Tech Tip Tuesday: Leave Voice Comments Instead!


Tired of leaving the same comments on a Google Doc for students and realizing they aren’t reading them? Wish there was a way to personalize these comments a little more? You NEED to check out the Google Doc add-on Kaizena!

Kaizena is a Google Doc add-on (you’ll need to install it from within Google Docs) that affords you the opportunity to highlight text on a Google Doc and speak, instead of write, comments- leaving voice “notes” back to the owner of the document! There are a number of VERY USEFUL features with Kaizena including: feedback features, color-coding, lessons, and tracking of skills. You can even create a bank/folder of voice comments you have created/left for students, so that you do not have to recreate the same thing for eac.! What a time saver! Best of all, everything works within the Google Doc. No leaving the document to open Kaizena, then heading back to the document to insert the¬†comment.

To get started, visit the Kaizena link above, or open a Google Doc –> click on add-ons –> get add-ons –> then do a search for Kaizena. Click on the app –> then install. It will ask you or permissions to sync with your Google account. Accept it. Once in, go back to add-ons –> select Kaizena –> and it will open in the right pane of the screen. Set up your classes and grade levels and you are set to begin!

Hope this helps!


Tech Tip Tuesday: ReadWorks for DI

tech-tip-tuesday is a great website to increase the amount of DI taking place in your classroom. Looked at primarily as a perfect tool for English classes, Readworks can definitely be used in all subjects where reading takes place (and isn’t that pretty much all classes?).

It’s easy to use, customizable, and free! It is similar to Newsela, in the sense that you can tailor reading selections to the students reading level. This is PERFECT for DI. It also works great for building background knowledge or enhancing content-specific topics and vocabulary.¬† Every article ALSO includes lesson and question sets/ideas that you can quickly and easily use to incorporate into your classroom.

To get started- simply register for a free account. Once in, click on “Find Content” at the top, filter your search to meet your criteria (I start with grade level), pick a subject (or search all), and then search for something that catches your attention. Select the article and then “+ My list”. You will also notice that each article also has an audio version (talk about DI)!

Hope this helps!

Tech Tip Tuesday: Use Your IOS Device to Screencast


There are a lot of tools out there that are capable of offering screencasting. Some of my favorite include Screencastify or utilizing a Quicktime/iMovie combo. However, Apple IOS 11 now brings screencasting to your iPhone or iPad.

To do this simply access the control center on your device –> click on “customize controls” –> and then click the “plus” sign next to “screen recording.” A control panel will pop-up with a variety of “player” options, similar to that of a dvd player. Click on the “record button” located in the lower left of the control panel.

Note: a button or two above the record button is the “screen mirroring” option. This is what you would access if you want to cast your device to an apple tv.

What even cooler? You can also record audio, so you can add voice over/discussion to your screen recording. When you are done, simply click the “record button” again to turn it off. Send this to yourself as a file, and if you want to edit/tweak it, you can also bring it into iMovie to do some editing.

Hope this helps!