Thursday, December 15, 2011


Tick -tock...the ball will drop!

2011 is winding down - which means 2012 is almost here! And the new year will bring 11 Tools to our campus. Fanfare! Trumpets! Release the doves!
On January 3, 2012 MHS teachers will embark on a campus-wide PERSONAL LEARNING NETWORK adventure and I want you to be excited...for yourself and for our students. This experience will culminate with the delivery of a veritable treasure-trove of electronic devices for our classrooms. And you will have a plethora of skills, tools, ideas, sites, and more to HEAT up your lessons to make Rigor-Relevance more than a catch phrase in an Alan November video.

Here's your first insider tip: 
One of the first things you have to do is come up with a name for a new blog you will create for 11 Tools. Be thinking about it. Make it something that represents you. For instance - my blog is called Mustang Librarian. Is it a little boring? Yes, because sometimes it's easier to KISS (look it up).  Just come up with a name and have it ready for January. You will also have a “display name” for your blog account.  I am still MHS Librarian.  It can be the same as your blog name so again, easy is good.

And NO. You can't send me your blog name now, you go-getter, you! Not until January.
Here's a second tip: When using Blogger, Google Chrome works as a better internet connection than Internet Explorer. Check your "Programs" list on your laptop and I bet Google Chrome is already there. And if it's not - then DOWNLOAD it and put a shortcut on your desktop. It's a must for 11 Tools. And play with it. Click on stuff. 

Here's a third tip: Get used to going to your Google Apps sign-in page because EVERYTHING in 11 Tools will go through Google Apps/Documents. And you get there by going to the Spring Branch page in GOOGLE CHROME  - not through Internet Explorer! So open up Google Chrome then type in and then click on Google Apps for Educators and then sign in as you normally would. Your Google Apps desktop should be your starting point for everything, really. You'll learn more later in January so don’t fret.
So in summary - to get a head start on 11 Tools, do these 3 things before January 3rd:
1. Think of a blog name 

2. Make sure you have Google Chrome downloaded

3. Practice going to your Google Apps for Educators sign-in page through Google Chrome and NOT Internet Explorer
If you've read this entire email posting and have decided to get a head start then again...Fanfare! Trumpets! Release more doves!

Have a glorious holiday

Renae van Zeelst

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