Technology Update #22

In this Issue

Welcome to Issue 22! Below you will find information on NETA Contests and Board openings, learn tricks to speed up grading in Google Classroom and discover two tips to create Keynote templates for students.

NETA Contests!

NETA continues to offer contests for teachers and students to showcase model projects, recognize outstanding student work and provide opportunities for teachers to attend the national ISTE summer conference to enhance professional practice. We also recognize outstanding leadership at the administrative and classroom levels through individual recognition awards. We do our best to truly have something for everyone!

Contest Submissions are Now Being Accepted until February 1, 2018. Click HERE to enter a contest.

In addition to any prizes specific to a particular contest, winning educators will receive a non-transferable, complimentary 2018 NETA Spring Conference registration and if a substitute is required, the winner’s school district will be reimbursed the actual cost for the substitute for both days of conference attendance.

I hope you showcase the great work you are doing and enter a NETA contest.

NETA Board Openings!

Would you like to be more involved in NETA? Or, do you know someone who would like to be more involved with NETA?

NETA has four vacancies on the Board of Directors. If you feel you have the skills and knowledge that will help the NETA organization, please consider submitting your name as a candidate for the NETA Board of Directors. Or maybe you know a member that you feel would be an excellent candidate. Encourage them to submit their name for the ballot.

Board members serve a three‑year term. Candidates need to obtain permission from their building administrator AND from Dr. Betts before submitting their name for the ballot. NETA reimburses expenses and substitute pay for board meeting/conference attendance. Candidates will be asked to provide a digital photo and a short narrative for the ballot and website.


  • Attend up to three day‑long meetings each year.
  • Assist with setup and attend meeting the day & evening prior to the spring conference.
  • Attend and have significant duties during both days of the spring conference.
  • Attend a multi‑day strategic planning retreat in the summer each year.
  • Provide at least one newsletter contribution during their term.
  • Currently all Board members are members of the Outreach and Conference Committees. Board members self‑select and will serve on other committees as well. Committees may do considerable discussion electronically between meetings when necessary.
  • All candidates must be members of NETA. Membership is free. To register as a member go to

Deadline to submit: December 1, 2017! Read more and submit your name here.

eMerge Thought of the Week

By Ben Powers
Have you ever been grading an assignment in Google Classroom and been frustrated with how slow things are? Every time you click on a new student’s work it loads SLOOOOWLY and opens up the document in a separate window. Then you have to close that doc and update their grade in Google Classroom which takes time with every click of a new browser window. This can be extremely annoying when you wanted the assignment to be a quick check for understanding and it takes too long to look at each student’s work.

There’s a better way!!

I wanted to share a method for recording grades that can speed up your workflow and relieve the aggravation of slow browser windows.

Click here to read how!

Tips and Tricks

Once of the great advantages of all students having access to an iPad or MacBook is they can easily demonstrate their knowledge using Keynote. With Keynote’s power, sometimes additional guideposts are appreciated. I’m going to share two quick tips for helping to direct student projects. When you create the template, it can be used on both the iPad and on the Mac. Read on to learn how to create a Keynote template.

Locking Items
The first step in creating a Keynote template for students to use is to arrange the elements on the page. There may be elements (i.e., titles or backgrounds) which you don’t want students to modify. For these, you can add a lock that prevents it from being modified.

To lock an object, hold down the control button and click on it. You can then select ‘Lock’.

Creating Media Placeholders in Keynote
You can also help students out by creating media placeholders on slides. These place holders allow students to drag and drop their own images onto them, where they are automatically cropped and re-sized to fit. This helps focus students and reduces confusion on how many and where images should be added.

To create a place holder, first add a sample image to the slide. Make sure to size it to how you want the final image to look.

Then, click on the image and go to the Format menu->Advanced->’Define as Media Placeholder’

That’s it! Students can now drag and drop an image onto the place holder, or click/tap on the media icon and select an image.


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.