Sunday, October 13, 2019

Educational Activities and Games with Flippity

Educational games can be a fun way to engage students while also teaching or reviewing subject area content. These can include activities such as word searches, crossword puzzles, bingo games, flashcards, Jeopardy games, and more.

There are lots of tools online that can be used to create such activities. One creative option is to use Google Sheets templates from Flippity. This is a free website that provides a wide range of templates that you can download, fill in with your own content, and then play online through the Flippity site.

As an educator you can make these activities for your own use or for review games for your class. However, students can also use Flippity to make their own activities, which could be a fun alternative project for those interested. For example, a student could create a set of digital flashcards for the content being covered in a particular unit.

See below for how to access the templates and then use them to make your own interactive projects.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

What's New in Google - September 2019

Catch up on everything new in G Suite for Education from September 2019, and see great ideas and resources!

Below is the recorded video from our September 2019 Google User Meeting, along with the meeting agenda and all the awesome resources and G Suite updates from the summer months. This includes 22 new Google updates and 19 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 September 2019 meeting:

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Spice Up Your Slides with 600+ Free Design Templates

Google Slides is an excellent tool not just for creating presentations, but for making eBooks, stop-motion animation, Choose Your Own Adventure stories, comic strips, and much more. However, one aspect that is a little lacking in Slides is the amount of design themes available by default.

When you create a Google slideshow you are given a simple list of 23 basic design themes to choose from. These control the colors, font choice, and overall style of the presentation. Although these are a great place to start, and work well for most presentations, what if you want a different look and feel. Certainly you can manually change the font face, font colors, background color or image, and more.

However as educators, the one thing we have less of than default design themes is time. Thankfully there are many websites that have created and shared hundreds of templates that can be used for your new Google Slides presentations.

In this blog post we will look at a wide range of online resources that provide over 600 design theme templates (as of last count) for you and your students to use in your creations. In most cases you will simply need to click on the templates provided and then make a copy for your own use. Once you have your copy, you can edit the slideshow however you want and add your own content.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

What's New in Google - August 2019

Catch up on everything new in G Suite for Education from August 2019, and see great ideas and resources!

Below is the recorded video from our August 2019 Google User Meeting, along with the meeting agenda and all the awesome resources and G Suite updates from the summer months. This includes 60 new Google updates and 16 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 August 2019 meeting:

Monday, July 29, 2019

My 2019 CFISD Digital Learning Conference Sessions

I am excited and honored to be a featured presenter at the 2019 CFISD Digital Learning Conference in Cypress, TX this July 30th and 31st!

I always look forward an opportunity to see old friends, make new friends, share some ideas, and learn so many new things from others.

Below is a list of sessions I will be presenting at the 2019 CFISD Digital Learning Conference, along with any associated resources. Please feel free to join me for any of these sessions. I look forward to sharing, learning, and chatting with you!

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Digital Wellbeing - Tools to Balance Tech and Life

As much as I love technology, it can still be a challenge to balance its use with the rest of my life. On one hand technology allows me to earn a living, to connect with friends around the world, to find the answer to most any question, and to enjoy the latest bingeable show on Netflix. On the other hand, technology has the potential to consume more of my time than I realize. The challenge has always been finding that right balance.

A while back I wrote a blog post about that challenge, and how I felt I was falling on the wrong side of the tipping point. In the post "Full Bleed" I shared about the need for margin in our lives, and my attempts to reclaim a healthier balance.

Since that time I have seen more and more discussions online centered around the topic of Digital Wellbeing. Many of these posts have highlighted tools, resources, and settings we can use to help monitor our own technology usage, and make changes to make sure technology is a positive influence in our lives. These are important resources for us as adults and educators, as well as for our children, who are growing up in a time of digital ubiquity.

In the post below I have listed a collection of digital wellbeing resources, including online training, apps, settings, and more. I have grouped the resources into two broad categories, although some items can certainly fit into both:
  • Resources for Reducing the Potential Negatives of Technology
  • Resources for  Increasing the Positive Benefits of Technology
I will continue to update and add to this list as time goes on, as this is a rapidly evolving topic. I encourage you to explore these resources, and use the comments at the bottom to suggest others to add. Together we can find the balance that is right for each of us, and use technology as a positive force in our lives and others.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

My 2019 ISTE Sessions

I am excited and honored to once again present at the 2019 ISTE Conference in Philadelphia this June 23rd through 26th.

I always look forward to this opportunity to see old friends, make new friends, share some ideas, and learn so many new things from others.

Below is a list of sessions I will be presenting at the ISTE Conference, along with any associated resources. Please feel free to join me for any of these sessions. I look forward to sharing, learning, and chatting with you!