Crash Course on Using Mentimeter to Engage Students

 There are so many cool educational technology tools to choose from! Mentimeter is quickly becoming one of my favorites because I can quickly engage large audiences with various free tools and features, such as quizzes, word cloud generators, rating scales, etc.

If you are just learning Mentimeter, the free version will give you all of the bells and whistles you need to create a great presentation! When you are ready to take it a step further, there are various paid options to choose from. 

The following video will show you how to use the free version of Mentimeter! 

Quickly Summarize and Increase Accessibility with Smmry and Lexend

Reading comprehension can be difficult for students of all ages. Smmry is a tool that can be used to support students who may need a simplified summary to support their learning. It can also be used to make the research process more efficient. 

How Does It Work? 

Smmry reduces the text to the most important sentences by looking for keywords and phrases, then removing unnecessary transition phrases, clauses, and examples. How does it work? 

First, install the Bookmark widget on Chrome or visit the Smmry website.

Next, paste your content in the text box, upload a file, or paste the URL of an article into Smmry. You can choose how many sentences you would like to summarize the text. Smmry uses 7 sentences by default; however, you can change this number. 

Finally, choose "Summary" when you are ready, and Smmry will automatically summarize your article. 


I love how I can use Smmry to provide students with additional support for reading a text. I like to provide students with access to the main article and an audio version of the article; however, there are some things I could do to make this even more accessible to my students. 

First, I could copy and paste the text into a Google Doc. Then I could change the font to Lexend Font, which is a great font for reducing barriers and increasing access to the text. 

Next, I could add hyperlinks to key words and terms that students may or may not understand. 

Finally, I could add a YouTube video to provide a visual example for students who may struggle with understanding the background and context of World War 2. Did you know that you can paste a YouTube link and press tab to automatically create a Smart Chip? This is a great way of helping students identify your video link. 

Map Skills Made Easy with MapPuzzle

Cartography, or the ability to identify specific states, countries, and regions on a map, is an important part of learning; however, many of our students struggle with this important skill. There are a variety of reasons for this. One of the most common learning barriers is that student differ in how they comprehend and perceive information. In other words, they need options for representing material in a way that works best for them.

Remember When You Were In School? 

How did you learn to identify the location of specific states and countries on a map when you were in school? If you were like me, your teacher probably handed out a worksheet and colored pencils and asked you annotate and color each land portion. 

This one-size-fits-all solution may have worked for my classmates, but I struggled with this particular strategy. For some reason, it did not "click" like my teacher had anticipated. I prefer more hands-on learning opportunities; however, that was not part of the curriculum. 


I recently came across a simple tool called MapPuzzle, which would have been a helpful tool for learning about the different states and countries we discussed in history class. This drag-and-drop tool provides a digital option for students to master their cartography skills inside and outside of class. 

Why do I like this tool? 

  • MapPuzzle is accessible to students of all abilities. What if a student cannot access paper and pencil? MapPuzzle provides an electronic option without having to recreate the wheel. Its drag-and-drop interface makes it easy to use on tablets, Chromebooks, laptops, and other devices. 

  • It provides scaffolds and supports to help aid students with identifying specific regions. For example, each state, province, or country is listed and contains a corresponding shape to help students identify the land portion. This visual prompt may be helpful for some students, while others may not need it at all. 
  • MapPuzzle has different maps students can use to learn about the world around them. 

  • It takes a gamified approach to learning! MapPuzzle keeps track of the amount of time it takes for a student to solve a puzzle, which is a great tangible way of measuring growth and progress.  


Providing Multiple Means of Representation is an essential part of creating an accessible learning experience, as we help students understand "what" something is. The more options we can provide students with using different mediums and resources, the more successful we can help them be! 

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