Get More Done with Action Items in Google

download-5Sharing Google files with other students and teachers has made collaboration here at WHS the norm.  Now Google allows us to assign Action Items to collaborators in the comments section of Google files.  Give it a try and let us know if you find this tool useful.

  1. Open a Google file.
  2. Highlight the text, images, cells, or slides you want to comment on.
  3. To add a comment, go to the format toolbar and click Comment .
  4. Type your comment.
  5. Somewhere in your comment, add the email address, with @ or + in front of it, of the person you want to assign it to.
  6. Click the box next to “Assign to [name].”
  7. Click Assign. The person you assigned the action item to will get an email.

Communicating with Parents in Classroom


Teachers – Now more than ever there is an expectation to communicate with not only our students but their parents in a timely and detailed manner. Communicating with the  parents and guardians of your students just got easier with Google Classroom’s Guardian Email Summaries.  Don Sutton just turned on our access to this important feature so you can now  use it.

Simply go to the ‘students’ tab in Classroom and then turn on Guardian Email Summaries on the left-hand side.  You will then “Invite Guardians” by adding the email addresses or adding from your contacts.  Parents/guardians will have the option to see a daily or weekly summary of posts from your classroom.  This will also allow you to email the guardian directly from Google Classroom.

Try it out tonight as you meet with parents at Report Card Fair.  As always give us feedback so we know if this becomes an effective way of communicating with your parents.

Exploring Genres: Historical Fiction

Today in the Learning Commons we explored Historical Fiction with Ms. Moore’s Honors English 2 students.

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Historical Fiction includes any books set in the past.  Students seem drawn to this genre especially when it comes to stories that they can relate to in their own lives.  Students realize that some of the same issues, struggles, and even solutions they face today were also present in the past.

We also took some time to evaluate how to select a book based on reading and interest level.  Students evaluated books and rated them based on how interested they would be in reading the book.  They then had the opportunity to check out a book to use with an independent reading assignment for 2nd quarter.

To look for Historical Fiction books in our library use the following link (while at school): http://destiny


Secure Printing

When printing tests, quizzes, IEPS, or other sensitive materials consider using the Secure Print Feature on our copiers.

This seems to work best when you use the ‘ctrl-shift-p’ command to print.

  1. ctrl-shift-p
  2. Choose destination printer and click preferences
  3. Change Job Type to ‘Secure Print
  4. Enter a code – click ok then print.
  5. When you get to the printer push Job Status button.  Then click Secure Print, select your print job and release it with the code.

Thanks Matt Geggie for reminding me of this handy feature.

No more raising hands in class??

CTS Member Drew Merkle recently presented to the staff at WHS about Q&A Mode in Google Slides. More information including his video can be found here:

Drew´s Cane Tech Squad Blog

Hey guys! The video below is a short, sweet, and simple how to for the use of google slides Question and Answer. This new tool created by google is to be able for students to ask questions in class but ask it during the presentation. So at the beginning of the class the teacher (business man, speaker, etc.) can put the link to the question site on the board, post on google classroom, or actually put it in the google slide show itself. This will take you to a link that lets you ask questions anonymously or if you are signed in to a google account you can use your name. This the is sent to the presenter on a smaller separate screen. Then the presenter can now choose to stop the presentation and can click ¨present¨ and the question will show up in the slide show so the audience…

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Creating the Story, Storybird

Another App Review, this time from CTS member Ozzy Gonzales.

Cane Tech Squad

Storybird is a great app that allows for the user to illustrate his or hers stories. You simply find the image you like and click on the little lightning bolt symbol on the bottom right corner of the image, once you have done this you can create a poem, longform book, and even a chapter book. The app is simple to use and does not overcomplicate customizing options for your book or poem.

storybird6.jpgThe app could be used in the classroom since it does have an option for teachers to create their own classes, they’ll just need to give their students a code to enter the class. This app gives students a chance to be even more creative with their writing. Storybird is easy to use and has the potential to be used in a classroom setting by teachers and students alike.

Here’s the link to the website:


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How do you study?

CTS member Drew Moyer reviewed the Quizlet App recently…

Drew´s Cane Tech Squad Blog

One of the biggest positive things about this app in my opinion is that teachers can directly create a study set with currents terms or information in the class. I think this helps the teacher because they no longer have to print as much off for study material. In our school setting everyone has a Chromebook so it is very easy for a teacher to post something on it and have them study it. As a student I love it as well as the teachers do. This is because I am always looking for new ways to study and do better in class. Quizlet come up with just your normal flash cards to playing games that help you remember the class content or study for a test. Another positive thing for teachers is that they can also create tests on the and have their class take them on the app…

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It’s MyStudyLife! And I can live it how I want to!

Aaron from our CTS Help Desk wrote this App Review of MyStudyLife.

The Cane Tech Squadian

MyStudyLife is a very useful app for those students that like to keep track of what they have going on, on what days and when. For organized students and for the teachers that like to keep their students informed this is a very useful and very easy to use app for your chromebook or even mobile phone. MyStudyLife has the ability to have entire schools join as well at teachers. The app will recognize the time that you spend in each class, which is nice. It has a feed page to tell you what assignments and tests you have coming up. For tasks there are also gauges for how far you are on the assignment percentage wise. However; this app is fairly reminiscent of google classroom, with classroom being able to sync with your google calendar that feature gives classroom an advantage. But all in all, if you like to…

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Student Research Tips for Chromebook

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The 1:1 chromebook program here at WHS has created new tools and opportunities for students to do research.  Whether you are working on a research paper for English class or just curious about a topic you can put your chromebook to work for you to make sure you find the credible, reliable information you need.

Is the site credible?

It is more important than ever for students to be able to determine if a website they are on is giving credible, reliable information.  Check the following characteristics of a credible, reliable website:
– Check the URL extension.  Most urls can be purchased by individuals.
.com usually indicates a website that has a product in mind.
.org indicates a nonprofit organization.  These can be good sources of information                   but be aware of the organization’s agenda.
 .gov or .edu are reserved for government or education purposes and are almost                        always considered credible, reliable sources.
– Author, date, and sources.  Credible websites generally list the name of the author, the     date the research was conducted, and sources where the author obtained their
– Poor site design, grammar, spelling.  Be aware of websites that don’t have a professionally designed site or one where grammar and spelling errors are evident.

Dive into the research.

One way to make sure you are always using credible websites is to use a starting point that is designed for doing research.  There are many databases and resources for this purpose.  Here are two we recommend:

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Google Scholar
:   Google Scholar works just like the Google search engine but instead of searching all websites it only searches scholarly articles, journals, books, periodicals, etc.  Scholar allows you to sort results by date so you can be sure you are receiving current information.  Another great feature is My Library which will allow you to store search results to access later.  Be sure to also check out the My Scholar button that can be installed to your chrome browser.

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Infohio:  Infohio is a digital library full of free resources for Ohio public school students.  There are a lot of databases targeted directly towards doing research.  From the homepage click on the grades 9-12 high school link.  Look through the different databases and find one that suits your needs.  If you are not sure where to start we recommend Ebscohost.  It is one of the most comprehensive databases you can find anywhere.

Apps and Extensions for Research.

Chromebooks allow students to install apps and extensions to make research even more effective.  These apps can be found at the Chrome Web Store.

Docs Research Mode – One feature that is already in your drive is research mode.  When you have a doc opened click on tools -> research.  This will open a small google toolbar on the right hand side for you to do research without even leaving Google Docs.  You can even use it for Google Scholar.  Another great tip when using docs is to try out suggestion mode for doing peer reviews.

Diigo – “Bookmark, Archive, Screenshot & Markup – All-In-One Web Collector, must-have research tool”…  Diigo is a research organizer that will allow you to highlight, annotate, and store your work as you go along.

Evernote – Evernote is a popular note-taking and organization tool that be used across multiple devices.  This means you can take notes from your phone while riding the bus and then add to them from your chromebook at home.  You really just have to try out Evernote to decide if it is right for you.

Super Simple Highlighter  – What research experience would be complete without highlighters.  Keep it simple with this straight forward extension.

Finally a quick note about working offline.  There is app called Pocket that allows you to save websites and offline mode in Google Docs makes it so that you can work on your papers while not on wifi.  Learn more here.

Happy researching – give us feedback on what worked for you or other chromebook-friendly research tips you find.