Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Helperbird: Your ALL-in-ONE Accessibility Chrome Extension

 I am a big fan of accessibility tools for students because it helps reduce learning barriers and provide access to learning. One of my favorite tools right now is a free Chrome Extension called Helperbird. Whether you need speech to text, text-to-speech, Opendyslexic font, highlight tools, note-taking, clutter removal, Immersive Reader, etc., this tool has all of your favorite accessibility tools rolled into one! 

There is a free and paid version of this application; however, the free version has many great tools to get you started in making your classroom more accessible! Want to see how it works? Check out my video on how to use some of the free features of Helperbird!










Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Create Your Own Custom Background in Classkick Using Google Drawings

 Did you know that you can create your own custom backgrounds for Classkick using Google Drawings? Classkick allows you to create a custom background using any PDF, JPEG, or PNG file. Want to learn how? Check out my video below:


Thursday, April 8, 2021

5 Best Practices for Creating Engaging Screencasts

I'm sure by now you might be familiar with the term screencasting. If you are not, it is a way of recording a video with your device's screen and/or webcam. In fact, if you watch my tutorial below, you are watching a screencast! 


There are a variety of screencasting tools out there; however, it makes sense for you to choose the one that will best fit the needs of yourself and your audience. Here are a few of my favorites:

How do you create engaging screencasts for students? Watch my video below for 5 best practices for creating engaging screencasts



Wednesday, April 7, 2021

How to Create a Multimedia Text Set (MMTS)

 Have you ever used a Multimedia Text Set? If you have ever seen one, you may think that it is another version of a HyperDoc, but there is a big difference. HyperDocs are digital lesson plans, based on pedagogy, collaboration, creation, and critical thinking. 

Multimedia Text Sets


A Multimedia Text Set (MMTS) is essentially a document containing links on a topic and uses multiple media types, such as videos, audio clips, articles, etc. to help students consume and explore a topic. Check out this Solar System MMTS example

Brain research tells us that students need multiple representations to understand a topic because we are using our background experiences, senses, and perceptions to form meaning. You might do this all of the time when you provide students with video clips, simulations, podcasts, and articles. However, a MMTS provides a proactive and structured tool for infusing different forms of media into learning. 

How Do You Create One? 

There are many great templates out there! Berg's 21st Century tools has several great examples and templates. I took a stab at trying to create my own Multimedia Text Set (MMTS) for a graduate course that I am creating. Watch the following video to learn more and see my first attempt! 




Tuesday, March 30, 2021

How Can I Use the Seesaw Blog Feature?

The Seesaw blog feature is a great way to provide students with an authentic audience on the web while keeping students safe! The blog feature can be public on the web and password protected. 

The blog feature is a great way to show exemplary work, share class news and events, and practice valuable digital citizenship skills like posting to online discussions and practice commenting on another classmate's work. 

The teacher is always in control! 

  • The blog can be password protected to add another layer of security
  • You have ultimate control over what is posted or not posted. If you need to, you can unpost something too!
  • Students can suggest something to "post" something to the blog; however, you have ultimate control on whether or not it is approved or not
  • All comments require your approval
  • You can turn the blog feature on / off

Want to see how it works? Check out my video below





Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Crash Course on Creating a Wakelet Collection

 If you have never used Wakelet before, I highly recommend using this tool to organize information, create assignments, or create a playlist.  Want to see my Bread Winner Wakelet? Click here. 

Crash Course on Wakelet 

Check out my video for a crash course on creating a Wakelet Collection! 


Why Do I Like Wakelet? 

There are several reasons why I like this tool! First, Wakelet gives you a variety of tools to share, such as websites, videos, write your own text, connect other apps (i.e. Google Classroom, Teams, etc), add photos, and add PDF's. 


Secondly, the Immersive Reader feature is amazing! Students can press a button and have written text read to them! What a great accessibility tool!


Finally, when you upload the link to a YouTube video on Wakelet, it gets rid of the advertisements and creates a smooth platform for viewing videos. 



Monday, March 15, 2021

Virtual Measurement Activity in Google Slides

Did you know that you could use Google Slides as a tool for virtual manipulatives? I was recently in a 4th-grade classroom, where we wanted to help students understand how to convert units of measurement like ounces to pounds and pounds to tons. 

We developed the following Google Slides presentation to help students. Students are asked to guess how many ounces are in a pound, then they are asked to drag the one-ounce boxes into the one-pound container. When they are finished, they will record their answer in the answer box. 

Feel free to access your own copy of this presentation here! 

Want to see how it works? Check out my video