Wednesday, June 5, 2013


Glipho is a social media publishing engine. It works with Tumblr, Wordpress and Blogger. Right off the bat, this site allows users to sign in with Twitter, Facebook, Google or LinkedIn account. Glipho is a great place to build a reader base by sharing and following others. See what is popular by looking at trending writers and posts. Similar to Twitter/Facebook/Pinterest users can not only follow writers, but also topics. Glipho is a great way to market your social media!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Validation Tool in Google Spreadsheets

If you are a frequent user of Google Apps there is a useful tool in Spreadsheets that you may not be aware of. It is the Validation tool. This can be used to create a drop down menu within cells of a spreadsheet. Why might this be useful? It ensures that only the choices you want are selected by users. Also, all of the formatting for each cell will be the same. This is handy when using the data to create charts.
Click here for directions on how to use this tool, or view the directions below.

The Validation tool allows creators of a spreadsheet to set predetermined  drop-down choices for cells. Not only could this expedite the process, but also ensure that all formatting is the same for the cells. The directions to use it are below.

First, select the cells that you would like the validation to apply to.

Second, click Data then Validation from the toolbar.

Third, choose your criteria for the cells. In the example below I chose “List of Items”. Then you need to type in the choices that will appear in the drop-down for each of the selected cells from step one. Be sure to click Save.

Users are now able to select from a drop-down menu.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


Recently I was contacted by the creators of Cometdocs to review their product. After some poking around I found the site very intuitive.
After logging in (I used the Google login--very slick!), the screen is available for dragging and dropping files. Not only can you store files, but Comedocs has the ability to transfer files to others with a valid email address. As the sender, you can also include a message.
After selecting a file to store you can complete any of the following: create a new folder, convert the file, preview, share, and make revisions. Social networks are also accessible for quick sharing (Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus). Cometdocs also has the option to make files public, which you can then browse if you create an account.
Cometdocs has a great blog that includes easy to follow tutorials. This site is worth a try if you like Dropbox, Box, or other online file management sites.

Monday, March 4, 2013

National Grammar Day!

Here are some activities and sites to help you and your students celebrate National Grammar Day.

National Grammar Day Site: Tips, games, and even t-shirts:)

Grammar Ninja: Use throwing stars to defeat evil parts of speech!

Grammar Gorillas: Identify parts of speech in sentences (beginner and advanced modes)

Panda Mayhem: Click on the Panda that is holding the correct part of speech (cute for younger students)

Spelling City: Multiple games available

Toon University: 3 levels available and each is timed which adds to the challenge.

Fling your Teacher: This game allows the participants build a trebuchet as they get questions correct then "fling their teacher".  Click here, here and here for three different games.

Sheppard Software: Various games related to language arts and grammar.

Grammar Bytes: Upper level grammar based activities.


Sunday, March 3, 2013

Changes to Gooru

If you are haven'nt used Gooru before click here.

This spring Gooru will be making the following changes (quoted from them):

-Search filters: have a specific academic standard or grade level in mind? Soon you'll be able to filter your resource and collection search results by categories such as those to pinpoint the exact content you need.

-Faster organization: instead of having to first save all of your favorite resources and then add them to a collection one by one, you'll be able to quickly drag and drop resources into a collection as you search.

-Collection creation made easy: you'll no longer have to navigate over to your Shelf to create a collection. We've added a "+ New Collection" button to the Search page so that you can create a new collection whenever creativity strikes.

They will maintain their "classic site" for a few months to ease in the changes.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Changes to Padlet and Class Dojo

Padlet, formerly know as Wallwisher has added a new feature called Streams. Posts in a Stream are in chronological order. It gives the posts a bit of a more structured look. In order to get to the Stream function, click on the Setting "cog" in the lower right hand corner, choose Layout, then click Stream. To see additional changes that have been made to Padlet, take a visit!

Class Dojo is a well know site for management and awarding class badges. Within the last few days, they release an app on the Google Play store. If you are not aware of Class Dojo, read one of my previous posts here.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Pinnion...Mobile Survey Platform

Yesterday I learned about Pinnion from a colleague, +Amy Pugh (@pughamy). Pinnion is a mobile survey platform that is simple to use. Each survey that you create can be shared through a variety of ways that include:

  • Direct Link
  • Embed Code
  • Mobile Devices
  • SMS (Text response)
Other great features that Pinnion offers include:

  • Mobile apps for iOS and Android
  • Plug-in for Wordpress
For users there is the option to create quizzes, surveys, trivia games and polls with unlimited questions. Another great feature of Pinnion is the ability to attach an image to each question and answer. Real-time results are also appreciated by students who love "just in time" learning.

Pinnion also has great tutorials. Click here to learn how to create a Pinnion. In addition, click here to learn how to work with Channels within Pinnion.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Scholastic Author Interviews

Scholastic has many great resources for students and teachers. One that I have been exploring a bit more lately are the author interviews. There are many great authors to choose from. They discuss everything from the writing process, their childhood, and what has motivated them as authors. The interviews are broken down by question. So, as the teacher you can choose to show the entire interview or focus on specifics topics the author talked about (Which is great because as we all know students cannot focus on a video for more than a few minutes).
If you are currently, or in the near future, a Writer's Workshop teacher these interviews lend themselves well. The ability to match your unit with an author can be a powerful way to kick off student writing.
Below is a screenshot of Gordon Korman.

Thursday, January 17, 2013


GradeCam is a cool tool that I learned about on Twitter from @jill_lebiedzins. This site offers educators the option to use a document camera as a means to grade and record assignments. GradeCam also offers the following options: Grades are automatically entered into your gradebook (Skyward, etc.), Share your assessments with other educators and get reports in real-time, Give students immediate feedback as they scan their own assessment, Create and print answer forms, and Link your questions to state standards and generate standards based reports.

You may be wondering if your camera is compatible. GradeCam has a page that lists all compatible cameras. Many are listed, so the chance is pretty good that yours is available. Additionally, GradeCam has a page with a help forum and printable documents to get you started.

If you are a teacher who uses a doc cam on a daily basis, GradeCam is probably for you.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Share My Lesson

Share My Lesson is a site that I stumbled across today while looking for fun ideas to teach pre algebra concepts. This site does ask you to sign up to access the resources. However, it is worth it. They claim to have over 250,000 lessons to access. If accurate, that is insane!

Some of the key features on Share My Lesson include the ability to create an account, share/download lessons, and lessons linked to Common Core Standards. In addition, the resources are sorted by grade levels, there are "featured lessons", and the "latest resources" on the homepage for those who may check daily.