Saturday, June 10, 2017

Six Hours of Professional Development for $25

During the school year we tend to think to ourselves, “I’ll do some professional development during the summer.” Then the summer arrives and we find our schedules a little more busy than we expected. That’s when on-demand professional development is handy.

I offer six on-demand professional development webinars. You can download them and watch them when it is convenient for you. Some people watch in chunks while others will watch all at once. Either way, the choice is yours.

For two more days all of my on-demand professional development webinars are available in one bundle for just $25. That’s six hours of PD that you can get at your leisure. This offer is valid until midnight on June 11th (Eastern Time).

The webinars included in this package are:

  • Search Strategies Students Need to Know
  • Fun Formative Assessments
  • Google Forms & Sheets for Beginners
  • Quick & Powerful Video Projects
  • Winning Blog Strategies
  • YouTube, It’s Not Just Cats & Khan Academy

This discounted bundle of professional development webinars is available until midnight (EDT) on June 11th. Click here to purchase today.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Six Types of Classroom Video Projects - And 18 Video Creation Tools

The process of creating and publishing videos can be a great way to get students excited about researching, storytelling, and sharing their work with an audience. For teachers who have never facilitated video creation projects in their classrooms, choosing the right style of video and the right tools can be a bit confusing at first. To help bring clarity to the styles and tools, I have a rather simple outline that I use in my video creation workshops. That outline with suggested tools for creating videos in each style is included in the PDF embedded below. You can download the PDF here.

(The PDF is hosted on If your school blocks Box, you won't be able to see the embedded file).

Practical Ed Tech Live - Episode #8

Yesterday was a sunny day in Maine so I went outside to broadcast Practical Ed Tech Live. The background noise was a little louder than I expected so this morning I spent some time cleaning up the audio. The recording of the broadcast is now available to view on my YouTube channel or as embedded below.

Here are the questions that I answered in the video:

  • Can you do a comparison of Google Keep and Diigo?
  • I’m in search of a website for creation of shape poetry and word clouds. Do you have any suggestions?
  • Can you download entire folders from Google Drive?
  • What is the software that you use for your instructional videos in YouTube?
  • I’m going to be a tech coach next year. I’ve been following you for years and that’s where I get a lot of ideas to share. How do you keep up and keep track of what’s new? How do you decide what’s worth sharing with other teachers?

How to Forward Your G Suite Email to a Personal Gmail Account

Now that the summer break is here for those in the northern hemisphere, hopefully you will have a bit less email in your school account. But if you want to keep up with the few emails that you do get during the summer, you can do so without having to log into your school G Suite account. In the following video I demonstrate how to forward your G Suite email to a personal Gmail account.

One thing to bear in mind is that if you reply from the personal Gmail inbox to which you forwarded your email, the recipient will see the email coming from that address rather than your G Suite address.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

5 Neat Things You Can Do With Google Sheets

Once you get the hang of working with Google Sheets there are a lot of great ways to use spreadsheets as a teacher or as a student. Here's a run-down of some of my favorite things to do with Google Sheets in the classroom.

Map spreadsheet data:
One of the overlooked and or misunderstood features of Google My Maps is the option to import spreadsheet data. Provided that your spreadsheet contains at least one column that has location information in it, you can have the data in the spreadsheet displayed as placemarks on a map. In the video embedded below I provide a demonstration of how this can be done.

StoryMap JS is a nice tool for creating mapped stories. On StoryMap JS you create slides that are matched to locations on your map. Each slide in your story can include images or videos along with text. As you scroll through your story there are simple transitions between each slide. StoryMap JS integrates with your Google Drive account. To get started with StoryMap JS you have to grant it access to your Google Drive account. StoryMap JS will create a folder in your Google Drive account where all of your storymap projects will be saved. With StoryMap JS connected to your Google Drive account you will be able to pull images from your Google Drive account to use in your StoryMap JS projects.

Create multimedia timelines from a spreadsheet:
Timeline JS creates a timeline based on entries made in a Google Spreadsheets template provide by Timeline JS. Your entries can include links to videos, images, and maps. I made a video on how to use Timeline JS. That video is embedded below.

Guided/ Automatic Data Visualizations:
The Explore function in Google Sheets will help students see and understand data sets in new ways. Now when students open a Google Sheet they will have the option to click the Explore function to have a set of suggested graphs and charts based on the data in the Sheet they're viewing. The Explore function is found in the bottom, right corner of the Google Sheet you're viewing. The Explore function won't work in every spreadsheet. It is dependent on the spreadsheet having data like locations, currencies, or demographics. See how it works in the video embedded below.

Grade students' assignments:
Flubaroo is a popular Google Sheets Add-on that enables me to grade all at once all of my students' responses to a quiz created in Google Forms. The autograde option in Flubaroo allows you to have students automatically receive their scores after submitting their responses to a quiz you created in Google Forms. The autograde feature will send students an email with their scores and the answer key (you can exclude the answer key). With autograding enabled students do not have to wait for you to run the grading process or wait for you to send emails.

Online Rubric is a Google Spreadsheets Add-on that enables to you create rubrics, enter scores, and email scores to students all from one place. Online Rubric provides very clear instructions for each step of the processes of creating a roster sheet, creating a rubric, and emailing grades to students. The video below provides a demonstration of how to use the Online Rubric Add-on.

Email reminders:
Add Reminders is a Google Sheets Add-on that will set-up your spreadsheet so that you simply enter reminder messages and email addresses then specify a date on which you want your reminders sent. The Add Reminders Add-on allows you to send the same reminder to everyone in your email list or you can send individualized reminders to everyone in your email list. Watch the video below to learn how to use the Add Reminders Add-on.