Scratch Coding Program

By Kieron James, Instructional Development Services Graduate Assistant

As the world continues to revolutionize the technology culture, educators are now increasing the enthusiast creation of education. The program “Scratch” is being adopted by many educators for children, particularly for the elementary age and teens! What exactly is Scratch? Scratch is an emerging unique tool that helps users create Apps without having to write any code. Within Scratch, apps are referred to as animations, games, interactive stories, or digital tools. Through these tools users will be able to create projects that could essentially tell a story, create music using animations or create video games for kids and much more.

With over a million projects on Scratch today, it is easy for educators and students to find existing projects to choose from to play games or to remix/recreate using existing projects. Remixing is the best way you can learn from someone else. It gives new users ideas and starting points to begin their experience using Scratch. Pick one of the following with your students and learn the basics to have fun!

Create account at no cost:

First, to create projects in Scratch you are required to create a Scratch account, which is free. You can then start building apps, share projects with other users and start using some of the cool features Scratch offers.

This is absolutely ideal for educators who want to incorporate programming in the classroom for children, or adult students who want to learn a visual programming language before advancing into writing code. Kids will ultimately learn how the program works and begin using the software on their own. So, essentially implementing this program is a great way for kids to start learning the basics of coding, so why not start off using Scratch!

Scratch Overview

Watch this YouTube overview video about what Scratch can do for you!

Coding in the Classroom

By Anthony Williams, Instructional Development Services Graduate Assistant

For starters, take a second and think about how large of a role technology plays in your activities of daily life. You probably have a smartphone of some type, a tablet, a computer, and technology-based applications in your car. As our world becomes increasingly dependent on technology, the study of Computer Science is now one of the most important subjects. Understanding the many advances that are made in our technology is a very important part of our future. Some might say that coding/technology is now its own language, and it is a subject that can’t be skipped in education. According to, Coding is very important because it’s what makes it possible for us to create computer software, apps, and websites. Schools are beginning to add coding and computer science courses into the classroom of our youth. There are various reasons for this, but a couple of them include “leveling the playing field” and building a better future for our youth.

In terms of leveling the playing field, one must understand the power of technology. In 20 years, who knows how much more advanced our technology will be, and the level of education it will take to operate these devices. Adding the concept of coding in the classroom is necessary to ensure that our students are proficient in understanding the language of technology. If this is added to the curriculum as a requirement for all youth, it will ensure that all students will have the tools necessary for success. Granted, it’s understood that not all school districts can afford the latest and greatest technology, but implementing computer science into the curriculum can provide all students with a general idea of how devices/applications work. As long as all of our students attain a basic understanding of coding, they will be able to build on that knowledge and understand the larger components of computer science. Once our youth is exposed to the language and understand how coding works, the opportunities will be endless. It is important that people know how apps and social sites are made, because that will allow for the scope of technological utilization to expand. Students will be equipped with the knowledge to create better apps, websites, and software for our future, and this could potentially lead to ground-breaking advancements beyond our wildest imagination. The argument for adding coding to the classroom is a strong one, and it will ultimately open the door for endless possibilities.

TechTip – Get Started with Google!

The concept of coding is essentially our ability to tell our computers and devices what we want them to do. Although this is a technique that will take some effort to get fluent, Google has made it more simple for you to get started with coding! Just go to to get started on your journey!

Once on the page, Click “Start Coding” in the middle of the screen. You will be directed to a page where you can choose a coding project and learn more things that coding has to offer! Don’t worry. Google also has a more advanced area for those of you who make quick progress. Simply scroll to the bottom of the projects page, and click on “Ready for more?”

Follow these tips, and you will be making your own software in no time! Happy Coding!


What is Coding? Retrieved February 2, 2017 from

Using Google Forms for Assessment

Using Google Forms for Assessment

Did you know you can use Google Forms for assessment? Google Forms provides an online quiz template that you can modify to meet your needs for assessment areas such as mastery quizzing, flipped classroom comprehension assessments, polling, and much more!

However, if you think outside the box, Google Forms provides many other opportunities for enhancing your existing assessment instruments or developing a wide variety of new assessment instruments! Here are just a few of those ideas:

  • Use the Flubaroo add-on for Google Sheets to create a self-grading quiz that allows for sharing student results, automatically computes average scores, flags low scoring questions, shows grade distribution, and provides an opportunity to generate digital merit badges that you can include on student grade reports.
  • Create a form for quick grading. For this idea, you can create a form with each of your student’s names on it. Below each student’s name, add a paragraph item type. As you move around your classroom from student to student enter your comments, summary and grades in the paragraph item under that student’s name with your mobile device. Then submit your form. When you are finished you can go back and transfer the information you collected to your grade book. For this type of form, make sure that you have selected allow the response to be edited after submission in the form settings Window.
  • Create a grading rubric using Google forms! This can be used when assessing student presentations, physical education, science fair projects, performances, and etc. Creating a rubric in Google Forms is easy! See the Tech Tip below to learn how to make your own rubric!
  • Use Google Forms to track assignment submissions. Google forms allow for the submission of a variety of file types. Since Google forms provides a time stamp you will have a record of when a student submitted the file to you. Thus, allowing you to keep track of work that was submitted late. When creating a Google Form for assignment submission, ensure that you include a space for your student’s name so that you know who’s submission you are receiving. (If your school has an educational account you should have the option of saving the submitter’s email name and address.) However, if you do not have an institutional account, you need to include a required question that asks for that information. Additionally, you should come up with a naming convention for the files that students are asked to submit. I suggest that their filename include at least their last name and first initial. Files submitted via a Google form are automatically saved to your Google Drive account. Once you have collected the submissions, you can organize them into folders and use Google Docs or an extension, such as Kami to provide comments and feedback on the assignments and then share the files back to your students via Google Drive or email.

Tech Tip Creating a Grading Rubric Using Google Forms:

Creating a grading rubric in Google Forms is quite easy! Here’s how you do it!

1.) When you open Google Forms, choose to create a New Blank Form.

Click the Blank Form icon to create a new Blank form.






2.) When your New Form opens in the editing window, enter a name for the form in the field provided. In my example, I entered Science Fair Exhibit Grading Rubric.

When your New Form opens in the editing window, enter a name for the form in the field provided. In my example, I entered Science Fair Exhibit Grading Rubric.

3.) Add a short answer item for the student’s Last Name. Ensure that you make this a Required item. This will help you avoid submitting your rubric during grading without providing your student’s identity. In the end, it will also provide you with a customized printable grade sheet for each student.

4.) Repeat Step 3 and add a short answer item for the student’s First Name or First Initial. You can also just duplicate the field you created in Step 3 and change Last Name to First Name. (This step is suggested in case that you have more than one student with the same last name.)

5.) Add a Multiple choice grid item. Ensure that it is set to Require a response in each row, like my example below. Add a name for this item. In my example I named it Grading Rubric.

6.) In the Column Fields, enter the indicators for performance. For example, I entered, Exemplary, Proficient, Needs Improvement and Incomplete. See my example below.

7.) In the Row fields, enter the Required Elements and Criteria. See my Example below.

8.) Preview your form, and you should see something that looks like this for your rubric.

Now we have our rubric created, but we aren’t done just yet! We need to add additional form items that allow us to provide comments and total points.

9.) Add a Paragraph item labeled Comments. This will allow an area for providing overall comments and feedback for your student about his or her project.

10.) Finally, add an area to your survey that shows Total Points. First, add a Text/description item. Label it Total Points. See below.

11.) Under the Text/description area that you just created, add a Short Answer item. Since you already entered the title of this area Total Points above, you do not need to name this area again. Your final item should look like my example below.

The final steps to finishing your grading rubric are to prepare it for submissions. First of all, make sure that you have set each item on the Rubric form to Required so you do not inadvertently skip something.

12.) Go to the Settings icon and select Respondents can: Edit after submit. This will allow you the ability to go back into each rubric for each student and edit information prior to sending them the results. If this is not checked you will not be able to edit information after you submit the form. Click Save.

13.) Go ahead and click the Send button in the upper-right hand corner of the window. Click on the Link icon. Click the Shorten URL Box. Click Copy. Email yourself the link, put it in a document or add it to the home screen of your mobile device for easy access as you visit different students or projects so you can grade on the fly! For each new project you just submit another form! Eventually you will have submission for each of your students!

Finally, once you have submitted your rubrics back to yourself you will need to send the results back to your students via email or print. Here’s how!

14.) Open your form in Google Forms. Click on Responses and then click Individual. As you click the forward and back arrows, you will now see a copy of each student’s completed rubric.

15. Click on the Print button. (Printer icon)

(See Below)

16.) Your Print Dialog window will appear. (Depending on what computing system you are using and your printer yours may look somewhat different than mine. ) Choose to print the document as a PDF. A file will be saved to your computer. You can then send the file to the student via email or file sharing, or you can print a copy for them.

Google Cardboard

By Kieron James, Instructional Development Services Graduate Assistant

What is Google Cardboard?

Google Cardboard is a virtual reality headset that anyone can either build or buy. This headset will immerse you in a video or picture so you can see a 360 degree or 3D view of an image or video.

Google Cardboard Overview:

As we all know, virtual reality has advanced rapidly in the past couple of months. Instead of investing a couple hundred dollars on some of the most well-known virtual-reality devices (i.e. Oculus Rift, Gear VR), you can spend just under 20 bucks on a Google Cardboard device. Google’s virtual-reality experience allows you to be transported into different virtual worlds where you can be floating in space, going back in the past and walking beside dinosaurs, to shooting meteorites from the helm of your spaceship. Google’s virtual reality experience also allows users to use applications to explore educational experiences as well, which is great for kids inside the classroom.

What Parts are a Google Cardboard Device Made From?

Although Google uses an Android operating system, Google Cardboard virtual-reality experiences can be delivered from most smartphones running iOS or Android. The Google Cardboard device main material is cardboard, and is essentially a mount for a smartphone or mobile device. Furthermore, there are two different standard parts needed for assembly. For a much nicer one ($25-$70), you should include: cardboard, 45mm focal length lenses, neodymium ring magnet, ceramic disk, magnet, rubber band, and NFC chip. The chip is essential because it will automatically launch the Cardboard app once the headset has been adorned with your Smartphone. For a much less cheap ($10-$25) device you need to include: cardboard box, 40mm focal distance lenses, NFC chip, Velcro, rubber band and magnets. Google’s VR device is much less expensive than other devices and you almost get the same exact quality experience compared to using other devices. Keep in mind that the Cardboard devices can be purchased through Amazon, eBay, or at Google’s website store.

What Phones does Google Cardboard Support?

The Google Cardboard devices are developed to support phones with screens ranging between 4 – 7 inches. From the “Get Cardboard” site at you can do a search for a specific device by screen size and it will show you what devices are compatible with that phone screen size. The price of the devices on this page range from $5 all the way up to $70.

Where to purchase Google Cardboard apps?

Many companies have already invested in applications meant for Cardboard users. Applications can be either downloaded from Google Play store or the iOS App store on your phone. Just do a simple search for Google Cardboard apps and you will get a long list of apps that have been developed to work with Google Cardboard. The Cardboard app for devices also offers a variety of immersive demos.

How is Google Cardboard Used?

We all know that you can explore a variety of games using the Google Cardboard VR device, but many people do not know it’s other uses. Did you know users can use the app “Google Cardboard Camera” to record virtual tours of just about anything. This app also gives users the ability to speak and listen to connect with the device in a more interactive way. Having this ability gives many advantages to students, teachers, and kids who want to be more educationally driven to the apps.


Google Cardboard (Google VR) is essentially a virtual reality experience that starts with a simple viewer that anyone can either build or buy. If you have one, you can explore a variety of apps that will allow you to visit new places, play immersive games, fly through space, and much more! Come to this session to see what Google Cardboard is all about and get hands-on experience with a Google Cardboard device!

Promevo TV has a great YouTube video explaining Google Cardboard and why it is good for education.

For more information about Google Cardboard please visit,

Tech Tip Video

How to Setup Google Cardboard

Neil Jarrett, from YouTube page “EdTech 4 Beginners“, has developed a nice video explaining how you setup your Google Cardboard device once you receive it.

Zoom Videoconferencing

By Alex Tyson, Instructional Development Services Lab Assistant

Zoom Video Conferencing

Founded in 2011, Zoom’s mission is to make video and web conferencing frictionless. What they mean by this is that important video conferences, online meetings, and group messaging have all been rolled into one easy-to-use platform! Zoom proposes the ability to have crystal clear face-to-face video conversation with up 50 people. Also, it is designed to run wonderfully on all platforms such as iPads, PCs, Macs, and smartphones.

Some of Zoom’s great features consist of:

Cloud Video Conferencing

  • HD Video
  • HD Voice
  • Full screen and gallery view of participants
  • Mobile apps for iOS and Android with rich features
  • Join by Zoom Rooms
  • Join as view-only attendee (Webinar)
  • Join by H.323/SIP room systems
  • Join by telephone dial-in
  • Accessibility

Group Collaboration

  • Mac, Windows, Linux, Chromebooks, iOS, Android
  • Group messaging
  • Screen share documents, photos, videos
  • Simultaneous screen sharing
  • Screen sharing on iPhone/iPad
  • Annotation and co-annotation
  • Keyboard and mouse control
  • Whiteboarding


  • Unlimited VOIP
  • Call me/call out
  • Toll-based options
  • Toll-free options
  • Integrate any 3rd party teleconferencing service

Simple Online Meetings

  • High quality desktop and application sharing
  • Personal meeting ID and URL name
  • Instant or scheduled meetings
  • Google Chrome and Outlook plugins
  • MP4 or M4A recording of meetings
  • Virtual backgrounds
  • Host controls
  • Raise Hand

When you sign up for a FREE account you get an unlimited number of meetings and can host up to 50 participants at a time, however, the group meetings can only last for 40 minutes in length. For the monthly paid subscriptions you then get unlimited meeting duration for all meeting sizes. To compare information on Zoom’s plans and pricing visit

There are lots of ways Zoom can be beneficial in an educational setting. Zoom is a great option for holding faculty and staff meetings for those that aren’t able to physically attend. Bring in a guest speaker during a class via Zoom and avoid having to pay travel and hotel accommodations. Students in an online class can collaborate more easily on projects with Zoom and virtually meet their classmates to put faces with names. Online instructors can host virtual office hours and meet their students virtually face-to-face to create a closer bond between student and instructor.

To learn more about Zoom you can visit their website at

Zoom in the Classroom

Enjoy this 30 minute webinar videoconference that was posted on Zoom’s YouTube page of how Zoom can be used in the classroom.

Going Green with Google!

Going Green with Google!
8 Ways to Save a Tree!


Google Apps for Education provides a variety of tools that will help save our environment, all while saving you precious time in the process!

We have eight suggestions that will help you preserve our environment and give you more time at the end of the day!



  1. Use Google Forms:
    Use Google forms to create online data collection forms instead of paper-based surveys to save paper! While using Google forms you will get real-time responses and aggregated data reports which, will also save you time!
  2. Create Online Project Plans with Google Sheets:
    Consider using Google sheets to create task lists and assignments for teams. You can then electronically share the sheet with team members via their Gmail address to allow for real time editing. This eliminates the need to continually print and post updated task lists and schedules as items get crossed off the list or re-assigned.

  3. Use Google Drive:
    Create, share and store documents online instead of printing them! With Google Drive everyone will have access to the most up-to-date copy. Furthermore, if allowed they will be able to provide feedback on the document for the entire group to see and respond to! No need to print a copy for everyone in the department or at the meeting! They can bring it up on their mobile device, and interact with the documents.
  4. Use Google Groups:
    Share announcements, upcoming events and project updates with your team. With Google Groups you can create a mailing list that will reach your entire team at once. This eliminates the need to print and post information and memos throughout the office! Great clutter control is an added bonus!
  5. Brainstorm and Provide Feedback Online with Google Docs, Sheets and Slides:
    Using the collaborative features of Google Docs, Sheets and Slides provides a great mechanism for immediate and continual feedback! Colleagues, as well as students and professors can work together from remote locations in real-time. This not only eliminates the need to print and hand back paper copies with comments and remarks, it makes the collaboration process immediate and concise!
  6. Keep All Drafts Together in One Document:
    With the built in collaborative features of Google Docs, Sheets and Slides there is no need to have multiple versions of the same document. The history feature allows you to see all revisions of the document. You can revert to a previous revision if needed. Working on a collaborative document? You can see what others have done in the document since the last time you worked on it. Now you won’t have to search through piles of paper or multiple electronic versions of one document to find what you are looking for. Everything you need will be at your fingertips in the same electronic document!
  7. Scan Paper Documents to Google Drive: (Download this on your Device’s App Store)
    Download the Google Drive App for your device and you will find that you have the built-in ability to take a picture of any item or document and save it directly to your Google Drive folder. There’s no need to run photocopies to disseminate something to students or colleagues! Snap a photo of it, automatically save it to Google Drive and share it with others! Download the Google Drive App on:

  8. Print and Save Only the Information You Need from the Web:
    There are two free Google extensions that will assist you in saving the amount of paper you use to print information found on the Internet. They are:

Save to Google Drive allows you to easily save any webpage that you would like to keep to your Google Drive! Want to come back and read it later? Don’t print it! Click the Save to Google Drive extension in your browser bar (after you install it of course) and then save an electronic copy for future use.

Clean Print Save is an extension that allows you to “clean up” webpage content before you print or save it! Instead of printing or saving pages and pages of information for just one or two paragraphs of essential information, use the Print Save extension to delete the elements you do not want on your final printed or saved copy and click either Save to PDF or print! It’s so easy, and not only do you save on paper, you save on digital space too!

Tech Tip: Using Clean Print Save to Save Paper

This short YouTube video will show you a step-by-step process of eliminating unwanted elements from web pages you would like to print or save. You will also see how you can change the font size, download the documents and share cleaned documents with others!

Sign up for a workshop on this topic at:

LinkedIn – Establish Your Professional Profile

By Anthony Williams, Instructional Development Services Graduate Assistant

Let’s face it: we live in a culture of views, followers, likes, and friend requests. Social media is a part of everyday life, and there is no getting around it. Most people have a Facebook, Snapchat, and a Twitter profile, but we must also remember that a professional profile is necessary too. That is where LinkedIn comes in handy. LinkedIn is a social network that focuses on the professional connections that we develop. LinkedIn serves as an online showcase for all of your professional achievements, accomplishments, and experiences. In a way, LinkedIn is an online resume with a few bells and whistles. It is a great place to network with other individuals from various professions and show off your greatest achievements. LinkedIn also allows you to establish your own brand by displaying all of your experiences and unique features that make you, you.

To start, simply go to and create a profile. It is important to remember that this profile will serve as a first impression for a lot of people, so be sure to make your profile strong and detailed.

Here is a shot of what the sign up looks like. It doesn’t take much to get started, and once you have filled out the required fields you can start customizing. Again, it is very important to be detailed. You want to add specific keywords to grab the attention of potential employers and connections. The keywords used will be contingent on your field of interest, and you can look those up by using Google Keywords.

Once your profile has been established, you can begin diving into all of the great features that LinkedIn has to offer.

  • Home – The default page when you log in. The home page is a lot like the Facebook news feed. It shows different topics and things going on between your connections. It will give job updates and anniversaries, articles of interest, and reposts from your connections.
  • Profile – This will be where your personal highlights will be showcased. Your profile will show people your employment history, educational background, connections, volunteering, causes, and certifications. You will also want to make sure that your profile picture is very professional and clean. Again, remember that this could be the first representation of who you are, so you want to make sure that its appropriate.
  • My Network – This area of the site is where you do the bulk of your networking. This will show your current connections and connection requests. It will also show potential connections based on people that you already connect with. This is a great way to grow your web of individuals, stay in touch with colleagues, and find other alumni from your area.
  • Learning – This section is an area you can access to sharpen your skills and get more information about the various topics of the professional world. LinkedIn adds various trainings from the experts of each industry, and videos are given to teach you different things. Some of these videos are free, and LinkedIn has another partner site ( that is used for more advanced tutorials (at a cost, of course).
  • Jobs – This section is one of the most important sections. This is where jobs are posted for you to view and browse through. Some jobs will be within your field, and some wont. LinkedIn also shows jobs based on your alumni and tells you where a great deal of your alumni network is.
  • Interests – This is where you can get more information on the various companies that you are interested in. They post different information pertaining to different companies, and give you an opportunity to get involved in groups. There are public and private groups, and some of them are organization specific. It is wise to get involved within your alumni group, make more connections, and increase your professional opportunities.

TechTip – Adding Your Resume

Although LinkedIn can serve as an online resume, you can also upload your formal resume for people to view. This is a great opportunity to ensure that people can see all that you bring to the table. To upload your resume, go to your profile and look at your summary. In that box, it will have the following toolbar:

Click the “Document” link, and find your resume on your device. Upload immediately, and your resume will now be able to be accessed by anyone who comes to your page.

Follow these tips, and you will be well on your way to a successful LinkedIn profile!

Achieving Blended (a.k.a “Flipped”) Instruction

By Dawn Sweet, Instructional Development Services Manager

Follow Technology@COEHS’s board Achieving Blended (a.k.a “Flipped”) Instruction on Pinterest.


Blended Learning or Instruction (currently often referred to as “Flipped Classroom”) results when a teacher, an instructor or trainer uses mixed instructional strategies and teaching or training approaches combined with mixed mediums for the delivery of instruction and creation of knowledge. Blended learning is not to be confused with Hybrid learning! I feel that while hybrid learning can be a format for blended learning, it has a different goal!

I believe that blended learning provides a great mechanism for maximizing class time in a way that educators can focus on assisting learners in building higher-level thinking, as well as allowing them to take responsibility for their own learning of lower-level concepts. Thus, allowing for a more motivating and engaging educational environment that prepares learners for authentic real-world situations.

This article and accompanying workshop, will focus specifically on the technically termed “Rotation Model” of blended learning, and outline some of the essential steps that I feel one can take and use in order to achieve a successful blended learning environment (a.ka “Flipped Classroom”).

According to the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation, ( the Blended Learning Rotation Model is:

a course or subject in which students rotate on a fixed schedule or at the teacher’s discretion between learning modalities, at least one of which is online learning. Other modalities might include activities such as small group or full-class instruction, group projects, individual tutoring, and pencil-and-paper assignments. The students learn mostly on the brick-and-mortar campus, except for any homework assignments.

a. Station Rotation – a course or subject in which students experience the Rotation model within a contained classroom or group of classrooms. The Station Rotation model differs from the Individual Rotation model because students rotate through all of the stations, not only those on their custom schedules.

b. Lab Rotation – course or subject in which students rotate to a computer lab for the online-learning station.

c. Individual Rotation – a course or subject in which each student has an individualized playlist and does not necessarily rotate to each available station or modality. An algorithm or teacher(s) sets individual student schedules.

Steps for Creating a Successful Blended Course or Lesson:

My recommended steps for creating a successful blended course or unit are detailed below in my infographic, Instructional Pathway to Blended Learning. If you do not see it, visit:


Tools I Recommend for the Instructional Design Work

There are a few tools that will make visualizing your course or unit plan much easier, making the overall process much more enjoyable for you! Here are some of my favorites:

Bloom’s Taxonomy and Bloom’s Taxonomy Revised – One of the main goals for promoting blended instruction is to aid educators in targeting higher level learning in the classroom. I suggest using Bloom’s Taxonomy (or your favorite instructional model) to ensure that you effectively classify objectives and choose appropriate strategies, activities, and technologies (when warranted) for achieving that goal! I like to use both the traditional and revised versions of Bloom’s. The revised versions are a very valuable resource when selecting delivery and creative technologies for media development and creative student assignments and projects. Here are a few of my favorite representations of the model!

ASU’s Online Objectives Builder – Great assistance when writing clear classifiable objectives that are aligned with Bloom’s Taxonomy.

BlendKit’s Blended Course Blueprint – a great tool for mapping and ensuring that your course activities and assessments align with your intended objectives.

BlendKit’s Blended Course Mix Map Templates – I like to use these in two ways. They are essentially Venn Diagrams. I have used them to separate “direct” (outside of class individual guided practice activities) and “indirect” (inside of class problem based exploratory activities) to clearly show where the main course/unit learning activities will occur. I do this for two reasons: 1.) to ensure that the higher-level learning is occurring during class time and 2.) to determine where I can infuse technology or use it as a tool to facilitate the learning process. You can access the mix map templates online at:

BlendKit’s Blended Course Implementation Checklist – Great help during the implementation phase to ensure that you are not forgetting something before, during, and after your instruction.

Blended Course Peer Review Form – A great tool to use as a formative evaluation! Have a co-teacher or peer review your course using the following form as a guide for continual revision and improvement.

Tools I Recommend for Media Creation, Course Delivery, Collaboration, Assessment and Data Collection

An LMS System (Learning Management System) – especially if you are blending an entire course, it is essential to have a location where you will make all course materials accessible to your students both inside and outside of the classroom. This is also the place where you can set up guided practice modules that your students will complete outside of the classroom in order to achieve the lower-level direct instruction objectives prior to face-to-face classroom meetings. If you are at an institution or a school you may already be provided with an LMS (at Western, you know it as WesternOnline or D2L); however, out in the K-12 world you may find that your school does not have one, or that they use something different. If you do not have one at your institution, here are two free choices that are great systems!

Video Creation and Screen Casting Tools – for the direct instruction guided practice lessons within your course you may find that a personalized overview of the information is necessary, or some type of video aided or screen cast tutorial would help your learners grasp the content better than pre-assigned reading and etc. Here are some great choices!

Video Resources and Libraries for Setting Up Guided Practice/Direct Instruction Activities – Perhaps you are looking to use videos that have already been created on various topics you are teaching, or maybe you want to upload your own videos and share them. The following tools are a great place to start for finding educator created materials, as well as adding interactive guided practice activities with tools such as TedEd.

References and Resources

Finally, this article and approaching workshop would not be possible without the wonderful list of resources and references and their authors! Without these I would not have gained such a liking for blended learning and the flipped classroom!

The Flipped Learning Network, Aaron Sams and Jonathan Bergmann

University of Central Florida and The American Association of State Colleges and Universities: Blended Learning Toolkit

Arizona State University’s Instructional Design Community

Educause Learning Initiative (ELI) Blended Learning Resources

I hope that you will be able to join me in person for a great discussion and demonstration of some of these tools at our regularly scheduled workshop time! However, if you can’t make the workshop and want to sit down one-on-one to explore these ideas or others, please email me to set up a date and time at:

Flipping Your Classroom with Google Apps for Education

Flipping Your Classroom with

By: Dawn Sweet- Instructional Development Services, Manager

Blended Learning or Instruction (currently often referred to as “Flipped Classroom”) results when a teacher, an instructor or trainer uses mixed instructional strategies and teaching or training approaches combined with mixed mediums for the delivery of instruction and creation of knowledge. Blended learning is not to be confused with Hybrid learning! I feel that while hybrid learning can be a format for blended learning, it has a different goal!

I believe that blended learning provides a great mechanism for maximizing class time in a way that educators can focus on assisting learners in building higher-level thinking, as well as allowing them to take responsibility for their own learning of lower-level concepts. Thus, allowing for a more motivating and engaging educational environment that prepares learners for authentic real-world situations.

This article and accompanying workshop, will focus specifically on using Google Apps for Education to successfully “flip” the classroom!

As a follow-up to the workshop Achieving Blended (a.k.a “Flipped”) Instruction, this workshop will provide a review of Blended Learning (The Flipped Classroom), defining Direct and Indirect instruction, and an overview of best practices for implementation.

The main focus of this workshop will be to showcase FREE Google applications for:

  • Locating instructional video and resources
  • Video Development
  • Tools for Developing Interactive Learning, Guided Practice and Assessment
  • Providing Course Delivery and Collaboration

Specifically, we will be discussing the following tools for each of the areas highlighted above! If you are working on implementing blended learning strategies into your classroom you don’t want to miss this workshop!

New to Blended Learning and the Flipped Classroom? I suggest you take a look at my Achieving Blended (a.k.a “Flipped”) Instruction workshop! Learn more and register at:

Locating Instructional Video Resources and Libraries:

We will discuss the following resources and how you can use them in your classroom!

Tools for Video Development:

Tools for Interactive Learning, Guided Practice & Assessment:

Course Delivery and Collaboration:

Tech Tip Creating an Interactive Video with Vizia:

Remember, when using blended learning in our classroom, it’s not just about the video or the media!

There are many types of content that can be used to blend or flip the classroom. While content, and media are important they are not the key ingredients for success!

Interaction to ensure comprehension and application of the knowledge is key!

Consider adding annotated slideshows with reflection breaks consisting of interactive quizzing, discussions, short sample mastery quizzes, prompted note taking or interactive study guides, tweeting with classmates and interactive polling activities to be done at home.

One tool for providing such interaction is Vizia! With Vizia, you can make existing YouTube videos or videos that you have created and uploaded to your YouTube account interactive! Vizia allows for the creation of time coded:

  • Call to Action Links (link user’s to a website for further activities during a video)
  • Multiple Choice Quizzes
  • Polling Activities
  • Open Ended Questioning

Vizia also allows for assessment! Teachers can require students to submit their names and email addresses prior to viewing and using the interactive quiz and a spreadsheet with their submissions is provided.Instructors can download the spreadsheet into Google Sheets or save it in .csv format to download and open into another spreadsheet program such as Microsoft Excel.

Vizia interactive videos can be embedded into any HTML container on a website or into a Learning Management System (LMS) with HTML coding functionality or a link can be provided to students for viewing and interactions.

In the video posted below,you will learn how to use Vizia to create an Interactive Video in less than 5 minutes! It’s that easy!

You can find additional information and create your free Vizia account at:

Find our next offering of this workshop and register at:

Interested in foundational information on Blended Learning or the Flipped Classroom? We recommend our Achieving Blended (a.k.a “Flipped”) Instruction workshop! Learn more and register at:


Enhance Your Lessons with SMART Lab Activities

By Shyanne Thomas, Instructional Development Services Lab Assistant

Have you ever wanted to have fun without knowing that you’re learning too? Well, SMART Lab is just the thing for you! SMART Lab is an application within SMART Notebook software that allows you to choose from a number of different game-based activities and customize them to learn while having fun.

Activities you can choose from are:

  • Fill in the Blanks– Drag words or numbers into the blanks. It teaches deduction, composition, and memory.
  • Flip Out– Flashcards teach one-to-one correspondence, memory, and vocabulary.
  • Game Show- Take turns answering multiple choice and true or false questions.
  • Label Reveal- Learn the names of specific parts of an image. It teaches memory and deduction. (DEVICES REQUIRED)
  • Match ‘Em Up!- A matching activity that teaches one-to-one correspondence and memory.
  • Monster Quiz- Progression quiz with multiple choice and true or false questions. Work in teams on devices.
  • Rank Order- Arrange items in ranked order to learn about comparison, deduction, sequencing, and arrangement.
  • Response 2- Answer multiple answer, multiple choice, poll/opinion, short answer, and true or false questions. (DEVICES REQUIRED)
  • Shout It Out!- Use your devices to contribute text or images. A brainstorming activity for generating ideas. (DEVICES REQUIRED)
  • Speedup- Racing quiz with multiple choice and true or false questions. It encourages competition and quick-thinking.
  • Super Sort- Sort items into two categories. The activity teaches classification and grouping.

You can access all of these activities on a device of your choosing (phone, tablet, laptop, etc.) as long as you have the code to join. There are a few activities that do require a device to participate, such as: Label Reveal, Response 2, and Shout It Out!

SMART Lab is a wonderful tool for anyone to use! This is a wonderful tool for teachers, because they get to create activities that get students engaged and having fun while learning old and new content. Students have the chance to participate in discussions, study content for a quiz or test, work in teams or by themselves, and they even get to utilize technology in the classroom. If you’re in an organization or group, you can use some of these activities to get a sense of what your members know or ideas they may have. In general, a lot of the activities provided in SMART Lab can help anyone with memorization information, practicing skills, and just having a good time learning.

Tech Tip – Customizing an Activity