Thursday, February 28, 2019

Classroom Broadcast with Cressida Cowell - Author of How to Train Your Dragon - March 6th, 2019

On March 6th,  Cressida Cowell will host a classroom broadcast (Author of How to Train Your Dragon Series) will show how using character development and details in stories make them more believable and fun. 

The broadcast will air twice on Wednesday March 6th at 9:00 Eastern Time/ 14:00 GMT and 13:00 Eastern Time/18:00 GMT followed by live Q&A chat with Cressida each time.

On the link you will also see activity plans, dragon trainer certificates, letters to parents, Flipgrid challenges, etc.

Not in school at this time? Register anyway, and an on-demand version will be sent as son as it is available as well as instructions for submitting student questions to Cressida.

Take care,

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Scan a document easily with your Notes app on your iOS device

If you would like to scan a document - take out your phone, press down with a bit of pressure (3D touch / long press) and you will see: New Note, New Checklist, New Photo, and Scan Document.

Press on scan document and let the camera scan the document for you. You can then send in an email, text, create, a PDF, etc.

Embedded below is a 32 second YouTube tutorial.


Tuesday, February 26, 2019

How to use TweetDeck for Twitter Chats

If you have ever wanted to be part of a Twitter chat but had a difficult time following along and feeling as though you were part of the chat, try Tweetdeck.

Beth Houf mentioned this during Monday night's #tlp (Teach Like a Pirate) Twitter chat as it sparked the idea for this blog post.

When you open up Tweetdeck follow these steps:

  • Select Add Column 
  • Select User and add the user that is hosting the chat
  • Select Search and add the hashtag (in the example I use in the video it is #tlp (Teach like a Pirate)
  • Last, select @Mentions. These are tweets that include your Twitter handle. You will see who is directly addressing you. You can remove re-tweets from this screen by using the button at the top right to toggle re-tweets on and off.

Embedded below is a 1 minute and 25 second YouTube tutorial.

Take care,

Monday, February 25, 2019

Google Classroom Updates Classroom Stream - move a post to top Customize how notifications appear

Google Classroom has two nice minor updates.

1. You can now move a post in the Stream to the top. This is helpful for that post that you want your students to have quick access to.

2. Customize how notifications you make in Classwork appear in the Stream. You can hide or expand them to show more details. Personally, I like the expand option as students would instantly see possible attachments in the Stream.

Embedded below is a second YouTube tutorial. For more information revolving around Manage Classroom Settings - click here.

Take care,

Sunday, February 24, 2019

How to shoot authentic retro films with your iPhone/iPad using the 8mm Vintage Camera app

The 8mm Vintage Camera App is an app that allows you to shoot authentic retro films. In fact the app was used by director Malik Bendjelloul in his Oscar-winning film "Searching for Sugar Man"! You can choose from a variety of filters including:

  • 1920
  • 7OS
  • Sakura
  • XPro
  • Noir
  • 60s
  • Pela
  • Indigo
  • Tuscan
  • Two-Color
  • 2 Strip
  • 3-X
  • Siena
A few pieces of advice - select the i on the left side for information regarding what all the buttons do. 

If you want to upload old video make sure to select Load Video and when it loads, make sure to select the Record button to start the effects.

You can also add your own audio, make sure to allow Apple Music.

Embedded below is a GIF followed by a 1 minute and 25 second YouTube tutorial.

Take care,

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Remember to right click on a link to open in a new tab

If you are on a site with a lot of links, remember to right click on the link and choose to either open link in new tab/window/incognito window, Save or Copy the link, or Inspect.
This can save you and your students some unwanted frustrating moments.

Embedded below is a GIF followed by a second YouTube tutorial.

Take care,

Friday, February 22, 2019

Right click on an email in Gmail for options

Google recently released the right-click context menu - click here for Google's post. Basically when you right click on an email you will see the options available to you below.

Embedded below is a GIF followed by a 28 second YouTube tutorial.

Take care,

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Immersive Reader built directly into Flipgrid

Flipgrid has Microsoft Edge's Immersive Reader built directly into each topic you create. Students will be able to access the immersive reader by selecting it next to the title. Once selected students will see a focus directly on the instructions as all distractions have been removed.

In the upper right students will see the options for Text Preferences, Grammar Options, and Reading Preferences.
Under Text Preferences you will see options for Text Size, Option to Increase Spacing, Change Font styles, and color theme options.

Under Grammar Options you will see the ability to show the syllables in each word, as well as toggle on Parts of Speech (with or without a label).
Last you will see Reading Preferences with Line Focus (highlights just one line), Picture Dictionary (students can click on words that they would like to see a picture, they can also translate by word or whole document.
Finally, when your student is ready to listen to the instructions, they will see the option to read below the instructions.

Embedded below is a 2 minute and 28 second YouTube tutorial.

Take care,

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Use Learning Tools (Immersive Reader) that are available in Microsoft Edge's browser

If you would like to have the ability to remove distractions, adjust text size, adjust background of an article, have the article read aloud, etc. try Edge's Learning Tools (Immersive Reader).

In order to have the options available to you make sure to use Edge as your browser and then look to the right of the URL (web address) and you will see what looks like a book.
Make sure to select he book and you will see that distractions have been removed from the article and a gray rectangle with options will appear at the top of the article. If the rectangle disappears, make sure to click directly above the title of the article.

You will then see options you see below. These options deal with text size, read aloud, grammar tools (talk with your tech department for options), printing options, as well as full screen.

Embedded below is a 1 minute and 56 second YouTube tutorial.

Take care,

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Add your Screencastify videos directly in Google Slides with their add-on

Awesome news! If you use Screencastify for video creation you know how easy it is to use their extension to create awesome videos. Well now, you can quickly add those videos your created directly within Google Slides. You will just need to use Screencastify's Add-on built into Slides.

Embedded below is a GIF followed by a 1 minute and 10 second YouTube tutorial.

Take care,

Monday, February 18, 2019

Four opportunities to attend a virtual field trip with Pro Football Hall of Famers Andre Reed, John Stallworth, Charles Halley, and Aeneas Williams

If you would like to be attend a virtual field trip with Pro Football Hall of Famer John Stallworth or Charles Haley see the embedded information below. This information is available on the NFL's website by clicking here -

Below you will see names, dates, times, etc.

You will also see information the NFL send out recently to those that have been part of the series in the past. If you have any questions please reach out!

February 12, 2019
Dear Educators:

The Pro Football Hall of Fame will once again offer its highly popular Heart of a Hall of Famer series, powered by Extreme Networks, on Tuesday, February 26th at 12:00PM ET / 11:00AM CT featuring Gold Jacket John Stallworth. The program provides students the opportunity to learn what it took beyond athletic ability to achieve success on and off the field.
John Stallworth played for the Pittsburgh Steelers for 14 seasons from 1974 through 1987. The 6-2, 191-pound speedster teamed first with Lynn Swann and later with Louis Lipps to give the Steelers an unusually potent pass-receiving tandems. Stallworth caught 537 passes for 8,723 yards and 63 touchdowns, all Steelers team records at the time of his retirement. A veteran of six AFC championship games and four Steelers Super Bowl triumphs (IX, X, XIII, XIV), Stallworth was named All-Pro in 1979 and All-AFC in 1979 and 1984. He also played in four Pro Bowls following the 1979, 1982, 1983 and 1984 seasons.
Stallworth, who scored the winning touchdown on a 73-yard reception in Super Bowl XIV against the Los Angeles Rams, holds the Super Bowl records for career average per catch (24.4 yards) and single-game average, 40.33 yards in Super Bowl XIV. He had 12 touchdown receptions and a string of 17 straight games with a reception in postseason play. He also held Steelers team records for career and single-season receptions, career reception yardage and his 64 touchdowns scored ranks second behind Franco Harris following his retirement in 1987. Stallworth led the AFC with a career-high 1,395 yards gained on 80 receptions in 1984, when he was named the NFL Comeback Player of the Year.
Any school can connect to the Heart of a Hall of Famer program via a PC/MAC/IOS/Android device or a traditional video conferencing system. There are limited interactive and video conferencing system spots are available and the first 7 schools to register will receive those spots. If you register and are not one of the first 7 schools, you can still be part of the program - just as a "view only" school. You will still be able to access the chat function to possibly ask Mt. Reed a question. Session is available to grades 4th-12th and is free of charge, thanks to our sponsors at Extreme Networks! For more information or to register, please contact our Education Department at or visit
If you have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out! You can contact me at 330-588-3558 or by email at
Honor the Heroes of the Game
Preserve its History
Promote its Values
Celebrate Excellence EVERYWHERE

Pro Football Hall of Fame

February 13th, 2018

Dear Educator:

The Pro Football Hall of Fame is proud to offer your students a live look-in at our Heart of a Hall of Famer series. This series provides students the opportunity to learn first-hand what it took beyond athletic ability and football knowledge for legendary Heroes of the Game to achieve success on and off the football field.The Program will focus on the 5 Hall of Fame Values: Commitment, Integrity, Courage, Respect and Excellence.

Join us on Wednesday, March 13th with Gold Jacket and 49ers' and Cowboys' Legend Charles Haley as he will be on hand at the Hall of Fame to share stories that helped shape his character. We will be streaming the program LIVE on the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Facebook page and will take questions from students throughout the program. To participate, all you will need to do is:
-      Visit at 12:00PM on March 13th to view the program
-      To ask a question, comment on the post with the following information:
  • First Name of Student
  • Name of Teacher
  • Name/Location of School
  • Question for Gold Jacket 
If you have any questions, don't hesitate to email me or give me a call at (330)-588-3558.


Honor the Heroes of the Game
Preserve its History
Promote its Values
Celebrate Excellence EVERYWHERE

Take care,

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Novel Effect - use voice recognition technology to sync theme music and sound effects.

Novel Effect  is a free app that uses voice recognition technology to sync theme music and sound effects to a novel you are reading. You can read from an EBook or choose a book you already own.

Once you download the app simply scroll through the categories or use the search in the upper right.

In the embedded 2 minute and 41 second YouTube video below I show what the app looks like as well as read aloud Goodnight Moon and the beginning of The Tale of Peter Rabbit.

Imagine the eyes on your child, grandchild, or students when you use Novel Effect!!

Take care,

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Want to quickly move a whole paragraph easily in Google Docs? Try Alt Shift arrow or select whole paragraph and drag

 If you have ever wanted to quickly and easily move a paragraph within a Google Doc, try these two ways:

  1. Select within the paragraph and then hold down (Alt and Shift) and then arrow key down
  2. Select whole paragraph (click within paragraph and triple click) and then drag the paragraph up or down
Embedded below is a GIF followed by a 45 second YouTube tutorial.

Take care,

Friday, February 15, 2019

ReadWorks has included richly illustrated eBooks to their collection

ReadWorks has now added illustrated eBooks to their collections. (click here for a link from ReadWorks about their eBooks). Simply select eBooks underneath Curriculum & Supports and then assign as you typically would to your class (class or Google Classroom).

When students see the article assigned to them, they will need to select eBook at the top of the article.

Embedded below is  a 1 minute and 9 second YouTube tutorial followed by previous blog posts about ReadWorks.

Take care,

Thursday, February 14, 2019

NBA All-Star Virtual Field Trip - Thursday 2/14 at 1:00PM EST

The NBA and Discovery Ed are hosting an NBA All-Star Virtual Field Trip today (2/14/19) at 1:00 EST. Students will have a look behind the scenes and help them learn how NBA staff use STEM skills in their work each and every day!

Registration takes about 1 minute and you will be ready to go. To register click her of the link below:

Take care,

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

How to make pixel and emoji paintings with Google Sheets

I was looking through some different scripts in Google Sheets and came across this template to create pixel and emoji art. I had an awesome time creating both pixel and emoji art - I can not wait to show Sydney and Jack later today when I get home from a conference in Hershey, PA.

The steps to create both pixel and emoji art are really quite simple.
  • Open the Spreadsheet template and create a copy in your Drive.
  • Go to the Spreadsheet Art menu and upload the image from your desktop. You can use images of any size or resolution.
  • The script will now run and write the proper hex color codes in the cells of the spreadsheet as well as set the background color of every cell as the color of the corresponding pixel.
    • If you chose emoji - the cell will be filled with emojis that match the color of the pixel.
  • Finally, the script will resize the cells and turn them into perfect squares.

Embedded below is a GIF followed by a 2 minute and 28 second YouTube tutorial.

Take care,

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Add your own GIFs in

Classroomscreen is an amazing free tool that includes a timer, text tools, drawing tool, name picker, work symbols and more. If interested you can see embedded blog posts that I have created in the past revolving around classroomscreen at the bottom of the post.

The other day I created stop motion animation GIF using Google Slides - see blog post here. Leah, my wife who is a 4th grade teacher, saw it and wanted to know if she could use that GIF in classroomscreen. I knew that you could upload your own images, but never thought about GIFs. So, we gave it a shot and to our excitement - it did!

One thing that I did notice was that the GIF was a bit fast. So, we used and then selected resize. At the top I then selected speed at the top of the screen.

Once the speed is the way you would like it, make sure to save the file and you are ready to go. Go ahead and upload the downloaded file Classroomscreen.

Embedded below is a GIF followed by a 34 second YouTube tutorial.

Take care,

Monday, February 11, 2019

#FlipgridFever🔥 meets the #Wakeletwave🌊 - a match made in edtech heaven!

Flipgrid🔥 and Wakelet🌊 are a match made in edtech heaven!

Flipgrid🔥 is an amazing platform that allows for all students to have a voice and be heard!

🔥      A class can be ready-to-go in mere minutes.
🔥      Educators need to simply create their account
         🔥  create a new grid
         🔥  add a topic
         🔥  and share with their community.

Once students have created their videos, the owner of the grid will simply
🔥      Enter into the topic inside of the grid
🔥      Select the Share button and
         🔥   select copy in the area that says share with families
         🔥   link is now copied and ready to be shared.

Wouldn't it awesome to be able to create a collection of videos from Flipgrid🔥 and be able to share them in a single shareable link? Maybe you want to add other content to that collection! Maybe add a link from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram (anything with a URL)! How about the ability to collaborate with other professionals about a topic? Sound too good to be true? Well, it isn't - it's Wakelet🌊!

If you have not already done so, you will need to create an account. Wakelet🌊 has made it easy by having options such as Office 365, Facebook, and Google to create your account. Of course you could also create an account by creating a username and password.

🌊      Make sure to give your name a collection and a description.

🌊      Decide the visibility of the collection (upper right of screen).
          🌊     private, unlisted, or public

🌊      Add a cover and background image (gives it a professional look)

🌊      Paste in your copied link from Flipgrid

🌊      Publish your collection

🌊      When you would like to share the collection, look at the bottom of the published collection and choose share. Options include:

         🌊     QR code, Facebook, Twitter Instagram, Reddit, Google Classroom, or a link.
         🌊     You can also create a PDF version of the collection that includes live links

🌊        If you would like others to contribute to this collection simply select Manage Contributors.
Embedded below is a GIF showing how easy it is to copy the Flipgrid🔥 link and place in a collection in Wakelet🌊. You will also see a 2 minute and 7 second YouTube tutorial I created showing the above.

Below you will also find Wakelet collection links revolving around both Wakelet and Flipgrid.

Catch the Flipgrid Fever 🔥 and ride the Wakelet Wave 🌊!

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Stop Motion Animation using Google Slides Create a shareable link or a GIF using TallTweets!

Want a fun and easy way to create Stop Motion Animation? Try using Google Slides. Below are the steps I took to create one along with a way to publish to a shareable link as well as a GIF! Water Cycle GIF below.

  • Start a new Google Slide
  • Change your Lay out to blank
  • Search in Google for a background image 
    • Make sure to select Tools and Color is transparent
    • Save to your computer
  • Go back to your Google Slide and choose background and the image
  • Now insert images that you would like to - in my example I just used text
  • When you have your first slide ready to go - make sure to duplicate it by right clicking on the slide itself (right side)
  • Once duplicated make sure to then change what you would like ever so slightly and then repeat the duplication process
    • In the example of the water cycle I created I used 57 slides
  • When completed you can now publish it (or create a GIF - see below)
  • To publish make sure to select File > Publish to the Web
    • Auto-Advance Slides to every 1 second
    • Check to start slideshow as the player loads as well as restart the slideshow after the last slide
  • Select Publish
  • Grab the shareable link and alter the last part of the link from 1000 to something around 100
  • Share away!!!!
GIF Directions
  • To create a GIF out of the slides open the website Talltweets
  • Make sure to link your Google Account and choose your presentation (can take a bit of time)
  • Choose 1200 for Width and 0.1 for Slide Duration
  • Select Create GIF (does take some time - be patient)
  • Once created, I right clicked on the GIF and saved to my desktop
Embedded below is a 2 minute and 54 second YouTube tutorial walking you through the steps.

Take care,

Saturday, February 9, 2019

How to adjust notifications in Flipgrid🔥

If you have used Flipgrid and your class responds to a topic you may receive 20+ email notifications in the span of just a few moments. If you would like to adjust your notifications in Flipgrid there are a number of ways to do this.

When you create your Grid make sure to edit the details in section 3 (Features). See embedded picture below. There you can toggle the Notify Me to off as well as additional features.

You can also enter into your Grid and select Grid Actions. Once Grid Notifications is selected you will then see the options that you will see in the 2nd embedded picture below. 

Embedded below is a 1 minute and 12 second YouTube tutorial showing what was discussed above.

Take care,

Friday, February 8, 2019

How to create barcodes using Google Sheets

Alice Keeler says, "The answer is always a spreadsheet" - well - she's right.
Thanks to Katy Barrey and Eric Laszakovits (NISDGoogleGuru) for sharing that Google Sheets can be used to create unique barcodes!

If interested, click on this link How Barcoding Technology Makes Education More Efficient - written in August of 2018.

Below I share the steps on how to create the barcodes.
  • In column C type in the following formula
  • ="*"&B2&"*"
  • Change the font style to Libre Barcode - I chose Libre Barcode39 - and Boom! You have your barcode.
  • Now drag the formula down the column as many as is needed!
Embedded below is a GIF followed by a 1 minute and 3 second YouTube tutorial.

Take care,

Thursday, February 7, 2019

How to add the classwork page to a previously created classroom in Google Classroom

If you created a classroom in Google Classroom before the beginning of the 2018-2019 school year and you do not see the Classwork section the solution is quite simple.

  • Look in the bottom left of your screen for the question mark. 
  • Select add Classwork page
Embedded below is a GIF followed by a 26 second YouTube tutorial.

Take care,

Wednesday, February 6, 2019 - Teleprompter that is voice activated and scrolls as you speak.

Eric Curts shared an amazing resource the other day - is a teleprompter that is voice activated! This is ideal for sites such as Flipgrid!

The other day I made a blog post about 2 ways to have text readily available for you (using the stickies and cueprompter). I would recommend over cueprompter as it is voice activated.

Embedded below is a GIF as well as a 50 second YouTube tutorial.

Take care,

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Topic Guests in Flipgrid Great for families, principals, other educators to see what is being discussed in a topic.

Flipgrid is an amazing resource that at its core is where student voice is heard. That being said, why not have those voices be heard by some guests?! Those guests could be families, other teachers, principals, etc. In order to allow for topic guests be sure to enter into your topic and add topic guests. You then have the option to allow Guest Mode which allows anyone with the link to view the videos. You can also allow guests to record videos back (they will need to put in their first and last name). You have the option to change the unique url as well as take Guest Access off.

Embedded below is a 1 minute and 22 second YouTube tutorial.

For more posts revolving around Flipgrid you can click here or see the embedded posts below.

Take care,

Monday, February 4, 2019

Voicepods - Convert text into shareable voice recordings

Voicepods enable you to convert text into shareable voice recordings. While there are other websites that will read the text of a webpage to you, voicepods allows you to save and playback whenever you want.

Embedded below is a 2 minute and 41 second YouTube tutorial.

I could see this website be helpful in a number of places, especially in an ELD setting.

Please note that it is free to try the first 5 pods; however, you will need to purchase a plan if you find this would be a site you would use numerous times. They do have a discount for education.

Take care,

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Google Maps will now help drivers stay within speed limits and avoid speed traps

My brother and I went to celebrate Christmas with my cousins (yes it is February - this was the first weekend we could all hang out)!

Anyway, my brother and I noticed that on the bottom left of his phone a speed limit pops up. This was extremely helpful because we were in Delaware and the speed limit in the first state changes more than any state I can think of!

Google Maps also is supposed to display the locations of speed traps through small camera icons and an audio warning that will alert if a speed trap is coming up. We did not see this today! 

This feature was two years in the making after it started testing in San Francisco and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Please note this is being rolled out to Google Map users - I do not have the option yet.

Take care,

Saturday, February 2, 2019

How to create a video in Adobe Spark

Adobe Spark allows you to create beautiful images, videos, and web pages. While you can use a free account, Adobe does offer free tools to create reports, presentations, posters, etc.

One of the great features is the ability to make a video. In the video you have numerous templates available to choose form, or you can create a video from scratch. In the sample below I created my video from scratch.

A few items to point out.

  • When you want to record your voice you will need to hold down the record button for the length of the recording session.
  • The video will have music playing (if you want to change the options are in the upper right of the screen).
Embedded below is a 4 minute and 20 second YouTube tutorial.

Take care,

Friday, February 1, 2019

How to publish your whole library in Book Creator

A great new update in Book Creator is the ability to publish a while library online. What is great is that you can publish as a link, link with a password, or publish and allow other schools to see the library (see picture below).

Embedded below is a 1 minute and 38 second YouTube tutorial. 

Embedded below are blog posts about Book Creator on Wakelet.

Take care,