Teachers are flipping over Flipgrid, a platform designed for social learning. Flipgrid allows teachers to pose questions to students, and in response, students prepare a video that is displayed for the full class to view. Using the video grid, students listen to the ideas shared by their classmates and provide feedback in the form of comments or emoji symbols. Students love the creativity they bring to their video by including custom stickers and selfie cover photos to their videos. This tool is helpful to facilitate in class discussions or debates and can be used for project-planning or formative assessment. With so many options, Flipgrid is a tool that any teacher will find useful. Check out the video below to learn more.

Hapara Focus

Hapara is a luxury to have in District 109. It serves as a Google management tool, giving teachers access to their students’ Google Drive and Gmail accounts to encourage best practices with the Google suite of applications. In addition to serving as a fantastic Google management tool, Hapara can also be used as a robust classroom management tool. Hapara’s interact feature gives teachers access to their students’ screens to ensure that students are on-task during work time while on their student devices.

One particularly helpful tool is known as Hapara Focus. With Hapara Focus, teachers can focus their students’ browsing to a particular tab or website for a predetermined amount of time. Check out the video below to see how Hapara Focus can help you manage student browsing activity during class time.


Find a Time in Google Calendar

Recently, I had an epiphany when I was trying to schedule a meeting time with a colleague. As we sent emails back and forth trying to find a common time to meet, I realized that she probably did not know about one of the best features built right into Google Classroom. Using the “Find a Time” feature of Google Calendar, you can find an available time when everyone is free. Imagine how efficient we can all become in DPS109 if we used “Find a Time” when scheduling all of our meeting and appointments! Learn how to use the “Find a Time” feature in the video below.

Google Tone

When you want to share a URL but don’t want to report to sending it through chat or email, Google Tone makes it possible using sound waves. There are other apps and extensions for link sharing, but we appreciated Google’s innovation enough to share it with our staff. Check out Google Tone in the video below!

Marcie’s Minute: Synergyse

Check out this fantastic Chrome extension called Synergyse. If you love learning about all things Google, then this is the extension for you! Synergyse is your personal Google Apps Training and Help Center that used to cost thousands and now is available for free! It doesn’t hurt to add the extension to your browser, so what are you waiting for? Go to the Chrome web store and add it today! Here’s a glimpse of Synergyse in action:

Marcie’s Minute: Nearpod

Nearpod is an exciting presentation tool that will be available for our teachers this month. With a full library of pre-created lessons as well as the option of teacher-created lessons, we think Nearpod is a perfect solution for any 1:1 learning environment. Nearpod allows the teachers to control the presentation on student devices and embed activities to gauge student learning. The tool can also be used individually by students for a powerful self-paced experience. You’ll be hearing more about our Nearpod district subscription, but until then, take a look at how Kathy Kerner at Walden uses it with her students.


Marcie’s Minute: Recap

Recap is a formative assessment tool that students seem to be loving just as much as the teachers. On either Chromebooks or iPads, students are able to send videos to the teacher, explaining concepts students are leaving about. Teachers can send feedback to the students based on what the students shared in the video recording. What a great way to not only “recap” content, but to reinforce those important speaking and listening skills. Check out the video below taken of Kirk Humphreys and his math students for a tour of Recap.