Tech Playground


Dualless--split screen extension

Schoology Conferences Tutorial 

MCPL Database Access

Google Meet Breakout Rooms

Accessing Sora eBooks

Learning Lunch Topics

May 19, 2021: Books and a Buffet (of pop tarts): Nathan and Michael presented two sessions over great new books, including titles on next year's Gateway and Dogwood readers award lists. The Google Slides presentation is linked.

May 12, 2021: Our first learning lunch since the pandemic began! BreakoutEDU lets you build and play breakout games online with your students, either synchronously or asynchronously. Michael recorded this YouTube video for those who couldn't attend in-person. We had the Tacos Del Barrio taco truck serving street tacos and burritos for lunch!

May, 2020: This was our bring-your-own-lunch staff get-together during quarantine / lockdown in the spring of 2020. The topic was new books! Here is the YouTube video one of the sessions.

November 1, 2019:  Our topic for this year's cookoff is how to use students' new MCPL digital library cards to unlock powerful teaching tools in your classroom. We will present a much more in-depth session on the same topic (using these same slides) on our November 5 professional development day.

Travel and PD: Michael presented a session September 6, 2019 on how to get grants to travel in the summer for PD that doesn't require district paperwork. Food truck Friday with Taste of Brazil!

Great books to read! Michael & Nathan's topic for May, 2018 and May 17, 2019. Check out the LSN LMC's 60 second book trailers for some titles to consider. Food both years was Low Life BBQ.

Two great Non-Fiction books, summarized so you get the highlights! Factfulness by Hans Rosling and Courageous Conversations about Race by Glenn E. Singleton April 18, 2019  Chipotle!

Schoology: Library for Teachers Group 9-12. Library resources at a glance, many can be dropped straight into your Schoology lessons. Join code 3HNST-QGH2C. Topic November 2, 2018. Chili Cookoff!

Video Tools for Chromebooks and Classrooms: Topic Feb 23, 2018

Augmented Reality: Add video, messages, or web links to common objects in your classroom, like posters, book covers, and more. Topic November 3, 2017

Media Literacy Tools: Topic April 26, 2017 Get a digital version of the poster to print or post. 

Breakout Boxes: Gamify your learning! We can design a game for your students based on your learning objectives. Click here to see breakout games the secondary librarians in our district have created. Topic for January, 2016.

Makerspace: Robots, Spheros, Arduinos, and more:  Students can learn how to code, program robots, build and program drones, or simply drive our spheros in order to learn directions in a modern language.  The LMC also has iPad controllers, ramps, cones, and other equipment to help create a learning environment that’s right for your assignment. This link highlights current inventory of makerspaces at secondary schools. Topic for February 24, 2017

Virtual Reality: The LMC has 30 phones and carboard VR viewers that your class can use to take virtual field trips. Our phones work with Google Expeditions (click to see list of Expeditions).  Topic for September 28, 2016.   

Green Screen Multimedia: The LMC has two green screen studios to help your students and class groups create their multimedia projects. Paired with Macintosh computers in our editing suites, students can create nearly any sort of movie project. Our YouTube Help Videos cover a variety of movie creation questions. Topic for January 2014. 

Googleverse Tools

All these tools come from (or help with) Google:

Dualless: Want dual monitors, but only have one? This Chrome Extension allows you to split your screen into two parts, which is VERY helpful with classroom Google Meets. 100 second tutorial video here.

Google Meet Breakout Rooms: Chrome Extension. Send your students into breakout rooms while in virtual learning. Overview video here.

Black Menu: Extension that allows easy entry into the Google Universe without leaving the Web page you’re on. Easily access search, translate, Keep, maps, calendar, gmail, and so much more.

Boomerang Calendar: Shares your availability for meetings, etc. with one simple email; a very efficient way of getting a group of busy people to agree on a common time.

Google Fonts: Easily pick fonts for use in the Googleverse.

Google student programs: Educational opportunities across the Google Universe.

Google Tour BuilderCreate “tours” using Google maps, YouTube, Images, links, &  more.

Google Trends: As the name suggests, this Web page will show you what’s trending in Google searches, as well as where things are trending.

Image Search: Extension that lets you submit any image from the Web for a search and Google will give you its best guess as to what it is, with reasons why and similar images for comparison.

Keep: Google product that allows you to right-click on any Web-based item and save it across all your platforms — including smart watches. Great for shared lists and a lot more.

Save to Google Drive: Chrome extension that puts a drive icon on your toolbar. When you find something online you want to save to your drive, just click the icon.

Tone: Chrome extension for your toolbar. With it, you send out a ‘tone’ to student chromebooks and the tone loads the Website you want students to go to.

YouTube Video Editor: As the name suggests, you can edit video within your account's YouTube Studio.

Classroom Tools

Classroom resources from the University of California- Davis: Michael created this Google Doc following an NEH workshop in Sacramento, CA. There are a number of great teaching tools for any classroom, plus links to resources specific to lessons on the Transcontinental Railroad.

AnswerGarden: Online tool (Website, not chrome app) that bills itself as “a new minimalistic feedback tool. Use it for real time audience participation, online brainstorming and classroom feedback.”

Bamboozle: Make educational games online, no student accounts needed.

BeeLine Reader: Creates a gradient overlay that enhances reading ability for readers at any level. Once you’ve tried this, it’s hard to go back to the old way of reading black type on a white background!

Citelighter: Newly rebranded as SlyvanPaper this is a writing assistance and management platform. The free version works with Google Docs and includes outlining and capture tools.

ClipTo: Chrome extension for note taking, highlighting, and bookmarking. Double tap shortcut is nice; completely free.

Coggle: Idea and Mind- Mapping program that allows multiple collaborators to map at the same time. Easily embed images, links, and more to the maps.

Evolution of the Web: See a timeline of how technology has evolved over the past couple of decades.

FlipGrid: Online tool (Website, not chrome app). “Flipgrid is a video discussion community for your classroom that supercharges your students’ voices. You add the topics, your students respond with short videos, and everyone engages!”

Grammarly: Extension that check’s you’re grammer and spellling as you type. Clearly it wasnt used for this entry.
Noodle Tools: citation tool with paid subscription through the LMC.

Overdrive: app or extension that allows you to download content from the LSN LMC’s fiction eBook library to your device and read / listen offline.

Phet: Interactive simulations, specifically for Math & Science.
Solve for X: Self-described as a “Moonshot Factory,” X is a place to find inspiration from dreamers, inventors, and engineers. Or to become one.

Pocket: Chrome extension that allows you to save articles for later, then aggregates them all in one place.

Quizzez:  Similar to; this platform allows you to gamify learning. If you use Kahoot a lot, this is a fun change of pace. If you don’t use Kahoot, start with either of these to engage your students.

Scrible: Chrome extension. Save Websites, articles and more. Highlight and annotate within a Website.

Socrative: Chrome App for students and teachers. “Socrative will instantly grade, aggregate and provide visuals of results to help you identify opportunities for further instruction.”

Sublingual: Learn French while you browse the Web! This extension translates text you hover over into French.

ThingLink: Chrome Web extension that allows students to easily create interactive image and video content.

TurnItIn: plaigiarism prevention teaching program. Teachers have access through school email as login; see a librarian with access questions.

Wakelet: A bookmarking site, similar to Pinterest, but better suited for education & classrooms. Free sign-in with Google. Check out the Surf School to learn how to create collections, share, and collaborate.

Multimedia Tools

Adobe Spark Professional-level graphics with templates and fonts from the maker of Photoshop. Free for educators.

Anchor Web-based Podcasting platform

AutoDraw: You draw something with your mouse, it gives you a cleaner, better version or other options.

Awesome Screen Shot: Extension for easily taking screen shots of the whole or only a portion of your screen.

Bitable: Online video editor. Easy, but freemium.

Canva: Create posters and graphics quickly and easily. See Adobe Spark for a similar but more professional (and free) app.

Class Hook: Easily access and embed clips from popular TV and movies for classroom use. 

Complexly: From literature to biochemistry, Complexly's shows cover a breadth of topics designed to get you thinking. Owned by Hank Green, of "crash course video" fame.

EdPuzzle: Create a free teacher account to create quizzes or checks for understanding within YouTube videos, voice-over existing videos, and a lot more.

KeepVid: Download and embed YouTube videos for presentations. Freemium.

PikToChart: create nice graphics, charts, and pictograms. Freemium. See also Venngage.

Photos: Beautiful, professional images for use in presentations, movies, etc. No-cost, copyright free, royalty free.  Pexels  or Pixabay

PlayPosIt: Similar to EdPuzzle. Post video and pause and designated spots.

Quiver Vision: Use iPads or student smartphones to make maps, flags, cells, volcanoes, and a whole lot more turn 3D.

ScreenCastify: Video recording tool for creating screencasts. The program records everything on your screen, or the part you want it to capture, while you do the voice over. Great for flipped classroom use! You can also make highlights and draw on the video.

ScreenCast-O-Matic: Video capture tool for recording screencasts, includes option to show you in a picture-in-picture box in the lower right corner.

Storyboard That: Storyboard That empowers users to create storyboards and graphic organizers with its award-winning, browser-based Storyboard Creator.

TurnOffTheLights: Extension for watching videos; by clicking the shortcut everything that’s not the video gets darkened on your screen.

TypeWolf: Easily pick quality fonts for presentations, graphics, etc.

Venngage: Charts, graphics, pictograms. See also PikToChart. Create engaging presentations, professional infographics, and other stunning visuals online. Take notes as you watch a video, posts to Google Drive. Records video from the Web Camera and saves to your Google Drive folder

WeVideo: As easy as iMovie, but online. 5 minutes of free edited video a month. This is exactly what it sounds like. Picture a community Google Doc that’s fully interactive and shareable, but instead of a Doc it’s a whiteboard. It’s that easy. Passwords / emails optional.
YooDownload: Download videos or audio files from the Web for use in student projects. Be sure to close all pop-ups right away by X-ing out of  tab that opens.

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