Wednesday, April 12, 2017


While searching for engaging ways to integrate technology with her students, Tara Martin (@TaraMartinEDU) created #BookSnaps. Tara's idea was to use a platform her students were already familiar with to share about stories they were reading. Now, #BookSnaps have developed into so much more!

BookSnaps are fun for learners of all ages and can be used with a variety of apps. Our team recommends the following apps:

*iPad apps: Draw and Tell HD, PicCollageKids, Doceri, Shadow Puppet, ChatterPixKids, Seesaw

*Chromebooks/Laptops: Google Docs, Google Slides, Google Draw

For more information on How To create a #BookSnap, view Tara's blog post here.

Students can use #BookSnaps to identify words, make connections, describe vocabulary terms, locate topics in Grammar, identify and describe story elements, share their thinking with connections from the text, and more!

Students use #BookSnaps to
 identify vocabulary words.

Students use #BookSnaps
 identify topics in Grammar.

Students use #BookSnaps to
identify and explain story elements.

Students use #BookSnaps to tell the main idea
plus connect to other content area skills.
Students use #BookSnaps to
 identify connections to the story.

Students use #BookSnaps
 to define vocabulary.
Students use #BookSnaps
to define vocabulary.

Students can share important information or describe their work using #BookSnaps. These can provide a snapshot into the minds and hearts of our students. #BookSnaps can be used for Student Voice.
Students use #BookSnaps for Student Voice.

Provide clear expectations for #BookSnaps in your classroom. Invite students to create guidelines and rubrics for effective use of #BookSnaps in the classroom.
Provide clear expectations for #BookSnaps.
Provide opportunities for students use
their creativity when making #BookSnaps.
#BookSnaps have cousins, such as #SpanishSnaps, #MathSnaps, #LabSnaps, and such.
Students can practice language
acquisition with #SpanishSnaps.
Students can identify vocabulary
or explain their learning with #MathSnaps.

Teachers can collect #BookSnaps on a class Padlet for students to view and comment:
Create a Padlet or table in Google Docs
 to hold a collection of #BookSnaps for students.
Teachers can collect #BookSnaps on a class Google Slides and students can compare and discover a variety of thoughts and opinions from their peers:
To use Google Slides for each student to insert their #BookSnaps, make a copy of this:

To use Google Slides for the class to add a Book Snap on each slide, make a copy of this:

To use Google Slides for the class to add a Math Snaps on each slide, make a copy of this:

How can your students use #BookSnaps or other snaps to share their learning?

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Adobe Spark

Adobe Spark ( is a web app that allows students to Create a Video,  Page, or Post.  You (teacher) can login using your Google Account.  If your students are under the age of 13, the teacher will need to create one account for all students to use.  More information can be found in the Adobe Spark Edu. Guide.   Check out Claudio Zavala Jr's list of ideas for using Adobe Spark!  Thanks Kerissa Bearce for sharing!

  • To begin, select the Plus Sign. (Or select the 3 Horizontal lines on the left side of the screen. )
  • Select Create a Video, Page or Post.

  • If students are not sure where to begin, they can select a Category located at the bottom of the page.

  • For this Blog Post, I selected Create a Video.
  • I selected the Tell What Happened template or you can Start from Scratch!
  • Adobe will give some quick tips to help students get started. (1 min. video)
  • Students will now see the layout with options for creating their Video.  
  • They can add Video, Photos, Text, and create recordings. Themes, Music, and Layouts can also be decided. 
  • When ready to Share, click the Share icon at the top of the page.

  • Students can change their Title, add a Subtitle, and turn off the Author's name so it will be hidden. 
  • More options allow students to add credits to any photos they used (their personal photos and those they used from the internet).
  • Adobe Spark Branding can only be turned off with a paid account.
  • Get Noticed will allow students project to be found in a search engine and maybe shown on the Adobe Spark website. (I would recommend students select Off to keep their project unlisted.)
  • Students can also Download their video by selecting Download underneath the image. (It saves as an mp4 file.)
  • Select Create Unlisted Link. 
  • It may take a few minutes for the video to render and your link to appear.

  • Now you can copy the link and turn in through Google Classroom (if this was an assignment). 
  • Or you can select Embed, copy the code and add to your ePortfolio!

  • Students can also make changes to their video. When Share is selected, they will be able to update their link.

Note: When students select Create a Video, they will have to upload from their hard drive (Chromebook users can insert video files from Google Drive. iPad users can upload from Camera Roll).  
Adobe Spark recommends using video files with the extension: .mov, .mp4 or m4v.  
If the video is on their Google Drive, they can download to their computer then upload to Adobe Spark.  I know this seems like too many steps.  I sent feedback to AS asking them to allow adding video from Google Drive.  
But for now, you can upload (video, photos) when creating a video, search Find Photos (creative commons) or Google Photos to add to your creation. Students should always cite their sources!

Friday, March 31, 2017

Stop-Motion Animation

There are so many fantastic ways to incorporate technology into instruction that, sometimes, there are highly useful resources that we might have overlooked. One of these technological gems is stop-motion animation.  If you haven't yet used this tool, you owe it to yourself and your students to try it out. Stop-motion animation apps have been available for over five years. And the use of animation is easier than ever. Many apps are free and can be easily used by your students on their smartphones or tablets.

Heart Cycle animated GIF by students using StopMotion App. 

These kinds of apps allow students to use the cameras on their smartphones or tablets to quickly create short animated films or GIF files. Below are some examples of projects that have incorporated stop animation. 
  • There are many projects in language arts and in social studies where stop-motion animation would be an engaging way for groups of students to tell a story or re-enact a historical event. (Here is an example of students animating a children's book.) 
  • Stop-motion can also be used in math as a formative assessment (elementary example and high school example), where students work collaboratively to produce products that show their mastery over specific math concepts. 
  • Science teachers make frequent use of models in order to help students understand phenomena. The use of technology to animate such models adds a dynamic dimension that can really help students understand the complexity of the system and the sequence of events. (Protein synthesis example and body systems example and teacher lesson example

Google Keep

Recently, Google announced the integration of Google Keep with Docs. Google Keep has become a favorite for notetaking or quick "sticky" notes of things to remember.  Google Keep is available

Google Keep has many functions. You can read about them at Some of my favorite features are the ability to leave myself audio notes while on the go and to color code my notes. I'm all about color coding, so my notes match the same color organization that I use for labels in my Gmail and folders in my Google Drive.

A feature that I am committed to learn more about and utilize to make it a habit is the Reminders feature. With Reminders, you can set a location-based reminder. Is there something you need to do as soon as you get to campus? Set a reminder and when you arrive at the campus, you will receive a reminder. Do you have a to-do list that you need to accomplish? Set a time-based reminder to make sure you never miss a thing.

Sign up here to receive an email with an incredible Google Keep Cheat Sheet!

With the integration of Google Docs, it only takes two clicks to move things from your notes to a Doc. 

There are many ways for teachers and students to use Google Keep. Here are a few blog posts that can give you ideas!

How do you use Google Keep? What are some new ways you can use it in your classroom?  Comment below!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Video in Google Slides

In February, Google announced an improved feature in Slides. Previously, you could only insert video into Slides if it were a YouTube link. With the new update, users can now link videos saved in their Google Drive, as well as by searching YouTube and inserting a YouTube URL. As educators, the ability to save the time involved in loading all of your personal videos to YouTube is a benefit. However, I think there is an even greater benefit for our students creating presentations with video content. Some student-created videos simply do not belong on YouTube due to FERPA, parent permission, or other reasons. The ability to add video from Google Drive allows the students to set the video view rights to protect their privacy.

Once you select Google Drive from the Insert video field, you will see all videos in your Drive, including videos you may have in your Google Photo account (for more information on the greatness of Google Photos, see Kerissa Bearce's Google Photos blog post).

Not only do you have the ability to add your videos, but you can also set the videos to play only the specific parts of the video you would like your audience to see.  Once your video is inserted, right click and select "Video Options".

From this menu, you can select a start and end time. You can also decide if you want the video to begin playing automatically when the slide opens or whether you would like the audio to be muted when it plays. These features are available for YouTube and Google Drive videos. 

The autoplay features make it easy to set a timer on any of your slides to help facilitate classroom discussions or allow students to see how long they have for the task on the slide.  The below video shows how to do this with a few simple clicks!

How will you use the new video feature?  We would love to have your share in the comments! Now go create inspiring video content for your students' viewing pleasure!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Slides Carnival

SlidesCarnival is a pretty simple concept, but something I wanted to make sure you knew about. It's a website full of free Google Slides templates (or PowerPoint) for you to use for your presentations! If you're tired of what those platforms offer in terms of themes, this is a great way to find a few other professional looking choices. Once you're on the site, scroll to the bottom and click "View all."


You'll see several pages of templates to choose from. After clicking one, you have the following option: 

If you choose Google Slides theme, it'll open in a View Only copy. Click File>Make a copy to put a copy in your own Google Drive. You can then input your content in the templates it provides you and Poof! New themes for your presentations. This would be great for your classroom presentations or for students to have a few new options as well. I like that it sets things up in a very professional and clear manner, so that I don't even need to be good at Graphic Design for it to look fancy! Hope you enjoy.

Friday, February 17, 2017

3D Printing Where to begin.

Most campuses have a 3D printer, either in the Learning Commons area (Library), or in a Technology Education
classroom. 3D printing is exciting and students want to design and print, quickly.  We need to help them realize that not all "creations" need, nor can, be printed.  Glenhope Elementary has come up with a great process for students who would like to print a 3D object/creation.  Students must submit a persuasive letter explaining why they would like to use the 3D printer.   More information can be found at: http://gatorzread.weebly .com/3d-printing-ideas.html
Thank you Terri Freyou, Glenhope Elementary Librarian, for letting me share with everyone!!

Safety precautions/instructions for printing. 
Depending on the type of 3D printer you have, you may want to have a sign/poster indicating safety precautions and/or instructions for printing. A few examples may be:
1. Never print without teacher/librarian permission
2. Make sure that object/creation fits within the constraints of the machine.
3. Do not touch print nozzle, etc.
1. Link to the website if you have instructions students must follow to have permission to print. (as mentioned above, Glenhope Elementary.)
2. Indicate the object/creation size restrictions for your 3D printer.
3. Who/where to send completed TinkerCad file.
4. Timeframe for object to be completed/printed.

What software should my students use? is probably the most popular for younger students.  (Students under the age of 13 can use TinkerCad, but they must use a code from the teacher to do so.  The code will allow the teacher to view all their creations and students do not have to enter an email address to sign up. Click here for more information.)
AutoDesk 123D is another free 3D creation site that may be more suited for older students.

Lesson Ideas for beginners.
SeeMeCNC launched a 3D printing curriculum (this article is from 2014) which does have slide presentations, videos, and lesson plans to help introduce 3D printing.  One example is a Print Reading Exercise.  Students are also asked questions about the specifications of the object.  After completion, they can then create the object in TinkerCad.  (Maybe the top design can be printed.)This is just an example.  Their curriculum is geared towards a specific 3D printer so some of the information may not apply.  But it does help generate ideas for lessons.  Let students have an opportunity to just play with TinkerCad.  You will be amazed at their creations!

Created using TinkerCad!
Other sites to visit:

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Jumble by Kahoot

Kahoot has been around for a while and is an engaging tool for formative assessments in the classroom. Kahoot recently added a new feature called Jumble. Rather than selecting the correct answer, participants must sequence answers in a correct order! This requires higher level thinking skills for students to sequence events, numbers, words, and more.

When playing a Kahoot Jumble, participants are given a question with four choices.  Here are some sample questions I created:

(Play Equation Builder to see more math examples. Many of these examples require a deep understanding of the concepts in order to solve!)

Once the question is displayed, participants must place answer tiles in the correct order by dragging the answer choice onto a grid.

Want to see what a Jumble is all about? Play a sample game here.

Are you ready to create your own Jumble? Learn more here.

You can search for Jumbles created by others by searching your topic and narrowing your results to Jumble.

This blog post 4 Ways Kahoot!’s Jumble Game will Benefit your Class details one teacher's experience with Jumble.

Have fun creating great questions to challenge your students' thinking!

Saturday, January 28, 2017

PhotoScan by Google

Last week, Kerissa Bearce wrote a post on Google Photos. You can read the initial post here

 Google recently released a new app to make the Google Photo experience even better.  The app is PhotoScan by Google and it allows you to move your print images to the digital world!  Using the app, you simply snap a picture of your picture, rotate your phone following the onscreen prompts and your photos are automatically cropped, rotated, and color corrected.  Photos can be saved to your camera roll or sync to your Google Photo account (and if you aren't using Google Photos, then you may be missing out a photo storage solution that changes the way you interact with your photo memories).  PhotoScan is both an Android and iOS app.  You can read more about this app here.

If you would like a quick tutorial video, I've created a quick screencast to show you how to use this scanning tool .

This app would be a great way to capture high-quality scans of students work to add to their Google Drive to include in their e-portfolio.

Happy scanning!


Sunday, January 22, 2017

Draw & Tell HD

Draw and Tell HD is a powerful app for students PreK-4th grade. This app promotes creativity while providing a platform for students to share and document their learning.

Students can draw and tell using stickers, text, and drawings to express their thoughts on a variety of backgrounds or an image from the camera roll. The product saves in Draw & Tell, but can save to the camera roll and Google Drive as well.
Students can choose stickers,
patterns, paint, pencil or crayon.
Students select a background

Ideas for using Draw and Tell HD in the classroom:

*Students will take a picture of their work (paper or digital) and record a verbal reflection to save on Google Drive for student ePortfolios.

*Students will color a picture to use as a story starter for writing.
Students can draw and tell about community helpers.
*Students will take a picture of a special event or project, then record a verbal reflection.

*Students will record ideas from a thinking map when planning a story. Students can listen to the verbal reflection to support the writing process and promote language acquisition.

*Students will design a picture using stickers to create a story problem in math.

*Students will draw a picture to show learning of a specific topic or skill.
Students can app smash using Number Pieces,
combine images using PicCollageKids,
then upload to Draw and Tell HD to explain.
*Students will take a picture of text and record the read aloud to practice and document fluency.

How do your students use Draw and Tell HD to amplify their learning?

**Check out other apps from Duck Duck Moose for learning tools in your classroom.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...