A Great New Google Drive Cheat Sheet for Teachers

July 28, 2014
Here is a new excellent Google Drive cheat sheet created and shared by Shake Up Learning (one of my favourite blogs for Ed Tech). This cheat sheet is created after the latest updates to Google Drive and as such it is the most recent visual guide to the new Google Drive. The main things covered in this cheat sheet are :

  • Create, upload, and organize
  • Files, folders, and search
  • Details, activities and settings
  • Google+ Integration.


This cheat sheet is available for free download from this link. You can also make a copy of it to your Google Drive from this Link.


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ePortfolio Checklist for Teachers

July 28, 2014
Following the posting of ePortfolio Resources for Teachers somebody emailed me this visual  which I want you to check out as well. This visual created by Chelmick features 6 components your students should consider when composing their ePortfolios. You can use this checklist in class to give students an idea about the things they need to incorporate  in their ePortfolios.
Why Use ePortfolios ?
According to Cornell University, there are different learning purposes and benefits behind using ePortfolios.
A- The learning purposes of ePortfolios include:

  • Reflecting upon learning processes and outcomes.
  • Organizing and presenting learning accomplishments.
  • Developing self-assessment skills.
  • Representing learning experiences.
  • Developing multimedia skills.
  • Creating electronic text for specific audiences.
  • Learning how to use technology to support lifelong learning.
B- The learning benefits of ePortfolios include:
  • Personalizing the learning experience.
  • Allowing students to draw connections between their various learning experiences over the semester and beyond.
  • Seeing progress over time.
  • Enhancing critical thinking.
  • Evaluating and assessing student products and processes.
  • Assessing course learning outcomes.
  • Gaining insight into how students experienced a curriculum

11 Amazing Evernote Features Every Teacher Should Know about

July 28, 2014
Evernote is a powerful note taking web tool and mobile app. It is definitely an elemental component of teachers workflow. I have been using it for a few years now and I just can't live without it now.Evernote enables you to take notes in both text and audio format. Your notes can also include images,videos and even files. Evernote is available across different devices so that everything you do with Evernote on your computer can be automatically synced to your Evernote account on your phone or tablet.




After writing about the apps teachers can use to enhance their Evernote experience, today I am sharing with you this excellent video tutorial created by Scott. In this video, Scott outlines  11 important tips to help you tap into the full potential of Evernote. These are :

1- Create a series of unlimited notes within notebooks
2- Stacking notebooks or grouping several notebooks under one category
3- What are tags and why they are valuable
4- How to use search feature on Evernote to help you find information that you need in quick and efficient way.
5- The ability to share notes with people via a link
6- How to share notebooks with others
7- How to send stuff into Evernote via an email address
8- How to use Web Clipper to bookmark and save web content to your Evernote
9-Add audio clips to your notes
10- How to use the "take a snapshot" functionality in Evernote
11- How to add attachments into Evernote




Interesting Visual- Teacher with Growth Mindset Vs Teachers with Fixed Mindset

July 28, 2014
The Educator and The Growth Mindset is the title of this nice visual created by Dr. Jackie Gerstein. This visual beautifully and succinctly captures the antagonistic thinking underlying the fixed mindset and the growth mindset. While the earlier renders the individual consumed with toxic feelings of powerlessness and helplessness, the latter pushes individuals to their heights. A teacher with a growth mindset nurtures feelings of self-actualization and empowerment and is more acutely prepared to positively impact students and learning community… Have a look at the visual below to learn more about these two mindsets.


Great ePortfolio Resources for Teachers

July 28, 2014
With the massive uptake of web 2.0 technologies, the concept of portfolios has migrated to the cloud giving rise to what is now termed  electronic portfolios or ePortfolios for short. An ePortfolio is similar in essence to the traditional pen and paper portfolio but with a set of added advantages. For instance , ePortfolios are accessible anywhere anytime with internet connection. Also ePortfolios allows for a wider inclusion of different multimedia items such as videos, podcasts, audio recordings, slides, text, images and many more.

Image source: Tektab

Why Use ePortfolios ?
According to Cornell University, there are different learning purposes and benefits behind using ePortfolios.

A- The learning purposes of ePortfolios include:

  • Reflecting upon learning processes and outcomes.
  • Organizing and presenting learning accomplishments.
  • Developing self-assessment skills.
  • Representing learning experiences.
  • Developing multimedia skills.
  • Creating electronic text for specific audiences.
  • Learning how to use technology to support lifelong learning.

B- The learning benefits of ePortfolios include:

  • Personalizing the learning experience.
  • Allowing students to draw connections between their various learning experiences over the semester and beyond.
  • Seeing progress over time.
  • Enhancing critical thinking.
  • Evaluating and assessing student products and processes.
  • Assessing course learning outcomes.
  • Gaining insight into how students experienced a curriculum

If you are planning to further explore the concept of ePortfolios and probably try it with your students in class then here are two great resources you should definitely keep with you. These are :

1- ePortfolios Guide from CUCTE


This page from Cornell University Centre for Teaching Excellence provides some key insights and ideas to help you understand and better use ePortfolios with your students. It particularly covers the following items:

  • What are ePortfolios?
  • Why use ePortfolios?
  • How can you get started with integrating ePortfolios?
  • How can you introduce ePortfolios?
  • What are some ePortfolio learning activities?
  • How can you assess ePortfolios?
  • What can be done with the final products?

2- ePortfolio Resources


This is an excellent Pinterest board packed full of resources related to digital portfolios. This board is run by Lisa from TechChef4u.

Kahoot- Excellent Web Tool for Creating and delivering Quizzes and Surveys to Students

July 28, 2014
Kahoot is another great student response system that teachers can use to create and deliver quizzes and surveys to students. Kahoot provides a learning environment that is ideal for engaging students for it incorporates the precepts of both game-based learning and inquiry-based learning. Kahoot allows teachers to create quizzes and surreys that include a wide variety of multimedia elements such as videos, pictures and text. Each quiz you create can be accessed by students across different devices . Also teachers have the possibility to create time-controlled quizzes. You can set a specific period of time for the answer of each question. In this way students are rewarded not only for the correct answer but also for their timeliness.



How does it work
As a teacher you can create a Kahoot account using a valid email address. Once you are logged in you can then use the creator tool to build quizzes and surveys to deliver to your students. Don't worry Kahoot provides step by step instructions on each step of the process so you won't have any problems creating your quizzes. Now that your activity is ready you can ask students to join in. Kahoot does not require students to open an account to use it. Students need to go to Kahoot.it then enter the PIN you give them .


Ways to use Kahoot with students
There are different ways to use Kahoot in your classroom. Here are some of them:

  • Use it to collect informal feedback from your students
  • Assess students comprehension of a lesson
  • Poll students on matters related to the learning taking place in class
  • Host discussion panels in class where students not only answer questions but also pose their own questions

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9 Characteristics of A Leading Educator

July 28, 2014
A few days ago I came across a post published by Teachthought on the 9 roles for teachers that lead. This post was based on a book that has recently been published under the title "The Educator As A Maker Educator". The book is authored  by Jackie Gerstein (most of you would recognize her from her popular blog User Generated Education). As the book was both cheap ($2,90 on Amazon) and short (only 61 pages) I bought it and read on it on my kindle the same day. This book is an intellectual journey into the depths of the theoretical ideas  that informs progressive education. It highlights the role of educator as a maker, which is an idea rooted in the experiential insights of John Dewey.

The concept of  educator as a maker is further illustrated by the 9 roles Jackie thinks should be present in every teacher who is to lead a successful learning experience. These roles are :


1. Process Facilitator for producing, assessing, developing, creating, revisiting, revising

2. Lead Learner

3. Safe Environment Manager–creating environments where learners feel free to take risks

4. Relationship Enabler & Builder for face-to-face, online PLNs, and mentors

5. Technology Tutor

6. Tour Guide Of Learning Possibilities

7. Facilitator Feedback

8. Normalizer of ambiguous problem finding and solving; framer of “failure as iterative”

9. Resource Suggester and provider