Thursday, October 23, 2014

Free Microsoft Office Download on Personal Devices for Staff

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Looking to have Microsoft Office on any of your personal devices including Mac and iPads? There is now a solution! You can currently install Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, & OneNote) on up to five personal devices for free thanks to Office in Education. To do so: 

1. Access using the device you'd like to install Microsoft Office

2. Select the green tab stating "Find out if you're eligible"

3. Type in your full JTHS email i.e.: 
4. Click "Sign Up" and follow the prompts until you see the screen below

When you see the screen below; click “Install Now” and follow the installation prompts. Be sure to be on the personal device on which you want to install Office.

Friday, October 17, 2014

JT Learn Feature Highlight

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One piece of feedback from teachers at JTHS during our first year of the 1:1 Initiative was that they wanted a way for students who either forgot their password or who were locked out of their account to receive assistance without missing class time.  The Password Reset WebPart was the answer!

The Password Reset WebPart is a valuable tool that allows teachers to reset and unlock student accounts in less than 5 seconds.  Student do not have to miss crucial class time.  This webpart is added to a teacher’s period page and then displays student names for that period.  Teachers add a check in the box next to the student who needs their password reset or account unlocked and click "Reset Password(s)." (See image below)

This is now the third year to have this feature fully operationalized and it is helping make a difference for teachers and students. 

Additional Resources:  Screencast demonstrating how to add the Password Reset WebPart to a period level page on JT Learn.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Screencast-O-Matic Pro Tools

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Are you looking for a way to capture actions taking place on your computer screen to show others? Try out screencasting; JTHS recently subscribed to Screencast-O-Matic for up to 5,000 users, including both teachers and students. The district subscription to Screencast-O-Matic enables teachers and students access to the Pro Tools. Some features of the Pro Tools include: the ability to Draw / Zoom while recording, access to advanced Editing Tools, and use of the Script Tool

If you are ready to get started, access the JTHS District Screencast-O-Matic page at: . You can get started right away by clicking “Start Recording”. If you would like a bit more guidance explore the Screencast-O-Matic getting started video. The JTHS District Screencast-O-Matic page does allow you to download the application, but it can be a tricky process. For further guidance on the Screencast-O-Matic download please contact Sarah Barabe or Jill Meadows.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Technology is a Tool, Not a Learning Outcome

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Use this image to think about the ways you're integrating technology into your lessons.  Have a technology success story? Share it in the comments section!

Image credit: Bill Ferriter

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Featured Guest Post: Sharing Not Comparing

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Featured Guest Post from Susie Graham

I'm still not a blogger, but every once in awhile I need to get my thoughts out to share with my colleagues and just get them out of myself. I attended my first Playdate yesterday and this is my first blog since I've been on Twitter for awhile now. At Playdate I gained new Twitter followers and I actually met some people that I've been following on Twitter! It was so much fun. My Stop Comparing! title that I had forgotten about is even more appropriate. Even though many people at the Playdate are much more advanced in their knowledge and use of technology, comparing myself to them would do me no good. And they did not treat me as if I didn't belong. I was even a facilitator (at the prodding of my instructional technologist) and made it through that experience learning what to do better next time and happy that I took the chance and happy that the participants got some ideas and added to the discussion.

My main goal in this blog post is to encourage my Joliet colleagues to realize that wherever they are in technology, they need to stop comparing, stop feeling stupid, stop feeling pressured. Nobody is pressuring them. The pressure is self-imposed. The pressure is imposed by the changing world, not by their peers or their bosses. When we embrace the technology and the fun and the technology when it makes sense, we will stop feeling stupid and stop feeling pressured. The Playdate was teachers sharing with teachers--nothing more, nothing less. I really hope that we can start to do some things like this in Joliet. We are having "tracks" at our February SIP day. I hope that can be the start of teachers sharing with teachers. I know the Technology department is passionate about helping us and helping us to help each other. I really want to be a part of that movement and I know there are teachers out there doing fantastic things and I want to learn from you. Please consider sharing and not comparing.