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Check on My Learning Plan next month to see what training offerings might be coming over the summer!

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Several years ago, New Hartford Central School chose Google to explore new instructional possibilities. Since then, our customized Spartan Apps has allowed teachers to leverage Docs, Slides, Forms, and many others from the Google “stable of apps” to enhance teaching and learning. What once was cutting edge computer software became a standard tool for collaboration, opening the door to more cloud-based learning. Today, New Hartford teachers are well-prepared for the larger conversation taking place concerning Google Apps for Education in the grander quest for best practices in technology-based curricula. Around the country, Google’s newest cloud based productivity tool for education, Google Classroom, has increasingly become a popular app for teachers and students hoping to further streamline the powerful collaborative features of Google. Google Classroom helps teachers share Docs as assignments, share web content with an entire class with a mere mouse click, and provide teacher and peer feedback on group projects. Over the past several months, teachers such as Spanish teacher Ms. Meredith Doyle at Perry Junior High (pictured above working with one of her students) have road-tested Google Classroom to test its feature set. While some teachers are using Google Classroom to “flip” instruction, Doyle reports that she prefers “to use it in class, actually . . . I have used it twice recently in a unique way”. For example, recently Srta. Doyle used Google Classroom to share a Google Map for her entire class to contribute language-based content, a technique she learned at a recent World Language workshop. Students were able to claim a Spanish-speaking city for their own, and label specific locations in each city with vocabulary that they had mastered during instruction. Also, she has leveraged Google Forms to create interactive listening exercises in which students provide feedback in Spanish, thus allowing students to immerse themselves in a situation that approximates a natural language environment. Conveniently, a Google Form can be assigned to each student in Google Classroom, and features an adaptive self-correcting function to help teachers assess student work. Forms can also be used to host end-of-year course evaluations, something Doyle has planned for this June. With so many possibilities to extend and enrich classroom instruction further, Google Classroom has many possibilities to extend the simple, easy to use features Spartan Apps has provided our teachers and students for years across the district even further. If you are interested in getting Google Classroom set up for use next school year, just reach out the Tech Department and let them know. They would happy to work with you in doing that as well as setting up possible training sessions this summer or early next fall so you can put Google Classroom into action with your own students in the near future!


While having always available access to files in Drive is convenient, there may be times when you want or need to limit the time frame someone else has access to your Drive files. For example, maybe you want to remove student editing or viewing of a particular file on a particular due date or time has arrived. Or perhaps when you are done working with a committee on a collaborative file, you want to the file to automatically roll back to private access that only you can see and use.

To automate the sharing of files you in these types of situations, Google has recently introducing the ability to set an “expiration date” for specific user access to files in Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, and Slides. Of course, using this new functionality is quick and easy and already built right into Drive.

To use the new expiration date sharing functionality, just open the Sharing settings for any shared file. Next to the settings for each user, you will see a small clock icon appear when you hover over to their name, (see circled area in screenshot below.) Just click on this clock and options for setting an expiration date, time, and permission settings will become available. Just set them as needed and you are all set!

Hopefully, now that you know about it, you can put the new expiration date sharing functions into action soon for your own needs. Let’s face it…as a teacher, anytime you can automate something, you are sure to save time and energy that can be used elsewhere in your classroom.

Web 2.0 Tools for Teachers
iTunes Content for Your Classroom

Are you looking for a tool to make videos more engaging and interactive for your students? If so, Zaption is an excellent tool to consider for the job.
Zaption allows teachers to easily create interactive video lessons on a desktop computer by adding images, text, quizzes, and discussions to existing videos from YouTube or Vimeo. These “learning tours” can be shared privately with a simple link, embedded in any learning management system, or played back via the Zaption mobile app on the go making this ecosystem of creation a perfect fit for blended learning, flipped classrooms & online classes in K-12. Zaption’s Analytics also track allow teachers to track all learner activity, so teachers get immediate and actionable data to improve instruction and personalize learning. Take a look at Zapion today and see how you can take video to the next level in your classroom!
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Childhood in the Digital Age
The Open Univerrsity

This collection of media resources examines how the digital influx is shaping children’s development and experience. Listen as Nathalia Gjersoe, from the Open University, introduces some of the key themes, issues, and evidence in this area including a variety of topics such as how social media is changing the way that children form relationships, how technology is changing the way that children think, and how it might shape the classroom of the future. With the amount of technology available to children today that is greater than in any previous one, this is a timely topic overall to consider. Take a look and see how some these practices and ideas can help you in your own classroom today and beyond.
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The New Hartford Tech Spotlight is a monthly informational e-mail newsletter published for all faculty and staff of the New Hartford Central School District by Mike Amante & James Davis. If you wish to contribute to or inquire about the newsletter, please visit here.
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