Technology Update #10

In this Issue

Welcome to issue #10! This week we learn how to check for malware on your Mac, cover two Safari tips, take a look at Google Team Drives, and spend some time taking a look at underused apps and websites.

If there is anything that you would like covered in future issues, or if there is a question that you would like answered, be sure to let me know. We’re always looking for items to feature in upcoming issues!

Thought of the Week

Malware and the Mac
By Kim Nielsen
In case you haven’t noticed, malware (viruses, spyware, worms, etc.) has begun hitting Macs more often these days. Malware threatens identities and the security of personal and district data. With that in mind, we are recommending that, at the very least, you check your computer periodically for malware and get it cleaned off. How do you do that? Check out the following link to learn about one option.

Tips and Tricks

Reopen Lost Tabs
While surfing the internet in Safari, have you ever closed out of a tab accidentally? I know I have many times! Fortunately it’s easy to reopen recently closed tabs!

All you need to do is tap and hold on the ‘+’ button. A list of your recently closed tabs will appear and you can click on the site you want to go back to! This tip works on both Mac and iPad/iPhone.

Close all tabs at once
Let’s pretend that you didn’t close out of a tab too early, rather you have TOO MANY tabs open at one time on your iPad or iPhone! It you want to close out all tabs without clicking on each one, Apple has a shortcut built into Safari.

Tap and hold on the tab view icon (it looks like two rectangles on the far right of the screen). You will be presented with two options – make a new tab, or close all open tabs. Select the close option and you will now have a fresh slate to work from.

The Doctor Is In

Question: I’m seeing a new area in my Google Drive- “Team Drive” now shows up. What are Team Drives and should I be using them?


Team Drives are a new feature of Google Drive that become available to Westside staff and students around the start of the semester. Team Drives function like a traditional shared Google folder with a couple of of key differences.

  1. The ‘team’ owns all of the files in the team drive. This means that once someone uploads a file, it will stay in the team drive, even if that person leaves the district.
  2. While you can set permissions for users (i.e., Full, Edit, Comment or View), those permissions apply to EVERYTHING in the drive. There is no ability to change permissions in sub-folders.
  3. Related, the permission levels of team drives are slightly different. Full access allows a person to add members, upload, edit and delete files. Edit Access allows members to edit files and upload new files. They can not delete items. Comment Access allows for commenting only. And View Access can only view items.
    Why would you want to use a Team Drive over a regular Google shared folder? Let’s say you are are the elementary social studies chair. A team drive is a great way to share content will all elementary teachers. You can add content, as can any editors, and the team becomes the owner. That means that if you retire, or one of the teachers that have added content leaves the district, all of the files will still be available for use! Handy, right?

I’ve found that team drives work best when teachers want to work together on documents, share curriculum and files and create a storage area for team files. Traditional shared Google folders work better if you need fine-grained permissions for individual subfolders (i.e., if you want to share only a particular file or folder with a student).


New or Undiscovered Apps

With so many educational apps and websites available to teachers, it’s hard to stay up to date! In volume two of new and undiscovered apps, I pick out four more of my favorites to share!

Pixelmator is one of my all-time favorite image editing applications on the iPad. Think of it as Photoshop for the iPad, only without the steep learning curve! Pixelmator allows you to create, edit and enhance images on your iPad. It has multiple brushes for digital painting, many photo editing tools- including the ability to add frames and effects- and many useful re-touch tools. You can read more about it and check out tutorials at Pixelmator’s website. Pixelmator is available in Self-Service on the iPad.

Padlet is a online bulletin board that lets students and teachers post virtual sticky notes to. These sticky notes can contain text, images or web links. Use Padlet to brainstorm for a project, solicit feedback or create a ‘wish wall’ of items to share with others. Padlet is available in Self-Service on the iPads and at
Voice Recorder for iPad

Voice Recorder is an app that does one thing, but does it extremely well; it records audio. Have you wanted to have students record themselves to practice reading fluency? Record voice memos to yourself? Record a music practice? Voice Recorder is great for all of these. It let’s you organize recordings and it makes it easy to export and share. Voice Recorder is available for download in Self-Service on the iPad.

Trello is an app and a web service that allows you to create virtual boards, lists and cards. This allows you to implement SCRUM based projects in your classroom or even use as your own to-do list! When accessing Trello, be sure to use the ‘Sign in With Google’ option. Trello is easy to use, free and is available as an app in Self-Service on the iPad or at


As always, if you ever have any technology integration related questions, please let us know. We are happy to work with you to design lessons, develop workflows and even come into your classes and work with you and your students.