Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Technology Newsletter April 2015

Happy April!

I really like using this blog as a way to introduce resources that could be beneficial to instruction in your room. These are meant to be an intro and overview. Please feel free to set up a meeting where we could go over any of these together.


I shared this at one of the afterschool PD sessions but it is worth mentioning for teachers looking for a free and fun student response system.

The teacher site is:

This is where you would create your free account and set up your first interactive discussion, quiz, or survey.

Kahoot! is game based. Students earn points based on their answers but also the speed of their response. There is a leaderboard of the top 5 students that is displayed during the activity. You also see the number of responses to each answer so you can use this as a way to correct any misunderstandings.

The students would log in at:

They use the code provided. Students do not see the questions on their screen. You display them on your projector or television in front of the room. The student device acts as a response system.

I created a short video walking through their sample Kahoot!


(Make sure to include the "education" on the end of the url.)

Tackk is a new web tool on the scene that allows you to create collaborative web content. It's free for teachers and students and has a wonderful education community with ideas on how to use it in instruction.

https://tackk.com/@education/tackks is their education specific blog that has a wealth of instructional ideas for how to use this in the classroom. 

https://tackk.com/tackk-edu-advocates is a direct link to educators using Tackk where you can see examples of ideas that might inspire your own classroom use. 

Tackk is very easy to use and it is free!

Reflector 2

Reflector is an interesting piece of software. It allows you to use your computer like an Apple TV or a Chromecast to display content from portable devices. They just updated to Reflector 2 and it has a free trial. It's only $14.99. I highly recommend you try out the free trial to see if it meets the needs of your classroom. The new version is much more stable and does allow you to record what the device is displaying on screen. I currently use it on my computer when I make videos for staff on what content looks like on an iPad or Chromebook. 

Trouble Reporting Tips

One of our goals in 2015 is to improve the error reporting process so we get to your needs faster. This requires a little help from you. Please make sure you report issues early. If something is a reoccuring issue, please let us know so we can help. Don't let it get to the point of frustration. 

For High School: Please email HSTrouble.Reports@westg.org

For Elementary and Middle School: Please contact your AV/Tech Supplemental Holder. They will put is a Trouble Ticket that will make us aware of the issue. This is important because it allows us to organize and keep track of progress.

Information that we need from you:

Room Number:
What is the problem you are having:
Were there any error messages? 
What were they?
Does this happen all the time or in specific situations?

The more you tell us, the faster we will pin down the actual problem and be able to resolve you issue. 


The easiest way to contact me is through email at sean.whelan@westg.org. Please let me know what you'd like to meet about, your room number, free periods, and any other info that might be helpful to me in order to prepare for our meeting. I'd love to meet with you to see if I can help facilitate any issue you might be having. Also, if there is something I share that you would like to implement in your classroom or with your team, please let me know. I would be thrilled to help.