Using Time to Save Time: How much is too much?

My name is Martha, and I am an on-again off-again follower of ed tech gurus through online forums and social media.

I wish I could tell you that once I find a forum I like, I follow it religiously, but that would be a bit of an exaggeration. You see, I know forums, blogs, and twitter feeds are good resources, but who has the time to stay up-to-date?  While the authors are writing all these great time saving tips, I am consuming time and being consumed by ideas as I try and stay current on my feeds.

So, I decided I had to let the thousands of unread tweets and posts that are filling my twitter feed and forum tab die an unread death.

I’m starting from a clean slate and moving forward…but with a slightly smaller scope.

Here are my 5 must follows:

The Gooru for all things Googly (This one I follow through email.)

MakeUseOf for a wide range of techie things (This one I follow through email and facebook.)

Cult of Mac for all things Apply (This one I follow on facebook.)

Wicked Decent Learning or @WickedDecent for some wicked cool ideas on teaching and learning (This one I follow on twitter.)

Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher for a tech integration in education (This one I follow on twitter.)

Who are your must follows? Do you follow them through an email forum, tweet deck, facebook, or some other reader or social media? Leave your ideas and suggestions for PD through online sources.



Infographics are very popular in media today; they show information in a unique, interesting, informative way. There are many sites that allow you to create infographics, like, and some have a database of infographics, like Daily Infographic. THIS IS NOT a site to send students to! But there are some really interesting infographics there for you to look at and choose to use with your students.

Here is one example of an infographic:

The World as 100 People

How could you use this in your classroom? What other types of infographics would you like to see?

Blogs vs. Websites

Why is this an important question? The question for teachers is no longer should I have a web presence, but what type of web presence should I have. A blog is a website, but it’s a special kind. Blogs are more dynamic versus a static web site, they are updated often and allow for comments from readers. Information on the blog is arranged in a chronological order – with the latest entry at the beginning of the page. Most blog entries are tagged so that they are easily searchable.

Blogs and websites can have links, images, and multimedia files embedded, in this way they are similar. They can also both be “followed” via an RSS feed. I have compiled a few articles for you to peruse about blogs and websites. Funny enough, some of them are blogs and some are websites.

5 Major Differences Between a Blog and a Website

Using Blogs to Integrate Technology in the Classroom

Websites, Wikis, and Blogs in the Classroom

33 Ways to Use Blogs in your Classroom

Check out the following video on creating a blog with blogger in less than 5 minutes!

Collaborating with Google Drive

Being a Google Apps for Education school gives us many opportunities for engaging our student with collaboration. Google Docs/Drive is a good place to start. Think of it as a large filing cabinet in which you store files of any type, documents, presentations, images, videos, etc. You can organize these files many different ways – that’s one of the beautiful thing about electronic files. One file may show up in several different folders, depending on the content.

Organize GDrive
Sharing Docs with students makes for fewer trips to the copier, and reduces the “I lost it” excuses. You can choose to share docs that students can’t edit, such as classroom expectations, or you can share templates that you want students to work on and hand back in to you. In this case the students would need to make a copy, usually renaming it to include their name, and work on the copy. Then they simply share the copy with you and you both have access to the student work. Another way to do this, is to have the students create the document (presentation, spreadsheet, drawing, etc.) and have them share it with you. Here’s a short video on sharing documents with students.

Commenting on student work can be done in several ways in Google drive. The comment button that shows up when you have been given permission to comment tucks the comments on the side of the page, in relation to where the cursor is in the document at the time you are commenting. For instance, if you want to give a student information about a particular sentence, you can highlight that sentence and then hit the comment button. That tells the student exactly where your comment belongs in the document. You can also comment directly in the paper, if you have been given editing privileges. This is usually best done in an alternative color for visibility.
Google Forms gives you the ability to ask different types of questions and collect responses. You can find the Google Help menu for forms here. Click here to download a text tutorial with screenshots. Here is a video tutorial on using forms in Google drive:

For the more advanced users of forms that want to create self grading forms check out this video. Enjoy using Forms – so many uses so little time!!

Meeting the Standards with Technology

Have you seen the current model for tech integration for Mt. Blue RSD? How can we manage these and get our students to meet our curriculum standards too? The answer is in the question. We want the best of both worlds – and that’s the idea behind technology integration. Here are some sites to get you started with meeting the common core using technology –

Gail Holmes matches online tools with CCSS standards in this wiki. Each subject area and grade level are represented in this resourceful web site.

A Guide to Aligning the Common Core State Standards with the Framework for 21st Century Skills – 48 page PDF, with great examples of lessons that meet both sets of standards.

Woodstock Schools K-5 Framework for Integrating Technology. Activities and Links matched to CCSS – includes list of equipment needed and different levels of integration example lessons.

50 Ways to use a Document Camera in your classroom! Learn about the Point 2 View Document Camera here.

What is a Bamboo Slate and why would I want one? Read this blog post to find the answer.

Google Apps

We want our students to become lifelong learners, and we need to model this for them. Remember that the web is not a static entity. Having said that – Google Docs turns into Google Drive – what’s up with that? Some things we have no control over.

Here’s a short video to help ease the transition.

Since we’re on the topic of Google Docs, did you know there are templates out there? Why recreate the wheel?

Here’s a couple of lesson plans using some of the Google Apps. This is a relatively new site and should continue to expand.

Want a self-paced training session on Google Apps? Here it is!

Communication and Collaboration

Here is a smattering of communication/collaboration tools that we will review with you. The session is only an hour long, so we will be moving pretty fast. Follow along with the links below, or sit back, take notes, and check out the links later – your choice. Comment below to let us know what resonated with you so that we can delve deeper into that part in a future session! Enjoy….

Wall Wisher

wall wisher

Team Box


Video Tutorials

Mainely Integration Team Box


Twiddle this page!

VRoom/BlackBoard Collaborate

Intro Video

Recorded Demos

Learn Central (Register for a free VRoom)

Voice Thread

voice thread

Sample Voice Thread

Ideas for Using Voice Thread



Learn About Prezi

Sample MATH Prezi



Sample History Glog

Glogster EDU Pricing Chart