Showing posts with label technology for school administrators. Show all posts
Showing posts with label technology for school administrators. Show all posts

Thursday, August 1, 2013

EdCanvas for Schools Lets You Manage Student Accounts

Edcanvas makes it easy for teachers to organize and share educational materials in a visually pleasing format. The "canvas" part of Edcanvas is where you arrange videos, links, images, and files around any topic of your choosing. Edcanvas has built-in search tools so that you do not have to leave your Edcanvas account in order to locate resources. 

This week Edcanvas introduced school-wide accounts. The new Edcanvas for Schools allows administrators to have unlimited classes, students, and teachers in one account. The administrator create accounts and administer accounts in Edcanvas for Schools.

Applications for Education
One of the features of Edcanvas for Schools that some administrators may like is the option to see which teachers are using the service the most. Administrators can also see active lessons to curate a selection of best practices. 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Use Hello Sign to Electronically Sign Documents

If you have ever received an email with an attachment that you need to put your signature on, you need to check out Hello Sign. Hello Sign is a free service that allow you to digitally sign documents. Hello Sign can be used on your computer, on your iPhone, and on your iPad.

On your computer you can use Hello Sign to record your signature by using your mouse or by importing a picture of your signature. Then whenever you need to sign a document just upload it to Hello Sign and apply your stored signature. You can email your newly signed document directly from Hello Sign.

On your iPhone or iPad you can use Hello Sign by selecting a document or by taking a picture of a document. I tried it out on my iPad and was impressed by how easy it was to use. I just opened the app, logged into my Hello Sign account, and snapped a picture of a document. After the picture was captured I had the option to apply a stored signature or sign the document using my finger on my iPad screen.

Applications for Education
If you have ever experienced the hassle that comes with having to print, sign, and scan documents generated at official meetings like school board meetings or special education case meetings you can save yourself that hassle in the future by using Hello Sign.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Conduct Conference Calls for Free on Speek

Speek is a free conference call service that I learned about a few weeks ago on Larry Ferlazzo's blog. When you sign-up for Speek you create a URL for your conference call. Then enter the email addresses of the people that you want to join your call. When the recipient clicks the link and enters his or her phone number, Speek calls them and connects them to you and the rest of the conference. For now Speek only works in the United States and works best with less than ten callers.

Speek - Fast and easy conference calls on the go from Speek on Vimeo.

Applications for Education
Speek could be a good service to use to organize small conference calls for parent-teacher conferences or for small virtual department meetings.

Friday, July 20, 2012

5 Ways to Use Google Sites in Schools

Over the last two weeks I've had five occasions to work with teachers to either develop new websites or improve existing websites in Google Sites. Over the course of these workshops I've found that there are five ways that Google Sites are commonly being used in schools.

Before you jump to the list, the shameless promotion department at Free Technology for Teachers would like to mention that you should see Google Sites for Teachers if you need help getting started using Google Sites.

5 Ways to Use Google Sites in Schools
1. As a wiki: Google Sites can be used as a wiki if you share your site with others and invite them to be editors. As a teacher you could start a site then add your students as owners or editors on the site. If you add them as owners they will be able to start new pages. If you add them as editors they will only be allowed to edit existing pages. You can also use the new page-level permissions option to allow students to only edit the pages that you grant them access to.

2. As a digital portfolio: Google Sites can be used by students to create digital portfolios featuring their best works and accomplishments. I would encourage high school students to develop a digital portfolio that they can share with university admissions officers. Teachers should also consider developing a digital portfolio of their best lesson plans, credentials, and references to include when they apply for teaching positions.

3. As a digital file cabinet: If you have PDFs, Word files, or other documents that you want your students to be able to easily download, consider using the File Cabinet option in Google Sites. By creating a File Cabinet page you provide a place for those files to be easily accessed. You might also consider putting up a File Cabinet page for forms like permission slips that parents need to access.

4. As a blog: Use the Announcements template to create a blog page within your Google Sites. You can update the blog or make the blog page collaborative and let your students contribute to a class blog.

5. As a website: I left the most obvious option for last. If you need to create a place where parents and students can come to find important information about your course(s) or your school, Google Sites provides all of the tools for that. Incorporate a blog element (see #4 above) for posting updates and use the rest of the pages to house information that doesn't change that often. You can also incorporate a file cabinet (see #3 above) to post forms for parents to download. And if you're using Google Calendar, you can easily add a calendar of events to any page in your Google Site.

How are you using Google Sites in your school? Please leave a suggestion in the comments. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Any.DO - Make Things Happen With Collaborative Task Management

Any.DO is a free Android App (iPhone version coming soon) for creating to-do lists and sharing them with your friends and colleagues. On Any.DO you can type out a list of tasks or enter tasks by speaking into your phone. Once you've entered your task you can assign it to a day and time for completion. After assigning a completion deadline you can share that task with anyone in your contacts list even if she doesn't have the Any.DO app installed on her phone.

Any.DO also gives you the option to attach notes to your tasks, set reminders for your tasks, and put notes into folders that you've created. For example, if I have notes of a personal nature like my grocery shopping list I can put that list into my "personal" folder instead of my "work" folder. And unlike some free Android apps, in my testing of the app Any.DO didn't appear to insert ads into my notes.

Applications for Education
Any.DO could be a great Android app for students to use to keep track of assignments and due dates. I like the option to add notes through voice messages instead of typing them out. One of the impediments for some students to successful use of task management tools is taking the time to write down the tasks they need to do. By using the voice recorder that impediment is removed.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

What School Leaders Need to Know About Digital Technologies and Social Media

This blog post comes from the shameless commerce division of Free Technology for Teachers. As some readers know, I do some writing outside of this blog. One of the writing projects I worked on last year was a contribution to What School Leaders Need to Know About Digital Technologies and Social Media. The book was organized and edited by Chris Lehmann and Scott McLeod. The contribution that I made along with Carl Anderson is a chapter about online mind mapping tools and strategies. In all there are thirty-six contributing authors. The book is available now through Amazon.

Friday, October 14, 2011

New LearnBoost Features - Multilingual Support and Lesson Sharing

Full Disclosure: Learn Boost is an advertiser on Free Technology for Teachers.

LearnBoost, providers of a free online gradebook service, has released a few new features this month that you might be interested in. This month LearnBoost announced that LearnBoost is now available in Spanish and French. Yesterday, LearnBoost announced the option to share lesson plans through their service. A video overview of sharing lessons is embedded below.

How to share lesson plans from LearnBoost on Vimeo.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Import Local Standards to Your LearnBoost Gradebook

LearnBoost, providers of a free online gradebook service that can integrate with Google Apps for Education, recently announced a new feature that school administrators will like. Administrators of schools using LearnBoost can now import local standards into the gradebooks for their schools. Once the standards are imported all teachers within that school can select the standards that apply to the courses they teach. Click here to find directions for using the new standards importation feature.

If you're interested in learning how LearnBoost works with Google Apps for Education, watch the following video.

Adding LearnBoost in Google Apps Marketplace from LearnBoost on Vimeo.

Full Disclosure: LearnBoost is a paying advertiser on Free Technology for Teachers.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Delegate Administrative Tasks in Google Apps

If your school uses Google Apps for Education, your administrator just got a new option for delegating tasks. Google now allows you to have "Delegated Administrators" of your Google Apps for Education domain. A Delegated Administrator is a person who has access to some administrative tasks, like password resets, but not all administrative functions. For directions on activating Delegated Administrators, see Google's announcement of the new function.

Applications for Education
At the beginning of the school year delegating the tasks of password management (creation or reset) to a handful of people in your school building could enable you to get students and staff using their Google Apps accounts faster than if just one person is responsible for that task.

Thursday, March 3, 2011 - Build Your Own Discussion Forum

There are plenty of services on the web that you can use to create your own private or public discussion forum (click here or here for some I've previously reviewed). But takes the prize for easiest name and url to remember. Not only is the name easy to remember, it's easy to create your forum with

Once you've registered on creating your forum is a straight-forward, two minute process. To create a forum just sign-in and click "start a forum." From there you can start a conversation, which calls "Gabs." You can also post events, pages, and files. In your forum management tab you can choose to make your forum private or public. Also in the management tab is the option to grab an embed code to place your forum's gab stream in your website or blog.

Applications for Education could be useful for creating online book clubs for your school, providing a public place for parents to interact with administration, or for a student council to interact with its constituents.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

iPhones, Google Forms, and Walkthroughs

Adam Truitt (aka @moutainteacher) recently contacted me with an epublication that I think will be handy for school administrators. 21st Century Walkthrough is a ten page guide to using Google Docs Forms and an iPhone or iPod Touch to record and analyze school or classroom walkthrough data. The guide provides directions with screen images for setting up a form, setting up your iPhone, and analyzing the data collected.