Google Canvas lets you annotate images!

American Progress (John Gast painting) Tom Mullaney, edtech guru, created a video introducing Google Canvas – you can use it on your laptop, your mobile device, or on a Chromebook. This is a great tool for students to use if they need to annotate an image. For example, when I taught American Literature and we talked about manifest destiny, I’d project an image of the paining called American Progress. Instead of asking students to find elements of our country’s progress as a group, squinting at the projector, I could have them open up a copy of the image and do their own annotations. To get to Google Canvas you need to type the url into the address bar on your browser – it’s not an app:

Here’s the video Mullaney created with the details:

Archive Google Classroom classes


If you taught a semester class and would like to archive its Google Classroom page, follow these simple steps shown in the image below! For information about what it means to archive vs. delete a class, read this explanation.


Did you know about the secret menu?


Everything Matt Miller writes about on his website, tweets about from his Twitter, or speaks about from his…mouth?…is amazing, but sometimes his stuff is so good that I can’t digest it in one sitting.

Such is the case with this entry called “The ‘Secret Menu’ for Google Slides, Docs, Drawings, and More.” I used the first tip – how to save a photo that’s been placed in a Google Doc – when my journalism students submitted photos with their stories, ignoring instructions to place .jpg versions of the photos in a folder I’d shared with them. To save myself the headache of emailing 22 people (and waiting for 22 responses), I followed these instructions and snagged the photos myself. Life changing! I use the second tip constantly, am not sure how I’d use the third, and the fourth is on my to-do list for January.

He published this article in October. It’s going to take awhile to absorb all of these tips, but whew! What a great collection of ideas!


Welcome your students with Classroom Screen

logo seems a little cheesy upon first glance, but give it a closer look. I project instructions for my students to view as they enter my classroom – but I do it using a Google Doc, which allows for text and images only. I take it down as soon as class begins. gives you tools you can use not only at the beginning of the class – but throughout. A stopwatch? A countdown timer? Right there on the screen. Write instructions next to an image? Do so here. Name randomizer? Sure! The “Tips & Tricks” page gives you more ideas. Simple, yes…but for some teachers, extremely useful!

Short, snappy videos to close out class


If you’re looking for an end-of-class wind-down activity, pick out one of the videos from the website called The Kid Should See This and have a two or three-minute discussion afterwards. Or, as I suggested in one of my previous posts, ask students to share reactions using a quick-response tool like Padlet or Flipgrid!