Tech Snacks

Byte-Sized Treats to Transform Learning: 10.22.19

Wheel of Names

Which student will answer the next question? Present next? Take their turn for show and tell? Wheel of Names to the rescue! This free (and ad-free) tool is a safe, quick, and fun solution to randomly pick a winner. Extra features include the ability to fully customize colors and appearance, alter the speed of the spin, and edit the message displayed when a winner pops up. Although the wheel can be used without logging in, lists/wheels can be saved and shared when signing in with a Google account. Pieces can be eliminated after they pop up, taking names and choices out of the equation.

Unlike other generators, Wheel of Names allows users to type in complete sentences and paragraphs. Images can also be inserted instead of words. How could you use these emoji and yes/no/maybe examples? Wouldn’t your students love to see their faces instead of names? Visit this sample wheel to see how it can be used for writing prompts or to guide class discussion. For directions and more advanced features, such as importing names from a Google sheet, visit the site’s FAQ page.

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Spooky STEM Ideas

What is a pumpkin’s favorite subject? Its STEM!

Looking to add some spook to your classroom? Why not try out one of these Spooky STEM ideas. From bone bridges, geometric pumpkin structures, to pumpkin catapults, students will use the engineering design process, build their 21st-century skills, and have a blast doing it.

Check out these links for some ideas:

Spooky STEM

Science Buddies

Fall STEM Ideas

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Convert Slides to GIFs and Videos with Creator Studio

Creator Studio is an Add-on to Google Slides that can be used to export slides to your Google Drive as animated GIFs, numbered thumbnails, or MP4 videos, a widely-used format, with no sound. The premium version is offered for $29 per year which will allow MP4 video exports with sound. Students will enjoy using the GIF export to create stop-motion animation by using a low time interval (0.2 seconds is suggested). To try this, your Google Slides will need at least 2 slides.

To install:

  1. Open Google Slides

  2. Click Add-ons > Get add-ons.

  3. Search for Creator Studio.

  4. Select and install.

For more information:

Convert Google Slides to Video (video 5:34)

Get Creative With Google Slides Creator Studio

Google Slides: Creator Studio

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Instructional Technology PD

Ready for engaging professional development sessions geared towards implementing technology into your classroom? We have over 40 sessions ready for you! Just hop on over to, and click on ACTIVITY CATALOGS and DISTRICT CATALOG in the left hand menu. Type the word TECHNOLOGY in the search bar to locate and register for your choices.

Would you like to work toward your Google Educator Level 1 or Level 2 Certification? This year the Office of Instructional Technology will be offering a series of trainings for both Level 1 and Level 2 certifications to help prepare staff. Individuals can choose which sessions to attend, based on their individual needs, including a two-day boot-camp. A common testing opportunity will be available in the Spring for those who want to test with the group. Visit 2019-20 Google Certification Opportunities for details.

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Google Forms and Sheets 10.23.19 with Jerry Broyles
Google Forms are great for creating digital formative and summative assessments as well as survey and questionnaires. Autograded quizzes are the best! Explore question types from short or long answer to multiple choice, rubrics, and advanced branch logic and question skip logic. Moving on to Google Sheets, we'll format, organize and filter data and explore data validation.

Canvas Online Classrooms for Beginners 10.24.19 with Julie Gaskin

Explore how to use Canvas, our district online course space, with your students. Participants will be introduced to setting up a course and creating content in an engaging space where students can continue their learning outside of classroom hours.

A Pear a Day, Keeps the Students Engaged 10.28.19 with Ashley Faulkner

Have you mastered using Google Slides in your instruction? Ready to spice up your boring old slide decks or engage your students in your presentation? Peardeck offers a fun and engaging way to formatively assess students or engage them with the content being presented. Use it as an add-on to Google Slides where students can use their Chromebooks to not only see your presentation on their screen, but they can engage by answering questions, drawing their responses, or using the drag and drop slide to fill out a diagram. Grab your device and join us for an interactive session.

Making Videos with WeVideo (virtual training session) 10.29.19 with Josh Rayburn

Creating movies, public service announcements, and screencasting has never been so easy on a Chromebook. Attend this introductory webinar on WeVideo and how to use WeVideo to make excellent videos. Participants will need their WeVideo subscription to use for this training. (If you do not have one, you must email Josh Rayburn before the webinar to get a training subscription. The subscription will only be for the training, and your subscription will end after the webinar.) This webinar will take place online from the comfort of your home, school, or office. No need to travel as the training travels to you. WeVideo will work on any device that connects to the internet, but The Office of Instructional Technology recommends using a Chromebook. The webinar will be hosted via Zoom. Check your FCPS email with instructions to connect before the webinar date.

Google Slides 10.30.19 with Paula Setser-Kissick
From presentations to ebooks to digital notebooks, Google Slides is a powerful, versatile tool for both teachers and students. Instruction will include how to create and organize Slides; insert and arrange text, Word Art, and Shapes, add videos and graphics; crop and adjust images; and create linked text. Although not required, this session may prepare attendees for the Google Level 1 Certification exam. If you are interested in certification, please visit the FCPS Google Certification site for related sessions and detailed information.

Google Earth and Earth Studio; May I Help You Find Something? 11.4.19 with Jerry Broyles

Hold on tight and set your sights on the future as we take a ride on the new Google Earth! Navigate the new world while exploring lands, homes, and cultures from afar. Fly by the seat of your pants and record your journey using Google Earth Studio. Marvel at the power of Google Earth Engine and brainstorm curriculum with Outreach. Don't be a Kevin and miss the trip!

Google Classroom for Beginners 11.6.19 with Julie Gaskin

Explore how to use Google Classroom, an online blended learning system, to organize resources, create digital assignments & assessments, encourage student collaboration, and give student feedback in a parperless environment. Although not required, this session may prepare attendees for the Google Level 1 Certification exam. If you are interested in certification, please visit for related sessions and detailed information.

Fairy Tales in STEM 11.7.19 with Ashley Faulkner

Turn your students into fairy godmothers/fathers using everyday supplies to solve a problem. Literature, especially fairy tales, has multiple opportunities for students to use their 21st-century skills and engineering design practices to help solve the problems of the protagonist. Imagine if the 3 little pigs would have tested their building materials first. Or, if the Billy Goats Gruff would have had the knowledge to build a boat instead of trying to cross the troll bridge. Come join us for a fun, hands-on session that blends STEM and literacy together, no magic needed.

We're 1:1, Now What? 11.11.19 with Josh Rayburn

Blended learning opportunities are available to everyone especially 1:1 Chromebook schools. This session will look at teaching strategies and opportunities for you to incorporate that Chromebook into your classroom and create a blended learning environment.

Google Shared Drives vs. Microsoft SharePoint: Find the Best in Both Worlds 11.12.19 with Jerry BroylesGoogle's Shared Drive is really a game-changer in how we share files and collaborate with one another. However, Microsoft SharePoint is a solid, cloud-based environment where you can do more than just store files. This isn't your father's SharePoint! Come and see the new face of SharePoint with its Modern Experience interface and learn how to manage permissions, to create calendars, to develop equipment checkout systems, to add web apps, to run announcements, and to manage resources. We will also compare the permissions and the features of Google Shared Drives vs SharePoint and see which tool best meets the needs of you and your team.

Google Level 2 Series: Gmail, Calendar, & Hangouts 11.13.19 with Paula Setser-Kissick

Go beyond the basics! During the first half of this session, you will learn more about intermediate features of Gmail, Calendar and Hangouts. During the second half of this session, you will work to complete various tasks and respond to instructional scenarios in a simulated Google Testing environment. This session is part of the Google for Education Level 2 Certification.

Harness the Power of YouTube in Your Classroom 11.18.19 with Kelly Fischer

YouTube has proven to be one of the most widely used media curators for the classroom. There are hundreds of thousands of high quality, educational videos available for free. Explore the instructional power of playlists, personalized channels, subscriptions and other productive ways to utilize YouTube in your classroom. Although not required, this session may prepare attendees for the Google Level 1 Certification exam. If you are interested in certification, please visit for related sessions and detailed information.

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