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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

SchoolMaster: FamilyLink Setup for teachers

This tutorial is for those school districts using the new FamilyLink option as their method of allowing parents and students to view grades.  One of the number one reasons why students cannot view your grades is because you need to set the date range up each year or semester depending on how you want things to run.


1.  Log into your SchoolMaster gradebook.

2.  Click on the Web menu and then choose the "FamilyLink Setup..." option.

3.  Click on the "Date Range" button.

4.  Choose the dates for which you want parents to be able to view then click OK.

5.  Click OK one more time, and you are now all set.  Your students should now be able to view grades from  your class.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

In case you missed it: GCalendar, Smart Ink, and GSites

For those of you who have just started teaching the new school year, or are getting ready to, here are some educational tools and ideas for you to create a virtual environment for your students and parents that will enable you to have better communication throughout the year.

Create a Google Site

  • I find that having a site that your students can go to to find information and get resources needed to better understand school content is very valuable.  This tutorial will demonstrate how to create a Google website that can be used to post resources and other information for your K-12 classroom.
  • Every class should have a calendar that is visible online so that your students can view due dates of assignments and tests coming up.  It also allows for parents to keep better track of their students educational lives.  This tutorial will demonstrate how to create multiple class calendars that can be visible online.
  • After you have created class calendars you need an easy method for your students to locate it and other information.  What better place to accomplish that than embedding the Google calendar into your website.  This tutorial will show you how.
  • Have you ever had an embarrassing ad pop up while browsing the internet with your students.  If you browse with Google Chrome you can install an add-on that will block those ads from being visible. 
  • Have you installed Notebook 11 and noticed the "Smart-Ink" tab on every window that you open.  Some teachers have express an annoyance with it so this tutorial will show you how to turn it off.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Smartboard Notebook: Disable the Smart Ink Service

Before reading this post here is a note:  I have just added an update on how to disable the SmartInk toolbar.  A while back SmartTech came up with a better way.  Here is the link to disabling the Smart Ink Toolbar if you have the latest version of Smart Ink.

As most of you who use Smartboards in the classroom know, Notebook 11 has come out.  I absolutely love many of the new features and especially the tool bar.  With Smart Notebook 11 though, came Smart Ink, which again I really like, but there are many out there who are annoyed by the Smart Ink bar that is on all of their open windows.  For me it is not a bother, but that is my preference.  If the Smart Ink bar is irritating then these steps will help you to disable the bar so that it no longer is automatically started when you boot your machine.


1.  Click on the "Start" button and then click the "Run" option.

2.  Type in "msconfig" into the space and click OK.

3.  Choose the "Startup" tab at the top.  WARNING:  Know that changing settings in here are can cause programs to not start on start up, so make sure you don't just uncheck anything..

4.  Scroll through the list and find the "Smart Ink" program.  Just uncheck the check box.  Then click the "OK" button at the bottom.

5.  You will now be prompted to restart your machine so go ahead and click the "Restart" button.

6.  After your computer boots back up and you have logged in, you might get a System Configuration Utility notice.  Just click the checkbox (make sure it has a check in it) down at the bottom and click "OK".

You are all set.  You should now not see the Smart Ink toolbar on your open windows.