Tech Tip #3: Bypass Blocked Sites

We use a program called GoGuardian to help keep students from unsafe and inappropriate websites that students should not visit. Sometimes it is overprotective and blocks sites unnecessarily. If you and your students run across this problem, there are two options to provide access.

  1. You can bypass the block temporarily. If a student is faced with a screen like the one above, you can bypass the safeguard for a single 45-minute period. Click the Bypass button and enter the secret Bypass password “GGPass”. Please do not share this with students! This password may change over time and we will let you know if this changes.
  2. If there is a site that is being blocked that you feel students need permanent access to, please send an email to Mike with a copy of the web address (url). Mike will try to permanently unblock it.

GoGuardian, like all monitoring software, is not perfect – but we can use your input to customize it and make it work for all of us.

Questions? Reach out to Mike for help.

Tech Tip #2 – Cornell Notes

During the 2019-2020 school year, we have committed to practicing this note taking skill across grades and disciplines. It is a flexible tool and highly congruent with our focus on metacognition. Here is an article we distributed at the roll-out meeting that gives a quick introduction.

We promised you easy access to some templates that you could use throughout the year. You can find them on the Faculty page of the Library website.

While you are there, spend some time looking at the other tech tools available to you. See something you need help with? Ask Mike or Molly or come to the next Technophiles meeting on Wednesday, November 13th at 4pm.

Tech Tip #1 and Technophiles

Scheduling emails

Did you know that you can write an email and schedule a time to send it? To find out more, watch this short video (1:47) made with Screencastify to learn how.

Technophiles Meeting

If you want to know more about how to make the Google Suite work for you, how to record videos using Screencastify, or any other tech topic that will enhance your work this year, please come to a Technophiles meeting.

The first Technophiles meeting will be this Thursday, September 26th from 4 – 5pm in the Ansin Information Center. RSVP is appreciated – but not required.

Welcome Back!

Tech Tips & Technophiles

Let’s get ready to find great ways to enhance learning and productivity with technology here at Applewild. Our goal this year is to provide timely tech tips weekly and offer six technophiles meetings where we go a little deeper discussing tools and strategies for you to use in the classroom.

Our first Technophiles meeting will be held on Thursday, September 26th at 4pm in the Ansin Info Center. next week, we will send out more details about the topics (feel free to send us your suggestions) and look forward to seeing you there.

Kanopy for Streaming Videos

Are you using your Netflix account to show movies at school? Don’t answer – I don’t want to know and you don’t want Netflix to know…

Like many schools, Mike and I have been trying to figure out how to help you legally and conveniently show movies, shorts, and other video content that connect to the curriculum. Earlier this year, we tested Kanopy and recently joined the Kanopy platform for streaming movie delivery. Kanopy is a service being used by many public and academic libraries. Its collection of over 30,000 films is accessed through their website. There are feature films, educational films, documentaries, series, shorts, and more.

We are opening it up just to faculty for now. You can browse, access the movies and stream them to your class. (Opening it up to students is a possibility for the future (snow day assignments, documentary of the month, etc). However, we will have to build an age-appropriate, curated collection and determine how to handle licensing charges. We decided to see if the platform actually works for us before dedicating the time for these conversations.)


The pricing model for Kanopy requires us to cooperate and track the “views” of each film (a “view” is a mere 30 seconds). The key things to remember are:

  • Each film is free to us the first three times it is viewed. We only pay for a license to show film if it is viewed 4+ times in 12 months (no cost for any films viewed 0 – 3 times).
    • So if you preview the film and show it to two class sections, there is no cost.
  • Upon the fourth viewing, we would have to pay $75 for an annual license which would allow for unlimited viewing of the film for a year. This may be worth it for a film that has important curricular connections or serves another need (snow day assignment).

Please remember: it is not in Kanopy’s best interest to remind us we are about to trigger a license fee. It is up to us to keep track of it. I have budgeted a small amount for the rest of this fiscal year to cover any accidentally triggered films. To be sure we don’t exceed the amount, access to all films will be cut-off once we reach this limit.

Getting Started

1. To access the Kanopy platform just go to our Kanopy site:

2. Create a personal account using your school Google ID. This will allow you to create and save your own lists. You will only do this one time.

3. If you are on-campus, you should be able to just start searching and using Kanopy. If you are off-campus, you will need to verify you belong to Applewild. The username and password are very easy and located on the Google Sheet

4. We will use this shared Google Sheet to track the films that are viewed.

  • Before viewing, check the list. If the film has already been viewed 3 times, you will need to talk to me before viewing it to determine where the $75 licensing charge will be applied.
  • If you view a film, please be sure to fill it in with your name and the date you watched it.

So – what’s on there for me?

A quick browse through the “Instructional Films and Lessons”, came up with a wealth of material geared directly for elementary and middle school students. Here are just a few to whet your appetite…

Professional Development

Over 240 films in the Teacher Education category. Subcategories include How the World Learns: Comparative Educational Systems Series, Teaching Math, Anti-Bullying, and Classroom Management.

Service Learning & Metacognition

Kids Can Save the Planet (20 minutes)- Dylan is a young filmmaker who took on a journey to learn all about plastic pollution and how it affects the planet. Dylan D’Haeze, a young filmmaker from the San Juan Islands, follows plastic trash to where it ends up — with some surprising results. He shows how kids can help make a difference in a world that is increasingly dependent on plastic.

An 18-part series called How to Become a SuperStar Student with episodes titled Understanding Your Unique Intelligence, Developing Effective Habits in Class, Working Collaboratively in Groups, Managing Time and Organizing Spaces, Taking Charge of Homework, and much more.

Social Studies

Ancient Rome – Find David Macaulay’s films, and 24 lectures on Famous Romans

Fannie Lou Hamer: Voting Rights Activist (31 minutes) – In this rare documentary, her struggles and triumphs are expressed through Hamer’s own words as well as those of friends and colleagues. While attending the 1964 Democratic National Convention, Fannie Lou Hamer posed the defining question: “Is this America? The land of the free and the home of the brave?

Perfect 36: When Women Won the Vote: (26 minutes) Of all the battles waged on Nashville’s doorstep, the final throes for the passage of the 19th Amendment were among the most heated, controversial and colorful. In July of 1920, all eyes were on the Tennessee capital as anti- and pro-suffragists each fought for their vision of a socially evolving United States. PERFECT 36: WHEN WOMEN WON THE VOTE chronicles the dramatic vote to ratify this amendment, and the years of debate about women’s suffrage that preceded it.


Macbeth – Shakespearean Drama of the Highest Quality Performed at an authentic recreation of The Globe. With performances by world famous award winning Shakespearean actors this series has recaptured the Elizabethan flavor of Shakespeare’s own Globe productions by staging them just as they were seen in the 16th century. (They also have the version with Ethan Hawke…)


Lower School: What’s on My Plate – Do you ever stop and wonder what’s on YOUR plate? Discover what’s on the new MyPlate food icon developed by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). This video is an overview of good food choices and the MyPlate food guide that highlights the best choices from each food group. Includes interviews with teens about their favorite healthy foods.

Upper School: A Series on the Elements of Human Nutrition including Protein, Fats, Minerals, Carbs and

Water (30 minutes)Learn what water does for the body, from cell structure and joint lubrication to body temperature regulation and vitamin dissolution. Understand potential problems, such as what dehydration is and can do, and what water contamination means to third world countries and disaster areas. Get recommendations for water intake daily and during exercise, where we get our water, and health regulations for purity, filtrations and additives. (Learning Seed, USA)

Foreign Language

The Cat in Paris – in English and in French

Bonjour Les Amis – intro series to French.

Mi Chacra (My Land) – The film tells the story of a young indigenous Peruvian man who has lived his entire life, but for a few brief months, in a small farming village in the mountains above the Sacred Valley. Like everyone in his community, he has been raised as a farmer. And like many, he has been instilled with the belief that life in the city would be better than the life he leads…Interwoven with Feliciano’s story is the complex history of his people. In his often poetic native language of Quechua, Feliciano recounts the history of the Incas, the conquest by the Spanish, and the years of the haciendas.

Thirty episodes in Learning Spanish: How to Understand and Speak a New Language

Ray – Episode 10 of Archaeology: An Introduction to the World’s Greatest Sites  is “How Do You Excavate at a Site?”


Twelve episodes in The Secrets of Mental Math or The Mathematics of Games and Puzzles or The Power of Mathematical Visualization.

Drama/Performing Arts

There are too many to list. There is a whole category on The Arts.  Films about artists, live performances, capturing creativity, etc.

“Spark” Their Interest

You may have received an email invitation to try out Adobe Spark. It was not SPAM or a phishing scam. We did sign up for the education version of Adobe Spark which is accessible to faculty, staff and students. Adobe Spark is a great tool for creating quick graphics (like the one below), video stories or web pages. Since it is very template driven, making that graphic was as simple as choosing a quote and an image and combining them using one of the provided templates.

Did I “spark” your curiosity? Visit to try it out. When you login, don’t select “create id” or “continue with Google“. Instead, select “Login with school account” and use your Applewild Google ID (your email and your email password) to login and get started.

Here is a link to a page talking about some of the educational uses of Spark. If you are interested in learning more about Adobe Spark let us know. Molly is diving in next week with 4th grade and maybe back with a Tech Spotlight soon.

Projector Tools

Projector Tools:

Are you looking for a way to get more use out of your projector? Then this tip is for you. I have seen a lot of apps popping up that allow you to use your projector as a simple interactive whiteboard without needing an actual smart/activboard. One simple one is just a website called It doesn’t give you a pen that you can use to write on the screen, but it does provides you with a set of tools you can bring up on the screen, like a timer, a clock, a random name/number picker or a writing and drawing tools. You can draw on the screen using your mouse or trackpad or type notes using your keyboard. 

Just a sample of some of the tools in action.

There are other great apps that allow you and/or your students to collaborate on screen or virtually. One new one is from google called and one of our old favorites is Take a look and let us know what you think and maybe we will explore these further in our next technophiles meeting. – Mike

Each student contributed their own entry on this Padlet.