Don’t steal photos. Don’t let your students steal photos.


What do I mean by “stealing photos”?

  • Taking an image from the Internet that isn’t labeled “fair use.”
  • Using a fair use photo without citing it.

It’s not difficult to use online images responsibly, it just means adjusting the way you do things. There’s a page on the #ChromebookPirate website about how to use photos, music, and video without stealing, and there’s one on the student Chromebook Handbook as well.

If we’re not modeling ethical behavior, we can’t expect it of our students.

If you have any questions, or if you’d like for me to come in to your classes to show students how to search and cite fair use photos, please let me know!

But for starters, Photos for Class offers a simple fair use search feature and does the citation right on the photo for you!

Why Use Google Maps?

It may seem like an app for history classes only, but there are endless uses for Google Maps in the classroom. Settings for a novel? Estimating the circumference of famous landmarks? Calculating distances?  Viewing places in the Bible? The best thing about Google Maps is that you can personalize them by using MyMaps from your Google Drive.

Share a map with your class, or ask your class to create them individually or in small groups. Add photos, text, links, images, etc. Here’s a video to get you started!

Assign or receive tasks easily


noun_7133_ccLots of people in our community collaborate through Google Docs (or Slides, or Sheets, etc.). If your group needs a quick and seamless way to assign tasks, consider “tagging” group members either on the document itself, or in a comment. You don’t need to leave the document you’re working from – Google will recognize when you have typed out a task, and if you add a person’s name to the sentence, it will offer to “tag” that person (prompting a notification) in a comment that it creates. You can also create a comment on a document and tag the person yourself – when they open the document, that item you’ve tagged them in on will be highlighted. Watch the short little how-to gif on this website, which takes you through the process.

Digital tools for vocabulary

Before reading this article, I had no idea there were so many types of visual dictionary tools. One of the more interesting options is Lexipedia, which allows you to search a word (I chose “hybrid”), and then see synonyms or antonyms; adjective, noun, or verb forms of the word; and definitions for each related word. All of this info is arranged in a pleasing-looking web.


Another fascinating site is Wordnik, and when you put in a word…get ready to ride the roller coaster of that word, because you are about to be immersed. Immersed in the world of your word.

Newsela & Izzit – Read at your level!

I want my students to read more. But they all have different interests, and I can teach them skills through any content. What are some sites with solid stories and a variety of fresh content?
  • Well, Newsela (also an app that students can get from the Chrome Web Store!) is great – you, as the teacher, create an account. They create an account and join your class. Then you can assign them articles to read, or they can choose their own. If an article is too difficult for them, they can adjust the reading level on the right-hand side of the page – they will still get the same content as another person who reads the same article. You can decide what to do next – look for references to research? Look for references to past historical events? Look for transitions? Every class could use some more current reading, probably. 🙂
  • Izzit requires you to create a free account, but they offer a ton of constantly updated content – plus! – pre-reading questions and (if you set it up) quizzes for the articles. Again, there are many ways any teacher can use current events articles in class – and the more kids read, even if it’s in small doses throughout the day, the better.