muse: n. a source of inspiration

Google Keep

Google Keep gives Google users an online space for note keeping, image saving, and more. You can make lists (complete with checkboxes), save images or even draw. The interface is intuitive and looks like a bulletin board with color-coded notes that you can move around with your mouse.  Google Keep also gives users the ability to:

  • add collaborators
  • set a timer to receive reminders about a note
  • send notes to Google Docs
  • read a photo of a printed document and extract the text

If you have a Google account, you have access to Google Keep.

In Your Classroom

  • Google Keep is a great way to organize research. It’s highly visual, and it makes it simple to arrange and rearrange text.
  • Want to transfer your Google Keep notes into a Google document? Just go to Tools > Keep to access your notepad and drag applicable items to the Google document..
  • Collaborating on a big project? Use Google Keep to make lists, assign tasks and set reminders.
  • Since Google Keep is on the web, it’s synced across devices, and is  accessible at school and at home.
  • Like using Google Keep? Consider installing the Chrome extension. It will making it easier to save web content such as images or text within Google Keep.

This is a “Technology Tuesday” post via Behrman House, edited by Ann D. Koffsky . You can find more Behrman House Technology Tuesdays here.


March 20, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized, Behrman House Technology Tuesday | , , | Leave a comment

Google Sites

Google Sites is an application that you can use to build your own website. It has intuitive tools and options that allow you to customize your site and design it in exactly the way you want.

If you’re familiar with Google Forms, you’ll note the similarity in the tools and options right away. There’s a menu that pops up on the right, and allows you to click and easily add text, images, Google docs and forms, YouTube videos, calendars and map locations to your site. You can also select from several design themes which will assign a specific look and set of font choices to your website.

Like all other Google products, options for collaboration are built into Google Sites, and you can easily share your site with others and work together to build it.

When you’re done designing your website, click on “Publish” to get your site on the web and to see the URL. You can even preview how your site will look on phones, tablets and laptops.

In Your Classroom

  • Google Sites makes it easy for students to collaboratively create websites. It even supports multiple editors working at the same time.
  • If you have a number of Google docs to share with colleagues, consider creating a website with them posted on it. Having your materials on a website will make them easily accessible and all in one place. Just share the URL with those you would like to see the documents. Also, when you click “Publish,” be sure to check “Request public search engines to not display my site” so that your site will not appear in search engine results.
  • Create a website about your class. Post images of projects, student work, and schedules of upcoming events, and share the URL with parents.

This is a “Technology Tuesday” post via Behrman House, edited by Ann D. Koffsky . You can find more Behrman House Technology Tuesdays here.

March 13, 2018 Posted by | Behrman House Technology Tuesday, Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Links You’ll Love

The Librarians’ Internet Index is amazing! This is a searchable, free, curated list of websites maintained by, well, librarians. The site has links to a number of reliable databases as well.

Need some newspaper templates your students can use with Google Docs? Check these out.

Google Sheets is pretty useful, but did you know you could also use it to create flashcards, Bingo cards and more? Head over to Flippity for some great tools, demos and instructions.

March 7, 2018 Posted by | Links You'll Love | , , | Leave a comment

Google “Add-ons”

If you’re a Google apps user, you may have noticed “Add-ons” in the menu to the left of “Help.” Add-ons are third-party (which means they’ve been developed by people outside of Google) products that are often free and are designed to take Google apps just a little bit further.

Add-ons are developed for specific Google products, so there are different ones for Google Docs, Google Sheets, etc. It’s worth taking some time to check out the Add-ons store to see what timesavers you might find. For instance, some add-ons include:

  • EasyBib: Easy bib helps users create automatic bibliography and citations entries in Google docs.
  • Avery Label Merge: Allows you to take data from a google spread sheet, and print Avery labels from it.
  • Word Cloud: will take the text you’ve entered into a Google doc and generate make a word cloud out of it.
  • Template Gallery: Gives you access to many templates others have created for Google Sheets.
  • Group Maker: Will help you make random groups out of a list of students you have in Google sheets.

For more information about  add-ons, here are some additional resources you might want to check out:

This is a “Technology Tuesday” post via Behrman House, edited by Ann D. Koffsky . You can find more Behrman House Technology Tuesdays here.

November 28, 2017 Posted by | Behrman House Technology Tuesday, Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Links You’ll Love

Here’s a terrific article about a young woman who came up with an app to address social isolation. Check out her TED Talk!

This is so fun – now you can play 20 questions with Google! This would be a great class activity.

November 18, 2017 Posted by | Links You'll Love, Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Links You’ll Love

Interested in making short “how to” videos, or having your students record videos without a lot of fuss? Useloom is a cool Google extension that enables you to make short videos right in Google. Videos are stored in the cloud and easily shareable.

Boomerang is a lovely Google extension that enables you to schedule emails for later distribution. Let’s say you want to send a reminder about a field trip Thursday night, but you’re working on it Sunday and don’t want to forget. If you’ve installed Boomerang, you can set it up in advance and Boomerang will do the rest.

BouncyBalls is a fun website that displays classroom noise through the visual of bouncy balls, emojis, bubbles or (gulp) eyeballs. The louder the classroom, the bouncier the display.

Google is making some strides in terms of adding features to Google Sheets, their spreadsheet software. For instance, you can use Google Sheets to help visualize data now, simply by asking a question in real language. This blog post addresses that feature and more.

I am fascinated by tunnel books and would love for someone to collaborate with me in our innovation studio to use the Silhouette and Cricut paper cutters in their creation. See this article for inspiration.

Here’s a nice video with some tips for new Google Calendar users.

Competency-based learning – a focus on highly personalized experiential learning for students which allows them to learn at their own pace – is tantalizing but hard to assess. This article offers some valuable insights.

We like to think that we’re preparing kids for the future, but the reality is that we have no clue what that looks like. This post, by Little Bits founder Ayah Bdeir, discusses that dilemma and how Little Bits can provide some help with “unleashing kids’ inner inventor.” We have a student set of these little electronics kids in the innovation studio, and kids have been using them during recess and specials. 

Wizard School is a very cool free app (with no in-app purchases) that features videos, maps and other content on a variety of topics. Students can explore content, create stickers, videos and drawings and then share their creations.

June 9, 2017 Posted by | Links You'll Love, Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Links You’ll Love

Here’s an insightful article about how Google frames how we see the world. Google…it’s not just for searching.

Looking to make comics with your students? Pixton is a nice alternative. I’m still a fan, for the most part, of ComicLife, but if you want to use Chromebooks, this is an option.

Interested in seeing how Pixar makes their magic come to life? Check out Khan Academy’s Pixar in a Box, where lessons include intro to animations, effects and character modeling and more.

December 16, 2016 Posted by | Links You'll Love, Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Links You’ll Love

Here’s a really powerful video about bullying created by a 7th grader.

I know that I’ve written about before, but I wanted to remind everyone about this great site. For every question your students answer correctly, donates 10 grains of rice. You can even choose now from a variety of subjects.

Another reminder: don’t forget about GoNoodle! It’s a great site with lots of movement break videos. You do have to sign up for a free account.

From the good folks at Google: Google Maps Street View Treks lets users see what life is like from the road, in full panorama. And you can check out some really amazing sites like the Great Barrier Reef, the pyramids in Egypt and the Eiffel Tower. So cool!

August 25, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Links You’ll Love

“Rainy days and Mondays always get me down…” Ahhh – spring is near, and that means rainy recess and squirmy kids! I just wanted to remind you about the fabulous website GoNoodle, which features brief videos to get your students moving.

Shoutout to the folks at PosterMyWall. I had some concerns about how the website performs on iPads and reached out to their tech support. They responded immediately, and sent me some tips on how to use the website to our best advantage on an iPad. Impressive response!

Were you aware that there’s an election going on? Newsela has a site where you can set up a class account, access articles about the primaries, and your students can vote.

If you’re using Google Slides, you’ll want to check out these great tips for a powerful presentation.

Here’s a great video to share with your students to help visualize the world population.

How has technology changed campaigning for president? This article talks about the increasing impact of data, the Internet and smartphones.

March 18, 2016 Posted by | Links You'll Love, Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Links You’ll Love

All too often, students (and, um, adults) don’t ask questions because they don’t want to sound dumb. Here’s a great video about some research that says otherwise.

Here’s a fun link: go to Google, and search for “a long time ago in a galaxy far far away.” Be sure your sound is on.

If you’re a Google Classroom user, you might want to check out this list of 20 ways to use Classroom in your, well, classroom. And, speaking of Classroom, this blog post discusses strategies for using Classroom to support differentiation.

December 17, 2015 Posted by | Links You'll Love, Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

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