Quick Mail & Calendar Tips

Google has made some changes to Mail and Calendar that we thought might be helpful. Check out this quick video (1:30 minutes) to learn more.

Why did we do a video this time? Molly is practicing using Screencastify so she can create screen captured videos for students.

If you want more help using Google tools, or want to try a screencast video, please let us know!

MOOC for You

Let’s drop in to the middle of a MOOC!

A MOOC is a Massive Online Open Course. There are a lot of different MOOCs out there, some better than others. This is a link to a one hour video from a MOOC centered around a book called “The Innovator’s Mindset”. During this one hour video, they talk to an innovative teacher/author of another book called “Ditch that Homework”. Whether you agree or disagree with her ideas around homework, this video also touches on so many concepts we have been discussing lately. They discuss student choice, quality feedback, the importance or reading, spreadsheets, and the 5 E’s education model (Engage, Explore, Explain, Extend, Evaluate).
If you find it interesting, it is one video of a group of videos in this MOOC all available on youtube.  https://youtu.be/zyanhqEzbIY


Are you looking for a new way to assess your students, allow them to express themselves, and generate discussion? Take a look at flipgrid.com. It allows you to use simple video recordings to ask questions and collect answers. It is very popular among foreign language teachers.
Here is a quick video introducing Flipgrid! Let Mike and Molly know if you want to try it out!

Listenwise: Harness the Power of Listening

Wish there was an easy way to search for short NPR segments to use in class? It turns out, there is a program for that – Listenwise! The founder of Listenwise is Monica Brady-Myeroff (25-year public radio journalist at WBUR) and she started this company to help make it easy for teachers to use NPR materials in middle and high school classrooms.

I will be talking to a sales representative regarding the cost of the premium version. It would be very helpful for me to hear your impressions of the resource and whether or not you might use it in the future.

Here is just a teaser of some of the segments available:

Calculating a carbon footprint

Fidel Castro’s long legacy

Lessons from Hadrian

How sugar changes the brain

“Listenwise is an award-winning listening skills platform. We harness the power of listening to advance literacy and learning in all students. Our collection of podcasts and public radio keeps teaching connected to the real world and builds student listening skills at the same time.”

Why try this?

  • Good listeners become good readers. Improve listening comprehension skills.
  • The power of current events to start discussions about topics being studied
  • Real voices for real issues
  • In addition to larger collection, daily current events and questions

How does it work?

    Free version

  • Visit the site using any common browser (Chrome, Safari or Firefox)
  • Search for topics & choose a segment.
  • Subject streams for browsing include social studies, science & ELA
  • Stream the audio in class or use the link to assign it for homework
  • Each segment includes listening comprehension questions and listening organizers that can be printed and turned in.

   Premium version

The premium version is where some nice bells and whistles come in, especially for differentiating instruction and ELL support. Some features include interactive transcripts, auto-corrected comprehension quizzes and ELL supports.

Watch the tour via the link below to learn more.

Tour of the premium benefits

  • Interactive transcripts
  • Auto-corrected comprehension quizzes
  • ELL supports (speed, vocabulary, transcripts, etc.)

Thank you!



mr-teddys-picnicGoogle Docs is a wonderful, collaborative tool for creating text documents. There are ways to add images and other graphic design elements, but it remains limited for creating really attractive visual images. If you have a project you want to take to the next level of design, you may want to try Lucidpress.

This user-friendly desktop publishing software is great for making posters, fliers, newsletters, and social media posts. It has a wealth of templates, even a whole section dedicated to educators (reading logs, exit tickets, KWL chart templates).

Using your Applewild Google ID, you have free access to a full-featured version of this program. Check it out at Lucidpress.com.

The Teddy Bear Picnic postcard was quick and easy to create. Lucidpress was also used to create the 6th Grade Art Exhibit brochure. If you want to see that or other examples, just reach out to Mike or Molly.



Are you thinking of flipping your classroom or using blended learning? Here is a great tool to help you add some videos with built in assessment to your lessons.

EDpuzzle is a free website that will let you take either videos you make yourself or videos you find on the internet and edit them to just the parts you want and add some assessment questions to make sure the students are watching and understanding them.

Here is a link to a great review of the website. http://www.edudemic.com/edpuzzle-review-easy-use-tool-lets-teachers-quickly-turn-online-video-lessons/

Check out the review or come to one of the next Technophiles meetings when Mike and Molly will demo it for you.

Graphite & Mindset

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I missed Tech Tuesday, so here is Where-did-the-week-go Wednesday!

I have mentioned Graphite before, it is the teacher resources section of Common Sense Media, the organization that we use for digital literacy instruction. Graphite is a great first stop if  you are looking for education apps.

This week Graphite announced a Lesson Plan Challenge that ties in perfectly with our study of Mindset this year. The primary focus is on math lessons, but they said they will accept technology rich lessons from all disciplines as long as they have a Mindset focus. I know a February 29th deadline is difficult with everything going on, but maybe you have an existing lesson to enter? If nothing else, I look forward to sharing the winners so we can watch Mindset in action.