Monday, December 17, 2012

Weekly Tech Tip - Dec. 17, 2012

 This weekly tech tip comes from the NETA big deal book - a digital subscription that I get.

3DToad - A website that stores 3D images. Viewers can zoon in and out and rotate images 360 degrees. The galleries include images from history, geology, chemistry, skeltons, fossils, and much more.

Teaching Kids News - A news site that is written on level that students can comprehend. Each story also includes a ste of discussion questions, writing prompts, reading prompts, and vocab words.

Education Closet - Lessons for free that focus on arts integration, common core standards, 21st Century Learning Skills, and technology. 

I hope you find these web sites useful.

I wish each and everyone of you a very Merry Christmas!

Until next year,

Monday, December 10, 2012

Weekly Tech Tip - Dec. 10, 2012

Looking for music to calm students, enhance some movement, just some sing alongs, or some relaxing music at your desk. Well, then this tech tip is for you.

As I was reading one of my journals, "Learning and Leading with Technology", I came across an article that featured websites with free music. As with any website, you should take some time to sift through it and read the "About" section or find out more about why these sites are listed as "free music sites". You can also use this music with student projects, such as creating videos or using them in the background of a slideshow.

Please check them out - some great music for any age group

Another article that is worth mentioning was a website referring to student interactive storybook apps. These are great for an iPad, as we have lots of those going out within our service area.

Until next time,

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Weekly Tech Tip - Nov. 28, 2012

I've enabled Google+ on the ESU 4 google domain, so you should all be able to access it now.

What is Google+? Google+ is a soical networking tool, much like Facebook. For our domain, that would not be the intended use. What it offers for you and for others, is the ability to create what is called a hangout. A hangout will use your microphone and web camera (if you have one) and will allow you to have a virtual meeting.

So, instead of traveling many miles to confer with others inside ESU 4, you can use this as a resource for video and audio. More importantly, you can also share your screen.

If you would like for me to help you out with this, let me know. I can invite you to a hangout and show you how it works.

In order to get started, you would have to create a profile. If you go to, it will walk you through the steps. After you are done creating your profile and have finished setting up your account, then you will see a +You button when you login to the ESU 4 domain. Please note, that this account is still managed by ESU 4. And, if you want to connect with others, they must also have Google+ enabled.

Here is a little help tutorial on using google+


Monday, November 19, 2012

Weekly Tech Tip - Nov. 19, 2012

I've been having some webinars on using websites with different grade levels. Last week, I was able to organize some of my favorite elementary web pages. These are links to other web sites I feel can be of benefit for those who work with elementary students. I placed all those on my blog and that link can be found here:

And...while I am talking about websites, each of our cadres are listed on the home page. Each cadre, we share web resources with those that come to our workshop. These are all wiki pages that are created for anyone who wants to view them. So, go to our homepage and check out our wikipages. You might also find some great resources there.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Weekly Tech Tip - Nov. 5, 2012

I just received my NETA newsletter in the mail and I cannot begin to tell you how many things can be learned by reading this newsletter. You do not have to be a member to view the newsletter as it is download-able from the NETA web page.

On page 12, you can see how enriching a google document can be. So, open a google document and start typing something. Now, with your document open, Go to the "Tools" menu and click the "Research" option. A pane should open on the right side of your google document allowing you to research right within your document. So, I typed "George Washington" in the search box and I did get back some images of George as well as some web sites to visit. With the images, if you drag them over to your document, the document will automatically site the source and place that infromation at the bottom of the page. If you want to use a link from a webpage, you can insert the link right into your google document. How cool!

So, refer to page 12 if you want more google tips and tricks. There are many other articles to read and browse, all for free. So, check it out!

Until next time,

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Weekly Tech Tip - Nov. 1, 2012

Welcome to November! Wow! Hard to believe we are that far into the school year.

So, as I was reading some things from past meetings, I came across a link and thought I would give it a try. And, it worked, so I am passing it along to you.

It is called Google Takeout and all it does is allow you to login with your google account information. It then takes all your documents in google and downloads them as a single file to your computer (archives them). "Why is this important?" you say. Well, for one, this is an easy way to back up your google documents. So, create a task or a calendar item and do this once a month. Then, if you lose a document in google or it accidentally gets deleted, you will be able to restore it.

Google takeout will archive more than documents, but that is the main reason for using it. When you follow the link, you can see what else it will archive for you.

Please note that it does not backup any of your email.

Give it a try...and archive your documents today.

Happy Goog'ling,
Until next time,

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Weekly Tech Tip - Oct. 24, 2012

This week's tech tip has to do with time management.

This is something that we either have no problems with or it is something that we struggle with. Some days, I feel like I do really well managing my time and my tasks. Other days, it seems as though I've not been very productive at all. So, how can this tech tip help you out?

Since converting our accounts to google, we've tried to help you along the way with google mail, google docs, and google calendar. One little thing that is often overlooked in google is the ability to track your tasks. Task it a little notepad that resides on the right side of your google calendar and/or google mail. I find myself using it more and more for little reminders, notes, or something that I need to do. When done, I can check it off and continue onto my next task. It is pretty simple, yet robust as it syncs across all my google apps. So, if I am using google mail, then decide to switch over to calendar, my tasks are right there with me.

Below is a screen shot of my task list as well as a link to how to get started using google task.

Until next time,

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Weekly Tech Tip - Oct. 17, 2012

If you have not noticed, Learn360 looks a little different. They have made some improvements to the way the site looks and feels. As you login, there is a front screen that tells you about the new look and new features.

This week's tech tip is about managing and creating playlist. When you find a great video, you don't have to bookmark it, you can actually create a playlist and keep adding media to that playlist. It will always be there when you log into Learn360.

So, here are some short video tutorials about managing and creating playlist with Learn360.


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Oct. 11, 2012 - Weekly Tech Tip

This week's weekly tech tip has to do with some tips and tricks for Learn360. I may decide to do a series of these regarding Learn360.

I was able to go to a training this week on how to incorporate this into your curriculum or with your students or even with staff.

Let's start off by doing simple searches.

If you go into Learn360 and login, you can search for a month. If you type "October" in the search field, you will find the daily almanac by Slim Goodbody. Remember him? So, type what you are looking for and find something worth watching. Try searching books by publisher - Weston Woods, Reading Rainbow, etc.

Secondly, you can search by State Standards. On the left, scroll down to State Standards or Common Core and search for videos specifically related to a standard.

Finally, click on "Advanced Search" and you can search and scroll towards the bottom. Here you can search by Publisher or by Series. Click on a Publisher or Series and press "Search"

I hope you are enjoying some of the videos and resources on Learn360. 

If you don't have an account, let us know and we'll get you set up.


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Oct. 3, 2012 Weekly Tech Tip

I'd like to introduce you to Diigo ( Diigo is a bookmarking web tool that is accessible via the web. The nice thing about diigo is you do not have to be on diigo's site to use it. You can install a diigo toolbar onto each of your broswers.

So, why diigo? You don't even have to sign up to benefit from the uses of diigo. For example, we have a diigo group that we use to share bookmarks with teachers. Groups are open to the public for viewing and you can see what we've been bookmarking by going to this site:

Beyond that, there are so many other groups that might capture your attention. Here are a few which I belong:

iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch:

I use diigo to search for web pages that others have book marked. All this is free.

So, sign up, join a group, and see what others are bookmarking!

Until next time,

Monday, September 24, 2012

Sept. 24, 2012 Weekly Tech Tip

This morning, I finished talking with pre-service teachers at Peru State College. One of the questions they asked me is where do I find iPad apps that I can use for education. I gave them three resources that I use regularly to find apps. I do not use the iTunes store as it is full of apps that do not relate to education.

So, here are my top 3 sites to find apps and useful information about iPads. Oh, by the way, iOS 6 came out last week. If you have an ipad and you want to update it, please log onto your iPad, choose "Settings", click "General" and then select "Software Update"
Appitic is a collection of apps for education. Across the top is an easy to read menu that list themes for pre-school aged kids to teacher tools. Scroll across the top to find apps that work for you!
iear is a website of Educational apps that have been reviewed by educators. A little different to navigate, you can choose your grade level in the yellow box on the right or you can use the tag cloud (below grade levels) to select apps that work for you. I really like the "App of the Week" links. I browse through those to find apps that may be useful in the classroom.
This is a great resource for Ipads brought to you by my friends at ESU 3. There are tons of iPad resources here as well as a lists of apps for different classrooms.

I hope you find these sites useful. You can bookmark them to keep them for future reference. And, most of the apps listed will also work on iPod touches.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Learn360 and ESU 4

As an ESU 4 educator, you are entitled to a free login to Learn 360. Some of the ESU's across the state have partnered to provide video streaming content for schools. What that means is simply that you can view videos on this site for your classroom use. Learn 360 has over 70,000 resources to enrich your classroom. Give it a try today.

Friday, May 4, 2012

ESU 4 Learning Web

Very proud of the ESU 4 Learning Web Team from Johnson-Brock and Nebraska City. Please be sure to visit the page they created about the Missouri River Flood of 2012.

2012 Statewide Internet Safety Winners

The Internet Safety Contest for 2012 has wrapped up. Below is a link to the state-wide winners from each category. I want to thank all the schools across the state that participated, but especially those from the ESU 4 area. If you want to use content rich resources for Internet Safety, I would recommend you check out Common Sense Media. It is filled with many teacher resources to use with students.


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Internet Safety Contest Winners Announced

On my last blog post, I mentioned that the ESU Internet Safety Contest was getting underway. ESU 4 had a winner in the K-4 and 5-8 Poster Contest as well as the 9-12 Video Public Service Announcement. Many thanks to the Johnson Brock Public Schools staff and students for their participation in the Internet Safety Contest 2012. Each of these entries were sent on the state contest for final judging. Those entries that win at the state level will be announced on a later date. Please check back on this blog for an update. Below are the winning entries from ESU 4.

K- 4 Poster Contest:

5-8 Poster Contest:

9-12 Video PSA:

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

2012 Internet Safety Contest

Internet Safety and Digital Citizenship
Poster and PSA Contest Guidelines 
Sponsored by the
Nebraska Attorney General and Educational Service Units

The ESUs of Nebraska in partnership with the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office are sponsoring an Internet Safety and Digital Citizenship Poster and Public Service Announcement (PSA) Contest for students in K-12 Schools in Nebraska. 

  1. Eligibility
Any public or private school/district within an ESU may participate.

  1. Categories
Each school or district may submit one entry in each category from each grade grouping:  K-4, 5-8, 9-12, i.e. three entries per school for each of the five categories.

  1. Entry Formats
Poster              high quality computer generated (pdf, tiff, jpg, or png);
Poster              hand drawn
Audio PSA       submit on labeled CD (mp3, aiff, or wav format).
Video PSA       submit on labeled VHS, DVD, or CD (QT, WMV, or RM format).
Open               a submission which does not fit a poster or PSA category above—could be a brochure, video documentary, etc.

  1. Rules
·       No real names used on posters or in audio or video PSAs.
·       Copyright laws must be followed, i.e. images, sound, etc.
·       29 second target time on PSAs (audio and video).
·       Label CDs and DVDs with ESU Internet Safety Entry Form info. (See next page.)
·       Put ESU Contest Entry Form on back of posters
·       Poster Size:  minimum – 8.5” X 11”, maximum – 16” X 22” (recommended delivery in protected mailer, such as tube or flat box. Do not bend.)

  1. Deadline
Entries must be submitted to ESU #4 by March 9, 2012.
            Send entries to:

                        Educational Service Unit #4
                        Attn: Gregg Robke
                        919 16th Street
                        Auburn, NE 68305

  1. Award
One entry in each grade grouping from each ESU will be selected and given state ESU recognition. Winning posters and PSAs, audio and video, will then be eligible for awards and/or use by the ESUs and the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office. A winning entry in each category will be selected and sent on to the Attorney General’s office for special recognition.