Classroom Keeps Getting Better!

Check out the newest updates on Google Classroom

  • More than one teacher per Classroom
  • Create Assignments and Announcements as drafts to post at a later time
  • Autosaved grades
  • Notification will be sent to teachers when a students leaves a private comment on any assignment

Want to get started with Google Classroom?  You can find the Cupertino Union School District Getting Started Presentation Here!

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Imagine K12

Last week I had a chance to witness the Imagine K12 Educator Demo Day where sixteen start-up companies give a three minute pitch of their product.  Educators are able to meet with each start-up before or after to offer feedback and test out their product.  Here are three of the sixteen we want you to check out: 

Read Works is a non-profit organization that is providing teachers with researched-based units, lessons and leveled non-fiction and literary passages.

Select “Reading Passages” (Kinder to Twelfth Grade) or “Lesson Plans” (Kinder to Sixth Grade) from the top of the homepage.  Then you can begin to categorize what you are looking for.

Reading Passages:

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Meant for Teachers


Mission 100% is a collection of videos that highlight best teaching practice.  The videos are taken in classrooms ranging from Kinder to Twelfth Grade.  The collection consists of real video footage of classrooms and schools; with over 800 short and high quality videos.  The average video length is ninety seconds, and videos range from thirty second to ten minutes.  Every new customer gets their first two weeks free, and after that there is a monthly fee.  I will be interested to see how these videos will differ from what is available, for free on the teacher channel.

Meant for Teachers


Think “Groupon” for teachers!

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Meant for Teachers


One Best Thing

“Discover innovative classroom strategies and activities in these Multi-Touch books by Apple Distinguished Educators.  Each guide in the One Best Thing collection highlights a specific use of Apple products, apps, and other content to transform teaching and learning.  From effective assessment practices to exciting student projects, this professional learning series – devised by outstanding educators – provides practical tips and a lot of inspiration.”  The collection can be found by CLICKING HERE.

Obviously we haven’t gone though each book (there are over 100), but here are some that caught our eye right away.

iPad Enhanced Reading Interventions – Learn how to transform the reading classroom using research based literacy strategies and the power of an iPad

Explain Everything: Formative Assessment and Screencasting – This project provides three repeatable, modular, and scalable examples of teachers using screencasting to captures students thinking, provide contextual feedback, and engage learners in a rich and authentic creation process.

The Shooting Gallery: Film Foundations for the Classroom – This project is originally geared towards a film class, but also lends itself to core classes.  Students make their media-based projects with an iPad, iPhone or Macbook and one period of editing on iMovie or Final Cut Pro X.

Digital Discourse in Mathematics – In this project an early elementary teacher shares strategies for increasing math discourse for young learners via digital drawings, written conversation and video capture.

Links We Like

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  1. PBL vs. Projects (
  2. Good Places for Students to Find Book Recommendations (
  3. 53 Ways to Check for Understanding (
  4. 4 Easy Steps to Sharing a Folder in the New Google Drive (

Once a week we will share some educational articles, websites, or blogs that we have read and thought you might enjoy too!  I came across a new tool called Readlist.  What’s a Readlist? A group of web pages—articles, recipes, course materials, anything—bundled into an e-book you can send to your Kindle, iPad, or iPhone.

What is go great about having it as an eBook?  Now those articles are all together in one place!


ISTE Realizations

I’ve been back in the office for a week now and have had a chance to reflect on learnings from ISTE 2014 in Atlanta.  We were fortunate to have 2 poster sessions accepted there and shared our work with many other educators.  At such a large conference (~17,000 attendees), ISTE can be very overwhelming so I try to pick on a few topics and then look for new products on the exhibit hall.  I will try to share some of these with you here.

Appsmashing – this is an idea that has increased in the last year the focuses on how we use iPads for instructional projects.  I often get asked for the best apps to use and this is a hard question to answer.  There are many apps for learning vocabulary, state capitals, chemistry element, etc.  However, trying to capture all of these apps can lead to scatter and increased learning time as students learn the new apps.  Appsmashing focuses on creating a “suite” of apps that your students can use for multiple projects.  You use  multiple apps to create the individual components of a project and then bring them together in a final summative app and publish.

From what I’ve seem, the categories of apps you’ll want is: drawing, audio recording, avatar creation, whiteboard, ebook, cloud storage, video publishing. An example would be to use Paper53 for drawing graphics which is used in Explain Everything to create a whiteboard lesson, then add audio from Garageband, use an avatar from Tellagami to narrate. Use iMovie to combine these resources. The movie can be used in an iBook or published to Youtube. Drive is used to save the various components and final work.

You can see my list of resources on app-smashing at:

A second area of interest that I found at ISTE was formative assessment tools.  Mastery Connect just bought Socrative to add powerful tool to deliver assessments. Edulastic is a newer company to K-12 – they previously focussed on higher ed – they have a new set of math assessments and will be adding ELA in the next 6 months.  There were several sessions on assessment as well showing a growing interest in this field.

Other quick tidbits, I picked up: a demo account for Google Classroom, using Google Drawing to add interactivity to a Google Site, and creating interactive YouTube videos.

90 Degrees and Sunny

We are here live in Palm Springs at the Annual Spring CUE Conference!  If you aren’t here with us, no worries follow along via Twitter with the #CUE14.


Greg is about to present Formative Assessments on Mobile Device where he will cover

Tomorrow I will be presenting on Create a Positive Digital Footprint with ePortfolios where I will cover

Stay tuned for our collaborative blog post with our main takeaways from this three day conference.  We will also provide you a link to our collaborative Google Doc notes.