In this Issue
Welcome to October! In this issue of the Westside.Technology Update we’ll take a quick look about new ways to use Keynote and Apple Clips and announce our new iPad and Mac upgrade policies and procedures. As a bonus, we talk about how to get Office FOR FREE on your Mac, iPad, PC or Android and how to set your delivery settings to avoid getting overwhelmed with messages from cBay or the staff lounge. Enjoy!
Thought of the Week
Keynote: Not just for Presenting
By Bridget Brown
You probably know Keynote as a way to create some really powerful presentations, but how about having students utilize this powerful tool to document learning? Students could use text, images, video, and more, to not only show that they understand the material, but that they’ve developed the ability to apply this knowledge. When doing this it might be a good idea to provide students with some type of template so they understand what’s expected, however leave some room for creativity. I have provided a link to an example template, as well as a link to a post on Area 66 that will walk you through how to “Create Template Slides in Keynote” for students.
A note about iOS and MacOS Updates
It’s the season for updates! Apple has recently released iOS 12 and macOS Mojave. In the past, we’ve taken a ‘no update’ approach during the school year. Why was that? The driving factor was state testing and the logistics surrounding updating the machines. Times are changing though.
With each new update, Apple has made it easier and easier to update. At the same time, they’ve made it harder and harder to prevent the updates from happening. In addition to notices to update, they are also including critical security fixes into the new releases. And of course, people always want access to the new features and performance increases that the updates bring.
So here’s our plan going forward.
Staff: We will no longer be blocking you from upgrading to iOS 12 and macOS Mojave. If you want to update, go for it! Our goal is to have all staff updated by the end of each school year to the newest version of each operating system (macOS and iOS). It will be a soft push in for the first semester, with it becoming mandatory by the 4th quarter. We’ll work on being proactive and letting you know about any ‘gotchas’ or bugs that you need to be aware of.
Elementary Students: iOS updates will be blocked on their iPad for 90 days from release. This will allow us to verify compatibility with NWEA for state testing. After 90 days (roughly December/January) the block will be lifted and students may start to update their iPad. We are able to push this out and will try to get them update over the weekends to avoid disrupting your classroom time.
Secondary Students: Due to testing requirements, we will be holding off on updating to macOS Mojave until the spring semester. During April/May, WMS & WHS tech staff will begin sending out information on how they will handle student updates.
Using Apple Clips in Your Classroom
Note: This content comes from the Apple Teacher website. Please log in to appleteacher.apple.com using a personal AppleID to see even more examples of using Apple tools in your classroom. If you haven’t become Apple Teacher certified, now’s the time!
Video creates opportunities for students to explore their creative sides, allowing them to do things they never dreamed possible. Xochitl Lara and Sherri Fleischer have each shared two examples of how they’re using Clips, a free app for iOS, in their classrooms to introduce students to the art of expression.
For this project, each student chose a geographic location and studied its climate. Using Clips, students unleashed their imaginations by becoming meteorologists and hosting their own local weather show.
Instead of writing a report, students created video forecasts of their region’s temperature, wind speed, and humidity like meteorologists do on TV. Clips allowed students to shine a light on their unique creativity. They added built-in stickers and filters to spice up their videos.
Classroom vocabulary words
At the beginning of the school year, Sherri had her students work in groups with Clips to learn common classroom vocabulary words. Over the course of a class period, each group familiarized themselves with a term. They then flexed their creative muscle by making a Clips video about the term to help the rest of the class understand and remember it.
This activity empowered students because they became the teachers and experts. The collection of videos became a great resource for students to refer back to over the course of the year.
In this assignment, students studied a notable invention. They gathered context clues and descriptive words, then created a Clips video explaining the invention without naming it until the end. This activity was particularly impactful for Sherri’s English-language learners because they were able to hear themselves talking and work on their enunciation, pronunciation, and vocabulary.
Having students listen to themselves speak and see the Live Titles has improved their ability to critique their own reading and speaking. Instead of breezing through text, they pay more attention to vocabulary words that are unfamiliar. Once they learn the word’s definition, their reading and speaking becomes more fluid and confident. Clips is a fun tool that keeps students engaged and motivated.
Microsoft Office – Now Available for All (People + Devices)!
We’re happy to announce it’s now easier than ever to install Microsoft office on your personal computer and on iPad! Now, all you need is your Westside email address and password and you can activate the Office apps on your iPad, Android tablet, personal Mac and personal PC. This is a great value add!
You can download Office on your Westside Laptop by going to Self-Service and searching for
On your personal Mac or PC, please head over to Area 66 for instructions on downloading and signing in to Microsoft Office. You can install Office on up to 5 devices. See directions on Area 66 here: https://area66.westside66.org/westside-students-and-staff-can-receive-office-at-no-cost/
It’s fast and easy to install Office on either your Westside or personal iPad. Check out the directions on Area 66: https://area66.westside66.org/installing-office-on-ipad/
The process on Android should be similar to the iPad experience.
Google Tip of the Week
Getting too many messages from Google groups? Things like cBay and message to other buildings that you are a part of can be overwhelming. While you can’t remove yourself from the groups (due to how they are created from our directory server), you can change the delivery settings to reduce the amount of email you receive.
Groups you can change Feel free to change your delivery settings for your building, cBay and the staff lounge. The options presented are all good ones – especially the daily digests.
However, please DO NOT change delivery settings on District Announcements or Certified Staff. These are the districts main way of communicating important information to you.
How to change delivery settings
• Once you are logged into Google Groups, access the group you would like to change.
• Once logged in, click/tap on the person with a gear in the top right corner. Select Membership and email preferences.
• Click/tap on the drop down next to ‘Email delivery preference’.
• Select the email option that you prefer.
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.