Note Taking While Watching YouTube – & Google Drive

First and foremost I want to thank the incredible @kylepace for sharing this incredible resource at the GAFE (pronounced like cafe) Summit in Evansville, IN. is a tool that allows you to watch a YouTube video on the left side of your screen while taking notes on the right side. Video note taking without opening and closing tabs! If that wasn’t enough, allows you to save and share the video along with your notes in your Google Drive. This gives you the ability and share a collaborate with others!

Check it out!







Do Yourself a Favor and IFTTT Your World: Twitter to Google Drive

If This Then That (IFTTT) is a service that streamlines your productivity by allowing tools you are probably already using to work together. IFTTT works with 98 different “channels” like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Dropbox, and Google Drive and users create “triggers” to tell each channel what to do. I’ll stop trying to tell you how awesome IFTTT is and show you:

Click here for my Twitter to Google Drive recipe.

There are so many practical uses for IFTTT, but there are also some pretty funny recipes as well.

With SO many options, hopefully you can find or create a recipe that works for you!

I do want to give mad props to @MrBrettClark for this awesome idea!

Classflow: Engage and Collaborate Like Never Before is an incredible new presentation tool that may change the way teachers interact with their students. Classflow is cloud-based and allows teachers to access and build lessons using any browser, on any device. Lessons can include web links, videos, images and even PowerPoints. Once and lesson is built it can be easily shared with students on their smart phones, tablets, laptops, or Chromebooks! Teachers can even choose to share their lesson on Classflow’s ever growing library. 

While teachers do the “driving” and are the ones deciding which cards will be shared on students’ devices, Classflow allows students to interact and manipulate cards, then send them back to the teacher.

My favorite feature of Classflow is how easily your lessons can be adapted on the fly. I have created some great presentations for my students and right in the middle of teaching, a student will add an idea that is even better than what I was doing. Classflow gives teachers and students the ability to create new cards that will become part of the lesson without ever exiting your current Classflow presentation.

Here’s a short video showing you how to get started on Classflow:

Into the Twittershpere!

Not on Twitter?

Teachers don’t have enough time. It’s a fact. We all know it. Teachers today are overwhelmed. How are they supposed to find the time to search and find new, quality ideas and resources to integrate into their lessons in the midst of the mountains of paperwork and endless responsibilities piling up around them? They can’t. Like I said, teachers don’t have enough time.

With teachers being pulled in so many different directions, they need resources to come to them. What if mind-blowing, incredibly engaging lessons found you? It’s possible, and Twitter can make it happen. Some of you are thinking Twitter is where people go to tell about what they thought of Madonna’s outfit at the Grammys (see below).

Twitter is definitely a forum for anyone with internet access to share their random thoughts, but it’s so much more! It’s a gathering place where thousands of educators collaborate and are willing to share incredible resources and phenomenal ideas with you. And it’s all FREE!

To get started click here and sign up for an account.

Once you register I recommend only following a handful of people at first. After you’ve discovered a few you really like, see who those people follow, and follow them too. You will soon have a collection of people tweeting “teaching gold” directly to your phone or computer.

Don’t be afraid to unfollow people either. Twitter does not notify users with others find them boring or not helpful. And get rid of that egg profile picture! No one cares what an egg has to say. Finally, tell a little about yourself, inquiring minds want to know.

Here are some more resources to help you get started on Twitter:

@cybraryman1’s  Twitter for Beginners Page (He has a page for everything, literally everything)

A Not So Delusional Guide to Twitter

Twitter Starter for Teachers by @alicekeeler

Weekly Twitter Chat Schedule. This schedule sorts chats by #’s and specific topics you may be interested in.

Already on Twitter? Ready to take your Twitter experience to the next level?

Tweetdeck is for you! Tweetdeck allows user to create a custom twitter experience. One of my favorite applications of Tweetdeck is the ability to create columns to follow a particular hashtag (#). Now with the help of Tweetdeck, I have access to real time streaming 24 hours a day!

Here’s how to customize your Tweetdeck to suit you:

Once you’ve created your Tweetdeck account click on the “+” on the lefthand side of the page to add a column


Then choose the column type you would like to add. To add a specific hashtag column, click “search” and then enter the hashtag you are looking for.

Here is an example of some of the columns I’ve created:

You can find the Tweetdeck Chrome App here or it’s available on your iOS or Andriod app stores

Twitter Bonus: Here is a really cool activity to try using Twitter in your classroom.

Remind101…Only the Best Thing Ever!

Remind101 is a way for teachers to communicate, through text messaging, quickly and safely with students, after-school groups, or parents. And it’s FREE! Remind101 was designed specifically for teachers. Creating an account takes less than two minutes. This amazing resource is currently being used by over 500,00 teachers, students and parents and millions of messages are being sent each month!

Click on this video for an Introduction:

Once you have signed up an account, create your first class by giving it a name and class code (this code is what students and parents will use to join your class).

Screenshot 2014-02-11 at 9.00.59 PM

Remind101 has apps available for both Apple and Android devices. If you prefer, Remind101 can also be used from your PC by visiting

 You can also check out Remind101’s YouTube Channel by clicking here for helpful “how to” videos.

Remember,  students will NEVER see your personal cell phone number and you will never see there’s. Messages are one-way, students can’t respond back to you. Did I mention it is FREE!?

Chrome Extensions That Will Melt Your Face

First things first, let’s try to distinguish the difference between a Chrome Web App and a Chrome Extension. Chrome’s Web Apps are basically links to websites. Powtoon is an example of a Web App. You can install it as an app from the Chrome Store, or you can simply visit for the same experience. Some apps do cost money, and the Chrome Store provides a platform for users to make purchases. An extension affects your interactions with all websites through your browser. For example, an extension may allow you to highlight a word on a website, and find it’s definition. Once you install this extension, it will work on any website you open inside the Chrome browser. Here are five Chrome Extensions Educators should never go without:

TechSmith Snagit

The TechSmith Snagit Chrome extension uses are endless. It allows you to capture a screenshot and add your own arrows, circles, rectangles and text. Once your screenshot is complete you can save and/or Snagit even gives you a link to share your capture.

Snagit also creates a TechSmith folder and saves all images automatically to your Google Drive!

I am constantly taking snapshots and annotating to give directions or how to’s. What a great way to help get your point across to students, or better yet, have students to get the point across to you!

Check out the video below to learn more.

Save to Google Drive

 This Chrome extension give you the ability to take a snapshot of an entire webpage and save it directly  in your Google Drive. You can also save links and images as well. Once you have installed the extension the Google Drive icon will appear just after your URL address box.

By simply clicking on the icon, the web page will be saved as an image file into to your Google Drive.

This handy window will pop up and allow you to rename, or trash your image. To find the image go to “My Drive” in your Google Drive and there it is! 

You can also save links and images by right clicking and choosing “Save Link or Save Image to Google Drive.” 

You can find the Save to Google Drive extension by clicking here.

Read & Write for Google

 Read & Write for Google is a great extension for all students to use for their writing. Once installed, students can open a Google Doc and choose to have it read aloud to them. Hearing their own writing out loud is all some students need to take their editing to the next level. In the past I have had students record themselves reading their own writing for playback, or they have read to a peer. I still have the ability for students to continue those practices, but  now students can plug their earbuds in and hear what their writing sounds like on their own without distracting others. This extension also offers the ability to use multi color highlighters on Google Docs. After the initial install Premium features are available for 30 days. You do have the option to purchase the Premium package after the 30 day trial. Don’t worry! Read & Write for Google will allow you keep the read aloud, highlighter, and even a translator tool after the 30 days. Below is the toolbar that will be available at the top of your Google Docs (If you already have a Google Doc open before you install the extension, you’ll need to close and reopen it to access the toolbar): 

Split Screen

I normally have several tabs open at the same time on my browser. The Split Screen extension lets me copy and paste the two URL addresses I am wanting to look at, then opens them in one window. It’s great for studying, note taking, or if you’re waiting for a video to buffer. This extension makes searching multiple websites a breeze!

 Note Anywhere

Note Anywhere allows you to put notes anywhere on any web page! You can click and drag the note wherever you want. If you close the page and open again later, the notes are still there! If you want to delete the note, click the top left-hand corner of the note, and it’s gone!

Honorable Mentions:

One Tab

This extension can help your computer run more efficiently. If you usually work with a lot tabs open (I currently have 23)  One Tab compiles them all into a list and makes surfing multiple sites much easier.

 Google Dictionary

This extension allows users to double click on any word on the web and view its definition. Google Dictionary will also pronounce the selected word and foreign words are translated to the language of your choice.

 Make GIF Video Capture

GIF is an acronym for Graphic Interchange Format. All you need to know is that GIFs are short, looping, soundless videos that can be used in a variety of ways in the classroom. And they are tons of fun! Once you’ve installed the Make GIF Video Capture extension all you have to do is find the YouTube video you are wanting a snippet of and click on the sweet hat and mustache icon in your Omnibox. It will walk you through the steps of creating your very own GIF! You also have the options of speeding up, slowing down, or adding text to you GIF. Have fun!

Double Secret Bonus:

Once in a generation an extension is created and changes the way you see the world. This is that extension…nCage

My Simple Thought About Teaching…

Find out what your students need and give it to them.