Monday & Tuesday, May 9 & 10, Session Links for creating documents, presntation , forms, assessments and more.

How to create Self-Grading Quizzes Using Google Forms

Self-Grading Multiple Choice Tests with Google Docs

How to Make a Self-Calculating Survey:

Tom Barrett, a teacher in Great Britain offers a goldmine of ideas fro using Forms:
and 10 Google forms for the classroom  for shortening long URLS


Let’s not lose your internet bookmarks when they re-image your computer this summer. LiveBinders is your 3-ring binder for the web. Best of all, it’s free! links in a binder
for organizing your bookmarks and websites

Diigo – Online Bookmarking and Diigo is a powerful research tool and a knowledge-sharing community.

FREE Webinar & eBook: Do you have any of these Symptoms of Techphobia?


No Assignment, just an opportunity

Hey Teachers,
Do you have any of these Symptoms of Techphobia?

  • Do you think technology is TOO expensive?
  • Are you afraid of breaking your computer?
  • Do you think technology is difficult to learn?
  • Have you given up on getting sites unblocked at your school?
  • Are you wondering why you should change your traditional teaching methods?

If you answered yes to any of these… then YOU MUST attend this webinar!

The SimpleK12 Team has discovered the best tips, advice, and webtools proven to CURE Techphobia of all degrees.

And now we’re sharing all of these SECRETS with you (and giving you a FREE eBook so you can take them all home, too)!

Date & Time:

  • Wednesday, April 27, 2011  (can’t attend, check out the P.S. at the end)
  • 2:30 – 3:30 PM Eastern Time, USA
  • Cost: FREE
  • Register Now

Whether you’re Techphobic Tracy or EdTech Eddie, there’s something for you at this webinar, so reserve your space now.

This webinar and eBook (32 Tips for the Techphobic Teacher) were designed for Teacher Learning Community members but we’re opening it to the public for FREE.

The SimpleK12 Team
Twitter: @SimpleK12 and @TLC_edu

P.S. If you can’t attend the live webinar, you will still receive valuable follow-up information and a link to view the on-demand webinar recording… but, you MUST register.

Register Now

Roadblocks to technology use in your classroom

On my first visit, we drifted into a discussion about the roadblocks to using technology in your classroom in several of the sessions.  So, lets really discuss the topic before we move to the next course topic.

What are the problems?

  • lack of access to laptops
  • content filtering,
  • are you not comfortable with technology,
  • your skill level,
  • not wanting to change what you have been doing,
  • internet connection issues,
  • don’t see the value,
  • laptops not available on a regular basis,
  • laptops not powerful enough,
  • student issues
  • etc, etc.

Just what are the issues you face and if there are none, then tell use how you are using technology in your classroom and what is “right” about it.

First explore a few of these teacher sites and blog posts who are making use of and also  a few those who have opinions.

1.  Balanced Filtering in Schools: is a grassroots campaign to promote balanced content filtering in schools which complies with the law, promotes accountability, and encourages responsible digital citizenship.

2. Unmasking the Digital Truth: The goal of this collaborative wiki is to “unmask the digital truth” with respect to the reasons some leaders today are overfiltering and overblocking web 2.0 sites in schools and libraries, and provide reasonable alternatives which support broader student and teacher access to these sites. A basic level of content filtering is required in the United States for schools and libraries receiving federal E-Rate funding, and the purpose of this project is NOT to argue against all forms of content filtering in all situations. In some cases, however, educational leaders are obfuscating the issues relating to content filtering and access to web 2.0 websites in schools. This wiki seeks to unmask those reasons to provide facts, options and alternatives for community leaders interested in promoting broader access to web 2.0 tools in schools.

3. Technology and the Whole Child: Practical Theory BLOG, written by high school principal Chris Lehmann

4. Five Skills for 21st Century Learners: Molehills our of Mountains, K12 Administrator, Jeff Delp

5. Leading with our Linchpins: Connected Principals Blog, this post was written by Chris Wher

So what are the roadblocks for you moving forward and integrating technology into your curriculum on a daily basis?

Glogster, Poster Yourself, Great FREE tool

I am doing a series presentations in 3 sections a Literacy Methods class about Glogster. I decided I would put all the related resources I found about using and learning to use in the classroom on my blog for public consumption. (

The projects these pre-sevice teachers are doing are a book/author study, kind of a PR/advertising piece relating to a series of multicultural books purchased through a grant written by Dr. Laurie Curtis.  This is our third try with coming up a a suitable “tool” for the task.  We began with Photobooth & QuicktimePro, then moved to Voicethread and we have now decided that Glogster may just be the right solution for accomplishing what we need for the grant website.

I mention the other things we have tried because in working with technology, it is always process of finding the best tool for the task.  Sometimes it means jumping ship from what you did last time and trying something totally different.  I applaud Dr. Curtis for her willingness to try new things and if they don’t pan out, to try something else.  So far, from the first projects that have been submitted this semester, it appears that Glogster, just might be the answer we were seeking.

So, what about Glogster, what is it, exactly? GLOGSTER: Poster Yourself

First, as an educator, be sure you are using Glogster EDU. ( There is a, but sometimes some of the “posters” in the gallery on the home page are not appropriate for education.  So stick with the EDU side.  It works exactly the same way and has all the same features.

Glogster can be used in any number of content areas. I’ve had students use Glogster to create collages about famous figures from the 1920’s. Literature teachers may want to use Glogster to create book reports and or character portrayals. Creating Glogster collages could be an assignment in and of itself or the collages your students create could be part of larger collaborative project like creating a wiki on a particular unit of study.

Classroom Benefits: Benefits Glogster EDU provides to teachers and students:

  1. A fun learning experience
  2. A new way to express creativity
  3. Private, secure, safe virtual classroom monitored by teachers
  4. Drives new interest levels around subjects that may have been seen as “boring” before
  5. Adds needed audiovisual aspects to traditionally text-oriented subjects
  6. Fosters teamwork and collaboration with classmates
  7. Increases drive to be independently creative
  8. Unlimited shelf life
  9. Improves student-teacher relationships by allowing both to explore Web 2.0 & learning concepts together
  10. Keeps teachers and students up to date with modern technology

Click on Categories for great examples:  the category- Libary has some that are similar to what you are doing for you Multicultural Book Assignment.  And the Technology Category gives you some great how-tods, like how to use the Paper from digital scrap-booking sites.

RESOURCES to help you learn to Use Glogster: HOW-tos and tutorials

Other Resources to help you in creating a COOL Glog

Recording your voice:

On a Mac, Use GarageBand, share as mp3

On a Windows, I suggest Audacity. Audacity: The Free, Cross-Platform Sound Editor.  This will require you to download and install the program, but it is FREE and EXCELLENT. By the way it works on a Mac too.  The cool part is under the Effects menu.  Let’s say you are reading a book out loud, You can cange your voice and make each character in the book sound different.  Very FUN!

Adding Movies you make to your Glog:

On a Mac I would suggest using QuickTime, Photobooth, GarageBand or iMovie.

On a PC, Windows MovieMaker.

Need resources, like sound files, images, etc, take a look at my Technology Keys wiki, Tons and tons of resources organized by category, all free.


1.  Create an account at

2. Choose something you plan to teach in the near future or maybe something you have finished with and will do again next year.

3.  Take some time before creating your Glog and explore examples:

4.  Check out the TOUR and learn how to create:, and here is a tutorials created by a high school student to show you how to use, and here is another EXCELLENT tutorials by a teacher:

5.  Now that you have the idea, Create a Glog you could use in your classroom.  Make sure it includes images, links, video, sound and text.  Give it a good try.

6. Include the URL link to your Glog in your reflection and tell us what you thought about Glogster.

Let’s Talk Wiki!!

There is a great deal of talk about Wiki’s and many, many teachers are using them in the classroom for course content and with students.  There are a number of free wiki tools and all are pretty good to tell you the truth.

Video: Wiki’s in Plain English by Common Craft and Lee LeFever, A short introduction to wikis that illustrates how they can be used to organize a group’s information, in this case, for a camping trip.

Wiki Tools


Wikis are simple web pages that groups, friends, and families can edit together. Starting your wiki at Wikispaces is fast, free, and easy.
Getting Tricky with Wikis a teacher created this wiki for how to do about everything with Wikispaces.  Video Tutorials for Wikispaces


Online Team Collaboration: shared workspaces for working with colleagues, clients, and partners. PB Works Tutorials

WetPaint- Wikis in Education

This wiki is setup to provide educators and students with tips, suggestions Video Tutorials for Wetpaint

Examples of Wikis to Explore

The list above is only the tip of the iceberg.  I have a over 150 wiki’s bookmarked in my Delicious.  When I come in May, I will explain Delicious and Diigo.

For now,  explore some educational wikis.  The key is they are collaborative workshop spaces.  In other words, you can make them private and only those with permission can edit or you can make public and allow anyone to edit and of course everything in between.

I know there is a great deal of controversy about using Wikipedia as a source, but take a look at these TEDTalks.

Jimmy Wales on the birth of Wikipedia | Video on


The Rise of Collaboration | Video channel on

Last semester in my Tech class, my students all came with a content area textbook one day, they randomly choose a chapter in the book and tried to decide if they could teach without the textbook.  In other words, do we need to be spending the huge amount of money our school districts spend on textbooks.  Not to mention how heavy those backpacks get with all those books!!  We used a wiki and each student added their textbook information and cited the material they found and their conclusion.  There were 150 students using the same wiki.  it made for a fast easy collaboration and put all the information in one place.

My own wiki, Technology Keys Resource Wiki is a place for me to keep resources in an organized way.  And many teachers add to my wiki.  So it is constantly growing and changing.


So think about it, could you use a wiki in your class.  For what kind of assignment with your students would a wiki be appropriate.  And after looking at Wikispaces, PBWorks and WetPaint, which do you find the most appealing and would consider using.  And what do you think about Wikipedia and allowing students to use a a source?

VoiceThread – Group conversations around images, documents, and videos

Transforming media into collaborative spaces with video, voice, and text commenting.

By the way, two classroom teachers create this tool… they “get it” they understand what we need!

What is VoiceThread?

VoiceThread one of the best free tools available to teachers and students who are learning with the world rather than about the world.  Known as a “group audio blog,” VoiceThread allows users to record text and audio comments about uploaded images and even video.

VoiceThread has two distinct advantages for classrooms that are communicating and collaborating across counties, countries or continents:

  1. VoiceThread is Asynchronous: That means users can work on and enjoy Voicethread presentations at any time–even if their “partners” are sleeping a million miles away!
  2. VoiceThread is Engaging: Let’s face it–sometimes working with digital partners can be pretty boring.  After all, email and discussion boards are nothing more than written text.  Voicethread gives users something interesting to talk about—pictures!  What’s more, being able to actually hear one another makes digital communication through Voicethread much more personal.

In an article for Edutopia, Bill Ferriter explained how VoiceThread has become a natural part of his classroom instruction, VoiceThread Extends the Classroom with Interactive Multimedia Albums.

Curious about what a VoiceThread presentation can look like when created by kids?  Check out this presentation by a second grader.  Sarah teaches how to work a Math problem. And check out this powerful project that had nearly 700 kids from all over the world participated in the Many Voices of Darfur.

Screen shot 2011-04-02 at 12.31.02 PMIf you click the Browse tab, and in the search window, type in a topic and see what you can find that relates to your content area.  I should mention, that not every student or teacher chooses to include their project in the catalog (Browse).

Screen shot 2011-04-02 at 12.30.25 PMSearch is like searching anywhere, how you word it makes a difference on what you locate.  So it might take several tries to find something you like or could use in your class.

First things first:  Creating your Educator Account

Screen shot 2011-04-02 at 12.36.53 PM1. Register, when the next screen opens, click on the Blue Register link on the left.

Screen shot 2011-04-02 at 12.37.38 PM2. Click the BLUE Register link and complete the short form.
Make sure you use a school email address.  After submitting the form, it automatically signs you in…….. so you may begin using immediately.

But there is one more step…… need to navigate back to the VoiceThread home page ( and click on the K12 button in the Collaboration Solutions grey bar in the middle of the page.

Screen shot 2011-04-02 at 12.41.42 PM2. When you get to the K12 page, click on the GREEN Single Educator button. The next page will define Class Subscription and VT Educator.

Scroll down a bit and click the Apply button at the bottom of the VT Educator Column.  You will then get a message that you are not an approved educator yet.  Don’t worry about that, you can use your account immediately and then VoiceThread will automatically  convert your account when they confirm you are really an educator.

Resources to support using VoiceThread in your classroom

VoiceThread for Education Wiki
by Colette Cassinelli
What will you find here?

  • Samples submitted by teachers of VoiceThread projects made by their students
  • VoiceThreads used for professional development
  • Resources, including other websites that contain VoiceThread examples
  • Best Practices – tips and ideas of how to best implement VoiceThread in your curriculum
  • Subject area ideas & examples of those ideas

A Webinar from Classroom 2.0, the link incluse the archive of the Webinar presentation and well as a list of resources.  Very rick content: VoiceThread-What’s New & Exciting

VoiceThread: Turn Up The Volume
by Lee Kolbert, David Fisher, Jackie Ionno
Good collection of resource and how to justify using in the classroom

Digitally Speaking Wiki: VoiceThread
Jam packed with everything you need to know.

25 Interesting Ways to Use VoiceThread in the Classroom

Cyndi’s Delicious links for VoiceThread

EXCELLENT comprehensive video tutorials by a Teacher;  Very Good. Voice Thread on-line training videos. Part of the site. You can find many more free on-line training videos.

VoiceThread as Digital Portfolio, some great examples here.

VoiceThread for EducationHere are some great resources for you to explore from teachers/educators who are using VoiceThread in their classrooms.

Expand Your Classroom with VoiceThread, by Bob Sprankle at the Buliding Learning Communities Conference.

Official VoiceThread Tutorials:  How to do everything….


Now that you have explored VoiceThread, I am really hoping you have a few ideas of how you could use this in your content area.  This assignment is just a bit more involved and than just a  Reflection.  First reflect in comments about how you will use VoiceThread in your classroom. Next, create a little VoiceThread, at least 3 slides or as big as you want.  Choose something you could use in your content area or anything  you want.  I don;t want to limit the topic, it is truly you choice..  Maybe even make the idea you discussed your reflection.  Include the link to your VoiceThread in your reflection so we can all see it and comment.

HINT:  Click on Share and then at the bottom of the page click on Publishing Options and check the box that says Allow Anyone to View and Allow Anyone to Comment. If you do not make this change, you project will be private.

It is Easier Than You Think!

This is a hilarious video that makes me laugh every time I see it!

Enjoy, then stop by Earth to Dave!, the hilarious humor column by the award-winning Dave Buck. Enjoy a few laughs…they’re hard to come by these days. Visit Earth to Dave! at and read his mindless musings!

Resources Help, take a look at THINKFINITY

Thousands of Free Lesson Plans in Math Social Studies Art Language Arts Music Physical Education Reading Writing Geography Science Projects Science Lesson Plans and Thematic units.

Partnering with the most trusted names in education to bring you teaching and learning materials, as well as a community excited about education, just like you are.

Quick and easy access to the highest-quality teaching and learning materials

Verizon Thinkfinity offers comprehensive teaching and learning resources created by our content partners – the most respected organizations in each academic subject and literacy. The easy-to-navigate K-12 resources are grade-specific and are aligned with state standards.

Sharing resources and ideas in our online community

Become a member of our free online community, and you’ll find all the tools you need to organize your resources, network with friends and other teachers, and share ideas, plans and advice with others in the education community. Take a tour to learn more, or join now.

At-home activities for students and parents

Families and kids of all ages will also find excellent resources for practice, play, projects and reports on Search for a specific topic, or choose from recommended activities, maps, games, reading lists and homework help.

Professional development training

Verizon Thinkfinity’s free, award-winning professional development program shows educators how to use to enhance their effectiveness, engage learners and improve student achievement. Online and face-to-face training options are available and can be readily adapted to meet state and local needs.

PBS Free Resources for Teaching & Learning

PBS Teachers is PBS’ national web destination for high-quality preK-12 educational resources. Here you’ll find classroom materials suitable for a wide range of subjects and grade levels. We provide thousands of lesson plans, teaching activities, on-demand video assets, and interactive games and simulations. These resources are correlated to state and national educational standards and are tied to PBS’ award-winning on-air and online programming like NOVA, Nature, Cyberchase, Between the Lions and more.

Local Resources & Services

PBS Teachers is also the gateway for local resources and services offered by your local PBS station. By localizing this website to your local PBS station, you gain access to educational resources, programs, TV schedules and more. Find your local station.

Professional Development

We provide professional development for educators through PBS TeacherLine. As the premier provider of high quality online professional development, PBS TeacherLine has been recognized for excellence by organizations such as the United States Distance Learning Association, the National Educational Association, and the Software and Information Industry Association. Our collection of more than 130 top quality, graduate level courses for educators spans the entire curriculum: Reading/Language Arts, Mathematics, Instructional Technology, Instructional Strategies, and Science. And our newest offering, PBS TeacherLine Peer Connection, taps the power of online communication, collaboration, and content to provide a rich, flexible set of tools to help instructional coaches open and maintain productive communications and collaboration with the teachers they support.

PBS Video Products

PBS Teachers will also help you find PBS video products. You can use Shop PBS Educational Media to find DVDs and other formats of PBS series and specials which are cleared for use in educational settings, educationally enhanced, segmented and searchable.

The Assignment

Search the PBS and Thinkfinity teachers sites.  Reflect on what you found and how you could use this site in you classroom.

Beyond PowerPoint

Exploring a few other tools to accomplish the task without using same ole boring PowerPoint. Or if you do use PowerPoint, ways to make it more interesting.This video is short, under 5 minutes and very funny.

How NOT to do PowerPoint
Don McMillan: Life After Death by PowerPoint

The Best Sources of Advice for Making Good Presentations………..

Resources for creating PowerPoint Games
Below you will find a list of website with eudcation games already created using powerPoint as well as resources for creating your own.  If you do a Google search, you will find tons and tons., But this should give you a few ideas.

These games were created in PowerPoint.  Download the templates and modify the games to fit your curriculum needs.

Using Games to enhance your classroom teaching. PowerPoint Games and Game Templates

Homemade PowerPoint Games

Lee’s Summit PowerPoint Resources

Free Game Templates for Interactive Learning

Alternatives to Using PowerPoint

Prezi is zooming sketches on a digital napkin. It’s visualization and storytelling without slides. Your ideas live on stage and on the web. Have you ever wondered about presenting your thoughts as free as they come? Ever got tired of creating a slideshow? It’s been said, that the best innovations come from people who are unhappy with the tools they use. We realized that our ideas won’t fit into slides anymore. Putting together creative thinking and technology expertise, we have created Prezi, a living presentation tool.
Prezi Education Exchange
More and more educators and students are using Prezi in the classroom. We want to capture the ideas and experiences of our educational community by sharing, adding, and cataloging great prezis used for educating around the world.

Create your own music video, simply by uploading your own images and selecting music. Students LOVE seeing themselves on the video. Limit of 30 seconds – so just short & sweet!

Flixtime turns your photos and videos into stunning and unique videos in just minutes! Sign-up for a free account, and upload your images, videos and music. Then, sit back and watch your masterpiece come together!

Our idea is to help you tell better stories online using photos. You can create a rich slideshow in seconds to engage your friends or family in a natural way. This is done by allowing two-way commenting right at each photo in the show and automatically pausing so you have time to express yourself before continuing. We also support zooming comments, sound-effect smilies, and music so you can elaborate on your story further. You have heard again and again: “A picture is worth a thousand words”, but what if you could add a thousand words to your photos, and some music? We think the whole slideshow is greater than the sum of the photos, words, and music.

Stupeflix Studio. Your photos and videos have never looked so great! You’re in control Mix images, videos and soundtracks. Add titles, transitions, oohs, and ahh. From simple slideshows to professional videos. We got you covered.

Offers users the ability to upload and share publicly or privately PowerPoint presentations, Word documents and Adobe PDF Portfolios.

dotSUB is a browser based tool enabling subtitling of videos on the web into and from any language. There is nothing to buy and nothing to download. Recognizing the potential of global communication powered by the Internet, the founders of dotSUB created a web-based tool that enables video to be accessed in an open, collaborative, “wiki” type environment. The dotSUB tool gives anyone the ability to translate video content into multiple languages via subtitles rendered over the bottom of the video.

Vimeo is a respectful community of creative people who are passionate about sharing the videos they make. We provide the best tools and highest quality video in the universe.

280 Slides
Create presentations online, import images from your Flickr or YouTube account, present from the web or export to Powerpoint, share via SlideShare.

My BrainShark
Powerpoints can be uploaded, narrated, saved, shared and embedded. Documents can be uploaded and narrated and photo albums can be made. Upload audio or phone it in! Embed and share. Get statistics and comments.


allows you to crate a slideshow from your own images and narrate them in your own voice and then embed it in your own webpage, link to it, or email it.

is actually a suite of presentation tools: Use COLLAGE to quickly produce dynamic interactive panoramas with hot-spots. Use STUDIO to build a personalized media presentation… and, place it in your COLLAGE. Use EXPRESS to build presentations with dynamic content from RSS feeds and online albums. Tap into CUT-OUT Express to use your photos as frames for slideshows.

Zoho Show
Create your presentations from your browser, share them over the web and export them offline. Part of the Zoho office suite.

Web-based application to create presentations, manage presentation directories and share them with other users online.

Scribd is the largest social publishing company in the world, the Website where tens of millions of people each month publish and discover original writings and documents. On Scribd, you can quickly and easily turn nearly any file—including PDF, Word, PowerPoint and Excel—into a Web document and share it with the world.

Share, embed, put on DVD, show on Tivo. easy-to-use tools to mix and share their own video creations. Our mission is to empower you to express yourself in new and creative ways with the media that matters to you most—your own—and to share your creations with your most important network—your family and friends. We bring technology to bear in pursuit of “one true media” which is easy to use, makes the creative process fast, fun and rewarding, enables you with one click to transform your creations into shareable online videos and DVDs and works equally well with most media types and formats.

The Assignment

After exploring the PowerPoint games and the Alternatives to Using PowerPoint, let’s give one a try.  Using Animoto (, apply for an education/Teacher account. The education account gives you Unlimited Videos For You and Your Students. It takes just minutes to create a video which can bring your lessons to life. View some of the sample videos and the case studies (

Now create a little project you to use in your classroom. Maybe introduce a unit, explain an assignment, etc.  The choice is yours of course, but remember Animoto uses mostly uses Images.  Yes, you can add text on the photos, but just a small amount.   You might even want to make an Animoto that is for personal use.  The key is give it a try and share the link to you Animoto project in your comments. So tell your story with pictures. After you have made an Animoto, Reflect in comments on what you liked about it and how you think could be useful to you as a teacher and even personally.

By the way, if you do not wnat to use Animoto and would prefer to use one of the other tool mentioned above, Go for it!

Here is one I made for my daughters wedding last October. I use Animoto in my class as a way for my (180 students each semester) to introduce themselves to me and each other.  But I also use it personally a great deal.  I have a theory, use it personally and get the hang of it and you will find a way to use it in your classroom.
Just give it a try, you will surprised at how easy it is.

Here is a tutorial to help: