents and edit photos without having to install complicated software. Three apps that may be helpful for students with special needs are highlighted below.

Dictanote | Link
Dictanote is a speech recognition app that allows individuals to dictate simple notes into Google Chrome.

Lucid Charts | Link
Lucidchart is a web-based diagramming tool that can help students brainstorm ideas. Students can work individually on assignments or with other classmates to create and edit diagrams in real time.

Pic Monkey | Link
Pic Monkey allows you to capture and instantly edit web page images and screenshots. Users can crop, annotate, and add special effects to images.

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