muse: n. a source of inspiration

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

Links You’ll Love

Edsurge has a great opinion piece on raising kids in the age of tech. Stanford Dean of Freshmen Julie Lythcott-Haims offers some surprising thoughts on micromanaging teens’ social media accounts and more.

Quizizz is fun free site where you can generate multiplayer quizzes. Students can participate using mobile devices or laptops.

I love Google forms! If you’re not embracing Google forms, read this post to see why you should!

Did you know that you can use your laptop as a “transmitter” to beam from your iPad to a SMART Board? Just plug your laptop into the SMART Board and use an application called Reflector to mirror what’s on your iPad to your laptop (and therefore the SMART Board). You won’t have the interactive features, but it’s a great way to share what’s on your iPad without having to switch dongles.

September 18, 2015 Posted by | Links You'll Love | , , | Leave a comment

Links You’ll Love

If you’re a Google Classroom user, check out this post to learn about some of the updates to this awesome Google app.

When I hear “place mats,” I think of dinner, don’t you? This blog post, though, at  discusses place mats as an instructional model used to combine independent thinking with collaboration. The post gives step-by-step instructions to use GAFE to create a collaborative template. Very nice!

I’ve mentioned GoNoodle before, but I wanted to remind you about this great source for movement videos. They’ve added an indoor recess section with videos that last up to 19 minutes. There are Zumba activities, secret handshake partner exercises, and brain boosters for great short movement breaks as well.

Versal is a new platform to create online learning experiences. You can embed video, create quizzes, and add timelines. This is an amazing and robust website. I’m thinking about creating a workshop to explore this over the summer – let me know if you’re interested.


March 6, 2015 Posted by | G Suite (GAFE), Google, Links You'll Love | , , | Leave a comment

Links You’ll Love

FakeiPhoneText and iFakeText are a simple little websites where you can enter text and the site will render an image that looks like it’s a text. This would be a great way for students to create fake texts between two historical characters. Ifaketext even lets you choose your carrier.

Need an easy way to create an animated video? Check out Explee. You can add images, text, music and voiceovers. Movies export to YouTube or can be downloaded.

Design thinking – tackling a problem at a deep level – is something you can do with your students at any grade level. This article gives some valuable tips on how to do it with iPads.

You know that there have been dozens of times when you thought, “if only I could create a Google form from this Google doc that I have…” If you install the Google add-on Doc to Form, you can do that! Check it out!

February 5, 2015 Posted by | Google, Links You'll Love | , , , | Leave a comment

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