Edutech for Teachers

Cool Tools for the 21st Century Classroom

Diigo Weekly Bookmarks


What’s new this week in my Diigo bookmarks? Check out the links shown below for some super cool resources that will inspire you and your students to become part of the maker movement.


A one stop shop for all things makerspaces: Articles, ebooks, projects, how-to guides and more about a variety of subjects—paper circuits, electronics, robotics, programming, etc. Many resources are free!

» 100+ Makerspace Products & Materials

From, a comprehensive list of products that are makerspace friendly. Definitely worth checking out!

» Top 10 Things You Didn’t Know Your Makerspace Needs

An article written by Lindsey Own, makerspace coordinator and science teacher at The Evergreen School in Shoreline, WA, discusses 10 critical components for every makerspace.

» 7 Tips for Planning a Makerspace

Need some advice for not only designing or equipping a makerspace itself but preparing students and staff so that they’re able to make the best possible use of it? Then check out this article written by Leila Myer.

» The B-A Maker Tribe

Follow my school district’s makered journey via our Twitter feed. Lots of cool stuff is happening here!

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

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The Weekly Edtech Smackdown: Vol. XI


Welcome to the weekly (not so weekly) edition of The Edtech Smackdown—a collection of digital resources containing a few of my most favorite activities, tools and articles curated from various social media spaces throughout the past—well, months.

For those of you who have become a fan of these Smackdowns, my apologies for the hiatus. I’d like to say I spent the summer in a tiki hut on a tropical island but… Instead I actually do have some really awesome reasons as to why I had to take a step away from blogging for a few months. Aside from attending some pretty amazing professional learning workshops (iPadpalooza in Austin, Texas and the Pittsburgh Fab Lab Institute), I’ve been super busy creating all kinds of cool opportunities for students in my district: A high-tech makerspace in our elementary, a brand-new makerspace in our middle school and a ’70s-themed Escape Room. I also organized and facilitated Edcamp Blue Devil Nation, the first event of this kind in our area, and Tech-A-Rama, an all-day edtech workshop for teachers in my district.

Despite the ongoing crazy schedule, I have collected a number of awesome resources that will be useful in the classroom throughout the new school year, and I’m about to share some of these edtech gems right here, right now…

But first, let me just say that most of the links I’ll be providing in this post involve the use of the G-Suite (formerly Google Apps for Education). Yes, I am a total Google fan girl—and for good reason. So as usual, let’s kick things off with some amazing activities that will definitely engage students in learning!

From the amazing Eric Curts, Control Alt Achieve:

» What’s New in Google: 42 updates from Summer 2017

» 11 Ways to Teach Math with Google Drawings

» 6 Awesome Uses for Revision History in G-Suite

» Why and How to Share Student Writing with the World

» Video Mash-Ups with Google Slides

» 30 Free Google Drawings Graphic Organizers (And how to make your own)

» Battlesheets! Google Sheets Battleship Game Template

» Google Drawings Chess and Checkers Game Templates for Students

More Google Goodness…

» Smarter Google Forms: Why Google’s New Features Are Good for Educators—By Adam By Adam Shoenbart, The Shoenblog

» Put a Hashtag in the Google Classroom Assignment Title—By Alice Keeler, Teacher Tech

» How to Create a GoogleClassroom Custom Header with GoogleDrawings—By Kasey Bell, Shake Up Learning

» Our Favorite Google Docs Tips & Tricks—From the Google Teacher Tribe Podcast with Matt Miller & Kasey Bell

» Create a QR code that links to a shared Google Drive folder containing images you’ve selected—By Tony Vincent, Learning in Hand

Other #EdTech Faves…

» 10 Digital Bell-Ringer Activities to Kickstart Class (Part 1)—By Matt Miller, Ditch That Textbook

» 10 MORE Digital Bell-Ringer Activities to Kickstart Class (Part 2)—By Matt Miller, Ditch That Textbook

» 9 Back-To-School Ideas for AdobeSpark in the Classroom (includes planning pages)—By Monica Burns, Class Tech Tips

The #MakerEd Movement…

» Check out our new logo that will be used to represent the makerspaces in our District. Follow us on Twitter @BAmakertribe to get your makered on!

So there you have it—this week’s smackdown! Stay tuned for additional resources coming your way in the next round…

In the meantime—if you’ve missed any of my previous edtech collections, check ’em out within the interactive image embedded below… Be sure to hover over the image to reveal the hotspots!

Click here to view a full screen version of this image.

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Diigo Weekly Bookmarks


What’s new this week in my Diigo bookmarks? Check out the links shown below for some really neat interactive resources for engaging students with classroom content.

» Writing Sparks

An interactive creative writing site that can be used to stimulate ideas for opinion pieces, news articles stories or poems. Includes a teacher section that can be used with whole group activities as well as a student section for independent practice.

A quiz site in which the user must discover whether a published news article is fake or real. A great site for teaching students about the validity of sources!

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

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Diigo Weekly Bookmarks


What’s new this week in my Diigo bookmarks? Check out the links shown below for some really neat interactive resources for engaging students with classroom content.

» Crossword Labs

More than a crossword puzzle maker! This resource provides students with the opportunity to complete crossword puzzles online, share via a link and then receive immediate feedback.

A new twist on an old review game! This bingo card generator can be used to create and/or modify a review game for any subject area. The size of boards and Bingo column headings can be customized and images can be added to each square on the board. It’s also a great platform for playing bingo digitally. (Yes, it works on tablets—including the iPad!)

» Jeopardy Labs

Create online Jeopardy templates without the use of PowerPoint. Games can be played online from anywhere in the world!

» EdGames

A site that hosts over 100+ templates to create classroom games for learning. The collection includes Holiday & Sport-Based Games, TV Game Shows for whole class review, Bingo Generators and much, much more!

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

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Get Into the Groove with Back to School Magnetic Poetry


Need a super cool activity to get your students back into the groove of a new school year? If so, then I’ve got the perfect edtech resource for you and your peeps—a brand-new version of magnetic poetry, a Google Slides activity containing almost 100 words, or “magnets”, that can be creatively manipulated into a poem, story,  etc.

So, if you’re ready to combine a little bit of Back to School fun with Google Apps, then be sure to check out this must-try activity in your classroom! Here’s how it works…

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 black background.

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

» The background on the Google Slide is locked so students can avoid accidentally moving it. However, 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 includes this info.

Check out a sneak preview below!

If you’d like to snag your very own copy of this super awesome activity, then email me at Once you receive the link, 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. My favorite way to do so is via Google Classroom.

Classroom Connection:

The Back to School 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.

A shout out to Alex, one of my Tech Club kids, for helping with the creation of this really swell resource! ♥ And to Kasey Bell for giving me the inspiration to add my own twist to magnetic poetry activities.

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Diigo Weekly Bookmarks


What’s new this week in my Diigo bookmarks? Check out the links shown below for some really neat iOS apps that can teach learners of all ages computer programming skills.

In this gamified way to learn computer science, a friendly Turtle will introduce students to the basic concepts of programming in the graphic environment. Each new level of achievement increases in difficulty and teaches a new command.

» Cargo-Bot

An iOS app that teaches coding skills. On each level, the objective is to teach a robot how to move colored crates from one place to another by programming a claw crane to move left or right, and drop or pick up.

» Hopscotch

Learn to code through creative play with this iOS app. No setup. No typing. No syntax. Just drag blocks and instantly play what you’ve made. Bam!

» Daisy the Dinosaur

Learn the basics of computer programming with Daisy the Dinosaur, a fun iPad app that has an easy drag and drop interface for kids of all ages!

» Scratch, Jr.

An iOS app that teaches students to solve problems, design projects and express themselves creatively as they program their own interactive stories and games. With this resource, students don’t just learn to code, they code to learn! Recommended for ages 5-7.

» Encode: Learn to Code

Learn to code with languages such as JavaScript, HTML and CSS or make a webpage on the go via the Encode way: Bite-sized lessons with real code examples combined with interactive coding challenges that put the learning to the test. The app includes timely feedback, answers and handy hints.

» Swift Playgrounds

Apple’s iPad app that makes it fun to learn and experiment with code. Students solve interactive puzzles to master the basics of coding, while additional challenges let them explore code and create programs that are engaging and unique. This freebie requires no coding knowledge, so it’s perfect for students just starting out, from twelve to one-hundred-and-twelve!

And if you need some rationale for teaching student to code, here are ten reasons why you should get it done!

A shout out to Brian Aspinall and sketchnote guru Sylvia Duckworth for creating and sharing this useful infographic!

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

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Just Resize It!


Do you ever need to quickly and easily resize or compress an image? Then here’s the perfect solution for you!

Resize Your Image, is not a new web resource, but it’s definitely a very simple and useful one that should be added to your tech toolbox.

Whenever you need a quick and easy way to resize an image without having to use a full-size image editing tool like Gimp or Photoshop, then be sure to check out Resize Your Image. This utility allows users to upload an image, specify the desired dimensions and then download the resized image. Resize Your Image also provides users with rotation and zooming tools as well as the option to save in one of three file formats: jpg, png and gif.

Not only does Resize Your Image allow users to modify the size of an image (in pixels), the tool also reduces the size of the actual file itself.

Classroom Connection:

Use Resize Your Image when you (or your students) want to reduce the pixels and/or overall size of an image for print, email and/or use in web sites, wikis and blogs.

My students and I love, love this tool! We utilize it frequently when preparing pictures for upload on our online school newspaper site. Be sure to check out The B-A BluePrint sometime!

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Diigo Weekly Bookmarks


What’s new this week in my Diigo bookmarks? Check out the links shown below to access some super cool digital resources that can be utilized to engage students in your classroom!


An online annotation and collaboration tool for reviewing documents and images. Compatible with all common web browsers, with no software or plugins to install.

» Podcast Garden

A web tool that allows users to upload content to the internet making it available to various downstream distribution outlets. Each podcast is assigned a unique RSS feed URL that is compatible with the iTunes Store and Google Play.
A Windows OS download that allows users to convert files to different formats so they can be easily shared with others. Free to use!

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

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Tech It Up Tuesday: 50 Tools & Apps for Showcasing Student Knowledge


tech it up tueday

Are you ready for the first summer edition of “Tech It Up Tuesday”, a weekly series in which I share an edtech tool, app, site or other resource that can be utilized in the educational setting?

If so, you’re going to love this week’s resource—a super cool and extremely useful infographic created by Tony Vincent, edtech guru and author of the Learning in Hand web site. Read on…

With a myriad of web tools and apps available to teachers, it’s sometimes mind-boggling trying to identify which are the most effective for the classroom. But if you’re looking for some innovative ways to showcase student learning using tech tools, here’s an awesome collection of resources spanning 11 categories—audio recordings, collages, comics, posters, slides, digital books, narrated slideshows, movies, animations, screen casts and study aids—to help get you started!


Click here for a larger version of this infographic as well as access to a pdf that can be printed. A link to view the info on Scribd is also available.

Classroom Connection:

Use the visual to discover resources that will provide your students with the opportunity to show, explain and retell their knowledge.

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Diigo Weekly Bookmarks


What’s new this week in my Diigo bookmarks? Five super cool resources that can be used to locate and/or enhance images for educational purposes. Check ’em out below!

» PicJumbo

Totally free stock photos for educational, commercial and/or personal use. No attribution needed!

» Pixabay

A treasure trove of royalty-free images for use in all types of multimedia projects and classroom activities.


High quality free clip art for use on all types of educational projects.

» PicResize

Resize, shrink, and crop pictures online for free before posting them to a blog, web page or social media site.

» Clipping Magic

Easily remove image backgrounds and/or create masks, cutouts and clipping paths with this quick and simple online tool.

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

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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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