We will observe a day of remembrance in honor of Veterans' Day with no school on Wednesday, November 11, 2015. Here are a few resources to help students learn about the honor and sacrifices associated with the veterans who have helped preserve our freedoms,
There are, of course, countless other ways to learn about our nation's veterans and the sacrifices they have made of each of us. We hope you will join us in remembering and honoring their service.
Recent Question from a Parent: When my children log into their school Google Drive accounts on my home computer, what exactly can teachers see?
Answer: Only what kids choose to share.
We can only see what students choose to store on on school-owned devices or in their school-managed Google Drive or school GMail accounts. We cannot search through personal files on private devices, nor do we have the time, resources, or inclination to do so.
Schools have both the right and the responsibility to monitor students' online behavior when using school-owned resources, like school-managed Google Drive and GMail, school-owned Chromebooks, lab PCs in schools, etc. These resources, physical or otherwise, are considered the legal property of the school district.
Let's keep thinking along those same lines for a moment. It is widely known and accepted that school officials can - and do - search school lockers from time to time for a variety of reasons. The locker is, after all, school property. If inappropriate or unsafe materials are stored by students in those lockers, there could be consequences.
The same holds true for the digital "lockers" the school provides students in the form of Google Drive, along with the information that students choose to put there. That school-managed Google Drive account is also school property, and is subject to search at any time by school officials.
It's fairly easy to equate the physical devices to things like microscopes and playground equipment. These things are all easily understood to be "property." However, when we think of information stored in Google Drive, things can start to get a bit murky - it's not really physical "things" we commonly think of as property.
Instead, think of the school-managed Google Drive like a digital version of the hallway locker that the school provides for students to use - it's a place to hold "stuff." Storing digital files in a school-managed Google Drive account is like putting books, assignments, and other materials inside a locker at school.
Our District uses software called Hapara Teacher Dashboard to help teachers manage student/teacher workflow at the secondary (grades 6-12) level. This includes the digital versions of distributing, collecting & giving feedback on assignments. As with paper assignments, sometimes students lose or misfile things. Using Teacher Dashboard software, teachers and students can collaborate to manage digital files in school-provided storage and school-managed communications. Hapara helps teachers and students work together to stay organized and communicate for learning activities.
Teachers are expected to manage student behaviors in educational environments to promote good learning experiences. Additionally, we also use Hapara Interact to help teachers manage students' online behaviors. Many teachers use Interact to push out web-based activities to students, provide assistance remotely, and even give private encouragement or reminders to stay on-task. Of course, another part of Interact is the ability for a teacher to see all the tabs that a student has open on school-managed Chromebooks, a feature often-lamented by students who would rather surf YouTube & play computer games when they should be working on school activities.
Hapara works with school-managed Google Devices and school-managed Google accounts & resources only. It does not work with private Google accounts or personal devices.
Please notice the many references to "school-owned" and "school-managed" property. Hapara Teacher Dashboard and Hapara Interact only work with school-owned devices and school-managed Google Drive and GMail accounts. Personal devices, personal accounts, and personal cloud storage remain just as private and secure as students choose to keep them.
Students should be taught to never share passwords. Students should also be taught to avoid storing personal files on school-managed Google Drive accounts. District #205 encourages all staff to teach these and other Internet Safety topics to every student annually. Following teachers' instructions in these areas will help ensure that private files remain private.
We trust that students will continue to make responsible decisions regarding privacy. We hope that parents and guardians will help us reinforce to students the importance of keeping their school and personal files separate.
Question: Every day when I start work, I open GMail, Calendar, Drive, and a couple other web services individually in separate tabs. Is there an easier way to make this happen?
Answer: YES!!! And here's how:
This should work Chrome in most operating systems. I've done this on my desktop & laptop PCs and on a Chromebook. It works the same way on each, and helps me savor a few precious moments with my coffee before I start my day!
Many thanks to Galesburg High School Principal Roy VanMeter for posing this great time-saving question!
Our District has been using GMail for about a year and a half now. Don't be afraid to experiment with settings and labs in GMail - you can always change things back if you decide you don't like the way things look.
There are a number of ways to make GMail work a little bit differently for your personal preferences. Some of these features can be found under Labs in the Settings Menu. Here's how to find them:
Labs are simply experimental features that Google makes available to the masses. Feel free to poke around and try out any of the Labs you find interesting - just click Enable and Save Changes to start using them. If you don't like the Lab, click Disable and Save Changes to get rid of it.
Here are a few of my favorite labs that will help make GMail a little more friendly for some users.
Preview Pane splits your screen to show the entire contents of your Inbox in one column and the readable message in another column, which is handy for smaller screens. Alternately, if you're on a larger screen or desktop computer, click the button at the top of the screen to split your screen horizontally, showing the most recent items in your Inbox at the top with a readable view of the selected message below.
Google Calendar Gadget
I used to live in Outlook - having my email, calendar, contacts all in one virtual place life a lot easier. Google separates things out a bit more than liked at first. The Google Calendar Gadget added a daily agenda on the left side of my screen to help me see my next appointment(s) at a glance.
Unread Messages Icon
This little gadget simply places the number of unread emails in your Inbox over the GMail logo in the browser tab. Handy, and especially appreciated on those rare occasions when that number reads "0"!
Remember to Save Changes when you make changes to this screen. You can always come back and Disable these labs if you decide you don't like the changes!
A few lesson-planning resources for the upcoming 9/11 Day of Remembrance & Service
Galesburg CUSD #205 is pleased to partner with ROE 33 to offer FREE Professional Development to area educators!
Registration is now OPEN for the following 3-meeting series of Foundational Services workshops.
More will be offered soon! (see ROE 33 PD Calendar)
Close Reading (ELA Shift Kit) with Susan McKee
The Close Reading Kit was designed to give administrators and teachers some background information on what is expected for student achievement with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in the area of Close Reading. Contents of the kit include: An introduction and definition of Close reading and the need for rigorous instruction across content areas; Presentation materials to build capacity at the school level; Research based articles supporting the strategy of Close reading; and Instructional resources responsive to the demands of the CCSS. This is a 3-part Foundational Services series.
Please register for each part of this series that you can attend
Google Docs got a little more awesome recently.
For now, I've tested it on a Windows 7 desktop, a WIndows 8 laptop, and a Chromebook. It seems to work about the same so long as the device has a working microphone. The room does need to be fairly quiet - background noise, fans, etc., seem to confuse things a bit. RIght now, it only converts voice to typed text, though it does do punctuation and at least 1 very basic navigation command: To start a new paragraph, just say "New Line." ("Backspace," "Delete," "Go Back," etc., don't work at this time.)
Reports from teachers indicate that it does not work well at this time with non-English language conversion. Also, it is only available in Google Docs - no sign of it in other Google Apps for Education like Slides, Sheets, or Forms.
Despite these limitation, this is still a nice addition to the functionality of Google Docs If typical Googley Goodness prevails, users can expect to see further enhancements and improvements soon!
I learned about the Google Docs Voice Typing enhancement from The Google Gooru blog.
Ongoing listing of resources for technology and education apps for Galesburg CUSD #205 teachers.