Friday, December 20, 2013

A Student's Perspective on Learning through Teaching.

to two of our sophomore Tech Sherpas, Austin Taylor and Jess Cloutier for their article 

"A student's perspective on learning through teaching." 
published in the latest issue of Teacher Librarian magazine!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Tech Sherpa Show - December 17th

This hosts this week are Matt and William.

The topic covered this week: 

Interview with Eddie Alvarado from S.W.A.T 

(Students Who Assist with Technology)

NOTE: The Tech Sherpas will be traveling to Texas this February to visit Eddie and present at the 
TCEA Conference thanks to Tech Smith!

Question from Karen:

"How can I record and share audio with Google Drive?"
Chrome Extension:

Question from Colleen:

"How can I insert a Cacoo drawing into drive?" 

We will be back Tuesday, January 7th at 3:00 EST

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Tech Sherpa Show - December 10th

This hosts this week are Zach and Bailey.
The topic covered this week: 

"How do you make a form that collects Student Writing Prompts and then publishes them randomly on a Google site?"
Writing Prompt Randomizer Template

"Is there a script would to convert data collected in a form to create printable name tags?" 

We will be back Tuesday, December 17th at 3:00 EST

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Tech Sherpa Show - December 3rd

This hosts this week are Matt and William.
The topic covered this week: 

"Interview with Tanya Avrith and Holly Clark from about students tech support and digital portfolios."

We will be back Tuesday, December 10th at 3:00 EST

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Tech Sherpa Show - Nov. 26th

This hosts this week are Matt and Kern.

The topic covered this week: 

"Interview with Tech Smith about the new Snagit extension for the Chrome browser."

We will be back Tuesday, December 2nd at 3:00 EST

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Tech Sherpa Show - November 19th

This hosts this week are Jared and Kern.

The questions covered this week: 

"Tell me about virtual field trips with Connected Classrooms and Double Robotics in school?"

"How do I provide custom Chrome Themes to my students?"

We will be back Tuesday, November 26th at 3:00 EST

Wednesday, November 06, 2013


The last few weeks were big at the Kelley household, my youngest officially learned to ride his bike. It's one of those milestones that squarely hits me as a teacher.  Motivation isn't a problem, (watching his older brother take off is enough.) I can tell him all about how to balance, steer and brake. But, there's nothing but for him to do it. 
And to fall. That's the hard part for me of course,  (by the way, the picture isn't of him falling over, but trying some 'tricks' he saw his cousin do.)

And MOST importantly for me to get out of the way. He's in charge and off he goes, making mistakes in as safe a manner as possible, much like school.  


Tech Sherpa Show - November 5th

This hosts this week are Zack and Jacob.
The questions covered this week: 

"How do I change the battery in a flip camera?"

"How do you use the Livescribe Sky 
pen in the classroom?"

We will be back Tuesday, November 12th at 3:00 EST

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Tech Sherpa Show - October 29th

This hosts this week are Zack and Kayla.

The questions covered this week: 

"Can a guest join a hangout on air after it's gone live?"
"Can a Hangout on Air be made private?"

"How do I put Google Docs into multiple folders at once?"

"How do I have student info auto-emailed to their parents?"


We will be back Tuesday, November 5th at 3:00 EST

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Tech Sherpa Show - October 22nd

This hosts this week are Zack and Kern.

The questions covered this week: 

"How do I collect work with Google Docs?"

"How do run the Tech Sherpa Show?"


We will be back Tuesday, October 29th at 3:00 EST

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

2013 MAINEducation Conference

To say this was a special MAINEducation Conference this year would be a terrific understatement. 

 I was honored to be awarded Actem's Technology Educator of the Year alongside  Technology Leader of the Year Maya Crosby and finalists Page Lenning and Jacqueline Durant-Harthorne

A special thank you to Cheryl Oakes and Alice Barr for all their help and guidance over the years and getting video from some of my students. It doesn't get better than that!

And what an opportunity for my students to hear amazing keynotes by Kevin Honeycutt and Dan Russell

Thank you guys!

Tech Sherpa Show - October 15th

This hosts this week are Chandler and Jared.

The questions covered this week: 

"How do I embed an animated GIF from Auto-Awesome into my Google Site?"

"How do I sign out of my Google Account remotely?"


We will be back Tuesday, October 22nd at 3:00 EST

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Tech Sherpas - October 8th

This hosts this week were Zack, Kayla and Cierra.

The questions covered this week: 

"How do you organize your Google Drive?"

"How do I sign out of my Google Account remotely?"

"What is a Student Learning Network?"


We will be back Tuesday, October 15th at 3:00 EST

Sunday, September 29, 2013

South Africa Summit

This week I had the opportunity to learn from an incredibly enthusiastic group of educators in South Africa! The EdTechTeam offered a Google in Education Summit to an audience of educators who couldn't be more receptive. 

One of my favorite stories about the summit actually had to do with my son. I was lucky enough to be able to bring my eldest with me to Cape Town. It would be the first time going to Africa for both of us and we didn't know what to expect. Needless to say, we had an incredible experience and I know he'll remember it forever.

At one point, he wanted to rest in the rental car we had parked next to the building I was presenting in. (The jet lag was hard on him, but he keep up like a trooper.)  So I set him up with snacks, a book and his iPad. I would check on him every few minutes.  And at one point he sent me this email:

I was quite a proud dad, he had figured out how to connect to the wifi, shoot me an email and let me know he needed the keys to roll the window down. So I headed right out (I was next door to the car) opened the door and saw this:

It wouldn't surprise me at all if he'd never actually manually rolled a window down before.  I decided to take it as a metaphor of how many of our students come with some technical expertise, but still need our support and guidance. (No matter how clever with an iPad they are :)

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Maine Google in Education Summit

Keith Kelley with Robotics

The students and I had a great time last week at the Maine Google in Education Summit. With over 200 educators from across New England and Canada.  We were fortunate to have +Michael Wacker+Tim Lee+Ken Shelton, and +Monica Isabel Martinez join us as well as many local talent like +Alice Barr+Cathy Wolinsky+Cheryl Oakes and +Robert Dominick.

The highlight for me was the chance to see one of my students present at the Summit. Here's +Jared Gay in the opening keynote. We're looking forward to our next opportunity to help!

Jared in Opening Keynote

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Building Learning Communities - 2013

Another amazing Building Learning Communities Conference for me and my students.  I've been bringing students to BLC since 2006 and every year has been provocative and educational, but this year it felt like my students were more engaged than they ever have been.

They had the opportunity chat with Alan November and he asked what they were taking away from the conference. They answered with all the exciting ideas they'd picked up, but then he challenged them. He challenged them to go back this year to school and do something about those ideas. (We've scheduled a follow up in October to see what they've come up with.)

That's the type of experience you don't get in the classroom. Sure, I can tell them to try new things, but when someone outside challenges your kids to be amazing, magic can happen.

Additionally, the Tech Sherpas invited attendees to join them in a live show from BLC. They were able to talk about some of the work they did there and their experience throughout the conference.

And of course, all the people they meet from around the world. How often do you have the opportunity to give authentic feedback to others (like the awesome folks at TechSmith) and be listened too, taken seriously and have your suggestions realized in actual products.

I also wanted to give a shout out to Melanie Spencer from Canberra, Australia who was inspired by the students to start their own Tech Sherpa team, FANTASTIC!

We're already looking forward to next year!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Summer Technology Institute

From the 18th Annual University of Maine
we discuss working with students at tech support. 

This hosts this week were Kern and Dan.

The question covered this week: 

"How do you use students as tech support?"

We will be back Tuesday, July 23rd at 3:00 EST

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Where will Tech Sherpa's be this summer?

Looking for some PD opportunities this summer? Check out some of the events the Tech Sherpa students will be presenting.

Professional Development Opportunities

Student Showcase
Date: June 8th
Location: Sebasticook Valley Middle School, Newport ME

Summer Tech Institute
Date: June 24th - 28th
Location: Hutchinson Center, Belfast, Maine

Building Learning Communities Conference
Date: July 22nd - 26th
Location: Park Plaza, Boston MA

Google Education Summit
Date: August 8th - 9th
Location: Hampden Academy, Hampden ME

PREP Conference Keynote
Date: August 21st
Location: Orono, ME

ACTEM Conference
Date: October, 10th
Location: Augusta, ME

Monday, June 10, 2013

Student Technology Showcase

Another successful Student Technology Showcase where our students get to show their technology projects.  For more information visit:

Below is our Tech Sherpa coverage. In a very 'meta-moment' there is a section where the Tech Sherpa students are streaming as the Channel 5 reporter interviews them.

WABI Channel 5 coverage


Newport - The RSU 19 middle schoolers were at school on Saturday, but none of them were sitting in a classroom. They got to show off to friends and family all that they have done this school year.

Keith Kelley is the Integrated Technology Teacher, he hopes the Student Technology Showcase is a learning experience for kids and parents.

"Our robot kids that built the robots are now having to describe to mom and dad how to run it... so they learn a lot from that," Kelley said.

Connor Verreault is in the 6th grade at RSU. Saturday he got to learn about the robots. "I think it would be more fun to interact with the robots and build them for the end of the seventh grade year," he said.

The students host a live web "hangout" once a week during the year. They were hosting one Saturday as well. During the web chats they answer questions about technology from teachers around the world.

Jared Gay is one student who helps facilitate the online chats, "you can help teachers everywhere and that just always feels good and you know that your helping their students and it reaches out to them," he said.

Carol Burnette is one student's grandmother. She was excited to see what he learns at school, "it's a great experience, it's wonderful to see what the kids are doing and RSU has some great things that people should know," she said.

Riley Savage spent the year learning to build a skateboard, something she didn't think she could do.

"When I come into IT I feel like I can do anything that I want with my skateboard. After I did that I was like I can't believe I finished it and then after I did the grip tape and the trunks and the wheels I was like wow, I'm done" she says.

This was the 9th RSU Student Technology Showcase, and organizer hope to make it even bigger next year.
Channel 5 Wabi Story

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Tech Sherpas - Google Hangout Best Practices

This hosts this week were Kern and Dan.

The question covered this week: 

"What are your best practices for running 
Google Hangout  sessions in the classroom?"


Join us at 
this Saturday, June 8th 11:00 - 12:00

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Tech Sherpas - Using Lego MindStorms in the Classroom

This hosts this week were Keith and Kern.

The question covered this week: 

"How do you use Lego Mind Storms in the classroom?"


We will be back Tuesday, May 21st at 3:00 EST

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Tech Sherpas - Collecting videos with YouTube and Digitizing Elementary Students Work.

This hosts this week were Jacob and Kern.

The two questions covered this week: 

"Can I set a YouTube playlist up so 
anyone can upload to it?"

"How do you digitize elementary students work."

Examples of Students Digitizing their own work

We will be back Tuesday, May 14th at 3:00 EST

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

A Spoon is not a Fork.

This hosts this week are Jared and Chandler.

The question covered this week: 
"What do you think of the proposal for Maine's 1to1 laptop initiative?"

This weekend the Maine Department of Education announced the next device for the Maine Learning Technology Initiative.(MLTI) The MLTI program has operated since 2002 and offered Apple devices to 7th and 8th grade students across the state of Maine. This year for the first time the DOE has gone with Windows PC, the HP ProBook.  Here is the full article in the Portland Press Herald.

We discuss some of the implications of this shift for students, teachers and the state at large. It's important to note that as of the latest information, districts will still have the option of buying into the other hardware choices (iPads and MacAirs) if they foot the cost of the difference.

My personal feelings is that I know it matters what platform you use, but less and less than ever. If the web is your production platform, then the devices just become the conduit to your content. That said, there is undoubtably a trade off. There are local programs and features that do not have the equivalent in cloud services yet. A spoon for soup and fork for spaghetti. But that's changing, and all the major players know it. Microsoft's latest version of Office saves your files in their Skydrive (cloud storage) BY DEFAULT. That's a huge shift in functionality and assumptions about users. One of drawbacks of this is how each company is building their own digital fiefdom, and not playing well with others.
iCloud vs. Google vs. Skydrive vs. Dropbox, etc.

We don't want them to build these artificial digital ecosystems where you have to choose one closed garden over the other (think AOL circa 2005.) Facebook is pushing this, they are the one service to rule them all, the difference is there's no cost to changing social networks. Hardware costs money and all the apps we buy for them will not transfer. Right now when I buy music, I buy it on Amazon which downloads a copy to iTunes which syncs with Google Music. Yes, I now have the song in each service, but it's quite a Rube Goldberg way of accomplishing this.

Hopefully it will get better.
Spork anyone?

We will be back Tuesday, May 7th at 3:00 EST

Friday, April 26, 2013

This hosts this week are Olivia and Carter.

The question covered this week: 
"How do you prepare students for online learning?"

This week on the Tech Sherpa Show we discuss the online course I created that our middle school students take to prepare them for the high school. The site is and it is a Google Site template that anyone is welcome to take a copy of and adapt for their own needs.

The purpose of the site is twofold,
  • First, for students to prepare the new Google Apps account they will be using in the high school. They subscribe to school calendars, organize their Google Drive folders and take a copy of our Student Portfolio. All in preparation for our digital portfolio system
  • Second, the students have experienced learning purely online. There is no class time set aside for students to complete the mini-course. There are 5 tasks, though none of them are particularly arduous. The point is for them to complete school work, (without a teacher prompting them over their shoulder.) Also, there are a handful of technology skills embedded in the task. For example, watching a short video and recording a response. This is not a difficult task, but in completing it, the students have shown they can reflect, digitize that reflection and hand it in.

We will be back Tuesday, April 30th at 3:00 EST

Monday, April 22, 2013

Managing Bulk Users with Google Apps for Education

If you are the administrator for Google Apps for Education you're probably thinking ahead about the  upcoming summer break and might be wondering what you're going to do about your student accounts. If you want to pause student access to their account for the summer, the easiest way is to simply reset the password. There are a couple ways to accomplish this, if you're into command lines and enabling APIs a great resource is GAM or Google Apps Manager. You can find GAM here:

But, if you're looking for a more straight forward method you can update all user passwords at once with Bulk Uploader.

1) Login in as an Administrator of the Google Apps Domain.

2) Retrieve a CSV file of all your users by copying and pasting this link into the browser:

and replacing DOMAIN .ORG with your own Google Apps domain address. Once you have the CSV file  upload it into a Google Spreadsheet. This file can be sorted or filtered if you only want to reset certain users.  The final spreadsheet should only have these column headers:

Username | First Name | Last Name | Password

By replacing the password column with one that you set. Then, click File and select Download as .csv file.

3) Go back to the Google Apps for Education Dashboard. Click the Users tab and select More actions - Bulk upload users. 

Make sure you check Update existing accounts so passwords will be reset. You can also force users to reset their password after they have logged in.

There are Third Party Apps in the Marketplace that will help with some of this process. One is Flash Panel which is free and helps with user management as well as other features.  Also, if you are looking for an easier way to sort, filter and manage the users, click the link for a copy of the

that I use to collect the users accounts, sort them and change the password in a click. I then download the sorted, filtered CSV tab at the bottom.