Tuesday, July 17, 2018

WebCam Record Chrome Extension

Are you looking for a quick way for students to reflect or summarize content? You might want to check out Alice Keeler's Webcam Record Extension.

This tool allows students to record up to a 30 second video on their laptop, MacBook, or Chromebook. After you select "Finish," your video will be saved in a Folder to your Google Drive. Each video can be shared via a link from Google Drive.

This tool is an excellent tool to have students practice the art of short and succinct elevator speeches. Use the tool to summarize or reflect on learning!

Friday, July 13, 2018

A Brief Tutorial and Demo of Apple Classroom

Do your students use iPads? Then you have to check out Apple Classroom! It might even be a good tool to manage your own children's iPads!

Here is a brief tutorial and demo on using the Classroom App:

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Encourage Audience Participation Through Mentimeter

I love creating interactive presentations because it increases engagement. I love using a variety of different tools, like Google Forms, Kahoot, NearPod, and Socrative. A colleague of mine shared another great tool called Mentimeter.

What is It? 

Mentimeter is an interactive presentation tool, which allows teachers to create interactive presentations through a variety of voting question types:

  • Multiple choice
  • Word clouds
  • Image choice
  • Quiz
  • Scales
  • Open-Ended Questions
  • Q and A
The free version of Mentimeter allows you to create 2 voting question types per presentation, plus a variety of other features. Learn more about the different voting question types here

How Do Students Connect? 

Students can access your presentation through Menti.com or through a QR Code. 

Once students have voted, they can see your results!


This could be a great tool to use in the secondary classroom to create more interaction and engagement in the classroom. 

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Make a Self-Paced Quiz in Google Slides

Google Slides is more than just a tool to present information. Have you ever thought about creating a self-paced lesson or quiz using Slides? Google Slides could be a great tool to help students learn at their own pace.

How Do I Do It?

Step 1: Create Your Google Slides presentation.

I usually bundle each question I ask into 3 slides. 1 slide is dedicated to ask the question and 2 slides for feedback (correct and incorrect answers).

Step 2: Link your answers to the correct or incorrect answer slides. 

I begin by highlighting one of my answers and visiting the Insert Menu and choosing Link. You can also choose the Link icon.

One very helpful resource is to link to specific slides in your presentation! So if students answer correctly, I want them to visit the correct answer slide. If students visit the incorrect answer, they go to the incorrect answer slide.

Step 3: Move to the Next Slide or Go Back.

So what do you do if students get an answer wrong? You can have participants go back and try to answer the question again or add a slide with the correct information. For my sample presentation, I drew a shape and hyperlinked it to the question slide.

If students get the answer correct, I have them visit the next question.

Step 4: Publish Your Presentation

I like publishing self-paced quizzes on Slides, so that students cannot see answers. You can do this by visiting the File Menu and choosing Publish to the Web. Once your presentation is published, participants will NOT see the slide view or presenter notes.

Here is what my presentation looks like in a Published format.

Additional Considerations

Here are some additional things you may want to consider.
  • Teach a mini-lesson by inserting a video from Google Drive or YouTube.
  • Make your Slides function like a self-paced module or textbook by inserting text to explain content and concepts. 
  • Insert hyperlinks to additional resources 
  • Insert links to other tools to foster participation. For example, link to a Google Doc to reflect on content or a Google Drawing for an interactive worksheet. 

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

More Ways to Customize Google Forms!

I work with teachers all over the country on using G Suite in the classroom. One of the biggest knocks on the new version of Forms is how limited it is to customize its appearance or theme.

Forms recently launched a more options to customize its appearance, giving you the ability to change the header photo, theme color, background color, and font style.

How Does it Work?

Simply click on the Customize Theme (color pallet icon) to launch Theme Options.

Mix and match the background color, them color, and font style. Forms automatically makes the adjustments that you want.

Click on the X to close out.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Draftback: Sit Back, Relax, and Watch Your Google Doc in Action

Writing is an important element of learning; however, many of our students struggle to understand the abstract process of writing. Have you ever had a student quickly write a draft of an essay and turn it in? Have you ever questioned how much time was spent writing an assignment?

Draftback is a Chrome Extension that generates a video of every revision made in a Google Doc. It also provides very helpful statistical information about a document, such as time spent and when revisions were made.

Want to see it in action? Check out my video below:

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Trace My Shadow - Helpful Digital Citizenship Tool

I recently came across a great digital footprint tool called Trace My Shadow.  It is an excellent resource for helping students and teachers understand the types of information that you are leaving behind and the risks associated with it. 

How Does It Work? 

Visit the Trace My Shadow website and choose which devices you use on a regular basis. The site will then provide you with ways that your device and identity are traced by using that device.

You can check out information in the Traces You Accumulate section to see which devices are associated with certain traces and the type of information that you would collect. It will provide you with a total tally of traces and tips for staying safe! 

Talking about digital citizenship is an important part of teaching today; however, why do many of our students' eyes glaze over when we discuss it? Perhaps our students struggle with digital citizenship because we fill them with dated and irrelevant information. Perhaps they are tired of the scare tactics that are used to prevent them from taking inappropriate pictures or giving away personally identifiable information. 

Trace My Shadow is a great tool to make things relevant for students and adults. Not only does it provide you with valuable information, but it also provides you with tips for keeping yourself safe!