Saturday, May 19, 2012

Setting up an iTunes Account/Apple ID without a credit card

Deploying iOS devices on a large scale can be difficult and time consuming, partially due to the way that Apple handles (controls) the distribution of "apps", both free and paid. One way to make the process easier is for each individual user to setup their own iTunes account/Apple ID so that they can download and install their own free apps. Unfortunately, the process of creating an iTunes account/Apple ID without a credit card is less than obvious.

Apple has instructions that you can follow here,

I've also created some step by step instructions with screenshots that may be easier to follow. You can find them at

Hope this helps

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Using Google Docs with Students

Like many districts, our teachers and staff members have so many things on their plates that finding time to offer Professional Development is becoming increasingly difficult. In an attempt to offer more flexible and accessible PD sessions, we are just starting to use Adobe Connect to host and record short webinars for staff.

I just recorded our inaugural webinar for high school staff on "Using Google Docs with Students". Overall, I think that it turned out pretty well. I definitely still have a lot to learn and improve upon, but it wasn't too difficult to get to this point.

I wanted to share our initial effort in the event that the content may prove to be worthwhile to your own schools. I would also love to get some comments about how your own teachers are using Google Docs with their own students and build up some "best practices".

The recorded webinar can be found at

The accompanying presentation can be found at

I have also embedded the presentation below

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Auto-Emailed Daily Agenda from Google Calendar

Howdy RISTE colleagues! We're hoping that this blog will grow to be a repository of "tips and tricks" and knowledge that we can all share with each other. Here's a quick tip about how you can setup Google Calendar to email you a daily agenda each morning. For those of us without secretaries, that Daily Agenda email can be invaluable.

1. When looking at your Google Calendar, click the "gear" icon in the upper right corner of the page and select "Calendar settings"

2. On the Calendar Settings page, click the "Calendars" link

3. Click the "Notifications" to the right of your calendar

4. Check the "Daily Agenda" box and click "Save"

5. You can also click the "Notifications" links next to the Group/Shared calendars that you have access to and have notifications from those calendars included in your Daily Agenda email

I hope this helps and that your new Google "virtual secretary" keeps you from missing important meetings!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Innovation Powered by Technology Conference

Looking around the Donovan Center last Saturday at the RI Dept of Ed sponsored conference and saw so many familiar faces but only had a chance to talk to a few.  There were so many ideas about the future of learning and technology in our schools to digest and discuss, but so little time.  We've launched this blog in part to foster a continuing discussion on:  blended learning, access to online resources, digital learning environments, and teaching in on online environment.
I hope there are others out there who would like to share their ideas, hopes, and fears about digital learning and all that we heard at the conference.
Give it a try.......john bilotta