Instructional Technology Newsletter September 2018

Welcome back!

I hope everyone has had an excellent start to the school year! With anything large or small I am always a resource to support you with technology and instruction. Please don't hesitate to contact Cgorniok@pdsd.org or x8318.

Ways I can support you

  • Whether you are just getting started or want to to try the latest thing. I can meet with teachers individually, as a PLC, grade group, or dept to support your instructional needs.
  • Gain confidence by getting support the classroom when trying a new program for the first time.
  • Get assistance developing new ideas for incorporating technology when designing lessons.
  • Let me know what works best for you!


At Northley and SV we will continue to make progress using Schoology for the 18-19 school year. Supporting this initiative will be a primary training goal. We have a domain specific login PDSD.Schoology.com use your @pdsdstudents.org to login. For your convenience I have also developed a concise training course (optional) that you can use to get going with Schoology, even with no previous experience! This course is a step by step guide broken into small digestable lessons with videos and text directions.

For 19-20 this will be our primary resource for delivering instruction and communication at Northley and Sun Valley. Parent access and the mobile app will also be enabled at that time. Parents should continue to use HAC to access grades until the 19-20 school year.

Schoology tips!

How to rename sections and organize courses

Advanced Schoology tip

When copying assignments in Schoology where a copy of a Google Doc has been made for each student you will find the doc needs to be re-attached in each section. Since nobody likes re-attaching, I provided a workaround that will avoid this issue and let you copy assignment and move on! This is the preferred method for many teachers I have spoken to at other districts and fairly simple.

2018 updates Google Classroom what's new?

There a variety of new features and updates to Google Classroom that have changed dramatically in some instances from last year. Use the video or button below to get up to speed on some of the new changes in this powerful tool!

Elementary only

Updates & easiest sign in options

On a Chromebook - If you have signed into a Chromebook, simply select sign in with Google and no additonal passwords or usernames need to be put in. That's it!

Choose the last option!

If a Google account has not been linked yet (and you get an error message) you can still proceed by using student Lunch# and 1234567 or if you are a teacher use your first inital, last name and your outlook password. To link a Google account: sign in, select profile - sign in options and select or add your Google account.

Our tech dept. is working hard to link all new and some existing accounts. Contact your tech or myself for assitance if you have accounts that are not linked.

Facial recognition can be setup for anyone who would like it but it is not necessary if you are already logged in on a Chromebook.

The PC's have limitations with Classlink and will require students to put in their lunch#s and 1234567 as the easiest method. Students will also need to put in their @pdsdtudents google accounts to access those files. Using the bookmarks on the Chrome Browser may be an easy option if you are only using 1 or 2 programs. As we move to more Chromebooks throughout PDSD this issue will be resolved.

GoGuardian is here and ready to Go!

GoGuardian software is available to to all Northley and Sun Valley teachers and students on Chromebooks. GoGuardian gives teachers the ability to lock screens when desired, conveniently push out urls to all or select students as well as create a lockdown browser for digital testing. While students are working in your classroom you will have the ability to monitor the content they are browsing, send messages to their screens and close tabs that may be a distraction to the task at hand.

While we will have PD opportunities with this software shortly, the program has built in 30 minute tutorial that will get you going if you would like to start now. This program is relatively simple to use and the tutorial has step by step instructions that are brief but helpful. Click the button below and you will find all information about logins for teachers and how to get started. Students do not need to login or go to any site, it is all controlled through their Chromebooks.

Video Guide on how teachers can log in and get started!

adobe spark for education access for all Northley and SV students!

If you are looking for a beautiful and relatively easy to use program for students to create digital posters, presentations, slide shows, narrated videos or virtually any type of graphic presentation beyond the capabilities of Slides or PPT try Adobe Spark for education! All assignments save automatically and can be shared via url into Google or Schoology. All Northley and SV students have premium accounts created for them using their @pdsdstudents.org accounts to log in. There are specific login instructions. All details concerning logins are provided in the button below.

Flipgrid is now free with all the premium features!

Flipgrid is an excellent FREE way to engage all students with video responses that foster digital collaboration and presentation skills. All Chromebooks have an enabled camera so no additional hardware needed. There a multitude of uses K-12 from simple reflections to students creating their own how to style videos demonstrating knowledge and getting comments and feedback from other students. Common sense media lays out some obvious uses below.

"Use Flipgrid to further classroom conversations by assigning questions as assignments. Ask students to weigh in on a critical current event for a social studies or civics class; use it in a math class to ask students to describe the process they used to solve a complex problem. You might also use Flipgrid as an opportunity for students to post mini-reviews of books, movies, or television shows. Consider using a "grid" as a way to collect a range of students' responses on a single topic: Perhaps ask students at the end of a unit to reflect on what they've learned and what they'd recommend to other students." -Common Sense Media

Video below provides a brief overview of how a grid is created and how students respond.

Google certifications is still available as a differentiated supervision option

Join the 34 educators who became Google Certified last year! Google Certification is available to anyone in the non-observation phase or others who would like to work on this independently and be reimbursed for the cost of the exam. Google level 1, 2 and trainer are all options. You do not need to pass the exam to be proficient but it will require dedicated pacing to get through the modules with ample time to try out your skills during the year.

PDSd Twitter hashtags to try!

So many wonderful things going on with Twitter! Many have already started using some of the new #'s. If you haven't consider using one in your next tweet. Want to see how others have used these tags? Search using one of the hashtags below to see examples from your fellow PDSD teachers.




I Have a tech issue Who should I contact?

If you have a general tech issue please start by contacting your building tech. Items related to, eSchool, Schoology, please email myself or Dr. Thomas. TAC related issues are usually handled by building principals. If you need additional support beyond your building please do not hesistate to contact us. We are here to help.

Thank You

If anyone would like training with any of the items described above or anything else tech related please email me.

cgorniok@pdsd.org X8318 @CgorniokEdTech on Twitter

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