Adobe Spark & Story Corps

This week I am sharing Adobe Spark and StoryCorps with you.

Adobe Spark is a tool you can use to create aesthetically pleasing graphics, web pages, and video stories for free. I love the ease of it, too! Just sign up with your Google Account. Click here to see how other educators are leveraging this tool in their classrooms. Last year, some WBHS students created websites for their science project on gemstones.

StoryCorps has the mission of preserving and sharing humanity’s stories through audio recordings. This is great in an educational setting for many reasons. One benefit of this is having students write and conduct interviews. In November, they have a neat project they do called the Great Thanksgiving Listen. Adobe Spark is a great way to go deeper and add a visual to your story. Here are some examples of what this might look like.

Google Tip

How to get the Shareable Link to a file in Google Drive:

Open the file you want to share, click Share, click Get Shareable Link, click the drop-down menu to choose the link sharing permissions you would like, copy the link.  This link then could be emailed out, housed on a webpage, etc.


Coming Soon: Computer Science Education Week

This week I am sharing coding and computational thinking resources with you. Computer Science Education Week is coming up December 4th-10th. Coding and computational thinking are important when it comes to digital literacy and digital citizenship. While many of you have heard of and CS For All, I’ve also included some other resources and activities that you can do with students:

Mozilla Web Literacy

Computational Thinking Google Resources

CS Unplugged

Resources from last year

Google Tip

The Noun Project now has an add-on for Google Slides and Docs.


This week I am sharing Flipgrid with you. This video discussion tool is great for technology integration in any subject area or context. It embraces student voice. Simply create a grid for your class, add a discussion topic, and curate short video responses from students. Flipgrid is a great tool to use for exit tickets, assessment, reflection, debates, and more. It brings that social media feel into the classroom, too. Here are a couple Flipgrid examples from PD events hosted in West Bloomfield this past summer. Check out #FlipgridFever to see how other educators are leveraging Flipgrid in their classrooms.

Copyright & Chromebook Care

This week I am sharing Search Creative Commons with you. Copyright is a very important topic when it comes to digital citizenship and it is especially important to teach students best practices. Copyright enables people to say who can share and reuse their creations. Credit should always be given where credit is due. You can find CC-licensed content by searching Creative Commons or by using Google’s Advanced Search and filter the results by usage rights.

For example, when students search for images within a G Suite tool such as Google Slides, those results are labeled for reuse with modification. This is why those search results look different from a regular Google images search. Didn’t know you could search images directly in G Suite tools? Heres how…

When you insert an image, a pop-up window appears.  Choose Search in the top bar.  This eliminates the need to copy and paste images from another window.

Chromebook Care Poster

Please feel free to print out this Chromebook Care poster to hang in your classroom.

Bonus Tool! Classroom Screen is a free web-based tool that you can use on your interactive white boards.  Two of my favorite features are the timer and the random name generator.

Digital Citizenship Week + iPhone video tip

It is Digital Citizenship week and I want to share Google’s Be Internet Awesome resource with you. There is a curriculum as well as the Interland game. It is imperative that we teach students to be safe and independent explorers in a digital world. Also, don’t forget to explore and share this 13 Reasons Why Digital Citizenship Matters resource with parents.  I’ve included more #digcit resources below if you wish to explore more than Be Internet Awesome.

Everfi Digital Literacy and Responsibility

Videos to help your students understand digital citizenship

Did you know?

You can take pictures and video simultaneously on your iPhone. To do so, open the camera like normal, go to video mode, start recording. While the recording is going, you will see a white circle button you can tap while the video is recording. When you tap the button, still pictures are taken. When you stop recording, both the video and the pictures are added to the camera roll.

Crossbraining, Hyperlinks, & Right Clicks

This week I want to share Crossbraining with you. This is a structure for digital storytelling that documents everyday learning in 45 seconds or less. This structure is a completely different way of showing proficiency and is a great way to manage PBL projects. The finished videos show the 4 steps of planning, performing, iterating, and reflection. Crossbraining is not limited to using GoPro cameras. You can adopt the Crossbraining structure and create videos using other recording tools such as Screencastify, iMovie, Splice, Quik, Clips, etc.

Tech Tip: #1 How to hyperlink

These past couple weeks I’ve been working with students showing them how to create a hyperlink. In whatever Gsuite tool you are using, select the text you want to make a link. Click the Insert link button (Ctrl+K) or right-click the highlighted text and click Link. Paste the address you want to link to in the Link field and click Apply.

Some creative examples:

  • Student conferencing Google Sheet Checklist where each student’s name links to a separate Google Doc of conferencing notes
  • ePortfolio table of contents in Google Slides- When you click on the item in the table of contents, it jumps to the respective slide number.  When you click on a link it opens another project or document in a new tab.
  • Choose your own adventure story in Google Slides- When you choose what happens next in the story, it jumps to the respective slide number
  • Bookmarks in Google Docs- When you click on the bookmark it takes you to that part of the document

Tech Tip: #2 How do you right click on a Chromebook?

Tap on the track pad with two fingers simultaneously.

Making your own Breakout EDU

This week I want to share with you the resources that you can use to make your own Breakout EDU game. While Breakout EDU has many open sourced pre created games, I encourage you to truly make your clues fit with your curriculum and what you are teaching. They also have open sourced digital Breakout EDU games that you can do without the physical box with locks. You can create a digital Breakout EDU on your own, as well.

What is Breakout EDU? Check out this video to learn more. Read about #BreakoutEDU on Twitter.


The tool I have to share with you this week is called Everfi. It is free and they offer several short online courses that connect learning to the real world. Below, I’ve highlighted just some of the course they have:

Future Goals (Math or Science edition)- Connects learning to hockey and the Detroit Red Wings. The timing of this is great with the debut of Little Caesar’s Arena!

Ignition (Digital Literacy and Responsibility)

Healthier Me (Wellness fundamentals)

Endeavor (STEAM career exploration)

Vault (Understanding Money)- Covers economics, math, CTE

I encourage you to try it out.

Twitter tip of the day: How do I follow a hashtag?

A hashtag is a word or phrase preceded by a hash or pound sign (#) and used to identify messages on a specific topic.  There is no “Follow” button for hashtags.  Simply just search the hashtag (ie: #onlywb or #wbsdpln) and read away!


The tool I have to share with you this week is called Classflow. This is a free, cloud based tool that you should use to create interactive lessons on your interactive white boards. Promethean is going to discontinue supporting ActivInspire. I encourage you to create an account. There is a gallery of free open sources lessons that you can use, in addition to creating your own. Student devices can also easily be connected to your lesson through a simple code that they enter at