Tech Tip Tuesday

Tech Tip Tuesday: Ideas for Schoology Media Albums

by Kristie Burk, DASD Coordinator of Cyber and Blended Learning

Last Tuesday’s #schoologychat on Twitter was on the topic of media albums in Schoology. Media Albums allow students and teachers to post photos, videos or audio files and others can comment on them.  Here is just a sampling of some of the ways that you can use Schoology media albums:

  • Have students upload pictures of books they’re reading with a short review in the caption – Willie Thomas, Instructional Technologist, Waco, TX
  • Require students to document steps in an experiment during a science lab or have your younger students use them to post pictures for a show-and tell — Megan Nussbaum, Technology Integration Coordinator, Topeka, KS
  • Have students post pictures to document their steps in a project and share them with parents at a conference – Brian Scholl, K-12 Instructional Technology Specialist, Nazareth, PA
  • Use media albums to post field trip photos, to host student presentations or to create a digital gallery walk…even ask students to post examples of math in the real world (construction sites, receipts, etc.) — Michael League, Instructional Technology Specialist, Indian River School District, DE
  • Use media albums to post ASL translation videos on a drama script – Jared Lopatin, English teacher for the Deaf, New York, NY
  • Have students post school-appropriate memes on topics from class — Jerilyn McConchie, ELA teacher, Killeen/Ft. Hood, TX
  • Ask students to post their art work in a digital gallery or work from another app such as Chatterpix– Hope Elliott, Digital Technology Specialist, Columbus, MS
  • Snap, annotate, and share ideas with other teachers — Cory Klinge, Instructional Excellence Coordinator, Eden Prarie, MN
  • Ask the Yearbook team to keep media albums for each grade to post pictures as they become available – Jim Amato, Ed Tech Director, Prospect, CT
  • Post pictures of videos or pictures of correct form or drills for athletes or pictures of events from sporting events- Mr. Porter, Chemistry teacher and coach, Oakfield, AL
  • Upload pictures to help students better visuzalize a novel, such as posting pictures of Vietnam before reading Things They Carried, Mrs. Toflinski, ELA Teacher, Northwood, OH
  • Suggest students post pictures for journalism stories in a media album – Leslie Louder, ELA teacher, Dover, DE
  • Post pictures of innovative teachers in action in a professional development course – Dani Patterson, Technology Integration Facilitator, Copperas Cove, TX

Tech Tip Tuesday: Quickly Create Copies of Google Docs with this Add-on

CopyDocs-for-Classes-by-Alice-Keelerby Khristina Hunt, Downingtown West High School Instructional Coach

If you teach several sections of a class over different periods or days, you might find yourself making a copy of a collaborative Google Doc multiple times. Alison Keeler created an add-on script called CopyDocs that will duplicate any Google Docs, Sheets, Slides or Drawings that you wish to copy for each class. The name of each class is put in front of the document title to make it easy to know which copy is for which class.

Instructions for the add-on and more details can be found here.

Tech Tip Tuesday: Breakout EDU

by Sara Brosious, Downingtown East High School Instructional Coach

Guess what happens when you tell students to put everything away except their device and then give them a box with 4 padlocks on?  Complete student engagement.

On Friday, February 17 Downingtown East High School’s Spanish Teacher Michelle Podolak piloted Breakout EDU with a STEM twist.  Breakout EDU is the education world’s version of an escape room experience.  Michelle provided students curricular puzzle clues that unlocked the various padlocks to ultimately break into the locked box.

Mrs. Podolak’s Spanish IV and Honors classes were first presented with a learning scenario and with the assistance of their mobile or 1:1 laptop devices collaborated in small groups to solve the clues.  Once the teams broke into the boxes, they were then presented with the task of building a trap with makerspace type items such as legos, magformers, and tinker toys.

The students then collaborated to produce a one minute video in Spanish describing their traps, and upload it to Schoology.  There was also a discussion board conversation commenting on the other team’s cupid traps.  Additionally, Mrs. Podolak required her students to reflect on the experience via a Schoology quiz.

If you’re interested in creating a breakout experience for your students, reach out to your instructional coach!


Tech Tip Tuesday: Helping Student Teachers


by Mike Kang, Downingtown Middle School Science Teacher

Sometimes I’ve struggled with the best way to give student teachers access to our tech-based school environment. First, it was Moodle. Now it’s Schoology. With an incoming student teacher, how do I deal with giving her access to my courses without compromising my digital privacy?

People outside our district cannot currently create accounts within the domain for security reasons. However, Schoology is available outside of DASD using So, I can have my student teacher make her own Schoology teacher account, create her own Schoology course and then share it with me. She can create assignments, articles, discussion forums, quizzes and I can quickly pull them onto my page. With her Schoology account, I can even make her an administrator in my course if it’s appropriate.

For our elementary teachers, a colleague suggested student teachers can make a google site and then the teacher can link to it.

Problem solved! An almost seamless integration for the student teacher into the digital class. Now … onto helping her deal with classroom management.

Tech Tip Tuesday: The Best Way to Use Images in Class

by Kristie Burk, DASD Coordinator of Blended and Cyber Learning

It’s tempting sometimes when we’re creating a presentation, writing a digital newsletter, or enhancing a document to cut and paste an image from the Internet. Remember that digital images are someone’s artwork just like a painting or a book. We want to be good models for our students by using images with proper attribution!

13447211585For a good explanation of image attribution, check out this article called “How to get and use free images the RIGHT way in class” by Matt Miller.

You can also look at some previous articles on this blog, including “Prevent Copyright Violations with Images” or “Finding Images in Google That Are Safe to Reuse.”


Tech Tip Tuesday: Google Expeditions

By Lois Grasso, Marsh Creek Sixth Grade Center Instructional Coach

Do you want your students to visit new countries, explore historical landmarks, or swim through a coral reef?   Then Google Expeditions, a virtual reality teaching tool, is for you.   

Google Expeditions was mentioned in this blog over a year ago; however, at that time it only worked with android devices coupled with Google cardboard viewfinders like the ones in the pic below.

I am happy to report that as of September, 2016 Google Expeditions now works with iOS devices.

If your school has a cart of iPads or is 1:1, you can use them for Google Expedition tours. The app is free and has already been pushed out to the middle school iPads.  The Google Expedition iPad app allows students to move the device around in the air to explore a tour in 360 degrees without the cardboard viewfinders.  All the while the teacher directs the tour using the talking points provided by the app.  Note:  you can also purchase google cardboard viewfinders that attach to mobile phones for a more immersive tour.

Sample expedition of Buckingham Palace – view on a Smartphone or iPad to experience the virtual reality effect

Expeditions Workflow

The flow for iPad Expeditions is as follows:

  • Download the app onto the teacher iPad
  • Download the app onto student iPads
  • Make sure both teacher and students are on the same Wi-Fi
  • Download the expedition from the app that you want to use in the class
  • Launch the Expeditions app on the teacher tablet and set it up to wait for the clients to connect (lead an expedition)
  • Start presenting the selected Expedition to the students

There are about 200 expeditions available for download using the app. The Great Barrier Reef, Buckingham Palace, Rio, Mount Everest and Sharks for instance.  Better yet, the teacher tour comes with talking points. Take your class on a virtual tour soon.

Teacher how to video    Google Support

Tech Tip Tuesday: Print Friendly and PDF

by Kristie Burk, DASD Coordinator of Cyber and Blended Learning

Thank you to Dosie Rutkowski, blended English teacher at Downingtown East and West, for today’s useful tech tip.

She showed me a great Google extension (with a not-so-great name) called “Print Friendly and PDF.”

Add the extension to your Chrome browser. When you find a website that you’d like to print out or to make into a pdf, you click on the extension. It will remove all of the ads, navigation, and other unnecessary material.

The best part of this extension, however, is that it lets you easily pick material that you want to delete.  Does the page have an image that may not be age-appropriate? You can delete it. Have a paragraph that you don’t need your students to read? Delete it.  You can even make the text larger, which is useful for students who may have visual impairments.

Do you have a technology tool that you think others would find useful? Let us know at