Edutech for Teachers

Cool Tools for the 21st Century Classroom

Diigo Weekly Bookmarks


diigo iconWhat’s new this week in my Diigo bookmarks? Two super cool resources that can be utilized to in your classroom during the new year. Check ’em out below!

» Instructables

From science experiments to merit badges, this web site offers instructions for 100,000+ DIY projects in the areas of woodworking, paper, puzzles, laser cutting, 3D printing, sewing, kitchen hacks and more! Looking for a classroom maker project? You’ll find it here!

» Seesaw

A digital portfolio solution that is totally free for all devices and on the web. Students can showcase videos, text, drawings and images and get feedback from teachers and parents. Students can also reflect on their work via a blog post, voice recording or text, and share artifacts from their portfolio with a QR code. An excellent tool for empowering students to document their work and then share with an authentic audience!

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links can be found here.

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Math Madness: Digital Tools for Every Concept


algebra toolsAre you a math teacher looking for some super cool resources to engage students and assist them with mastering content?

Then look no further than this collection of Digital Tools for Math to locate exactly what you need to tech up your next lesson or project. With dozens of suggestions in the areas of web tools, apps, formative assessment, QR codes, math glossaries, and recommendations for whom and what to follow on social media, there’s sure to be a tip, trick or tool for any math teacher!

There’s also a “Helpful Materials” section that is jam-packed with additional resources—one you won’t want to misss!

And if you ever need a corny math joke to jumpstart your class (like—When things go wrong, what can you always count on?… Your fingers!), just check out the Just for Fun section. It contains some pretty neat stuff as well.

OK, so without any additional interjections from me, here’s a way cool mash-up of mathematical goodness!

Check out a full screen version of this digital flyer created with the Smore web tool here.

A huge shout out to edtechies Janet Corder and Joan Gore for developing and sharing this fabulous resource!

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Tech It Up Tuesday: Differentiate Instruction Using Google Classroom


It’s Tuesday and time for me to unleash the first tech-isode of 2017! Read on to learn more about “Tech It Up Tuesday”, a series of posts in which I share an edtech tool, app, site or other resource that can be utilized in the educational setting.

This week’s geeky goodness goes something like this… Earlier this month Google released additional updates for its learning management system, Google Classroom. These new features impact teachers (i.e. new notifications to manage student work), administrators (i.e. Classroom data will be included in the Admin Console Reports) and developers (i.e. the integration of various tools including gamification capabilities and the ability to automate classes from an SIS).

Pretty sweet! But nothing quite compares to the release of this bombshell: A way for teachers to differentiate instruction. So when teachers click that “+” button to add an assignment, announcement or question to a class stream, we now have some options that make it very simple to assign work to the entire class, individuals or a group of students. The info will only be displayed to students to whom it is assigned.

This super useful feature looks something like this…

Detailed instructions regarding the use of the differentiation feature can be found here.

Classroom Connection:

Besides the obvious application of distributing differentiated info to students, this new option could be helpful in a number of ways, including, but not limited to…

» Remedial or extension activities (for students in need of extra practice or enrichment)

» Group activities (different directions, documents, etc. can be assigned to different groups)

» Leveling activities (create various versions of the same assignment, varying the number of steps and/or rigor)

» Providing info to students who are absent for short or long-term periods of time

Thank you, Google! Teachers all over the world are doing a happy dance!

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Diigo Weekly Bookmarks


diigo iconWhat’s new this week in my Diigo bookmarks? Two super cool resources that can be utilized to in your classroom during the new year. Check ’em out below!

» Freepik

Free vector art, illustrations, icons, PSD and photos for use in websites, banners, presentations, magazines and more!

» Sutori

An interactive timeline tool in which users can add text, audio, videos, quiz questions, forums and more to a vertical timeline. There are so many educational possibilities beyond historical timelines, including reading and work logs, sequencing of story events, learning reflections and assessments to name a few.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links can be found here.

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Teaching & Learning Resources to Remember the Life of MLK


martin luther king jr collage“Never, never be afraid to do what’s right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society’s punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way.”

This quote epitomizes why I have always admired Martin Luther King, Jr. As a pastor, activist, humanitarian and leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement, he not only advocated for the equal treatment of our fellow man, but he also supported the fair and humane treatment of animals—a personal passion of mine as a rescuer, adopter, foster and sponsor of shelter and puppy mill dogs.

In 1983 President Ronald Reagan signed a bill creating a federal holiday to honor this great man. The holiday is observed on the third Monday of January each year, near King’s birthday (January 15). Depending on your school calendar, you may have or had the day off.

But when students return next week, don’t miss the opportunity to share some MLK information with them so they can learn about the life and legacy of this true American hero. There are tons of teaching and learning resources available online, but out of all of them, I highly recommend the video “My Friend Martin”, especially if you teach middle school students. It’s a cool mix of animation and actual black and white video footage that is extremely effective and captivating—one that can be used as a springboard to discuss Dr. King and his accomplishments. The use of kid “lingo” and voice overs from famous actors such as Whoopie Goldberg and LaVar Burton as well encouraging messages about  how one person can make a difference and standing up for what is right even when it’s difficult makes this video a perfect choice for the classroom!

Even though I’ve seen the video dozens of times, it’s still my all-time favorite MLK educational resource. Check it out below!

For additional educational resources Martin Luther King, Jr., be sure to access Larry Ferlazzo’s Best Websites For Learning About Martin Luther King, Jr. page.

Classroom Connection:

Use the Our Friend, Martin video and other resources mentioned to teach students about the life and achievements of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Since I mentioned my involvement in rescuing dogs, I couldn’t resist including a picture of my puppy mill survivor and hero, Sawyer. ♥


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Tell Your Story with PicCollage


Looking for a neat way to engage students in classroom activities? Well, of course, there’s an app for that! But then again, you don’t want just any app! Instead you need one that is unique, safe and free!

Introducing your next download, an all-time favorite of mine: PicCollage.

This tech gem is simple, fun and one of the best ways I have found to create amazing collages using a variety of images, stickers, backgrounds and text.

Photos can be imported from the camera roll of your mobile device and/or snag images directly from the web via the app to create a visual masterpiece!

BAHS students hanging out in our new media center & cafe before the holiday break!

When your PicCollage is complete, save it to your photo library and/or share it to Google Drive, Dropbox, Facebook, Twitter, email and more! Finished products can also be uploaded to a wiki, web site or blog. In addition, PicCollage collages can be printed via AirPrint and creations can be transformed into customized products such as phone cases, magnets, greeting cards and posters if you prefer a more personal touch.

Another cool aspect of PicCollage is “School Setting”, a feature that allows teachers (or parents) to disable the use of “Photos from Web”, social media options and ads, making this download the perfect tool for younger students.

In fact, if these options are a priority, consider using PicCollage Kids as an alternative in your classroom. From the creators of PicCollage, this age-appropriate version offers the same editing experience minus access to social components or an unfiltered Internet. It’s perfect for use with elementary and middle schoolers!

With over 130 million downloads (and counting!), it’s pretty easy to see why PicCollage is a must-have app for all educational devices!

Classroom Connection:

The use of PicCollage can be applied to any learning experience! For starters, utilize this app as a quick, easy and creative way for students to produce an original piece of work that visually demonstrates or summarizes knowledge about a particular topic. This tool is also perfect for developing pictorial journals to highlight school and/or classroom field trips, activities, events, lessons, experiments and so much more!

Another excellent way of incorporating PicCollage into the curriculum is through app smashing, the art of merging content from a variety of apps to generate a unique finished product. In the example shown below, PicCollage was combined with the Photo Mapo and ThingLink apps to create a visually engaging student project.

Want to learn more about app smashing with PicCollage? Then be sure to take a look at my blog post that lives here!

The more you use this app-solutely amazing resource, the more ideas your mind will generate! Trust me, it’s a must-have tool for students of all ages!

Check out the slide deck I created to share some really awesome ways PicCollage can be integrated into the classroom. Not only can you view various projects other educators have utilized with students, but you can also submit your own idea(s) to this super cool crowd-sourced document!


The PicCollage Teacher Ambassador Program:

Love this app as much as I do? Learn more about becoming a PicCollage Teacher Ambassador here and/or by following #PicCollageEDU on Twitter!


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Diigo Weekly Bookmarks


diigo iconWhat’s new this week in my Diigo bookmarks? Two super cool resources that can be utilized to in your classroom during the new year. Check ’em out below!

» Biteable

An online video and animation generator that can be used to create presentations, infographics, ads, intros and more!

» Spacehopper

Test geography knowledge with this Google StreetView powered site which shows users an interactive image or slideshow of a location so they can guess where it is found on a world map. Facts about each location is also shared making this a very educational resource!

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links can be found here.

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17 Edtech Tryouts for 2017


We. Are. Teachers… So, by nature we’re the type to set the goal of being the absolute best we can be for our students. Part of the equation in striving to provide the best education possible involves acquiring and/or honing the digital skills necessary to transform teaching and learning in our classrooms.

That said, hopefully you have set goals for 2017 focusing on technology integration. If not, here are a few suggestions that can surely help you power up your knowledge—which, of course, will result in a variety of authentic, engaging and real-world learning experiences for your students. How could you go wrong!

Check out the interactive infographic show below—one that highlights 17 ways you can incorporate technology into your classroom. Hover over the visual to reveal hotspots linking you to some useful resources to kick start your journey into the digital world!

Check out a full screen version of this image here!

So, there you have it… Some recommendations for transforming yourself into an edtech rock star for the remainder of the school year! No excuses—just tech the plunge! Trust me, you’ll be glad you did. And so will your students!

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Winter Magnetic Poetry with Google Slides


Magnetic Poetry kits have been around for about 25 years, providing individuals with the inspiration to create poems on refrigerators everywhere!

In fact, the informality and spontaneity of Magnetic Poetry has endeared it to educators since its inception, especially for students experiencing writer’s block. Ironically that was the impetus behind the invention of this concept in the first place. Read more about founder Dave Kapell’s ingenious idea here.

Fast forward a few decades… When a cool concept like Magnetic Poetry is mashed with classroom technology, such as Google Slides, teachers now not only have a fun activity to utilize with students, but one that can provide struggling writers with a way to break out that inner Edgar Allen Poe in a more modern way!

So, here it is… Back by popular demand—An updated Winter Magnetic Poetry Google Slides activity containing 100+ words and phrases that can be manipulated into a wintry themed poem, story, etc.

As with my other creations, the word boxes are actually images and cannot be edited; however, they can be deleted. Plus, additional words can be generated by creating a new text box and filling it with a white background.

Before you get started on your winter adventure, here are a few additional items worth mentioning:

» The background on the Google Slide is locked so students can avoid accidentally moving it, but it can still be changed if you wish to allow them to do so. Just right-click on the slide and select the “Change background…” option.

» Some teachers have requested that I provide a word list for each activity so I have created additional slides that include this info.

Check out a sneak preview below!

Click here to access the template. You will be prompted to download your very own copy of the original and save it to your Google Drive. It can then be shared with your students.

Classroom Connection:

The Winter Magnetic Poetry template can be used in a variety of ways as either an independent or collaborative writing activity. Utilize the “magnets” included and/or add your own text boxes to extend the activity—although I think part of the fun/challenge is to just use the words provided.

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Get Your 2017 On!


Live once again from Rehoboth Beach, Delaware—my sand art capital of the world…

Here’s wishing you and yours a very happy, sparkly, shiny, brand spankin’ new year from Edutech for Teachers!

And here’s my annual reminder encouraging you to take advantage of the opportunity you have to enjoy 12 months of happiness, 52 weeks of laughter, 365 days of love, 8,760 hours of success and 51,536,000 seconds of learning that can be used to inspire others in your sphere of influence!

Regardless of where your personal and professional journey takes you, I hope it’s one of the best ever!

Live, love and laughter… Namaste! ♥

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Hey, edu-tech gurus!

Looking for some technology integration ideas to enhance your classroom lessons? Then be sure to check out my "Tech Tips" for the latest and greatest Web 2.0 tools, applications and web sites that can be incorporated into activities and/or projects. Although some posts may not be applicable to your content area or grade level, be sure to check back often as I will be varying ideas in order to provide resources across the K-12 curriculum.

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