- using technology better- NEWSLETTER - ISSUE 12 - 2019

Welcome to this fortnight's newsletter

This issue is full of tips and updates for you!

  • An awesome tool for capturing student voice and more.
  • Something to make you think.
  • Our exciting new partner - Sphero!
  • A very important announcement about YouTube Brand Accounts.
  • G Suite and O365 updates.
  • A great tool for teaching financial literacy.
  • Free training event!
  • News about online and face to face courses with UTB.

And more!

something we think you'll like....

Soundtrap - Capture student voice and more!

We had a lot of fun hanging out with the fine people at Soundtrap during Edutech.

Their new collaborative podcasting feature is a real game changer for educators who would like to support their students to explore the format of podcasting.

Soundtrap for Storytellers allows students to work online together to record podcasts then edit and share them all within their browser window.

Check out this great video about their new features...

Something to make you think...

Anti-Facial Recognition Tactics

As technology companies and governments are increasingly deploying facial recognition technology, moral and ethical problems are arising.

Who owns your facial data and how can it be used without your permision?

CV Dazzle provides a toolkit of hair and makeup designs which make it impossible for your face to be recognised.

Would you go to these lengths to avoid facial recognition?

our newest partner....

We are excited to announce our brand new partnership with Sphero! We love Sphero and the learning opportunities it brings.

Using Technology Better is the first Certified Training Partner Globally for Sphero and we are looking forward to hosting a number of workshops with schools.

The Sphero has what we call a low floor (you can get started with early childhood), a high ceiling (you could use this to teach physics and programming in upper high school) and wide walls (you can use it in so many different contexts).

Check out this video to see it in action!

Join us for one of our Australian workshops! Check out the info below.

Sphero on tour - AU

Beyond Code

Bolt, SPRK+ and Mini

We're so excited about our new partnership with Sphero that we're hitting the road to showcase this awesome tool and show teachers how it can inspire creativity and learning in their classrooms!

Come and join us in....

  • Adelaide - August 5
  • Sydney - August 8
  • Brisbane - August 16
  • Melbourne - August 22

Noteworthy blogs...

How to reuse a Google Form

Have you got a great Google Form that you want to reuse to collect new data? Or has someone shared a form with you that you’d like to use for your own purposes? In this blog post, we’ll share several different options for reusing a Google Form and help you pick the best option for your situation. - By Samantha Vardanega

How to change unread mail settings in Outlook

Have you ever clicked on an unread email in the Outlook inbox and then wondered why it suddenly becomes marked as ‘read’, even though you have not actually read it yet? Or perhaps you sometimes find it difficult to locate your unread emails amongst all the read ones because the two don’t look that different. - By Samantha Vardanega

Have something you'd like us to blog about? Let us know by clicking the link below!

important info.... youtube brand accounts

Does your school use a Brand Account for your YouTube channel?

If so, you MUST read this!

Some schools use a Brand Account for their YouTube channel. This allows them to have a channel specifically for their school brand, separate from a person. A Brand Account channel can also have multiple managers. Google have announced that they will be removing Brand Accounts from G Suite for Education on 10 July. Your G Suite administrator may have gotten an email about this. If your school does have a Brand Account and you have not taken action to retain it before this date, the channel and all the content will be deleted (eeek!!). So what should you do (or ask your marketing colleagues/principal/IT person to do)?

1. Check if your school's YouTube channel is using a Brand Account. To do so, log into the G Suite account that owns the school’s channel and click this link.

2. If your channel does NOT use a Brand Account, you’ve got nothing to worry about. If it DOES use a Brand Account, proceed to step 3.

3. Decide if you want to request an extension to your Brand Account (until July 2020). If so, your G Suite administrator need to request it using the forms at this link. This must be done by 2nd July.

4. Consider transferring your YouTube channel to a consumer Google account (i.e. create a Gmail address to use for the account). You can find our instructions for transferring a Brand Account here (see the second section). Note that it is a 24 hour process, so do not leave it until the last minute!


Great updates for Office 365 and G Suite users!

If you’re a teacher who uses OneNote, Microsoft Teams or Google Classroom, you’re going to love Microsoft and Google’s latest announcements. Here’s a quick summary:

  1. The Gradebook feature in Google Classroom is now generally available to all teachers. You can read more about the release here and learn how to use it here.
  2. A new beta program for rubrics in Google Classroom. Read the announcement and apply for the beta program here.
  3. 30 updates for OneNote, Class Notebooks and Teams integration, here’s a few of our favourites:
  • New Class Notebook distribution features in the Windows 10, Online, Mac and iPad versions of OneNote. These include individual page, group, multi-page, sub-page and section group distribution.
  • Review distributed pages across multiple OneNote Class Notebook classes.
  • Enable/disable the maths equation solver in a Class Notebook.
  • Import content from old notebooks (currently in private beta).
  • TurnItIn and OneNote integration through Microsoft Teams.
  • Automatically generate practice maths quizzes in OneNote.
  • Send emails from Outlook into the OneNote Windows 10 app.
  • Page templates in the OneNote Windows 10 app.
  • Send to OneNote tool now available for Mac Outlook.
  • Easier to publish a link to share your notebook.
  • New features for OneNote for Mac: Print files, dark mode and screen clippings.

The Future of financial learning...

Xero Learn

Xero Learn, is an AFR Award-winning online learning tool for educators that uses Xero to revolutionise the way you teach. Developed for the future of financial learning, its accessible education for anyone, any time.

Xero Learn is a platform that allows you to easily create and reuse financial teaching scenarios, exercise and guides, while managing student access and monitoring their progress.

Your students get a hands-on, real world experience of Xero’s business software and can use all the features of Xero, with their work securely backed up.

As an educator you can use Xero Learn to:

  • Provide students with their own fully functioning, private instance of Xero’s accounting software to work in.
  • Create all student accounts at the same time from one easy setup page.
  • Pre-load those student accounts with customisable sample data.
  • View students’ accounts in real time to check their work or offer assistance.
  • Pre-load simple on-screen guidance instructions.

Get in touch with the Xero team today and find out more about certification for your students - learn@xero.com


Education on Tour

Claim your spot for this free event in NELSON on the 19th of July. Check out the short promo video to see what the day is like and then register here.

WHAT? Education on Tour offers IT administrators, technology directors, curriculum creators and school leaders a chance to discover new tools and resources to create impactful classrooms that build 21st century skills. Topics include: impact stories, classroom visits, student/teacher panels, hands-on sessions with Google tools, product demonstrations and future roadmap planning.

WHY? Discover resources and inspiration to help make a difference in your students’ and teachers’ lives, build relationships with Google for Education partners and learn from peers in neighbouring districts.

upskill with our online courses

Professional Development that suits your schedule and interests!

💕💕💕 We love hearing from people who are using our online courses and professional learning network to challenge their thinking and increase their skills and knowledge. Thanks for all the feedback and embracing the power of online learning! 💕💕💕

Get together with some colleagues and work through a course together - collaborate, share ideas and encourage each other!

Our online courses cover a range of topics and concepts - from your own digital fluency, through to STEAM and practical, classroom applications for Digital Technologies.

There really is something for everyone!

want practical ideas for integrating DT?

  • Are you looking for ways to integrate Digital Technology into your Literacy and Numeracy programmes in a meaningful way?
  • Concerned about how you will squeeze another curriculum into your already packed classroom schedule?
  • Keen to update your programme but not sure where to start?

The UTB team are developing two new courses that will help you to bring your Literacy and Mathematics teaching into the 21st C.

These courses are designed to really show you practical ideas that you can get started with in your classroom ASAP - as well as encouraging you to think about the pedagogy and relevance of updating how we teach these core subjects to our students.

Right now we're looking for expressions of interests so we can lock in some dates across NZ and Australia.

If you're keen to host us or even just attend please let us know by filling in this short form.

workshops and training near you!

These boot camps are fast paced, 2 day courses that cover a wide range of G Suite tools and how to use them in the classroom. You will also sit the 3 hour Google Certified Educator exam, where you will demonstrate your knowledge with multiple choice and practical scenario questions.

We've seen an increase in demand for our Google Certified Educator boot camps at both Level 1 and 2. This is great, as we think our two day courses have a lot to offer for everyone working with G Suite. There's several locations to choose from below. If you'd like to host one at your school, as always, feel free to get in touch!

Check out dates and locations in Australia.

Not seeing an event near you? Do you think your area/district could benefit from some digital training?

If you'd like to request a workshop or support in your area please get in touch by clicking the button below. Host schools get a free attendee!


This fortnight's video takes a look at some of the myths around STEAM education.

This video is part of a series we filmed with the PBTech Edu team in Auckland in 2018. We'll share one with you each fortnight but if you want to see them all you can check them out here!

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Created with images by Dylan McLeod - "untitled image" • Pexels - "tv television retro" • geralt - "important stamp imprint" • www_slon_pics - "businessman man afraid" • nattanan23 - "money profit finance" • Marvin Meyer - "untitled image" • Republica - "pot steaming hot" • Bru-nO - "loop rope wood"

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