Monday, May 23, 2016

Giphy for Gmail

Have you ever wanted to send an email to someone that included a moving image of a kangaroo scratching their belly? Well now you can!

Animated pictures are in what's known in the tech world as Graphics Interchange Format (or, GIF) which allow short videos to replay on a loop for the viewer. There are many sites out that host GIFs for people to use (like but in order to a GIF in an email, a user has to first download the GIF to the hard drive of a computer, and then upload it as an image. This will insert the moving image in the body of the email.

To save a step in this process, simply add the Giphy for Gmail extension to your Chrome settings, and an icon will appear at the bottom of your email as you compose it. This will allow you to search for GIFs hosted on Giphy's website and instantaneously add them to the body of your email without having to download and then upload the file.

haydiroket  art glitch logo haydiroket

Sit back, and enjoy sending email again!

computer office jim carrey working keyboard computer tom hanks typing email emails
dog work computer type ridiculous teacher anyone ferris bueller hellooo ben stein

*Please be aware that not all GIFs hosted on are school appropriate. Make sure to preview anything before adding it to an email.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Vacation Responder in Gmail

Summer is fast approaching, and its important to remind people who send you emails during the summer months that you may not be checking your email for a while, and therefore they may not get an immediate response. Google actually makes this pretty easy to set up. The "Vacation Responder" is set up inside the Gmail settings and gives you options pertaining to turning on and off the "out of office" response.

To set up your Vacation Responder:
  1. Open Gmail.
  2. In the top-right, click the gear Settings.
  3. Select Settings.
  4. Scroll down to the Vacation responder section (stay in the "General" tab).
  5. Select Vacation responder on.
  6. Fill in the date range, subject, and message.
  7. You can limit who can see your vacation response:
    • Check the box next to Only send a response to people in my Contacts if you don't want everyone who emails you to know that you're away from your mail.
    • If you use Google Apps, you'll also see an option to only send a response to people in your domain. If you check both of these boxes, only people who are in your contacts and your domain will receive the automatic response.
  8. Click Save Changes at the bottom of the page.
Read more about Out of Office, or Vacation Responder on Google's help site.

Or watch our video setting this up below.

And once you're done setting your automatic response, turn up the volume on your computer, sit back, relax, and let Alice Cooper serenade you!


Thursday, May 19, 2016

End of Year Wrap Up for Schoology Users- Important Information!

save imageHello Schoology Users!  As we wrap up the school year, here are some important directions for how to finish out the year with Schoology.

Please know that your old courses never truly go away, but they do become archived at the end of the grading period.  Reading about archived courses below, as well as how to save your course materials so that you can easily access them again next school year.

Use this handy Schoology Rollover Course Checklist: Instructors to help you end the year and start again in August!

As always, if you have questions, reach out to your Technology Integration Coacht:  David Hayward, Lane Halterman or Kim Niles.  Enjoy your summer!

Remove Google Extensions

Hopefully you've been enjoying our videos explaining different Chrome extensions that increase productivity in Gmail. One of the best ways to fully experience any Chrome extensions is to add it to your account. But once you've done that, you may decide that it isn't what you are looking for, or you may find one that does more of the things you are looking for. That's why Google has made it pretty easy to turn off or remove these extensions after you've installed them.

To remove an extension from Google Chrome:
  1. On your browser, click menu .
  2. Select More tools > Extensions.
  3. On the extension you want to remove, click Remove from Chrome .
  4. A notice to remove the extension will appear. Click Remove.
If an extension has an icon in your Chrome toolbar, you can right-click on the icon and select Remove from Chrome to uninstall the extension.

Read more on about removing extensions on Google's help site.


Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Checker Plus for Gmail

Checker Plus for Gmail is a Chrome Extension that adds a Gmail button in your list of extensions that will open your inbox and allow you to read your unread email without actually opening the Gmail app. This extension also allows you to see how many unread emails you have in your inbox without opening the Gmail app.
Read more at the Checker Plus website.

Watch the video below to see how to add the Chrome Extension to your account.

If you like Checker Plus for Gmail, you might want to also check out 


Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Summer Professional Learning Opportunity! Blended Learning in Grades 4-12 Book Study

The EdTech team would like to invite staff to join an online book study on the book, Blended Learning in Grades 4-12, but Katlin R. Tucker.  In this book study, educators will learn the process for integrating online learning with face-to-face instruction in a way that is aligned to the Common Core Standards.  This class will address the issue of “how to blend?” using the online environment to increase engagement and drive higher-order thinking. It is appropriate for those who work with students in grades 4-12.

The book study will run for six weeks from June 1, to July 18, 2016 and will take place in Schoology.  The book study may be taken for one Muskingum college credit or for 1.5 CEUs (15 contact hours). Muskingum credit will cost $130.00.

View the Syllabus

Sign up by June 1 to participate!  The first 20 people to sign up will receive a free copy of the book!

Monday, May 16, 2016

Boomerang for Gmail

Want to send an email to someone the day before an event, but are afraid you'll forget to send out the reminder?

Sent an email to someone and now you are just waiting for a response?

Boomerang for Gmail allows a user to send emails at later times, or if no reply is received from a person. Boomerang For Gmail is a Google Chrome extension that is easily added to any Google account that will allow you to make sure you never forget to send an email at an appropriate time again!

Check out how to install Boomerang for Gmail and how to use its most basic features!

Watch this video for a much more detailed explanation of all of the aspects of Boomerang for Gmail.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Email Tracker

WCS has switched from Groupwise to Gmail! While many people are very happy with the new features and options of Gmail, one of the features that was not included in the transformation was email tracking. In Groupwise staff had the ability to see if and when an email was received and opened. Gmail does not offer this feature in its basic email package. But there is a Chrome extension that does!

If you add the Email Tracker extension you will be able to see emails in your "sent mail" label and a dot or checkmark will identify whether the email has been opened by the user.

Watch this video to walk you through how to add the Email Tracker extension.

Step by step directions for adding the Chrome extension:
1. Open the Chrome Web Store
2. Search for "Email Tracker"
3. Click on "Add to Chrome"
4. When prompted, click "Add extension"
5. Open Gmail
6. Send an email
7. Open the "Sent Mail" label
8. Sit back and watch dots turn to checkmarks!

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact your Educational Technology Integration Coaches!


Thursday, May 12, 2016

Right Side Chat

Here is a quick tip on how to move your Chat window from the left column to the right side of your Gmail page.  This does not change any functionality, it gives you more space on the left to view your labels.

1. Open Gmail
2. Click the Settings Wheel, Choose Settings
3. Choose the Lab tab
4. Scroll down to Right Side Chat, Choose Enable
5. Click Save Changes at the bottom of the page
6. Enjoy!

Take an Inspirational Journey Across the World

360°  Technology-Take an inspirational journey across the world with your students on
a virtual reality adventure right from your classroom.

Mark Twain’s 4th grade classes did just that with Mrs. McCoy’s and Mrs.Glaser’s students.

“WOW”,  that was the the response when the students explored

the 360 Virtual Reality technology!  Each student had an opportunity to explore Patriotic
Landmarks and then took a helicopter ride over the Polar Seas.

Many websites now provide Virtual Reality experiences to provide realistic visits to many cities and places. Fourth Graders explored the below Patriot Landmarks link:

Are you getting ready for a summer vacation?  Below are some 360 links to explore before you leave.

Immerse yourself in the world's first 360° documentary Polar Sea 360 film that explores the drastically changing Arctic landscape. Watch this with you google cardboard viewer and create a realistic experience.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Good Morning Huskies!

Good Morning Huskies! Every morning the 8th grade news team at Heritage Middle School starts their day recording the daily announcements, sports updates and any news of the day.  Daily announcements provide a great way for students to get involved in school, build school community and pride and have a little fun to kick off the day. The team is supervised by Kellie Sheely, Kris Konik and Patrick Acocks who support the project helping the team write and edit scripts, filming and posting the final video daily in Schoology.

Recording daily announcements is not a new concept at Heritage but using tools like WeVideo and Schoology have helped with editing and distribution of the video to the staff and students. In the past, videos were posted to the Shared Drive for teachers to access and show during 1st period.  This year the news team began posting the morning announcements to the Heritage Middle School Group in Schoology.  “Using Schoology to post our videos allows teachers easy access to the videos,” explained Mrs. Konik. “It also provides a reason for our staff to get into Schoology each day and has helped in supporting the transition to building student centered blended learning environments.”  

Monday, May 9, 2016

We've Gone to Gmail!

We've gone to Gmail!

Some of you have been using Gmail for years. Others haven't. We've held over 20 training sessions for all of our buildings, and hopefully everyone is comfortable with the transition. If you need a quick recap of how to send/reply to emails, here is a 3 minute video specific to WCS staff to help with the transition. Enjoy Gmail!

Friday, May 6, 2016

Central’s New Makerspace Christened “The Hawk’s Perch”

This isn’t your grandfather’s library!

Libraries have always been a place for inquiry and deep learning, whether the medium is print or electronic, and at Westerville Central High School, the library is busier than ever. Recently, in partnership with the Renaissance team, Principal Todd Spinner, an anonymous parent donor, the library, and funding from the Westerville City Schools Educational Technology Department, a new makerspace area, nicknamed “The Hawk’s Perch,” was dedicated. The counter holds a host of small tech tools that students can experiment and explore with including a MakeyMakey circuitry kit, two Little Bits electronics kits, laser strategy games, Ozobot programmable miniature robots that teach students how to code, and much more. Students can use the Hawk’s Perch area before or after school, or during their lunch or study hall times, and the library maintains an open access policy for pupils.

In addition, the library has a green screen recording space, cameras, and a camera stand and easel
board students can use to make “Khan Academy style” videos using the district’s WeVideo editing program. WeVideo integrates with Google Drive, so students can edit from school or from home.

The makerspace movement is founded on the belief that learning is inquisitive and student centered
and is grounded in the educational theories of constructionism, constructivism, and Montessori, and aligns with the work of Piaget, Vygosky, and Dewey (University of Wisconsin, Teaching for Creativity and Innovation: The Maker Culture and Makerspaces).