Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Join me on Thursday for Fast & Fun Formative Assessments


On Thursday afternoon at 4pm Eastern Time I'm hosting a Practical Ed Tech webinar titled Fast & Fun Formative Assessments. I hosted this webinar last year, but a lot of things have changed for the better since then so I've updated it to better equip you for the 2018-19 school year.

Whether you teach elementary school, middle school, or high school, you will come away from this webinar with fun formative assessment activities that you can do tomorrow. Fun Formative Assessments addresses the needs of teachers who don’t have computers or tablets for every student. And teachers who do have laptops, Chromebooks, or tablets for every student will learn some new ways to have students use those too.

In the webinar you'll learn:
1. What makes a formative assessment valuable to you while also fun for students.
2. How to create fun formative assessments for classrooms that aren’t 1:1.
3. Why you should leverage students’ picture-taking habits for formative assessment.
4. Development of engaging formative assessment activities that use a variety of question formats.
5. How to include students in the creation of formative assessments.

Your registration includes:
Live webinar at 4pm EST on July 26th
Unlimited access to the webinar recording. (Available within 12 hours of webinar completion)
PD certificate

About this post: The sale of my professional development, webinars, online courses, and my on-site professional development services provides the funding to keep Free Technology for Teachers running. The resources that I feature in my online courses and webinars are free. However, there is a significant cost associated with creating, hosting, and managing the courses and webinars which is why I am not able to provide them for free.  

How to Annotate PDFs

Twice in this week, once on Facebook and once in email, I have been asked about how to annotate PDFs. In both instances my response was to take a look at using Kami to annotate PDFs. Kami is a browser-based service through which you can draw, highlight, and type on a PDF. You can share your PDFs in Kami and write notes in the margins for others to see and they can do the same. Watch my video that is embedded below to learn how to annotate PDFs by using Kami.

Disclosure: Kami is an advertiser on

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

A New Grammar Checker is Coming to Google Docs

Google Docs has had a spell check tool for years. The grammar check tool has always been a bit rudimentary. That is going to change in the next few months.

Earlier today Google announced that a new grammar suggestions tool is going to be added to Google Docs. The new grammar suggestions tool will automatically underline possible grammar mistakes. Google Docs users will be able to right-click on underlined grammar mistakes to see suggested corrections.

The new grammar suggestions tool in Google Docs will initially be available only to those who apply for the Early Adopter Program.

Loom is Introducing a Desktop Screencasting Tool

Loom is a screencast recording tool that I started to use earlier this year and have found to be excellent for making short videos directly from my inbox. This afternoon I received an email from Loom that announced their plans to introduce a desktop app this fall. There are not many details about it available right now, but as I shared on Facebook, if the desktop app is as good as the browser version of Loom, it will be a great product.

You can register for early access to Loom's desktop app right here. And if you haven't tried Loom, watch my video that is embedded below to see how you can create a screencast right from your inbox.

23 World Languages Lesson Plans That Incorporate Comics

Storyboard That is known for its excellent storyboard creation tool that can be used for many purposes including making comic strips, creating scripts, making greeting cards, and developing timelines. Storyboard That also offers detailed lesson plans that you can use for free.

The lesson plans in Storyboard That's collection of free lesson plans are written by teachers who actually use the product in their classrooms. One of the smaller, but growing sections of that collection is the World Languages section. In the World Languages section you will find seven lesson plans for French language classes and sixteen lesson plans for Spanish language classes. You can use the lesson plans and their corresponding storyboard templates as they are written or modify them to meet your students' needs.

Disclosure: Storyboard That is an advertiser on