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!
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