> District Home
 
Volume 9, Issue 2

District Home > Instructional Technology > The Server

Practices and Tips for Videoconferencing

Planning for a videoconference for your students? Here are some tips that will make your experience with this technology more successful.

    • To make the most of this technology, prepare your students by introducing the topic(s) that will be covered or discussed in the session.
    • This type of session is considered a class where learning and interaction takes place. Therefore, students should follow classroom etiquette at all times during the session such as raising their hand if they have a question.
    • Students should be encouraged to participate during the presentation to have a more productive session. The more students participate and enjoy the program, the better the outcome.
    • Students communicate with the presenter through a microphone. This type of device is very sensitive and picks up room noises, such as tapping your fingers, shuffling papers, tapping your pen or pencil, or side conversations. It’s recommended to mute the microphone when not speaking.
    • When asking a question to the presenter, students need to make eye contact and look directly at the camera. They should speak in the same manner in a videoconference as you would in a face-to-face meeting. Level of voice should be in a normal tone (no need to yell). They should speak clearly and not too fast. Ensure that the students are within the camera’s field of vision when addressing the presenter and encourage them to use complete sentences and avoid the dreaded one-word answers.
    • If more than 2 sites are connected, have students identify themselves by stating their name and school. For example: “This is Mark Smith from McAllen ISD…” When students or participants precede their comments with this introduction, the video has a chance to zoom in on the speaker and everyone can see who is talking.
    • If the provider (presenter) has provided materials, have them ready and available for the students. Students are to be supervised at all times by their teacher(s) to ensure that students are on task.

New Resources Added to FREE Website

Several new learning resources have recently been added to Federal Resources for Educational Excellence (FREE), the website that makes teaching and learning resources from the federal government easier to find. The new resources include climate change, genetics, careers at the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), nutrition, physical education, and Vincent Van Gogh. These and many other learning resources are available at http://www.free.ed.gov/. Users also can follow FREE on Twitter at http://twitter.com/FreeResources.

Using Google Docs for Your Group Assignments

Imagine how valuable it would be if your entire group could share information and ideas more easily than using the existing classroom technology. With Google Docs, you can bring collaborating online to a whole new level.

Google Docs makes creating, editing, and sharing documents and presentations simple and free. Your docs are stored safely online, so you can access them any time, from anywhere. Google Docs brings together essential tools to help your group communicate and collaborate more effectively. Everyone in the group can work on the same document at the same time! What an awesome way to collaborate on an assignment! (Indiana Wesleyan University)

Visit Google Docs to get started! http://docs.google.com/

Educational Links

Instructional Resources for the Classroom


This site offers a full curriculum with lessons, links, video interviews, historical documents, and much more about the years 1929-1939.

The American Sign Language (ASL) browser allows you to look up video of thousands of ASL signs and learn interesting things about them.

Interactivate is a set of free, online courseware for exploration in science and mathematics. It is comprised of activities, lessons, and discussions for teachers and students.

In this exhibit, you can find out how to improve next year's environmental record. You'll learn how waste is handled now and how some communities are doing it better.

Locate nearly any place on earth using National Geographicís dynamic atlas tool.

Free audio stories for kids! Storynory is an online treasure trove of audio stories. Here you will find a mixture of new stories, fairy tales, and specially adapted myths and histories, and a sprinkling of verse.

An online collection of Aesopís Fables and includes some audio narrations, images and a search index.

Animoto produces TV & film-quality music videos using your photos in just minutes.

Teachers will find standards-based lesson plans, tools and hands-on activities to enliven classroom learning and at-home extensions. Students will find video clips and step-by-step interactive activities to expand their knowledge of the planet we share.


This site is similar to YouTube, but offers educational videos and is not blocked within our district.

This online tool allows you to create powerful presentations online, as well as the ability to share, edit, and collaborate online.

Find out how some common things like radar and electric motors work.

Students can learn about about geology, physics, life science, space weather, space missions and more. There are also plenty of activities for kids. They can send postcards, play games and puzzles, and watch videos.

Welcome to The Nutrition Source, a Web site maintained by the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health.

One of the largest populations of the blue whale is in the northeast Pacific. It spends the summers off the coast of California. Then, it migrates south. National Geographic recently followed these blue whales to their winter feeding grounds. At its site, you can learn more about the expedition.

New Web Hosting Provider July 1, 2009
SAVE YOUR INFORMATION!

As we near the end of the school year, we want to remind you that the district will be changing the service provider for our classroom webpages. On July 1, 2009, we will welcome SharpSchool as our new web hosting service provider.

To ensure that you keep the content and resources you used when creating your current SchoolFusion classroom pages, we are providing instructions for saving your resources. That way you will have everything you need to setup your new classroom pages when we return in August.

Click here to see how you can save your information and files.

New Student Email Provider July 1, 2009
SAVE YOUR INFORMATION!

As we near the end of the school year, we want to remind you that we will no longer be having Gaggle as our email provider. If you wish to keep or save any emails for future use, please follow the provided steps.

Click here to see how you can save your email.

Regina Reyna, a Communication Graphics teacher from McAllen Memorial High School, is one of two Texas teachers to be awarded a competitive study tour opportunity through the Toyota International Teacher Program, and will travel to Costa Rica, April 18 – May 2, 2009.

She will have the opportunity to collaborate with other U.S. and Costa Rica educators in hopes of encouraging environmental stewardship among their students and community. A new element to this year’s Costa Rica trip is the creation of the Toyota4Education.com wiki, established to serve as a virtual classroom and provide updates during the program, this social media tool enables teachers to communicate their experiences in real time with their schools and communities. Educators will blog about their Costa Rica experiences, post photos and lesson plans, and correspond with their students. Some of the technology tools that Ms. Reyna will be using include: digital photography, the Internet, photo sharing (flickr), SchoolFusion, blogging, wikis and Adobe software.

Click here for the complete article.

Skyward Educator Access+

End of Year Procedures

Teachers must make sure that all students have a six weeks average for every six weeks period in the teacher gradebook. The "01" through "06" columns (year-long classes) or the "04" through "06" columns (semester classes) in the teacher’s gradebooks must be complete.

Note: The only exceptions to this rule applies to out-of-district elementary transfer students.

Example: No missing grades should exist in these columns in the gradebook.

From the Director's Desk

Greetings Administrators, Teachers, and Librarians,

As you prepare for the last month of school please be sure to complete the following activities:

Thank You,
Carmen G. Garcia, Director Instructional Technology

Technology Training Sessions

The Instructional Technology Department has scheduled training sessions for time equivalency. Limited seating is available, so register on ERO now! Click here for more information.

Description

Date Time Location
Google Earth Monday, May 4, 2009 4:15 to 6:15 p.m. Deleon DC
Electronic Scrapbooking Tuesday, May 5, 2009 4:15 to 6:15 p.m. Cathey DC
iTunes/Garage Band Tuesday, May 5, 2009 4:15 to 6:15 p.m. Deleon DC
Web 2.0 Tools Wednesday, May 6, 2009 4:15 to 6:15 p.m. Deleon DC
Thinkfinity Monday, May 11, 2009 4:15 to 6:15 p.m. Cathey DC
iPhoto Tuesday, May 12, 2009 4:15 to 6:15 p.m. Deleon DC
Creating an Audio Lesson Wednesday, May 13, 2009 4:15 to 6:15 p.m. Deleon DC
MS Word Creating Forms Wednesday, May 13, 2009 4:15 to 6:15 p.m. Cathey DC
Classroom Webpage Thursday, May 14, 2009 4:15 to 6:15 p.m. Cathey DC
Web 2.0 Tools Thursday, May 14, 2009 4:15 to 6:15 p.m. Deleon DC

Description

Date Time Location
Moviemaker Monday, June 8, 2009
1:00 to 5:00 p.m.
Cathey DC
iMovie Monday, June 8, 2009
1:00 to 5:00 p.m.
Deleon DC
Thinkfinity Wednesday, June 10, 2009
8:00 - 10:00 a.m.
Cathey DC
Web 2.0 Tools Wednesday, June 10, 2009
10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Cathey DC
Creating An Audio Lesson/Podcasting Wednesday, June 10, 2009
1:30 - 3:30 p.m.
Cathey DC
Electronic Scrapbooking Wednesday, June 10, 2009
8:00 - 10:00 a.m.
Deleon DC
MS PowerPoint Educational Games Wednesday, June 10, 2009
10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Deleon DC
Google Tools Wednesday, June 10, 2009
1:30 - 3:30 p.m.
Deleon DC
Desktop Publishing (iWork Pages) Thursday, June 11, 2009
8:00 - 10:00 a.m.
Cathey DC
iTunes/Garage Band Thursday, June 11, 2009
10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Cathey DC
Global Positioning System (GPS) Thursday, June 11, 2009
1:30 - 3:30 p.m.
Cathey DC
Intro to the iMAC Thursday, June 11, 2009
8:00 - 10:00 a.m.
Deleon DC
Thinkfinity Thursday, June 11, 2009
10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Deleon DC
Creating An Audio Lesson/Podcasting Thursday, June 11, 2009
1:30 - 3:30 p.m.
Deleon DC
Moviemaker Monday, June 15, 2009
1:00 to 5:00 p.m.
Cathey DC
iMovie Monday, June 15, 2009
1:00 to 5:00 p.m.
Deleon DC
Google Tools Tuesday, June 16, 2009
8:00 - 10:00 a.m.
Cathey DC
Discovery Education Streaming 2 Tuesday, June 16, 2009
10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Cathey DC
Technology Tools for ELA Tuesday, June 16, 2009
1:30 - 3:30 p.m.
Cathey DC
MS PowerPoint Educational Games Tuesday, June 16, 2009
8:00 - 10:00 a.m.
Deleon DC
Web 2.0 Tools Tuesday, June 16, 2009
10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Deleon DC
Technology Tools for Science/Math Tuesday, June 16, 2009
1:30 - 3:30 p.m.
Deleon DC
Spreadsheet 2 (iWork Numbers) Wednesday, June 17, 2009
8:00 - 10:00 a.m.
Cathey DC
Google Tools Wednesday, June 17, 2009
10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Cathey DC
Desktop Publishing (MS Word) Wednesday, June 17, 2009
1:30 - 3:30 p.m.
Cathey DC
Technology Tools for Science/Math Wednesday, June 17, 2009
8:00 - 10:00 a.m.
Deleon DC
Technology Tools for ELA Wednesday, June 17, 2009
10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Deleon DC
Spreadsheet 2 (MS Excel) Wednesday, June 17, 2009
1:30 - 3:30 p.m.
Deleon DC
Newsletter Archives
2007
         

 

Volume 7, Issue 6

 

 

 

2008
         

Volume 8, Issue 1

Volume 8, Issue 2

 

 

 

 

2009
         

Volume 9, Issue 1

Volume 9, Issue 2

 

 

 

 

Images licensed by Microsoft Media Elements
Copyright 2009 - McAllen I.S.D.
McAllen Independent School District , 2000 North 23rd Street , McAllen, TX 78501
Phone: (956) 618-6000   |   Fax: (956) 631-7206

Best of the Web 2006 Finalist