Friday, December 18, 2015

#WGBuzz : This Week in the #HxTech Center

We streamed announcements LIVE from Spanish Class where they were showing us how to Zoomba
Some learners began creating a guitar using cardboard and old cables
iReporters and iProduction crew wrote and recorded a new episode
The iProduction crew hard at work

We packages and shipped of several broken Chromebooks to the repair facility
Some World Studies students worked on completing their "5 minute to change the world"project
New equipment (thanks to a grant) was setup and delivered
One of the kids coded her first ever video game
Give it a try here
Thanks to another grant, some kids setup a new portable sound system for our PE teachers 
I got an awesome new coffee mug

Our GFA students completed and finalized their holiday videos

iProduction and iReporters produced:

As always,
Stay tuned, and stay connected.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

#TechTipTuesday - Clearing up those ads.

I've recently found myself inundated with ads while viewing websites on my phone. It never seemed as frustrating as this before. A quick bit of research and I've discovered the app Focus from Forefox (yup remember those guys?)

Focus by Firefox - content blocking & tracking protection for your mobile browser by Mozilla

I've been using the app for a little less than a week now. It's super easy to setup and it does a great job of blocking the "extras" webpages always want to throw at you. 

Give it a try and see if you can tell the difference. 

Stay tuned, and stay connected.

Friday, December 11, 2015

This Week in the #HxTech Center

We started our week off with some
Live music.

Streamed the announcements live from our Choir room with a musical intro 
258 7th graders came through coding a Frogger like game.
Some didn't want to code, so we let them hangout and chat quietly #studentchoice (A whole day can be tough for those not interested)
GFA edited their projected they recorded last week.
And began a new short film
Then the 8th grade got a day to code. This group explored coding through Minecraft.

And our iReporters and iProduction crew produced their 12th episode. Enjoy

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

#TechTipTuesday - Google Hangouts, where did you go?

Have you upgraded to the new Google+ and promptly discovered that you can no longer use or even find Google Hangouts inside of the service?


NO worries Hangouts is just a few clicks away, and you may find you like this new method even better.

Head on over to the Chrome Web Store - And do a quick search for Google Hangouts (or click the links below to access them directly)
There are two offerings:

One, my preferred option, is the Chrome Extension
Google Hangout Extension

 Adding this extension will add a Hangout icon to your browser toolbar located on the right hand side of your browser which you can click at anytime to bring up a hangout message on the lower portion of your display.

On top of swift access to your hangouts messaging app the extension is associated with your account, so any computer you use the Chrome browser on will have this extension all ready for you to use when you log into Chrome.

Not a Fan of extensions, then you'll want to download the stand alone Hangout App from the Webstore

Google Hangout App
When you are ready to use the application simply launch it from one of the many places Google offers it.

Place number one (on PC or Mac)
Click the Chrome Apps Waffle, typically located on the left hand side of your Chrome browser
Search for the App and Click it to launch the Messing service




I hope these methods for accessing Google Hangouts makes it even easier than before.

As always,

Stay tuned, and stay connected. 

Friday, December 4, 2015

#WGBuzz : This Week in the #HxTech Center

GFA recorded a short film written, directed and staring kids.

A new generation of editors learned how to edit using Adobe premier pro.

A band student edited a video program for their upcoming performance.

Our 8th grade GFA (Gifted Fine Arts) members learned how to edit a creative musical project they recorded.

A Minecraft enthusiast investigated a Minecraft coding tool from

And then began coding for the first time ever.

A new podcast was created.

We got to check out some Star Wars Google Cardboard that one of the learners brought in.

Our daily announcement crew streamed live from the FACS room where they were making Mozzarella!

A new episode of Hixson Game Centeral Podcast was recorded and edited.

And our iReporters and iProduction crew produced their 11th episode.

It was a full fun filled week in the Tech Center this week!

As always,
Stay tuned, and stay connected.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

#TechTipTuesday - App Updates to simplify your life

Google Hangouts app for your phone, if you don't have it, check it out today. It's a great way to stay connected with your peers and community who are using it already. With the app, you are not tethered to your computer for communications.

The latest update to the app now allows users to reply directly from your notifications menu which is a GREAT time saver for quick replies.

Google Classroom is great tool for digital classroom management. Gone are the days of creating elaborate and sophisticated folder systems for students to share documents, projects, etc with you.

And the  mobile app just keeps getting better. Encourage your students (whom have cell phones) to download the app for quick access to the information you are sharing with them regularly.

Monday, November 30, 2015

#NaBloPoMo - Success!

One month and 30 blogposts later, we come to the end of November and step away from posting a blogpost everyday.

I have learned a lot on this journey. The main thing being that I am actually able to
Blog everyday. I've only been training people and encouraging people to do this for 10 years. I'm glad I took my own advice and challenged myself.

I will say that the viewership to my blog has been up (thank you readers, retweeters, and everyone in between) and I myself feel like I have found some great uses for my blog.

1. Weekly curated updates from the Tech Center. It's been fun sharing all the various projects kids have been working on when they come to the Tech Center

2. #TechTipTuesday will continue. Weekly ideas, apps, reminders, etc from the technosphere are great and fun to share.

3. It's amazing what one can do to share and connect just with their phone. Aside from embedding a YouTube video into one of my posts, EVERY blog post has been written/created on my phone.

Some ideas that I did not yet get to this month that I look forward to trying out in the future include, guest bloggers, picture a day, and I'd love to incorporate Podcasting into the mix as well.

Thanks for following me along on this journey, and as always: 

Sunday, November 29, 2015

#NaBloPoMo - Flipboard

One of the best, and most underutilized applications of our time, in my humble opinion, is Flipboard.

For starters, it is a grey way to pull in your various interests into a streamlined mobile friendly platform.

Next, as well viewing your interests you can connect to nearly all of your favorite social media apps, to view the streams in one place, and post to them.

Lastly, one of the coolest a aspects of this app, simple, elegant, content curation in th form of your own (or multiple) digital magazines, accessibility the web, via the app, or on your preferred mobile browser.

If you've not downloaded it yet, go try it out. It's a great way to look at all your favorite things in one place.

Flipboard: Your Social News Magazine by Flipboard Inc.

Check out my Flipboard magazines:
Tech on the Side
Technically Chickens
Hixson Middle School 

Friday, November 27, 2015

#NaBloPoMo #FunAppFriday - Get all the Star Wars

For starters get yourself the ultimate Star Wars fan app, rich with fun Star Wars GIFS, emojis, trailers, and a count down for the release of Star Wars : The Force Awakens

Star Wars by Disney

If Han Solo was/is a favorite character of yours create your own Solo like character with this app. Enjoy the many worlds, play online with others as you take on odd jobs around the galaxy.

Star Wars™: Uprising by Kabam

A new one for me, this app just came out and it looks like you put together a team of classic characters to make the strongest team as you adventure your way the the Star Wars universe 

Star Wars™: Galaxy of Heroes by Electronic Arts

Download any or all of them today to check out this weekend, and may the force be with you.