Video Response Options

video responses (1).png

Image | Posted on by | Leave a comment

2 New Features in Google Slides

Google Slides are super easy to navigate and versatile in how they can be used!  If you are looking for ideas on how to use slides to really get at the “M” and “R” levels of the SAMR model, check out this great blog post by Matt Miller, 10 Google Slides activities to add awesome to classes.

Two new features were recently pushed out to Google Slides and we got access to them today:

What makes these features great?

Inserting Diagrams to Slides

How do you insert a diagram on a slide?

  • When on a slide, go to: Insert > Diagram
  • A side panel will open, from which you can select a diagram to include on a slide.

Templates include hierarchy, timeline, process, relationship, and cycle.

Why would you or students want to do this?

Visuals provide access to information in a way that text does not.  Many learners benefit form seeing and sharing complex processes visually.  The provided templates are easy to modify so user time is spent developing content, not drawing or importing shapes to create diagrams.

Add content from Google Keep Notes to Slides

How do you add Google Keep Notes to a slide?

  • When on a slide, go to: Tools > Keep Notepad.
  • A side panel will open, displaying all of your Keep notes.
  • Click on the three dots at the top right of a given note to add note contents to a slide.

Why would you or students want to do this?

Often times users get wrapped up in choosing design elements when creating slide presentations at the expense of content.  Teachers can have students take notes for presentations in Keep, where the focus is on note taking, and then easily transfer them to slides for the final phase of a presentation project.

The features within notes:

  • share for collaboration
  • color code for organization
  • add checklists for items
  • include images
  • add drawings (though these don’t import to slides)

make notes a great place to store information that can seamlessly be pulled into various presentations quickly.

Google continues to enhance their GSuite tools, providing a wealth of opportunities for teachers and students to create, share, and engage with meaningful content that supports student learning.

Posted in Google Drive, productivity, technology integration | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Create Easy Stop Motion Animations

I came across the Chrome app Stop Motion Animator this week and I had to share!  This simple to use app allows students to create stop motion animations.

What is stop animation?

Stop motion  is an animation technique that physically manipulates an object so that it appears to move on its own. The object is moved in small increments between individually photographed frames, creating the illusion of movement when the series of frames is played as a fast sequence.”  ~Source

Think Coraline and BoxTrolls movies.  Here is my first try . . .


I used my coffee mug, but drawings, people, any objects (existing or created) can be used to create a stop motion animation.  This combined with the simple and intuitive interface of the app, started the wheels turning in my mind as to how this could be used in classrooms!

  • scientific cycles or processes
  • graphs
  • before-during-after of a product
  • reenactments
  • timelines

Students can create a stop-motion animation as a way to demonstrate understanding of a concept, term, or process and submit the resulting video (to which they can add narration!) as an assignment, to a discussion board, or embed it in a Google Slide . . . endless possibilities!

Here is a great tutorial:


Posted in technology integration | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Google Comments Tip

I learned something new this week!  I love using Comments in GSuite apps when collaborating with others.  Did you know you can tag others in a comment so they receive an email notification that a comment has been made?

Here is how:

  1. In your Google Doc, Sheet or Slide, start a comment – highlight what you wish to comment on and  (I love keyboard shortcuts!) press CTRL + ALT + M.
  2. Type a “+” then the name of the person you want to tag.  When his/her name pops up, click on it.  You can tag multiple people in a comment.
  3. Type your comment, clicking Comment when done.
  4. The tagged individual(s) will receive an email alerting him/her/them that a comment directed towards him/her/them has been made.

This great feature enhances the workflow on documents/sheets/slides on which you are collaborating with students or colleagues.  Happy tagging!

Posted in Google Drive, productivity | Tagged , | Leave a comment


I have been spending some time this year exploring openly licensed educational resources (OER).  I know our state is participating in the #GoOpen Initiative and given our school’s 1:1 environment and everyone’s access to an LMS, it seems like OER is something I should learn more about.

It appears, in the highly technical information age in which we live, learn and work, that OER would help teachers access and use current materials, better differentiate materials and learning opportunities for the students with whom they work, and focus on finding and using materials that support learning objectives without within the parameters of  copyright and fair use.  On the student side, it seems that students would have equitable access to quality materials no matter where they attend schools, engagement with more materials of a digital and interactive nature from which to learn, and greater choice in materials to select from for learning resources.

I have been exploring repositories and testing some integration of materials with our LMS.  OER CommonsCK-12, and Curriki are three that have proven to have great collections of resources for high school. I’ve started following some organizations and folks on Twitter to enhance my understanding of OER in the K-12 classrooms:  @oeconsortium@OERdigest@andycinek@Mrskmpeters. I’ve just started to scratch the surface and solidify my understanding on OER and the impact on teaching and learning.

I’m curious to learn more about resources that exist and how best to find and curate them, about how resources can seamlessly integrate with our LMS, how various resources align with our curriculum and how to best introduce OER to my colleagues.  I am truly excited to be on this learning journey!


Posted in technology integration | Tagged | Leave a comment

Two more reasons to love Google Docs


As if Google Docs wasn’t already fabulous, I learned about an extension and a feature enhancement this week that make me love Google Docs even more!


Draftback, described as “the archaeology of great writing,”  is a Chrome extension that, once installed, allows you to watch the revision history of a Google Doc play back as a movie!  How cool is this?!?  It is like being able to look over the shoulder of the author and watch his/her writing process.  This can be enormously informative when looking at student work, as well as a means of virtually modeling the writing process for your students.  Along with watching the writing evolve, users can access document data and statistics to see a timeline of activity, note where in the document changes have been made, and view a table of writing sessions indicating the length of each session and number of revisions a contributor has made.

Want to learn more?  Check out this brief tutorial.

Ready to try it out?  Get the extension here.

Google Voice for Formatting & Editing

Enhancements have been made to the Voice Typing feature in Google Docs.  Not only can you dictate your document, now you can format and edit text with voice commands as well!

Check out this list of voice commands that includes everything from copying and pasting to changing font color to inserting tables to navigating a document.  Voice Commands are great for busy students and teachers, providing opportunities for on the fly authoring, as well as removing access barriers for students with poor keyboarding skills and motor challenges.

Learn more by watching this demo video:

voice command.PNG

Google Docs keeps getting better and better, providing an efficient and enhanced workflow.


Posted in Chromebooks, Google Drive, productivity | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

It’s no puzzle, EdPuzzle is the missing piece for sharing video content with students


Do you show videos in your classroom?  Do you assign the watching of videos as homework?  Have you been yearning for a way to check for each student’s understanding/impressions throughout these videos?  Then I have just the tool for you!


EdPuzzle lets you take any video (even one you have created – a screencast for example) and:

  • crop it so you get just the segment you want,
  • add your own narration to the entire clip &/or audio comments throughout the clip,
  • add text notes at any point during the clip, and
  • add questions throughout the clip (true/false, multiple choice & short answer) that students must answer to continue watching the clip.


Watch this Intro Video to learn more, or  check out some examples.

How do you get started?

  • Create a free account.
  • Add a class.
  • Invite students by providing a link specific to your class and asking them to sign up with their MPSD Google accounts.
  • Create video lessons for your class.
  • Grab a link or embed code & add the video lesson to a module or page in Canvas.

Once students have engaged with the video lesson, log into EdPuzzle to check progress and get data – see who watched/didn’t watch, identify how did individual students responded to questions, and view response statistics by question.

Posted in technology integration, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Whiteboard Collaboration in a 1:1 Classroom

Do you wish you had more whiteboard space in your classroom?  Do you like having students add ideas and work to the whiteboards as part of your lessons?  Do you feel as though having students come to the board takes time and only engages those at the board?  If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you will want to check out

Webwhiteboard is an  easy to use virtual whiteboard that has great potential in a 1:1 classroom.

No accounts are necessary and a whiteboard can be created in 2 clicks!  Once you create your whiteboard, share the link with students and start collaborating!

Everyone who has access to the board can contribute using a few simple tools:

  • Sticky notes
  • Text boxes
  • Markers/crayons
  • Eraser


Brainstorm, plan, analyze and organize as a whole class or in small groups.  The possibilities are endless!

Boards can be revisited by following the shared URL or kept via an email message or image download.

Happy Collaborating!

Posted in technology integration | Tagged , | Leave a comment

1:1 Tip of the Week

Did you know that Google Docs has a feature that allows you to convert speech-to-text (think Siri)?   Using the Chrome Browser on a computer/laptop with a microphone (Yogas & Chromebooks), you can:

  • Open a new Google Document
  • Click on Tools.
  • Select Voice Typing
  • A microphone appears in the margin – click on it and start talking!
  • Your words appear on the page. You can say “period” to punctuate a sentence and “new line” to jump to a new line.
  • Click on the microphone to turn the feature off.

This feature can be a huge time saver for you, and a great way to get reluctant writers started on a document!

Here is a brief video tutorial showing how the tool works:

Posted in Chromebooks, Google Drive, productivity, technology integration | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Summer Tech List

Summer break is just around the corner!  I am a  list person, each summer I create a  summer reading list for myself.  I think it dates back to the summer reading programs I participated in at the local library while growing up!  My criteria is pretty flexible, though I try to include one completely mindless novel and one book that will somehow stretch my thinking professionally.  Last summer I met neither of those criteria, reading all historical fiction.  If you are looking for a couple of good ones, I recommend The Kitchen House and The Other Boleyn Girl.  I haven’t settled on anything for this summer, so if you have any recommendations, I’m looking for a few good books!

The other thing I have been inspired to do is try a new technology each summer.  I think other people do this stuff year round, but in the world of an educator, the summer seems to be the time that the world slows down a little to really engage in some personal learning. So, if you are looking to add to your lists and want to create a Summer Tech Lists, here are some things you might consider:

  • read a book on a Kindle, Nook or iPad … I enjoy sitting down with a paper book, but I have to say I enjoy reading digital books with options to change the screen background, font size and access a glossary.
  • explore Pinterest or Twitter  – You can spend hours finding ideas for projects and interests, school and personal!
  • try a new app – Waze might be a good one if you are on the road traveling and Animoto is a great way to create short videos with text, images & music.
  • Get in the Cloud – experiment with Google Drive – it is a great way to backup files and access your files from anywhere, anytime!
  • check out a new technology – Chromebooks can be signed out for the summer in the Library.
  • start a is easy to use!
  • try using a social bookmarking tool like diigo – save your bookmark to the web so they are available anytime, anyplace and can be annotated!

Book List, Tech List, No List . . . I hope you have a great summer!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment