Middle School Technology News

November 26, 2018
by Michael

Making Newscasts in iMovie


Making a newscast is a fun, interesting and challenging way to communicate information to your audience.  Here are some tips and suggestions to make your video production outstanding.

Step One

Prepare your script to be read by you and your cohost to the audience.  You should try to memorize as much of this script as possible so you can look at the camera.

  • Here is a script template for you to download and use.  Be sure to share with your cohost so you are working on the same document.

Step Two

Decide what images and pictures you want to use.  Your pictures should relate to what you are talking about. For example, if you are talking about rabbits, then you will want pictures of rabbits.  Find many different pictures to choose from.

Step Three

Record your script (hopefully you memorized) using iMovie. Be sure to look at the camera as much as possible to keep your audience happy. They want to feel like you are talking to them!

Step Four

Create an introduction with music and lots of flash.  You will put this in before you begin recording your script.

Introductions You Can Use

Or if you are brave, create your own introduction using this website.You will need to register with the site.  Be sure to use your Google Account


Final Tips

  • Look directly at the camera as much as possible. 
  • Look at the camera and your cohost when you are not speaking
  • Smile and speak loudly.  People love to see a happy person on TV




November 8, 2018
by Michael

Are You Using the Read/Write Chrome Extension?

Read/Write is an easy to use and powerful Chrome extension that supports all types of learners in the middle school.

Used in conjunction with Google Docs, Read/Write helps students with

  • Speech to text (they talk to the machines)
  • Text to speech (they hear the words spoken at various speeds)
  • Highlighting and organizing study materials
  • Word prediction
  • Picture and language based dictionaries

We have a site wide super license that students and teachers can use.  Most students already have the extension, but if they don’t, they can go to the Chrome web store and install it for free.

Check out the videos below for more information. The first one features ISB students and teachers. It was shot by a former ISB student.

November 5, 2018
by Michael

Calamari: ISB’s online leave application

Hat tip to Chad Bates for this information…
We are moving to an online Leave Application system for Certified Staff.  This Leave Application System was suggested by the Faculty Association, and is inline with our efforts to better use technology to improve school operations. The system we chose is called  ‘Calamari’ (….don’t ask, I have no idea). 
Calamari is built on G-Suite, meaning it’s accessible through your School Google account, or if your prefer there is an App for all smart phones.  Aside from processing leave applications, Calamari allows you to view your personal accrued leave and approval status.  
Take a minute to watch this short video to see how to use the system.  If your leave request requires a ‘sub’ we’d ask you still contact Khun Kaew : 087 980 3380 <kamolrak@isb.ac.th>.   In the future as we build trust in the system, we believe this can be fully automated an complete online. If you have any questions, feel free to email me.
Configuration for Calamari App: The initial setup of the Calamari App requires a URL, use this address: isbangkok.asia and then login to the App with your School Google login.
Leave Types

Leave Type



Sick Leave

Teachers shall receive sick leave not to exceed thirty (30) working days per year. Sick leave credit shall accumulate to a maximum of ninety (90) working days. Sick leave days are not reimbursable upon termination of service.

A physician’s certificate shall be required for absences of three or more consecutive working days

You have an upset stomach.  You go to the doctor to get treatment for the upset stomach.

Immediate Family Sick leave

Up to 5 days of accrued sick leave per year may be used by the employee to attend to the illness of a spouse or child residing with the employee in Thailand.

Your child is sick and unable to come to school. They require parental presence either because of their age or the nature of the symptoms.

Personal Leave

A maximum of three days may be used annually for personal leave. Although a statement of reason for the personal leave is not required, the request for the use of the days should be submitted for approval to the respective school Principal as far in advance as possible. Bookings (e.g. flights) should not be made until approval has been given.

The intent is that days may be used for personal matters that cannot be attended to on days when school is in session. Examples of such matters include (but are not limited to), Special family events, Embassy, Banking business, Recruiting, Arrival of movers, Compassionate Leave, Scheduled medical appointments, Physical check‐up.

Personal days may not be taken in May or June or immediately preceding or following a school holiday or vacation without approval by the Head of School.

In order to complete the purchase of a house back home, you have to get particular documents notarized, transfer money at the bank, an/or meet with someone handling the paperwork. All of this can only happen during business hours of a work day.

You have a scheduled medical appointment not directly related to a current sick leave or need to have your full physical (the one that takes most of a day).

Bereavement Leave

A maximum of up to 10 working days shall be allowed for death/ burial/ cremation of an immediate family member. The immediate family is defined as spouse, parents, siblings and children.


Professional Leave

Approval should be obtained in advance by Principal before arrangements are confirmed.

  • Curriculum writing

  • Conferences or Workshops

  • Attending or leading IB Workshops (prior approval by Principal required)

Absent with Students


Attending IASAS/CC event as a coach/supervisor of students

Taking students on an off campus field trip – Examples

Two day Biology trip to EWC

Excursion downtown to ServICE conference

Accompanying students on a grade level trip while some of your other classes are still meeting at school, requiring a substitute.


October 18, 2018
by Michael

How To Grab That YouTube Video and Download It


YouTube is a rich source for videos and I/we use it all the time for lessons at ISB.  Sometimes, though, I will go back later and that video is gone. Or maybe I am giving a presentation and can’t rely on the internet.

Fear no more, easy downloading is here.


  1. Head to your favorite YouTube video
  2. Add the letters “SS” in front of the “Y” in YouTube for the video you want to download
    1. Example:  https://www.SSyoutube.com/watch?v=6tdV8RF5_7g
  3. It will send you off to another site with a link to download it.
  4. Download it and life is good.

Note: the website is free and sends you to some junk websites for advertising purposes.  Just close and ignore them.

October 4, 2018
by Michael

Introduction to SeeSaw

As of Fall 2018, the portfolio program SeeSaw is now set up for all students in the ES and MS. This means every student has an account and every teacher has a class.

What is it?

Seesaw is a remarkable portfolio program that easily allows students (yes they do the work) to share what they are doing in class.  They can take pictures, videos, record their voice, annotate their work and more.  Both iPads and laptops make great Seesaw devices. 

Typical uses

  • Record work that has been done and annotate (draw on it) as the student explains what they learned, etc.
  • Share notes and events in the classroom with all parents with one click.

Other things to know

  • Seesaw has been part of ISB since 2015, so it is possible your students have been using it for a while now
  • Portfolios role over from year to year.  Students, teachers, and families can see their past work.
  • Seesaw is super popular with parents as they get a nice visual look at how their child is feeling/doing at school
  • Students log in to Seesaw using their Google Accounts in the MS.  Students in the ES usually use a QR code posted by the teacher in the classroom.
  • Families typically access content on their mobile phones after receiving a push notification


Find additional Seesaw tips and articles here.