What Motivates Students???

What motivates a student to create? Is it the topics or amount of pages assigned? What if the student wasn’t provided with writing objectives but instead shown how to create a digital flip book? Could this be a motivator in itself for creating the best written book?

Many moons ago I was the student who became motivated by the way an assignment was delivered. If it appeared like the focus was upon creating a design project to share with my classmates it caught my interest. Especially when told the projects would be used to help my peers learn about a topic I selected from the teacher’s list.

As an artist projects based upon design were very appealing to me. As a young student if creation appeared to be an important factor I went above and beyond to produce the best possible outcome. It seemed natural to start with research and learning as much as possible about a topic before designing.  I have observed even in today’s times when students are provided with a creative challenge they tend to “Step Up to the Plate”.

One thing to keep in mind the “Creative Challenge” must be fairly easy to achieve or this too may deter the student from success.  If technology is used pick out programs, APPS and devices familiar to the students. I understand sometimes a project may lean towards introducing new digital tools. If this is the case introduce the tools to the students and let them explore before setting them free to create the project.  The bottomline is to support students with becoming a “Motivated Learner.” Till this day I’m still a “Motivated Learner” one of the many desired skills in support of student’s futures.

Creating a Digital Interactive Math Notebook Using Google Slides

The creation of Interactive Notebooks has become a very popular tool amongst educators. Students are sharing their ability to think independently and creatively while making study tools overflowing with academic information.

Originally the purpose of an interactive notebook was to support students with organizing and understanding the content being presented in a classroom. In a sense creating an interactive notebook is a new way of taking notes for a variety of content areas.

Being a “Tech Nerd” I took the idea of creating an Interactive Notebook to the digital level. This allowed for a group activity to create an interactive digital notebook which could be shared on a website, blog or sent via a link in an Email. Thus making the interactive notebook readily available for any student with an internet connection to practice various skills within a content area.


The above digital interactive notebook was created by using Google Slides. Google slides is a flexible digital tool for creating interactive for supporting lessons. It is also a great tool for unlocking both the critical and creative thinking skills of students in all grade levels.

Back to School Lesson Ideas and Resources Thanks to My Education PLN

My PLN is becoming one of my best resources when it comes to integrating technology. It is amazing how much I’m learning due to a global connection with educators from around the world. Thanks to André J. Spang @Tastenspieler I discovered this  back to school globally shared Google Doc resource, “BACK TO SCHOOL LIKE A PIRATE”.  It is amazing how many trending Ed Tech Ideas are under my fingertips in the time it takes to drink one cup of coffee!

NOTE: PLN is an acronym for Personal Learning Network.  Some of the popular social networks used to establish a PLN are Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest. Once a PLN is created and tweaked it becomes a tool which works for providing resources to the educator. This saves a lot of lost time from searching the web for the newest trends, resources, Ed Tech Templates, worksheets, websites and etc…

Hyperdoc Story Creator Using Google Docs!

Can you believe I never knew digital education interactives were called Hyperdocs? Apparently a Hyperdoc is the official name of a digital interactive created by using Google APPS for Education. So what is a Hyperdoc? A Hyperdoc is a Google Doc which contains information and directions delivered by using data objects. The data objects are presented by hyperlinks to context outside of the Google Doc. This provides the student with independent time to explore a new topic. Here is an example of a “Story Creator” Hyperdoc.


Why use a Hyperdoc in the classroom?

  1. Supports the students with independently following directions.
  2. Saves time by limiting the amount of times a teacher as to repeat questions.
  3. Can provide opportunities of exploration as students learn a topic.
  4. Provides the quiet student with a voice.
  5. Differentiates activity so all students can participate.
  6. Teachers have the opportunity to synchronously check student’s work and make sure they’re following guidelines.
  7. Teachers can access the revision history to help evaluate the content.
  8. Provides extra opportunities for supporting the struggling student.
  9. Creates opportunities  for guiding the excelled student towards more challenging material.
  10. Collects assessment data instantly.

How do you check the revision history?

  • Click Revision History

Revision history 1

  • A window pane opens with the revision History on the righthand side of document

Revision History 2-2

  • Click on more detailed revisions

Revision History 3

  • A more detailed list of revisions will open

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  • Using Google Drawing to Create an Interactive Graphic Organizer
  • Tutorial for Creating the Story Creator Hyperdoc

Create a Photomontage with Google Drawing

Creating a Photomontage is an activity which can be used in so many different ways. I created this Photomontage to be used as an introduction to a Social Studies digital interactive activity. Teachers can use a photomontage to assess students prior knowledge of a subject or just for a conversation starter. The teacher shows the photomontage to the class and asks if there is anything anyone would like to share about the pictures. Students can comment about anything they observe in the photomontage. Conversation starters like this photomontage tend to alleviate tension when learning and sharing new information.


Students can create photomontages to share what they know about a content area. This can be used as an individual or group project. One benefit of a photomontage project is it provides an opportunity for students with lower reading and writing ability to participate.

This is how I used Google Drawing to create the Photomontage: