December 1


When planning lessons, we constantly think of timing.  It seems we have so much that students need to be guided through or exposed to and such an overload of material that needs to be shared that we are often scrambling for more time.  One of the things teachers do is structure and scaffold our lessons so students learn to manage that too-little-time-struggle as well as learn to manage the time constraints of a busy world.


Timer shows seconds ticking away

Recently, one of the administrators at a school where I work suggested that teachers manage time constraints (and help students learn, too) by using an online timer projected in the classroom that helps keep lessons on track.  There are lots of timers that can be purchased and multiple apps that can be downloaded for free.  However, my suggestion is to just use a simple one that is probably right in front of you and your students all the time – Google it!

Continue reading

November 2

Short! Sweet! URL Shortener

URL shortening is a technique in which a Uniform Resource Locator (URL) can be made shorter and still direct users to the required page.  It is especially helpful when posting a URL for people to enter because the web address is so much shorter, requiring less input, and provides for fewer mistakes.  This is especially helpful when there are character limitations such as with Twitter.  Shortening a URL helps students get logged on to the same page more quickly.

Take something long and unwieldy like this:

to this: goo-gl


One such URL shortener is ( Chrome extension)  This shortener provides analytics that will show you how many times the shortened URL has been used.  It lets you create a QR code for any web link.  Save time, save keystrokes, track interactions, use! Short! Sweet!

October 20

Formative Assessments with Nearpod

Nolensville Elementary teachers have been exploring and using Nearpod.  This onearpodnline resource allows for creation of informational slides, formative assessments, and sharing student work as exemplars.  Click on the image at right to access a video overview.

When a teacher creates an activity within the lesson, the options include multiple choice quiz, draw it, open ended questions, poll it, and fill in the blank.  Reports with formative feedback are provided.  Free accounts are available with limited features. Live lessons feature whole group and small group lessons.  Student-paced lessons feature purposeful practice rotations so that students can learn about a topic and answer assessment questions. Students join a lesson by entering the PIN provided by the teacher that Nearpod assigns.    Continue reading

Category: Apps, BYOT | LEAVE A COMMENT
September 21

Bookmark, Capture, Highlight, Annotate, and Share with Diigo

diigo logo 2Diigo has a helpful Chrome extension which allows users to bookmark, then add digital highlights and interactive sticky notes to webpages and articles.  Annotated items can be shared with other Diigo users and groups.

It allows users to collaborate and share what they are reading and notes users attach.  The material can be accessed online, anywhere, using most any device.  Both public and private groups can be created which allows for specificity in sharing.  Items can also be tagged making it easy to search and find materials relating to a certain topic.  Bookmark, Capture, Highlight, Annotate, and Share with Diigo - #WCSEdtech

The Diigo Chrome extension is an exceptional tool for the classroom!  Reading and research materials can be bookmarked, highlighted, annotated, and notes added.  Web resources can be shared with the whole class or used for differentiating with small groups and individuals.  Check out this video for an overview of its features.

August 1

WCS Textbook and Electronic Resource Login Information

Each year Instructional Technology supports staff and students by creating accounts for district managed textbooks and electronic resources. These accounts will be accessible from the WCS Single Sign On Dashboard. Staff members received an email August 1 with an update on the availability of accounts including a link to an account cheat sheet.

The login information for applications on the student dashboard can be found at the links below. This information will be updated again the second week of August in the event of a change.

K-5 District Resources Student Login Information
6-8 District Resources Student Login Information
9-12 District Resources Student Login Information
  • If you use a textbook that requires a student code to create their account, a tech coach will contact you directly via email.
  • Student and teacher accounts for instructional products will be ready the first full day of school. You will notice some are even ready now. If the administrator who schedules classes in your building has made changes to your schedule in Skyward since July 15, the accounts may not be ready or may be associated with the incorrect class. Students who have recently enrolled in WCS for the first time may not have accounts when school opens. If your teacher name shows as TBD on your Skyward schedule then you may not be able to access your accounts until your scheduling administrator updates the information in Skyward. All accounts that fall into these categories will be corrected as soon as possible.
  • Your Tech Coach will be able to help you if you have questions. Find the name of your tech coach here or by checking the tabs in the top right corner of this blog.
Category: Apps, BYOT | LEAVE A COMMENT