Posts tagged ‘Technology’

My New Favorite Gadget: Rocketbook’s The Everlast Notebook

“You can’t solve a problem on the same level that it was created. You have to rise above it to the next level.” – Albert Einstein

I am very excited to share my new favorite gadget/toy with you! I first learned about Rocketbook on Shark Tank where it was rejected! I was shocked as I thought it was so innovative. On Shark Tank they introduced Rocketbook The Wave, a reusable notebook that you can erase by putting it in the microwave after scanning the pages and saving them into the cloud. The notebook provides a pen and paper experience, yet is built for the digital age; how cool is that! So I have been watching the company as they tested out more ideas and products and moved them from beta to market even though my husband thought I was crazy!

I did not get The Wave because you can only reuse it so many times and I wanted to use this notebook all the time! I purchased the Rocketbook Everlast Notebook on Amazon, as it is endlessly reusable! The Everlast feels like a traditional notebook and connects to all of my favorite cloud services such as Google Drive and Evernote. When you write using any pen from the Pilot Frixion line (which also work on regular paper too), your writing sticks to Everlast pages. When you are ready to send your notes to the cloud notebook of your choice, click on one of the symbols at the bottom of the page that you have created a destination for via the Rocketbook App, then all you have to do is scan and it will send your notes to the right place. After you fill up your pages, take a wet paper towel and wipe it away as the notebook erases like magic!


I wasn’t sure if I would be able to connect to all my different Google Drives as I have multiple accounts for school, work and business but you can using the different symbols. The only thing I would suggest for this as a way to make it even better is I wish it had lines verse the dot grid but I am assuming that is how the magic happens so I am okay with it.

I have been using my notebook for a few days and it has been awesome. No more scrap paper needed for my many to-do lists, no more filling up regular notebooks and putting them some where in case I need to go back to those notes and no more wasting paper as everything I need to access is in the cloud!  Read more about Rocketbook and how educators are using them:

How Rocketbook’s EdTech Solutions Help Students and Teachers Connect

Math Teacher Uses Rocketbook Wave to Bring a New Magic to Learning with the Traditional Pen and Paper

The Everlast Notebook is filled with smart, scannable pages that are also reusable


Move It: New Favorite Chrome Extension

“Movement is a medicine for creating change in a person’s physical, emotional, and mental states.” By  Carol Welch

I love many chrome apps  but a new favorite is called Move It! Move It integrates brain breaks through reminders that pop up on your screen. You get to set how often you want to be reminded to move and then a random brain break or exercise pops up for you to complete. Here is an example below:

Screen Shot 2017-07-12 at 1.59.37 PM

Once you complete it, click done and you will return to your screen. If you are in a  groove and don’t want to stop you can just click done to go back to your original screen. When introducing this extension to your students. Set up rules and expectations of how this is used in your classroom. It is easy to keep active with the Move It extension for your chrome browser!





Hidden Gem Resources for your Classroom

“Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun” By Mary Lou Cook

Below are sites I like using in the classroom that you won’t find on a typical education best apps/website, article or blog post; as these sites are hidden gems!

White Noise:  I like to have different areas in my classroom such as a collaboration zone and a quiet zone. (See previous blog post on Classroom Zones if you want to learn more) Background white noise drowns out the excess classroom noise around allowing them to better concentrate. There are apps you can buy such as iOS White Noise but I like using the free You Tube white noise channel, a soft murmur or Noisli.

Icons and Photos: Noun project has millions of curated icons, created by a global community that are free! This is great for not only teachers but students too when they are creating projects that need images. The site helps teach digital citizenship skills as the images, when downloaded cite the creator of the image! See below for an example. Another site Photos for Class also does the same thing for images.


Content Resources: I recently stumbled upon DKFindout, a secure site for students to find, explore, and learn about anything. I like providing this site to students for PBL’s and/or Genius Hour as it gives students a place to start exploring different ideas/topics. You do not need to create an account to use it!

Creation: Beatbox academy is lets you create beats using the drum icons they display on their homepage. While you unfortunately can’t record, save, or export any of the rhythms you create on their site; my work around is I have students create their beat and record it using the voice memo on an iPhone or iPad. This is of course after their create the rap/song lyrics about the content they are showing mastery of. Then in iMovie audio they record the lyrics over the beat. Creatubbles is a safe global community for creators of all ages. Students can share any type of art, music, video or craft with the world!

I would love to hear what hidden gem websites you have found that work for the classroom!


Engage Students Through Creating Podcasts

“Pedagogy is the driver, technology is the accelerator.” Michael Fullan

Podcasts are a series of audio recordings that you can listen to at anytime. Podcasts are great in the classroom because students can show what they know in a different format and other students can listen to them and learn too. Here are five ways you can use podcasting in the classroom:

  1. Book Talk: When students finish a great book they want to share, they can create a podcast highlighting the book for the book talk series. Other students can listen to the podcasts to see what book they might want to read next.
  2. How To:  This podcast series can be subject based on open to all areas. Students post “how to’s” to show what they know and help other students. For example: How to annotate text or how to apply properties of operations as strategies to add, subtract, factor, and expand linear expressions with rational coefficients.
  3. Student Spotlight: Spotlight a student each week. Students share about themselves to help build classroom culture and climate.
  4. Untold Stories: Students choose a different perspective of a historical event, book etc.
  5. Current Events: Students chose a current event, summarize the event and why it is important.


It is important to plan, produce and the publish! Before the students record their script, they must have it written out and get it approved by me. Then the students produce the podcast using the voice memos app that is on the iPad. Below are the directions that are posted, which I have previously modeled for them. I also have a podcast helper if a student gets stuck. 

  1. Press the record (red button) and start your podcast.
  2. When you are finished click on the record button again to stop the recording.
  3. Then click done and it will ask you to save your voice memo, click save.
  4. Label it with your last name and episode number. Example: Thompson E1.
  5. Click on your recording again and it will open up and give you three options share, edit or delete. Click on the share button and email it to me (the teacher).

Once they send it to me, I edit the files using iMovie to add the theme music and take out any pauses etc. You can also use Garageband to edit as well. Depending on the age level students can do this process too.  Finally you publish; I chose to use my website as the host for the podcasts. This way the students always know where to find them.

Here are a few other tools that have helped with podcasting in my classroom:

Podcasting tips: Use this resource before writing your script to get ideas.

Script Timer: Use this web tool to help determine the length based on your script.

Benefits of Podcasting:

  • Students are practicing reading, writing and listening based on multiple content standards.
  • Students are using high order thinking skills to create and critically think.
  • Students are being assessed in a different way.
  • Podcasts don’t have to be individual but students can collaborate too!


Please share ideas you have done in your classroom using podcasting!

Creating Google HyperDocs and Multimedia Sets

“Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun” by Mary Lou Cook

A HyperDoc is a Google document that incorporates different interactive features, such as links to content, maps etc. It requires the creator to think about the needs of the learners, how they will engage in the content, what ways they can reflect on their own learning, and how they can show what they know. A multimedia text set is a collection of lessons, various texts, and resources based around a unit, topic or theme. HyperDocs and Multimedia text sets were created by three ladies, Lisa Highfill, Kelly Hilton and Sarah Landis and have revolutionized the classroom.

How to create a HyperDoc:

  1. Choose your audience (students, teachers, staff)
  2. Choose a standard/topic/theme/unit 
  3. Decide if it is a single lesson (HyperDoc) or a collection of learning resources, example for a unit (Multimedia Text Set)
  4. Create a doc and title it HyperDoc and name of standard/topic/theme/unit
  5. Add images, links, maps, instructions, learning experiences etc 
  6. Be sure to set the share settings to view only so leaners can make a copy.
  7. There are multiple places to share your HyperDoc with other educators such as the below padlet or to Teachers Give Teachers.

HyperDocs are a great way to create personalized learning playlists and/or pathways. It is also a misconception that only teachers can create/use HyperDocs. It is a great way for administrators to model a way to integrate technology in a meaningful way for example in staff meetings or as a way to deliver professional development. Check out this link for HyperDocs for Administrators!

Made with Padlet


More resources on HyperDoc’s:

The HyperDoc Handbook: Digital Lesson Design Using Google Apps

Meet the HyperDoc Girls and Their Resources

HyperDocs Site

Collection of HyperDoc Examples from 2nd-12

Collection of Multimedia Text Sets

Creating Sticky Notes with Google Slides

“Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way.” Edward de Bono


This week my blog post is different because I want you to read Tony Vincent‘s blog post, Print Custom Sticky Notes with Google Slides. It is chock full of amazing ideas, tips, tricks and templates for you to utilize in your classroom. The directions are clear, concise and so easy you could implement this tomorrow in your classroom. Happy reading!

Top 10 New Tools from #NCTIES17

“Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun” Mary Lou Cook

NCTIES is one of my favorite conference each year. I love learning new things and sparking new ideas to share with others. Here are 10 new tools I learned about that I have not used before but will be using in the classroom: (These are in no particular order)

  1. Quick, Draw:  This is a game built with machine learning. You draw, and a neural network tries to guess what you’re drawing. The machine guessed 4/6 of my drawings.
  2. Bloxels for Kids: This is an innovative video game development platform that allows you to create your own video games. I love that it is created by kids for kids.
  3. Sutori:  This is a place students can create their own digital story timelines.
  4. Post it Plus App: Take a picture of the post-its that you were using to brainstorm/collaborate and save it as a picture. You can then later rearrange or add to it.
  5. Phonto: Add text to photo’s…so many great ways to use this in the classroom.
  6. Quizalize: Similar to Kahoot but what I like about more is students can take it at their own pace. 
  7. Vizia: This site makes a quiz from any video, sends answers to a spreadsheet!
  8. Inklewriter: Create your own choose your adventure story. 
  9. OpeneBooks: This site, once you create an account, offers free ebooks for students.
  10. Teach Your Monster to Read: This site is great for the younger students and ESL students.

*Bonus: Richard Byrne shared all his presentation slides here from the conference as well.

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