GC Basics

I am excited to present to you some short but very useful Google Classroom training videos.  There are 15 videos here that are mostly around 2 minutes long which will teach you everything you need to know to get started with Google classroom.  

When you get bored of summer in a few weeks and you are yearning to learn, Please explore these resources to prepare yourself to use Google Classroom next school year.   

“Shall We Play A Game?”

Here is a link to an article from TCEA with some ideas of games you can play live in an online meeting with your students. https://blog.tcea.org/zoom-games/?utm_source=TCEA+Emails&utm_campaign=2e13991d66-TN-MAY12&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_f3a5bb651e-2e13991d66-68439791&ct=t(TN-MAY12)

A scavenger hunt and charades are two of my favorite ideas on this blog post.  A scavenger hunt would be easy to pull off.  Send students to find an object in their home.  Have several rounds and eliminate students each round maybe or award points.  

It also got me thinking about playing Boggle.  If you have a document camera or adjustable webcam you could share the Boggle letters with your students and have them write their list of words.  Great spelling practice.

I have also seen mention of teachers playing chess and checkers with their students.  This would involve labeling the boards columns and rows to communicate moves.  That’s practicing graphing concepts as well as critical thinking.  


Screencast-o-matic is a versatile tool that every teacher can use to create digital content for their students.   

Screencast-o-matic is an awesome tool for recording a video of what is happening on your computer screen. It can often be easier to make a quick little video to explain a concept than to try and explain something in writing or over the phone. Screencast-o-matic helps you record your screen to save a video that you can share with others.

I use this tool all the time to record walk through videos. I have used it to record a scene from a movie that I wanted to show my students. You can run a slide show and record narration of you explaining a lesson to your students.  You can make videos explaining steps of directions for an assignment or project.  You could make a video showing your students how to navigate your Google Classroom or how to find something in Google Classroom.  You could even eliminate the confusion on how to turn in assignments in Google Classroom by making a walk through video for your students.

What are some other ways you have used a screen recording software?  What are some ideas you have for how you could use this for the first time?  Please go to the FB page I to share your ideas with us as a comment on this post: 

Below is a quick video walk through of how Screencast-o-matic works.

Video in Google Meet

With a recent update you can finally play videos in Google Meet and have the sound broadcast through to your audience. When you go to present your screen you need to choose “tab” to present a video with sound. So make sure you have the video you want to play already open in a tab and ready to present.

Have you successfully used this new feature yet with your students? Please share you experience with us as a comment here:


YOU can edit videos. It really is super easy with WeVideo.com . Check out this tutorial on how to upload your video clips and edit them together to produce a finished video in WeVideo.
We put together a cooking video in this tutorial. Below the WeVideo Tutorial you can also check out the video I made… IN THE VIDEO… on how to make low carb chips.

Google Hangouts

Google Hangouts is a great communication tool for your team.

Google Hangouts lets you send text messages, images, make video calls, and more. Google Hangouts is already built into your Gmail page but you can use it on most any device and it syncs your conversations up across them all. Make sure you download the mobile app on your phone and the Google Chrome Extension on your Chrome browser. https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/google-hangouts/nckgahadagoaajjgafhacjanaoiihapd

Check out this quick introduction video to learn a little more about it.

Google Login Issues

Are you or your students having trouble accessing Google Forms, Drive, or Classroom when it requires you to be logged into your school gmail account? Here is my guide to fixing/avoiding these issues.

The first and simplest method is to use a Chromebook if possible. Just have the student login to the Chromebook with their school account. That should eliminate other logins interfering (Unless you have multiple logins in that Chromebook browser. If so delete the extra account.).

The second way is to create a separate Chrome Browser login desktop icon on your PC. Check out the video below to be walked through that.

May the 4th Be With You

Monday will be May the 4th, Star Wars Day.Here is a Star Wars coding lesson you can assign to your students so that they can learn about coding and practice problem solving skills.  There are two different coding activities, one suitable ages 6+ and a more challenging activity for ages 11+. 


Windows Split Screen Multi Task

Here is a quick tip to hopefully make it easier when looking up grades in Edgenuity or Google Classroom (LMS) and entering them in Infinite Campus(Grade book software).  It is also helpful when making new activities for your students and you need to see the Doc or Slides you are working in and the resource you are using. 

Here is also a resource for accomplishing the same thing on a Chromebook: https://www.groovypost.com/howto/view-apps-and-tabs-side-by-side-on-your-chromebook/

Here is a little bonus info


Google Slides Publish to the Web

If you have a slide show that you have created you can easily share it with your students, parents, or staff by simply publishing it to the web through Google Slides. You don’t have to create a website to host it online. Google slides will generate a link for you to share that presents your slide show in presentation mode. That’s what makes this different than just sharing it from your Google Drive. A published slideshow is presented to the viewer and not in edit mode.

What would you share?  Maybe photos of your students or their work.  Those cutesy slideshows of somebody holding cue cards to tell a story.

Check out my quick video walk through to see it in action. Also the steps are below the video.

To publish a slideshow to the web you simply go to “file” then “publish to the web”. Then set up the options the way you need them and select “Start Publishing”.

WDW Virtual Field Trip

The folks in Florida may have no idea when Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom will open again but in the mean time we can take a virtual field trip there. I have created an exciting activity for your students to explore and as an example to inspire you to create a virtual field trip of your own. I created this in Google Drawings and Sites.

This is an educational field trip not just fun. This virtual field trip includes essential knowledge and skills from Reading, Math, Science, History, Geography, and more.

Check out my introduction video of how it works. Then explore the activity at the link below.

Here are the activities in Google Forms if you want to save a copy to assign to your students to get their responses.



Google Classroom Custom Banner Image

Did you know you can change the banner image at the top of your Google Classroom? There are quite a few stock images to select from built in to Google Classroom. You can also upload your own image. Here is a quick guide on how to create your own correctly sized (16.67″x4.17″) banner image and how to add it to your Google Classroom. Check out the video below for the walk through.

Google Classroom Tips


Here is a link to some FAQ’s and tips for using Google Classroom from Mrs. Kasey Bell. Kasey Bell’s Shake Up Learning is a great resource to follow.
One cool tip I learned from this page was that you can post assignments to all of your classes at the same time if you are not scheduling them ahead of time. This link will show you how.

EdTech Quick Tip: Google Meet Class Time Procedure

I was in a Region 10 Webinar today about Remote Learning for the ESL classroom, which I will post about later, and I noticed a great strategy they were using to keep the meeting going smoothly. The presenter had a second person that was monitoring the chat tab and would relay the questions to the presenter. I thought this would be a great job for you to assign to a student helper. The student helper could keep their microphone open and be responsible for interrupting the teacher and reading the questions from chat so that the teacher can address them while they are relevant.


Let’s take a quick look at Classkick’s super short introduction video then we will dive in deeper.

You can create new interactive assignments in Classkick that include manipulatives, multiple choice, and fill in the blank activities. You could also use the multiple choice and fill in the blank question features to add on to an existing worksheet.

This looks like a great new tool to try. It also has some pretty decent features with the free basic account.

Here is my video walk through of Classkick. It includes signing up, the features, creating an assignment, and assigning it to your students. It’s a little longer but very detailed and helpful.

Bill of Rights Game

Do I Have a Right? - GameUp - BrainPOP.


Do I Have a Right

This is a cool game based on the Bill of Rights. Students run a law office and interact with clients to determine if they have a case in their complaint. Watch the video below of me checking out the game and seeing how it works.

To assign the game to your students in Google Classroom you have to find it through the green teach tab at the top of the home page. Then you will find the button to assign it in Google Classroom. You could easily just share the link as well without involving Google Classroom. It looks like there is an Apple and Android app as well.

Thanks to Mrs. Kaufman for sharing this with me.

Discovery Education Coding

Check out this message below from Discovery Ed

Coding Designed for Kids
 We’re excited to provide your educators and students with an exclusive full-access preview of our all-new Coding app, now available with Discovery Education Experience through June 30, 2020.

Discovery Education Coding provides completely self-guided and engaging lessons for students to learn block coding, HTML, and Python. Designed for educators and students with varying levels of skill, Coding is easy to use and loaded with Help videos and lessons. And, best of all, students can demonstrate their creativity by creating their own apps and sharing them with their classmates!

Want to maximize your students’ experience with Discovery Education Coding? Be sure to maximize your free student accounts today!*”In today’s Digital Age, coding and coding literacy are important skills every child should have the opportunity to develop. A basic understanding of coding fosters student creativity as it sharpens the problem-solving and numeracy skills critical to future success. I am looking forward to integrating this new digital resource into my lessons.”

As you begin to explore, visit the Coding page in the Professional Learning Center (PLC) to find:An Overview Video
A Getting Started Guide
Coding, Python and HTML Navigation Tools
Studio Boards

Please note that we have updated our terms and conditions to extend any obligations that relate to Discovery Education Experience to Discovery Education Coding as well. See our updated terms and conditions here for U.S., Canada, and International.
Privacy | Terms of Use

This email was sent by: Discovery Education, Inc.
4350 Congress Street, Suite 700, Charlotte, NC, 28209 US

Please add the domain @email.discoveryeducation.com to your safe senders list to ensure you continue
to receive these updates.


Let’s take a look at Powtoon. Powtoon is a video creation tool that lets you make animated engaging videos to share with your students. There are a few usable free features available to you that make it worth checking out. There are two videos here. The first video walks through how Powtoon works. The second video is an example I created.

Smithsonian Resources


LeVar Burton Reads Stories on Twitter and Other Livestream Learning Opportunities This Week

These resources include kid’s P.E. classes on YouTube.

Laurie Berkner Facebook Live singing and story telling.

Facebook Live videos with Pennsylvania’s Elmwood Park Zoo.

An outdoor adventure class.

Daily Art challenges.

Zoom Civics lessons from the National Constitution Center.

There are also Language arts reading programs.

There is also a link to astronomy resources.

Region 10 At-Home Instructional Support

Region 10 has curated content and resources that are available on their website at the link below.


The resources on this website includes Administrator resources for assistance making decisions and supporting your staff.

Teacher resources include theoretical support as well as content are resources.

There are also links for Counselors, CTE, Dyslexia, ESL, Fine Arts, and more.

There is also a schedule of remote learning webinars being hosted by R10.

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There are websites for families from Scholastic, PBS, and others.

There is also information regarding discount home internet providers.

See All the Smiles

Google Meet Grid View is a Google Chrome extension that will tile the camera view of all the participants in your Google meet session so that you can see all their faces. Thanks to Ms. Hall for sharing this one.

"No data is stored by the extension, it's a purely cosmetic script. No extra permissions are required except access to meet.google.com."


Distance Learning Resources



Classlink is the best way to get your students connected to Google Classroom and many other online activities.  After students login to Classlink they only need to launch Google Classroom and they will be connected.

ClassLink also contains many other activities and resources for your students to work on. 

Check out this link here to find ClassLink Resources for your students.  

Google Classroom

Google Classroom will be the easiest way for you to push out assignments for your students to access at home.  

If you do not already have a Google Classroom for your students you can refer to this training here for information on setting that up.  

Email your students the Class Code for the class section you want them to join.


You can record a video to post to your Google classroom of a lecture, explanation of directions, etc.  

You can accomplish that as easily as making a video on your phone and uploading it through the Google Classroom App.

Use the webcam on a Chromebook to record a video that will save in your Google Drive.

You can get fancier with a program like Screencast-o-matic that will record a screen capture video.  You could use a tool like that to click through a slideshow and narrate as you would in class.  You can record screencasts up to 15 minutes long for free. A deluxe account that removes the time limit and gives you access to their decent editing software is less than $20 a year.


FlipGrid is another amazing tool that you could use to pose questions to your students and allow them to respond with a short video.  You could ask them to reflect on a reading or other assignments.   

You can learn more about FlipGrid and ways to us it here.  Flip Grid works with Google Classroom.  You can connect it to your Google Classroom and post assignments through FlipGrid.  


EdPuzzle is another tool that you can use to create assignments that your students could easily complete from home on their own devices.  You can learn more about EdPuzzle here.  EdPuzzle also integrates with Google Classroom.  You can post EdPuzzle assignments into Google Classroom from EdPuzzle.

Turn a .PDF worksheet into a Google Classroom Digital Assignment

Today we are going to learn a quick and easy way to turn those .pdf worksheet files into a format that can be assigned and completed in Google Classroom.

I will walk you through the process in the video but here are the basic steps:
1) Save the worksheet as an image (make it the background on the slide)
2) Create a new Google Slide
3) Change Google Slide size to 8.5×11 or 11×8.5 depending on your worksheet
4) Enter text boxes for students to type answers over the image

It is super simple to accomplish and can turn something old into something useful during these times.

EdTech Quick Tip: Trouble printing .pdf in Google Chrome

We have been struggling around our household with printing pdf files. When you click print the browser is freezing on the print preview screen. The work around I have come up with is to download the pdf and open it in Adobe Acrobat Viewer instead of Chrome. You can change the settings of your Chrome browser to force it to do that. In the Chrome settings search for pdf. Under Site Settings will be the PDF Documents menu. Expand that and turn on the setting to “Download PDF files instead of automatically opening them in Chrome”

EdTech Update 26 March 2020

EdTech Update
26 March 2020

What a busy and interesting time we are all working through!
Today I am bringing you something new, a reminder, and something fun. In true dessert first fashion let me throw something fun at you first.
This is my current favorite song. You will either love it and think it is genius or you will HATE it and hope you never hear it again. Feel free to let me know where you fall on the issue.

For our reminder, you can get help with Google Hangouts, Meet, Contacts, Calendar, and how they all work together to run your new online class through the link below.


Something New!!!
Google Jamboard
Jamboard is an interactive whiteboard software that you could use during your Google Meet sessions or even in class someday….
Check out the video and link below for a quick introduction to Jamboard.

Google Voice

Google Voice

March 17, 2020|Accommodations, Blended Learning, EdTech, ELAR, Elementary, ELL, FERPA, Google, Kinder, Math, Organization, Science, Secondary, Social Studies, SPED, Tools

If you are unable to get to your school phone and don’t want to use your personal phone number, Google Voice could be a great option for you to use when making phone calls to contact parents.  You can set up a free Google Voice account with your personal Google Account.  You cannot set up a Google Voice account with your school Google account, it must be a personal account.  Google Voice will generate a phone number that will forward to your personal phone number.  When you make calls from the Google Voice Application it will show the new Google Voice number as our caller ID.  You can access Google Voice through a mobile phone application or on a computer with a headset.

Here is a link to information about getting started with Google Voice:  https://support.google.com/voice/answer/115061?co=GENIE.Platform%3DDesktop&hl=en 

Getting Started with Google Meets and More

March 17, 2020|Accommodations, Blended Learning, EdTech, ELAR, Google, Math, Organization, Science, Secondary, Social Studies, SPED, Tools

Google Hangouts Meet will be a primary contact tool that you use with your students during this time. 

The first step you will need to take is to create a Gmail Contact Group of your students.  Those groups are called “Labels” and they are in Google Contacts.  Here is a quick video walk through of how to set up a Label.  

Do you need to create a spreadsheet of parent email addresses?  There is no exact and easy way to accomplish that in Infinite Campus but we have worked out a plan to help you create that list if you do not already have one.  There are two steps in this process.  The first step will be to create a Google Form requesting that parents verify their current email address that they wish to use.  The second step will be to send that form out through the Messenger platform in Infinite Campus.  This is not going to be a perfect solution.  You will have to fill in the gaps for students who you do not get responses from but this will hopefully drastically reduce the amount of email addresses that you have to look up one at a time in Infinite Campus.  

Step 1 Video Creating the Google Form https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LXKd39rYiEs 

Step 2 Video Sending that Form out through Infinite Campus  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_sDWT9g55OQ 

If you want to create a Gmail contact group label list for parents here are the steps to create that.

There is no way to just pull a list of parent emails only for all your students. You can select print roster in Infinite Campus to speed up the process of getting all those parent emails. Make sure to check guardians and show guardian contact information.

To schedule a Google Hangouts you will need to send out a Calendar invite.  Your students will receive an email confirmation about the Calendar invite.  In that email will be the link to join the Hangouts meeting.  Here is a quick video on how to send out a calendar invite.  

Are you getting spammed with emails from parents and students accepting your calendar invite?  You can create a filter to automatically archive those responses and keep them out of your inbox.  Here is a quick walk through for setting that up:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UNSiI2vjNPw&feature=youtu.be 

Now when you are ready to join your Google Hangout Session the quickest and easiest way to access your meeting is through your calendar.  Here is a quick video walk-through on how to join and operate the meeting.  

You CAN record a Google Hangout Session so that students who missed it can watch it at a later time.  While in your Hangout Meeting click the 3 dots in the bottom right corner and click Record Meeting.  After your meeting is finished and you stop the recording (same place) a recording will be automatically uploaded to your Google Drive in a folder called “Meet Recordings”.  The recording could be uploaded to Google Classroom.  The video recording of the meeting should also be available to the invited guests on the Calendar invite.