Monday, May 23, 2016

Resource Roundup 5.23.16


Google Apps for Education

Get the Most out of Google Apps for Education with Synergyse Training (Now Free!), from friEdTechnology
I have used the Synergyse training on a trial basis in the past, and it is good! This is a great way to keep up with new Google Apps features or get answers to your questions.

15 Awesome Blogs to Follow for All Your Google Needs, from Shake Up Learning
You may want to add some of these blogs to your Feedly account.

Believe Your Students CAN, by Alice Keeler
Watch the embedded video to learn how four-year-olds (YES, four-year-olds!) use Google Classroom!

More Tech Tips

I'm Not Techie, by Alice Keeler
Love this quote:  "The only difference between 'I'm techie' and 'I'm not techie' is the willingness to click on stuff and see what happens."

This Job is Too Hard to Go It Alone--#StealEDU, by Alice Keeler
Keeler lists links to blogs of teachers who share their stuff with other teachers. More blogs to add to your Feedly!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

My Top 10 Favorite Ed Tech Blogs

Have you set up your Feedly account yet? As promised, I'm listing ten of my favorite blogs (in alphabetical order) so you can continue to stay current on the latest ed tech developments. I suggest using Feedly to subscribe so you don't miss any updates to these outstanding blogs!

1.  Catlin Tucker
Tucker teaches high school English in a district with little technology, yet she is a master at integrating blended learning and the students' own devices.

2.  Free Technology for Teachers
Richard Byrne writes about a wide variety of tools, including Google Apps. He posts several times a day.

3.  FriEdTechnology
This blog covers Google Apps and a range of other ed tech topics.

4.  Google for Education Blog
Get the latest Google information right from the horse's mouth!

5.  iPad Apps for School
This blog, also from Richard Byrne, has a wealth of information on instructional apps for iPads.

6. iTeach with iPads
A primary teacher shares how she and her students integrate iPads into the curriculum.

7.  Jonathan Wylie, Instructional Technology Consultant
Wylie writes about a variety of instructional technology topics.

8.  Learning in Hand, with Tony Vincent
If you teach with iPads or other handheld devices, you won't want to miss this blog!

9.  Shake Up Learning
This is another great Google Apps resource.

10. Teacher Tech
In my opinion, Alice Keeler is a Google Apps and Classroom expert!

Friday Food Flash

Yes, I'll throw in a couple of blogs that I read to get new recipes for my cook! :)
The Pioneer Woman
Lulu the Baker
Iowa Girl Eats--This blog has transitioned to gluten-free recipes but many can be adapted.

Do you have a favorite blog that you'd like to share? Please add the link in the Comments section below!

Monday, May 16, 2016

Resource Roundup 5.16.16

Language Arts

ReadWorks Publishes Summer Reading Packs for K-12, from Free Technology for Teachers
These packs are free to download and print and include ten articles per pack.

Google Apps

4 Google Apps for Education Updates You Might Have Missed, from Free Technology for Teachers.
Check this summary of recent updates.

Google Drive:  Use the Search Filter, by Alice Keeler
Google Drive uses Google's powerful search engine to help you easily and quickly find files you've created or that others have shared with you. Did you know you can search by file type?

How to Blend Images in Google Slides, from Free Technology for Teachers
Learn how to use transparency to blend one picture into another using Google Slides. I strongly suggest that you guide your students to Pixaby or Photos for Class to find Creative Commons images that they have permission to use in their projects. Alternatively, send them to the Creative Commons search, where they have access to images, music, etc. from several different sources.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Stay Up to Date with Feedly

My blog, Keystone Tech Talk, will be shuttered at the end of the current school year due to my impending retirement! However, I hope you will continue to read and learn from the many great ed tech resources that I've shared over the years.

One easy way to access up-to-date ed tech information is to subscribe to quality blogs. I personally use an RSS reader to compile updates in one place to all of the many blogs that I read. Updates are sent automatically; I don't have to go to each blog to see what's new.

My RSS reader of choice is Feedly, and I like it because:
  • It's free.
  • It allowed me to use my Google or Facebook credentials to create an account.
  • I can access my blogs on a computer via Feedly's website or on my phone or iPad with the free Feedly app. I do most of my reading on the iPad app.
  • I can sort the blogs by category--ed tech, design, food, etc.  (I like to read about food; I just don't like to cook it!)

The short video embedded below will show you how easy it is to add content once you've created your Feedly account. I'll be back in a few days to share a list of ed tech blogs that I recommend you follow!

So what are you waiting for? Go to and create your account today!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Resource Roundup 5.5.16


Subscribe to the U. S. Department of Education Newsletter, by Alice Keeler
I didn't know that the Ed Department produces a newsletter. Did you?

Explain VR Virtual Zoo - Animals in Virtual Reality, from Free Tech for Teachers
Have your students use your Google Cardboard with this app to learn about animals in virtual reality.


17 Chrome Extensions for You, by Alice Keeler
Admittedly, I haven't tried all of these extensions. Are there any on this list that you use or love? Or any that you recommend we stay away from?

Google Apps for Education

Google Classroom:  Make Everything an Assignment, by Alice Keeler
The advantage to using assignments (instead of announcements) for everything is that assignments allow a private conversation between you and a student about his/her work.

Giving Thanks (and Time Back) to Teachers with New Updates to Google Classroom, from the Google for Education blog
Learn how to "schedule" assignments and announcements AND read about the exciting updates coming in the fall that will allow you to keep parents in the educational loop! You'll find step-by-step instructions for scheduling assignments and announcements here.

How to Use the New Q & A and Laser Pointer Features of Google Slides, from Free Tech for Teachers
Now your audience can ask questions during your Slides presentation for a more interactive experience. See how this works in the Slides app. Also, you now have access to a laser pointer as you present.

Friday Food Flash

The Best Chocolate Cupcakes, from Lulu the Baker
I can't wait to try these!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Resource Roundup 4.26.16--Google Apps

Google Apps

11 Tips When You're New to Google Apps for Education, by Alice Keeler
Even though we're not new to Google Apps, take a minute to review these tips. I'll bet you learn something new!

How to Add Word Art to Google Slides, from Free Technology for Teachers
Yes, Google Slides includes word art.

Stay on Task with Updates in Google Keep
Google Keep is a note-taking app that integrates with Google Apps. Read about the potential educational benefits of the recent updates from Free Technology for Teachers and Teacher Tech.

Google Slides:  Create Branching Slides for an Interactive Google Slides Experience, by Alice Keeler
Learn how to create a Google Slides presentation that advances depending on choices made by students. For example, design a self-checking formative assessment that gives immediate feedback! Or have students create interactive storybooks (like these that former KHS students wrote years ago) that allow readers to choose their own endings. There are so many possibilities; let me know if you need help!

Google Forms:  Creating a Branching Quiz Question, by Alice Keeler
Use a Google Form to create a self-grading formative assessment that gives immediate feedback and additional instruction when needed. Let me know if you want to try this and need help!

Google Classroom and Newsela Now Integrate!
Did you know that you can now integrate Google Classroom with Newsela? Newsela is in the process of allowing educators to upload their Classroom rosters and then to distribute articles via Classroom! If it doesn't work for this school year, it should certainly be an option for next year. Read more about this new feature on the Teacher Tech blog and find instructions on the Newsela website.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Resource Roundup 4.20.16

Language Arts and Other Content Reading Subjects

ReadWorks Offers a Nice Set of Poems and Guiding Questions for Poetry Month, from Free Technology for Teachers
ReadWorks also offers free Standards-aligned fiction and nonfiction passages listed with Lexile scores and suggested grade levels. Sign up for a free account!

The Best Places to Get the "Same" Text Written for Different "Levels," from Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day
This list includes several new-to-me options in addition to Newsela.

Tech Integration

Tech Tutorial Videos from Richard Byrne of Free Technology for Teachers
If you get stuck while working with technology, or you just want to learn something new, check out Byrne's extensive playlists of YouTube videos.

Apps Unlock "A-Ha Moment" from District Administration
Mobile devices lead students to deeper learning with videos and other multimedia.

Earth Day

16 Educational Resources for Earth Day 2016, from Free Technology for Teachers
Explore these excellent resources to supplement your Earth Day activities this Friday.


Kahoot Adds a Team Mode, from Free Technology for Teachers
"Team mode" may be a good option for classrooms that don't have enough devices for every student. And team mode promotes collaboration as well.