Bethel Instructional Technology for Educators

Small BiTES 9: Kahoot!

SpiderTake a few minutes each week and have some fun with your students and their Chromebooks. Here is a quick and easy way to engage students.

Kahoot! Some of you have used this online educational game environment with iPads; but you can also play Kahoot! on Chromebooks, desktops or with just the teacher projecting the game. New to Kahoot!? Sign up here for a BLIS class April 10.

Kahoot! is a highly motivating activity for students K through 12. You can use Kahoot! with one to one Chromebooks or teams of students sharing Chromebooks. Kahoot! has hundreds of pre-made quizzes or you can create your own. Either way, kids love the competition.

Kahoot! –

Small BiTES 8: Tips for Using Chromebooks with Students

Hot Cross Buns

Bethel Chromebooks are spreading like wildfire! Okay, bad metaphor. How about “Chromebooks are spreading like butter on a hot cross bun!” Better.

Here are four tips that might encourage you to use Chromebooks in the classroom by making them easier to manage.

Tip 1: Unlike logging into a Bethel Google account on a standard laptop or desktop computer, logging in on a Chromebook is done when you turn it on and requires only the first part of the user ID (e.g., whs.lopez.rosalia). The “” is already in place. Once logged into the Chromebook, users have immediate access to their Bethel Google Suite accounts.

Tip 2: Assign students to specific Chromebooks. This helps reduce damage to Chromebooks as students are aware you know which devices they are using.

Tip 3: Have one or two responsible students stand at the cart at the end of class to check-in Chromebooks. This makes the process more efficient, allows the Chromebooks to be examined for damage and avoids a mob scene at the cart just as class is dismissed.

Tip 4: Have fun with the Chromebooks! Word processing for 45 to 90 minutes at a time can be a drag. Throwing in a fun, short activity occasionally lightens things up and can even help you sneak in a learning experience. Watch for Small BiTES 9 next week for some examples of fun with Chromebooks.

Small BiTES 7: Chromebook Tips

With more and more Chromebooks showing up in Bethel classrooms, we’ll be sharing over the next few weeks some tips for making these devices easier to use and more powerful:

Tip 1: The Magnifying Glass Key: Tap the magnifying glass key on the left side of the keyboard to bring up the search screen. Type “Docs” and there’s a quick link to the user’s Google Suite documents. Try “Slides”, “Sheets”, “Forms” or “Drive” to go right to these applications. The little “0” at the left in task bar does the same thing.

Tip 2: Google Chromebooks have ADA accessibility resources built right into them. Tap the magnifying glass key and type “Settings” in the search field. Tap on the settings gear wheel then scroll to the bottom of the page and click on “Advanced”. Under “Accessibility” and “Manage accessibility features” you’ll find a plethora of resources to modify the Chromebook and the Chrome browser to meet specific ADA needs.

Small Bites 6: Best To-Do List

Five years ago I was wading through three or four digital to-do lists none of which seemed to meet my needs. Then I found Wunderlist and I’m still using it!

Wunderlist is a great app for managing and organizing your tasks as well as setting reminders and sharing tasks with others. The Wunderlist app is free and available on Mac, PC, iOS, Android and the Web.

When you install your Wunderlist on different devises, it syncs automatically. So no matter what device you are using, phone, tablet or computer, you’ll see your up-to-date lists.

Wunderlist gives you ways to organized your life by category and importance. You can star certain tasks then show just the starred items. Or you  can see tasks by category or by date due.

Before I start my day, I review my Wunderlists and star the ones I want to focus on that day. I have four categories including Work, Personal, Books to Read and Passwords. I don’t include any critical passwords like bank accounts, but do include the ninety-eleven other ones that I can never remember.

Learn more at the Wunderlist Web site.

Small BiTES 5: Choose Your Own Adventure

Here are two ways to use Google with students in Grades K-8 by creating Choose Your Own Adventure stories. For younger students, Choose Your Own Adventure might mean the teacher writes the story and then students read or are read the story and get to choose which paths to take. For older students, a Choose Your Own Adventure story might be an individual assignment or a team activity. Or maybe older students create stories for younger students.

Below is a link to the directions for creating a Choose Your Own Adventure Google Slides from Richard Byrne. Below that are step-by-step directions from Eric Curts to create a Choose Your Own Adventure using Google Docs.

How to Create a Choose Your Own Adventure: Google Slides

How to Create a Choose Your Own Adventure: Google Docs

Give it a try: Create a very simple Choose Your Own Adventure Story using Google Docs or Google Slides and share it in the comments below. If you decide to have your students give it a try, share those as well.

Small BiTES 4: Google Classroom Classwork Page

Small BiTES are weekly, easy to digest, bits of information about instructional technology.


Classwork Pages are new to Google Classroom this school year and are a great way for teachers to organize assignments. If you don’t see the Classwork tab at the top of your Google Classroom class, follow this link to learn how to activate it: Adding/Deleting Google Classroom Classwork Pages

With the Classwork Page you can now organize your curriculum assignments, using topics, into units or modules, and reorder work to match your class sequence.

Reordering assignments lets you, not Google, determine which assignment students see first.  It is now easy to just drag and drop assignments in any order you like.

Follow this link to find out more about Classwork Pages.

Chew and swallow.

Manipulatives with Google Draw

Google Draw can be used by teachers to demonstrate concepts or used by students to demonstrate their understanding of concepts.  Moved objects around, combined, shapes, drawn on objects or set they off to the side for future use. Imagine projecting a Google Draw document to teach place value, geography or DNA splicing.

If you want to create your own Google Draw document, you’ll find Google Draw under the New button upper-left in Google Drive.

Open a blank Google Draw document. Click on the Shapes menu (square and circle) or the line menu to draw your shapes. Create a screen that teaches a concept using digital manipulatives. The manipulatives may be geometric shapes, objects (e.g., animals), maps, numbers or a combination of these. If you want to do a language lesson, you can make manipulatives that are letters or words: “Which letter is missing in the word D_G? E R C L O” then have letter objects below that are moved into place.

Here’s an example by Danebo teacher Torie Meyer:

Google specialist Eric Curts has a Google document “Teaching Math with Google Draw” that shows some examples of how you can use Google Draw as a math tool.

Check out Eric’s Google Draw video, “Teaching Math with Google Draw“. This is 69 minutes long, but you don’t need to watch it all. Just watch enough to get an idea of how you can use Google Draw with math or other content areas.

Note: You can save shapes, words, images, etc., to the left or right of the drawing to be added as you need them during a lesson where you are presenting to students.

Introducing Google Team Drives

One of the challenges of using Google Suite is keeping your documents and shared documents organized for easy access. Your Google Suite Drive can quickly become a jumble of folders and documents. Finding things can be time-consuming and annoying.

To help us keep our shared documents within easy reach, Google has introduced Team Drives. Team Drives work like My Drive with one big exception:  A Team Drive is shared by anyone you add to the team. So, for example, you might create a Team Drive for your grade level colleagues called “4th Grade Teachers.” By default everyone you add to the team has full access to all the documents that are shared to the Team Drive. You can, however, limit access just like you limit access to a shared document.

The beauty of Team Drives is how the content is organized. With Team Drives all the files in the drive are owned by the Team, not individuals. So, should someone leave the team or even the district, the documents she contributed still stay in the Team Drive folder.

To create a Team Drive, go to your Bethel Google Drive and right click on Team Drives in the upper-left and select “New Team Drive” or just click on “New” just above Team Drives. You can then add members to your team just like you share a document with other users.

You can create documents inside Team Drive or simply drag existing documents in your My Drive folder to the appropriate Team Drive folder.

For a more detailed explanation of how Team Drives works, watch this 4 minute video from Google.

Have questions or comments? Add them below.

Instructional Technology Independent Study

Here are the resources you can choose from to complete four hours of independent study. These four hours, done outside of work hours, will give you 4 PDUs and 0.4 district credits.

You must complete the 4 hours prior to June 15, 2019.

Select from any of these areas of interest and keep track of your time. When you have completed four hours, and before 6/15/2019, complete the Instructional Technology Exit Ticket at the very bottom of the page indicating how much time you spent (up to 4 hours).


A. Google Classroom

1. About Google Classroom

2. Google Classroom Basics
3. Google Classroom Tutorials

Other Google Classroom Resources
4. What’s New
5. Understanding the Assignment Flow
6. Teachers: Getting Started
7. Creating Classes
8. Creating and Grading Assignments
9. Turning in Assignments (Matt Symonds)
10. Students: Getting Started

B. Google Forms

New to Google Forms or need a refresher?

Sample Form: Give it a try

The New Google Forms Video: A great how-to by Jamie Keet of Teacher Tech  – (23 minutes)

A step-by-step how-to on Google Forms (30-45 minutes – creating a form, 15 minutes – reading)

Adding a theme to a Google Form (5 minutes)

Create a Google Form and email the link  (under the Send button upper right) to the form to Tim Goss. Tim will give you feedback.

Have some experience?

Helpful tips for using Google Forms (15-30 minutes – trying out tips, 5 minutes – reading)

 Creating Self Grading Quizzes  (8 minutes)

Create a Google Form and copy and paste the link to the form in the Exit Ticket below. Tim will give you feed back. (20 minutes).

C.  Google Slides

1.  Using the resources below, build one or more Google Slideshows that you could use in your class with students. Consider creating a Google Slides Choose Your Own Adventure.

Eric Curts Resources
Building Google Slideshows
Google Slides Choose Your Own Adventure

D. Complete the Exit Ticket.

Basic Technology Skills Survey

Here are the March 2017 results of the Basic Technology Skills Survey completed by Prairie Mountain licensed staff.

Prairie Mountain teachers, as a group, show excellent technology skills. Out of a total possible score of 168, scores ranged from 85 to 164 with a mean score of 133 and a median score of 139. These will be interesting numbers when we gather data from other schools, but they don’t give us much direction.

What is a bit more interesting is looking at the responses to specific questions. Here are some examples that show PM staff technology strengths and also some areas where we’ve not done a very good job of training staff. Continue reading