Monday, December 5, 2016

Posting a Google Doc on your blog

So for those who are using Google Docs with students this is a quick tip sheet on how to attach your Google Doc to your blog. Essentially it goes over how to change the permissions of your doc so that anyone with the link can view it (or, anyone with a Northampton Public Schools email can view it).

Remember to remind your students to go to File: Make a Copy if it is a Google Document you'd like them to fill out. Then they can share it back to you, or can upload it to Schoology/Google Classroom etc.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Google Classroom How To

For those of you interested in Google Classroom, I've made this "How To".

Click HERE to check it out.

(If you don't see the teacher account I may have to email our director to let your name go through)

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Google Read & Write

Google Read & Write has really stepped up its game.

For websites: Students can still have the website read to them, they can simplify the webpage from all the ads and just read the text, they can also have the information put into an mp3, and highlight important facts and have those pulled into a separate Google doc!
For documents: students can use the word prediction tool, the read out loud feature, the fluency feature, the highlighting tools, and the screen mask tool. Teachers can leave audio notes too for the student now.
For pdf's students can dictate into the pdf, they can type over the pdf and the teacher can make notes on it for the student as well.

Check out my How to HERE.

Teachers sign up for your free premium version HERE (put in lfarkas@northampton... as your admin).

Check out how to use the .pdf tools HERE.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Google Forms Quiz!!!

Google recently added a feature called Google Forms Quiz to our favorite Google Forms. Why this might be relevant to all of you? Because it makes it so that you no longer have to use Flubaroo if you don't want to! (I love Flubaroo too but it's nice to have choices).

So, if you'd like to check it out, please see my How To Google Quiz HERE.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Pictures with Blogger

Generally there are 2 common ways to add pictures to your blog:

1. Upload an image from your computer.
2. Copy an image URL (or web address where that image is located).

I tend to caution against the "Copy URL" because in the event the creator of that website ever takes the picture down, you will then lose that picture on your blog post. Instead, consider finding a picture you like, downloading it to your desktop and then uploading it to your post.

1. Google an image you'd like. Right click on the image, choose "Save Image As".
This pops up a box, make sure you click on the right hand side to choose "Desktop" as the location for which you'd like to save the photo. (Otherwise it gets lost in the abyss.)

2. Go to your blog, click to make a new post, then click this:
(it's on the toolbar when you're writing a post)

3. This pops up a window where you can choose "Upload": "Choose Photo" and you'll click on your desktop, and locate the picture you just saved.

By default, blogger will stick your image smack in the center of your post. Notice when you click on the image you will have some choices (Small, Medium, Large/Left, Center, Right) etc. Play around with those to have your image located where you'd like and the size you'd like.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Blogger 101: What you're looking at when you go to

This video goes over what you are seeing when you log into It points out features of the dashboard such as where you would go to post, where your list of posts can be found, where you can click to see your blog etc.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

JFK Tech Conference 2016: Google My Maps

Google My Maps:

Please take THIS form.

Key Take-Aways:
Use for Math: Polygon tool, ruler--ratios, perimeter, area etc. (To get out of ruler press escape)
Use for Social Studies: Plot battles of the Civil War, causes etc.
English ELA: Plot places characters travel to, or scenes from a novel that is based in a real town.

Can share Maps just like you would anything else.

Add pictures and descriptions.

Using Google Forms with My Maps:
Make a Google Form and make sure there is 1 question related to location.
Have students take the form.
Open the spreadsheet where the answers from the form are found and make a "last column" question and fill in the answer as a period (all the way down the column).
Open a New My Map and then choose IMPORT. Find the "Response sheet" from the Google Form and import that. It'll ask you which question is the location question. Click through all of those and then share this map with your students and ask them to fill out the additional question. For example: break your students into groups, have each group list three important facts about a pre-assigned battle that they previously plotted. Or, have everyone add a fact about the town they grew up in and how it relates to something you're teaching. (List the natural resource where you grew up that your town could provide the world..)

JFK Tech Conference 2016: Advanced Google Doc/Drive

Advanced Google Docs/Drive:

This serves as a brief outline for some key topics we will review:

Share a link & force students to make a copy: (Great demo from Shake up Learning!)

Prevent changing access or allowing printing:

Set an Expiration Date:
Next to the person's name when you share a doc you can hover to the left of the "Can View/Can Edit" drop down and you'll see a clock. You can click "Customize" and set for how long you'd like them to have access.

Change owner of a Doc: You'd do this where you see the list of people who are editing or viewing your doc. When you click the drop down menu next to their name, a choice is "Is Owner" and you can shift ownership. You'd really only do this if you made something for someone, or if you were leaving and wanted someone to have all your documents.

Commenting: Type in the kid's name and it should pop up their email. Click that and it will alert the student that a comment has been written.

Formatting: Checkboxes, Paint brush tool, Bookmark and make links to your own bookmarks.

Tabs: Pin, mute, Close to the right etc. (two finger click on a tab to see these options)
         Bookmark all tabs: Puts all the tabs you have open in a folder on your bookmark bar.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Cloze Reading Options

It's come to my attention folks would like some activities to do with students around the idea of cloze reading. Here are some resources I found that might meet those needs: This is a cite where you can login for free, then have access to a number of cloze reading selections. Students will have a word bank and type in the correct word in the blanks left in the paragraphs. At the end, they can "check" their work and see if they successfully put the words where they should be. You have the option to set up classes and assign work/students too. Once you login you'll want to go to this page: for the Cloze Readings.

This website offers some reading fluency, speed reading activities and cloze activities. It looks old school but offers some options:

Monday, April 11, 2016

Answer Garden

Answer Garden is a cool tool that can give a quick visual synopsis of what your students know. This could be great for pre-tests--getting a sense of what your students know about a topic before you teach the topic in depth. It would also be great for a break in the class to see if students are comprehending main ideas. Below is an example of the answers found when asked, "What started the Civil War?"

I have a How To on how to use Answer Garden Here:

Shortly, I will make a quick tutorial video as well. ENJOY!

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Removing blog posts from the previous year.

This question came up in our technology follow up session this Monday: "What do we do with our old blog posts each year?" There are many articles discussing blog archiving, hiding blog posts etc. but the solution I believe would be the most useful for teachers would be to do the following:

1. Go to your list of blog entries. (the one that lists them all in a row)

2. Check off all the entries you used this year that you want to hide for the start of next year.

3. Next click "Revert to Draft" at the top (you'll see baggage tag, Publish and Revert to Draft)

This will put the word "draft" in orange next to the posts (see image above). All the posts listed as draft no longer can be seen on your blog.

So what about next year when you want to use the same entry?

You can click to "Edit the post" and then on the right click "schedule" then choose "Set Date and Time". This will drop down a calendar. Remember: The default time is Pacific Time so unless you change this, build in and extra three hours to have it publish on East Coast time.

Pick the date and time you want to "republish" your post and it will populate accordingly.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016


Boomerang for Gmail is a mail extension you can get from the Chrome Web Store. It's primary purposes are to allow you to send emails at specific times like "Tuesday at 4 PM" while you write it on a Saturday night. It also lets you mark emails that you want to pay attention to--like say an email about a meeting in the middle of the month that you receive the first of the month... you can make it "resend" the email to you the day of the meeting or the day before. You can also set it up so if you send an email to someone and they haven't replied in a specific time frame you can "Boomerang it" and it'll send your email a second time.

When you install it you'll notice (at the bottom of your emails that you're composing):

When you click "Send Later" you can pick when you want the email to send. Or, you can check the box that says, "Boomerang this in 2 days" and set the day you want to send it again if you haven't heard back from the person.

There is also the Boomerang in the top right. This is the button you press while reading an email that you want to return to your inbox.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Uploading Google Docs into Oaysis

This video is useful when you're trying to figure out how to upload a Google document into Oaysis.

If the video doesn't show click HERE.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016


Canva is an app that students and teachers can use to create more graphically appealing papers/reports. It can be used for book reports, information sheets, reports in general, marketing sheets etc.. It allows for borders, additional photos, shapes etc. Some of the typical concepts of inserting photos apply to this program as well in terms of ordering... one picture "in front" one "in back". There is not a ton of flexibility on text size but it still has a number of great features. I wouldn't consider it useful if you were looking to add videos too, this is more for things you'd print out.

It is both an app & a website: