Tech Snacks

Byte-Sized Treats to Transform Learning

Spice Up Your Bell-ringers!

Do you ever get bored with your bell-ringers or beginning class activities? Kick off class on a more exciting note by changing things up! Matt Miller from Ditch That Textbook shares two great articles FULL of creative, engaging and thought provoking ideas that can take bell-ringers from sleep-inducing to stimulating. One fun idea is using Google Slides or Drawings to add speech bubbles to historic photos and challenge the students to fill them in. What do you think President John F. Kennedy was thinking in this image as he gave an award to astronaut Alan B. Shephard? Try it HERE.

Check out this and many more ideas from Matt Miller’s articles. - Part 1 and Part 2


*Original image from LIFE.

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Canvas Made Easier With External Tools

When working in the Rich Content Editor -- which is the box area where you can add text, tables, etc. -- there's an important icon on the toolbar that many teachers overlook. It's called More External Tools, and it offers a quick and easy way to search for and insert material into a lesson. Just click on the little V to access great resources such as YouTube, Dropbox, and Khan Academy. Remember, too, that when you're offered an option, Embed will insert the actual item in the box while Link will provide just that, a link.

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Take Time to Share with Your Students!

Finding a way for students to present projects created with technology has been problematic in the past. Teacher solutions included students sharing a folder or project via an online student drive, OneDrive, or even a flash drive. Eventually, most teachers threw up their hands in frustration and passed a paper version of the project around for other students to see!


Well, there are easier ways to do this with the help of Google. Yup, Google nailed it again! You have 2 easy choices: Google Cast for Education or Google’s Incognito Window.


Google Cast for Education allows teachers to easily share screen time with students in the classroom. Using the Google Cast for Education app, teachers will open a Cast tab on their computers and allow students to request access to present to a teacher machine/classroom projection. Check out this Slides deck for some hints and directions on how to run it. Google Cast for Education Slides deck – bit.ly/CAST123


Google’s Incognito Window opens a new tab in Chrome that does not “remember” your login credentials. This option allows another teacher, presenter, and/or students to login to G-Suite and share Docs, Slides, and other files directly from their Google Drive. Wanna try it out? Do this:


  • Open your Chrome browser and click on the 3 dots in the top right corner.
  • Choose NEW ICOGNITO WINDOW.
  • This will open up a new tab where another user can log into Chrome.
  • Have the user surf to drive.google.com, enter their Google credentials, and take Incognito for a ride!

Reorder Class Cards in Google Classroom

Chaos in the Classroom used to be the order of the day when it came to a user's Google Classroom dashboard. Older courses were mixed in with more frequently used new ones, and there was no way to rearrange them. Those sad days are now over, though, and teachers and students can begin organizing the class cards to suit their needs -- match a schedule, arrange in alphabetical order, or implement whatever system works best for them. Users can drag the class cards to a preferred location or click on the 3 dots on the top right of the card and select Move. The Move choice is especially helpful for jumping a class card to the beginning or end of all the cards. As of September 2017, this function is only available when working from a computer, but once moved, the class cards hold their new position when viewed on other mobile devices.

Upcoming Technology PD

Visit the pd menu at www.fcps.net/pd to register for all instructional technology sessions! Check back, though, because new sessions are added frequently.
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