Monday, March 30, 2015

ELI update

Over the last few years Hoover City Schools has been implementing an initiative to put the most innovative and engaging tools for learning into our students’ hands. We are pleased to say that all students in grades 3-12 now have the opportunity to use HCS owned Chromebooks as their own. HCS will continue to strive to encourage and support our students, teachers and administrators grow as creative, innovative, problem solvers able to harness technology as a vehicle for collaborative learning. It is an evolving process and we appreciate your input and your feedback.
HCS has made a goal to offer students a 24/7 accessibility to learning through the “Engaged Learning Initiative” (ELI). The individual use of technology is a way to empower students to maximize their full potential and to prepare  for college and the workplace. Right now, your student falls into one of the following three categories. If you:
  • have paid for the Engaged Learning Initiative Protection plan, your student will be allowed to keep the device over the summer.
  • have not paid for Engaged Learning Initiative Protection plan, your student will return the device to the school for inventory before the end of the school year.
If you would like to purchase the protection plan now to allow your student to take the device home, the site (linked to this document) will be available until April 30. Please go here for directions on how to do so. By purchasing the protection plan,you will have access to the device for the summer of 2015. After May 1, 2015 you will be purchasing the protection plan for the 2015-2016 school year. If you are unsure if you have paid for the protection plan, you can email and someone from the HCS tech department  will respond within a few days.

If your student is not planning on attending a HCS school next year, please turn the device in before school ends on May 21, 2015.
Thank you again and enjoy your spring break.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Innovation and Change

     Mrs. Lane shared a blog post last week with me. ( It contained a quote from an Apple ad that really struck home with me. Jamie Casap does an awesome job of motivating me and making me think about why we do what we do.

“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers.  The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo.  You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They invent. They imagine. They heal. They explore. They create. They inspire. They push the human race forward…while some see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

-Think Different, Apple

     After spending some time at the annual CoSN Conference last week, I realized what an impact the efforts of Hoover City Schools’ Engaged Learning Initiative is having in our classrooms. We are changing the way our students learn. We are pushing the limits. We are being innovative. We are creating and inspiring. We are doing things different. It is not the technology in our classrooms that changed this, it is the community and their expectations. Every student, parent, teacher and employee of Hoover City Schools should be proud of the innovation and change happening. 

 John Dewey wrote about this over 100 years ago: 

We are preparing our students for tomorrow in a way that others are dreaming of. Let's not waste a day, a hour or a minute on doing the next great thing. Let's continue to be the round pegs in the square holes.


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Google for Education On Air: May 8-9

Sent by Google....

Connect with educators. Create new ways of learning.

Join us May 8-9, 2015 for Education on Air, a free online conference from Google.

Come explore the future of education and technology with a community of teachers, students, researchers, Googlers and business leaders. 

Education on Air is a free, online conference for educators, by educators. Register and you'll have the opportunity to:
  • Reflect on and discuss how we can create an education system that prepares students for our always-changing world
  • Learn new ideas from people in various roles across education, including students
  • Get tips and tools from educators who have boosted student engagement, collaboration and productivity using technology and innovation
You won't even have to leave home to attend. You can take part right from the comfort of your computer, at no cost.

P.S. In the coming weeks, we'll be sending you updates on the event sessions and speakers. So stay tuned.

Use #GoogleEduonAir 

Synergyse for ALL HCS Google Apps for Education Users


All HCS Google Apps for Education users ( have access to a powerful product, Synergyse

Synergyse is a Chrome Extension that integrates interactive training content into the Google Apps™ interfaces. This full interactive training system for Google Apps™ allows you to learn at the same time. Synergyse is available for Google Classroom, Gmail, Calendar, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Sites, and Hangouts. 


  • Before you begin make sure you are Signed into Chrome with your Google Apps account! Click on the Chrome menu button, and then click on Sign in to Chrome. Follow the steps to sign in with your Google Apps account.

  • Now, any time you are working in one of these core Google products, look for the Synergyse icon. 
  • Click on the icon and choose a tutorial.
  • Select a lesson from the menu. Screen Shot 2015-02-03 at 3.11.03 PM.png
  • You will hear audio guiding you through the tutorial and is accompanied with text within your Google product.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Digital Learning Day- MARCH 13


Help us make a difference in the future of education by joining us in celebrating Digital Learning Day! 

Digital Learning Day is a nation wide celebration sponsored by The Alliance for Excellent Education. Digital Learning Day highlights innovative teachers and practical, effective applications of digital learning in America’s schools.  In today's interconnected world, the way students learn is increasingly reliant on digital technologies. This doesn't just mean having the newest resources and gadgets, it means fully integrating digital learning throughout the entire educational experience. In order to fully prepare students for success in college and a career, schools and libraries everywhere need to embrace digital learning. We can't prepare every child for the digital future without your support. Help us build the wave of innovation on Digital Learning Day by ensuring every child has the opportunity to learn in an innovative, digital environment. 

How can you participate?   
Teachers, Administrators, and Technology Integration Coaches should send in tweets, pictures, and videos of classrooms using technology in engaging and innovative way via email to or send a Tweet to @hcseli with the hashtag #DLDay

We will share these success stories via our district ELI Twitter account @hcseli. 

  • Register your class (or school) HERE
  • March 13th, email  or tweet @hcseli a few photos of your students using their devices for educational purposes. Please include a brief description of what is going on in the photo or what the lesson is about.
  • Be sure to include the hashtag #DLDay and @hsceli in your tweet.
  • We will be retweeting your tweets and posting to the ELI Blog