Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Discovery Education's Spotlight on Strategies

Many educators use Discovery Education for their vast database of videos and teaching materials.  However, there are many other resources found in the DE system.  For example, the Spotlight on Strategies (also known as "SOS") initiative has laid out a wealth of instructional strategies that teachers from all curricular areas and levels can utilize.

To find these effective teacher-created resources, log into your Discovery Education account and search for SOS:
 You may want to click the VIEW STRATEGIES BY SKILL button:
The strategy categories will appear, such as ASSESSMENTCOMPARE AND CONTRASTSUMMARIZING, etc.

 Click VIEW ALL from within a category area to see more strategies:
Select the preferred strategy to view a description, a short video, and a PDF explaining the strategy:


Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Fixing the Pop-Up Blocker Setting for KCloud

If you've not switched over from KCLOUD 1.0 to KCLOUD 2.0, now is the time!  The URL for the NEW and IMPROVED KCLOUD 2.0 is, so bookmark or favorite it soon!
If you notice the links display a button like this:  , complete the following steps:

For the Chrome Browser

  1. Click the CHROME MENU  button in the top, right corner of Chrome
  2. Select SETTINGS:

  4. Click the CONTENT SETTINGS button:

  6. Enter and specify ALLOW in the following window:
  7. Click DONE twice.

For Internet Explorer

  1. Click the GEAR icon found in the top, right corner:

  3. Select the PRIVACY tab
  4. Select SETTINGS under the POP-UP BLOCKER section
  5. Enter into the ADDRESS OF WEBSITE TO ALLOW field and click ADD
  6. Click CLOSE and OK

Monday, November 21, 2016

Safe Video Viewing

If you've ever had something inappropriate appear on the side of your YouTube screen or have been distracted by the many YouTube suggested videos, this post is for you.  Watchkin is a site that allows users to paste a YouTube link into a simple text box and create a new link that points to an ad-friendly video format.

Simply COPY the URL from YouTube:

Next, navigate to Watchkin and PASTE into the Watchkin URL field and click the magnifying glass:
TIP: Use the FULLSCREEN VIEW button in the lower, right corner of the video window: also assists in producing a clean screen for video watchers.  Complete a similar process for

COPY the URL from YouTube:

Now, go to and PASTE the URL into the text box:

Click the button.

Change the TITLE if you would like, add a description, select additional preferences and click SUBMIT

A video screen will appear with a new SAFESHARE link at the bottom of the screen:

Viewpure will complete the same task, however the  bookmarklet can be added to the BOOKMARKS BAR for more convenience.

Read more on the Viewpure website.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Hour of Code is Coming!

The Hour of Code is coming the week of December 5th! To learn more, watch the video below and read on.

Some very easy ways to start:

Keller ISD Teachers:

** Those who tweet using #hourofcode and #kisdpd will be entered into a drawing for prizes!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Explore Google Explore

Have you explored the new EXPLORE feature in Google?  Take 19 seconds to watch this video as I demonstrate two easy ways to access it - both in Sheets and Slides.  Enjoy!

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Genius Bar Open October 11!

Mark your calendar, the geniuses are ready to help you. Come see us on Tuesday, October 11 from 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm for help with Canvas and Google Drive basics.  

No need to sign up, just show up and we will check you in for some EQ hours. You will also be entered into a great drawing for an amazing prize!

There will also be walk up tech help available on Tuesday, October 11 from 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016


Have you ever wanted to record a series of steps for your students and present it via video?  It is now super easy with Chrome and Screencastify!

Simply log into Chrome and search for Screencastify in the Chrome Web Store under EXTENSIONS or access the download link here.

After installing, you will notice the SCREENCASTIFY icon in the top, right corner of your Chrome browser window:

Refer to for more information and be sure to watch the tutorial video provided after installing the Screencastify extension.  Note that the limitation for the free version is a ten minute video (more information here).

Monday, September 12, 2016

Mark Your Calendars for September 20!

We have reviewed the survey results for the Fall 2016 Genius Bar. We are happy to announce that we will open the Genius Bar for the fist time on Tuesday, September 20 from 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm.  

You don't need an appointment, we will have our Keller ISD student geniuses on hand to help you with the basics of Canvas

For each hour you spend at the Genius Bar you will receive an hour of EQ time. We will have an opportunity for you to sign in when you get there. For each visit to the Genius Bar your name will also be entered into a raffle for an awesome prize! 

We look forward to seeing you on Tuesday, September 20 from 4:30 pm to 6:30 to learn about the basics of Canvas. Bring your fully charged laptop and basic canvas questions.

The Genius Bar is located at The Annex 10310 Old Denton Road Fort Worth 76244. 

See you at the Genius Bar! 

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Downloading Documents From Google Drive

Click here for directions on how to download your documents to your new laptop that you saved to Google Drive.

Keller ISD Canvas Online Help Community

Keller ISD has created an online help community to help you find answers to your Canvas questions. 

Please join the community via Canvas by clicking on the link below.

Keller ISD Canvas Online Help Community

Keller ISD has created an online help community to help you find answers to your Canvas questions. 

Please join the community via Canvas by clicking on the link below.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Genius Bar Raffle Winners!

We are excited to announce the two winners of the the $1500.00 technology package. Thanks to everyone that visited the Keller ISD Genius Bar.

Brad Britton from Whitley Road Elementary

Kasey Reynard from Heritage Elementary

The student geniuses were exited to participate in Convocation 2016.

Monday, July 25, 2016

EQ Time

Are you looking for a way to get EQ time before school starts?  If so, then look no further.  We have several sessions coming up the week of August 8th.  Log in to Eduphoria and click the Technology Category icon from the front page to get registered for these courses.  Courses that still have space available are listed below:

August 9th:
Introduction to Canvas (both a morning and afternoon session)

August 10th:
Introduction to Canvas (both a morning and afternoon session)

August 11th:
Building in Canvas (both a morning and afternoon session)

August 12th:
Nearpod (both a morning and afternoon session)

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Book Your Appointment!

Scroll down to see available time slots.  Use the green arrow at the top to view other weeks.  All appointments will take place at the new Genius Bar on the first floor of the Annex. Address: 10310 Old Denton Road, Fort Worth, Texas 76244.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Thoughts of a Keller ISD Genius

What does it mean to be a Keller ISD Genius? It means you are not just a student, but also a teacher. It is not only a great honor to have that tittle, but it is pretty extraordinary to see both sides of education as the student and the teacher.

It also gives students a whole new take on how we feel about teachers and how hard teaching is. The employees at the Genius Bar now have a better respect towards our staff -- not that we didn’t have respect for them before!

Personally, I now see my teachers in a different light… they are now my students. I am someone who knows a lot about computers. Having grown up around them, technology is very easy for me to understand. For some of our teachers, a computer wasn’t a common tool when they were my age. So, when we sit down with them, some teachers don’t understand how some features work. That is when I do my best to try and help them understand. It may take a while, but I love teaching them. It’s is a great feeling to know I have taught them a concept to help them further their career. This must be why teachers love to educate students. My mom, who has been a life-long educator, has always talked about the light bulb moment. Now, I understand and appreciate the concept.

As a KISD Genius, I had the opportunity to attend and present at the ISTE (International Society of Technology in Education) conference in Denver. The ISTE exhibit hall was one of the most amazing things I have ever seen. It was huge with thousands of booths. But it wasn’t only the size of the convention that amazed me; it was what was at the booths themselves. Sure, not all of the booths had super cool products in them, but every booth I saw could and will benefit teaching through technology. It really is such a shame that every teacher in Keller ISD could not go. I think if every teacher could attend they would then have a better respect and knowledge of classroom technology. Some of the themes I noticed were virtual reality, three dimensional printing, and coding. VR at ISTE was all over the place. It’s pretty amazing to me to see VR being looked at through a technology standpoint considering it has only become popular within the last two years, and becoming more prevalent within the past nine months. It’s very innovative and bold to try and implement a technology originally designed for video games. I know that is how I really want to learn.

Coding was everywhere. If you think about it, kids like my 6-year-old cousin, Peyton, should be learning to code in first grade just like she is learning to read. I will start my senior year at New Directions High School this fall. I am ending my time in public education, however there are millions of new students that will just be beginning their time in K-12. I know that coding will be a very important part of all of their futures.

Presenting to educators from all over the globe at ISTE was amazing. There really is no other way to put it. I met a man who had a program for his district in Germany similar to the Genius Bar. We told him how we did everything, and he was very impressed. His school was much smaller than Keller ISD. I also met another man from Taiwan who coded Microsoft PowerPoint Online; he was amazed that students were teaching teachers how to use some of the programs he help to code, like Outlook. Also, everyone I talked to that works in a school district said that they wish they had a program like the Keller ISD Genius Bar. They applauded us for the great work that we are doing.

Being a Keller ISD Genius has really changed my perspective on teaching, learning and technology. I really appreciate Keller ISD believing in ME and trusting ME to be a representative of such an amazing place to learn. 

Landry Hart
Keller ISD Genius
Senior New Directions High School 

Monday, July 11, 2016

My Thoughts on Being a KISD Genius

What’s the first thing you think of when you hear the word Genius? Most people probably think of someone super smart like Sheldon from the Big Bang Theory. While that may be somewhat true, I don’t think you have to be the smartest person ever to be a genius. Being a Genius isn’t about knowing the answer every time. A genius isn’t afraid to ask for help and learn from their mistakes. Here at the Genius Bar, there are times when we students don’t know the answer and we may have to ask someone from technology or professional development for help. Teachers always joke, well if you’re a genius then you must know all the answers. While most times we might laugh and play along, the truth is we don’t always know the answer, but we are willing to ask and learn. Being a true Genius is an ongoing learning process, not an inherited trait. Like Dr. Seuss once said, “The more you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

In June, three of us Geniuses traveled to Denver and presented the Keller ISD Genius Bar at a conference with over 19,000 attendees.  Overall teachers were so excited to see a successful model of student lead technology help. For me it was fun to see the excitement on people’s faces when they heard our story. I didn’t realize how big of a deal the Genius Bar truly is. We had teachers from all across the U.S. and even Europe and Taiwan asking us how we did it and wanted information on how they could start one in their school district. Microsoft even sent some techs over to speak to us and get feedback from us, three teenagers, on how the Windows 10 roll-out was going in Keller ISD! I didn’t truly realize the impact us ten Genius Bar student workers had until after we presented at ISTE. As students we are now teaching those who taught us everything we know.

If you’ve never been to an ISTE convention, you’re missing out! There is a 500,000 square foot Exhibit Hall filled from door to door with vendors giving demonstrations, handing out freebies and trying to sell you “the next greatest thing.” It’s a little overwhelming when you first walk into the hall.  People are everywhere you look and exhibitors are trying to lure you into seeing what they have to offer. It’s definitely a technology lovers paradise. I saw so many incredible things while in Denver, but the thing that stood out to me the most was Coding. I can’t tell you how many vendors had coding activities for the classroom. We saw one vendor who had a robot, and you use markers to create a code for the robot to follow. For instance when the robot went over a red line, the robot would start going in reverse, when it hit the blue line, it would spin in a circle. Google had just announced a new coding project for classroom use and it worked similar to a puzzle, allowing students to put together codes. As a college student, I had to learn coding in one of my college classes. I loved seeing how much emphasis ISTE put on coding in the classroom. I know I wish I had learned some of it before I had to code an entire website for my final grade in a college course. Coding wasn’t the only emphasis. I also saw hands on learning activities that could be very useful in the classroom. Microsoft for instance had a table where I participated in a Salad Spinner race. I had to keep my salad spinner moving to create energy. Once I was finished they showed me a spreadsheet with energy I had created. After I walked away from the booth I thought, man when I was younger I would have much rather learned about energy that way instead of reading a text book. Another cool hands on learning experience was using the Google Cardboard. It was sort of like cardboard binoculars with an iPhone inside and headphones attached, and when I put the cardboard up to my eyes, I was suddenly on a field trip…to the moon. I even had a tour guide telling me all about the different craters, when it was explored and what the surface of the moon was like. Since teachers can’t actually take us on a field trip to the moon or the ocean, the cardboard is the next best way to teach us about it. I was in shock with how realistic it seemed given that I was looking through a piece of cardboard. Overall my experience at ISTE was unforgettable, I saw endless uses for technology in the classroom. After going to ISTE, I’m so jealous that I’m in college now and won’t get to use all of this incredible technology during school. ISTE was an experience like no other and I wish all of our teachers could go and see just what the potential for student learning could be. 

Taylor Shaw
CHS Class of 2015
Lead KISD Genius

Friday, June 10, 2016

Breaking news for the Keller ISD Genius Bar!

Breaking news for the Keller ISD Genius Bar!

You could win an awesome prize (and this is not just a t-shirt!) at convocation 2016 in August. You must be present at Convocation 2016 to claim your prize if your name is drawn.
If you have visited the Genius Bar or will visit the Genius Bar in the next 2 months, you will have the opportunity to have your name entered into a drawing.  Your name will be automatically entered in the drawing if:

  • You were on time to your appointment, not early, not late. Within a 3 minute window +/-  
  • You removed ALL stickers before you got there
  •  You removed all of your CD’s and adapters
  •  You backed up your computer before your appointment    
  • You had all of your old hardware to return (laptop, laptop power supply, docking station, docking station power supply)
  • You will automatically be entered into the drawing if you followed the steps above.

*If you are not sure how to back up your computer, you can visit the older posts on the digital learning blog. If you need more help, starting on Monday, June 13 you can come to the Genius Bar at 10310 Old Denton Road any day before your scheduled appointment and we will have a genius ready to assist you with your backing up. No appointment is needed for backing up assistance. 

Walk up Genius Bar assistance will be available Monday thru Thursday 8:30 am to 3:30 pm.

You will not have time at your scheduled appointment to back up your laptop, so please make sure that you have it all backed up before your appointment time.

Follow us @kisdgeniusbar on Twitter! 

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Guess what....we just added new appointment slots for next week!  Scroll down the blog and check out if you are looking for an appointment time!

Email Archives

Do you archive your email?  Did you know that the archive files are stored on your actual laptop instead of on the email server?  If you archive your email and you want to back it up before you get your new laptop, please follow the directions below.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Appointment Reminders

The Genius Bar is in full swing. Everyone is loving the new laptops. Please take note of a few reminders as you prepare for your upcoming appointment.

1. Please make sure all stickers are off of your laptop.
2. Remove all CD's and DVD's.
3. Remove all computer adapters.
4. Bring your laptop, laptop battery supply, docking station, and docking station battery supply. If you do not have all of these items, you will not receive your new equipment.
5. It is very important that you arrive at your appointment time. If you are early or late it messes up the schedule. We have scheduled for each appointment to have one on one time with a Keller ISD Genius.

If you need to reschedule or cancel your appointment, there is a link in the appointment confirmation email that you received. This must be done 48 hours prior to your appointment. You cannot just change appointments with a friend. We have to assign laptops to individual employees and if you are not on the schedule for the day, we will not have a laptop ready for you.

If you need to schedule an appointment, click here.

We look forward to seeing you at the Genius Bar!

Canvas End of Year Procedures

The school year is quickly winding down.  Many of you have done a lot of great work in Canvas and we want you to be able to access all of this information next year.  Please read the End of Year Canvas Procedures Document by clicking here.  You will find all of the information that you need to know about how to end the year in Canvas and get started again next year.  If you have any questions, please feel free to email

Thursday, May 12, 2016


Remember that you MUST have an appointment to refresh your laptop.  We are NOT able to take walk-ins.  To make an appointment, go to the post below. At the time of your appointment you will turn in your old laptop and then receive a new one.

If you have summer plans and will not be able to schedule an appointment to refresh your laptop, you must return your current laptop before you leave for summer break.

You will need to return your laptop to the Annex on June 2 or June 3 from 7:00 am to 4:00 pm. The Annex is located at 10310 Old Denton Road, Fort Worth, TX 76244.

You will be able to pick up your new laptop the week of in-service August 15 to August 19. As we get closer to the week we will have specific times that you will be able to come get your new laptop.

We have to collect all of the current laptops by July 28 because they are due back to Dell.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Laptop Model Released

Please watch this week's Techno Tuesday for the announcement you've all been waiting for.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Genius Bar Progress

Do you want to check out the progress of our Genius Bar?  Click here to see pictures of the progress.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Backing up your Computer

We have two options for you to use to back up your computer.  You can back up to either Google Drive or Office 365.  Both of these options are cloud-based storage options.  Google Drive offers you unlimited storage and Office 365 offers you 1 TB of storage space.  Please see the videos below to learn more.

Google Drive
If you would like paper directions showing you how to backup your computer to Google Drive, click here.

Office 365
If you would like paper directions showing you how to backup your computer to Office 365, click here.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Techno Tuesday - Google Drive

Would you like to have a paper copy of these directions?  Click here to access a pdf of directions on how to Back up to Google Drive.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Laptop Refresh is Coming!

Laptop Refresh Update


Q: Where do I make an appointment to get my new laptop?
A: We are not accepting appointments yet.  Please watch Techno Tuesday and DWW for more information about making an appointment in the coming weeks.

Q: When will laptop refresh take place?
A: We will start in mid May and it will continue through the summer.

Q: Where will I need to go to get my new laptop?
A: Laptop refresh will take place at the Annex.  More specific details will be coming in the next few weeks.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Laptop Refresh Coming Soon

Did you know that Laptop Refresh is coming this spring?  Every teacher will be turning in their current laptop and receiving a new laptop.  We'll make more information about when and where laptop refresh will be later in the spring.  In the meantime, watch this blog and Techno Tuesday for tips and tricks to get you ready for your new laptop.