• Where We are Focusing our Learning Together Now

    Schoology Foundations- First Steps with our new LMS      Maximize your Courses, Communication and Materials- from assigning student work, providing essential resources, shared materials, to communicating with parents and your colleagues.  In our 1:1, our LMS, Schoology, is integral to supporting student learning! Let’s look at the tools you need to build diverse materials designed to engage students- develop folders, assignments, and assessments to fit specific needs within each class.  Explore the role files, links, discussions, pages and media albums play within the course, along with individual strengths and engagement methods.

    Keynote for Student Learning- Drive Intentional Interactive Instruction (or Goodbye ActivInspire, Hello Keynote)     For the first time users are able to draw, sketch or write using a stylus or their finger in the Pages , Keynote, Numbers and Notes apps. These "smart" annotations are anchored to the text and remain fully editable as you share and collaborate. These iWork apps cross the full spectrum of interactivity from personalized annotations with individual student work to shared collaborations and whole group instruction.  Additionally, Keynote provides the opportunity to animate drawings like any other object via Magic Move or other effects.  Whether your initial goal is to transition from ActivInspire flipcharts or to build interactive, flexible presentations that can instantly become learning resources, we will explore everything from best practices for design and visual presentation elements to the diverse instructional strategies that Keynote supports.

    Dive into iCloud Sharing & Collaboration The move to a managed Apple ID environment     Collaboration is built into the iWork apps on the iPad, Mac and Share and/or invite others to your Pages, Keynote, Numbers and Notes and work on the same file together — no creating copies, sending attachments, or managing versions.  Pages, Keynote, Numbers and Notes offers unparalled feature sets of interactivity, multimedia and crossover application that extend far beyond word-processing, presentation and spreadsheet software. Fully explore each individually while also establishing new connections between each as well.

    From Clips to iMovie: the Power of Visual Storytelling     Our students’ facility for and expectations to learn visually have never been higher with the advent of the mobile built-in camera.  Our constant communication in pictures can become an integral part of the student learning experience where alternative ways to provide evidence of learning and check for understanding are supported by core tools like Clips and iMovie.  These resources offer incredible flexibility, ease of use and responsiveness to varying levels of need.  From field trips to formative assessments we’ll explore how to tap into the visual realm

    Developing Executive Function Skills and Tapping into Accessibility tools      Executive Function Skills are tied to three types of brain function: working memory, mental flexibility, and self-control.  They are highly interrelated and the application of each asks for coordination with another.  When students struggle with executive functioning it affects their learning; planning, organization, memory, time management and flexible thinking are all impacted.  We will dive into core iOS apps like Calendar, Reminders, and Notes to see how their use - with students and teachers - can support executive functioning and benefit to learners.  

    Both the iPad’s iOS and the Mac’s OS offer a diverse and powerful array of accessbility tools that can benefit every learner.  From speech to text to speech and keyboard/gesture shortcuts to display options and Siri commands we’ll explore the full range of options for teachers and students to utilize regularly.


  • Addressing & Advancing Digital Citizenship

    Posted by Nick Strecker on 1/24/2019
    We are fortunate to be connected and supported by both ISTE and CommonSenseEducation who in turn share in Digital Citizenship mission and vision, purposefully partnering and mutually supporting each other's work and resources.  
    Read on for new releases this week on both fronts– updated curriculum in CommonSenseEducation and new online coursework for educators at ISTE.
    • The response to Digital Citizenship needs has expanded immensely in recent years to include an essential number of focuses that have responsibly progressed well beyond the online safety and social etiquette focus of ten years ago.
    Screen Shot 2019-01-24 at 08.33.12.jpg
    CommonSenseEducation's customizable resources, lesson plans and support videos are purposefully designed to function either as stand-alone pieces OR more beneficially as "overlays" to be applied when learning experiences and focuses in the curriculum merge in meaningful ways.
    Here are direct links to each grade level band: 
    K-23-8 (brand new updated curriculum), 9-12


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  • Your Courses, their Materials & continued Access

    Posted by Nick Strecker on 1/2/2019


    It's the end of our first semester with Schoology.  Here are some handy resources to help provide information to be aware of and answer potential questions about end of course actions in our LMS.  For all of KSD this is essential info for the end of the school year to come, but for colleagues at KHS, as well as many at Nipher and NKMS, this is timely now for classes ending and beginning anew in Infinite Campus for second semester.
    👉  Revisiting essential information from our Schoology Foundations PD this past year- here is a link to my slide with handy graphics on how to Reuse Course Materials.  
    👍 By default, Schoology archives all courses after the grading period end date; however Archived Courses do not expire and can be accessed indefinitely.  Additionally in KSD, we have extended the ability for all instructors to Access Archived Courses.  
    👊You can Save an entire Course &/or specific folder, files, assessments or any other materials you've created to your Resources at any time.  The end of school year/semester is typical, but consider doing it throughout the year as you plan for future classes as well as providing the means to Share Resources with your teammates and department.  
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  • Three Productivity Tips for your MacBook

    Posted by Nick Strecker on 12/18/2018
    These final days of the semester heading into a winter break are a great opportunity to share three tips that I put to use on a daily basis helping me work more efficiently and productively.
    The first two make use of gesture shortcuts on your laptop's trackpad OR via a Bluetooth-connected Magic Trackpad.  You can access those settings via System Preferences.
    • Mission Control allows you to create virtual desktops that you can allocate application windows to and move between easily in multiple ways.  (It's also very handy to use in coordination with Extended Desktop if your MacBook is connected to your classroom display).
    • App Exposé, Launchpad and other additional gestures allow you to more easily work with multiple applications open.
    • Finally, Kiwi for Gmail is a free third-party app now available in the staff laptop App Portal that provides you quick access to all of your Google Apps from your Gmail window while also offering additional settings option for Gmail not readily available via the standard Google Mail interface.
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  • Updating Apps & Checking Current Versions

    Posted by Nick Strecker on 11/5/2018
    The Schoology app for iOS updated (v. 5.7.0) at the end of last week and should have made its way out to all connected iPads via FileWave this morning.
     👉To double-check that you are running this new version (v. 5.7.0) as well as confirm the current version of any app in use follow this Tap Path™: go to Settings >> General >> iPad Storage. Apps display in descending order of space they use on your device, find the app and tap on it, you will open a screen with app version, app size, etc.
    👍The Schoology update addressed several issues that we had ongoing tickets/feature requests submitted for with their engineering team.  Revisit any issues that you have experienced in the past and let us know if those still persist for you.  We'll be clearing several tickets by week's end from our end.

    Look for First Semester Schoology Summits coming up in district over these remaining weeks.  We will offer an after school session at Hough for each building level to come together and share best practice, seek resolution to issues experienced and explore previously untapped features.


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  • Understanding Display Options for your Classroom

    Posted by Nick Strecker on 10/16/2018
    Across the district conversations are in process regarding the various display options that are available to to us in supporting our 1:1 learning classroom environments.  
    Whether your classroom currently features a Promethean Board with projector, an Epson Interactive projector and whiteboard with or without an Apple TV, or a mobile flat screen television with Apple TV, the time is ripe to better understand how Airplay and interactive annotations work in each setup.
    Linked here and attached is a 7 min. screenflow that presents and details each option- let me know if I can offer any additional information and enjoy!
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  • Ensuring Home Access for Students

    Posted by Nick Strecker on 10/5/2018
    Our transition to the new Securly web filter also provides us with an improved way to ensure that students stay connected to the district network with minimal authentication requirements when they are at home or outside of the district.
    • The Filter app, pushed out to all iPads, allows users to log in ONE time and stay connected and authenticated. Users can even log in at school before heading home.
    Here is a quick screenflow that captures the process.
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  • Assessments in Schoology

    Posted by Nick Strecker on 10/3/2018
    Schoology upgraded their Tests/Quizzes tool to Assessments just prior to KSD coming on board with the LMS.  The Assessment tool is a powerful one allowing for over a dozen different questions types, self-grading, individualized versions and multiple attempts.
    👉Use Grading Groups to differentiate Assessments for your learners.  View all Q types in action via the Assessment example offered in our Schoology Foundations course (join here if you have not yet).
    👍The option to PRINT is now available. Access under the gear icon for the Assessment.

    👊Just like Assignments, Assessments are entirely flexible to meet your learning goals.  Create and engage to meet a variety of needs from quick pre-assessments to multiple formative opportunities to full-scale summatives.  Store your Assessments in My Resources to utilize again; copy to your other Courses as needed; share with colleagues and teammates in Group Resources.
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  • Differentiating Instruction with Grading Groups

    Posted by Nick Strecker on 9/18/2018
    By using Grading Groups, teachers can place students into distinct groups within the same Course and/or Section.  Differentiate group work, projects, special needs or adjusted instructions by associating specific students to specific work.
    👉Use Grading Groups to assign Assessments, Assignments and Discussions to specific groups of students .
    👍In future days when the Schoology gradebook is formally set, you can Filter your Gradebook by these same groups. 

    👊Think about creating Grading Groups that match other group distinctions you use in class to help provide entry points to put the concept to use in Schoology.  Remember, the Grading Group name itself never has to change - just move the students in and out as needed.  (Just as we do in Apple Classroom groups : )
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  • Creating Assignments & Grading Submissions

    Posted by Nick Strecker on 9/12/2018
    With the first of many assignments to come now receiving student submissions here are a few touchstones for navigating this end of Schoology successfully.
    👉When creating assignments remember that while you cannot select a release date in Schoology you can choose whether to Lock (prevent submissions), Publish (show/hide from student/parent view), Disable Submissions (assignments that do not require a submission in Schoology, e.g. Read pp. 45-65 of Freak the Mighty) and/or Individually Assign (differentiate parameters for single or groups of Ss).  Additionally, consider not applying a Due Date for assignments that are open-ended and/or will receive many submissions over a course of time (e.g., weekly journal entries).
    👍Speaking of multiple submissions, in order to see all submissions a student made for an assignment, first click on an assignment submission then look to the top L of the Document Viewer.  Below the S's name the current revision number displays; click on that revision and the other previous submissions will become available to view. 

    👊Grading submissions is different on the web version and the iOS app, but each has its strengths.  Experience both and see which and when they are most helpful to your workflow and feedback style.  
    NOTE: Schoology only offers annotation tools in the Document Viewer for .pdfs and .docx., but don't let that dissuade you from allowing students to submit work in any of the essential apps or other resources that provide the optimal tool for their learning.  Rather than "flattening out" student work, open and view those original file types on your MacBook/iPad and then return to Schoology to add your comments, grade and/or a file upload of your own for feedback.  This is a golden opportunity to dive deep into the diverse apps supported in our 1:1!


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  • Connecting to Parents in Schoology

    Posted by Nick Strecker on 9/4/2018
    (X)  Schoology classes set.
    (X)  Open houses, meet the teacher and intake conferences held.
    Four quick links to help you manage parent communication and connections in Schoology.
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