Students remember concepts and information better when they create something with the new knowledge.

Help students demonstrate their newly acquired knowledge by having them design a visual project using Canva.  Canva is a web-based graphic design platform.  With Canva, students don’t have to spend too much time learning a new tool because it’s easy to use.  They can spend more time on the creative process.  By having the students work on visual-based learning projects, you encourage better retention and recollection of new information.


Ways to use Canva:

  1. As an alternative to Google Slides or Powerpoint, have the students create a presentation summarizing a field trip with notes and information learned on the field trip.
  2. For a mini research project, have students create an infographic to display their information.
  3. If you have a science project planned, have students create a blog to document the ongoing process.
  4. Instead of a book report, have students create a poster that demonstrates their understanding of the book.
  5. In History, have students create posters which feature influential figures or depict a movement in a certain era.
  6. Use with Genius Hour.  Have students create a poster which helps them promote an environmental issue or social action campaign.
  7. Have students create an infographic to show sequence of events or how-to steps.

Canva’s ease of use makes this tool accessible to all students at all levels.  Students will only be limited by their own creativity.

Any ideas how you can use this tool in your class?


Proofreading, Grammar & Writing Practice –

Update:  Quill has added new passages.  “Over 150 activities directly from the Common Core State Standards.  All activities will always be made freely available. Each of our activities takes approximately 10-15 minutes. Teachers using Quill in a 1:1 classroom tend to assign Quill activities as a warm up exercise at the beginning of a class.”  K-9th Grade, College and Benchmark Assessments

Making Videos with Screencasting Tools

I have been working with some of you across the district in making videos.  Some of you have done projects that involve students making a Book Review video, All about Me Video or a Science Report Video that combines Google Slides with ScreenCastify.  Others, mostly at OHS, have used Screencastify or Doceri to make instructional videos for you students.  Both great uses of screencasting.

I want to let you know of other options here so that you can try them out and see what works best for you and your students.  All of these can be used on Chromebooks and each has some additional features that you will have to check out.

CaptureCast– unlimited video length, can be uploaded to YouTube, easy setup

SnagIt– unlimited video length, can be saved to Google Drive or YouTube

Nimbus Screenshot – video can be saved to hard drive and then loaded to Google Drive or YouTube

Screencastify – 10 minute limit, video can be saved to YouTube or Google Drive

Let me know what you think.  If you’ve tried some of these other tools, share your experiences.

Remember that you also have your recording options on your Mimio or your Smartboard.




Teachers can create presentations using text, links, video and interactive assessment.  Students connect to presentation with a code and are viewing the presentation along with the teacher, so you control what they see, what they view and what website you want them to explore.  As the class views the presentations, teachers can view real-time student activity and response to quizzes, polls or open-ended questions. Students in turn can watch videos, take notes and instantly see result to their answers. Great for assessing and an alternative for content delivery.  Without the upgrade, you are able to create your own nearpods, but there are many already created for you free in the content library.  This link takes you to a video on how nearpod works.


zaptionZaption-a tool which allows you to create video-based quizzes.  You can display questions for students to answer as they watch a video.  Teacher creates a tour for the student using either video and/or images.  Zaption pulls videos from YouTube, Vimeo, PBS, or National Geographic. After choosing your video, start watching it then pause it when you want to add a question. You can add questions in the form of multiple choice, open response, or check box response. When students watch the video they will see your questions appear in the context in which you set them.  Teacher account is free and students do not need an account to take a tour.