Teacher Tech Playground

Teacher Tech Playground

The LMS’s hope with this page is to provide a brief listing of links and ideas that we’ve presented at professional development sessions, learning lunches, or conferences, as well as lots of things that we’re currently playing with but simply haven’t had chance to show off. If you’d like to collaborate using any of these tools, or if you simply have any questions when playing around with them yourself, please come talk to us!



Click image to link the the presentation!

Our Learning Lunch / Food Friday presentation on video streaming ideas and presentation tools. Make a copy of the presentation to save to your Drive. Let us know if you have any questions about any of these great tools!

This just in: Things we’re playing with but haven’t done any staff PD (yet).

Last updated April 12, 2017.

Learning Lunch April 26, 2017

Fight the Confusion: Find the facts!

At our April 26, 2017 learning lunch we’ll introduce LSN’s sixth librarian, Nathan Miller, who will be joining us next August. Nathan, Bill, and Michael will discuss our new campaign to “Fight the Confusion” amid all the contradictory information swirling around us. Studies show that our students are among the most susceptible to believe misinformation, and also the quickest to pull the trigger on forwarding that misinformation to others. How do we as a teaching staff combat this? We’ll talk about resources that are available, our new poster campaign, and what we can all do together to make everyone a little more discerning consumers of information.

Links for this presentation

Get a digital version of the poster! Click here to download. This file is designed for 11×17 paper, but you can print it smaller if you need.

Click here (after April 26) to view the Google Slides presentation with all the embedded resource links. Michael, Nathan, & Bill shamelessly adapted much of this content from our friends at LSW, who had just done a similar presentation. Thanks Megan & Amy!

Extensions & apps we're playing with now

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

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.”

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!”

WebWhiteBoard.com: 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.

Aurasma: Augmented Reality platform that allows you to embed physical items with other content so when students hold their object in the camera’s field of vision, the object becomes something else. For instance, in the LMC, when you use Aurasma and hold certain books up to the camera, the video book trailer for that title plays on the student’s chromebook / smartphone. Lots of potential classroom uses.

Quizzez:  Similar to Kahoot.it; 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.

Phet: Interactive simulations, specifically for Math & Science.

Momentum: Extension for multiple platforms that features a gorgeous new photo, plus the time, date, and positive quote everyday as you open your browser. Possibly Mr. Russell’s favorite extension. (Update: the district blocked Momentum in February, 2017)

YooDownload: (instructions for student use) Download videos or audio files from the Web for use in student projects. Close all pop-ups right away by Xing out of  tab that opens. 

Honey: Do you shop online? Then get yourself some honey. Extension automatically searches for and applies coupon codes to your online shopping, including Amazon.

Search by image: 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.

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

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.

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

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

Grammarly: Extension that check’s you’re grammer and spelling as you type. Clearly it wasnt used for this entry.

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


Screen Captures

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.

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


Freemium (partially free, but it might cost for larger classroom use):

Kami: PDF and markup platform. Extension works with Drive, Docs, & Classroom.


You've got this: Things we've presented to the staff at some point...


Arduinos & Makerspace Creative Learning

We featured these kits at our February 24, 2017 Learning Lunch. These toolboxes are full of techy gadgets students can use to learn programming, computer coding, or simply tinker to create their own technological discoveries. Arduino kits can be as simple as a circuit that turns on a digital light or as complex as building a drone. Talk with the LMSs about how you can incorporate these into a lesson, or stop by the LMC during a Makerspace session! 

Spheros, BB8, Sprk Lab, and Robots

We highlighted these at our February 24, 2017 Learning Lunch. The LMC has a few sphero robots that you can use in your classroom for various learning objectives. Students can learn how to code, they can program the robots, or just drive them 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.


Google VR Glasses

These great gadgets were the subject of our September 28, 2016 Learning Lunch.  The LMC has 30 phones and carboard VR viewers that your class can use to take virtual field trips. Talk with a librarian about where you’d like to go to see all the possibilities! Our phones work with Google Expeditions (click to see list of Expeditions),  StreetView, most museum-created VR, and much more. 

We need a little bit of advance warning to schedule the phones since we share them with the five other secondary schools in the district.

Breakout Boxes

We’ve got all sorts of ways to create a fun, gamified lesson for your classroom. We did a brief breakout game at a learning lunch in January, 2016 and since then have added a number of new tricks to the Breakout toolbox (we’re not listing them here just in case students are reading– we don’t want to give anything away!) The LMSs will collaborate with you to create a challenging breakout game specific to your lesson, or if you’ve got a lot of time you can design your own game. Talk to a librarian about all the different tools available!


Tools for Chromebooks & more

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!

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.

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.

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.

Share to Classroom: Chrome extension that allows you to share things directly to a Google Classroom.

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

Session Manager: Chrome extension that restores your desktop to a specific time 

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

Citelighter: Writing assistance and management platform. The free version works with Google Docs and includes outlining and capture tools.

EasyBib: Online citation generator.  Students have free upgraded account access to this tool through May, 2017. See a librarian for the coupon code.

TurnItIn: plaigiarism prevention teaching program. Teachers have access; see a librarian to get start codes.

Socrative: Chrome App for students and teachers. “Engage, assess and personalize your class with Socrative! Educators can initiate formative assessments through quizzes, quick question polls, exit tickets and space races all with their Socrative Teacher app. Socrative will instantly grade, aggregate and provide visuals of results to help you identify opportunities for further instruction.”




Other classroom tools

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

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.

Info Trac Idea Generator: Phenomenal and engaging idea generator through a Gale database. This is currently on the MCPL Website, so you’ll need a library card number to access. If you don’t have one, ask a librarian. We have two school use numbers you can use with your classes.

Integrating Databases into Google Classroom: PDF Tip Sheet for how to incorporate items from the Gale databases into your Google Classroom assignments.

Google Arts & Culture: Lose yourself in this immersive exploration of arts & culture. Includes VR museum tours, full collections of artist works, art that is relevant to current events, and much more. The Nelson Atkins Museum in Kansas City is included.

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.

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.

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

Google student programs: Educational opportunities across the Google Universe

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. 

Follett Destiny Discover: Extension that works behind the scenes, but when it’s on and you do a Google search it will show off all the library materials related to that search first.

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


Copyright 2018 Lee's Summit North Library
For questions, please contact us at nathan.miller@lsr7.net or michael.russell@lsr7.net