October 3

Tuesday Tip! Share Your Originals Without Fear

When you share a Google creation with a colleague, often you are including them as a collaborator who contributes, tweaks, and improves your work.  Sometimes, though, you want to keep your original document, slides, etc., well, original without collaboration.  In that case, there are a couple of ways to share it.

The first, and most common way, is to share your Google creation with View only rights.  This allows the folks you have shared your items with to access links but not make changes to your original.  If those with whom the item is shared want to use it and tweak it to make it their own, all that is needed is for the person to select File and Make a copyContinue reading

September 20

Tuesday Tip! What can Parents See in my Google Classroom?

There are two ways for parents to monitor what is expected of their student in Google Classroom.  One way is to use the student’s credentials and log in to get the student’s perspective.  Parents/guardians can just ask their student for his/her username and password or can visit his/her school to get that information.  Then, navigate to classroom.google.com to enter the student email and password and explore.

The second way for parents/guardians to monitor Google Classroom expectations of their student is for the teacher to invite guardians to sign up for a summary.  Frequency of summaries could be daily or weekly and guardians can choose their preference. Continue reading

September 5

Tuesday Tip! Adding Audio

One of the best ways to check  for understanding is to ask a student to explain something.  Why not ask students to add an audio explanation to something they have created using digital tools?  A great tool for adding an audio explanation is the Chrome Extension Simple Audio Recorder.  The extension records your voice and automatically saves the recording as an audio file.

After successful installation, a small pop-up will ask you to allow this extension to use your microphone.  Then, a microphone will appear at the end of the omnibar when the extension is ready to use.  To create a recording, click on the mic icon that lives at the end of the URL address bar.  A small timer will appear to inform you of elapsed time.  Click the mic again to end the recording and there will be a prompt that suggests you save your recording as an audio file.  Choose where you would like to save the recording.  Then, simply link the recording to whatever you want to explain.  This YouTube video shows just how quick and easy it is to use.  Audio recording is that simple!

Click on an image below to access an example.

August 29

Tuesday Tip! Updating a Password

A new year means lots of updates and changes.  This year, students returning to our district will have a fresh start and fresh passwords for online products at the beginning of the year.  Using these handy resources, teachers and students can easily update passwords for those apps in ClassLink that hold the password for you (look for the key in the upper right corner of the app).

For a demonstration, check out this video.   The documents linked below will also provide a guide for Williamson County Schools’ users.  (To access, students and teachers may need to log out of personal email accounts and log in to their district myplace.wcs.edu G Suite account.)

Updating a Password on WCS ClassLink

Student Login Clarification and FAQ

WCS ClassLink


August 22

Tuesday Tip! G Suite Explore Button

The G Suite Explore button is a handy tool when working in a G Suite app.  It offers the opportunity to search for more information and get suggestions without ever leaving the app.  The Explore button is found in the lower left of the screen when working in a G Suite app.

The suggestions and information relate directly to the app being used – Slides suggestions while working in Slides, Spreadsheet suggestions while working in Sheets, etc.  Just hover over the button and it will expand a bit.

Continue reading

August 1

Welcome to WCS New Teachers!

Williamson County Schools spent a couple of days this week welcoming and inducting new teachers to our district.  The #WCSEdTech team formally welcomes our new teachers and we look forward to working with you during the year!

Click on the image above to access the Prezi

This week’s Tech Tips includes a link to a Prezi which shares a plethora of introductory information.

Welcome new teachers!  We are so glad you are here!

July 25

G Suite Training Extension for Chrome

How many times have you been working on a project and needed a bit of training in order to effectively use the digital tool?

Really?  Me too!

Almost every single time.

And down the rabbit hole of learning I go with lots of lost time.

The folks at Google must have realized that and created the G Suite Training Extension for our Chrome browser.  It offers simple, interactive training where you can learn and take action all at the same time.  Adding the extension makes the training available within whatever Google App you are using.  So, leaving the application to learn how to use it is never necessary. Continue reading

May 23

Tuesday Tip! It’s Time to Split

When note-taking for research, it is generally better to avoid highlighting, copying, and pasting.  This makes it easier for students to report information in their own words while creating notes.  At times, like when doing research, it helps to have a resource open on one half of the screen and a place for note-taking open on the other half.  The note-taking half might be a tool like Google Keep, a Google Document, or a Google Slide.  Tab Scissors and Tab Glue are great Chrome Extensions for such a task.

Tab Scissors is an organizational tool which splits one window into two smaller side-by-side windows.  When creating a split screen with one click, all the tabs to the left of the selected one will remain on the left.  The rest will move to the window on the right.  Tab Glue brings the two split windows back together in one window.

May 16

Tuesday Tip! – Sheets, Charts, and Docs Working Together

We have become such a visual society that images and graphics really are an important part of our communication skill set.  Why not include charts as a way to reinforce a concept in a persuasive written piece?  Recently, a local high school English teacher did just that.  

When introducing a unit on The Holocaust, she asked students to rank their Top Ten for Who is Responsible for The Holocaust?  The teacher posted a link to a Google Sheet in her Google Classroom.  There were nine categories in protected cells and students could add their own tenth category.  Then, they entered numbers to rank each category.  Next, students converted the spreadsheet data to a pie chart.  Then, they inserted the chart into a Google Document and wrote a justification for their choice of ranking.

Basically, the  teacher saw three different types of effective responses for this assignment.  One student simply did a numbered list.  The pie chart helped to illustrate the ranking for the students to choose the level of responsibility and the student chose the ranking to be ten for most responsible and one for least responsible.  The justification was written with the highest ranking as the first numbered point.  Other students who wrote a numbered list ranked ten as leas responsible and one as most responsible.  So, the written justification certainly became an important part of the assignment.


Other students chose to write their justification in essay format, writing a paragraph as a way to explain the choices.  A student took the essay format one step further by changing font colors to match the categories on the pie chart as the explanation was detailed.  Sometimes the best differentiation comes from giving only basic instructions and allowing students to interpret!






Creating visuals solidifies ideas and concepts for readers and for students creating the visuals as well.  More importantly, an assignment like this gives the teacher a starting place for knowing what information is banked in students’ prior knowledge and what needs to be learned.  Amazing formative assessments don’t have to be locked into a ten question bubble sheet.  Why not smash a few apps together and really learn more about what students do and do not know?