Author Archives: Eric Murphy

About Eric Murphy

The Technology Integration Specialist develops and offers district wide instructional technology education for teachers and administrative staff and assists in the development and implementation of curriculum and technology integration projects.

Meet indi by Sphero

Working with early learners? It’s never too early to begin teaching computational thinking skills and problem solving. Sphero, makers of the spherical coding robots, have introduced a new product that is aimed at younger students. Introducing the Sphero indi. It allows students to connect all kinds of ideas and understand how they can be used such as colors and shapes, and then using colors and shapes to determine the speed and direction of a robot. And, unlike Sphero’s robots used by older students, no devices are needed to perform the coding. If you are interested in using the indis with your students, make a request and we will get them to you. The kit also contains a teacher’s guide with lesson plans.

“Speed into STEAM with indi—the most approachable entry-level learning robot for ages 4+. indi inspires imaginative, play-based learning by empowering kids to design and build their own mazes while creating opportunities for students to learn the basics of coding, solve problems, and nurture computational thinking skills.”

On Behalf of the WV Department of Arts, Culture and History

The WV Department of Arts, Culture and History (WVDACH) is pleased to announce STEAM Power WV, an innovative grant program that supports education initiatives for West Virginia’s pre-k-12 students.  Partnering with the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, the WVDACH is encouraging schools and non-profit organizations to integrate the Arts with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) disciplines in their curriculum and educational programming.

STEAM projects explore the intersections between STEM and the Arts, encouraging innovation, creative problem solving, critical thinking, interdisciplinary teamwork and other aptitudes that are essential to students’ college and career readiness.

Applicants may request up to $7,500 and must provide a cash match of at least 1/3 of the amount requested. The application deadline is October 1, 2022. Projects must take place between January 1, 2023 and December 31, 2023.

STEAM Power WV grant guidelines, application instructions, and the link to apply are available on the WVDACH’s STEAM website: www.wvculture.org/agencies/arts/steam/

Please feel free to share this Request for Proposals with other educators as well as with community partners and potential collaborators.

If you have questions about applying, or if you need assistance developing your STEAM project, please contact Jim Wolfe in the Arts Section of the West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History. He can be reached at (304) 558-0240 or james.d.wolfe@wv.gov

Sharing Microsoft Teams Recordings in Schoology

Educators in Wood County Schools’ Distance Learning Academy (DLA) adapt their instruction to deliver lessons in ways that make use of several digital platforms. Although this video was created for educators in the DLA, it can be useful for any educator wanting to find additional ways to record (and protect) their instruction for students. Perhaps their students are at home with health issues. Or, perhaps one of their students learns better by viewing a lesson more than once on her or his own timeline.

In this video: Learn how to record your instruction using Microsoft Teams and then share the recording in your Schoology course.

Graphic Organizers, Brainstorming, & Ticket-Out-the-Door

Finding Useful Ways of Integrating Microsoft Whiteboard Into Your Instruction

Using Microsoft’s recently updated Whiteboard application allows you and your students to quickly brainstorm ideas, use KWL charts, Venn diagrams and so much more. You can even create a ticket-out-the-door on the fly!

Use a Whiteboard in Myriad Ways

You ask, “What would I use a whiteboard for in my classroom?

The beauty of a whiteboard application is that it is as flexible as your imagination. This makes it as adaptable to the needs of a preschool teacher as to the needs of someone teaching advanced algebra or honors world history. Whiteboards are great for brainstorming sessions, activating prior knowledge, creating interactive graphic organizers, problem solving, critical thinking, classroom collaboration and Wait Time (aka Time-to-Think).

Getting Started

Open Microsoft’s Whiteboard by visiting whiteboard.office.com or download the app on your iPad. Sign in using your Microsoft 365 account (this is the same as your email login credentials). The demonstration below is using the application on a webpage; however, Whiteboard is a PWA experience, which simply means that it works basically the same across all platforms. The tools and templates are the same on a laptop as on a tablet. It also means that you can start creating on your laptop and later continue on your iPad.

Setup a Simple Brainstorming Whiteboard

Follow these steps to learn how quick and easy it is to create a brainstorming template:

How can I use Whiteboard in my classroom?

There as several ways you can use a Whiteboard in your classroom. Depending on the lesson or activity, you may use a Whiteboard in multiple modes.

  • Airplay your Whiteboard from your iPad to a presentation screen such as a large television or projector — This method allows for walking around the room and easily engaging students.
  • Airplay from another device such as a MacBook (a smartphone works too!).
  • Share a link to the Whiteboard for students to view on their iPads. Simply add a link in your Schoology course for easy access.
  • Access from within Microsoft Teams. This can be used for both distance learning and brick-and-mortar instruction. For brick-and-mortar instruction, simply ask students to mute their microphones and turn off video.
  • Export the Whiteboard as a PNG image file for adding to your Schoology course or for AirDropping (in Apple Classroom) directly to students.

Application Overview

Let’s take a look at using Whiteboard so you can get started finding awesome ways to include this as a tool in your instruction.

How can I collaborate with my students?

By its very nature, whiteboards are designed to be collaborative. Using Whiteboard with your students allows for a more engaging instructional experience and allows students to use real-world tools that business, industry, and academia are using today. They learn skills they will need to compete with other students when they enter college or technical training.

When using Whiteboard to collaborate with students, be aware of some differences between the standalone version found on tablets and on whiteboard.office.com, and the version built-in to Teams.

  • The Teams version gives the teacher the option to toggle on or off the option for students to contribute to the whiteboard. However, this version does not allow you to select Whiteboard files that you have already created. You have to start from scratch in the Teams meeting. The whiteboard remains with the data of the meeting so you can always return to it later.
  • The app version found on tablets and at whiteboard.office.com allows for contribution from students, but there is no on/off switch to toggle. It’s either no contributions (or limited contributions) from students or the board is wide open for all. Unlike the Teams version, this version allows you to create Whiteboards ahead of time and keep them indefinitely. You are able to turn the sharing on and off, however, when off, access is removed for students to be able to contribute. It also means they can no longer view the document.

Where can I find Whiteboard?

You can easily download Whiteboard by searching keywords ‘Microsoft’ and ‘Whiteboard’ in Apple’s App Store. Students can find the app in Self Serve.

Where can I find assistance?

Find help on Microsoft’s website for many of the most common questions. Ready to move to the next level? Use Microsoft’s Tips & Tricks to learn more. Thinking about using Whiteboard in your classroom but need some ideas how you could use it or you just need some one-on-one assistance, reach out to Jimmy Stewart or Eric Murphy. Either would be happy to help you get started and take engagement to the next level.

GoGuardian Got You Down?

GoGuardian Update

As of February 22, 2022, use of GoGuardian has been discontinued by Wood County Schools.

Are you experiencing issues visiting legitimate websites for your instruction? It may be blocked by GoGuardian. Request that the website or specific URL be whitelisted so you can get back on track. The new tech work order system, SchoolDude, now offers this option.

Sign in to your SchoolDude account.


Under ‘Work Type,’ choose Whitelist Request.

GoGuardian Deployment on February 9

GoGuardian Update


As of February 22, 2022, use of GoGuardian has been discontinued by Wood County Schools.

On behalf of Jonathan Farley, WCS Management Information Services Director:

Go Guardian is being deployed to staff Macbooks and iPads on February 9th.   It will be pushed out before 7:00 AM that day.  Devices will grab the update as soon as they come online.      

It will appear on your iPad and you may have to look through your apps.

On MacBooks, you will need to look under your launchpad to find the Go Guardian app.

For launchpad, look for either icon:

You will need to launch the Go Guardian app which looks like this:

Once you have successfully launched the app you will get a screen that shows the following:

Once you see the above screen your internet browsers will work as normal. 

SchoolDude Work Order System Goes Live February 9

On behalf of Jonathan Farley, WCS Management Information Services Director:

Wood County Schools is moving to a new work order system called SchoolDude.  The purpose for going with SchoolDude is simplicity.  Any staff member can submit work orders by answering 4 questions.

Creating your Account

An email will be sent on February 9th to all staff so they can create a SchoolDude account.

The email will look like this:

Submitting a Work Order

The SchoolDude app will be pushed out to all staff iPads.  Click the app, enter your email, password, and select the help desk for the product selection.

The app looks like this:

The link below is for any user to use on MacBook/Windows devices.  Please save this link on your machine. 

[Editor’s note: This address will also be linked to every page of Innovate in the right-hand sidebar.]

http://login.schooldude.com/?&productid=TEHPDK 

Student Connection Issues with Apple Classroom

If you have seemingly random students that are not connecting to your class in Apple Classroom, here are some things you can try to remedy the situation.

  1. Of course, sometimes the issue is behavioral. Students turn off Bluetooth to avoid Apple Classroom but quickly turn it back on as a teacher approaches.
  2. Aside from this, the first place to start is making sure that a student’s Bluetooth is turned on in Apple Settings.
  3. Make sure the student’s iPadOS version is relatively up-to-date. It should be updated to at least iPadOS 14.6. If the iPad is using an older iPadOS, such as 13.1, this could be part of the problem. To update, go to Apple Settings, choose GENERAL > SOFTWARE UPDATE > DOWNLOAD AND INSTALL. If it won’t install, contact your Technology Systems Specialist (TSS) for assistance.
  4. Sign the student out of her or his Managed Apple ID and then sign back in. Learn how in this video.

We know Apple Classroom can be a big help in managing your instruction and your classroom. If you are still having issues, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Eric Murphy or Jimmy Stewart. Teaching is tough enough without all the technical issues. We can help get Apple Classroom back on track.


Find more general help with setting up classes and adding students to Apple Classroom here.