Showing posts from 2016

See your students’ Chromebook screens with gScholar

You can now easily monitor students’ Chromebook activity during class with gScholar, a Chrome extension that we just installed district-wide. You may have seen a notification that the gScholar extension was recently installed on your account; your rosters have also been imported and it is ready to use!
gScholar helps teachers minimize distractions for students to keep everyone on task while online. gScholar enables teachers to: See what tabs students have open on their Chromebooks during class Close tabs on students’ Chromebooks from your computer Open a URL on students’ Chromebooks so everyone is on the same webpage Create a screenshot of a student’s screen from your computer And much more, which I’ll explain in upcoming tech tips
Teachers should still employ best practices in classroom management by circulating the room and interacting with students while they use their Chromebooks, but gScholar is another tool in your toolbox that is especially useful during focused online tasks and ass…


If you’ve ever watched a how-to video to learn how to use a tech tool, you’ve probably watched a ‘screencast.’ Screencasts are recordings of your computer screen, including your narration. Screencastify is a free, simple Screencasting tool that you and your students can use to record your screen, your voice, and/or your webcam on a Chromebook or a Mac.

Screencastify instantly stores your recordings in your Google Drive, and with one click, you have a link that you can share in Schoology or elsewhere. It also has drawing tools and other features to emphasize important parts of your screen.

I ask teachers in my online PD courses to create a screencast to show what they learned, and they consistently tell me that learning to screencast is one of the most valuable parts of the course.

Teachers can create screencasts to Show students step-by-step instructions for an important online taskRead a passage to students for differentiationFlip your classroom by recording mini-lessons students watc…

Schoology’s Audio/Video Tool

Looking for an easy way for students to practice listening and speaking skills? Need help differentiating for students who need things read to them? Or do you need a simple tool that students can use to record audio or video for a project? Schoology has an audio/video recorder built into almost every part of the platform: you can use in tests and quizzes, assignments, discussions, and elsewhere.
Many of our ELD and World Language teachers are already using Schoology’s audio/video recorder in innovative ways. Here’s a video of John Mount (ELD teacher at GSHS) showing how he helps newcomer ELD students build their listening and speaking skills.

Click here for a how-to video about Schoology’s audio/video tool, or email Ben Bohmfalk for help getting started. ELD teachers have headsets to reduce background noise while using this tool, and most middle and high school students’ earbuds from their phones will accomplish the same goal when plugged into their Chromebooks.

Or, if you're just l…

Tech Integration Highlights: Quarter 1 2016

The first quarter of the 2016-17 school year marks a major milestone in technology integration in Roaring Fork Schools: every 4th-12th grade student has been issued a Chromebook, and teachers wasted no time finding innovative ways to integrate technology into their daily instruction.

In this post I'll highlight three teachers who are using technology to do things that weren't possible before their schools were 1:1. I hope other teachers will find ideas and inspiration from these examples, and follow up with me for support enhancing learning with technology in your classroom.
First, a quick look at the numbers:5,124: Number of Chromebooks in use in Roaring Fork Schools 5,000: Daily Student Visits to Schoology 1 Gigabyte per second: Our Internet connection speed from Glenwood Springs to the web  Highlight #1: Engaging 4th Graders in Spatial Analysis with GISBetsy McMichael, Katelyn Foster, Dave Plumb, and Kristen Gracy4th Grade, Crystal River Elementary School The 4th Grade Team …

Improving Student Writing with Turnitin

Feedback and formative evaluation during the learning process are two of the most powerful factors leading to higher student outcomes (see John Hattie's ranking for more detail). Feedback on writing is especially important for students to become great writers. But giving detailed feedback on 100 student papers in a timely matter can be overwhelming!

Turnitin is a digital tool designed to streamline the more time-consuming parts of feedback on student writing, so you can focus your feedback on the specific elements you're looking for. Based on teacher requests, we purchased Turnitin licenses for all middle and high school students in Roaring Fork Schools this year. Turnitin is integrated into Schoology, so you don't have to set up classes, create accounts, or worry about another password. You can start using it today!

When should I use Turnitin? My main advice with Turnitin is that you use it with rough drafts, not final drafts, so students can learn from the feedback and …

Personalize and Organize your Schoology courses

TECH TIP OF THE WEEK: Personalize and Organize your Schoology courses

Now that students have Chromebooks in hand every day, take a moment to personalize and organize your Schoology courses so you and your students can easily interact online. Here are three quick tips you follow in ten minutes or less:
Personalize your Schoology courses with a unique icon. By default, all courses have the same icon, making it difficult for students to quickly jump to your course from their course list. Some of the course names that are imported from Infinite Campus can be confusing, so a unique icon for each course makes it easy to identify. Here’s how you can change your course icon in a minute or less. Pro Tip: Download icons from, or create your own using Google Drawing. vs. Reorder your Schoology courses in a logical order. Click Courses>See All, then click the up/down arrows to rearrange your courses so you have the most important ones at the top of your list. Here’s how.
Link your s…

Back to Schoology

Now that we have reached 1:1 Chromebook access for every student in 4th-12th grade, it's time to get creative and integrate technology into your instruction in meaningful ways. A good starting point is Schoology, which makes it easy for teachers to create digital discussions, assignments, quizzes, and other content that students can access any time. Here are some tips to get started with Schoology this year, for beginners and experienced users alike.

New to Schoology? Start here:Go to and you will be logged in with your rfschools Google credentials. Bookmark this page for future reference.Click on Courses at the top, and you should see your current courses and rosters, which are imported from Infinite Campus every night. You do not have to create courses or ask students to join; it's all done for you!Check out the Getting Started article and the Course Materials articles from the Schoology Help Center. Start by adding some simple content to one of your…