Thursday, December 15, 2016

The Perfect Holiday Gift

Still struggling with what to get your loved ones this holiday season? Having trouble finding the nerdiest gift in town? Have we got the solution for you!

Introducing Tat-tastic by Tech-tastic Blog Corporation. Here you see our first model, the PISD Hotspot logo in the small size.

Order soon because this hot holiday item will be flying off the shelves and not even Santa Claus will be able to get them. But don't take our word for it; look at these testimonials from our customers:

"This is about as nerdy as it gets." - Matt Frey, executive director of instructional technology

"That's very special, isn't it?" - Ronnie Cantu, director of multilingual services

"Hmmm." - Stephany Sipes, LOTE coordinator

Just think of how your special someone will react when they find this Hotspot gem under the tree! Our elves are standing by to take your order.

OR you could make this yourself! Here's how:

  • Find temporary tattoo paper such as this or this.
  • Create your custom design (you'll switch it to reverse print later.)
  • Print on the temporary tattoo paper with your home printer.
  • Apply the custom temporary tattoo according to package directions.
  • Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Password Protected: Smart Tips for Managing Passwords

Password Protected

 by Guest Blogger Allison Venuto

If you’re anything like me, you have an overwhelming number of passwords and supreme difficulty remembering them.  Upon arrival at a login screen, you regularly click “reset my password,” you reset the password, you get into the account, you do the work you need, you swear that you’ll remember what you just entered, and you promptly forget the password.  So the next time you need to get into that account, you have to start the process all over again. 

Or.  Is that just me?

Here are some ways I’ve found to help me stop the vicious circle:

1.   Update password updates.  When a website requires a password update, immediately update your password chart with the information.  Remember.  You will forget.

2.   Keep all passwords in one location.  Write passwords on one paper and keep the paper under lock and key.  Another option is to use a free electronic system such as KeePass or Last Pass 4.0 to hold the information in a secure manner.      

3.   Make unique passwords.  Use the first three letters of the website to help you make each password unique.  For example, if your base password is:  People9$, your password for gmail would be People9$gma. 

Here’s to less time clicking the “forgot password” button and more time on making memories with our students.

Allison Venuto currently assists with the AVID program.  She attended ETSI* during Summer 2016 and yells significantly less at her computer screen now. @Mrs_Venuto

*ETSI: Plano ISD's Ed Tech Success Initiative summer institute

Monday, December 5, 2016

It's Hour of Code Week!

The week of December 5-11 marks the 4th annual Hour of Code, where students around the world are encouraged to learn and experiment with simple coding activities. The website began in January 2013, and over 300 million students in 40 countries - who have written over 20 billion lines of code! - have participated to date. is particularly dedicated to encouraging girls and underrepresented minorities to participate.

According to an article from Computer Science Education Week, 90% of parents would like for their students to learn computer science, but only one in four schools teach programming. Participating in the Hour of Code is a great way to get your students started with coding! Here are some resources to help you get your students started in coding.

Follow (and contribute to!) the hashtag #HourofCode on Twitter  to see the latest coding news this week and in the future. Remember, your Instructional Technology team is always here to help you with resources, suggestions, classroom help, and any other encouragement you might need to experiment with coding or other technology ideas. You can do it - and so can your students!