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Saturday, October 21, 2017

The Week in Review - A New Addition

Good evening from Maine where we have had a busy few days welcoming our new daughter. Mother, baby, big sister, and dad are all doing well. Thanks to everyone who shared congratulatory messages on Instagram and Twitter over the last couple of days.

The blog has kept chugging along over the last couple of weeks thanks in large part to my good friend Beth Still who has been handling most of the day-to-day for the last ten days. Thanks Beth!

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. Virtual and Interactive Resources for Science Teachers
2. Five Gmail Extensions to Increase Productivity
3. Molecularium: Molecule Building Game
4. CheckMark Extension for Providing Feedback on Google Docs
5. 5-Day Teacher Challenge
6. How to Avoid a Common Google Calendar Mistake
7. QR Code Generators and Readers for Chromebooks

Coming up at the end of the month I am hosting a webinar about formative assessment. And in November I will have a handful of online professional development courses available. You can find all of my upcoming courses and recordings of past webinars here.

Please visit the official advertisers that help keep this blog going.
Practical Ed Tech is the brand through which I offer PD webinars.
Storyboard That is my go-to tool for creating storyboards.
SeeSaw is my favorite digital portfolio tool.
Metaverse enables anyone to create amazing things.
Kids Discover provides fantastic tools for helping kids discover new information. 
University of Maryland Baltimore County offers a great program on instructional design.
Discovery Education & Wilkes University offer online courses for earning Master's degrees in Instructional Media.
PrepFactory offers a great place for students to prepare for SAT and ACT tests.
Boise State University offers a 100% online program in educational technology.

Top Posts on Google Maps, MyMaps and Earth from Free Technology for Teachers

Google MapsGoogle Earth, and Google My Maps are three of my favorite tools to use in the classroom. They allow us to see the world from a completely different perspective and explore places that we might never see in real life. Here are some of the top posts about how to use these awesome tools that have appeared on this blog over the last couple of years.


Free PD for Teachers


All teachers love learning and there is nothing better than when we can learn for free! This is a collection of resources that will help quench you thirst for learning. Whether you prefer to read online, watch webinars, or listen to podcasts you are sure to find something on here that will fit your needs.

  • Classroom2.0 Live- This hour long show takes place each Saturday at 12pm EST. Every week a different educator shares their ideas or how they use different tools in their classrooms. The archives for all of the previous episodes are available and there are hundreds of them!
  • ISTE- While there is a fee to join ISTE, many of their resources are available free on their website. One of the most useful and important resources available on the site are their technology standards.
  • Collection of Podcasts- Edutopia compiled this list of podcasts for educators a couple of years ago. Another podcast that is popular with educators that was not included on the list is The Cult of Pedagogy.
  • ASCD Webinars- ASCD is another professional organization that shares lots of resources free of charge.
  • Edcamp- Edcamps happen all over the world and they are completely free! This is also a great way to meet amazing educators face to face.
  • Google Training Center- This free training center has all of the resources you need to learn about all things Google and get your Level I and Level 2 Google certification. 


Specialized Add-ons For Google Docs


Google Docs are already a wonderful tool to use in our classrooms. They allow us to work together and share our ideas with the world. But sometimes there are things that seem impossible to do in Google Docs. Before you give up and think that Docs just can't be used in your content area, check out some of these specialized add-ons.


  • Yob Graph Editor-  Allows you to plot data and insert the graph into a Google Doc. It provides plotting and regression functionality inside of the Doc which makes it easier to work with.
  • Easy Accents- Insert accents for different languages directly from the sidebar in a Google Doc.
  • VexTab Music Notation- Designed for writability. Easily add music notation, guitar tablature, and drum notation to your documents. Vex Tab tutorial
  • Auto-LaTeX Equations- Automatically convert mathematical equation in your doc into LaTeX images.
  • Chord Transposer- Transposes a document containing chords for guitar,  piano, etc.
  • Wizkids CAS- Use this add-on to plot graphs and solve equations.