New Google Calendar coming soon

Google is rolling out a new interface for Google Calendar.

Google Calendar is currently set to default to the classic calendar, with the new calendar an option. If you would like to check out the new calendar, there is a blue button rolling out to users that will allow you to Use new Calendar.

Clicking on the Use new Calendar button will give you the new Google Calendar interface. To revert back to the old interface, click the gear icon in the upper right and select Back to classic Calendar.

The classic calendar will be available until February, at which time the new Google Calendar interface will become the default and the classic calendar will no longer be available.

For more help with the new Google Calendar, check out the help page from Google.

Sharing your class roster in MobyMax

Anyway, I’ve had several questions about student management, especially with shared students. If you can’t add a student, that student may be already be registered in another class.

Under classroom tools, click Roster:
On the right side, click on Share students.

There are two tabs:
You can share your students with another teacher under From your roster to another teacher.

Under To your roster from another teacher you can see the students registered with another teacher, and add them to your roster.

How to fix issues with SMI pausing or freezing

Math Inventory has been having some issues with students not being able to complete tests, so I dug into it to see what the problem was. Apparently, SMI requires Flash to be unblocked. What is happening is that after approximately 5 questions, SMI provides audio feedback to the student. This audio is delivered with Flash, but if Flash is blocked, the window just sits there. To fix the issue, the student has to unblock flash.

How to know Flash is unblocked

Once the student logs into SMI, they are greeted with a welcome screen.

If the student doesn’t hear a woman’s voice welcoming them back, then Flash is blocked and SMI will freeze on the student.

Unblocking Flash

To unblock Flash, click on the puzzle piece in the toolbar in the upper right corner:

Click on Run all plugins this time, and the student will now hear the woman’s voice. From this point forward, the student won’t have any problems with SMI pausing or freezing.

RAZ Kids, no sound on Chromebook.

To fix the issue of  Reading A-Z kids having no sound is coming out of the computer when it should be reading the book to the student follow these steps.

  1. From the Chrome window click on the 3 dot menu as shown below and select settings.
  2. Next Click on the install buttons for “Proprietary Codecs” and “Widevine Content Decryption Module”
  3. Log out and RESTART.

Mark up and complete forms in PDF with Xodo

A new extension has been pushed out to Chrome and the Chromebooks, the XODO PDF Reader & Annotator.

Here is a list of what XODO PDF Reader & Annotator can do:

  1. Annotation options
  2. Merge PDFs
  3. Organize pages: insert, delete, reorder, and rotate pages
  4. Access PDFs on Google Drive
  5. Online collaboration
  6. Multiple view modes and flexible zoom

When a PDF is opened in XODO, there is a toolbar that runs across the top of the page and a list of thumbnails running down the left side showing every page in the document.

The tools allow you to highlight text, cross out text, draw a squiggly line under the text, free hand draw, insert shapes, add comments and more. PDFs in XODO can also be shared so multiple students can collaborate on the same document.

If you are signed into Chrome or are using a Chromebook, the extension is automatically loaded and will run when you open a PDF with Chrome.

Using it in your class

You can now email or share PDFs with your students, and your students will be able to annotate and write on the PDFs. Pretty much like a high tech worksheet.

Using the SAMR model, this usage is at the Enhancement/Substitution level. At this level, tech is being used as a direct replacement for work in the classroom. But in this case, using the Chromebooks for completing worksheets allows the students practice with the trackpad and keyboard.