Tech for Teachers

October 1-15, 2012

Google a Day

Help teach your students how to do good web searches using Googles "Google a Day" question. Every day Google posts a question that is not easily found by just "Googling." It requires the student to think about the question and do at least two searches. Here is an example:


If you travel over the International Bridge from the Michigan city to the same-named Ontario twin city, on what street will you find yourself once across the border?

My sister-in-law is a 6th grade teacher and she offers these questions as extra credit. The students are give the question to look up over night. They then bring the answer in the next morning. If you are lucky enough to have computers in your classroom or a 1 to 1 initiative then you can have the students look this up in the morning while you're waiting for everyone to arrive in class.

It's a fun way to get your students searching and learning and opens a door to talk about primary sources and help guide your students in that direction.

Check it out for yourself and play the game at

By the way, I answered the above question in 34 seconds. See how fast you can do it.

Screencasting Made Simple


Screencast-O-Matic is a free and easy to use screen recording application that captures everything you do on the screen as well as your voice. You can also record your webcam. Unlike some other free screencasting applications like Jing it allows you to capture 15 minutes for free. This works perfectly because that is also what YouTube allows as your maximum upload size. With the free version you not only get the 15 minute recording time but they will host the video for free on their website. You can publish straight to YouTube, Vimeo, or Google Drive. You can also download it to your computer as an .mp4 in order to edit it in an application like iMovie or Windows Live Movie Maker. There is no software to download, it works entirely on the web which is fantastic! And it couldn't be easier to use.

Screencasting in Education:

  • Teachers can use Screencast-O-Matic to create short computer-based tutorials or to demonstrate how to do something. You can use it to capture PowerPoint lectures for delivery later or for a flipped classroom approach. It's also really great for capturing math tutorials.

  • Students can use Screencast-O-Matic to record digital stories. Imagine recording a child at the smartboard drawing and talking about the process or scanning their work and letting them go through and tell you all about in their voice. Try having the students teach students by letting them create the tutorials or demonstrations for class.

The uses are only limited by your imagination.

Check it out at

Mendi Benigni

Teaching, Learning, and Technology

College of Charleston

JC Long 319