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While video conferencing may seems like its takes a lot of time, setup, and expensive equipment. Today, it takes nothing more than an ordinary computer or access to practically any modern computing device and some simple setup. For example, recently a student who was taking Earth Science with Mr. Justin Spanneut moved out of the district. Since it was just weeks away from the Regents Exam and after having built a year long-rapport with Mr. Spanneut, the student was pleased to be able to continue her learning remotely in preparation for the exam. Mr. Spanneut, pictured below on his classroom computer, used Google Hangouts to assist the student. Google Hangouts is a social networking type of platform that has video conferencing and document sharing capabilities. It works not only works on computers but tablets and even modern smartphones. All that is required to use the platform is a Google account and Internet connectivity. Using the computer in his classroom, Mr. Spanneut was able to utilize all of his teaching materials, documents, and equipment easily within the virtual environment that Hangouts provides. As he talked with the student in a video chat, Mr. Spanneut was able to share the desktop documents such as the Earth Science Reference Tables to work through questions and solve problems. He was also able to demonstrate lab procedures and show geologic samples using the Ladibug document camera while conferencing with the student. Since all the technology resources can enhance teaching in the classroom during face-to-face instruction are available for remote learning in Google Hangouts, the possibilities for remote teaching are nearly limitless. The technology could provide students that are away from school, homebound, or in the hospital a means to an engaging near-authentic classroom experience. In addition to supporting one’s own curriculum, Google Hangouts could provide a powerful platform for cross curriculum activities or a means to conduct interscholastic activities with colleagues and their students in other districts. If you would like to learn how to use Google Hangouts in your classroom for remote instruction and more, contact to the district Tech Team. Just ask and they will get you set up so you can make use of this powerful technology in your own classroom in the fall!

As teachers, we often have lots of meetings that we need to schedule based on the emails we receive from colleagues and parents. While many probably think this involves a lot of copying and pasting from Spartan Mail into a Spartan Calendar window to do this digitally, believe it or not, you can actually schedule a meeting related to an email in one quick click!

Creating an event from an email is very easy. Start by logging into Spartan Mail and clicking onto a message in your Inbox. While you are viewing an email from which you’d like to create an event, click the More button along the top on your Inbox and choose Create event from the menu, (see screenshot below)

A new browser tab will now open and start creating a new event on your Spartan Calendar! Conveniently, the event details automatically detected and added from all information found in your email. For example, the email subject becomes the Event Title, all recipients listed are included as Guests, and the email body becomes the Event Description. Even email attachments are attached to the event!

At this point, you can make any minor updates to the event before you save it. For example, you may need to change the Event Title so it summarizes the purpose of the meeting. You also may need to edit the Start and End times since by default, the event will start at the time when you create it from the email message. Finally, be sure to update the guests if needed since it will appear on their calendars as well automatically.

Hopefully the next time you receive an email where a follow-up meeting needed or you would like to meet with whoever you’re corresponding with, this email to calendar event trick will save you time and energy, makeing scheduling your meetings even simple than you ever imagined.

Web 2.0 Tools for Teachers
iTunes Content for Your Classroom

Are you looking for a simple web-based solution to easily create flyers, brochures, newsletters, magazines, and photobooks? If so, Lucidpress is be one of best solution to consider.
Lucidpress is a web-based enviroment that helps you produce stunning print and digital newsletters, flyers, brochures, photo books and more. To get started, you can simply use Spartan Drive account and click the Create button, from there, you can start using create your own digital documents right away. The web-based workspace of the site features the ability to drag and drop text, images, and graphics to create professional looking documents in minutes. Once you are done designed, you can even download to print as a a PDF or export as PNG / JPG image. Best of all, documents created with Lucidpress can be saved to your Spartan Drive for access and editing virtually anywhere! For an awesome solution to create layout documents, Lucidpress is worth a look.
Visit Lucidpress
Digital Learning Day 2013 Video Exemplars
NYS Teacher Centers

Digital Learning Day is a national campaign that shines a spotlight on effective use of technology in classrooms across the country. As part of the celebration last year, New York State Teacher Centers in partnership with the New York Institute of Technology encouraged classroom teachers and museum educators to submit a 2-3 minute videos that illustrates how they are using technology to transform classroom practice and help students meet Common Core Learning Standards as well as achieve college and career readiness. Check out these examples today and you're sure to get some great ideas to implement in your very own classroom next year!
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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 & Kathy Donovan. If you wish to contribute to or inquire about the newsletter, please visit here.
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