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Get Started with Microsoft Teams for Distance Learning
April 8, 2020

Looking for a secure place to remotely meet with your students? Microsoft Teams is an excellent and safe solution for that. Available via Office 365, Microsoft Teams is quickly becoming a favorite for many teachers for distance learning. If you’re new with this platform, we rounded up our favorite OTIS PD resources to help get […] Read More

Productive Teacher Activities During Down Time
April 6, 2020

As most educators know, there is rarely any down time during the school day. In addition to seeing students, papers must be graded, assignments prepared, rooms cleaned, bulletin boards created, and more. Most teachers arrive early, leave late, and work weekends just to try and catch up. However, during this strange time in education, there […] Read More

Google Classroom for Non-G Suite Schools
April 3, 2020

During this time of mass remote learning, there are many institutions that do not utilize LMS-like platforms like G Suite for Education or Microsoft 365. For the teachers in these districts, you can still start your own Google Classroom and get your students going with remote learning using this platform. You can have a Google […] Read More

Differentiation Strategies for Remote Teaching
March 30, 2020

Special ed and targeted supports As litigious and technical as it can be, at its heart, special education is an art form. A good special education teacher can cut a path to understanding with the students they are working with through a combination of creativity, resourcefulness, and a strong understanding of the unique learning needs […] Read More

Using Pre-Created Content for Remote Learning with SMART Learning Suite Online

As many of you enter another week of distance learning, you may be wondering how to adapt the lesson materials you already prepared for the year. Luckily, there are wonderful (and free) resources available that can help. SMART Learning Suite Online for distance learning SMART Technologies has made SMART Learning Suite Online (SLSO) free for […] Read More

Using Google Meet for Distance Learning
March 27, 2020

There is no denying it—we are in uncharted waters. For many, this pandemic has led to a sudden upending the way we teach, and for those with little to no experience with distance learning, navigating this can be overwhelming. But if we are to find a silver lining in this, we are lucky to have […] Read More

Using Originality Reports and Rubrics in Google Classroom
March 23, 2020

Originality reports and rubrics are two new features that are now be available to all users of G-Suite for Education! That means you can now take full advantage of these tools while evaluating the assignments you push out to your students in Google Classroom. Let’s take a closer look at what these tools are and […] Read More

Uploading Non-Digital Work to Google Classroom
March 20, 2020

A paperless classroom As much as we try to move towards paperless classrooms, sometimes students may need to show work that may not be of the digital form. This could be more tactile and hand-written or hand-created things like art projects, handwriting samples, written out math problems, and a variety of other things. The question […] Read More

Bringing STEM Home: Easy At-Home Activities and Projects
March 19, 2020

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, or, as the acronym goes, STEM — influence the world around us and these topics are increasingly being integrated into schools’ curricula. However, you, too, can do a variety of STEM activities at home. Here are some fun activities to get you started – no matter your age! Rube Goldberg […] Read More

Three Great Options for Synchronous Online Learning
March 18, 2020

Going virtual When moving to remote learning, one of teachers’ biggest concerns is the loss of face time with students. While being able to share resources and assignments digitally is great, there is a lot of learning that students lose out on by not being able to speak to their teacher and each other. To […] Read More

SMART Learning Suite Online: Allowing Out-of-Class Access
March 17, 2020

SMART Learning Suite Online (also known as SLS Online) is a great instructional tool for teachers comfortable with SMART Notebook software. Now a teacher can teach with a Notebook file from any device that has an internet connection, even if Notebook is not installed. This also means that students can use Notebook lesson files without […] Read More

Explore New Places with Google Earth, Voyager, and Carmen Sandiego
March 16, 2020

Exploring Google Earth as a remote learning resource Whether you are stuck at home or simply looking for a new escape, Google Earth has the tools for your next adventure… even if it happens to start from the couch. You can also provide your students with guided explorations and fun quizzes to test their knowledge. […] Read More

Diving into the GoNoodle Curriculum
March 12, 2020

GoNoodle is an interactive early education website for Pre-K through 2nd grade that gets children moving, learning, and engaging with productive screen time. The platform has several categories covering curricular, mindfulness, sensory and motor skills, school life, and movement type. Each category is then broken down into skills or subject areas. There are several videos […] Read More

Online Typing Tutors: Back to Basics with Typing Skills
March 9, 2020

Students can text, but can they type? In today’s world of computers and technology — and with an increasing amount of coursework and assignments having to be presented in typed format — the need to equip students with strong typing skills is an often-overlooked but essential one. Whether it’s creating a Google Doc or Slide, […] Read More

Taking Attendance in Google Forms
March 4, 2020

At present, Google Classroom doesn’t have an attendance feature included in its platform. If you’re simply using Google Classroom as a supplement for grading students’ online work, then this may not be an issue for you. But, if you’re using Classroom as the general management system for your classes, not having a way to take […] Read More

Using Duolingo to Supplement Foreign Language Learning
February 28, 2020

What is Duolingo Hablas Español? Exposure to new languages at an early age can be beneficial in language acquisition later in life. For those that weren’t lucky enough to have that exposure at home and are learning a language in school, it’s sometimes difficult to practice those language skills out of the classroom. This is […] Read More

Virtual Classroom Resources and Best Museums to Visit Virtually
February 24, 2020

Virtual classroom resources As teachers, we often feel as though we do not have enough resources to do our jobs. We spend whole chunks of time grading as quickly as we can, look for materials to supplement our curriculums, or even literal minutes finding pencils, binders, and paper for our students. We can feel overwhelmed […] Read More

Use Your Noodle on GoNoodle
February 18, 2020

Have you heard of GoNoodle? If you are an early education teacher and you haven’t heard of GoNoodle, you’re missing out. GoNoodle is a free interactive early education (pre-K to about 2nd grade) website that gets children moving, learning, and creates productive screen time. GoNoodle can be used at home or school — all you […] Read More

Building Geographical Understanding for Students Using Google Maps
February 12, 2020

As many people know, Google has a great suite of apps that can be used for educational means through G Suite for Education. Teachers love to use Google Classroom, Docs, Forms and Slides with students, but often overlook or are not aware of the awesome little-known features of other apps. This month, I want to […] Read More

Making Music with Your Ozobot
February 7, 2020

Do you like making music? As part of Ozoblockly (Ozobot’s free block-based coding application), you can now program your Evo to play musical notes! OzoBlockly also allows you to access the app from a device and take advantage of coding via Bluetooth. When coding your Evo through Ozoblockly you’ll also have the opportunity to review […] Read More

Presidential Baseball Cards
February 6, 2020

A common criticism of history as a content area is that it at times feels like nothing but a series of unrelated facts and dates. I believe this comes from two crucial gaps in historical teaching and learning. One is a contextual gap, students struggle to see how certain concepts, events, and individuals connect and […] Read More

Lego Lessons: Creativity, Exploration, and Making in the Classroom
January 28, 2020

Lego education Lego is a beloved toy company that has inspired generations of kids to use their own creativity while exploring and building. Now, Lego is going a step beyond by creating products for educators to use in the classroom to harness their students’ creativity while fulfilling their learning objectives. Lego has kits designed for […] Read More

Screenless STEM for Early Childhood Education
January 27, 2020

Integrating STEM In this day and age, teachers are learning how to integrate STEM into every classroom and every curriculum. A number of teachers choose to implement curriculums that rely heavily on the technology piece, and specifically, computerized technology. Nearly every student in grades 1-5 has begun to learn to code on computers, whether using […] Read More

Screencasting: Creating Tutorial Videos for Your Students
January 16, 2020

What is screencasting? While giving instructions to your class, it’s nice to be able to support students who need it with remediation, review, and relearning. Screencast videos are very effective tools to offer this extra layer of support. A screencast video is a recording of your computer screen, simulating what you just explained to your […] Read More

3D Printing in Art Classrooms
January 15, 2020

While 3D printers have tremendous utility across a wide range of content areas, they are most often used in a STEM capacity. Though this is a great way to utilize a printer, many schools miss the opportunity to use 3D printers in art classes, where 3D designing and printing can unlock new learning opportunities. Below […] Read More

EquatIO: A Tool for the Digital Math Classroom
January 13, 2020

A paperless classroom? With the abundance of access to digital computing tools for the classroom, teachers have lots of ways to make their lessons more engaging, more interesting and more… paperless. Google Classroom is now integrated with many Chrome extensions, and teachers who use Google applications (like Docs and Slides) are learning to enable workflow […] Read More

Practical Uses for Google Forms in the Classroom
January 9, 2020

Google Forms is a powerful tool to use in the classroom. It allows educators to collect data using surveys, assessments, and quizzes — but it can do a lot more. There are many other practical uses for it in the classroom and the following are just some examples. (Look out for some cool Forms add-ons, […] Read More

Google Search Education
January 8, 2020

Have you ever tried to search for something on the Internet, only to have the search results not match what you wanted? With the Internet being such a vital source of information, it is crucial that our students learn how to use Internet search in a way that will add to their learning and help […] Read More

What’s in a Name: The Differences Between STEM, Computer Science, Coding, and Robotics
January 3, 2020

When people talk about makerspaces and STEM labs, lots of terms are thrown around interchangeably (STEM, engineering, coding, computer science, robotics). All of these things interact, but they’re not exactly the same. Read below to get an idea of the nuances and differences between the words STEM and computer science. STEM STEM (or STEAM) is […] Read More

Creating and Organizing Interactive Boards with Webjets
December 26, 2019

One challenge for educators is helping their students stay organized while completing research projects. Webjets can help students both organize and present their research in an interactive way. This free service allows students to add a wide variety of web-based content to Boards (think digital bulletin boards) which can either be used to compile research, […] Read More

Free and Friendly Math Resources for Parents
December 19, 2019

Have you ever tried to help with your child’s homework, but were left feeling a bit confused? New math strategies allowing multiple avenues of solving a problem can leave parents overwhelmed. However, now there are free and friendly math resources for parents, like websites and apps. They can help you to find solutions to your […] Read More

Understanding by Design in STEM Lesson Planning
December 18, 2019

Over the past few years, many districts have brought in new and exciting technologies with the potential to transform classrooms. Things like 3D printers, VR goggles, and codeable robots all have incredible potential for instruction across a wide range of ages and content areas. However, many schools struggle with getting their staff to a place […] Read More

Three Quick Assessments with Ozobot
December 13, 2019

Ozobot is a powerful little robot and one of the smallest robots in the world. Ozobot uses color codes (and if you are ready for block-based coding, you can use Ozoblocky) to direct the robot how to move and act on the page. Ozobot has so many wonderful uses, but here are three assessments with […] Read More

Transitioning to STEM
December 12, 2019

“How can STEM education prepare my students for science and engineering careers?” This question comes in many forms and iterations, but they all have the same premise: “Is what I am teaching realistic?” I recently led a discussion about how to ease the transition of new learning standards into existing curriculum sequences. At the beginning […] Read More

A Handy List of Chromebook Lingo
December 5, 2019

Congratulations, you and your students have Chromebooks! These little computers are great tools that will allow your students to elevate their learning. You will now be able to create assignments that were previously impossible or at least, very challenging. Flipping the classroom is just one great example! But first, it’s a good idea to get […] Read More

Exploring Code with Google’s Free Resource CS First
December 3, 2019

Reminder! Hour of Code (and CSEdWeek) is December 9 – 15, 2019. Don’t forget to join in!   Coding, coding, coding Coding is a very popular theme in education today! There are multiple coding sites on the internet, some free and some not, that can help teachers and students across all grade levels how to […] Read More