Aug 292011

I had an interesting question this morning come through my inbox, and I think that it is probably something that a lot of educators just getting their hands on an iPad or iPod Touch for the first time have…

I am wondering how to sync my Ipad to my home computer and school computer without having it replace my apps that are currently on the iPad.?? When I go to sync my apps, it wants to replace all the apps with what is on just my school computer.?? Is there a way around this?

By default, you are only meant to sync your iPad (or any other iOS device) with one computer. This is Apple's way of doing it's best to prevent piracy. If you could simply plug you iPad into someone elses computer and 'give' them all of your music and purchased media, then why would anyone buy anything ever again???

If you are using the same iTunes or Apple ID on both computers, use the 'Transfer Purchases' option on that window that pops up when you are trying to sync your iPad on a new computer. This will take any items purchased on your iPad and save it to the new computer.

There is a work-around. To sync to multiple computers, you need to set your iPad to the 'manual' syncing mode. Instead of automatically adding any new song, video and app when you plug it in, you'll have to drag-n-drop the new stuff onto your device. Here's how to do this:

There is one more option if you are only concerned about synching apps. On the iPad if you open the 'App Store' app, there is a 'Purchased' option on the bottom black menu. As long as an app was downloaded or purchased using your Apple ID, then you can head to this spot and download an app purchased on another computer (work or home) without the need to sync or re-purchase the item.

After the very first sync to get you up and running, you only REALLY need to sync your iPad once a month or so to back it up, and that should be done on the same computer all the time.

However, if you have two separate Apple or iTunes ID's (one for home purchases and a school account), then the management becomes really hard. I??have always just used my own Apple ID, so I have not had to muddle through this situation. It's best to pick one, and stick??with it.

Aug 252011

It has come time again to do a little preventative maintenance on our UTIPS server. We need to delete or purge the test results from all of the tests that you administered in UTIPS over the last year. 

Please be assured that this process will not delete tests, classes or students in UTIPS – only test results. If you feel that you may have a need for this data in the future, you can take a few minutes to save this information for your reference. If you feel that you will not need these test scores, you are not required to archive this information, and you can stop reading this message if you’d like. 

This screencast will detail the process of the steps listed below if you’d like to save these scores:
  1. Head to and log into your UTIPS account.
  2. Hover your mouse over the ‘Reports’ menu in the black UTIPS menu, and click ‘All Tests’. This will show you a list of all of your test scores taken in the time frame listed in the drop-down menu after ‘Show All Tests Posted:’. By default, you are probably only looking at tests given today.
  3. Change the ‘Show All Tests Posted:’ option to ‘All Scores’, and UTIPS will show you all of the tests taken by your students over the past year.
  4. Click on an assessment that you’d like to save the scores for. You can see how many times it was taken to the right.
  5. On the top right of the test scores, you’ll see two options – one to print the results, and one to export the results. Printing will give you a paper version, and exporting will create a digital version for Microsoft Excel or other spreadsheet programs. It is up to you which way you save these scores:
    1. Print Option: Simply wait for the small test score window to refresh with a printable version (PDF). Once this has happened, click the print or printer icon within the mini window to print off those scores – Don’t use the File –> Print option for your web browser.
    2. Export Option: Clicking this option will immediately download a .csv file that Excel or Google Spreadsheets can open and view, create charts, etc. To access the file, go to the location where your downloaded files are normally saved – usually your Downloads folder or on the computer Desktop. From there, you can rename (I highly recommend this) this file to a name that makes sense to you, and save it with the other files for that unit or in a folder for your test scores.
  6. To save additional test scores, simply head back to ‘Reports –> All Scores’ and repeat steps 5 and 6.

I hope that these instructions are clear and easy to follow. If you still have questions, please don’t hesitate to ask a question – just email me at

Thanks, and good luck with the new school year!

Aug 242011

Got a conference room, office hours, or a basketball court that you want to make available to others? Google Calendar makes it easy for you to share your available resources with the “Auto-accept invitations” feature. To learn more about this feature and the different acceptance levels, please visit What’s “Auto-accept invitations”?

For assistance enabling this feature, we’ve provided sample instructions to create a resource calendar for “Conference Room B.”

To enable the “Auto-accept invitations that do not conflict” level, please refer to the following steps:

  1. Create a secondary calendar named “Conference Room B.”
  2. In the calendar list on the left, click on the down-arrow button next to “Conference Room B,” select “Calendar settings,” then select the “Calendar Details” tab.
  3. Enable the “Auto-accept invitations” feature by selecting “Auto-accept invitations that do not conflict.”
  4. Click “Save.”
  5. Click on the down-arrow next to the calendar you created and select “Share this calendar.”
  6. Enter the email addresses of the users with whom you wish to grant access to your resource.
  7. Select the desired shared permission level (Must be “See all event details” or higher.)
  8. Click “Save.”

To enable the “Automatically add all invitations to this calendar” level, please follow the instructions below:

  1. Create a secondary calendar named “Conference Room B.”
  2. In the calendar list on the left, click on the down-arrow button next to “Conference Room B,” select “Calendar settings,” then select the “Calendar Details” tab.
  3. Enable the “Auto-accept invitations” feature by selecting “Automatically add all invitations to this calendar.”
  4. Click “Save.”
  5. Share the calendar’s email address with those who don’t have access to the calendar. (You can find the calendar’s email address in the “Calendar Address” section of the individual Calendar Settings page.)
  6. If you’d also like to allow others to view events on this calendar, click on the down-arrow next to the calendar you created and select “Share this calendar.”
  7. Enter the email addresses of the users with whom you wish to grant access to your resource.
  8. Select the desired shared permission level (Must be “See all event details” or higher.)
  9. Click “Save.”

Please note that the “Auto-accept invitations” feature only works on secondary calendars at this time.

Learn how to schedule events on your resource calendar.

Find instructions on how to set available hours on your resource calendar.

The Google Apps help pages are a great resource. Here’s one that describes how to create calendars for ‘resources’ such as meeting rooms, computer labs, sports courts – even shared equipment. We’ve been using this method for our Board Room for a few years now, and it works really well.

Aug 232011
Google URL Shortener

Start shortening your way-too-long URL’s at

This may be my new favorite tool… All of the goodness of short URL’s that you can get from sites like,, or, but you get management of all of the short URL’s that you’ve created, statistics on their use, and a QR Code is only a click away!

Thanks again, Google!

Aug 222011
August 22, 2011 | 11:16 AM | By

    To Ban or Not to Ban: Schools Must Decide Cell Phone Policies

    Last week, a  study by the Pew Internet and American Life Project found that cellphones have become “near ubiquitous”: 83% of American adults own one. Over half of all adult mobile phone owners had used their phones at least once to get information they needed right away. And more than a quarter said that they had experienced a situation in the previous month in which they had trouble doing something because they did not have their phones at hand.

    The findings of this Pew research — the reliance of adults on their cellphones — stands in sharp contrast to the policies of many schools, where cellphones remained banned or restricted. Students likely have these same needs as adults: to get online and find information they need right away. But often students are banned from using their cell phones in schools, something that students themselves list as one of the greatest obstacles they face in using technology in the classroom.

    Students are “asked to do research on a desktop computer that absolutely has less processing power than the computer in their pocket.”

    For many schools, these are formal rules, written in school policy or in student handbooks. But as phones become like more extended appendages in everyone’s lives, schools are rethinking their policies. MindShift asked teachers how or whether these rules were changing and received some interesting feedback.

    Educator Nilda Vargas reported that students can use cell phones to access their online books, while teacher Shekema Silveri replied that although she requires cell phone usage in her class, the school policy against it hasn’t changed. “Most teachers are still afraid of cell phones in the classroom because they know little about how to use them as a tool for learning,” she wrote on MindShift’s Facebook page.

    High school teacher Kim Ibarra said that her school has gone from a “no cell phones in school at all — not even in the hallways or at lunch” policy about four to five years ago, to “cell phone usage in the classroom if the teacher has asked for permission ahead of time with an explanation of what will be done and why it is necessary” about two years ago, to “cell phones can be used in the classroom if the teacher has students using them for educational purposes” last year, and back to the more prohibitive “students may use cell phones in the school only at lunch in a specified area” — the policy for this upcoming year.

    Many teachers noted that written policies don’t always mirror informal policies, and thatthere’s a groundswell of those who recognize that cellphones need not be seen solely as distractions or as ways for students to cheat. More educators are realizing that cell phones can enhance learning.

    High school teacher Jamie Williams describes his school’s policy regarding cell phones:

    “My high school’s policy is cell phones should be off and out of sight. If seen, they are taken and the student is written up. Our handbook says students may use phones with teacher permission. I’m a huge tech nerd and make my students use their phones throughout my class. My biggest gripe is that most students have these great smartphones and barely use the device to a tenth of their potential.

    Williams teaches art and technology classes. For his art class, he asks students to use photos they’ve taken on their cell phones as the basis for paintings they’ll create. During tests, Williams allows his students to use both their handwritten notes and those they’ve saved on their phones. In his video class, most students have phones capable of shooting in high definition, and use them for projects. This year, he’s hoping to make a large-scale mosaic of student life created solely from cell phone images.

    Williams notes that it’s difficult for students to have to go from one class where they’re expected to make full use of their phones to another in which the phone has to be off and hidden. He also points to the irony that in a lot of these latter classes, students are “asked to do research on a desktop computer that absolutely has less processing power than the computer in their pocket.”

    And that’s probably one of the most important observations: many students already carry a powerful computing device in their pockets, while oftentimes much of the technology hardware at schools is woefully out-of-date. By allowing cellphones, schools may find they have equipped students with better devices — with devices that work as calculators, cameras, video cameras, books, and notebooks, for example — at no or low cost to the school.

    Cellphones are, of course, just one piece of a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) program, and this wiki created by Manitoba educator Darren Kuropatwa gives some tips on how to prepare for and take advantage of cell phones and other devices brought into the classroom from home.

    But the biggest obstacle remains the attitudes of those educators and administrators who still frown on the devices and fear their usage, who confiscate them from students, who see them as a distraction rather than a powerful tool for learning. It’s clear that schools must come up with an acceptable use policy for cellphones in the classroom. But as more adults indicate that they’re “lost” without their cellphones, it hardly seems acceptable that we ban students’ access to the devices.

    What do you think???

    Aug 162011

    This question came from one of my teachers yesterday:

    When I insert my Google calendar to the Google site I’m making, all the times are Pacific Time Zone.  My original calendar settings are Mountain Time Zone.  It’s only when I insert it to my website?

    Wow… I think I have a solution, but I don’t think I could have ever found it by digging around myself – I had to scour the Google Sites Help Pages. There is a magic ‘User Settings’ page somewhere within Google Sites where you can set the time zone for your site. My calendars were not displaying correctly either – and this fixed it for me.

    Here’s the fix: Once you are logged into your site, open up a new window/tab in your browser and head to this page:

    Once there, choose your correct time zone – for Utah it would be GMT -7:00 – Denver or Boise option (which one probably does not matter as long as you don’t choose the Phoenix one since they don’t observe Daylight Savings as we do). Save your settings and refresh your calendar page and hopefully the issue will be gone.

    Thanks for the message. I gave up a while ago on trying to solve this problem – now we all know. 😀
    Aug 122011

    Get the detailed workshop notes here. You can also access the presentation.


    • Join the conversation and ask questions at TodaysMeet.
    • The Basics
      • home button – home screen, search screen
      • double tap home to access latest apps, plus iPod & brightness controls & how to kill apps
      • Creating Folders of apps – can manage this in iTunes as well
      • Moving and deleting apps (Home row holds 6!)
      • Gestures: Tap, Double tap, tap hold and drag, flip & swipe, pinch to zoom, rotate
      • Copy & Paste
      • Screen capture – press Home and Power button together to take a screen shot of whatever is on your screen.
    • Getting in Gear: Settings
      • Airplane mode
      • Connecting to a WiFi hotspot
      • Location Services?
      • Change wallpaper and lock screen image
      • Picture Frame
      • How much space do I have left? General option will tell you
      • Store – sign in to iTunes account (can use multiple accounts)
    • Setting up your Google Apps Mail, Contacts & Calendars
    • Set up Find My iPad
    • File management – Get Dropbox!
    • Great educational video content: iTunes U, eMedia & Kahn AcademyTED Online or the TED app
    • Web shortcuts – Turns a web site into a clickable app icon. Set your home page, UTIPS page, Pioneer Library, eMedia, Kahn Academy, others?
    • Clicker software – eClicker, eClicker Host – set up some quiz questions and show how to take a poll and display results
    • Take poll of what participants would still like to learn at

    List of Chad’s iPad Apps:

      Aug 112011

      The USOE Data Display is the best tool at your fingertips to track CRT performance of a district, school, subject, class and even teacher over time. It’s also the best way to compare CRT scores to the state average, and between districts in the state to get an idea of how ‘those guys’ are doing on the same tests given state-wide.

      Another advange of the Data Display is that you can actually compare your students performance, standard by standard, on each standard tested in a core area to the district and state average – quickly identifying those areas where you are strong and where your instruction could use some fine tuning. 

      Also avaialbe in the Data Display are Progress Scores that show the growth of learning from year to year on a school, subject, and class level. Progress scores, along with the other features of the Data Display are outlined in the handout below from today’s training:

      UTIPS Core is a reinvention of our current UTIPS formative testing system. Each district will have their own UTIPS Core access page (for Iron, for example), but the service is now consolidated on one server on the state level which will facilitate the addition of new core testing items and questions from other formative testing services.

      UTIPS Core is still in it’s early stages (Beta state) but is open and available for you to ‘test drive’. You can import all of your current UTIPS tests (or tests from another teacher) and create new tests from the Item Pool of your choice – even for the new Common Core in Math (Language Arts coming soon).

      To get started, you’ll need your CACTUS ID number which you can obtain by loggin into your MyUEN page. If you can’t remember your MyUEN login, use the ‘Forgot Password’ link at the bottom of the login page, and your password will be emailed to your IronMail email account.

      Unfortunately, there are no training materials or handouts on the UTIPS Core system yet, but they will be coming soon. Check back to this website under the UTIPS Core Tag for the latest news and resources.

      SAMS 2 is a collection of some amazing student-based reports based on historical CRT data, current grades and attendance. SAMS 2 is accessed through your PowerTeacher account. John Meisner has put together a page on SAMS 2 with some great tutorial videos – one that gives a general overview of the reports, and one focused on finding individual student information.