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Creating Online Learning Adventures using Google Sites

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So, we have Webquests, HyperDocs, Choice Boards, Playlists, Interactive Games in Google Slides all utilizing Google Docs, Forms, and Slides as a way to present information and encourage choice and voice for student learning. If you follow my blog, you know that my realm of education has expanded as I have been an art teacher, a computer teacher, an assistant principal, a technology integration specialist, and am now a staff development specialist. I spent the last few months (like many in my position) assisting teachers on how to teach and what tools to teach with during our stint with distant learning. During this time, I facilitated numerous online courses, workshops, webinars for teachers and admin on various technologies and instructional practices for distance learning that include, but not limited to, creating mutli-modal ways to deliver content in which students have choice. 
This brainchild of mine came to me during my online Google course, where I teach how to use Google Tools…

Creating an Animated Zoom Background

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Today during an ISTE Certified Teacher virtual meeting, I used a “newsroom” animated virtual background for Zoom that I created using Screencastify and Canva.
I was asked how I made this possible. Below are the directions:
First, here is my example so you have some context as to how to make this work:


Okay, the steps….I personally recorded my screen using Screencastify and exported the recording into an animated Gif.



Then on to Canva….

In Canva, I started by Creating a Design using Custom Dimensions and setting the dimensions just below the recommended 1920px by 1080px (16:9 aspect ratio) from Zoom. (I originally had it set at the recommended ratio but was advised by Zoom that it was too large of a file when I went to upload it).
I went to work creating my virtual background. Once content, I then uploaded the animated gif that I recorded and downloaded from Screencastify into Canva and added it as part of my background.
Then download it as an MP4. You can also download as animated Gif.
And …

Free Learning Menus, HyperDocs, Choice Boards, Play Lists Editable Templates

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As part of an effort to incorporate more mind breaks into my day, I have been creating and editing the following Google Slide document that I would like to share with you. I have a feeling that I will continuously be adding so please check back. 
You can grab your free copy by clicking here.
Upon opening the document, you will notice that there are many slides that have pre-made themes for you to use with your students. You can easily delete any slide you wish not to use in the template by clicking on the unwanted slide on the left hand side and going to Edit in the menu then Delete:
Furthermore, you can edit any of the following tables to meet your needs. You and/or your students can type and change the format of the font or color within each editable table. 
The document is completely editable. Please feel free to use the created backgrounds to create a  Learning Menus, HyperDocs, Choice Boards, Play Lists based on your needs. You can easily customize this by completing the following …

Student Quickstart Guide for Google Classroom

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I am an educator, a student, a mother. Parenting. In this quarantine. Navigating both the supportive role of education, but also as the recipient of children who are learning in crisis mode. I made this for my children. For your children. Please, stay healthy and safe.

Download your Free Printable here.


Special thanks to all the people who made and released these awesome resources for free:
Presentation template by SlidesCarnival
Photographs by Unsplash & Pixabay






Remote. Control. Art. A collection of experiences during this time.

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“This is an unprecedented time in education that we are experiencing. Do you know who my heart goes out to?” I hear my words echo as we close in to week three of quarantine. I am video conferencing with a group of art teachers from various school districts within my region that is composed of three counties in New York State.

“My heart bleeds for the districts. For the administration. For the staff. For the teachers. For the students. For the parents. No matter how many times we speak of the impact that technology has on our daily lives, and on our educational system, nothing has prepared any of us for this. Distance (remote, or whichever term you prefer) learning is a different discipline in and of itself. No matter how many times we use tech tools in our classrooms, flip learning, or have hybrid environments, we were not prepared to teach or learn like this. Not only are we more aware of the digital divide as it was slapped across our face as a state, as a nation- we were also ill-p…

Distance Learning Resources

Today, parents, educators, and administrators received the news that schools in my area of New York State are to close until April 20. With the uncertainty that lies ahead as to how this will look like as a whole, and as I hear many educator friends and parents asking for digital resources, I created this Wakelet in an effort to support their uncertainty.  Many of the resources listed below are waiving fees due to school closures. This list will expand. Make sure to check back!

Using Google Chrome Music Lab's Song Maker as a Schoology Discussion

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One aspect of my job as a staff development specialist that I truly enjoy is the ability to work with a variety of individuals in the field of education. Although a large part of my position is mainly working on the “techie” side of education, my position often lends itself to the “other duties assigned” realm of things. For example, one day I can be working with a class of Kindergarteners with robotics and coding, the next assisting teachers with curriculum mapping for middle school manufacturing classes, the following day reviewing science standards and storylines with a science department, and then the next pulling data for a school board presentation. Aside from dabbling in educational technology as well as “this century” instructional practices and pedagogy, I do a LOT of work with art and music educators. Honestly, when I do, it is like a home-cooked meal; it is very comforting for me, since I started my career as an art teacher.
I worked with an elementary music teacher for a …