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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Just needed done...NOW!! -- Updated #ACSDTECH Website

We all have those moments when enough is enough and we have to force ourselves to stop what we are currently doing in order to get something else done that has been driving us crazy!! You know what I am talking about it.  It might be your messy desk or classroom, your kid's closet, or the kitchen utensil drawer.  For me, it was the Technology Resource and Tutorials Website.  It just needed some tender loving care and a slight makeover.  

Here are some of the highlights:

New Name --  What used to be the Technology Resource and Tutorials website is now called the #ACSDTECH website.  

Navigation --  Navigation is now on the left sidebar with sub menus.

Screen Shot 2014-12-17 at 11.09.57 AM.png

Updated Links -- Many updated links throughout the website.  

More pictures -- Added more pictures to give it a fresh new paint job!

Are you up for a tour of the updated website?  I have a fun activity for ACSD employees and students!  This activity is in the hopes that you navigate through the updated #ACSDTECH WEBSITE and see what it has to offer.

Olaf is hiding 5 times throughout the website.  Can you find him?  Click on the form below to complete the activity.   

By: Jessica Fincel

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Jessica’s Thankful for........ My Tech Gadgets/Widgets

In the spirit of Thanksgiving week, we should stop and reflect on all the important things in our lives.  I am going to take a much lighter note in the Thanksgiving season..... I am thankful for my tech widgets and gadgets.

I am thankful for.......Google Calendar
  • I would be completely lost and confused without my Google Calendar.  It is one of the first things I look at every morning.

I am thankful for.......Camera App on my Iphone

  • I can't imagine how many pieces of paper would have been lost forever with important information.  Not to mention all the precious memories that can be taken at any time. We all know our smart phone is like our right arm.  It is a must have at all times.

I am thankful for.......Google Drive/Doc
  • Really, I shouldn't even have to explain why I am thankful for Google Docs.  This should be on EVERYONE's list that works in education!

I am thankful for.......Mail Merge
  • I mess with a lot of data and help others with it as well.  So many many hours have been saved because of mail merge.

I am thankful for.......Youtube
  • I am thankful for Youtube because of all the random things I have been able to learn like how to make homemade fondant.  I am also able to answer tech requests (so I look smart), and share my knowledge to the world.

I am thankful for.......Social Networking (Twitter/Pinterest/Facebook)
  • Seriously you can ask your question during commercials of sporting events since we all know we couldn't possibly DVR live events!!  I also have to catch up with my personal learning network, family, and friends and of course find the best new recipe to make at Thanksgiving.

I am thankful for.......Chrome
  • It lets me get to everything I can possibly need.  Also, it lets me access both my personal and work life with a click of a button.

I am thankful for.......Shutterfly
  • This is where I store all my precious photos and create awesome Cyclone iphone covers.  This is where the creative side of me comes out.

I am thankful for.......Roku
  • This is where I can stream my favorite shows on my TV.  I love my Amazon Prime account so I can watch all the seasons of Downton Abbey.

What technology gadget and/or widget are you most thankful for? Please complete the form below. I would like to create a wordle with the collected data, and a special gift will arrive in your inbox.

PS-Don't forget about Hour of Code Week -- December 8 - 14.  

By: Jessica Fincel

Friday, October 31, 2014

About time..... Hey Guess What? Technology is always changing?


Hey....Guess what?
Technology is constantly changing!!! This is one of the many reasons why I personally love technology.

One of the best new features that has arrived this first quarter is "GOOGLE CLASSROOM". As you all already know, I love Google, but this is definitely one of the best tools for education besides Google Docs that can be utilized easily. Seriously, check it out! It only takes about 10 minutes to set up.

Google Classroom

Google Classroom Updates - October 2014

New Look for Google Drive

Remember I told you technology is constantly changing....Drive has changed 3 times since I have started this job. Change, Change, Change.... Adapt, Adapt, Adapt.... Learn, Learn, Learn

Reminder to AMS, Schuler and Washington Staff - Great Project Tools

  • Glogster (online poster)
  • Zooburst (3D Digital Book)
  • Brain Pop and Brain Pop Jr (Resource, Game and Quizzes)

If you are interested in using these in your classroom, complete a tech request, and I will make sure accounts are set up for your class.


Did you know each building has a symbaloo page? Check out, then Student Links and your  building symbaloo page.

Attn ACSD Staff -- Answer the the following joke, a treat might arrive in your mailbox next week.  

Joke: What kind of music does a mummy like?


By: Jessica FincelTwitter: @jfincel32

Friday, May 23, 2014

Reflect..... Year of 2014

2013-2014 Reflection

As many of our great staff at ACSD are checking semester tests, generating report cards, making memory videos, and saying goodbye to ACSD for the last time, it is time to reflect.  I am reflecting on what great things I have seen regarding technology!!!  WOW.... can we say we are moving to the right direction?  Great job everyone!! Keep up the good work!!  

Here are great examples of technology/learning done this year:

  • 3rd Grade Team -- Implementing the IPAD Cart
  • K-3 Using the Chromebooks ~~Google Docs, Google Presentations, Moby Max, and More.Starfall (Great find Margo)
  • Launching Moby Max -- Great Find Jordan
  • An Awesome AHS 1 to 1 Committee  AHS 1 to 1 Committee
  • Approval of the 1 to 1 Initiative at AHS 1 to 1 Initiative
  • Trojan Learning Camp -- Teachers teaching Tech (TTT) Trojan Learning Camp 2014 Check out the Session Handouts -- AWESOME RESOURCES
  • Successful online testing -- NWEA, IEOC, and Smart Balance
  • Great uses of Interactive White Board
  • Book Share Training
  • Google Charts and Spreadsheets -- Data Collection - Science
  • Awesome Webfolios created
  • Teachers with an online presence (Blog or website)
  • Chromebook introductions at Washington, Schuler, & Middle School
  • Great uses of BrainPop Jr and BrainPop
  • 3D Digital Books -- Zooburst
  • Storybird creations
  • Creative Glogsters created
  • Google Apps used all over and everywhere
  • Implementation of Khan Academy for many new users
  • Home School department making an awesome animated video
  • Great back channels with such websites: Today's Meet, Padlet, and Twitter
  • Google Hangout with a family in Korea
  • Google Hangout with Yemen Students
  • Skyping with Authors
  • Eye of the Needle Episodes -- GREAT JOB
  • Attendance to EdCamps, ITEC, NETA, 1 to 1, 21st Technology
  • Clarity Survey -- Great results
  • Awesome videos created at AHS for the 1 to 1 Roll Out
  • Faculty loving their Point 2 Views
  • Many Iowa Area Online Users
  • Various videos uploaded to Youtube and Google Drive
  • Screencasts created
  • Symbaloos for all buildings
  • New online assessments being used
  • Students working on their writing skills through Kidblog and other Blogging tools
  • Administrators modeling technology by Google Forms, Google Docs, Google Calendar, Camtasia, Google Sites, Appointment Slots, and much more
  • QR Codes posted throughout the district
.......................................and the list is never ending....................................


KEEP IT UP......

“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” 
― Benjamin Franklin

“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.” 
― Henry Ford

Come join the learning this summer.


By: Jessica Fincel
Twitter: @jfincel32

Friday, March 14, 2014

My First Ever Edcamp Experience -- LOVED IT!

Last Saturday, I signed up to go to the Southwest EdCampIowa.  I will be honest, by Friday afternoon, I wasn't excited about going.  I was tired after a long week, and it was scheduled on a Saturday.  Most of all, Iowa State Cyclones men's basketball team was scheduled to play at 1:00PM against Oklahoma State.  I love my #Cyclones. PS- Cyclones won in overtime 85-81.

I was running late Saturday morning, like always. Ginger, Nita, and Julia were very understanding. Thank you!!  We got there 5 minutes early....plenty of time. =-)

As being my FIRST EVER Edcamp, I really didn't know the details on how EdCamps worked.  Of course, I have heard of Edcamps before, and I had a general idea. As my FIRST EVER Edcamp, COUNT ME IN NEXT YEAR!!!  I absolutely loved it. 

I am a strong believer in #communication and #collobration. WOW!!! Great things happened in the sessions I attended.

I attended the sessions below:

Genius Hour
Tech Tools - What Are Your Favorite
1:1 - Measuring Success
Technology Tools for Formative Assessment

The sessions listed above relates to technology, but there were many different alternatives to choose from on Saturday. Here were some of the other sessions offered that day: Competency-Based Education, What Would School Look Like If We Could Redesign It?, Response to Intervention, Things That Suck in Education, Iowa Core Implementation, and much more.

A special thanks to Red Oak and Green Hills!

Deanna Etherington

In the link below you will find resources from Southwest Iowa EdCamp.
Southwest Iowa EdCamp -- Red Oak, March 8, 2014

Resources from all EdCamps in Iowa.


By: Jessica Fincel
Twitter: @jfincel32

PS--Cheer on the Cyclones Tonight!!!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

What is After the "+" in Gmail? Need an Undo Send? What is Google Drive's Activity Stream?

What is after the "+" Sign in the Compose Email Screen

Formatting Options
Formatting, Fonts, and Colors - Gmail Help

Add Attachments
Add Attachments -- Gmail Help

Inserting Files Using Google Drive
Inserting Files Using Google Drive -- Gmail Help
Sharing Settings -- Gmail Help

Inserting Links

Inserting Emoticons
Inserting Emoticons - Gmail Help

Inserting Invitations
Inserting Invitations - Gmail/Calendar Help

Undo Send

Have you ever had .... "OH NO, Opps, or much worse"..........moment!
Gmail has a Lab named Undo Send.

1.) Log into Gmail
2.) Click on the Gear
3.) Click on Settings

4.) Click on Labs

5.) Find the Lab "Undo Send" and Click the Enable Radio Button

6.) Scroll to the button and Click Save Changes

7. ) Once Click Send button the following message will appear on the top of your Gmail

Misc. Notes

Recommended Gmail and Calendar Labs

Send cancellation period defaults to 10 seconds, but can change the duration in the General Settings.

Google Drive New Activity Stream

What is Google Drive's Activity Stream?

1.) Go to Google Drive
2.) Click the "I", and the new activity stream will appear on the left hand side.

By: Jessica Fincel @jfincel32

Sunday, January 19, 2014

A Tech Conference... "Not for me".. Why Not?

What? I don't need or want to attend a conference and/or Edcamp? It is not for me? I am not techy? I don't have time, and it is a waste of my time. 

If that sounds like how who you feel, my first question to you is, "have you attended one"?  My guess would be probably not.  Well as a person that has attended many conferences, you will come home with A LOT of information, and feel overwhelmed.  No jokes you will. Even with the feeling of being overwhelmed (yes, even a tech person), a more powerful feeling will take over -- EXCITEMENT. When I attend a conference, my goal is to come home with a few tools.  I will not be able to use and remember everything that was taught that day. IMPOSSIBLE!! You will find that quote, statement, speaker, tool, or concept that will make you grow as a teacher and person. That is how you define the conference was a SUCCESS.  So, I hope my motivation speech, makes you to decide to attend a conference in the near future!!

Below are some great camps and conferences coming up in the next 6 months.... Happy Learning!!!

EdCamp Iowa 2014
Saturday, March 8, 2014
EdCamp sessions are NOT 'sit and get' presentations. EdCamps are about discussion and thinking and problem-solving. We build the agenda first thing in the morning and then spend the rest of the day talking, sharing, and learning. Come prepared to participate!

Iowa 1 to 1 Conference
Thursday, April 10, 2014
The institute is open to anyone interested in 1:1 laptop computing initiatives in P-12 schools, whether they currently are working in such a program or just want to learn more.

Neta Spring Conference
April 24-25, 2014
The Nebraska Educational Technology Association exists for the purpose of providing leadership and promoting the application of technology to the educational process. Its span of interest includes all levels and aspects of education.

Google Summit @ Glenwood
June 23-24, 2014
Angela Maiers, Eric Sheninger, and Scott McLeod will provide keynotes at this year's Southwest Iowa Google Summit. The 2014 Southwest Google Summit is being held on June 23 and 24 in Glenwood, Iowa. 

By: Jessica Fincel @jfincel32