Technology Update #23

In this Issue

Welcome to issue 23! In this, the next to last issue of the semester, we cover a variety of topics. Included are a few thoughts about the power of story telling and virtual reality, along with tutorials on iOS 11 and Blackboard. We also discuss new tools available to secondary teachers and highlight a few important tech items as the weather gets colder. Enjoy!

Thought of the Week

By Matt Lee
“Let me tell you a story.”
I LOVE those words. Don’t you? From childhood tales around a campfire, to friends sharing a recent weekend event, those six words spark your interest. You are instantly engaged and want to know more. Are the surrounding woods haunted? Did your friend meet the love of their life? Did they mistakenly erase every iPad in the district (not that that would ever happen) ? You have to find out!

More than just social engagement, story telling is a powerful tool for both persuasion and learning. As a method of information delivery, history has shown it to be more powerful and longer lasting than any other method.

Why is story telling so powerful? Click here to read more.

eMerge Thought of the Week

Thoughts on Virtual Reality at Westside
By Michael Sanchez and Jerred Zegelis
One of the aspects of being a teacher in District 66 that I love is the challenge of using cutting-edge technology to help students live and thrive in a world that doesn’t exist yet. How do we teach students to deal with a world that we can’t possibly predict? One of the ways we might approach this is by getting them some hands-on time with new and emerging technologies, such as Virtual Reality.
Read more at:

Tips and Tricks

Creating Blackboard Test Without Tears
By Bridget Brown
You may be wondering why I chose the tag line from “Handwriting Without Tears?” However, if you have ever tried to create a test in Blackboard you may be able to understand the connection. There are a number of ways to generate a test in Blackboard, but many of these methods can often be very time consuming, and sometimes even unreliable. With that in mind, I would like to share a quick and easy method to create tests in Blackboard, by simply uploading a text file of questions.
Click here to see how.

The Doctor Is In

Question: I’m an elementary teacher and both my and my students iPad devices have been updated to iOS 11. It looks different! Any tips on how to use it better?


Yes! As you’ve noticed, iOS 11 comes with many new features that greatly expand the power of the iPad. However, there are a few things that need to be re-learned in order to take advantage.

Fortunately, Apple has created a Apple Support Youtube channel. This channel hosts both iPad and Mac video tutorials.

A few iPad focused highlights:

StudyMate Campus Available For Blackboard

I’m happy to announce that we have a new tool available for Blackboard users. We have added a new service called StudyMate Campus. StudyMate Campus allows students and teachers to create flash cards, self-assessments and learning games. It integrates seamlessly into your existing Blackboard courses — just in time for finals review activities!

Want to try it out? Check out this link to view StudyMate Campus getting started videos.

A Message from Dr. Lindgren

Cold Weather + Technology
With winter fast approaching we would like to give you some tips on taking care of your device!
1.Careful Storage: Never leave a laptop, even in a well-padded and insulated laptop case in your vehicle for more then an hour in cold weather. The laptop could freeze causing Parts to become damaged.
2. Let it warm up: Once you bring a laptop in from the cold – allow it to warm up to room temperature before booting.
3. Do not use devices such as mug warmers, pocket warmers or hair dryers to heat or keep a laptop warm. They are not designed for this purpose and can create problems as they will not heat or keep a laptop warm in the right way. They could heat the wrong parts of a laptop or cause it to generate too much heat and melt internal components
4. Keep it out of the cold: Whenever possible stay out of direct exposure to cold weather conditions by staying in a vehicle, inside a building or other type of shelter. Protecting your laptop from excessive dampness or wet from snow will keep your keyboard from freezing and other problems from developing.
So what should you do if your laptop is left in the cold?
The first step is simply to let the computer thaw. The laptop should be at room temperature before you power it on. If the laptop is in sleep mode, you should avoid even opening the laptop, since that may automatically wake the computer. Even once the computer gets to room temperature, it may have condensation on it because of the change in temperature. If your computer looks wet let it dry naturally and bring it into Tech Support. If you turn on your computer when it is wet, it may short one or more electrical connections, which could cause the laptop to stop functioning.


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.