Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Five More Gmail Extensions to Increase Productivity


Recently, I shared five extensions for Gmail that are designed to help boost productivity. There were too many to pack into one post, so here are five additional extensions to use with Gmail.

  • Right Inbox for Gmail- Schedule emails to be sent later and add reminders to follow up on emails. You can also schedule recurring emails and add private notes to emails. 
  • Mailtrack- Let's you know if the emails you have sent have been read or not. See how long ago they were read and how many times they were opened.
  • Snooze Email- Not ready to deal with a particular message? Set a custom time for it to reappear in your email.
  • Email Game- Checking email can be very boring and time consuming. This extension turns this mundane task into a fun game.
  • Newsletter Creator- Create visually appealing newsletters from inside of Gmail using templates. Drag and drop content until your newsletter is just the way you want it. 

Silly and Fun Halloween Tricks

Happy Halloween! This day is dedicated to tricks and treats. You probably have the treats covered, but what about the tricks? Today is a great opportunity to have some harmless fun with your students. These goofy tricks will have your students in stitches and they will appreciate your effort to have a little fun.
  • Mozilla X-Ray Goggles- Allows you to see the code on any website and alter text and pictures. The altered version can only be seen by you and this does not require any special skills. For Halloween you could alter a headline in your local paper to read something like "Local Teacher Kidnapped by Zombies" or something along those lines. This could lead to a discussion about digital citizenship and how tools like this should never be used to harm people.
  • Googlifier- This extension adds googley eyes to all photos on different websites. This works best on larger pictures and it takes a few seconds to load.
  • Catblock- Instead of blocking ads, it turns all of them into cat pictures.
  • OmNomNomify- This is too much fun! When you install the bookmarklet, you can turn images and videos on different websites into gifs that feature Cookie Monster. 



Monday, October 30, 2017

Getting Going With G Suite for Education

Last summer more than 100 people participated in my online course Getting Going With G Suite. Throughout the Fall I've fielded requests from folks who missed out on the summer course and would like to get into the next offering. I'm happy to announce that I have scheduled another offering of Getting Going With G Suite for Education. The next course will begin on November 30th at 7pm ET.

This course offers everything you need to know to take advantage of the great things that G Suite for Education offers to teachers and students. Getting Going With G Suite is a webinar series designed for teachers and administrators who are new to using G Suite for Education. This is a five week course covering everything you need to know to integrate Google Drive, Google Classroom, Google Calendar, and Google Sites into your practice.

Course highlights:

  • Streamline your workflow with Google Classroom.
  • Get control of your inbox with Gmail hacks.
  • Create self-paced, self-grading assessments in Google Forms.
  • Develop an classroom website with Google Sites.
  • Organize meetings with Google Calendar.
  • Keep track of bookmarks and notes with Google Keep.
  • Make beautiful presentations in Google Slides.
  • Create guided reading activities in Google Docs.
  • A Google Classroom for Q&A during the course.


Getting Going With G Suite costs $147. (Subscribers to the Practical Ed Tech newsletter receive a discount code to save $15).

Can't make to all of the live webinars? Don't worry, every live session is recorded and emailed to you the next day. And you can still participate in Q&A through the discussion forum.

A note about fees for webinars:
Whenever I advertise a Practical Ed Tech webinar I am asked why they aren't free. There are two reasons. One, hosting professional development events is one of the ways that I am able to keep the lights on at Free Technology for Teachers. Two, while all of the tools featured in my webinars are free to use, my time for teaching about them is not free.

Planboard for Lesson Planning



Planboard is a lesson planning app that is free for individual teachers. Create digital lesson plans and access them from anywhere. Use templates to build lessons that can include attachments, photos, and videos. Add individual standards to your lessons and track student progression for each class. Cutback on lesson planning time by reusing lessons from one semester to another or share lessons with colleagues. 

An additional planning tool to check out is the lesson plan tool for Google Docs.

How to Create a Digital Breakout Game

Breakout EDU has been a breakout hit in classrooms over the last couple of years. The success of the physical Breakout EDU games has spurred the creation of many digital versions built on everything from Google Forms to full-fledged online game environments. Metaverse recently published a tutorial on how to make your own digital breakout game on their free augmented reality platform. These are breakout games that you can build and your students can play on their mobile phones. Of course, your students can also build their own games on the Metaverse platform. Watch the tutorial below to learn how to build your own digital breakout game.


Disclosure: Metaverse is an advertiser on FreeTech4Teachers.com