Tools & Tips Tuesdays


This week, I want to share the Global Read Aloud with you. The Global Read Aloud is like a book club on a global level. Classrooms around the world read a common book and make as many global connections as possible. This event happens in October and runs through November. Check out the event website to see which books and authors are contenders for each grade level this year and sign up. The kick off is October 1st!

Google Tip: Giving Feedback in Google Classroom

Did you know you can give annotated feedback in the mobile version of google classroom? Open the assignment in the google classroom app, tap on Student Work, Tap the student’s name and their attachment. Then, tap Edit to make any notes or drawings and tap Save.

*Note that this can only be done in the mobile app for google classroom, which is available on Android, Apple iOS, or Chrome OS.  


AR & VR Experiments by Google

The tools I have to share with you this week are from AR and VR Experiments by Google.  Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality tools are becoming more and more prevalent. Mixed realities provide us with another way to be creative with engaging students. Just a line and Access Mars are a couple of my favorites.

Google Tip: Youtube Playlists

A playlist is a collection of videos that you can curate under a single link. This is a great feature for educators when they want students to be watching certain videos. It eliminates the need for the student to look search for the video on their own. Start with viewing a video you want in the playlist. Underneath that video, click Add to + and click on Create new playlist. Enter the playlist name. Use the drop-down menu to select the playlist’s privacy setting and click Create. I recommend selecting Unlisted. This is like when we say “anyone with the link can view” in other G Suite tools. To get the link to your playlist, click on the playlist in the left-hand side under Library. Copy the URL in the omnibox and share it out or post on Google Classroom. Students will be able to see any video you add to the playlist as the year progresses.

AI Experiments by Google

The tools I have to share with you this week are from AI experiments by Google. You may even recognize some of these, as I know some were used in classrooms last year.  But what you probably didn’t know is that these experiments use artificial intelligence and machine learning! Semantris, Emoji Scavenger Hunt, Thing Translator, and Mystery Animal are a few of my favorites.

If you are looking for resources to teach about Constitution Day, which is coming up next week, here are some Lesson Plans from the National Constitution Center.

If you are looking for Dot Day Resources, which is this weekend, here are some resources to help celebrate creativity and collaboration.

Breakout EDU has some news and updates. You can read about them here. Also, to make a twist on these digital escape rooms, check out this blog post about #QRBreakIN. How fun and exciting does that sound?!

Google Tip: Google Hangouts

Google Hangouts is a G Suite tool that can be leveraged in a variety of ways for educators and students. When you sign up, Google Calendar MAGICALLY creates a virtual call link in the calendar event.

Flipgrid & Google Applied Digital Skills

The tools I have to share with you this week are Flipgrid and Google Applied Digital Skills. Flipgrid is a video discussion tool that can also be leveraged for digital formative assessment. You can also collaborate globally using the hashtag #GridPals. The best part is that Flipgrid is totally FREE now! Google Applied Digital Skills is a project based video curriculum that utilizes G Suite tools to teach technology skills that will prepare students for the workforce. All of these lessons are also FREE!

If you are looking for resources to teach about 9/11, which is coming up next week, here are some 9/11 Lesson Plans from the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. These are sorted by grade level.

Google Tip: Creating Templates in G Suite

Simply grab the link of the file and change the end of the URL.  Replace where it says “edit” and anything to the right of it with “template/preview”. Take a look at the end of the URL below.

By doing this, you do not need to share the original file with others and when they click the “Use Template” button it adds a copy to their own drive.  Any changes they make will not appear in owner’s original file. TRICKY!

Ok Go Sandbox & Emoji Scavenger Hunt

The tools I have to share with you this week are the Ok Go Sandbox and Emoji Scavenger Hunt.  The Ok Go Sandbox has several lessons that support playful learning with a hook.  Emoji Scavenger Hunt is a cool tool to engage with students using a language they find engaging.  Think about how you might you make a curricular connection to using this tool or using it as a hook.

Google Tip:

Google has MANY great updates in Google Classroom for this coming year.  I highly encourage you to read about them here before setting up your classes for the year.


Archive Google Classes & Just A Line

Google Tip: Archive Google Classroom Classes
It is important to archive your google classroom classes before you leave for the summer. The reason for this is because if you keep the class active, students can still interact on the platform while you may not monitoring the class. When you archive the class, you get to keep all the content and resources for reuse in the future. To archive a class in google classroom, click on the 3 dots, then click archive. To access archived classes, click on the 3 lines in the upper left hand corner and then scroll all the way to the bottom to where it says Archived Classes.
Lastly, I’d like to share Just A Line by Google with you. This is an augmented reality (AR) app that allows you to digitally draw in a 3-dimensional space. This might be a cool tool to consider implementing next year.

Google Trips & Google Translate

This week I am sharing Google Trips with you. This tool helps you plan your next trip. While this is a tool that many of us can utilize in our personal lives outside of school, it is also a tool that can be applied in the classroom setting. Skills to plan a trip are very realistic and often involve research, math, science and more. Where are you going to go? When is the best time to go? What will this trip cost? What is the weather like? What should you pack? What is the language spoken? Cuisine? History? Culture? Currency? Transportation? Things to see? You can learn a lot when planning for a trip.

Google applied digital skills has several activities and lessons that help develop technology skills needed for real-world application like this. One example that supplements the idea of travel is an activity to help organize data to create an area guide.

Google Tip: Google Translate

Google Translate is a tool that has the ability to translate text or voice. You can save most needed translations for your trip also.  To do this, look up a word or phrase in the app, tap the star icon to save it to your phrasebook.

Google Photos & Mimic Flipgrid

This week I am sharing Google Photos with you. This app allows you to store photos for free and save space on your phone so that you always have room for another photo. Once photos/videos have been backed up to the app, tap the menu and choose to Free up space. The app will sense what photos from your camera roll are already backed up to the app and remove them from your phone’s photo storage. I also love using Google Photos because I can access my photos anywhere on any device.

Google Tip: How to mimic Flipgrid with G Suite

I have been hosting optional drop-in PD Google Lunch & Learn sessions throughout the district.  One trick I demonstrated at yesterday’s Lunch & Learn at Roosevelt is how to mimic Flipgrid with G Suite.  I attached some slides walking you through a couple options for curating student video responses surrounding a specific topic.

Flippity & Creating Digital Sign-In Sheets

This week I am sharing Flippity with you. This add-on is an easy way to transform a Google Sheet into an assortment of teaching materials to match your content such as flashcards, practice typing tests, random name generators, crossword puzzles, etc. To get the add-on, open a google sheet, go to the add-ons tab, click Get add-ons, search for Flippity, and add it. If you prefer to skip that process, visit this link.

Google Tip:  Create Digital Sign-in Sheets for Events

How do you do this? Open Google Drive, click New, create a new Google Sheet, create headers in the top row (ie: Name, Email, Signed in Y/N).  On the day of the event, open this sheet up on a computer that guests can enter their information as they enter.  Another option would be to share the link to the sign-in sheet.  A great way to deliver that link would be to include it on the agenda for the day or project it on the board right at the beginning of the event.  This can also be done using Google Forms.

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