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From iPads to Chromebooks

The time has come for many of us in education. We're making a shift from the iPad to the Chromebook. This is a daunting, intimidating, scary as heck transition for teachers and rightly so. It's like when I finally decided to lose the mullet a few years ago. It was comfortable because I knew exactly how much Aqua Net was required to make my really short bangs stand attention, while that mudflap in the back waved in all its glory. But, I digress. My point is this. The iPad, much like the mullet, was fun while it lasted, but there's a new sheriff in town, and its name is Chromebook.

Anyways, please help yourself to the Chromebook Survival Guide!

Recent posts

PDF Mergy, I Love You.

I don't know about you, but I love me some Jason time. Time to read self-help books, time to listen to music, and time to take long walks on the beach are mandatory components of a healthy, fresh and mindful teacher. 
Well, I'm here to show you one way that technology can save you precious time to do the things that make you feel fabulous. How many times have you wanted to print student work and realized that you have to print one at a time? That is a painful process indeed, but my good friend, Emily Brunick, opened my eyes to a beautifully elegant, yet simple, website that changed my world. The website is PDF Mergy.

Watch the video below, and be prepared to be amazed.


Google Classroom End of the Year Clean-Up

In the ever poetic words of Jim Morrison, This is the end. Beautiful friend. This is the end. It's June 4th, and summer is on the horizon. Many of you have a routine for cleaning up your physical classroom, which is super, but you mustn't neglect your Google Classroom. Trust me, you'll thank me in August when you drag your tanned, relaxed body back to school.

Below you will find a few simple steps that will help clear that cloudy qi of yours. Let's get started.

Tip #1 - Return all student work
Once students are finished working on an assignment, they turn it in. You then look it over, provide feedback and grade the darned thing. At that point, you should return the document back to the student. Hoarding documents isn't anything to brag about, people. Make sure you return the work. Here's why.

When a student turns in an assignment, you are now the owner of that document, and the student is relegated to view only rights. Once you return the work, the student again t…

Keep Your Comments To Yourself?

Most of you know that creating comments in a Google Document is a valuable feature that allows teachers to provide helpful feedback to students when grading their work. You also know that retyping comments for each document is a whole lot of work.

Rather than typing each comment over and over again, some of you have created a list of comments that live in a Word, Pages or Google Doc somewhere. This is cool, but you still have to toggle back and forth between windows or tabs. This is where Google Keep comes into play.

Google Keep is integrated into Google Docs, which makes this process a breeze. There are a few easy steps you must take now, so that you can give more time in your day to that special person...you.

Using Google Keep for grading comments is so easy! Watch the video to learn how.
Google Classroom Users Well, that's fine and dandy for those of you who aren't using Google Classroom. Here's why? Google Classroom has it's own built-in comment bank feature. The crowd…

Padlet: The Game Changer

Game changer: a newly introduced element or factor that changes an existing situation or activity in a significant way. You know what they are when you see them. Crocs, the electric toothbrush, sliced bread, ear plugs and mouthwash are a few that come to mind. While we're at it, let's add Padlet to the list. You see, Padlet is a website and app that allows kiddos to post videos, audio, text, links, documents and images to a virtual bulletin board. Sounds pretty fabulous doesn't it? Before we move on, you should understand why I sometimes capitalize the "p" in Padlet and other times, I don't. The uppercase Padlet refers to the website and app. The lowercase padlet refers to the individual boards that you create. Let us continue. Set Up and Settings There are a handful of settings that allow you to personalize your padlet. Upon creating a padlet, you'll be asked to organize with a layout. Choose from Wall, Canvas, Steam, Grid, Shelf or Backchannel. Then, you c…

Go Digital With Your Classroom Charts

I assume that storage is an issue in your classroom. I mean, your secret snacks, Keurig cups and yoga mat take up more room than you'd think. Now, if you throw in a fat stack of classroom charts on top of it all, you have yourself a bonafide disaster zone.

One way to alleviate this problem, without losing the secret stash of Abba-Zabas, is to go digital with your charts. Simply begin taking pictures of the charts you know you'll want to reuse next year, and either store them on your phone or create a blog.

You can use Blogger to create your blog. It's FREE, it's easy and it's what I use for this blog. Here are the initial steps to beginning your beautiful blog.
Visit www.blogger.com and click Sign In.Sign in with your district Google account.On the left, click the Down arrow.Click New blog and enter a name for your blog.Choose a blog address or URL.Select a template. (I recommend Dynamic View for this blog.)Click Create blog.Voila! You have a blog! Now it's time t…

FlipGrid Fever...Catch it!

FlipGrid Fever has been an epidemic in educational technology over the last two years! Teachers and students cannot get enough of this valuable, shallow learning curve, high impact resource, and it's time you jump on the bandwagon. It's sort of like that time in high school when everybody was wearing their clothes backwards because of Kris Kross, and you finally joined the fad only to realize it was on its way out. Don't be that person again.
FlipGrid is a video discussion platform that allows educators to post a prompt that students then respond to by recording videos ranging from 15 seconds to 5 minutes in length. But wait, there's more! Students can then reply to each other's videos. And don't worry, you have total control of student responses with video moderation, access controls and more.

Getting started is easy.
Sign up for your FREE FlipGrid account at flipgrid.com.
     Create your grid: This is your classroom.
     Add discussion Topics: They add the first…