Month: January 2015

Stay Connected With Your PLN

The tech tool for this week is Voxer and Twitter.  These are two tools that I use frequently to connect with my PLN (personal learning network).  I highly encourage you to get on Twitter at least and connect with other educators.  This is an easy way to stay globally connected, learn the latest trends in education, and more.  You can participate in educational chats such as #edchathi or #miched to see what other educators are doing.  You don’t even need to be a participant of a chat but can learn a lot from just reading.  If you already have an account, great.  I challenge you to be more active on twitter then!

Voxer, is a walkie talkie app.  It allows you to send pictures, leave voice messages, and send texts.  So how is it repurposed for education?  It is great mobile messaging for teams.  I personally use it to stay connected with my PLN.  I have group messages with educators from Michigan and my colleagues from MSU.  I also have private (between me and one other person) messages going with single educators and for personal use with family members.

Did you know?
You can just type into the Google search bar, “set a timer for 10 minutes” and it will pop up.  No need to go to another website!


Scheduling & Organization Made Easy

Tools this week are organization and scheduling tools.

Sign Up Genius A website that lets you create online sign up sheets for volunteers.  It allows you to assign tasks and responsibilities. This tool helps alleviate overlap or confusion with scheduling.  Email and text reminders and also a great feature that this tool offers.

You Can Book Me Is a similar online tool that helps you with scheduling.  It does the same thing but it also connects with your Google Calendar.  You can embed or share your available times.  Great for parent/teacher meetings.

Both tools offer free accounts!

Google Chrome Extensions

The tool I have for you with week are Google Chrome Extensions.  When you open Chrome, if you click on on the Apps on the left hand side at the top (the favicon looks like colorful tiny squares) and click store you can findChrome Extensions.  Thanks to John Sowash (@jrsowash), one of my favorites that I find to be very practical is the URL shortener (and its FREE).  When you add the extension, it shows up right next to the omibar.  When you click it, it automatically gives you the shortened URL for the page you are on and a QR code.  Explore other extensions, too!  Which one is your favorite?  I’d love to check it out.

Just a quick tidbit about Google Chrome.  For those of you who may be “tab happy” like me and accidentally close tabs that you didnʻt want to close, I have a solution!  If you right click (two finger click) on the tab you can “pin tab”.  It removes the little “x” to prevent you from accidentally closing it.  If you want to “unpin tab”, just two finger click the tab again and choose “unpin tab”.  A shortcut to get an accidentally closed tab back is “Command Shift T”.

Also, check this one out —-> Googleʻs Search Education site is awesome! I encourage you to do a Google a Day Challenges in your classroom!

Google Add-Ons

I’d like to remind you of some Google tools this week.  You may already use these but I’d like to challenge you to use them more!  One great extension for educators is Flubaroo.  It is a great assessment tool you could be using in your classroom.

How to access:

    1. When you are in the Google Sheet that has responses from a quiz that you created on Google Forms, click on Add-ons.
    2. Click Get add-ons…
    3. Search for Flubaroo
    4. Click “+ FREE”


Explore other add-ons in Google Drive.  Here is a doc that explains more about add-ons.