New Google Sites – So many uses!

Websites are awesome ways to share information, but sometimes creating them is difficult. I think the NEW Google Sites is a great platform for teachers and students to create websites.  It’s easy to use and looks “pretty” without any effort.

I had a great time helping our Law Related Ed students create their own Google Sites about different types of dissemination.  In two class periods, students in groups of three made complete websites.  They weren’t all perfect, but they gave students a chance to explore the topics, decide what information is important and determine how best to share it with others.

I also enjoyed sharing Google Sites at our last District PD.  I created a new Google Site to share reC5H1qkIXUAIsKkk.jpgsources I’ve found. A site about sites!  Check it out here:

Site about Sites!




21st Century Skills at DFHS

Post originally published April 1, 2014:

I had the pleasure of talking to students about the 4 C’s and 21st Century Skills.

 See how DFHS students and staff answered the questions . . .

– What does COMMUNICATION look like at DFHS?

– What does CRITICAL THINKING look like at DFHS?

– What does CREATIVITY look like at DFHS?

– What does COLLABORATION look like at DFHS?

Check out the video at:


Kahoot for Engagement

Post originally published Feb 2014:

I enjoyed visiting Mr Clem’s AP Human Geography class on Monday while they were reviewing for an upcoming assessment.  Mr Clem had created a Kahoot as a way to review for their test.  Students and teachers alike love Kahoot.  Getting to race to get an answer and seeing how you stack up to others are great incentives for many students.  Mr Clem also used the Kahoot as a way to talk about the material and a way for students to see what areas they needed more clarification or extra study time.
If you’re looking for a fun and easy to use EdTech tool, try Kahoot!

First ISTE Convention – Denver 2016

Post originally published June 28, 2016

I’m at my first ever ISTE convention, and I want to make sure I remember as much as I can.  I’ve also told myself I want to get better about blogging, so what better time to start than when surrounded by 14,000 educators!

Sunday evening I enjoyed walking all around the conference center and getting a clear lay of the land.  It helped tremendously for yesterday.  I was able to touch base with Kitty Tripp from our own SC (and she’s a social media superstar for ISTE this year).  I liked the keynote from Michio Kaku. He had everyone thinking about how quickly things are changing and where we will be in the future.  As a physicist, he shared predictions of what we will see in the near future.  Big changes coming in education and medicine.

Monday was the first full day.  I’d read a lot about ISTE and follow many people who are attending, so I felt like I had a good idea of what to expect.  I started the morning with Lezlie Fisher’s session – Apps, Tools, Tips + Gadgets You Can Take to Class Tomorrow.  I was not disappointed.  Lezlie is a phenomenal presenter, full of energy and enthusiasm about learning.  While the tools she shared were not new to me, I appreciated seeing them in a new light and being reminded of the what they can do for our teachers and students.  I also liked hearing from Clara Pena about how she uses the tools in her classroom.  Great blended of how to and why!

I had been told that one of the best things about ISTE is making connections.  After the morning session, Formative reached out to me, so I was able to have a one-on-one with them later in the day. I also got to say hello and take quick pics with some of my favorites in edtech – Lezlie Fisher, Kathy Shrock, and Matt Miller.  While I have not pushed myself as much as I probably could have to truly connect in person with other educators, I still appreciate being surrounded by people who have the same passion I do.

Thanks to encouragement from Kitty Tripp, I had signed up to be a volunteer.  I was supposed to volunteer (in my lovely yellow shirt) at the Welcome area, but they asked me to move to the poster session.  This ended up being great.  I’d already been in the poster area the evening before to connect with some of the ISTE PLNs, so I had learned what a great area this is.  I met several volunteers who love ISTE and edtech.  Being able to help a little by answering questions and directing people also made me feel like a real part of ISTE.

I also spent some time in the exhibit hall looking at displays and talking to some vendors. The options for hardware, software, etc are amazing.  Some of my favorite stops of the day were Peardeck, LucidPress, Pond, Google, and Gradecam (although there were many more).  I haven’t ventured to the Nearpod booth yet, but it was super popular due to the VR goggles they were handing out.

I am so glad I made George Couros’s session a priority for the day. I first heard him at the Midlands Summit in Richland 2 and loved his message about what we need to be doing with our students.  His talk yesterday made us think, as well as laugh and cry (and I’m not exaggerating – it was very emotional).  I think I’ll need another post to share all his best lines and moments.

I finished off the day with the Ed Tech Coaches Network Annual meeting.  I am new to this group and have not really participated before, but I know this will be a great PLN for me.  While everyone here at ISTE is “my people” – this group of people specifically does what I do!  It was interesting to hear how similar, yet different our jobs are.  I am thrilled to make these connections and know there are people I can reach out to for new ideas.

Infographics & Canva


Post originally published Feb 2016


I made my first infographic!  I used the online version of canva to create this infographic for an AP Bio class.  While I did not have any luck with the iPad app, I was pleased with the web tool.  There were many free options and great templates to start with.  I could change colors, text, sizes and add many different items.  Canva also made it easy to export the infographic when I was done (as jpg or pdf).  I would definitely use this tool again and hope to find a way to help students create their own infographics as a way to synthesize and present information.

Tech Integration in Action – Padlet

Post originally published October 2014

This week was our monthly Wednesday Technology PD session.  In an effort to provide a framework and some direction for technology integration, I planned a session where teachers would review the ISTE Standards for Students (via a Powtoon I made and a PDF copy of the standards). While our teachers might have seen the standards before, we haven’t really focused on how they could provide support and direction for infusing technology into the curriculum.

After looking at the video, I introduced the online tool Padlet. I had created Padlet walls for each department as a place for the teachers to share their responses to the standards. Each teacher added a note to the wall: one that started “I’m already seeing” and another that began with “I’m intrigued by.”  Here’s one example:


Our teachers really embraced the standards and the process of using the Padlet.  In many of the sessions there were questions about how to use set up and use Padlet.  I was so glad to see teachers see the potential in this collaborative tool.  By the end of the school day, at least three teachers I knew of has already used it with their classes!  One of those was an AP Language class which used it to share what they’ve been learning about how to approach the AP test.  The teacher invited me in to see the students in action (see photo below).

I’m so impressed by our inquisitive faculty and their desire to try new things if they will help them and their students achieve success.


Using Google Forms with AP Psych Class – A Great Fit

Post originally published Sept 23, 2014

I had the pleasure of working with another class of AP Psychology students today.  I was invited in to help them learn how to use Google Drive, Google Forms as well as QR Code readers and QR code creators.  With those tools, the students worked in pairs to create psychology surveys they can have parents, students, and teachers take. I had the students take a survey I’d made using the same tools, then demonstrated how to make one.  Then the students worked together on developing their surveys.

One of the best part of this assignment is the attitude that the teacher, Mrs. B, has towards it.  She encourages students to try new things, learn new skills and to not worry about being perfect on the first try.  There were great conversations about statistics, data, what makes a good question, and more.   Mrs B also is willing to try new tools even though she doesn’t know everything about them. So often learning new technology is trial and error, and modeling that for the students is important. I also love how Mrs. B is concerned about sending her students off to college and work with important skills like collaboration and analysis of information. I feel like the technology was a great fit for her goals.