Join student Google Classroom for more tech tips!


Did you know that students have their own tech tips page? I also maintain a Google Classroom page for them, and send out weekly tips they might like. If you want to receive these tips too, please feel free to  join their Classroom page! (Join code: 7xykjq3) The info is mostly different than what I share here. For example, below is a tip I sent them yesterday. Feel free to sign up!

This one goes out to the people who like pretty, shiny paper products. If you’re a visual person, here are two calendar options you may enjoy:

The first, Artful Agenda, looks like your typical whimsical planner, but it’s on your computer (or phone) and integrates with Google Drive. What I like about it are the to-do lists, the drag-and-drop feature for appointments or tasks, and (look, I’m baring my soul here) the stickers. It does cost money, and there are no plans to make it free for students, but I have a referral code? The web version works great, or there’s an iPhone app, too. (Android coming soon.)

The second, Palu, doesn’t have a lot of information available, but it’s a calendar app that allows you to type OR draw. I downloaded it in December, and use it to track things with just colorful symbols that I sketch with my non-artistic claws, but I really like it. (What am I tracking? DON’T WORRY ABOUT IT.) This one is free!



An app for keeping students off phones during class – that gives reward$!

og_imagePocket Points started as an app that encouraged college students to stay off their phones while on campus by offering incentives that grew in value the longer they stay phone-free. Now it’s available for anyone – and it even has an entire team devoted to helping teachers use the app in their classroom, where the incentives are either monetary or teacher-selected (free homework pass, etc.)  I downloaded the app and joined, but don’t have a class to test it out with this semester. If you’re interested in trying it out, please let me know! I can guide you (so far, then we’ll guide each other!).


How to add folders or documents that have been shared with you to your Google Drive


A lot of times, I create folders for my journalism students where they can submit miscellaneous documents that I don’t want to collect through Google Classroom. I share the folder with these students by providing a link to it, and they are able to access it when they click the link, but when I ask them to return to the folder a week later…they have no idea how they got there.

If someone shares a document or folder with you that you’re pretty sure you’re going to need to reference again, add it to your Google Drive! It won’t make you the owner, unless the person doing the sharing set the permissions that way, but it will make it accessible whenever you need it.

This quick handout tells you how!

A challenger to Quizlet Live!

downloadOne of the (many) new websites I learned about at ICE this week is a game created by a high school student called Gimkit. It’s very similar to Quizlet Live in that students compete on a leader board as they progress through the game, but it differs in that they can use strategies to place bets and earn rewards as they get answers correct. It’s kind of like the part of Jeopardy! where the contestants have to decide how much to wager on themselves (and I would lose all of my money if I were playing because that part is beyond me). But students will love the thrill of accumulating points by taking chances! The video below is from a Spanish teacher who takes you through both the teacher set up (very easy) and the student screen as he plays. If you’re giving it a try, please invite me in! Maybe someone can teach me how to bet!

Give a locked-browser quiz through Google forms without using Hapara!


If you’d like students to take a quiz in Google forms, but would like to remove any temptations they may have to click away, use the new setting that Google just rolled out. No need to get Hapara involved for this – it’s built right into the form creation! Read about it in this post from Teaching Forward.

Hook your class with a video


Teachers from all disciplines will probably find an engaging movie or TV show clip to spark interest in new lessons from ClassHook. I just learned more about symmetry than I did in high school geometry by watching their clip from “Isle of Dogs.” (Apologies to Mr. Callahan. It was me, not you.) Browse by grade level, content type, or playlist. Maybe it’s not 100% educational, but all the clips are current, short, and videos of any sort are definitely up your students’ alley.