Duo Lingo Website/App

Duo Lingo is a very unique website.  While fairly new to the site, I have found it very easy to use.  It is now the program I use to brush up on my own foreign language skills.  Duo Lingo offers multiple languages for the user to choose from; Spanish, French, German, and Portuguese to name a few.  If you haven’t seen this website, here is the link:

https://www.duolingo.com/  Duo Lingo Owl

Each person creates their own free account, and in that account your daily progress is kept track of.   It allows you to take a placement test to see if you test out of any skills, or start with the basics.  You can set difficulty levels anywhere from easy to hard.  The program alternates the user typing and listening in the lessons, between the foreign language and English.  It’s good for people who do well with hands-on activities rather than text books.   You can also download it as an iPhone or Android app through AppStore or Google play.  It makes it easy to take with you wherever you go.

Whether you are brushing up on your own foreign language skills, or wanting to teach students a new language, Duo Lingo is a great tool to use.

 

Heather Williamson

Policy Review 7540.04 and 7540.03

Policy Review 7540.04 and 7540.03

Staff and Student Network and Internet Acceptable Use and Safety

      If you utilizing the computer network or access to the internet from a school computer, you should be aware of the official use policies. This is just a brief summary of the expectations you are held to. .  Make sure you read the policy as it applies to both you and your students here:

Staff

http://www.limacityschools.org/apps/newbpolicy.nsf/NewPolicyView/B27BDC459E28D31585257A2800705272?opendocument&Highlight=0,7540.04

Technology has fundamentally changed how classrooms function and teachers teach.  While the district makes every effort to balance a secure network with access to resources to support teachers and staff, the staff has a responsibility to report malicious, dangerous or offensive sites or programs they accidentally encounter.  Also, any staff members purposefully accessing any site that is deemed malicious, dangerous or offensive can and may be reprimanded.  Reporting these malicious, dangerous or offensive sites as you come into contact with them protects students as well as the staff.  Staff members are responsible for where they go on the internet.

The staff is encouraged to utilize the internet as a resource.  When staff members encounter a website that is “blocked” erroneously, a work order may be put in to remove the block from that site or page.  Unblocking a site is the responsibility of the Director of Technology or the Superintendent.

Social Media is a powerful tool, but no staff has the right to post inflammatory comments that could possibly compromise the district’s mission or undermine relationships of staff and/or students.   In short, know what libel cyberbullying is and DON’T do it.  Private and personal Social Media platforms should not be accessed from district computers.  All general district policies on behavior apply to online behavior.

Building principals are responsible for delivering training on network etiquette, behavior, social networking, chatrooms and cyberbullying.  The Superintendent and Director of Technology are responsible for initiating, implementing and enforcing this policy.

Students

http://www.limacityschools.org/apps/newbpolicy.nsf/NewPolicyView/8874C13F7825865D85257A2800705265?opendocument&Highlight=0,7540.03

The Student policy reflects the staff policy with the added element of parental responsibility for the student should the student do anything malicious, dangerous or offensive while on the network.  Students are responsible for their actions while on the network.

Social Media is a powerful tool, but no student has the right to post inflammatory comments that could possibly compromise the district’s mission or undermine relationships of staff and/or students.   In short, know what cyberbullying is and DON’T do it.  Private and personal Social Media platforms should not be accessed from district computers.

Building principals are responsible for delivering training on network etiquette, behavior, social networking, chatrooms and cyberbullying.  The Superintendent and Director of Technology are responsible for initiating, implementing and enforcing this policy.

EduApp: Evernote

Evernote is a program whose virtues I extoll.  This is my go-to program for all research and planning.  If you have yet to see this amazing app, here is a quick video:

How to Use Evernote- Evernote Overview

I have it on every device I own, and I subscribe to their service so I can share notebooks and notes with others.  This is great for collaboration!  Also, with a free app for nearly all platforms, it can be on every device you own, and the files sync between the various platforms.  Then anywhere you go, your notes and files are there.  Of course, the down side of this is that wherever I am, my shared folder called “grocery list” can be modified so I can always stop on my way home– list in hand!

I use the webclipper for research on the internet and PDFs, and I attach documents and files to notes to share with others or to refer to later.

Basically, everyone who uses Evernote uses it for slightly different reasons, but I think you will find it an amazing tool for designing curriculum and organizing your life.

Here is the EPIC Evernote experiment at The Nerdy Teacher 

 

LifeHack: TechnoGardening

If you are at all like me, you are eagerly awaiting being able to cast off the white wintery veil for the rainbow-hued blanket of spring growth.  About this time of year, I start to really plan what I want in my garden.  Whether you are planning a personal, community, or education based garden, the thrill of new life and fresh vegetables sprouting should leave you in shivers (no pun intended).

Here is a program that is worth its weight in humus.  Smart Gardener is an online program that helps you decide what plants are right for you, create a personalized garden plan, give you weekly tasks and reminders, and a journal to track your thoughts and progress.  Now that is a LifeHack that will save you lots of time.  Oh, did I mention the membership is free?  Bonus!

Now find a young person or student, and get them involved in developing a garden.   Teaching the young a greener way is the best way to a greener future!

taken from SmartGardener.com

Did You Know: Security- Locking the Screen

When you get up and walk away from your computer, it is best to lock the screen.  “Safety first” is a great motto and locking your screen is a great first step.  When you are away from your computer and leave it logged in, it allows anyone who sits in your seat access to the network under your name.  While we all want to trust our staff and students alike, it is best to not give the opportunity for anyone to use your access.  After all, it’s your access and you will be held accountable if anything happens.  Luckily, there is a quick key stroke that will lock the screen and takes just seconds as you stand up.  If you hold down the windows button and then press the L, you will go to a screen where you are logged in still, but you will need to enter your password to get back to your desktop.  Try it!

keyboardwinL

Technology Trends: 2013, the Year of Integration

“Technological advances that connect the digital and physical world will make 2013 the year of integration…From the integration of fragmented IT systems to all encompassing smartphones and smart televisions, in 2013, technology will keep the heavy lifting confined to the backend and enable incredible intuitiveness, simplicity and seamlessness for users.”

-Himanshu Sareen, CEO of Icreon Tech.

Here in the district we are working to virtualize student computers in the elementary, give web access to more programs, and incorporate mobile media options like tablets and smart phones.

How have you worked towards integration of curriculum and technology this year?  What are you planning to integrate next year?  The district has many tools to help.  Set up your class on our Moodle, WordPress, or Google Apps for a start!

model

There is a good resource here for teaching with technology thanks to the University of Michigan’s Center for Research on Teaching and Learning.