Category: Google

3 education tools you don’t want to miss

wowHere are three tools that work-around problems you have every week–maybe every day–in your classes. Sit down with a cuppa and be prepared to be wowed.

  • Google Voice
  • Email aliases
  • Get Psyched music

Google Voice

Price: Free
Rating: 5/5


Google Voice is a web-based phone service that works through your current phone or your computer. It’s free, and available through a Google account (if you have Gmail, you’re eligible). Incoming calls can be forwarded to your cell or landline (or both) or ring through your computer-based Google Voice account. Voicemails and text messages are transcribed and sent to your Gmail address. Outgoing calls can be made through the website or by calling your handset (smartphone or landline) first, then it calls the number you entered. Here’s what the dashboard looks like (intentionally blurred in spots):


Use Google Safe Search

Drop by every Friday to discover what wonderful website my classes, teachers and parents loved this week. I think you’ll find they’ll be a favorite of yours as they are of mine.


Elementary school, Middle school






I get this question a lot so wanted to repost this review. Well, that was my plan. Then I started editing, so now it’s pretty different.


8 Google Apps Tricks Every Teacher Should Know

google appsThe more I use Google Apps–Sheets, Slides, Docs, , the more of a fan I become. The facility for collaboration, sharing with others, publishing to multiple media is unmatched. No surprise that Google Apps–and that cousin, Google Apps for Education–is a transformative tool that will change the way both teachers and students deliver education and learning.

When you use Google Apps, you quickly realize it’s not business as usual. That alone makes it intimidating and exciting at the same time. As a teacher, I have to tilt everything slightly out of focus, look at it from a different angle from my traditional. No ‘that’s the way we’ve always done it’ when dealing with Google Apps. It’s about shaking the educational world up, turning it on its nose, and seeing what happens.

I’ve been using Google Apps for about a year now and have a list of my nine favorite tricks. I know these will change in the next year, but for now, these are the tools that make me yell ‘huzzah’ in class. See if you agree:

Revision History


21 Google Apps for Education Resources

gafeHere’s a great list of resources if you’re using Google Apps for Education in your classroom. And–if you have the SL lesson plans for Google Apps for Education (i.e., the one in the 5th ed. of the 6th Grade Technology Curriculum–due out any day), here are links to the sites in the print book. For updates, bookmark this link:


Tech Tip #71: Visit Foreign Language Google Search

As a working technology teacher, I get hundreds of questions from parents about their home computers, how to do stuff, how to solve problems. Each week, I’ll share one of those with you. They’re always brief and always focused. Enjoy!

Q: English isn’t my first language. How do I go to Google in other languages?

A: To visit the foreign language Google search engines, type:

Then add the country extension you would like to visit. For example, Japan is .jp, so if I typed:

…I’d get this:


tech q & a

Dear Otto: How do I teach Google Drive to K/1?

tech questionsDear Otto is an occasional column where I answer questions I get from readers about teaching tech. If you have a question, please complete the form below and I’ll answer it here. For your privacy, I use only first names.

Here’s a great question I got from Lois:

I’ve been teaching computer technology for 6 years now. The first four years, we worked with Microsoft Office – Word; Powerpoint; Excel. The last two years, we went to an Apple platform and now we use iWorks Suite: Pages; Keynote and Numbers. So far so good – but I feel like I have to “double teach” some things: use this for Word (at home) and this for Pages (at school). Students have not been able to work on projects at home because of the compatibility issue. Not much of an issue for my little ones – we don’t send home much homework – but I would love for them to take these skills and run with them while at home. I teach from the menu and do not introduce shortcuts so they are forced to learn the “mechanics” of a program. Now I’m being asked to use Google docs next year. I’m on the fence when it comes to google docs for several reasons: It requires a username and password and email (which we don’t introduce until middle school) so my young students will now spend more time just “logging in”. I’ve heard there are ways to have the “email” go to the teacher – but I’m not sure how this works. The other issue is that I feel like Google Docs is “restrictive” when it comes to formatting.

Over the years, I have taught file management and how to save documents to file folders with correct titles. Students learn how to take ownership of their work. Google Docs automatically saves work in a cloud. I’m wondering if they will work on google docs at school (and have their work saved automatically – a good thing) and then work on Word or Pages at home and forget to save (a bad thing).

While I review the ISTE standards, I have not come across cloud computing and I wonder if I would be negligent if I didn’t teach students how to properly save their work, or use a particular type of software that is prevalent in higher education and the workforce. Am I behind the times? I feel like I’m going from one issue to another. Should kindergarteners and first graders have email accounts (and the issues that come with that responsibility) but be capable using the cloud, or should I continue to focus on core software and file management?
I’m dancing as fast as I can…..


Hi Lois

Great questions. Tech changes so rapidly, unlike most other core subjects. It’s quite a challenge for us to keep up. I sometimes wonder if Admin considers the repercussions and implementation needs of their latest ‘great’ idea.


Tech Tips #114: Embed Google Docs

As a working technology teacher, I get hundreds of questions from parents about their home computers, how to do stuff, how to solve problems. Each week, I’ll share one of those with you. They’re always brief and always focused. Enjoy!

Q: So many colleagues are sharing their documents through Google Apps, but I don’t know how to do that. Can you help?

A: I love this part of Google Apps for Education. When your Google Doc is complete,

  • save it by a name of your choice
  • File>Publish to the Web (on the menu bar)
  • Change the drop down choice ‘webpage’ to ‘HTML to embed in a page’
  • copy html code
  • paste into blog, wiki, website like I did below: