If you are looking for something new for your online teaching, think about having students listen to some podcasts. Here are some from NPR that are good.
4/7/2020Here is a site that has multiple resources available to you. There are Grab and Go - Grab and Go instructional materials are curated, turnkey learning resources that can be used as a starting point or adapted to your context.Or you can seach the Hub for resources based on content areas. Check it out if you are searching for something to use now or later.
I will have some links for you later in the week for some good online engagement items.As I said last week, you are all rockstars. I have seen some of the cool things you are doing with your students. Just a few to point out, Vanessa Daley's Facebook Live Morning Meetings, very cool! Thank you Kathie Koball for showing me that.Bryn Anderson's videos that the kids are sending in of them playing their instruments, loved the Porter video where all the kids got involved.Stay strong and healthy! We will make it through this!
You are all rockstars! I have been so impressed with the way you are all embracing technology and how it can be used to connect with students during this trying time.Kudos to all of you!Remember if you need anything, let me know. I will respond to either my email or this one throughout this period of time.If you are done with your lesson plan for Level 3, please submit it using the form. You don't need to have documentation at this time.
Back to some basics!If you are using a Chromebook, you can use these tools to magnify your screen.
Increase the size of browser content
Press Ctrl + to increase or Ctrl - to decrease; Ctrl 0 to reset
This works on a regular computer...
Increase size of all items on the screen
Press Ctrl Shift + to increase and Ctrl Shift - to decreaseThis doesn't work on a regular computer.
3/10/2020A couple of the responses from the tech trainings indicated an interest in learning how to create QR Codes.Go to the website: https://www.qr-code-
generator.com/Enter the URL that you want a code for and it will automatically generate it. Then download it. A pop up will come up asking you to sign in to customize your code. You can ignore that.The image should be in your downloads.Here is a QR code I created for the Tech Resource page.Let me know if you have questions!
Everyone feels overwhelmed with the amount of information and tools available for using technology in the classroom. Where do you start? I feel that way most days when thinking about my own classroom. Here is an insightful look at how to help with that feeling.Matt Miller gives great advice about how to manage that overwhelming feeling. Remember, that you can't and don't have to do it all at once!
The following link has some great lesson ideas as well as Google Slides/PowerPoint themes specifically made for teachers. Check them out to see if there is something you can use!
Thank you for participating in our Technology Trainings on Friday the 14th. I sent a survey out on Friday and in case you didn't see it, here is a link.Reminder that when you are finished teaching the lesson you created for your level 3 expectations you will submit it with your documentation here. Please do not share it with me.
What's Going on in This Graph? is a resource from the New York Times that is good for Math teachers but can be used in any class.
Since I haven't done tech tips the last two weeks here are two in one!Gmail has two features that you may not realize are there or you do and you're not sure what to do with them.Nudges - These suggest emails that you may need to reply to or follow up on. These emails appear at the top of your inbox to remind you!Smart Reply - Smart reply shows suggested replies when available. This is the button at the bottom of an email that might say "Awesome, thanks!" or something like that. These can come in handy to quickly respond to someone.You can turn both of these off by going to settings and unchecking the Nudges boxes or shutting Smart Reply off.
To make sure you don't Reply All when you don't want to, you can set your default reply behavior to Reply. Then, if you want to reply all, you just click the three dots by the arrow to select Reply All.
In Google Docs, Slides, etc. you can use CTRL + Shift + . (That's a period.) to enlarge text to any size. Hold down CTRL + Shift and everytime you press the period it will increase the size.CTRL + Shift + , (comma) will decrease font.
1/7/2020You have been working so hard in Chrome, researching and creating. You accidentally close a tab that you need! ARGH.Ctrl+Shift+T brings back your last closed tab. Check it out, it's a great thing!
12/31Here's to a great 2020!See you in a couple of days!
12/24Hope you are having a great break!Relax, enjoy your family and friends and stop checking your emails everyday!
12/17Making our students "Future Ready" is something we have to do! With ever-changing technology, things are not always done the way we learned how. There are some things that have always worked and always will, but we have to be open-minded to reach today's students.Take a few minutes to read through this and think about how you are helping our students to be successful in the future.You will notice that they are not all technology-related because technology is a tool, not the education.
In regards to #2, yes there are lots of other ways to be productive, but businesses are not going away from Microsoft Office so that is still a valuable tool to know and use.Have a Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year and happy shoveling!!
You may have heard about Seesaw being used in the elementary. It's not just for elementary though, here are some ideas for using it K-12. We have some resident experts in the building. We will set up a training session in January.
Do you feel like your lesson planning is becoming stale and you do the same things over and over? Check out this blog post about creating wildly engaging lessons.
Having trouble deciding on a tool to use to move your lessons up on the SAMR model? Check out this graphic that shows different tools to use for different types of traditional assignments.
11/12This is an interesting and funny TED talk about procrastinating. If you have time (14 minutes) to watch it, do so. It makes you think at the end. I am a procrastinator and I'm trying to get better.
Tune - Chrome Web Extension link
With all the talk about SEL this year, here is an interesting extension for Chrome that can help you out!
Tune is a Chrome Extension that allows you to control the level of toxicity in the comments you view online for such sites as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, and more.
You simply turn the dial in the settings to adjust which comments you see, all the way from full comments to no comments in "Zen mode", and everything in between. Using AI, the extension hides comments that are more toxic than the level you set, but always with an option to click on the comment to see it if desired.
Looking for better design templates for your Google Slides? Slides Carnival is an option bug this blog post goes over several more websites with cool design templates.
10/18You can use the tool Wakelet to create student blogs. Give your students a voice!
Have you seen the Priority setting in Drive yet? You can set up a workspace and put files that you frequently use into it. That way you can find the REALLY important files quickly and easily. It's kind of like Starred but seems to be more organized. You can set up more than one workspace so for example, if you are coaching, working with PBIS and teaching, you could set up a workspace for each of them.
Need an idea for integrating technology for Level 3? Try having students create a ebook out of Google Slides. Everything you need to know is in this article.
If you are new to Google Classroom or an old pro, this article has some good tips and tricks for getting started and using Google Classroom.
Another great new feature in Google Mail. Schedule Send!Similar to Boomerang if you used that. You can choose a date and time to send an email. Click the arrow next to the send button and choose Schedule Send. Then you can choose the date and time to send your email.I'm using it to send out my weekly tech tips from now on!
Google Mail has been updating its features and Rachel McNally found a great new one!When you are creating an email that you want to remain confidential you can send it in confidential mode - click the button at the far end of the send menu. This marks the email as confidential in the subject line. This tells you it's confidential so that you don't open it in front of students.Try it out the next time you need to send a confidential email.Disclaimer: If you are opening a confidential email on an ipad or phone there are a couple of extra steps involved.
Here is a lesson from the Applied Digital Skills Curriculum on how to annotate text in Google Docs. It is geared towards Middle and High School students but It's possible that teachers might use it for their own purposes as well.
What is a Blind Kahoot?Watch this video to find out!
Organize your bookmarks on the bookmark bar by deleting the name and only using the icon (if the bookmark has one that is easily distinguishable.)To do this, right click on the bookmark on the bookmark bar and choose to edit the bookmark. Delete the name of the bookmark.
5/20Are you using Google Forms for Quizzes? Are you worried about students cheating on them? This article gives ways to prevent cheating on a Google Forms Quiz.
As I was researching a blog today one of the extensions that was talked about was the TooManyTabs extension for Chrome. If you have a lot of tabs open on your screen and can't see what they are, this extension gives you all of the tabs open in file folder format, you just click on the tab you want and it opens up the site. As of this picture, I have 14 tabs open and it is a lot easier to see them this way.
Kids are getting antsy with the end of school coming up.A Digital Gallery Walk is a good way to give peer feedback on an assignment and gets the kids moving.
4/22/19In the Mystery Animal game you get 20 questions to determine what kind of animal it is. You need a microphone to play the game. Try it out, it would be a good Science game.https://www.google.com/url?q=
https://mysteryanimal. withgoogle.com/&sa=D&ust= 1554743041885000&usg= AFQjCNEiKp8msJUxxYPaUccjmRioIm hkEw
4/15/19Check out this website, it has all the pictures from Life Magazine. You search by your subject and it comes up with multiple images.Make sure if you use these images anywhere, to cite your source correctly!
The SAMR ModelThe SAMR model shows the stages of integrating technology into your classroom. Take a look at it and estimate where you are on the model. As we go forward with integrating technology, we will use this as a guide for trainings.
Ways to Zoom Using Your Keyboard
Magnification: 4 convenient ways to zoom
Increase the size of browser content
Press Ctrl + to increase or Ctrl - to decrease; Ctrl 0 to reset
Increase size of all items on the screen
Press Ctrl Shift + to increase and Ctrl Shift - to decrease
Utilise magnification at the operating system level
Settings > Accessibility > Enable Screen Magnifier
To adjust, hold Ctrl and Alt and scroll 2 fingers on the trackpad
4. Docked Magnifier Settings > Accessibility > Docked Magnifier
Interactive Notebooks in Slides
Slides can be used for Interactive Notebooks with your students.Check out Matt Miller's blog post that has lots of templates to use!
Skip easily through a YouTube video with the number keys
There’s a good chance you’ll watch a YouTube video that has some content you don’t really need. The number keys on your laptop, computer or Chromebook can help you breeze through the video by skipping unnecessary content. Try it out …
- Open a YouTube video on a laptop, computer or Chromebook.
- Use the number keys to skip through a percentage of the video. (i.e. the “1” key skips to 10 percent through a video, the “5” key skips to 50 percent through a video, etc.)
- The zero “0” key restarts the video.
If you’re using a mobile device (smartphone, tablet, etc.), there’s a solution for you, too! Double-tapping the right side of the screen in the YouTube app skips forward 10 seconds. (Left skips back 10 seconds.)
Information taken from
Icon Boards can be helpful for students to understand information, demonstrate their knowledge of a subject and you could also use it as a page for links to different resources that they will need in class.Matt Miller from Ditch that Textbook has some great ways to use Slides for Icon Boards. Check them out!
2/18/19Here are some great ideas for using Google Tools in the primary grades. I like the one for Read Across America. Some of these could be used across the board K-12 but they are listed as primary grades.
1/28/19Have you ever made a Word Cloud for your classroom? Here is a link to a Google Doc add-on that will create Word Clouds from your Google Doc.https://chrome.google.com/
webstore/detail/word-cloud- generator/ alhnlhbhnklajhmccemipdbaifocep ab?utm_source=permalinkStay warm!
If you are using Google Classroom, you may have noticed that they updated the appearance of it. It kind of surprised me today!There are new designs, you can drag and drop topics and assignments on the Classwork page and you can easily see and share the class code. (Handy when kids are absent the first day or two!If you use it on your mobile device, you can also delete or edit posts by swiping left on the screen.
1/15/19Another good one from Eric Curts! Have you thought about integrating creating music into your classroom or how sound waves look visually on a spectrogram? Google Music Lab has a lot of different tools that allow you to connect your math and science lessons to music. There's even a Rhyming lab for English.Check out the link below to investigate some of these features.
Have a great week!
1/7/19I decided to change the day of the Weekly Tech tip for 2019.
In researching new tools to use, this one caught my attention. The information here is copied from Eric Curts Control Alt Achieve blog. He has a lot of good information and tools to use in the classroom. This is an add-on to Google Docs so you have to click on the link and then add it. As the website says, it is free for now but there is an offer for getting it free for life!Let me know if you use this tool and how it works for you!WriQ
Google Docs Add-on link
ee my blog post here.)Have a great week!
12/20/18I have been getting some questions about why you should consider becoming a Google Certified Educator. I found this infographic that sums it up.
I hope you all have a relaxing and fun Christmas break! Enjoy your family and friends this holiday season.
This website is one of many that I have found that have teacher templates for free. Most use Google Slides or Google Docs. Check them out to see if there is one that you can use or let me know what you're looking for and I will do my best to find you one!
12/5/18On the Google Classroom Android app there is an option to use a Student Selector. It allows you to randomly select a student from the list of students in your class.
11/29/18Have you tried a breakout game (similar to an escape room but with a box and locks. Mr. Blithe has one in his classroom.) Here is a link to a digital breakout template on Flippity.
My weekly tech tip for this week is to take one day over break to not use any technology! Shut off your phone or only answer the truly important texts/calls, don't go on social media, enjoy some time without constant interruption. Go outside (with blaze orange on) to get some fresh air or just veg on the couch with a good book (a paper copy!). Think about the things in your life you are thankful for.Have a great break and a Happy Thanksgiving!
11/8/18There are a couple cute Thanksgiving activities at this link. One is creating a turkey and writing about it. The other is to help the turkey hide from becoming turkey dinner.Check them out! They look like fun!
11/2/18Here is a tutorial on how to create comic strips in Google Slides. This would be a great way for students to show their learning in a different way.
Richard Byrne is a tech guru! He has a YouTube Playlist of a lot of Google Tools Tutorials. Check it out sometime when you need to know how to do something.
You can create Story Cubes for creating stories or as a game for a vocabulary review. The following link has templates and instructions for how to make your own Story Cubes.
Here are some fun activities to create with you students for Halloween. Creating a Halloween Rebus Story and Using Google Slides to draw a pumpkin and describe it.Maybe an upper elementary, MS or HS class could create a Rebus and share them with the lower elementary kids.
Google Voyager is a great place to teach different aspects of the earth in almost every subject area. Check it out at https://www.google.com/
9/20/18We have switched over to the new Gmail so your email may look different than it did before. If you haven't switched, you may want to soon.Some new features are that you can access Calendar, Google Keep and Tasks by clicking on the right side of the screen.You can also minimize the left side of the screen (like mine is in the picture below) by clicking on the three lines next to the Envelope.
9/13/18You can use Google Forms for an exit ticket in your classroom. This tech teacher created a slide to ask a question, then has a google form attached for the students to answer the question as well as give additional feedback. Click on the link below to get a copy of her slide and her Google Form. (Why reinvent the wheel!)
Here is your tech tip for the week:If you are presenting in PowerPoint and you want to bring everyone's attention to you instead of the slides, you can press the B key and it will black out your screen. Just press the B key again to bring it back up.I found this information at the following link. It talks about why you would use this feature and how it will make your presentations better.https://www.businessinsider.
com.au/10-reasons-youll- improve-your-next- presentation-by-using-the-b- key-2014-12This being said, it DOES NOT work in Google Slides. (I tried it. )
As always, if you need any assistance with technology, please let me know!
2017-184/17/18Let's force some spring cheer! The link below takes you to a spring poetry template and directions on how to use it. It utilizes Google Draw to create a magnetic type poem.This can be used at any level and any classroom!
com/2018/04/spring-poetry.html4/3/18There is an add-on for Google Slides that gives you access to 300,000 copyright free photos. To find it,
- Click the Add-on menu item in the top menu bar.
- Click Get Add-ons from the drop-down menu.
- This will open the Add-ons window.
- You can scroll through the available Add-ons, or narrow down the choices with the filter menu, or type in a search term.
If you need help with this, please let me know!3/27/18
Google Docs has made some changes and one of the changes is they separated the highlighter and text color tools.
Google Docs has made some changes and one of the changes is they separated the highlighter and text color tools.
I don't know if this is something that you use, but I use the highlighter all the time in rubrics so it is a great change to me!3/20/18Information copied from Control Alt Achieve Blog by Eric Curtshttp://www.controlaltachieve.
com/2017/01/video-dubbing. html?utm_source=email&utm_ medium=email&utm_campaign=dub_ videos
There are many creative ways video dubbing can be used by your students. Below are just a few ideas:
1/30/18I have been a bit lax on the tech tips lately, but here is one that is VERY helpful to me!In PowerTeacherPro you can copy assignments from one term to the next. I have provided a mini-tutorial for you if you are interested in doing this.1/2/18This is a good Digital Citizenship and Internet Safety piece. Well Worth the read and hopefully you can use some of it in your classes to remind students to be safe and responsible on the Internet.http://brittanywashburn.blogspot.com/2017/12/digital-citizenship-and-internet-safety.html?mc_cid=124fd9cdc2&mc_eid=d9f5ac7bd712/12/17Staying current with Technology. It's hard to keep up sometimes with the tech that is out there. This article has some good tips for how to get yourself on track.http://brittanywashburn.blogspot.com/2017/09/5-tips-for-staying-current-with.html?mc_cid=cde4a77e76&mc_eid=d9f5ac7bd712/12/17 - 2Another way to screenshot something on your computer is to use the Snipping Tool.The snipping tool can be found in Accessories (Click on the Microsoft (Start) button and find the Accessories folder). You can then use your mouse to select what you want to screenshot. You can save, copy and paste, or print the screen clipping.I keep my snipping tool on my taskbar because I use it a lot!11/28/17You can rearrange your icons in the Google Apps grid by dragging and dropping them in the order that you want them. Put the ones you use the most at the top so you can quickly access them!11/7/17New feature of Google SlidesGoogle Slides now has a diagram feature (works like SmartArt in Word) that has a number of options for creating Venn diagrams, hierarchies, and timelines.To use it, in Slides, click on Insert - Diagram and the dialog box for diagrams pops up.10/30/17Is your bookmarks bar filling up? Do you know how to access your bookmarks bar? The Bookmarks bar is located under the Omnibox (where you find the URL). If you don't have a Bookmarks Bar go to the three dots right below the exit button and click it. Hold your mouse over Bookmarks and make sure that Show Bookmarks Bar is selected (checked).
- Practice translation - Students can take a video in a foreign language and speak the dialog in their own language, or vice versa they can take a video in their native language and speak it in a language they are learning.
- Interpret a story - Students could act out a scene from a movie or show verbatim. This would give them the opportunity to act out the text to express their understanding of the story.
- Reinterpret a story - Or students could rewrite the original dialog in more modern language, or in simpler terms, or just in a new style. Again this would allow them to show their understanding of the purpose and themes of the original story. For example, they could write contemporary dialog for Hamlet.
- Tell a whole new story - Or students could be totally creative and make up a completely new story, replacing the original dialog with a new narrative that fits the actions being shown on screen.
- Create commentary - Finally students could make their own commentary track for a video. This could be them describing what is happening, or offering their critique, telling a historical backstory, or explaining a scientific concept that can be seen in the video
You can customize the sites on this bar so that you can have more icons on it. To do this, right click on an item on your Bookmarks Bar and choose Edit.You can delete the information in the Name to just show an icon or you can customize what it is called.10/23/17You can pin tabs in Chrome to automatically open websites that you frequent often.To do this, right click on an open tab and choose Pin Tab.
The tab will become smaller and move to the left. It will show the icon for the website and will open the next time you go to Chrome on that computer.10/6/17Google Earth Voyager is an extension of Google Earth and Google Cardboard. It gives you a live earth view combined with information about different topics. Click the link below and check out a few topics.https://earth.google.com/web/data=CgQSAggB9/25/17Google Drive has a new feature called Quick Access. It shows the latest files that you have worked on in case you want to open them again quickly.9/15/17I missed last week's tech tip so here are two!Tip #1 -- How to screenshot a webpage.If you need to screenshot (copy what is on your screen) a webpage, press the Print Screen button (located above the Insert key on your keyboard). You can then paste the image into an email, document, slide, sheet, etc. by using CTRL V.Tip #2 -- Refresher on finding important Docs in Drive.Remember that if there is a document that was shared with you that you know you will need later, you can star it. Then in Google Drive, just click on Starred and it will show up in that list. MUCH faster than searching!9/1/17Here are some great ways to use technology for a bell ringer in your classroom! Enjoy your weekend!8/21/17Do you use Google Keep? Google Keep is great for creating lists, taking notes, and staying organized. Check out this post from Google for ways that Keep can help you stay organized.https://www.blog.google/products/g-suite/8-tips-help-you-keep-google-keep/3/28/17Weekly Tech TipWhen you are scheduling a recurring meeting on Calendar, you can set it to end on a specific date. By doing this you won't have meetings scheduled when we aren't in school!3/17/17Weekly Tech Tip - Google ImagesAt the Google Summit this week, I learned a quick way to use a picture from Google Images in Slides, Docs, etc.Search for the image that you want to use. (Remember to model appropriate use by using the Usage Rights setting under Tools!)Click on the image to open it and then drag the image to the tab that you are placing it on. Remember to cite your source!Click on the attached video for a demonstration!3/3/17Weekly Tech Tip - App IssuesAfter School App - This an app that students can use to anonymously post things about anyone they want. Several adults in the building and community have recently received text messages from this app stating that "An anonymous [boy/girl] has chosen [the person's name] on the app." These are auto-generated messages so just delete the message if you receive one.The app is only available to students, you have to verify your age with a facebook account. I have talked with several students about the app and some use it, some don't. The little bit I saw was not very appropriate and some of the research that I did say that kids are bullied on the app.2/21/17Weekly Tech Tip - VideoHere is a short (11 min) video about how we need to be responsive, collaborative and innovative to connect with today's students. The presenter is from Australia so there are some references to Australian education but it is SO relevant for everyone!https://educationonair.withgoogle.com/live/2016-dec/watch/keynote-au/talk-6There are other videos as well, mostly from New Zealand and Australia presenters about how to better serve students.2/3/17Weekly Tech Tip - RSVP to Calendar InvitationsWhen you receive an email invitation there is usually an RSVP section at the bottom of the invitation. It is helpful to the person issuing the invitation if you take a few seconds to respond either Yes, No, or Maybe.The invitation automatically puts the event on your calendar and if you respond with no, you won't get a reminder and the event gets crossed off of your calendar.1/31/17Weekly Tech Tip - Free Lesson Plans and Resources on WiseLearnFind free lesson plans on the WiseLearn Resources page. You can search by subject, grade level, media types and collections.1/24/17Weekly Tech Tip - Citing Sources Using the Explore TabYou can now use the Explore tab in Google Docs to cite your sources. Look for the quotation mark in the Explore window and you can choose whether to cite in MLA, APA, or Chicago format.1/18/17Weekly Tech Tip - WTI useful linksThe Wisconsin Technology Initiative organization has a number of resources for using Interactive white boards (Smartboards). The link below will take you to their resources page.http://www.wisconsintechnologyinitiative.org/about-resources/useful-links/1/11/17Weekly Tech Tip - New Features in Google ClassroomThere are new features for Google Classroom including adding assignments for specific students for differentiating learning. Check out this link for more information on this and other new features.https://www.blog.google/topics/education/new-google-classroom-features-make-it-easier-learn-teach-manage-and-build/On a side note, a Library Media Specialist from Hudson is quoted in this article!1/6/17This week's Tech Tip is:To help organize your Google Drive, you can use colors to color code your folders. Click on the folder, choose the three vertical dots in the menu bar and click on Change color.12/16/16NEW GOOGLE SITES!!!Google has upgraded Sites and it is easier and more responsive to use. Right now there isn't a way to convert sites created in classic but from what I've heard, they are working on a way to convert them.If you are creating a new site in Google Sites, try out the new sites.11/30/16Tech tip for this week!If you receive a shared Google Document of any kind and you know you will need to access it later, the STAR can help you find it later. Just click on the STAR .Later when you need to find the document, go to Drive and click on the Starred section. Anything you star will be there and probably a lot easier to find.2015-165/10/16Smart QRCode Generator - This app allows you to turn just about anything into a QR Code that can be scanned by a smartphone. Make your parent newsletter a QR Code so that parents can access it from their phones. Make a QR Code link to your website for people to easily access it. There are so many more uses!5/4/16Google Classroom - They finally put in a scheduling feature so that you can plan out assignments ahead of time.Read more here.4/27/16This week's tip:I was wondering about the noise level of my 8th graders today so I did a search for a noise meter. This is pretty cool! I have attached the website I got it from, there is one on there for ipads as well as another type of noise meter."Bouncy Balls shows students the volume of the noise in your classroom by displaying a set of colorful bouncing balls. The higher the decibel level goes, the higher and more frequently the balls on the screen bounce. To use Bouncy Balls simply go to the website, click "begin bouncing," and then click the microphone icon to allow the site to access your computer's microphone."4/13/16Drive Word Cloud - Create your own word cloud from any text or Google Drive file to visualize word frequency.This app would be great for teachers and students to use on student assignments to determine if words are over-used in the document.4/5/16Skim It - Skim.it turns webpages into skim-readable summaries so you can quickly decide if you want read the whole thing. You do have to sign up for an account but it is free.3/29/16iChrome - This is an extension in Google. It lets you set up a home page for some of the apps available in Google. You can customize it to how you want it to look with themes, which apps you see on the first page, you can have multiple pages, etc. I included a screenshot of my iChrome setup so you can see what it looks like.If you are interested in learning about this, I can come to your classroom/office and help you get it set up.Reminder if you want help implementing technology into your curriculum or need to learn how to use tools, please contact me and set up a time.