Google Chrome Apps and Extentions

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Google Chrome – Apps and Extensions

Assistive technology can promote greater independence for our students. Chrome Speak and Readability are the two apps that we have deployed to all student laptop devices, both 1:1 machines and cart laptops. These accessibility features of the Google Chrome Web Browser can enable our students to access information comfortably and enhance their learning process with the text to speech tool. We have had interest from several teachers for these two assistive technology items to be utilized in the classroom on student laptops. And we wanted to make everyone aware of the availability of these tools to you and your students.

These tools are free additions to the Google Chrome web browser. The Google Chrome web browser has a number of specialized features including adding apps and extensions which are available through the Chrome Web Store.

Below you will find a description of these apps and the directions for how to place them on your teacher machine.

Chrome Speak   Chrome Speak (App Version), select the text on a web page and right-click to speak with offline TTS (text to speech) engine. For more information about this app, please click on the link. One you install the Chrome speak App to utilize it you need to highlight text on a page and right click. You can then select “read the selected text”. This tool will only work in the Chrome Web Browser.

Readability  Readability is a web and mobile app that zaps clutter and saves web articles in a comfortable reading view. For more information about this extension, please click on the link. The Readability app looks like a red chair in the menu line of Google Chrome Web Browser.

These two tools have been “pushed” to all CV Student laptops.  Teachers can feel free to utilize them with their students. For CV student devices, the Tech Department will need to install the software extensions for students through the System Center. A request for a Chrome app or Extension can be place with a CV helpdesk ticket and the technicians can push the app to the devices you indicate in your helpdesk ticket.

readablity

 

 

If a teachers or staff member would like to add these or other extensions and apps to their Chrome web browser on your school device, you can follow the directions linked here in the video. OR use these directions,  In the Settings menu in Chrome Web Browser. Settings can be found by clicking on the THREE LINES at the end of the Address line.  Left Click on the Three lines and a drop down menu will give you an option to go to the Settings. Once you click on Settings, there is an Extensions tab on the left side, you can see the list of extensions you have installed and turn off an app or extension or modify it or delete it. At the bottom of the extensions page you will see a link to Get more extensions from the Google Chrome Store. Many of the apps and extensions are free and there are thousands of them to choose from. I recommend only using a few extensions at a time but do look for ones that will make you more productive!

These two extensions have been Enabled on this example Chrome Web Browser.

chrome extensions

 

New Items from Technology Services 2014-2015

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There have been a number of changes in the technology services department this past summer. The below items highlight the major changes and provide a brief explanation and links to further information and resources regarding these services.  Please take a few minutes to review and familiarize yourself with these updates.

CV District WebsiteWeb Server Links

We moved all servers from cvsd.k12.pa.us to conestogavalley.org.

Links are all updated on the district website under the faculty, parent and student pages.

New internet filter is hosted by the IU and is called Palo Alto.

Policy are being rebuilt as we use the network. Be sure to check website for both your login and a student login to be sure they are available for both you and the student policies.

Google Drive is the same for everyone now.                          

  • Everyone needs an eight digit password  to sign in to the new CV Google.
  • Student account will need to use a Leading ZERO and their 7 digit student id.
  • We all log into the same link and the same domain. https://drive.google.com/a/conestogavalley.org/
  • Google Drive for Education overview
  • Meet Google Drive overview
  • You can access Google Resources like DRIVE, Contacts, Calendars and more through the 3X3 icongoogle_3x3_b
  • You can create contact groups in Google to share your documents with your class or other teachers.
    • Go to Google Contacts (Hint: in the 3X3 icon, select contacts)
    • Create a new group and
    • use the Directory to search for your CV students or  CV teachers
    • Assign the student or teachers to your newly created group.

Hardware Update

  • 240 additional laptops to Elementary Buildings
  • New desktops in Cadd lab at MS and HS
  • 20 Interactive Projectors K-12

Public Folders

  • H: YOUR named network folder (Your files)
  • P: Public drive, you have access to your building and your grade level or your department
  • S: Students in your building (These are the student network files that teachers have access  to all student work)
  • O: Student Public for each building (This is a public area for sharing resources) all users have rights to view and edit documents.
  • T: Examview
  • Z: Daily Subs folder (organized by building and each teacher can add a folder with their own name for their sub plans). When subs log in with the credentials provided by the office they have access to their building related folder.

CvCloud From the CV Staff Page you can now access Your named network folders and the other public folders including the daily sub folder through the CV Cloud with your login credentials.

Windows updates Will be sent to your machine from System Center and will depend on network traffic. You can postpone them until later in the day they appear but please allow your computer to process the updates and then restart your computer. This will keep your software up to date. software center windows updates

Office 365

Tech Staff changes Patrick Kenny and Nick Olson are our new building technicians.

Tech Staff Changes Patrick Kenny and Nick Olson are our new technicians

. Patrick Kenny (146x195) Patrick Kenny will be in all buildings and working with our iPads K-2 as well as RTIi and ESL iPads.

Nick Olson (146x195)Nick Olson will be working at Leola and Brownstown.

 

 

 

Wireless Network Name Changes

  • CV-Staff – This is a wireless connection for all CV distributed Windows staff devices.
  • CV-Student – This is a wireless connection for all CV distributed Windows student devices.
  • CV-Apple – This is a wireless connection for all CV iPad student devices and CV iTV devices. This is managed by our technicians.
  • CV-BYOD – This is a wireless connection for any devices not connecting to the previous three wireless networks.
  • CV-Public – This is a wireless connection for any non-CV devices and for users that do not have a CV login.

Software Center 

A new tool that allows students and staff to install district software and updates without administrative rights.

Wikispaces

Wikispaces have made the domain change!! If you had a wikispace the URL has changed but the  name is the same for example cff.wiki.cvsd.k12.pa.us was the site I had and it has been transferred to the new domain and will now be called cff.wiki.conestogavalley.org  So you keep the wiki name just the domain has changed.

Summer Technology Professional Development 2014

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Summer break is just around the corner and many of you have already started planning for vacation, workshops, R&R and other activities. I wanted to take a few minutes to remind and inform all of you about the technology integration options that are available to our staff this summer. There is a multitude of opportunities offered by a variety of providers. The lists below is should provide everyone at CV with something they can learn and build on. If you know of other opportunities that may benefit any of our staff please add them as a comment. Also don’t forget about Atomic Learning and the new option to use it for a full day or half day special workshop request. For more info on that option check out our previous blog post called, “Atomic Learning as a Special Workshop Request

CV School District – This summer the district will be providing a number workshops regarding technology and they can be found in My Learning Plan

 

Graduating Seniors and Moving your Documents

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CVHS Seniors

How to Move your Documents that are stored on your laptop

These are your personal documents that you may move from the CVSD laptop to a cloud storage area  if you would like to keep them for the  future.

  • Step  ONE Locate Documents on
    • C Drive (Local Disk)
  • Step  TWO Locate Documents on
    • your Network Drive (Firstname_lastname)
  • Step THREE
    • Move documents to DropBox, Box or a Personal Google Drive Account
  • Step Four
    • Your Google Drive Documents – Use the Google TAKE OUT tool to archive all documents.
    • This archive can be placed in a personal Google Account or a DropBox or a Box cloud storage account
  • Step Five
    • If you would like to move Your CV Wikispace – Please see below for information to Contact Wikispaces

More directions are listed below for each of the Steps

drives.PNG

Step  ONE Locate Documents on C Drive (Local Disk)

  • start button.PNGStart Menu
  • Computer
  • Local C: or This Computer
  • Locate the  — Users Folder
  • Locate Your Named Folder inside the Users Folder
  • and then look in the following locations for your any of your files
    • Desktop
    • Downloads
    • My Documents
    • My Music
    • My Pictures
    • My Videos

These are items you will want to move to an alternate location like Box, Drop Box or Google Drive

Step  TWO Locate Documents on your Network Drive (Firstname_lastname)

  • Then open your FirstName Last Name Folder and locate your files that are stored there.
  • Move all documents to one of the options below. DropBox, Box or Google Drive

Step Three – How to Move your Stored Documents into a Cloud Storage Location like Dropbox or Box or Google Drive

Choice A. DROP BOX

Create a Drop Box account with 3GB of Storage at dropbox.com

  • do NOT try to download the program to your CVSD laptop.
  • You can use it from the web version.

You will be able to upload 3 GB of storage space for free

Click the upload button and add the files you need to add to your dropbox account.

Choice B. BOX

Create a  Box.com account with 10 GB of Storage at Box.com

  • do NOT try download the program to your CVSD laptop.

  • You can use it from the web version.

You will be able to upload 10 GB of storage space for free

Click the upload button and add the files or folders you need to add to box.

Choice C. Google Drive

Step Four:  Migrate your data away from CVSD Google Drive to a personal Google Drive account

Google Drive accounts are available for anyone with a Gmail Account. Please create a Gmail account that is not on the CV Domain … So create a new Google Account or Use an exsiting Google Account that is not @conestogavalley.org account.

15GB free (to be shared across Google Drive, Gmail and Google + photos

1. Google Takeout – Create an Archive of your google DATA and move it out of CVSD.

https://www.google.com/settings/takeout

  • This will create an archive folder

  • Open the archive folder

  • Back up this archive to your new Google Account or a Box or DropBox account

 

google takeout.PNG

 

Step Five- Wikispaces

Wikispaces can copy your whole wiki for you:

  1. You will need to Create blank wikis that you would like to copy the existing wiki into.

  2. send us the URLs of all the new blank wikis, along with the URL of the master wiki you would like to copy. Be sure to indicate which is which. This email must come from the address associated with your Wikispaces account.

By default, we’ll copy all of your pages (including their full history), files, discussions, and tags. Let us know if you would not like all of these features to be copied. We will notify you when the wiki has been copied.

If you were not the creator of the original wiki, we will need to receive an email from the creator as well, granting you permission to copy their content.

Google New Menu Look

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Google has updated the Menu access with a new look for Google Apps including Google Drive and Google Calendar. We are used to the black menu bar that is usually across the top of any Google Application like this

Google has released a NEW MENU LOOK called the Google App Launcher. You will find it in your Google Applications like Google Calendar, Google Drive and Gmail. The new menu will look like this and will appear in the upper right corner of your screen near where you sign in.

OR if you use chrome you may see the colorful icon in your bookmark tool bar

When you click on this square icon you will see links to your Google Applications. If you do not currently see this new tool bar it will be released soon. So keep an eye open for the new look!

If you need to know more here is a YouTube video from the Google Gooru about the New App Launcher Navigation Menu for Google Accounts.

 

iGoogle Alternatives

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Are you desperately in need of an iGoogle Alternative for your home page? iGoogle will be discontinued at the end of this month as it keeps reminding users daily!

These are the options that I have found in my search for an alternative. MyYahoo looks and feels the closest to my iGoogle homepage but of course my favorite Google features like Picasa Photos albums, My Google Calendar, My Google Custom Search did not transfer to the Yahoo products. They are all still available from my Google Search Page just not from my Yahoo start page. MyYahoo was also had quick and easy to follow directions to get you started. igHome is an alternative that also looks like iGoogle.  If you are ready for a new look SymbalooEDU or Netvibes  might be the place for you! Check out the options below for the one that fits you best. At the end of this article are the “Where are my iGoogle Settings ? “directions!!

MyYahoo

http://my.yahoo.com/ click Sign in and choose the Google Option. You do not need a Yahoo account; you can use your google account to sign into My Yahoo.

You can import your iGoogle Settings into MyYahoo and your RSS Feeds will transfer. You may need to select new widgets for the Weather or other tools you enjoy.

igHOME

http://www.ighome.com/

is another tool that is very close to iGoogle and you can customize your RSS feeds and your widgets for your home page.

You can watch this video from Gene Tognetti which is posted on YouTube for how to transition to igHome. It is short and easy to follow!


SymbalooEDU

http://www.symbalooedu.com/

Why Symbaloo is an excellent iGoogle alternative link to their blog post with helpful information. You can import your iGoogle Bookmarks into Symbaloo and your iGoogle RSS feeds. You may need to select new widgets for the Weather or other tools you enjoy. You will have a different look for your page but it will function in the same way as an iGoogle Page. I use the SymbalooEDU tool rather than the Symbaloo regular homepage. Individual Accounts are Free in SymbalooEDU.

 

NetVibes


If you are switching from iGoogle, you can import your existing RSS Feeds into netvibes.

More information about exporting your RSS feeds into an Opml file can be found at:

http://googlesystem.blogspot.com/2008/07/export-igoogle-feeds-to-opml.html

This allow you to:

  • Access to Netvibes: http://www.netvibes.com
  • Click on ‘Add content’
  • Click on ‘Add a feed’
  • Click on ‘Import’ link
  • Click the ‘Browse’ button
  • Find the file you just saved
  • Click ‘Import’

All your RSS feeds from iGoogle are now in your Netvibes page.

 Where are your iGoogle Settings?

Where are your iGoogle Settings to Export for these products?

  • On your iGoogle Home Page look for the Gear Settings Button.
  • Choose iGoogle Settings
  • At the bottom of the settings page you will find the EXPORT button.
  • the Export iGoogle Setting config will go to your Downloads folder.
  • You will need to IMPORT this file to your chosen product,
  • MyYahoo, SymbalooEDU or NetVibes

Change is in the Air

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Sometimes big changes are so subtle they’re hardly noticed. That’s probably the way it will be with the migration from elementary schools being 100% hardwired to elementary schools completely covered by wireless access.

Although the migration started in a small way before last year, it was in the 2012-2013 school year that significant areas in each elementary school were setup for wireless. Then this summer, numerous access points were added, giving wireless capabilities to all regular classroom areas as well as most other areas in each school.

This movement isn’t done yet, though. The tech department’s goal is to have each school completely covered, including a great deal of overlapping signal. This project should be completed by the time teachers and students return for the 2013-2014 school year.

Over the summer in addition to installing more wireless access points, old switches that the access points are connected to, have been replaced by smarter switches, ones which allow for ten times the data transfer speeds and can give technicians a ton of information about how well they are working.This will make troubleshooting much faster. This will improve even more as all non-smart access points will probably have been replaced by smart ones by the time school begins.

Apparently there is such a thing as no-stress change, especially when the change is in the air.

Atomic Learning Gets a New Look!

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Searching for your specific video tutorial just became easier!

Check out this SHORT video to see all of the new features.

http://www.atomiclearning.com/k12/movie/75829/play_window?sid=2218&type=Tutorial

Salman Khan Uses Video to Reinvent Education

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Salman Khan, founder of the wildly popular Khan Academy, recently gave a talk at TED. He starts his talk by explaining how the Khan Academy came to be, how it is being used now, and the future of this great resource. In his talk he gives examples of how teachers are using Khan Academy to flip the traditional math classroom so teachers can use class time more effectively.

The Khan Academy has over 2100 videos and 100 self paced exercises that students can practice and teachers can “Coach” students on completing. Topics for the videos range from Math, Science, Humanities & Other and Test Prep. Here is a quick overview of the video library.

I believe there are two  hidden gems in Khan Academy. One is the data it can provide to teachers about their students math progress and the sccond is that is FREE and available 24/7. Students and teachers using the practice and coaching sections of the site can practice and keep track of their progress on mathematical problems and concepts. The great thing for CV users is that the log in for the Khan Academy is tied right to your CV Google Account. This goes for both teachers and students. Users can select log in with Google acount and enter their school email address to continue onto Conestoga Valleys Single Sign on for logging on and approval.

If you are interested in using this tool, take 5 minutes to view my review of the tool and how teachers and students could use the practice exercises and coaching sections to help students achieve in math.

Watch the TED video below to get some good ideas of how to use it.


Saying Goodbye to Lotus Quickplace Web Service

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Lotus quickplace is the webservice used by CVSD to host information for many CV classes, departments, extra curriculars and even school baord information for the past 10 years. The sites were always located behind the url of www5.cvsd.k12.pa.us/quickplace. Some of the most notable pages hosted on this service were the “tech” page, the “hsteacher” page, the school board “policy”  and “board” page and the “CVStaff” page.

While this server and service have provided us with 10 good years of reliability and ease of use it has been cumbersome and costly to keep up to date. Also, many of the district programs that used the service have moved onto other tools such as wikispaces, blogs, moodle or the new district web site. The combination of the two previous factors have helped the Technology department make the decision to discontinue hosting and supporting Quickplace sites. By August of 2011 the webserver will be pulled down and no longer accesible for anyone. The technology department is asking anyone who is still using the service to remove and/or transport any information they want to continue using and sharing to a different Web tool offered and provided the district by 6/30/2011.  Users can view a list of other tools and services available for providing similar or more robust web site hosting features under the faculty/staff portal on the District web page. Below is a list sites that are currently hosted on the Quickplace Server.


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