Thursday, February 25, 2010

The truth about drives...

Why do we have different drives in our network? What is the difference between the drives? It may seem confusing, but check out the characteristiscs of each drive below:

J: drive or your personal drive~ This drive lets you store documents so they can easily be accessed ONLY by the person who is logged into the computer.

X: drive or the "Common Drive"~ This drive lets the administration and business offices save important documents that the whole district will need to access.

Y: drive or the "Turn-In Drive"~Students can submit work into this drive, but only the teacher will be able to access their work to grade it (Students will not be able to access their work again once it is in this drive). Teachers cannot submit anything into the Turn-in drive.

Z: drive or the "Assignments Drive"~This drive allows teachers and CIT's to store lessons so the entire school can have access. It is divided into grade level folders.

Now, you are a drive pro!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Little tricks for teachers that can make a BIG difference...

Casa Notes

Casa notes allows you to quickly make cuztomized notes that need to be sent home to parents. You can choose from several templates, choose a color scheme, add a graphic, and choose the language.

You can use quiz star to create online quizzes for your students, disseminate quizzes to students, automatically grade quizzes, and view the quiz results online.

Want to make exemplary rubrics in a short amount of time? Try RubiStar out! Registered usesrs can save and edit rubrics online. you can access them from home, school, or on the road. Registration and use of this tool is free!

Arcademic Skill Builders: Online Educational Games

Got a student who always finishes early, a student who needs a bit more practice, or a student who deserves a reward. These standards-aligned free educational math and language arts games will engage, motivate, and help teach any of your students.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Ode to Work Orders

Ode to Work Orders:

You are sitting at your computer
And then all of a sudden,
The screen goes blank
Though you didn’t press a button!

Not sure what to do,
And lab time running short,
You hurry on your way
To recess on the court.

But the computer in the corner
Where you once worked a mission
Still sits there sadly broken
Without the love of a technician.

See, now, it is up to you
If you see something broken
To submit a work order
It’s worth goes beyond tokens!

*You can access Work Orders on the technology page on the Hutto ISD site.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

iTunes in the Classroom WITHOUT an iPod!

GUESS WHAT?!? You do not need to have iPods in your class to enjoy iTunes! You just need a computer!

iTunes in the classroom has proven to be helpful and engaging tool. Think about how much you enjoy your own iTunes in your free time... Now think about how much fun your students... and YOU can have in your classroom!

Having iTunes in the classroom will allow you access to numerous Podcasts, music videos, and resources. Think about the student who always finishes work early... Next time you are thinking of something for them to do, try having them listen to a podcast or watch an educational film. What have you got to loose?

Here is a FANTASTIC website I have found that will walk you through the steps of incorporating iTunes into your class: .

Before you begin using iTunes in your classroom, you will need to submit a work order upload the software from the iTunes website. Then, you can begin experiencing the wonderful-ness of iTunes!

Here are some resources once you begin:

iTunes Features:

iTunes help for teachers:

How to create an iTunes Account Without a Credit Card:

Lesson ideas:

*A special thanks to Tami Martins and Nancy Garvey, the creators of the helpful website that made this blog possible.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Help, I'm in the ocean!!! Oh wait... It's just my cool 3-D glasses...

While at TCEA, I had the chance to experience a gigantic exhibit hall representing hundreds of companies. Each company was displaying their up-and-coming classroom and school district technologies. My favorite exhibit was the 3-D learning exhibit because they gave me COOL glasses and showed me 3-D educational films. I felt like I was in the ocean and flying above the rain forests. It was an amazing, motivating experience. If the future of educational technology is headed this way, count me in!

Monday, February 15, 2010

The stories I have to tell from TCEA...

Good morning, tech savvy educators! Boy, do I have a whole bunch to share...

The picture shows a glimpse of what I did last week: I had the chance to attend the TCEA conference with thousands of other educators in Texas wanting to improve technology in their districts. I had a chance to learn so many great things and experience a host of new technologies. Most of all, I gained a new found appreciation for adapting and integrating technologies into the classrooms.

The highlights of the week were the keynote speakers. My absolute favorite was Chris Gardner, the inspiration for one of my favorite films "The Pursuit of Happyness" (starring Will Smith). He shared his beyond amazing story about the challenges he had to overcome to become a successful entrepreneur. It is hard to imagine one man can accomplish so much in one lifetime, and still have time to be a passionate philanthropist. He also explained how much the movie accurately represented his life. The one major difference was that his son was portrayed as a 5 year old in the movie (for the dialogue), but he was only 2 years old during these events! His inspirational speech was extremely motivating for this crowd of overzelous technology educators striving to integrate technologies into schools and classrooms.

We also heard from Erik Wahl, a talented artist with a passion to encourage childhood creativity in public schools, and David Kushner, an editor of "Rolling Stone" and "Wired" who reported on how technology is forming our future, and our 'now'. Both of these men shared powerful messages of how much technology is shaping the lives of our students, and how it is crucial for us to incorporate technology into the learning environment.

I also had the chance to experience several technologies first-hand in the 'Playgrounds'. I discovered how to make existing games work for educational purposes, how to incorporate trends such as Geocaching into the existing curriculum, and how to make iPods useful resources for students. These experiences were mainly a glimpse into the future, but it helped develop a vision of how such technologies can be effective in schools.

The workshops were packed with so much pertinent information, so I will expand upon them in later blogs... Stay tuned, EdTechies!

Welcome to my Blog!

Thanks for visiting my blog! I am a Campus Instructional Technologist from Hutto ISD in central Texas, home of the Hippos! I work with elementary teachers and support them to effectively integrate technology into their schools and classrooms. I will be posting some great information about integrating technology into your elementary classroom, so stay tuned!