Thursday, November 13, 2014

Digital Resources

We here at ESU 8 have many resources for our teachers to utilize both at school and at home.

The easiest way to access them is by going to our ESU 8 homepage.  I'd recommend using SNAP, our search engine to search not only our tangible items that can be checked out, as well as items from World Book and Learn 360.

SNAP requires a login which is available by contacting ESU 8 by phone (402-887-5041) or email ( 

Visual Thesaurus is another great resource for you, but it's not searchable within the SNAP search.

If you any questions about any of our resources, please contact us at ESU 8!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Deep Thoughts (by Corey Dahl)

Change.  Taking risks.  Do you ever think about those things?  We all do at some point.  It's interesting as several quotes and articles have landed in front of me today from various places.  I'll share the general ideas.

  • You can't move forward with old mindsets.
We are about to start a new school year.  We should always be learning and trying new things.  It's not a good thing to always teach or approach our position the same way year after year.  If technology isn't your 'thing' then try implementing it into your classroom this year.  Start small.  Build on it.  Go talk to a teacher who is already using technology and ask for advice.
  • If you wait for the stars to align, it may never happen.
We all wait for the stars to align, don't we?!  Some of us more than others.  Well, we may be waiting a long time.  This relates back to the previous paragraph about moving forward.  If we wait to move forward (since we are waiting for star alignment), we wait and wait and wait.  The question then becomes how do we balance the risk of trying something new and keeping things the way they are?  What if the risk becomes the best thing ever to happen to you?  What if we wonder why we didn't try this or that years ago? 
  • Get a new vision (for yourself).
To 'get a new vision' we have to refer back to the first two statements.  To move forward, change something, try something.  Don't wait for star alignment.  Just do it (I think some company may have coined that phrase already).

So what do you think?


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Google Docs: Make a Table of Contents

I heard a tip the other day on how to make a table of contents in a Google Doc.  Yes, I know making a table of contents isn't that exciting.  I get it.  However I think it depends on how it gets used.

Here's how to do it.
  • Format - Heading - Apply Heading
    • Hint: The text from the Heading is the table of contents.  

  • Note below, "Meeting Notes - August, 2014" is my Heading, which will be my first entry to my table of contents.  I've taken some notes from my meeting and now (pretend with me) that it's next month and I have another meeting with more notes.  I don't want to create another Google Doc and share it again so I decide to use the same document to continue my notes.
    • My notes will get long if I'm going to use the same document all year long.  This is where the table of contents will help navigate the long document.

  • So I have (2) headings, created by going to Format - Paragraph styles - Heading 1 - Apple Heading 1
    • Those headings are "Meeting Notes - August, 2014" and "Meeting Notes - September, 2014"
  • Now I'm ready to put my table of contents into action.
    • I maneuver to the top of the page and place my curser where I want the table of contents to reside.
      • Insert - Table of contents

  • Now my headings are my table of contents!
    • The headings are now clickable links that will jump to that place on the page.

  • As more headings are created from meetings throughout the year, simply click the refresh button (in your table of contents) and they'll appear.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Making Google Play Nice On My iPad

These days, we want all of our information available on all of our devices.  Am I right or am I right? We love to log into another computer (in this case we're logging into Google) and all of our gmail, contacts, calendars are available.  However, when we are on our iPhone or iPad, we want our contacts, our calendars and our mail as well.  Right?!  Well, this doesn't necessarily just happening on your iOS devices.  Let me give you an example of a scenario that just might help you out.

However, please note that in this scenario (for the calendar) the issue was that the iPad user couldn't see a calendar that another person shared with them.  It just wasn't showing up on their iPad.  The user could see their own calendar, but not any of the shared calendars.  So when you get to the calendar section, keep that in mind.

So here's the scenario:
  • I have new iPads I'm setting up
  • The users of these iPads have Google accounts
    • The Google contacts and calendars aren't showing up on their iPad...and that's an issue
  • First, the Contacts:
    • Go to:  Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars > Add Account... > Other > Add CardDAV Account
      • CardDAV
        • Server:
        • User Name:  your user name (your gmail address)
        • Password:  your password
        • Description:  whatever you want
          • *IF* you are having issues with the setup, check the Advanced Settings and make sure that you have on 'Use SSL' and that the Port is 443
        • After doing this, your Contacts app on your iPad should have your Google Contacts loaded.
  • Next, the Calendar
    • On the iPad (using Safari or whatever web browser you have) go to this address: and then you'll be asked to sign into your Google account.
    • After signing in, you'll see any of your Google calendars that you've created as well as any calendars that have been shared with you.

      • Check any calendars that you want to view on your iPad
        • Be sure to look at your 'Shared Calendars' (if you have any shared calendars)
          • If you wish to see them on your iPad, be sure to check them
      • Touch SAVE at the bottom of your screen
    • Here's what I found interesting.  When I went to the iPad to check out the calendars...they weren't there!  
      • So I ended up deleting the Google account on my iPad:  Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars, (then I selected the Gmail account) Delete Account
        • Then added the account back again.  After adding the account back again, the shared calendars could be seen
        • I don't know if that's always the case, but it was for me in this instance
      • Be sure to turn on 'Calendars'

I hope this helps you out!

*Also - I was able to talk about this issue with a wonderful member of my PLN...Otis @odiep77, who helped trouble shoot the issue with the calendars.  Thanks again!

Isn't it great to be able to talk with someone when you're trying to make things work?!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Common Sense Media

Common Sense Media is a site that has a plethora, yes...a plethora of valuable information for students, teachers, and parents about the crazy media-rich world that we live in.

This site has a place for educators to get lesson plans, guiding questions, videos and more.  There's even a place to see ratings for websites, apps, games, TV, and music.

Hey, there's even a place in iTunes U to subscribe to their FREE courses.

So, if you are looking for a good place to get quality information for your students, check out this site!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Data and the Power of Visualization

We often have to analyze and share data.  It is so nice when the data has a visual and in this case, audio.  Watch this short video about how Usain Bolt compares to every Olympic medalist in the 100.  Then, think about how to make your own data a little more interesting to others looking at it.  There are similar videos for the long jump and 100-meter freestyle.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Here's to the Crazy Ones...

Love this.  Inspiring.