Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Signing into your Chrome Browser

As I work with may teachers and administrators across the district, I've noticed that many people aren't signed in to their Chrome Browser. This is important to do in order to access your bookmarks, apps and extensions that are associated with your Google account.

Many people assume they are logged into the Chrome browser because they are properly logged into the Google web page. These are actually two different things, using the same account information to access their designated products. Logging into the Google web page allows a user to access their Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive, etc. This is different than what the Chrome browser offers.

On a desktop, if you open the Chrome browser, and see this icon on the top of your screen, you need to sign into Chrome. If you see your name listed instead of the head icon, you are already signed into Chrome.

Click on the icon and click "sign into Chrome", and fill in your WCS Google account credentials. When prompted, click "link data" to access all of your Chrome bookmarks, Google Apps and Google Extensions.

Once you've done this, you shouldn't have to do it again on that particular computer again, unless you log out of the Chrome browser.

Please note, when using a Chromebook, this isn't necessary. Logging into a Chromebook automatically logs you into Google AND the Chrome browser, since that is the only browser available on a Chromebook.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Making Education:

Designing Activities for Transformative Learning

The Maker Movement is beginning to transform learning in our schools. Makerspaces are areas designed to support the Maker Movement.  These creative spaces are where students can gather to create, invent, and learn.  This fresh approach emphasizes creation, creativity, teamwork and communication in order to prepare our students with skills for the 21st Century.   Museums, libraries, community centers and after school programs have designed physical and virtual "Makerspaces" to host communities of supportive peers and mentors invested in creating everything from cutout designs and webpages, to jewelry and robots . . . and now, even school curriculum.
One example of this movement is an after-school program beginning this year at Pointview Elementary. Pointview students are encouraged to join the tech club to experience wonderful hands on projects where this digital tool becomes part of the learning process. Several teachers including Ben Ashwill and Bill Goldner are leading this discovery adventure for students. Here’s a link to the Club’s introduction:
Another example of this style of learning is occurring at North High School.  North HS Warrior Learning Center now houses a special room called the “Imaginarium”.  In the Imaginarium, students have been creating and making new objects.  Buttons,  bracelets, origami, cutout designs and also learning about virtual reality. Every Monday, this space is open to students from 10:00 to 12:30PM for students to choose a learning activity.

The “Collaboratorium” and “Wonder Room” at Hanby Elementary opened this year with two exciting design challenges for students. The Collaboratorium is a available for students to make use of their science and math skills to solve problems.

The Wonder Room is used by students to create and discover art and technology.
In a recent Collaboratorium lesson, students were presented with a  Math and Science challenge called, The Penny Boat Challenge.  Students used the Engineering Design Process to design a boat for the Hanby Boat Company using aluminum foil that would hold the most cargo possible.

In the Wonder Room students were challenged to use the items in their brown bag to build the tallest structure possible.  Each Hanby class discovered the fun and excitement of building a tall structure with spaghetti and tape with a marshmallow on the top.    

Mrs. Brown, Hanby’s School Principal, is encouraging teachers, parents and community members to use these two new rooms to expand the Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM) experience for every HANBY student. Students enjoy the learning experience and are looking forward to their next design challenges.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Schoology Test/Quiz App

Schoology Testing App

While teachers have increasingly been giving digital assessments throughout our district, one of the concerns is that students have full access to the internet during a test / quiz session by simply opening another tab. This has caused some concerns about the authenticity of online assessments results. Westerville City Schools has created an app to help with this problem.

By using the "Schoology Test/Quizzes" app located on the district Chromebooks, students can have full access to one Schoology page, but without the ability to open other tabs while completing assignments, answering questions or taking quizzes or tests inside of Schoology. This creates a more secure environment for giving online assessments.


We hope this helps create a more secure testing environment for our students while submitting assessment feedback.

If you have any questions about this tool, please don't hesitate to contact your building's Ed Tech Coach!

Click here for step by step directions on how to use this app.