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Have a restful and safe summer! Check MLP later in the summer when new Technology Training classes will be announced.

Classes for SMART Board Training and more will be coming soon!

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Earlier this school year and right through the next few weeks into the summer, new cluster of desktop computers have been making their debut in the elementary classrooms across the school district. These new computers, which are replacing older units that have been there for several years, offer new features such as large screens and touchscreen capabilities, that teachers have been welcomed to make daily classroom activities even easier and technology driven. Mrs. Heather Cornish, who teaches sixth grade at Bradley Elementary, (seen in the photo below working her students) came back from maternity leave in February and was very excited to put them to use the moment she saw them. “I was very surprised and happy to see the four new computers when I returned to my classroom. My students, who started using them before I even did, showed me how the new features such as the touchscreen worked and wanted to use them right away for our classwork!” As you can imagine, Cornish, as well as her fellow colleagues in Grades 4-6, spent no time putting the new machines to work right away with their students. For example, while working through the NYS Modules for ELA this spring, Cornish’s 6th graders had the opportunity on a weekly basis to work together through their writing pieces right within the classroom. This speed everything up in the entire process up in several ways. First, Cornish didn’t need to schedule trips to the computer lab for them to work. In addition, since they were writing their actual essays on the computers, they are able to edit more efficiently as well. The students could share their writing pieces with a partner using Spartan Apps and the partner was able to comment on the text on the screen. Finally, the writer was able to address those concerns right then and there. Beyond improvements to daily writing instruction, one of the more impromptu and innovative uses for Cornish’s students found for new machines happened in the last few weeks of school. In this case, Cornish gave an assignment where the students needed to tie-in to a field trip they attended in some way. They had to show a connection between what they experienced on their field trip to the MOST Museum in Syracuse and what they had learned in science this year. While they could choose any type of medium they wanted to make the connection, some of the groups of students used the new clusters of computers to research information on plate tectonics, grab images, and develop presentations on the information learned. As the school year comes to close, Cornish says she is excited for next school when she says she can see many more opportunities like this for student involvement and student engagement with technology now that the new computers are available for her students. If you are in the elementary level, your computers should be installed or will be very soon. Once they are, if you need any help getting them up and running, just contact the Tech Department. They will be happy to help you out in improving your daily instruction and leverage technology in your classroom activities just like Cornish and her colleagues have started to do this spring.

 

While we like to keep all of our Spartan Apps data in the the cloud, there may be times when you want to backup your data elsewhere for just for safe keeping or move it to a different Google account such as to a personal Google account such as when a student graduates or moves or when a teacher retires. In these cases, Google Takeout is the answer.

Takeout is the backup service provided through your Spartan Apps account that lets you download your account data quickly and completely. To use Takeout, you first must make sure you are logged into your Spartan Apps account and then navigate to http://www.google.com/takeout. This will bring you to the advanced settings within your Spartan Apps account which hosts the Google Takeout application.

Once you navigate to the Takeout site, you will see each of the Google services associated with your account listed with a green slider next to them, (see screenshot below). By default, all services connected to your account are selected but if you don't wish to not download them up, you can simply deselect them. Likewise, below each service, a drop down menu will let you can drill down further to select options such as specific folders or files types you want to capture from within Drive.


Once you have selected all the data you want to backup, scroll down and click the blue Next button at the bottom of the page. A new area will appear that indicates how many products are being backed up, what file type the data will be achieved in (.zip is the default) and how you want to be informed when the backup is ready (Send download link via email is the default.)

Next, clicking the blue Create archive button will start the backup process. Creation of the archive may take few seconds to several minutes, depending on the size of the backup. You do not need to monitor this process nor do not need to stay logged in to your account for the process to continue.

Once the backup is done, you will be notified by email when your archive is ready to be accessed along with a link to access it directly. Likewise, you can access your archive by going to http://www.google.com/takeout and clicking the Manage Archives link a the top of the page. From there, you can download the the file that contains your archived data. Once you have created an archive is important to note that it will only available for seven days on Google’s servers so you'll need to download this file within this timeframe.

Google Takeout is a powerful and handy service to get a backup of all your valuable data from Google servers. Best of all, once you have your data offline, you can save it to a hard drive, import it to a new Google account or use it in any desktop programs as desired. Now that you know about it, hopefully Google Takeout will be useful for you, your colleagues, or your students in the future who might need to backup their Google account.

 
   
Web 2.0 Tools for Teachers
 
iTunes Content for Your Classroom

Are you looking for some new technology tools for your classroom but aren’t sure where to start looking? If so, Graphite is a great site to take a look at.
 
Graphite, which is sponsored by education leader Common Sense Media, is a massive online database that makes it easy for teachers to find the best digital learning tools by presenting them with independent ratings and reviews based on rigorous rubric that evaluates learning potential. The site couples in-depth analysis of edtech products with insights from teachers on how best to use them in a classroom. Reading a review on the site is like listening to advice from a valued mentor with deep experience leveraging technology in the classroom. Take a look this summer and you are sure to find some new tech tools to bring to your classroom in the fall!!
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Classroom 2.0 LIVE
Classroom 2.0 LIVE

Classroom 2.0 LIVE is an opportunity to learn about Web 2.0 resources for education, and to collaborate with other educators in Elluminate in real-time events, complete with audio, chat, desktop sharing, and sometimes even video. While these archived epsisodes are great, you are invited to join us for their live, weekly Saturday shows at 12:00pm EST with co-hosts Peggy George, Lorie Moffat, and Tammy Moore! Check these out these summer and you are sure to find some great ideas to bring back to your classroom in the fall!
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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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