Friday, November 13, 2015

Is your Chromebook touchy? I hope so!

Remember to model the simple things!
A neighboring school district recently shared their scope and sequence for technology skills across grade levels.  What really caught my eye was the tagline on the pages for each Essential Understanding: "All teachers will model all skills at all times." You might be wondering what this has to do with touchy Chromebooks.

We recently heard concerns from teachers about the difficulty some students were experiencing when using the touchpad on their Chromebooks. Then came the question "Can't they just use a mouse?"

My immediate thought was: does the issue lie with a user's lack of instruction or with the device?

Solid modeling plays a very important role in removing barriers to using technology in the classroom. When young learners need to be shown how to properly hold a pencil we introduce them to the  tripod grasp or the pinch and flip trick. So why wouldn't we teach them the two-finger swipe or two-finger scroll on their Chromebook touchpad?

Google provides a support page for everything you would want to know about how to be efficiently touchy with your Chromebook's touchpad: In addition to learning a few gestures, you can also slow down  or speed up the responsiveness of your touchpad.

So remember: be a good model in your classroom and model all skills at all times!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Free Parent Forum on Cyberbullying and Social Media - Nov. 30: Save the Date!

Stop Cyberbullying!
A free forum designed for parents and community partners is being offered as part of this year's Christa McAuliffe Technology Conference here in Manchester! The presentation will provide a broad overview of adolescent technological concerns, including cyberbullying and social networking sites.

This informational session is presented by Dr. Sameer Hinduja, Co-Director of the Cyberbullying Research Center and Professor of Criminology & Criminal Justice at Florida Atlantic University.

The presentation takes place on Monday, November 30 from 6:30 - 8:30 PM. For more information and to register please visit:

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Calling all Doodlers! "Doodle 4 Google" Contest is Now Open!

Doodle for Google contest

Calling all artists in grades K - 12! You are invited to participate in the 2015 Doodle for Google contest. Create a doodle that tells the world what makes! Each doodle must incorporate the letters G - o - o - g - l - e. One lucky national winner will receive a $30,000 scholarship.

Get your entry in by December 7, 2015. Look for more info and examples at

Friday, October 23, 2015

Speak Up About 21st Century Education and Technology

Calling all participants! Speak Up, a national online research project facilitated by Project Tomorrow®, gives individuals the opportunity to share their viewpoints about key educational issues, particularly concerning 21st century education and technology. Each year, findings are summarized and shared with national and state policy makers. Let your voice be heard!

 WHO TAKES THE SURVEY? Students, Staff, Parents, Administrators and Community Members are invited to participate. LET MANCHESTER'S VOICE BE HEARD!

the secret word is speaknow

The secret word for students is: speaknow


NEED HELP? View participant tutorials here:

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Come on in, the water's fine...but it's moving fast!
Jon Sullivan, Public Domain
Today is October 1 and is the first of 31 days of  connected activities during Connected Educator Month and I feel like it's time to get my feet wet again. A couple of weeks ago I came across a post on The Learner's Way by Nigel Coutts titled Why Build a Personal Learning Network.

Highlights from the post include the usual: building a case for collective knowledge, finding value in your own contributions, and getting past the day-to-day dealings that keep us gasping for more time as if were precious air.

We've heard it all before. But, there was something different here. Something so simple, yet so wise I haven't been able to stop thinking about it. It was the the most straightforward explanation of the power of  building a personal learning through social media. Anyone who has ever felt overwhelmed, lost, or felt like they were going to drown in the torrent of information on Twitter, Google+, or other platform can's OK. Social media is not like a bucket for "collecting ideas that you will later sort through and make sense of". Instead, it's like a "fast flowing stream that you visit when you have time. You enjoy the ideas that flow past while you are there, you grab the best ones for use at a later date and you let the rest float by."

Yes, it's OK to let things just float by. We don't have to grab onto and feel compelled to hold onto and sort through every bit of information. We should, however, visit the river when we can to revel in the moment of a refreshing idea. There are times when we take a daily swim, but there are also times when we just have to sit it out and wait for another day.

As Nigel so elegantly states: "If you are not watching the stream you don’t think about it, you just know it will still be flowing when you next visit and most likely some new idea will float by." 

-- Liane St. Laurent

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Google Accounts and Password Management

Attributed to FutUndBeidl
Good password management is key to keeping your Google account secure! Passwords for MSD Google accounts must have a minimum of 8 characters and should have a mix of at least two character types. Character types are UPPERCASE LETTERS, lower case letters, numbers, and special characters (for example: @, # ,$ ,*, !, etc.).

It is recommended, but not required, that students change their default "date of birth" passwords. Students in early elementary grades will need assistance from a teacher or a trustworthy older "tech buddy". Teachers may want to keep a list of passwords for their younger students in a secure Google spreadsheet. You can also keep a card file or "key tags" on a chain.

Teaching students how to create a secure password that can be remembered is easy with lessons from Common Sense Media. This is an important skill students will need throughout their school years and beyond. Two great lessons are available (which can be modified for older students):

Sign up for a FREE Common Sense Media account to download a PDF of the above lessons. Grade span appropriate lessons on additional digital citizenship topics are available for grades K - 2, 3 - 5, 6 - 8, and 9 -12.

Password Generator: has a great password generator that lets students create a simple (two character type) or strong (3 character type) password. Even if you utilize a password generator in your classroom it is still recommended to discuss password management and privacy with your students.

FORGOT YOUR PASSWORD? MSD Google account passwords must be reset by an account administrator. Please use the STAFF or STUDENT reset request form at, look on the left menu. Student reset requests must be submitted by a teacher. Teachers who would like to be able to reset passwords for students in their classrooms (without having to contact the TRC) should contact Liane St. Laurent at and you will be assigned a lightweight, easy to use admin role.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Google Account Info for 2015/16

Welcome back! It's going to be an awesome year!

Here's what you need to know about Google accounts for students. All students in the Manchester School District have a Google account.

Google ID for Students: Student user IDs are based on LASSIDs and look like -- for example -- This creates a uniform ID that is also the same as a student's lunch and library ID.

Passwords for Students: Effective September 1, 2015 all student passwords will be reset. The new default password will be the students' date of birth in the format mmddyyyy. It is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED that all students choose a new password. Look for resources on choosing and managing passwords at

Remember to protect your account and create a secure password. Always SIGN OUT when finished with your account, especially on shared or public devices.

PASSWORD RESET for Staff and Students: District Google/Gmail passwords must be reset by a Google Administrator. If you change your password and forget what it is please look on the left menu  at for the password reset links. A lightweight admin role can be assigned to staff who would like to be able to reset student passwords on their own. Please contact Liane at


Elementary: Although student usernames are based on a email address, Gmail is turned OFF for students in Grades K-5.
Middle School: Students may correspond with staff in students in and with approved domains
High School: Currently no restrictions. Staff are advised to model good digital citizenship in the classroom. Students are advised to use a personal email address for personal correspondence.


Friday, May 29, 2015

Takeout, anyone?

Google Takeout
Google Takeout
Sorry - no, I'm not asking you over for pizza and wings. It's Google Takeout!

Google Takeout

June is right around the corner and it's the time of year when staff and students start wondering what to do with all of the stuff  in their organizational Google account.

Enter Google Takeout! You have the option to download the data associated with an organizational Google Account so that it can be transferred to a personal Google account, other service, or simply to keep a copy for your records.

Visit to create your archive. NOTE: you will be prompted to enter your Google user ID and password in order to create your archive. If you have questions you can check out the FAQ by selecting the "Learn more" link on that page.

About Transfer of Ownership for Google Docs

If you created and own documents that are shared to other users in the organization you can transfer ownership of items you no longer need to another user in the same organization.  (What this means is you can't transfer ownership of docs from your school Google Drive to your personal Google Drive.) Find out more about transfer of ownership here:

Calendars are Tricky!

If you are leaving your organization and own important shared calendars please read this to make sure that shared calendar data does not get lost:

Friday, April 24, 2015

Free Online Conference: Google Education on Air 2015

Google Education on Air

Join Google and thousands of educators across the world on May 8-9, 2015 for Education On Air, a free online conference about leading for the future and shaping the classroom today. Register today!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Competency-Based Education Is Working

Frederick J. Bramante, an architect of 1000 Mentors Program,  former chair of the New Hampshire state school board, a former science teacher, and a well-known businessman, describes how the little Granite State came to be a model for the nation. Read more..

Friday, February 20, 2015

Google Science Fair: calling all scientists between the ages of 13 & 18!

Attention scientists between the ages of 13 and 18!

What's your passion? Are you good at building robots? Do you love to code? Maybe you want to help stop cyberbullying -- Google Science Fair, in partnership with National Geographic, LEGO Education, Scientific American, and Virgin Galactic, wants YOU to change the world!

Twenty finalists, along with a parent or guardian, with travel to Google headquarters in Mountain View, CA to present their project to the judges and compete for the Grand prize and a number of other awards.

Submission deadline is May 19. Individuals and teams are highly encouraged to enter:

Friday, February 13, 2015

Google Apps for Education Training Modules

Google for Education offers self-guided online training modules. Each set of lessons introduces you a Google tool and gives you ideas on how to apply them in the classroom.

Thinking of creating a teacher web page or would you like more ideas on embedding Digital Citizenship in your lessons?  Pick and choose the areas you are interested in: Each cluster of can generally be completed in under two hours!

Google for Education Training Modules

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Save the Date: Digital Learning Day is March 13, 2015!

Digital Learning Day is March 13, 2015

WHATDigital Learning Day is about engaging students and recognizing great teachers who use digital tools to enhance student learning.

WHEN: March 13, 2015

WHOYou and your students, anyone can participate! Beginners and experts alike are encouraged to plan an activity. Plan big or start small - add your "event" to the Digital Learning Day web site.

RESOURCES: Look for tools, ideas and lesson plans on the Digital Learning Day web site at Look for local NH resources on the NH Dept. of Education Office of Educational Technology web site at
Let us know if you plan on participating: 

Have a look at this slideshow for more information on great ideas for 
staff and students on how to participate including: 
  • OUTREACH - tech showcase, tours & workshops 
  • CONNECT - Try Skype or a Google Hangout. Connect with another classroom in your school, another school in the district...or a school in another state or country!
  • LET STUDENTS LEAD - student demonstrations, student created content, student created videos
  • TEACHERS - try something new, take an online course, host an "app party"
  • SHIFT LEARNING - Flip your classroom for a day, start a project-based challenge, start and after school tech club