Powerful Moodle quiz response options with the Poodll plugin

We installed a new plugin to our District Moodle site last week and the new features have really blown me away. The Poodll plugin adds new response features to quiz questions. By choosing the poodll question type when creating your quiz, you can now have students record audio for their response, or video, or even draw. All of the tools are in the Moodle question itself. No need to leave the quiz, find a file, or upload. They simply hit a record button or use the drawing tools to answer the question.

Now our World Language teachers can have students speak their answers. Math, Science, and Social Studies teachers can have students draw or graph their responses. The audio feature could even be used as a modification for students who need it. So many uses! I’m excited to see all of the ways our teachers will find to use them.

Below you will find my 3 tutorials for the new response types. You can also find them on our teacher resource site HERE.

Go Noodle Brain Breaks and Indoor Recess

go noodle

Go Noodle is a very fun and addicting site for Elementary and Middle School students. The videos are between 1-3 minutes in length and get the students up and moving. I love the humor used in each video and I think the creators do an excellent job of keeping the class engaged and wanting more. Some of my favorites are Kitty High Five and secret handshakes! (Which I still use with my son)

They even have a category called Indoor recess with videos spliced together to last around 10-15 minutes. Just enough time to get through that 5th indoor day in a row!

I would recommend these for k-6. Check out the site by clicking HERE

New Year’s Resolutions


Well I let the ball drop at the end of last year, and I’m not talking about the crystal ball in New York either. I simply let my blog get away from me and failed to update for over 2 months! I preach to teachers all the time about the ease of keeping up with a simple blog if you just set aside time. We all know in reality though how hard that can be.

So resolution #1 for me in 2015 is to improve my consistency with this blog. I love sharing great ed-tech finds via twitter and social media, and this can be another resource for me to use.

For this update, I wanted to share a resource that isn’t new, but is one I have just started playing with recently.

Make Beliefs Comix

Make Beliefs Comix is a powerful tool and is unbelievably easy to use. No registration required, you simply go to the site and begin creating your comic. Recently, an ELA teacher and I were discussing using Storyboard That for a lesson on plot. When we realized the limitations on the free version for that tool I began searching for other options. That’s when I thought of Comix and began to look at this tool more closely. What I like most is it’s simple interface and ability to print or email with no registration. They have great looking images to use and the ability to re-size and edit is as simple as using a slider.

I also like how they have suggestions for using it in different areas including with Special Needs students. Some great suggestions and resources, all for free. If you haven’t checked it out, I highly recommend it!

Have a great New Year!

comix autism

comix writing tools

Increase collaboration with Groupzap

One of my favorite tools for group collaboration activities is Groupzap. It’s very simple to use, requires no registration or log-in, and allows for easy sharing of ideas and content.

This is a perfect tool to use for student collaboration in a 1:1 environment, or to use with colleagues to share ideas or collaborate on a project.

Check out the video below for more information, or simply go to THIS LINK to try it for yourself.

Have a great week!

Pixabay-Great site for finding quality, public domain images


I have always had a hard time finding quality, copyright-free images to use in my presentations, websites, and other projects. When using Google, and turning on the filter for “labeled for reuse”, I often find the results less than stellar.

google image search

Pixabay is a fantastic site with high-quality images and a nice search engine. It’s easy to find just the right image for your project. This is also a great tool to share with students and use it as an opportunity to teach digital citizenship and copyright!

Have a great week!

Back to it…

Keep Calm and focus on instruction

After a wonderful summer and a new addition to the family…
Aiden and Sophie

it’s time to get back to it. Our theme for our 1:1 initiative has been from the start “A focus on instruction”. That is what we do. We teach. We look at how we can best help our students learn. The technology is just another added tool to help us tackle the daily obstacles our students face.

With the new year comes an added building for our 1:1 program. We rolled out 600 additional devices to our Junior High students on August 18th. We are now 1:1 7-12. I can’t be more proud of our J-High staff! Not only have they observed our work at the High School, but have really jumped in head first and our already using some amazing strategies to improve instruction and help meet student needs. Some of the tools and strategies I observed in the first five days were:

Not only were teachers using these tools/strategies, but they focused on uses that would positively affect their instruction and/or student learning.

Our High School teachers have began making their technology goals for the semester. Some examples of these are:
1. I want my students to write more in class
2. I want more time for my students to do hands-on activities
3. I want my students to have more time to work on applying the skills in class
4. I want my students to do more collaboration activities.

Now you’ll notice that none of these goals have anything to do with technology. That’s perfect! They are all focused on instructional pieces that the teacher would like to improve. We then discuss how technology can play a role in helping the teacher meet those needs. You know what? Sometimes technology isn’t even the answer, but if we are improving instruction, then we are doing the right thing.

I hope everyone has an amazing start to the school year! I’m looking forward to continuing my blog, and also to start some new initiatives this year including collaboration with other districts and some more social media outreach.

I am also proud to have been selected as both an AnswerPad TAP Champion and a NearPod PioNear! These are 2 tools that I have used for quite some time and are truly powerful for instruction. I look forward to not only having the tools and resources to now share these even more, but to learn even more myself about how these tools, and others, can help us truly reach every one of our students every day.

nearpod answerpad

A few of my favorite things

The internet is the most amazing resource for education. The tools available online are what make 1:1 programs so powerful. Below are some of my favorite web tools. I have them broken up by subject/topic and each title is a hyperlink to the resource site. Please add any of your favorites in the comments! Have a great week!

Using Google Forms as a grading rubric with emailed results

Many of us already use Google Forms to create quick bell-ringer assessments, or self-graded quizzes. Google Forms are also very powerful as grading rubrics.

Using a Google Form, all of your student results are compiled onto one spreadsheet for you. Even better, you can set up your form to immediately email your students their results and comments. A very easy, quick, efficient way to grade your student work with teacher feedback.

Check out the video below for step-by-step instructions.

Quizlet flashcard sets and Moodle: A great combo!

My tip of the week this week is on how to get started using Quizlet. Quizlet is a powerful, online tool that allows you to create flashcard sets to help your students study and learn. Quizlet will take your terms and definitions and automatically create 5 different games for the students to practice with as well. A very cool tool!

Did you know you can also take these Quizlet flashcard sets and import them into Moodle as a self-graded quiz? It’s very simple and gives you even more assessment options.

You will find all the “how-tos” in the video below.

Add images and videos to your Google Forms

Many of us are already using Google Forms to create quick quizzes and bell ringers. Did you know you can also add images and videos to these forms? This is great when you need students to see a geometric shape, other image, or video explanation for a quiz.

Below is a short video tutorial on how to add these items to enhance your Google Form quizzes.