Technology Tips & Tricks

Technology resources geared towards distance learning

As the school year begins in a distance/virtual setting, educators have been asked to embrace technology in new ways. We want to provide some helpful “tips & tricks” for implementing technology platforms into your teaching practice. This newsletter provides a few helpful uses for multiple platforms. For descriptive knowledge and function of the platforms, please reference the SOE Technology Video Tutorial (TVT) linked to in the platform’s title. *Some platform links utilize a different source for the video.

Facilitation Organization & Collaboration

  • Zoom (w/authenticated account): When hosting a class via Zoom, you can save chats by clicking on the three dots next to the chat box. Did you know that Zoom automatically records session attendance? This information is accessible through your profile on the web version of Zoom, under the “reports” section.

  • Google Meet: Google Meet is a video conferencing app that integrates with G Suite versions of Google calendar and gmail. You can sign up for free through your G Suite account to schedule and host video conferencing meetings with your students and colleagues.

  • Google Classroom: A digital organizer that allows teachers to share class materials and assignments with students. Students are able to submit work and teachers can comment on and grade assignments within this platform. This platform allows teachers and students to utilize Google’s G Suite tools in one place.

  • Google Extensions: Google provides various web-browser extensions that can enhance and focus content for students. The extension “Mercury Reader” can remove advertisements from online content such as articles. Another extension is “Visor.” This acts as a virtual reading strip that accommodates readers needs and is a great way to build equity in your virtual classroom.

  • Slack: Utilizing the “channels” on Slack can help organize your online content while engaging students in conversations and collaboration. Slack is easily accessible on mobile devices and allows for quick sharing of links and information.

Video Learning

  • Edpuzzle: This platform can be used to create a class or synced with Google Classroom (less student logins needed). Edpuzzle allows for voice-over on videos and other editing features such as trimming and mid-video questioning.

  • Screencastify: This Chrome browser extension allows recording of screen, voice, and video with the option to opt out of video as needed. Videos under 5 minutes are free, and videos over require a subscription. We recommend contacting your school district to see if they have access to Screencastify.

  • VideoLink (formerly SafeYouTube): You can use VideoLink to convert any YouTube video into a classroom-friendly version by removing ads, autoplay videos, and recommendations/sidebar. Please note, VideoLink does not filter the content of YouTube videos..

Engaging Platforms

  • Flipgrid: Flipgrid can be used as a universally designed learning method because of the multimedia use. It can add an interactive element to your classroom and promote student creativity. Try using the “mixtape” feature to create highlights, student portfolios, yearbooks and other creative outlets.

  • Scratch: Designed for K-12 students (Scratch Jr. is available for K-3), Scratch focuses on the basics of coding while creating an engaging classroom experience. Students can upload custom sprites or create their own within the program. There is a “tips” section, designed for helping kids make their projects. We recommend having students participate in “studios” to enhance creativity and collaboration. *Extra Scratch tips: Scratch Teacher Tour.

  • Kahoot: When creating Kahoot interactive quizzes, you can access their free image library and use different formats (polls, true/false, quiz, and slide). Kahoot offers a “question bank” where you can search your question and then use auto populate answer options/images or you can develop quizzes of your own. Lastly, you can start each Kahoot with a “lobby video” that plays at the beginning, before starting a Kahoot session.

Study Skills and Formative Assessment Opportunities

  • Quizlet: This online study tool offers seven different modes that can be applied to any set of information. Sets can be searched for in Quizlet’s library or created for your specific needs. Students can add study reminders to help with time management. We recommend informing students of many ways that Quizlet can customize their study experience.

  • Padlet: This platform allows for many formats, such as timelines, maps, boards and feeds. Students do not need an account to interact with Padlet and can submit anonymously. We recommend focusing on your Padlet settings when creating, to ensure that the settings fit your needs. Try encouraging students to submit multimedia answers when responding.

  • Google Forms: Google Forms can be used beyond surveys. Forms can be used to assess student learning, assign and grade quizzes, and measure classroom data. Once the form has been completed by students, you can organize data analytics using “EZ Query. We recommend using Google Forms in creative ways, such as weekly check-ins.

Additional Resources

  1. SOE Clinical Practice (CP) Website: The School of Education has set up a webpage to house resources for Clinical Practice. You can find workshop materials, newsletters, observation protocols and more.

  2. Within the SOE CP website are Technology Video Tutorials (TVTs). We have collaborated with SOE alumni to create these TVTs about using various technology platforms in the classroom.

  3. The College of Science & Math (CSM) IT Team can be emailed regarding technology questions and requests.

  4. Link to Kahoot YouTube video

  5. Extra Scratch Tips