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!


Screen Shot 2015-12-27 at 12.26.27 PM

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.”