Technology Update #19

In this Issue

Welcome to issue 19! In this issue we take a look at the role of technology in questioning, explore how to use the districts new data warehouse system, Illuminate and I share a few tips and tricks over Keynote, Chrome and iPads. If you want to go back and read previous issues, check out the archive at

Thought of the Week

By Greg Betts
Asking the right question is an integral part of engaging students in learning. The right question is congruent to the objective.  It is accurate, clear, planned, and encourages all students to respond with something other than a “yes” or “no”. 

Benjamin Bloom tells us that students who ‘process’ and ‘practice’ will learn. According to Bloom, “In general, about 20% of the variation in achievement of individuals is accounted for by their participation in the classroom learning process. The amount of active participation in the learning is an excellent index of the quality of instruction.” Active participation allows information to be processed so the learner can reveal what they know, what they don’t know, how they are linking background knowledge with newer concepts, and if their fundamental misconceptions are getting in the way of understanding.

Read more at:

eMerge Thought of the Week

Lighten the Load with Illuminate
By Ginger Starks-Yoble
Illuminate lightens the load when it comes to grading. By uploading a PDF of a test and entering the answer key, scores are generated immediately. As not all tests are written in multiple choice format, it can take time on the front end, adapting previously created tests into a multiple choice format. Though this part can be time consuming, it also gives you the chance to re-think test questions and lead students to critical thinking when having to select from multiple options. The time spent preparing the assessment is so worth it when you aren’t left with hours of grading to do afterwards. It is helpful to think of the process in three phases, pre-test, administering the test, and post-test.

Read more and check out the video at:

Tips and Tricks

Separate Shapes in Keynote
In issue 18, I highlighted the new shapes library in Keynote. In a recent update, Apple made the shapes library even more powerful. Now, in addition to changing the colors of shapes, you can break a shape apart into it’s smaller components.

Why would you want to do this? Pretend that you are teaching geography and want to showcase where each US state is located. You can now use Apple’s shapes library to add a US map, and then break out the states that you want to showcase.

How do I do this?
First, look through Apple’s shape library and locate the shape you would like to us. Once you have the shape added, either hold down the control key and click the shape and select ‘Break Apart’, or select Format->Shapes and Lines->’Break Apart’ from the menu bar.

Now that the shape is broken apart, you can customize each part, as well as use it to make incredible transitions and animations.

Note: Most, but not all shapes can be broken apart. It only works with those shapes that have multiple visual components.

Pinning Google Classes in Chrome

Google classroom is amazing, but sometimes having multiple classes to juggle can be a chore. Fortunately Chrome allows you to ‘pin’ classes for easy access. Check out Alice Keeler’s website for a quick tutorial on how to make your Google Classroom experience pain-free!

Note: Pinning tabs in Chrome works for ANY website, not just Google Classroom. Use this trick with any site you access regularly!

Link to article:

The Doctor Is In

Question: On my iPad, I have a lot of apps ‘open’ in the app switcher menu. Should I be closing those out?


There is no need to close out of apps on an iPad or iPhone. This is a common misconception that many people have. Some people believe that they need to force quit out of the apps in order to save battery and speed up their device. This is not true, you must unlearn what you have learned!

Don’t believe me? Check out this great post from John Gruber that showcases everyone from Steve Jobs and Apple’s current VP for software to five different journalist talking about why there is no need to force quit apps. So, don’t take my word for it, take there’s!
Let’s talk about what having the app in the app switcher actually is.
When you hit the home button on the iPad, the app that you were using gets told that it will be put into a standby mode soon and that it should save whatever data it has. While in standby, the app doesn’t take up battery, doesn’t connect to the network and isn’t actually running (unless it’s a special type of app that has background privileges that you have explicitly given it — music streaming, location services, etc. Even then, it’s just those components of the app) ! You can test this by restarting your iPad and then going back to the app switcher – all those app previews are still there, right where you left them.
So does it hurt to close out apps?
Maybe. When you immediately close out of an app, you have the potential for data lose if you force quit it before it can save its state to the disk. It can also hurt battery life. Instead of just waking the app up from standby, now it has to go through the full app boot process that can drain more battery!
Is there ever a time when you should force quit apps?
Yes. From Apple’s own tech support page: “When you double-click the Home button, your recently used apps appear. The apps aren’t open, but they’re in standby mode to help you navigate and multitask. You should force an app to close only when it’s unresponsive.

All in all, unless an app is causing problems, leave it alone!


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.