One of my favorite web-based tools for the classroom is EDpuzzle.   When you think about watching a video clip in the classroom, you probably picture something like this:  The teacher starts the video, but occasionally pauses to ask comprehension questions, to make sure students are paying attention, and to draw attention to important points.  Either that, or there is a worksheet full of questions from the video.  The worksheet has the advantage of holding everyone accountable, but loses the laser-pointer effect of the teacher pausing and drawing attention to things as they come up. EDpuzzle moves the video to individual student devices, and embeds questionsRead More →

Today’s Chrome Extension of the Day is a simple but powerful organizational tool, OneTab.  OneTab is for all of us who are extreme multitaskers, and have so many tabs open in our browser that we can’t even see what they are any more.  The icon looks like a funnel, which is appropriate for what it does, which is to move all of your open tabs into a single tab that lists all of your other tabs.  Wow, that was wordy.  Just check out the before and after pics below. (Before)   (After)   Now you can see exactly what each tab is.  Mine happens toRead More →

As promised late last week, here is the first installment of the Chrome Extension of the Day.  First up is Screencastify- “Simple Screen Video Recorder”.  As a reminder, a chrome extension is a mini-program that runs through the Chrome browser, usually from a third-party (not made by Google). Screencasting, if you don’t know, means recording what is on your computer screen.  Various screencasting tools come with various features, including whether or not they can record audio from a microphone, or the computer’s system audio, and whether they can record just a single tab, or the entire desktop.  Screencastify has all of these options.  It evenRead More →

I’m starting a new series today- the Chrome Extension of the Day. So, just what is a chrome extension? According to, and they sound like they would know, “Extensions are small software programs that can modify and enhance the functionality of the Chrome browser.”  So they are like programs that are attached to your Chrome Browser (not the device).  You find them in the Chrome Store and choose which ones you want to add to your Chrome Browser.  That way, no matter what device you are on, if you log into your Chrome Browser, all your extensions are automatically available to you.  These areRead More →

OK , so I’ve already written about Padlet once, and this is only my seventh post, but I have to write about Padlet again already.  Because they just brought a whole lot of FRESH to Padlet.  I noticed last week when I was introducing Padlet to some teachers that they added some new formatting, but apparently that was just the tip of the iceberg. If you’re not already familiar with this incredibly versatile, free online tool, check out my post from May 10, 2017.  This “update” increases the choices of basic formats from 3 to 5, and also adds 9 templates to choose from.  (ThinkRead More →

The other tool that teachers in our district have traditionally used to move entire PowerPoint-based lessons to, is SMART Notebook.  This is deliberately near the end of this series because it is an installed software that goes with the SMART brand interactive whiteboards (although there is a lot you can do with the software without the board.)  Moving a PowerPoint to SMART Notebook is a lot like moving it to Nearpod, except that you have a whole different set of interactive elements to add to it.  My co-teachers tended to create entire lesson presentations in SMART Notebook to present whole group.  I tended to focusRead More →

A tool similar to Symbaloo Lesson Plans is TES Blendspace, which was, as the name implies, originally created for blended learning environments, but is totally applicable to any classroom with access to web-enabled devices.  I recently took a PowerPoint that contained all of the content for a 3 ½ hour session of a grad course I teach and moved it into Blendspace.  Essentially, I chunked the PowerPoint. As students progressed through the Blendspace, they would see a few slides from the PowerPoint in the first box, then a video in another box, some more slides, then a weblink, then a document, then a Padlet toRead More →

There was a time when a teacher who was on the cutting edge of technology was creating all of their lessons on Powerpoint.  While those days are long gone, they may also be returning.  But more about that later.  There are a number of tools available to teachers today that can incorporate an entire lesson.  Some even have the flexibility to allow for either the teacher or the student to determine the pacing of the delivery.  All of the tools in this series have various interactive features to take the static, teacher-centered Powerpoint and turn it into an engaging, student-centered learning experience. Both Microsoft PowerpointRead More →

This is an overview of the features and tools available to teachers and students from these two rich resources.  I recorded this back in January. Google Cultural Institute and the Smithsonian Learning Lab Both sites include an incredible variety of millions of curated images from museums around the world (in GCI) and all of the Smithsonian’s member institutes (including the National Zoo!)  Read More →

Microsoft is admittedly playing catch-up to Google in K-12 education, but they are creating some dramatic offerings for leveling the playing field, particularly for students with reading difficulties and ELLs.  Microsoft Learning Tools, originally a part of MS One Note, and now largely available within MS Word (Office 365) as the “Immersive Reader” view, has some terrific features for readers.  As you can see in the video, you have choices for text and background colors, and can adjust not only font but also spacing between words.  The text-to-speech engine works well, and offers decent voices, and adjustable reading rates, all while highlighting each word asRead More →