Friday, January 12, 2018

21 New Free Interactive Pear Deck Templates for Google Slides

Last month I shared a blog post about the new Pear Deck add-on for Google Slides (as part of my "12 Days of Tech-Mas" series of posts).

The add-on is a simple, but fantastic, way to take your existing (or new) Google Slideshows and make them interactive. You can add multiple choice, text entry, numeric entry, drawing, and draggable activities to each slide. When the presentation runs, the interactive slideshow displays on each student's device, so the students can actively participate and you can collect their responses.

As awesome as that is … it just got better!

The Pear Deck add-on just got a major update that includes a fresh look with an easy-to-use sidebar, and (best of all) 21 new pre-made high-quality interactive templates. With a few clicks you can add these to your slideshow, edit them if needed, and engage your students more than ever.

See below for all of the details on each of the 21 new templates. Plus you can win a year of premium Pear Deck access by filling out the raffle form at the very bottom of this post!

Monday, January 1, 2018

What's New in Google - December 2017

Catch up on everything new in G Suite for Education from December 2017, and see great ideas and resources!

Below is the recorded video from our December 2017 Google User Meeting, along with the meeting agenda and all the awesome resources and G Suite updates from the last month. This includes 23 new Google updates and 28 Google resources for your class.

The monthly meetings are hosted by the Google Educator Group of Ohio, but are open to anyone from any location. The purpose of these meetings is to:
  • Connect Google-using educators
  • Share the latest Google Apps news and features
  • Provide tutorials, demonstrations, and how-to’s
  • Share best practices of how Google Apps is being used within schools
  • Ask questions and get answers
The video from the meeting is recorded and available for later viewing for those who cannot attend or connect live. See below to view the recorded video, agenda, and all the resources from the December 2017 meeting:

Thursday, December 28, 2017

My Top 20 EdTech Posts of 2017

As 2017 draws to a close, this will mark the second anniversary for the Control Alt Achieve blog. I launched this site back in December of 2015 as a one-stop-shop to share all of my educational technology resources, activities, help guides, training videos, and more.

And it has been a great second year!

During 2017 I shared 86 posts (not counting this one) and the site received a little over 2.9 million visits (with a 2-year total of 4.2 million visits). As always though, the most important statistic was the number of people who contacted me via email or Twitter or in the comments to share their awesome ideas, or to let me know how they used one of my resources in their class, or to share pictures of their students engaged in an activity I had posted.

Your comments and feedback mean so much! Over the years I have transitioned from being a classroom teacher to a tech integrationist at a district level to a tech integrationist at a regional level. It is so great to see that even though I am no longer in the classroom myself, the resources I share can still impact real students, helping them create, collaborate, write, learn, and explore.

Below are the top 20 posts from this year, based on the number of page views each received. I would encourage you to look through the list to see if there are some you missed the first time around, and consider sharing these resources with other educators you know who would benefit from them.

Finally there is a very short optional, anonymous feedback form at the bottom. Please feel free to provide some feedback to help me make 2018 even better!

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

12 (More) Fabulous EdTech Blogs to Follow

On the 12th day of Tech-Mas my true love gave to me… 12 Best Blogs.

Note: This post is part of my "12 Days of Tech-Mas" series for 2017. You can see all of the posts for each day as they get released in the main post here: "12 Days of Tech-Mas 2017".

About a year ago I put up a post about "50 Fabulous EdTech Blogs to Follow" where I shared a list of many of my favorite blogs to get educational technology ideas, tools, and inspiration. At that time, I mentioned that the list was certainly far from complete.

Since that time I have continued to add many more sites to my list. To be able to stay on top of so many blogs, I use Feedly to pull all of the posts together so I can visit one single location to see everything that is new. For more details on how to use Feedly, see my earlier post on the topic.

So I thought it was time to update the list with 12 more excellent EdTech blogs, which you will find listed and linked in the post below.

Some of the blogs are very well known, while others have a smaller following. Some generate new posts every few days, while others only add new content a few times per month. The one shared characteristic of all of these blogs is I have found them to be valuable and have learned from each one. To keep things simple, the list is alphabetized.

And just like last time, please leave comments to let me know of other valuable educational technology blogs that you are aware of. I am always looking for new sources of technology integration ideas.

Monday, December 18, 2017

11 Great EdTech Podcasts

On the 11th day of Tech-Mas my true love gave to me… 11 Pods O'Casting.

Note: This post is part of my "12 Days of Tech-Mas" series for 2017. You can see all of the posts for each day as they get released in the main post here: "12 Days of Tech-Mas 2017".

Podcasts are one of my favorite ways to learn new information, be inspired, be challenged, discover creative practices in education, find out about the latest resources, and even be entertained.

Best yet, we all have busy lives, so podcasts fit in wonderfully to my schedule, allowing me to listen when driving to work or to a training, or mowing the yard, or going for a jog (which I need to do more often).

For the writing of this blog post I checked my podcast app and I currently am subscribed to 135 different podcasts, covering a wide range of topics and interests. I certainly do not listen to every episode of each, and only a portion of them deal specifically with educational technology. So for this post I have decided to highlight just eleven of my favorites.

These eleven examples all focus on EdTech and consistently provide me with valuable information and resources. There are many more podcasts I could recommend, and perhaps they can be part of a future post, such as those covering education in general (The Cult of Pedagogy, Teaching Keating, Sustainable Teaching, 10 Minute Teacher, etc.) or interesting information (99% Invisible, No Such Thing as a Fish, RadioLab, Freakonomics, Tell Me Something I Don't Know, Reply All, The Allusionist, Science Vs, etc.)

See below for details on eleven of my favorite educational technology podcasts (in alphabetical order). If you are new podcasts, hopefully this will encourage you to try out a few. If you already listen, maybe you will pick up a couple new shows from the list. If you are a podcast addict like me, please share some of your recommendations in the comments at the bottom.

Friday, December 15, 2017

10 Excellent Extensions for Chrome

On the 10th day of Tech-Mas my true love gave to me… 10 Excellent Extensions.

Note: This post is part of my "12 Days of Tech-Mas" series for 2017. You can see all of the posts for each day as they get released in the main post here: "12 Days of Tech-Mas 2017".

It's no secret that I love Chrome web extensions. They are an awesome way to add new features and tools to your Chrome web browser. Extensions can be a powerful benefit for schools as they provide options for creation, curation, accessibility, readability, efficiency, and much more!

Many of my blog posts have dealt with Chrome extensions, such as:

I even have a Google Sheet where I keep a list of all of my favorite Chrome extensions, with links to install them, and a short description of what each does. You can access the current version of my list here:

Having said all of that, there are some extensions that I have not really covered on the blog yet. For this post I wanted to highlight ten cool extensions that are worth checking out. Some of these are relatively recent, while others have been around for a while. Some you may have heard of, but others may be new to you. Whatever the case, all of these are valuable for teachers and students.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

9 Terrific Trainings - The FREE 2017 Ditch That Textbook Digital Summit

On the 9th day of Tech-Mas my true love gave to me… 9 Terrific Trainings.

Note: This post is part of my "12 Days of Tech-Mas" series for 2017. You can see all of the posts for each day as they get released in the main post here: "12 Days of Tech-Mas 2017".

With the holiday season here, you have probably been busy trying to find the perfect gifts for the people in your life. But what about you? Don't you deserve to get something for yourself?

Well you are in luck! You may not be able to find any Hatchimals in the stores, but you can still get yourself nine days of free professional development on technology, pedagogy, and more!

Back for its second year is the "Ditch That Textbook Digital Summit". Starting on December 15th there will be a new video from a new speaker each day for nine days. This is a fantastic way to get free professional development at your pace, on your schedule, in your pajamas (if you want).

See below for all the details on how to take advantage of this awesome opportunity, before it goes away (like all the Hatchimals).