Tuesday, June 4, 2019

My 2019 IGNITE Conference Sessions

I am excited and honored to present at the 2019 IGNITE Conference in Lafayette, Indiana this June 5th and 6th!

I always look forward to opportunities 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 IGNITE 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!

Sunday, May 12, 2019

My 2019 ITIP Google Summit Sessions

I am excited and honored to once again present at the 2019 ITIP Ohio Summit Featuring Google for Education in Columbus this May 13th and 14th.

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 ITIP Google Summit, 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!

Saturday, May 11, 2019

End-Of-Year Google Classroom Clean-up Tips

(Updated for 2019)

As the school year winds down, most teachers go through some sort of check-out procedure for their physical classrooms, making sure everything is properly organized or put away for the summer. In much the same way, you may want to do some clean-up and close-out steps for your digital classroom ... Google Classroom.

Google Classroom is a powerful tool to help you and your students collaborate and communicate, but when used year after year, it can start to become a bit of a mess and a management challenge. To help with this, there are several suggestions to consider for Classroom when wrapping up the school year.

See below for six steps that may help you clean up your Classroom as you transition from one school year to the next. However, keep in mind these are all just suggestions and each is optional. While some may not apply to your situation, hopefully several will assist you in keeping your Classroom organized, clutter-free, and efficient for a new year.

Monday, May 6, 2019

Best EdTech Links from April 2019

Each month I come across lots of interesting educational technology resources from the blogs I read, podcasts I listen to, videos I watch, or trainings I attend.

As I find these valuable resources I collect them in several ongoing Google Documents for different subject areas including:


These documents are shared with comment rights so everyone is allowed and encouraged to add your own suggestions for links to include.

At the end of each month I like to share my collected resources from that month. See below for the links from April 2019, organized by subject. You will also find my video and podcast episode where I highlight a handful of my favorites from the list.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

What's New in Google - April 2019

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

Below is the recorded video from our April 2019 Google User Meeting, along with the meeting agenda and all the awesome resources and G Suite updates from the last month. This includes 31 new Google updates and 13 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 April 2019 meeting:

Monday, April 29, 2019

Google Slides Short and Long Vowel Sounds Audio Activity

In my most recent post I shared a collection of web-based audio recording tools that you and your students can use to record and add your voice to Google Slides, or any project. There are many fun and engaging ways this new feature for Slides could be used for teaching and learning.

In the past I have had a lot of fun making drag and drop manipulative activities such as the Build a Snowman, Build a Jack-o-Lantern, and One Fish Two Fish templates. My plan was to combine that sort of activity with the new audio feature in Slides.

To try this out I created an interactive, audio-based activity in Google Slides for practicing short and long vowel sounds. In this slideshow, students are presented with clipart images that have attached audio files with each word spoken aloud. The students can then drag and drop the images to a box with the corresponding vowel sound. (Even if you are not a primary teacher, you can learn a lot about grouping items for any audio activities you might want to make.)

To make this work well, I had to take advantage of a neat option in Slides for grouping items. This allowed me to combine each piece of clipart with its associated audio file. In this blog post we will take a look at how this is done, so you can use this trick to create similar multimedia activities. You can also get a copy of the final template below for short and long vowel sounds to use with your students if you would like.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

4 Free and Easy Audio Recording Tools for Google Slides

The ability to add audio to Google Slides has been one of the most requested features for many years. Being creative, we have worked around this limitation in the past by embedding YouTube videos in Slides, or using a tool like Screencastify to record a video of the Slides while speaking. Although those workarounds still have their place, it is wonderful that we finally have the option to add audio directly to a slide!

Note: This feature is still rolling out to all Google accounts, so if you do not see it in your account yet, you should see it soon!

Being able to add audio to Google Slides can be used in so many ways in school:
  • Narrating a slideshow
  • Reading a story
  • Making an instructional presentation
  • Providing spoken feedback on writing
  • Having student explain a solution
  • Giving directions for a HyperSlides project
  • And much more!

The only big pain point still left is the actual recording of the audio. You see, even though we can now add audio to a Google slideshow, there isn't a simple built-in recording button. Instead you need to record the audio separately with another program, then save it to Drive, and then add it to a slide.

So that brings up the big question… What are some easy ways to record audio? When using my Windows PC, I can use a free program such as Audacity, but many times our students will be using Chromebooks, so we need some web-based options. In this post we are going to take a look at four excellent, free options for recording audio right in your web browser, and how to add that audio to Google Slides.