Thursday, July 22, 2021

Tell an Animated Story through GIF or Video with Creator Studio and Slides

Did you know that you can make animated GIF's or movies with Google Slides? It's pretty easy with an Add-On called Creator Studio

The free version of Creator Studio lets users create GIF's and videos without sound. If you want to add sound to your videos, you will either have to import to another program (i.e. iMovie, Clips) or buy the premium version. 

There are a variety of ways that you can use this; however, I would like to show you how you can have student reenact historical events, stories, or teach a lesson through an animation. For example, let's say that you are having students retell how the Boston Tea Party occurred. 

First, students would want to create a Slides presentation. Students can add slides, pictures, and speech bubbles to tell the story. This is a great way for students to practice planning and logistics because they will have to think of things like timing, communication, and symbolism. 

Next, you will want to use the Creator Studio Add-On to create your GIF or video file. Make sure that you install the Add-On from the Chrome Store.  

Check out my video on how to create your GIF or video in Creator Studio!


Matt Bergman (2021)

Friday, July 16, 2021

Create an Interactive Small Group Discussion with Slides and Mote

Mote is quickly becoming one of my favorite tools because it provides teachers and students with a free way to record audio to enhance Google Slides presentation, comments in Google Docs, and so much more. 

I was recently exploring the Mote website and they provided several really good templates for classroom discussion. I decided to take a stab and make one that provides a few additional accessible elements!

  • A placeholder for the student's name and audio recording
  • The discussion question section provides a place for a text and audio version of the question. This is very important for students who need to see and hear text! 
  • A placeholder for any links that you may need to share with students
  • An opportunity for students to provide feedback (aka "like" a certain response) by dragging the thumb icon to the response they agree with the most

Remember! Students will need to have the Mote Chrome Extension installed in order to record their responses.  Click here for your own copy. 

How does this work? Check out my video below: 


Matt Bergman (2021)

Saturday, July 10, 2021

Change Your Mote Icon in Slides to Captivate Student Attention

Did you know that you can change your Mote icon in Google Slides to any picture that you would like? It's easy to do and very effective!

Step 1: Record your audio using Mote in Google Slides. 

Step 2: Next, insert your Mote into your Google Slides presentation. 

Step 3: Then, secondary-click (or right-click) on your Mote icon and insert the picture of your choice!

Why would you want to change the icons? 

Changing the icons can provide students with an opportunity to get your students attention! For example, you want to direct your students' to important instructions and decide to use a Bitmoji to get their attention!  You could change your Mote icon to a Bitmoji and tell your students to click on the Bitmoji for important instructions on each slide. 

Friday, July 9, 2021

Create Accessible Instructions for Jamboard and YouTube Videos with Sticky Motes

 I love Mote because it helps create accessible assignments for ALL of my students! The best part is that my students DO NOT need the Chrome Extension or an account to benefit from this audio tool. 

Mote recently launched a new feature, which they dub Sticky Motes. It is a helpful hack for infusing audio instructions into Jamboards and YouTube videos. The instructions appear as a video recording on a sticky note that can be moved across the screen. 

The best part is that you can now embed your Sticky Motes into a Google Classroom assignment with the click of a button! 

Want to see it in action? Check out the following video for more!


Matt Bergman (2021)

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Jamboard Getting to Know You Frayer Eduprotocol

I am a big fan of Eduprotocols and the Frayer Model! I recently came across an excellent Eduprotocol idea that can be completed in less than 10 minutes. 

If you are not familiar with a Frayer Model, it is a four-quadrant diagram that students often use to define vocabulary terms, analyze text, etc. However, have you ever considered using this model as a fun getting to know you activity at the beginning of the year? 

Jamboard Getting to Know You Frayer Model

Here is my interpretation of this Eduprotocol by using Jamboard! 

Want your own copy? Click here to download! 

How Does it Work? 

Step 1: Share a copy of the Jamboard with each student through Google Classroom or your learning management system. 

Step 2: Have students interview and use Jamboard to record information about their partners. This should be done in less than 10 minutes. Speed is important when using Eduprotocols. 

Consider having students use the different tools on Jamboard to complete the activity. This is a great way to orient students to using Jamboard for the first time or after a long break. Here are some suggestions:

  • Use the camera on their device to take a picture. 
  • Use the pen tool to write their partner's name. 
  • Use the post-it note feature to write 3 things they are good at. 
  • Use the textbox to share what they are good at and something they would like us to know about them
Step 3: Have students share out! This is a great way to ensure accountability. 

Consider telling students to share a particular quadrant on the Frayer model. For example, "James, can you please share quadrant 2 (something your partner is good at?)?" 


With the beginning of school coming up, this might be a great way to have students get to know their classmates. This is a twist to Eduprotocols by combining technology with a Frayer model; however, you can use this protocol without technology too! That's the beauty of the Frayer model and this protocol. 


Matt Bergman (2021)

Friday, July 2, 2021

Create an Animated Video Drawing with Keynote

Keynote is a great tool for developing presentations; however, if your students have access to iPads, you can create animated video drawings! Check out how you can combine drawings, audio, and video in this quick video tutorial:

How Could I Use This? 

You could easily use this feature for students to create presentations on historical figures, characters in a book, etc. Once students have finished, the presentation can be easily exported as a video. Perhaps you could take each student's video and import it into iMovie or Clips for a class documentary! 

Here's an animated GIF of the project! 


Matt Bergman (2021)

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

UDL Lesson Planning with a POP

 Creating access to learning begins with designing with variability in mind. Check out the following graphic that I created, which details how you can plan accessible learning experiences using the POP method and UDL framework. 


Matt Bergman (2021)

Check out Matt's Podcast

Thursday, June 10, 2021

3 Ways to Get Started with Flip Hunts on Flipgrid

Learning by doing is a great strategy for students to engage in learning! Flip Hunts are digital scavenger hunts powered by Flipgrid, which allow students to use the power of technology to demonstrate understanding in flexible and meaningful ways. It's a fun way to increase engagement and provide autonomy, as students can literally record themselves performing tasks associated with learning. 

You may be wondering, how do I get started? Here are three ways to get started!

1. Check Out Existing Flip Hunts on Flipgrid!

If you visit Flipgrid, visit the Discovery Tab and search for existing Flip Hunts that can be shared and edited! 

BONUS TIP! Please check out this awesome blog post by Kathi Kersznowski. She does an amazing job describing Flip Hunts! 

2. Create Your Own Flip Hunt Template

Rather create your own? I have created my own template for creating your own Flip Hunt! Click here to make your own copy of the Google Doc and have fun!

3. Watch My Crash Course Video on Creating a Flip Hunt!

Rather see it in action? I created the following step-by-step video to help you create your own Flip Hunts! Feel free to check it out. 


Matt Bergman (2021)

Check out Matt's Podcast

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Make Google Forms Quizzes Accessible with Mote

Google Forms are a great way for assessing students; however, does this format work for all students? Remote learning has taught many of us the importance of planning for the margins and making learning accessible for ALL students from the beginning.

 Mote is a great tool to embed audio for students who may need the extra support of having instructions read to them. If the goal is to assess their knowledge of a topic, then it might be helpful to provide flexible ways of getting there. Plus, it embeds the audio directly in your Google Form! No need to go elsewhere! 

Check out my video for using Mote and Google Forms!

Want to learn more about Mote? Check out my previous blog post on this topic! It has amazing possibilities for any classroom. 

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

5 Podcasting Tools You Can Use for Next School Year

Although podcasting has been around for a while, I never really integrated it into my classroom because I didn't think I had the use. However, there are so many great ideas that you could use podcasting for! Here are some awesome tools you could use for Podcasting!

Garage Band

Garage Band is an Apple App that can be used to record podcasts on your MacBook, iPhone, or iPad. Simply use the narration mode feature and you will create a podcast in minutes. Imagine having your students putting together a talk show to discuss the latest chapter or unit!


Seesaw isn't just for screen recordings. You can use the audio record feature to have your students practice sharing facts that they learned from the lesson today. It could provide students with an opportunity to reflect on what they learned and comment on their classmate's work, all within a safe environment. 


Did you know that Screencastify can record audio too? You can use the free version of Screencastify to record audio and publish it to your Google Drive! Imagine having students share strategies for solving that word problem in class! 


Flipgrid now has an audio record only. Imagine having your students put together an interview of a historical figure. They could publish their "interview" on Flipgrid and open it up for comments! 


Finally, if you are interested in making and publishing your own podcast, I highly recommend Anchor! You could record lessons for students to listen to on Spotify or share your knowledge with the world. I recently decided to use Anchor as a platform to share my passion for learning from life lessons and mistakes! It is called Conversations in the Paint Department. Check it out and let me know what you think! 

Exciting News!

Monday, May 17, 2021

Tips for Ending the Year with Google Classroom

Overloaded with the end of the school year and not sure where to get started? I've created a five-minute video with tips for ending your school year with Google Classroom and a few tips for next year! Enjoy!

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Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Make Your Own Educational Game in Minutes with Educandy

I might be going out on a limb here, but I believe games have been an important part of learning for decades, if not centuries! Virtual learning has forced many of us to find new and creative ways to engage our students. Educational games are a great way to do that! 

What if you were able to easily create and share your own educational games with students? You can with a free tool called Educandy

How Does Educandy Work? 

Educandy is a free tool that teachers can use to create engaging learning activities for students in just a few minutes. Check out my video or read below to learn how you can create your own educational games in minutes! 

First, you begin with generating a list of words, matching pairs, or quiz questions.

Next, you will select one of 8 games for students to play. Educandy will take your list of words, matching pairs, or quiz questions and automatically place them in the game template! Please note, the types of games available correspond with the type of list you generated. For example, a word search is available for words, but not for matching pairs and quiz questions. 

Finally, share your game with students with a  link or code. There is no need for students to login! Check out the sample game below.


 If you are like most teachers that I know, then you are always looking for tools and strategies for keeping students engaged. Virtual and online instruction has made it difficult to keep kids engaged with learning; however, there are some great tools to make learning more fun! When students are enjoying the learning process, they often retain information and engage with content better. 

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Generate More Ideas with IdeaBoardz

If there is one thing that I have learned during the recent COVID-19 pandemic, it is the skill of using technology to collaborate across distances. What tech tools are available for students and staff to collaborate inside and outside of the classroom? 

In one PD session that I recently gave, a participant told me about a free team collaboration tool called IdeaBoardz. This tool is amazingly powerful and simple! Participants can brainstorm ideas, gather information, reflect, and even retrospect. There are built-in tools for providing feedback in the form of "likes." 

This could be the perfect tool for comparing and contrasting topics in a class, brainstorming PD ideas for the next faculty meeting, or ending class with a reflection. 

How do you create your own IdeaBoardz? Check out my video below. 

Friday, April 23, 2021

I'm a Puzzle: An Awesome Tool to Create Your Own Online Puzzles

 Critical thinking and problem-solving skills are essential qualities for our students today. Puzzles are a great way to help students sharpen these skills. 

I'm a Puzzle is a great site that you can use to piece together a custom puzzle for students. Whether you are giving students a preview about a topic or want to put together a clue for a scavenger hunt, this a great free resource for you to use!

Step 1: Upload your Picture

Upload your favorite JPEG or GIF file. You can also make your own custom picture using a tool like Google Drawings.

Step 2: Select the Game Mode

Do you want traditional puzzle pieces? Or do you want something more untraditional like hearts, stars, and honeycombs? 

Step 3: Select Your Game Difficulty

How difficult do you want to make this puzzle for students? It's up to you! If you make it too difficult, you may lose your student's attention! 

Step 4: Share Your Game

Share your puzzle with your students via a link! This is a great way to keep students engaged and excited as the school year comes to a close.  Click here to access my game! 

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

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Create a One-Pager

 I recently came across a really cool assessment strategy for students called the One Pager. This strategy is based on the Dual Coding Theory by Allan Paivio, which "assumes that there are two cognitive subsystems, one specialized for the representation and processing of nonverbal objects/events (i.e., imagery), and the other specialized for dealing with language," (, 2021). 

The One Pager Strategy

The One Pager is an excellent strategy for combing language with nonverbal objects and imagery. I've created the following infographic to help you design your own! As a side note, you might want to check out the COSTA level framework for questions. 

How do you create a One Pager? Whether you are using paper or a tool, like Jamboard, it is very simple and shouldn't take too long. Check out my video tutorial below: 

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Hack for Creating Jamboard Background Templates with Google Drawings

 Did you know that you can use Google Drawings to create background templates for Jamboard? This is a great hack for creating graphic organizers like T-Charts, Venn Diagrams, and Frayer Model templates. The best part is that it takes minutes, NOT hours! 

Check out my video below for how to do this! This is a game-changer!