Making Best Use of Free Google Tools, Apps and Extensions to Enhance Instruction for English Language Learners

Hello and Welcome!

Wifi Log-in – IHG Connect
Coupon Code – skating

Welcome to your outsourced memory for today’s session. Not sure what outsourced memory is? No worries, you simply haven’t learned about outsourced memory and transactive thinking YET! But we will get to that shortly. Please feel free to follow along here as we go through today. This blog post contains everything I will be sharing with you today and more. Please feel free to share this resource with others, and if you have questions, or would like to share something with me, feel free to share.

If you don’thave a QR code scanner, le me recommend i-nigma (My personal favorite).  Want to learn how I created the QR codes for today? Click here, QR Stuff is a great tool for making any internet link into a QR Code.  It is also a great tool for differentiating content in your classroom. Need to be in more than one place at one time? QR code can be your buddy. Looking for these tools for your Chromebooks? Try ScanQR and the QR Code Extension

Before we begin,Who am I? and more importantly who are you? Where do you teach? What grades? Pull-out? Push-In? Do you cover multiple grades? Take a few minutes to introduce yourself and hangout with the other seminar participants. You likely have more in common with them than you do with the people you work with at your schools.

Challenge Question: How might you use Google Hangouts in your Classroom?

Learn more about Google Hangouts

Turn to page 17 in your book. It is time to test your Creativity.

How many of you had trouble with the circles task? What types of ideas did you come up with? Were your ideas fluid? Flexible? Original? Did you have more or fewer ideas after looking at what your colleagues had done? What does that say about creativity? How many of you looked up the answers on your smartphone? If not, Why didn’t you?

Challenge Question: What is the difference between cheating and research?

In 1997, Deep Blue the computer chess program defeated Garry Kasparov. By 2011, Watson was beating the best Jeopardy champions. However, continued research is showing an interesting results when we combine computer and human thinking.  In his TED Talk last spring, Tom Gruber (The co-creator of Siri) spoke quite a bit about how powerful we can be when humans and AI work together.

Humanistic AI – Which is better? 92.5% – 96.6% – 99.5%

In his TED Talk, Tom Gruber also shared part of this video from autodesk

The YET Bet

Turn to page 4 in your book. Let’s work on some creative confidence.

How many of you felt limited in the circles challenge because you didn’t think you were good at drawing? How many of you think you can draw? If we could prove to you that you can draw in the next 5 minutes, would you be open to trying some of the other ideas we have to share with you today?

If you would like to learn more about making your ideas visual, check out Graham Shaw’s The Art of Communication or Dan Roam’s The Back of the Napkin.

The GoogleVerse

Welcome to the GoogleVerse. A lot of people see Google as a web search tool, but it is actually quite a bit more. According to a Business Insider Article, Larry Page, Google CEO believes…

Google’s mission is to identify human problems than can be solved with technology and then come up with the technologies that solve those problems.

“A spoon designed to make life easier for people with diseases such as Parkinson’s.”

What is the difference between Chrome, Chrome OS, and Chromebooks?

What is up with the different faces of Google?

Are you BG? or AG?

Who makes the best Chromebook?

Who makes the best Android Tablet?

What are the best teacher tricks for using Google Chrome and other Google Products?

Thin-Slicing Emma Watson

Let’s pretend that Emma Watson is a student in your class. Take a look at the six images of her below. Each is an example of a look she gave you in class today. Were you able to tell me what she is thinking in each? And how do you know you were right? Share your answers with me via this backchannel. Then discussion your answers with those sitting near you.

So what is Backchanneling, and why should I care?

Google Translate + Remind for Backchanneling to parents


Challenge Question: How might you use Google Slides in your Classroom?

Additional Backchanneling Tools & Resources (Participant link)      Kahoot (Presenter Link)

Go Soapbox

Answer Garden


What is Retrieval Practice?

Featured in in the book Make It Stick and supported by quite a bit of research….

Retrieval practice is a learning strategy where we focus on getting information out. Through the act of retrieval, or calling information to mind, our memory for that information is strengthened and forgetting is less likely to occur. Retrieval practice is a powerful tool for improving learning without more technology, money, or class time (


What is JiTT?

Just-in-Time Teaching (JiTT) is a strategy that promotes the use of class time for more active learning. Originally developed by Gregor Novak and colleagues, JiTT relies on a feedback loop between online learning materials and the classroom (Novak et al., 1999). Teachers use online assessment tools to ask students to perform Warm-ups, Puzzles, and Goodfors  The students answers to the assignments are delivered to the instructor a few hours before class starts. The teacher looks over student responses to see where students are and adapts the lesson accordingly. Teachers can also now use the  responses as scaffolding on which to build learning.

Learn more about quizzing in Google Forms

Challenge Question: How might you use Google Forms to allow for retrieval practice or know how they are doing Just In Time?

Teach Me, Ask Me

Common placing in the 21st Century

How many of you are currently using Google Drive, Dropbox, Twitter, Evernote, Facebook, Pinterest? Then you are Common Placing!

Using Sites for Blogging

Learn more about Google Sites


Challenge Question: Should learners take notes on computer or by hand? Should they be taking notes at all?

The impact of these data should be like the Surgeon General’s report on “Smoking and Health” in 1964–they should put to rest any debate about whether active learning is more effective than lecturing.

Letter to Learn By    Group Work Assignment

6 Degrees of Learning

Challenge Question: What are some ways we can enhance the experience for group work in the cloud?

Learn more about Google Docs

The Power of Infographics

Reverse Image Searching

Context and Schema 

Brain Rules

Go ahead, Google Infographic on Infographics!

A little touch up? Free Fun with Pixlr  

The Noun Project     



Best Practices for Youtube

The Power of Chunking

186 of the best YouTube Videos



TEDed, Hosting TED events


Google HanGoogle Hangouts On Air

Pecha Kucha

Infinite Looper




Dance Parties

PE & Exercise

Massive Multiplayer Fun


Movie Maker Studio

Just use your phone or tablet

Screencasting and Screencastify

***Please remember that there are laws and rules governing the downloading and permanent copying of YouTube videos. Try to err on the side of Fair Use*** Clip Converter

Have you considered Screencasting? Screencasting is a Teacher Trick that should be in every teacher’s toolkit. Simply put, screencasting is recording your computer screen while recording your voice to make a video that can be shared with others. You can make instructional videos, feedback videos, showcase videos, interactive videos and more. While there are many tools that teachers can buy for screencasting, there are now some really great ones that are free and play right in the browser. Below, I have put a quick introduction to Screencastify which is a extension for the Google Chrome browser. This tool lets teachers and students make screencasts and easily share them to their Google Drive accounts or to their Youtube accounts. Enjoy!

Now that you are considering screencasting… What else can you do? Have you considered teaching in a Giffy?

For those of you not familiar with the Gif file format, GIF stands for Graphics Interchange Format, and it is a bitmap image format that was introduced by CompuServe in 1987. And just so you know, Steve Wilhite and his fellow creators at CompuServe have long fought for the word to be pronounced Jif with a soft “G” /ˈdʒɪf/, like the peanut butter. In fact, it has been noted that CompuServe employees would often say, “Choosy developers choose GIF.”

Today, making Gifs is easy. Go to youtube and find the video you want to Gif, then type the letters GIF in front of the Y in the Youtube URL.

How about EdPuzzle?

Learn more about YouTube

Becoming a Google Ninja

If you wanted to teach your students how to be a google ninja, where would you start?

Google a Day – Practice your google ninja skills

Google Easter Eggs – Atari Breakout – Askew – Barrel Rolls – Zerg Rush – Ztype

Guns & Rock-n-Roll – How to Rock a Google Search (Page 18)

PowerSearching with Google – Did you miss the two free Massive Open Online Courses designed to teach you how to Google Search? Learn more here.

Kiddle – Safe Search engine for Kids using Google Search

Appy Hour

How to install Android Apps on Chromebook

Top 10 Apps and Extensions


Mercury Reader


Free Permanent Clipboard



Reflector App



1 Click Timer

Skills Apps

Geogebra  – Solve equations, graph functions, create constructions, analyze data, explore 3D math! y=2x+3

xtramath – A free web program to help students learn Math

Read Theory – A free adaptive learning program to help students practice their reading skills.

Quill – provides free writing and grammar activities for middle and high school students.

Front Row – helps you deliver the perfect lesson to every student across Math, ELA, Social Studies and Science.

Unite for Literacy – provides free digital access to picture books, narrated in many languages.

Vocabsize – brings you a simple tool to measure your students’ vocabulary size.

Storybird –  lets anyone make visual stories in seconds.

Rewordify  Sample Readings to Rewordify


Words from letters pg 15- A quick game for practicing word knowledge, spelling, and transactive thinking

Wordhippo  pg 14 – A dictionary that also finds synonyms, antonyms, words that rhyme with it, sentences containing it, other words starting or ending with it, its etymology, and much more.

Trivia Challenge – Give your students authentic reasons to practice their Google Skills

Readers Theatre – Use readers theatre in the classroom or have students record or get creative with animation.

Color Alive – Have students color a character and write about it, then bring that character to life in front of their eyes with Augmented Reality.

Post-It Printables – Enhance your feedback to students while increasing the likelihood that they will pay attention to it.

Lingro – facilitate vocabulary background knowledge with Lingro.

Creative Production Apps

Word Clouds –




Big huge labs

Clarke’s first law

When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.

Clarke’s second law

The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.

Clarke’s third law

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

Smart Device Printer App