Good Reads to “Ring Out the Old Year”

During 2015 my collection of Ed Tech Books expanded.  There are so many good reads out there by colleagues in the education field. I can’t help but share a few of my favorites to “Ring Out the Old Year!” It will certainly be tough to top this list in 2016!!! However I can’t wait to see what awesomeness these educators share in the New Year!

Happy New Year to all the GREAT EDUCATORS in this WORLD!!!

My Favorite 2015 Ed Tech Books

connected educators

Authors: Todd Whitaker, Jeffrey Zoul and Jimmy Casas

This book is about using social media to enhance a teachers professional develop as well as the learning experience  in the classroom.


Author: Matt Miller

This book presents the idea of “Ditching the textbook” and relying upon the use of technology and innovative ideas for teaching.



Authors: Alice Keeler and Libbi Miller, Ed. D

This book provides teachers with  50 effective and efficient ways to integrate Google Classroom.


Look, Listen and Answer a Question…

Google APPS for Education (GAfE)  has unlocked many different ways I can apply technology to support students. Here is a prompt I made to help students participate in an inclusion classroom. When a Google Slide is used to deliver directions to a student it limits singling them out as different.  Experience has taught me when an adult hoovers over a student in a classroom community members generally notice.

The small size of a Smartphone makes it easy to slip a Google Slide Prompt onto a desk corner. It is amazing how fast a student will respond to the prompt. I find it beneficial when creating a prompt to include graphics the student identifies with. In this example the graphic is a cat. I like using animated graphics when possible. It seems to captivate the students attention.

When I used this prompt the student immediately responded. Thank you Google for all the great tools you have included in GAfE.

Ten Reasons for Integrating Old Smartphones

IPhone4SiPhone4.pngCC BY-SA 3.0 Zach.vega1

Are you puzzled by this title? Thinking why would a school want old Smartphones? There are many ways a school or teacher can use these devices for supporting academics. Oddly enough one doesn’t generally see requests for old Smartphones.  Would you like to know how to integrate a Smartphone in classrooms to benefit student learning?

Ten Reasons for Integrating Old Smartphones

    1. A research tool which doesn’t take up much desktop space
      1. Use with Google Search
      2. Use the dictionary
      3. Quick Thesaurus
      4. Provides a Calculator
    2. Use Google Slides to isolate step by step directions
    3. Provide extra visuals supports for students
    4. Use as a response device to collect “Poll Like Answers”
      1. Use with Google Forms
      2. Use with Answer Garden
      3. Use with Survey Monkey
      4. Use with Polls Anywhere
    5. Use as assessment tool
      1. Use with Ed Puzzle
      2. Use with Quizlet
      3. Use with Spelling City
    6. Share differentiated articles for students
      1. Students fit into the classroom
        1. Only they know what they’re reading
          1. NewsELA
    7. Provides auditory  support for the lower reader
    8. Students can use graphic organizer APPS
      1. Such as:
        1. MIND MASH
    9. Provides Math Practice APPS
      1. Such as:
        1. Rocket Math
        2. Math Game Brain Trainer
    10. Take your students on a virtual reality tour
      1. Using Google Cardboard
        1. Supports Authentic learning experience
          1. Use Google Expeditions


Give Students a Google Docs Exit Ticket Easy

Exploring different ways to integrate Google Doc for an “Intro to Google Doc” presentation guided me to creating this “Exit Ticket”.  Immediately I fell in love with the idea! The Google Doc lends itself as an easy to use support for all learning styles. Students simply click on the cell and type! If the student would like they can use “Voice Typing” to create their entry!

This is the sample of the Google Doc Exit Ticket:

Please feel free to copy and use!


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Build Yourself Wild!

Today I stumbled upon the “Build Yourself Wild” website! After creating the wild version of myself the creative potentials of this site hit me. Why not have students design the “Wild Hybrid Version of Themselves” and then write a story about their transformation. This is a perfect fun idea for engaging students with becoming creative writers.



  • Choose body
  • Choose from the different body parts and background
  • When finished click “I’m Done”
  • Save your wild self to the desktop
  • Insert the “Build Yourself Wild” image file into a Google Doc or Google Slide

Students will write a story using the “Build Yourself Wild” image as their inspiration. This visual will support the student with writing details about character and setting. Their “Wild Self” may also inspire an adventurous story. Unlock the student’s imagination by letting them create their “Wild Self.”


Using In the Classroom

The last day before winter break a student shared how they were manipulating photos with Microsoft Paint. My response, “There is a FREE On-line Website which works similar to Photoshop.” I shared the Pixlr website ink with the student.  This site comes in handy when I’m at  school where Adobe Photoshop isn’t  installed on my district supplied laptop. I use the Pixlr site to manipulate pictures or create original clipart. Following is a list of ideas to integrate Pixlr Editor into the classroom.

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Ways to Use the Pixlr Editor In the Classroom

  1. Clipart
  2. Google Slide Backgrounds
  3. Buttons for websites
  4. Header for blogs and teacher websites
  5. Creating Timelines
  6. Make Graphic Organizers
  7. Math equations
  8. Create Mimes
  9. Avatar creator
  10. Comic strips bubbles
  11. Fancy Title graphics
  12. Create motivational quotes with a graphic background
  13. Create custom icons
  14. Create characters for a story
  15. Math Equation Cards to be used with IWB (Interactive whiteboards)



2015 Ends Shedding a Light Upon 2016 #EDTech Pathway!

Twas the morning of Christmas Eve with a cup of java in my hand enjoying a breakfast conversation. My husband sat with a smile on his face as I reflected upon the last day of school before “Winter Break”.  A day filled with subliminal messages reminding me why supporting  Ed Tech Integration is important.

Yesterday started with a colleague who gifted me with a Chocolate Computer Treat! It was to thank me for helping them with implementing Ed Tech to support their classroom ventures.  This was followed by a student who was excited about the passing grade on a test they just received back! The student thanked me for sharing my Google Drive Folder of notes to support their studies. Then in the evening while relaxing after dinner I received an email thank you from another student. The message thanked me for the electronic book I shared with them. I smiled when reading, “Thanks I read some of it #LOVEIT”. Who could ask for better gifts to start off their “Winter Holiday Break”?

The treasurable moments from the “Day Before Winter Break” reminded me why it is important to continue supporting the integration of ED Tech! I’m grateful for this day and the opportunity to continue sharing technology support with both my students and colleagues. Can’t wait to see and share the collaborative Ed Tech Supports 2016 has to unfold!