Wednesday, April 30, 2014

BrainPop: More than Videos - Add Games to your Lessons!

We all know that BrainPop and BrainPop Jr. offers great, fun, short videos for our students.  Did you know they also have fun interactive games to help engage the students and provide practice for the concepts you are teaching?  The best part?  The games are included in our current subscription, so they don't cost you anything!  Check them out today!

Here are a few fun ones:

Portage Public Schools Tech Camp 2014 - Registration Now Open!

Drum roll please.............

PPS Tech Camp Registration is Finally Open for Portage Public Schools Staff!

Yes, you read it right!  You can now register for Tech Camp 2014.  After our inaugural year last year, we took all your suggestions and feedback and have come back with a mini-conference that is bigger and better!  This year we are expanding the camp to two and a half days.  You can register for one day or two days, the choice is yours.  We have lengthened the session times from 50 minutes to an hour and 45 minutes to provide more time for exploration and hands on learning.  We are offering the option to buy lunch onsite, so you can stay and participate in great round table discussions.  Finally, we are opening up the labs Friday morning for those of you who want to come back and try out all your new skills and ideas in an environment where you have tech support available to help, coach and trouble shoot with you as you work.  So much fun and learning packed in to 2 and a half short days.

Ready to register?  Here are the fast facts:

When: August 6-7th with open lab on the morning of the 8th.  Registration opens each day at 8:00 and the final sessions wrap up at 3:45.

Where: Portage Central High School

Cost: Free to PPS teachers and staff.  If you would like to purchase a lunch, it is $6 per day.

Learn More:  To learn more about tech camp and register head to:

Summer 2014 Tech Training Available for PPS Teachers!

You know we are getting close to the end of the school year when we start advertising and open registration for summer technology training!  We are so excited to offer our fantastic PPS teachers and staff some great hands on training opportunities this summer.  Sign up for one or many.  Come by yourself, or bring a friend. Whether you are a proficient user, or taking your first baby steps with technology, there is a class for you.  So many choices, so little time.  We look forward to seeing you there!  Click on the number link to register for the class in KALPA.
Don't know your KALPA login?  Please contact Kelly at
Questions about the courses?  Please contact Jessica ( or Paul (

June Courses Being Offered

Technology Open Lab Free Choice Work Session: Do you have a project involving technology that you want to work on this summer? Do you want to work on your webpage, blog or try making curriculum videos? Are you collaborating with your fellow teachers and want a space to work together with computers and easy U: drive access? Would you like to come to the lab to work and have Jessica or Paul available in case you have any questions? If so, then this is the session for you. The sessions will be for 1.5 hours. Sign up for as many as you like.
481881: June 18, 2014 at 1:30 pm
481879: June 24, 2014 at 10:00 am

Become a Google Super User: Do you want to make Google work for you? In this fast-paced class, you will learn about the apps and extensions that will make your life easier, the Gmail tips and tricks to streamline your constant flow of email, and the power of Google connected services. Class will run approximately 1 hour.
482096: June 24, 2014 at 1:30 pm

Chrome Apps and Extensions: Make Google Chrome work for you! One of the great features of Chrome is that you can add more features. There exists a whole slew of tools that one can take advantage of with Chrome that will help users be more productive and efficient. Class will run approximately 1 hour.
482078: June 10, 2014 at 1:30 pm
482080: June 24, 2014 at 9:00 am

Chromebooks Basics: Come learn the basics of how to use the Chromebooks. We will discuss how to login/logoff, add apps, use the unique keyboard, as well as brainstorming ideas for how to use them in the classroom. Class will run approximately 45 minutes.
481882: June 18, 2014 at 8:30 am

Chromebooks in the Elementary Classroom: Did you know that each elementary school has two carts of 30 chromebooks at their disposal? Want to learn some ways to integrate these great devices in your classroom? This is the class for you. We will be discussing various tools for ELA, Math, Science, Social Studies, Keyboarding, Classroom Management and more! Class will run approximately 75 minutes.
481883: June 18, 2014 at 9:15 am

Google Mail and Calendars: Still trying to navigate Google Mail and Google Calendar? Want to become more efficient with both? This class will teach you how to empty your inbox and never miss an email as well as how to create, find, and manage calendars. Class will run approximately 1.5 hour.
482082: June 10, 2014 at 8:30 am
482083: June 17, 2014 at 12:30 pm

Google Drive - Where’s that File!?: Where did you put that file? What drive folder did I store it in? And how can I make sure that I can efficiently find my files? This class will show you the answers to all those questions as well as provide you practical time to reorganize and better manage your files. Class will run approximately 1.5 hours.
482086: June 10, 2014 at 10:00 am
482087: June 17, 2014 at 2:00 pm

Google Docs Basics: Learn the basics of Google Docs including an overview of the home screen, documents, spreadsheets, presentations and forms. Class will run approximately 1.5 hours.
481886: June 11, 2014 at 8:30 am
481887: June 25, 2014 at 12:30 pm

Doing More with Docs - Advanced Class: Now that you know the basics of Google Docs it is time to see how to make these great tools do even more for you! Learn about Add-ons such as Flubaroo for self grading quizzes, Doctopus for classroom document management, and Mail Chimp Mail Merge. You can also learn about some of our favorite Google Docs Apps like LucidPress for publishing, LucidChart for mindmapping, and WeVideo for video creation. Class will run approximately 1.5 hours.
481888: June 11, 2014 at 8:30 am
481889: June 25, 2014 at 12:30 pm

Google Forms - Surveys, Quizzes and More!: There is so much information to collect! Learn how to collect and manage all this information efficiently by creating forms, surveys, exit tickets, sign ups and self grading quizzes using Google Forms. Class will run approximately 1 hour.
482088: June 10, 2014 at 2:30 pm
482090: June 24, 2014 at 12:30 pm

Google Sites for Beginners: Want to create a website for your classroom? Need a way to communicate with your parents and students now that your eboard has gone away? Google SItes is the perfect way to do this. Class will run approximately 1.5 hours.
481890: June 11, 2014 at 12:30 pm
481891: June 25, 2014 at 8:30 am

Google Sites: The Next Step: Do you have a basic google site up and running and would like to learn more about how to customize your site by adding calendars, groups, pictures, custom banners, edit HTML, add Google Analytics and much more? Then this class is for you. Participants in the Beginner class are welcome to sign up to stay for this class as well. Class will run approximately 1.5 hours.
481892: June 11, 2014 at 2:00 pm
481893: June 25, 2014 at 10:00 am

Google Hangouts - More than just video chat: Think Skype, only easier, with more functionality and a greater impact on your students’ learning. This class will teach you how to use this world-reaching tool as well as provide you with many practical, quick tricks for impacting your classroom today! Class will run approximately 1 hour.
482092: June 10, 2014 at 12:30 pm

Cool Tech Tools for Classroom Management: Learn about some great tips and tricks for managing your classroom with tech. We will discuss tools like Class Dojo, Socrative,, and creating videos with WeVideo or Animoto. Class will run approximately 1 hour.
481895: June 18, 2014 at 12:30 pm

YouTube - More than just Videos: Did you know that you can create and edit videos easily? Upload your own videos? Create playlists? Have videos marked as safe for students to access? And access a whole library of royalty-free songs for use in videos? Yes, YouTube does it all! Learn how! Class will run approximately 1 hour.
482093: June 17, 2014 at 10:30 am

Flipped/Blended Learning: Want more time to work one-on-one with your students? Want to spend more time applying concepts rather than lecturing? Need to start small and grow with your understanding? Flipped/Blended Learning is model of teaching that will allow your classroom to grow in these areas and allow you to connect with your students’ learning on a deeper level. Flip your classroom now! Class will run approximately 1 hour.
482094: June 17, 2014 at 8:30 am

Video Creation: More and more teachers and students are creating content for use online. WeVideo is an online video editor that is easy to use, accessible anywhere, and available for free to all staff and students. Even YouTube has a basic video creation tool! Learn the basics of how to create videos and where to locate resources to do so. Class will run approximately 1 hour.
482095: June 17, 2014 at 9:30 am

Student Presentation Tools: Research shows us that when you can teach someone something it shows you have a firm understanding of the concept. Are you looking for some ways, besides PowerPoint, for your students to present their knowledge? Come learn about tools like Prezi, Haiku Deck, Animoto, PowToons and more to spice up your presentations and give your students the choice to express themselves in new ways. Class will run approximately 1 hour.
481894: June 18 at 12:30 pm

EduCanon: Embed your interactive questions in to your videos!

Videos are a great way for students to learn and be exposed to content. YouTube, TeacherTube and Vimeo have a lot of wonderful video for teaching and learning. What if you could turn these videos from passive, sit and get learning to interactive education? It is now possible with eduCanon.

Click the image below or the link in step 2 to check out an eduCanon lesson -
Kid President

eduCanon offers 10,000+ interactive lessons for you to plug and play into your class tomorrow, or the ability for you to easily make your own.

Want to see how easy it is to add a lesson?  You can use the lesson below as-is or edit the questions to your students' needs. Either way, download this shared lesson to your account following these easy steps:

1. Go to to sign up (for free).

2. Click the interactive video link:

3. Click the copy icon in the top right corner of the lesson as you watch it and select OK when it asks you if you want to download it to your Lessons.

Now you have a new lesson all ready to go! :) Gotta love sharing!

Have ideas on how to use this in your classroom?  Please share your ideas in the comments section.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

ClipArt for Google Docs is Here!

One of the things that I often hear when training on Google Docs is, "How do I insert ClipArt?"  I then usually have to go through the steps of inserting an image, or pulling in an image from another site.  Well it just got a whole lot easier to insert ClipArt in to your Google Document thanks to the Open ClipArt Add-on!

To add this to your Google Docs account:

  1. Go to the Add-ons menu at the top of your Google Document.  
  2. Click "Get Add ons"
  3. Select "OpenClipArt"
Now the next time you want to add clipart to a Google Document all you need to do is go to the Add-ons menu and select "Openclipart" and "Search Clipart".  A window will appear on the right side of your screen for you to search!