Tools & Tips Tuesdays

#CSEdWeek 2019

The tools I have to share with you this week are all about computer science, computational thinking, and coding. Computer Science Education Week is next week. This is a great time to promote this. However, I think that it can be promoted at any time of the year. As you participate in CSEdWeek, please share your learning on Twitter using the following hashtags: #CSEdWeek #HourOfCode. is a great place to start and filter through by grade, subject area, and technology that you plan to use. Remember that computer science can be taught as an unplugged activity. Here are a plethora of computer science resources:

Google Mapping Tools

The tools I have to share with you this week are all mapping tools from Google. Tour Builder, My Maps, Tour Creator, and the NEW creation tools in Google Earth. Below you will find the link to one of my presentations on Google Earth & My Maps. One of my favorite places to get started is Earth Education.

Map That! Using Google My Maps & Google Earth in the Classroom

Accessibility with Chromebooks

The tips I have to share with you this week are some accessibility features. Remember that accessibility is a benefit for everyone, not just students with an IEP.

1. Student chromebooks have the ability to read aloud any text on the screen by enabling the select to speak feature. They can also enable the dictation tool to speak to type.

2. This Chromebook simulator is a helpful tool to use to model the steps to turn on accessibility features. Keep in mind that some topics in this simulator, such as printing, do not pertain to the district setup.

3. You can utilize live closed captioning in google slides while you are presenting to the class. To do this, open an existing slide presentation and click Present. In the bottom panel toolbar that shows up in presentation mode, click Captions and allow microphone access. Start speaking. You can also customize the caption text size and position by selecting the dropdown menu next to the Captions button on the toolbar. Closed captioning features are also built into Youtube and Hangouts Meet.

Check out the Tools for Diverse learners course in the Google Teacher Center and the EDU in 90 episode below to learn more about built-in accessibility features for chromebooks. Did you know you can adjust the playback speed of a YouTube video? Click on the gear in the bottom right hand corner of the video to customize the video playback speed. Accessibility!

Twitter Tips & Bitmoji custom text

The tips I have to share with you this week are some Twitter best practices.

1. As you dive into Twitter, be cognizant of students on the no-photo list. Make sure these students are not in any photos that you are tweeting out.

2. You can include multiple hashtags within a tweet, as well as, include links. When you use multiple hashtags, remember to leave a space between them. You can also click on those hashtags to view other tweets that mention the same topic. Hashtags are a great curation tool.

3. Start a discussion by replying to other’s tweets. Twitter is a great space for conversation. Feel free to ask questions, too!

For more information on teaching and learning with Twitter, check out this guide.

Check out this tweet that I recently retweeted. It shows how to add custom text to your Bitmoji using the Bitmoji extension!


Google Data Studio

The tool I have to share with you this week is Data Studio. Google Data Studio is a platform that helps visualize data via interactive dashboards. Google Sheets connects seamlessly with this tool and is great for creating easy to read and easy to share reports. Here is an example of an interactive report. Change the filters to view visuals of different data. Think about how transformative this can be for reading logs and other educational data we track! If you are interested in using Data Studio and need support, don’t hesitate to reach out. Take a look at this reading example.

More googliness:

  • Update coming soon to closed captioning in Google Slides! This update will allow you to customize the caption text size and position when you are presenting in Google Slides. Select the dropdown menu next to the Captions button on the toolbar to utilize this feature.
  • 👻Have a Google Home or use Google Assitant? Try this command “Hey, Google! Get spooky.” and get an hour-long playlist of spooky sounds and music.
  • 🎃Here is a Halloween Magnetic Poetry template from Kasey Bell


The tool I have to share with you this week is Nearpod. This is a tool that helps students engage with your lessons through their student devices. Nearpod allows you to create interactive lessons and has a library of ready to use resources. This tool also helps you assess students as you go. Nearpod is flexible and can be adapted for use in any subject area and any grade level. They even have free lessons for social-emotional learning. Watch the video below to learn more.

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Google Expeditions

The tool I have to share with you this week is Google Expeditions. Expeditions has explorations for any subject are. The VR expeditions will work on Chromebooks. There are over 900 expeditions for VR. If you are more visual, you can refer to the curated content here, too. One of my favorite tours is the Wonders of the World tour (since I am trying to visit them all). I must say The Great Wall of China, Chichén-Itzá, Rio de Janiero, and Machu Picchu look just like that! The AR Expeditions are great for bringing abstract concepts to life. Check out Mt. Fuji on my desk! If you would like help integrating this into your lessons, let me know. I’m here to help!


Pear Deck & Global Read Aloud

The tool I have to share with you this week is Pear Deck. This is a Google Add-On for Google Slides. It helps make your slides presentations more interactive. Students can join your presentation session/lesson by joining with a code. The slides get pushed out to display on participant screens and allows them to submit responses to tasks. This is a great tool for checks for understanding and IT’S FREE! Check out these example slide decks from Be Internet Awesome.

The Global Read Aloud is back starting on 9/30/19! Visit the website to sign up and check out #gra19 on social media.