Marcie’s Minute: Transform your ‘New Tabs’ in Chrome

When you open a new tab in Chrome, what are you staring at? A blank screen? Check out these 8 Chrome Extension that will transform your ‘New Tab’ page. This is not only great for teachers, but it is a perfect way for our students to customize their Chromebooks as well! My personal favorite is an extension for a ‘New Tab’ page called Earth View from Google Maps. Every time I open a new tab, I get to see a different satellite image from somewhere around the globe. What a fun way to keep you and your students wondering about the world!

Marcie’s Minute: Spell with Flickr

 

I recently heard about this fun little site called “Spell with Flickr.” Take a look at the image I created as a demo:

spell with flickr

While I must admit, it is more fun than educational, I am certain that many of our creative students and teachers could come up with many ways to connect this tool to learning. Check out the tutorial below to see how it works. Endless possibilities!

 

Marcie’s Minute: Smore

Smore is a fantastic site to create digital flyers and newsletters. If you are looking for a way to share information about your classroom, this is a very easy tool to use. With a simple drag-and-drop, fill-in-the-blank template, you can create a digital flyer or newsletter in no time. You can even embed the flyer right into a website, share it through social media or send it as an email.

We have had teachers all over the district revamping their newsletter with the help of Smore. Watch the quick video tutorial below to learn how to get started!

Marcie’s Minute: SoundTrap

I recently stumbled upon a fantastic web tool called SoundTrap. Years ago, I used a free software program called Audacity to create podcasts with students. While I still adore Audacity, I have been looking for a web-based tool to take its place for quite awhile. Because SoundTrap is hosted on the web, users have the ability to work collaboratively on an audio project and there is even a special version just for kids. The site has fantastic tutorials to help you figure out how to get started on creating original music tracks or podcasts. Check out my podcast demo below. Although my audio sounds a tad echo-y, I was still able to put my podcast together in about 5 minutes!

Marcie’s Minute: Random.org

Whether you need to flip a coin to settle who goes first, choose a name from a list of many, or pick some numbers for your Powerball ticket, we all encounter situations where a website or app would come in quite handy.

Enter Random.org. This website, iOS and Android app have dozens of ways to help you make a random number or word selection. Using atmospheric noise, Random.org has a method of generating a truly random response every single time.

I love this site and the app is a great addition to my smartphone. Check out the quick tutorial below!

Marcie’s Minute: Google Calendar Appointments

Scheduling time to meet with colleagues, administrators, parents and students can be time-consuming in and of itself. Did you know that there is a way to schedule appointments right inside Google Calendar? Watch the video tutorial below to learn how you can quickly add appointments onto your Google Calendar so that your time can be scheduled and documented right onto your calendar.

 

Marcie’s Minute: LearnStorm

If teachers are looking for a way to inspire students to improve their math proficiency skills while helping them built grit and growth mindset, then they should check out LearnStorm, a 9-week math challenge for students in grades 3-12.
From January 29th-April 1st, students can master math skills on kahnacademy.org to earn rewards and recognition for themselves as well as their school. LearnStorm gives every child a way to succeed, no matter what their level.
We are excited to see many DPS109 3rd-8th grade students participate in LearnStore this year! See the video below for more information about this exciting challenge!

 

Marcie’s Minute: Permanent Clipboard

Permanent Clipboard is a fantastic Chrome extension that saves you precious time. This little extension stores large amounts of text coded with a short description so that you can easily paste the same text over and over again without retyping. Think about every time you type the same words for student feedback, the same nightly homework reminders, or the same response to commonly received emails. Permanent Clipboard will give you seconds of your life back each time you use it. You’re going to wonder how you lived without it!

Marcie’s Minute: Discovery Features

District 109 is proud to partner with Discovery Education, which brings exciting content to life through a variety of digital tools. Because Discovery Education has so much to offer, there are many hidden gems that need some exposure! Click here to learn more about Global NewsOn This Day, and Virtual Events for teachers and students. Many of these features would be a great way to pique students’ interest on a range of topics and give them opportunities only available to schools partnering with Discovery Education.