Friday, October 16, 2015

EdCamp Bluewater - Saturday, 11/7/15 (The best little PD you've probably never attended) #phsedtech #1phasd #miched #edcampbluewater

Saturday (8 a.m. - 3:15 p.m)

Don't wait!

Only 23 tickets remain for what is sure to be the BEST participant driven professional development opportunity this fall - Go to and register today.

EdCamps are new way of learning where you and the other participants who attend determine the focus of the day's learning. You can propose a discussion topic or offer to facilitate a session that you feel others would be interested in collaborating around. Facilitators are strongly encouraged to tap into the wisdom of the room rather than present a stand and deliver style lecture. And participants are strongly encouraged to use the "rule of two feet" if the session isn't meeting their need by politely excusing themselves from a session and then seeking out a better fit or creating an ad hoc gathering to meet their need.

What's new this year?

This year's EdCamp Bluewater is going to off the charts. Why? Because this year's EdCamp Bluewater will be held in the idyllic and awe inspiring setting of the Pine River Nature CenterIf you've never been to the PRNC, imagine hanging out in a beautiful log home with stunning views of the forest surrounded by hiking trails and a tree house!

Imagine hosting your EdCamp Bluewater session in a Tree House!
We are also planning to have a real live campfire with supplies for making S'mores, a chili cook-off contest, and fun challenge activities throughout the day that let you earn tickets for our fabulous giveaways.

This is professional learning like no other. For more information check out this informative 5 part video series describing last year's EdCamp Bluewater and visit our website

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Fixing Google Account Conflicts in the Chrome Browser #phsedtech

As the Google Chrome browser continues to evolve I have noticed that the old method of switching between Google Accounts can be glitchy. The old method (described here) involves clicking on your profile picture in upper right corner of most Google Apps products and adding an account(s). But I have found that switching between accounts this way doesn't always work and that Google Drive in particular will have issues. 

I recommend instead, that you use Chrome browser profiles to switch between multiple Google Accounts. To do this I recommend the following steps. 

  1. Go to the Chrome browser settings and delete all existing profiles. This will clear out any conflicting accounts you may have installed using the old method. (Don't worry you're bookmarks and extensions will be recovered when you login using the new Chrome browser profile option).
  2. You will be prompted to sign in to the Chrome Browser. Use your primary Google Account email and password. If your account is a School District issued email be sure to click the "Link Data" option when prompted.
  3. Use the Profile switch icon to add new accounts or switch between accounts.

Switching between accounts using the Chrome Profile switch icon is a much tidier method of using multiple Google Accounts on the same computer. In fact, it's the absolute best method for a shared family computer where mom, dad, and all the kiddos have Google Accounts for work and school. You'll see separate desktop icons and task bar icons to help you access each separate account and distinguish between which account you are using (tip: be sure use unique profile pictures for each account). To view a video demonstration of the steps click here.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Using Padlet for Formative Assessment plus student guides

One of my favorite digital tools is Padlet. Padlet is a collaborative digital cork board and classroom response system that let’s you collect and organize virtual stickies of information including text, images, audio and video.

At the recent 21st Century Learning Symposium I shared some strategies for using Padlet in support of Formative Assessment. During this session my intent was to model the versatility of Padlet whether you have a single internet connected device, a small set of 5-8 devices, or 1:1 student devices. I also modeled how Padlet can be used to support formative assessment strategies such as entry/exit tickets and cooperative learning structures. The resources for this session are embedded below. It includes guides and tips for creating your own Padlet boards.

I've also been developing a Student Guide that includes presentation slides and a video tutorial to help students begin using Padlet as a tool for research, presentations, and collaborative communication. I invite you to utilize this guide for use with your own students if you like.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Try the new Add to Google Classroom Extension #edtech

It's summertime, but that doesn't mean that nothing new is happening the in the Edtech world. I've been putting a lot of these new tricks on a shelf for later but thought this one was worth sharing today.

Copying and pasting content from the web isn't difficult but it does take time. I like tools that let me quickly share content to important groups with a click. The Add to Google Classroom Extension does just that. Found a great article for your Social Studies class? Want to quickly share that new math video tutorial you found on Youtube? The Add to Google Classroom Extension puts a small extension icon in your Google Chrome Browser tool bar that let's you add the link with a click. From there you'll find the necessary drop-down menus to select a specific class and choose whether to post as an assignment or an announcement.

Since it is summertime, don't expect to get a lot of use out of this extension right away, but be sure to add it now and perhaps set a little calendar reminder to check it out again when the school year fires up. Enjoy!

from Marysville Public Schools Education Technology Blog

Friday, March 13, 2015

Adding images into Google Slides on the iPad using Google Classroom 3/12/15

Update: After a few more trials we've learned that this process is still far from perfect. The original steps below will work initially, however, there are two key caveats.
  1. It appears to work best if a student only adds the assignment to Google Classroom as a last step with a finished product. Adding during the draft phase can cause issues and the "Turn-in" feature is not recommended.
  2. The teacher cannot edit or comment directly on the shared slides. This will break the sharing. The edits and comments will not be visible to the student. Only comment using Google Classroom's comment tools if needed.
For whatever reason, the Google Drive iPad apps still do not allow you to add images into Slides or Docs. Fortunately, there is a workaround for adding images in Google Slides that I recently learned about here. This method works well but in testing with students we ran into some hurdles getting the template out of Safari and into the Google Slides app. It was even more difficult if the student had the Google Chrome app installed because the "open-in" feature isn't available. 

This video tutorial demonstrates a method using Google Classroom that bypasses the Safari/Chrome method. To do this I recommend the following steps.


  1. Create a blank presentation in Microsoft Powerpoint, name the template, and save it.
  2. Open Google Drive and go to the Setting icon in the upper right of the screen, click on settings and uncheck the box for "Convert uploaded files to the Google Docs format". This step is important. The process will not work if the presentation is converted to Google Slides. 
  3. Upload the template file and then change the settings in step 3 back to "convert"
  4. Open Google Classroom and create a new assignment
  5. Add the Template by clicking the Google Drive icon
  6. Be sure to leave the file access set to "Students can View File" - Do Not select "Make a Copy for Each Student"
  1. Open the Google Classroom app and click on the assignment
  2. Open the template attachment - This will open the Google Slides app
  4. Click on the 3 vertical dots (settings), select Share, and then Make a Copy
  5. Click on the 3 vertical dots again and select details
  6. Look for the light grey edit pencil icon next to the title. Click on this to delete the title and rename it. Don't forget your name
  7. Go Back to Google Classroom, open the assignment and click on the Your Work tab.
  8. Click on the Add Attachment option and select the Google Slides presentation 
  9. Return to the presentation to edit and add images. Click on the + icon to select images from your camera roll or to take a picture with your camera

Friday, February 27, 2015

Voice record pro app - Soundcloud alternative for iPad #edtech

Soundcloud recently changed their iPad app, and it no longer allows you to record. The Voice Record Pro app is a free alternative that will let you record your audio on the iPad and then upload to Soundcloud (or Google Drive, Youtube, Dropbox, etc.).

Here’s a brief video tutorial to help you use the app and connect to Soundcloud. 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Adding an image with a caption and hyperlink in Google Docs

Adding an image with caption and hyperlink in Google Slides

The slideshow below includes a video tutorial and step-by-step guide for adding an image with caption and hyperlink in Google Slides.

Google Apps on a shared iPad - Logging in and out #edtech

Now that Google has released an iPad app for Google Classroom, the ability to have students use Google Classroom and Google Drive on a shared iPad has become much easier. In the video below I demonstrate how students can set up folder on the shared iPad that contains all of the Google Apps and then demonstrate the proper method for signing in and out of the apps. Thankfully, if a student signs into or out of any of the apps, this simultaneously signs them in or out of all of the Google apps. This strategy will be particularly helpful for our 2nd - 4th grade students who are using Google Classroom and Google Drive on shared iPads.

from Marysville Public Schools Education Technology Blog