Tech Tip Tuesday: Using QR Codes in the Classroom


Have you tried incorporating QR codes into your classroom? QR (quick response) codes are super easy to create and are a fun way for students to get to use their cellphones in the classroom. To create QR codes there are a variety of websites/tools out there to do it.

To create QR codes:

To scan QR codes:

  • Google Goggles (for Android)
  • With ios 11, you can use your iPhone or iPad’s camera. No need for an app. ios 11 will automatically scan the QR code and a link will appear. Click the link to go to the page.
  • Snapchat. Seriously. With Snapchat open, point the camera at the code and hold your finger over the image to read it.

So What if . . .

  • Students created QR codes on submitted projects to enhance the interactivity.
  • You used QR codes to generate a Google Form for peer-to-peer feedback, reviews, or for peer-editing with essays.
  • You used QR to create a digital scavenger hunt.
  • You used QR codes with a BreakOutEdu (I have this kit!)
  • Incorporating QR with homework to help extend the learning with extra resources.




Our First #RIHPD Twitter Chat

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I will be hosting our first #RIHPD Twitter Chat on Wednesday evening, March 7, from 8 pm to 9 pm. Our first topic covered will be on Differentiation! I will post questions throughout the chat and give you time to post, share, comment, and retweet. This will be a great opportunity to earn 1 PDC Hour in you PJ’s! Come to collaborate, question, comment, and share. Share teaching ideas, successes, struggles, resources, photos, etc that will add to our discussion.

The format for our Twitter Chat will go something like this:

  1. 8:00 pm: Intros
  2. 8:10 pm: Q1
  3. 8:20 pm: Q2
  4. 8:30 pm: Q3
  5. 8:40 pm Q4
  6. 8:50 pm Q5

Here’s How to Take Part:
1. Log into Twitter on Wednesday, March 7 @ 8 PM EST.
2. Search for tweets with the hashtag #rihpd in the search bar. Make sure to click “All tweets.”
3. Introductions are for the first 10 minutes.
4. I will post questions every 10 minutes using the format Q1, Q2, Q3, etc. and the hashtag #rihpd.
5. Respond to questions using the format A1, A2, A3, etc. with #rihpd.
6. Follow any teachers responding and who are also using #rihpd.
7. Like and respond to other teachers’ tweets.

New to chats? Here are the rules:
1. Stay on topic
2. Make sure your twitter feed is set to public. (Also keep in mind that Twitter is completely public – that means students, parents, and administrators can and will read what you tweet.)Please do not post or promote paid products unless specifically asked.
3. Always use our hashtag #rihpd, including in your replies to others.
4. Use to shorten links when sharing.
5. Check out TweetDeck to keep track of the Twitter Chat.
6. Taking part in the chat on your computer is easier (IMO).

Still want to know more about Twitter Chats? Check out these links:



Tech Tip Tuesday: Create Flipped Videos Within Schoology Using ScreenCast-O


Have you checked out Schoology’s App Center? It is constantly being updated with new, integrated apps that work streamlined within Schoology. To go there click “home’ –> “app center” –> then scroll through the list to locate the various apps the at are available to be integrated within Schoology. Some require a cost or require a premium license from the company tool. Some, however, are free, and pretty neat.

Check out the app Screencast-O-matic. This is PERFECT for creating flipped lessons/screencasts/video tutorials/ mini lessons right from within Schoology. To install it find it in the list –> click on it –> “click install LTI app” –> then check off the courses you want to add it do. Next, open one of your courses that you just installed it to. Once on the course click on the “screencast-O-matic” tool on the left navigation. The tool should load. If it doesn’t, but you get a gray window, click on the gray window and a popup should occur. Use your Google account from the school district to activate.

The tool will download an extension to your computer and ask for permission to your camera. Allow this. Once everything it set, you’ll need to refresh the screen and the tool should load with the Screencast-O-matic window. To get started, click on the “+ New Recording” button –> “Open Screen Recorder Launcher” on the next popup. The tool will load on your desktop and activate the recorder feature.

From here, set your parameters for recording. You can select if you want to record the screen, just your webcam (facetime-esque), or both (which creates a flipped video with your video in the lower right corner of the screen). Adjust the screen size you want to record by dragging the sides of the screen, then click on the red “record” button. The recording will begin and you can stop when necessary.

From here, you can edit and modify the video you created. When you are all set, create a new “material”/ “assignment”. In the editing window click on the “insert” button, then select Screencast-O-matic from the right side and it will load all videos you have created. Pretty neat and so simple!

Hope this helps and reach out for more assistance if you need it!

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!



Tech Tip Tuesday: Do More With Presentations- Go Pecha Kucha


I wanted to send this one out before the winter break as I thought this might be something to consider incorporating into lessons. If you haven’t the slightest clue what Pecha Kucha is, take a look here and here.

So now to recap, Pecha Kucha is a presentation style, that incorporates 20 slides (or images), in 20 seconds each, for a quick 6-7 minute presentation! It’s quick, it’s concise, it gets students to the point, it gets them speaking and NOT reading, and the listeners become active participants. The idea is to show/highlight a clear understanding of “the BIG picture”.

So where do you start? First is to get kids finding images that relate to what it is they are going to say/talk about/highlight. This is where Unsplash and Pexels come in. They should select images that storyboard what it is they are talking about, that don’t have a lot if ANY text, and help build on the points/stress the points they want to make in a creative way. Then, they need an edtech tool. PowerPoint works, but Google Slides is better. And you could even consider Haiku Deck as an alternative. They actually pride themselves on less text and followed the Pecha Kucha idea with their creation.

Even better? Consider having students team up and split the session 10 slides each or alternate slides.

Want more help? Seek me out and we can brainstorm and try it together!