Monday, August 29, 2022

Schoolytics - Quickly Find the Information You Need to Help Your Students Succeed

Disclosure: Schoolytics is currently an advertiser on 

Schoolytics is a service that I’ve heard a lot about over the last few months. If you’re active on social media, you’ve probably seen a post or two about it too. Last week I finally got a chance to take a good look at it. To say I wish I had tried it sooner is an understatement.

At its core Schoolytics is a tool that ties together all of your Google Classroom information in one convenient place. Instead of having to look at each class individually to see who has missing assignments and view assignments that are awaiting feedback, you can do that from one dashboard for all of your classes. Additionally, you can send notes to students directly from your Schoolytics dashboard where you see all of your students in one place rather than having to do that from each individual class. But consolidation of Google Classroom information isn’t all that Schoolytics is useful for.

Schoolytics does more than just let you see all of your Google Classroom information in one place. It also helps you analyze how all of your students are doing across all of your classes. For example, Schoolytics will provide you with charts to view trends about things like assignment completion, assignment timeliness, and grade distribution. You can drill down through those trends by using Schoolytics tools like equity reports to find even more information about your students and the types of assignments that you are giving to them.

My Favorite Schoolytics Feature!
After I initially created my Schoolytics account and viewed my teacher dashboard I noticed a little prompt that included a little celebration emoji. The prompt read, “Send high fives to students!” I found that prompt intriguing and had to investigate it a bit. What I discovered was that “send high fives to students” is a little tool that you can use to send kudos to your students when they have reached an assignment completion goal that you have set for them. The default goal is an 85% on-time completion rate for assignments over the last 30 days.

You can set the standard for “high fives” in your Schoolytics account. If you want to make the high five interval shorter, say 15 days instead of 30, you can do that. If you want to make the on-time completion goal higher or lower than the default 85% goal, you can do that as well.

Sending high fives isn’t limited to just assignment completion goals. You can set goals based on points (scores) average for assignments and set goals for total assignments completed instead of completion percentages.

You can send high fives to your students privately or post them as announcements in your Google Classroom stream. I like the idea of posting the high fives as announcements as it’s a nice way to celebrate your students’ progress. At the same time, I understand that some students (or their parents) might not be comfortable with that and would prefer a private high five message. It’s great that Schoolytics provides you with an easy way to do both from one place.

Watch my short video that is embedded below to see how the high five feature works.

Identify and Catch Up With Disengaged Students
Disengaged Students is one of the many reports that Schoolytics will automatically generate for you. This report shows you at a glance the students in all of your classes that haven’t completed any assignments in a given range of dates. The default range is thirty days, but you can have Schoolytics generate a report for any range of dates from as short as seven days to as long as a whole school year. Once you’ve identified disengaged students, you can send them notes and reminders directly from your Schoolytics dashboard.

Schoolytics offers two convenient ways to remind students about missing assignments. You can first identify a student who has missing assignments and send them a reminder of all of their assignments (watch this video for a demo). Alternatively, you can run a Missing Assignments Report and email all students at once to remind them of the assignments they missed.
Speaking of contacting students, Schoolytics includes a student log where you can record notes about things like contact you have made with parents, notes from meetings, and any other information that is pertinent to helping your student succeed in school. Here’s a short demonstration of how to use the student log in Schoolytics.

Customize, Save, and Share Reports
As I mentioned above, the Schoolytics dashboard has a good selection of default report types that you can generate. All of those reports can be saved in your Google Drive and or downloaded as PDFs and CSV files that you can print. Having printed copies of those reports could be helpful in meetings with students, parents, guidance counselors, and administrators.

In addition to the standard report types offered by Schoolytics, you can also generate progress reports on any interval of your choosing for individual students, for whole classes, and for your entire student roster across all of your classes. You’ll find the progress reports option in your Schoolytics Toolkit.

The Schoolytics Toolkit has some other helpful features including a random group generator, a manual group creation tool, assignment creation tools, and assignment reuse options.

Learn More, Join a Free Workshop!
I’ve only scratched the surface of the many ways that Schoolytics could be helpful to you throughout the school year. The best way to see all of the potential for Schoolytics is to give it a try for yourself. It’s completely free for individual teachers to use. Schoolytics also offers free online workshops every week where you can learn the latest tips and tricks from their team of in-house experts. Sign up here!

Webinar Tomorrow! - A Framework for Technology Integration

Are you new to the role of tech coach or tech integrator this fall? If so, I have an eBook and webinar for you!

Tomorrow at 3pm ET I'm hosting A Framework for Technology Integration. Anyone who purchases a copy of my eBook 50 Tech Tuesday Tips between now and midnight (Eastern Time) tonight will get a link to join the webinar. And if you previously purchased a copy and want to join this webinar, just send me a note and I'll register you. 

In A Framework for Technology Integration I'll share my framework for helping teachers use technology in meaningful ways in their classrooms. I'll also provide some examples of how I've done it in the past and how you can replicate them in your school. 

About the eBook:

50 Tech Tuesday Tips was curated from more than 400 editions of The Practical Ed Tech Newsletter 50 Tech Tuesday Tips provides you with ideas for lots of helpful things that you can teach to your colleagues and to students. Throughout the eBook you'll find tutorials and handouts that you can pass along in your school. 

Some of the many things you'll find in 50 Tech Tuesday Tips include:

  • What to do when a web app isn't working as you expect.
  • Building your own search engine.
  • How to create green screen videos.
  • Improving instructional videos. 
  • Streamlining email management.
  • Creating educational games. 
  • DIY app creation.
  • Podcasting tips for teachers and students. 

Get your copy of 50 Tech Tuesday Tips right here!

No, this ebook isn't free but the tools that feature within it is free to use. Creating something like this takes many, many hours but reading it can save you many, many hours. Purchases of 50 Tech Tuesday Tips make it possible for me to create other free resources like The Practical Ed Tech Handbook that I update and give away to thousands of teachers every year.

Sunday, August 28, 2022

Two Alternatives to Kami for Annotating PDFs

Last week a reader emailed me to ask about some alternatives to Kami for annotating PDFs. She didn't ask because she didn't like Kami. She asked because her school was cutting back on what they would spend for software licensing. I gave her two suggestions which you might also consider if you find yourself looking for an alternative to Kami for annotating PDFs. 

Annotate PDFs in OneNote
OneNote has lots of neat features built into it. One of those neat features is a tool for annotating PDFs. In this short video I demonstrate how you can do that.

Annotate PDFs with Lumin PDF
Lumin PDF is a Chrome extension that enables students to draw on top of PDFs that you open in Chrome. After drawing on the PDF students can save the PDF as a new copy or replace the existing copy of the PDF that was sent to them in Google Classroom. Here's my video overview of how students can use Lumin PDF to write on PDFs that are assigned to them in Google Classroom.

Why Do We Get Dizzy? - Another Question from My Daughters

We're going to Storyland today for the sixth or seventh time this summer (it's one of our favorite family activities). My daughters love to go on a ride called the Turtle Twirl. I don't love it because it makes me quite dizzy and feel a bit of nausea. I've seen many other parents gingerly walk away from the ride. The last time we went to Storyland one of my daughters asked, "why do people get dizzy?" 

If you have children who are also wondering what makes people feel dizzy, SciShow Kids and PBS Kids for Parents have some good explanations to watch. The SciShow Kids explanation is suitable for a K-3 audience. The PBS Kids for Parents video is better suited to an audience of fourth grade through high school.

On a related note, TED-Ed offers a lesson on the mystery of motion sickness. The mystery for me is why do I experience it now (in my forties) but I didn't experience it when I was younger?

Saturday, August 27, 2022

Reading, Searching, and Fixing - The Week in Review

Good morning from Maine where the sun is shining on what should be a nice and sunny weekend after a few days of much-needed rain. We're going to have a little backyard camping adventure this evening. Tomorrow, we plan to have a fun day at Storyland! I hope that you also have some fun things planned for your weekend. 

This week I hosted a free webinar titled Get to Know Your Students With Tract. If you missed it, you can watch the recording here. Next week I'm hosting another webinar titled a Framework for Technology Integration. You can learn more about that webinar here

These were the week's most popular posts:
1. Ten Popular Back-to-School Tutorials for Teachers
2. Worldle Daily - A Street View Game
3. DIY Tech Fixes for Teachers
4. Two Resources to Help Make Virtual & Hybrid Learning More Equitable & Effective
5. Readlee Adds Support for More Languages
6. Searching is a Thinking Skill
7. Read Write Think Animal Inquiry

I'll Come You!
If you'd like me to come to your school or conference, please send me an email at richardbyrne (at) or fill out the form on this page

50 Tech Tuesday Tips!
50 Tech Tuesday Tips is an eBook that I created with busy tech coaches, tech integrators, and media specialists in mind. In it you'll find 50 ideas and tutorials that you can use as the basis of your own short PD sessions. Get a copy today!

Other Places to Follow Me:
  • The Practical Ed Tech Newsletter comes out every Sunday evening/ Monday morning. It features my favorite tip of the week and the week's most popular posts from Free Technology for Teachers.
  • My YouTube channel has more than 42,000 subscribers watching my short tutorial videos on a wide array of educational technology tools. 
  • I've been Tweeting as @rmbyrne for fifteen years. 
  • The Free Technology for Teachers Facebook page features new and old posts from this blog throughout the week. 
  • If you're curious about my life outside of education, you can follow me on Instagram or Strava.
This post originally appeared on If you see it elsewhere, it has been used without permission. Featured image captured by Richard Byrne.

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