Author: kristieburk

Tech Tip Tuesday: Ideas for Schoology Media Albums

by Kristie Burk, DASD Coordinator of Cyber and Blended Learning

Last Tuesday’s #schoologychat on Twitter was on the topic of media albums in Schoology. Media Albums allow students and teachers to post photos, videos or audio files and others can comment on them.  Here is just a sampling of some of the ways that you can use Schoology media albums:

  • Have students upload pictures of books they’re reading with a short review in the caption – Willie Thomas, Instructional Technologist, Waco, TX
  • Require students to document steps in an experiment during a science lab or have your younger students use them to post pictures for a show-and tell — Megan Nussbaum, Technology Integration Coordinator, Topeka, KS
  • Have students post pictures to document their steps in a project and share them with parents at a conference – Brian Scholl, K-12 Instructional Technology Specialist, Nazareth, PA
  • Use media albums to post field trip photos, to host student presentations or to create a digital gallery walk…even ask students to post examples of math in the real world (construction sites, receipts, etc.) — Michael League, Instructional Technology Specialist, Indian River School District, DE
  • Use media albums to post ASL translation videos on a drama script – Jared Lopatin, English teacher for the Deaf, New York, NY
  • Have students post school-appropriate memes on topics from class — Jerilyn McConchie, ELA teacher, Killeen/Ft. Hood, TX
  • Ask students to post their art work in a digital gallery or work from another app such as Chatterpix– Hope Elliott, Digital Technology Specialist, Columbus, MS
  • Snap, annotate, and share ideas with other teachers — Cory Klinge, Instructional Excellence Coordinator, Eden Prarie, MN
  • Ask the Yearbook team to keep media albums for each grade to post pictures as they become available – Jim Amato, Ed Tech Director, Prospect, CT
  • Post pictures of videos or pictures of correct form or drills for athletes or pictures of events from sporting events- Mr. Porter, Chemistry teacher and coach, Oakfield, AL
  • Upload pictures to help students better visuzalize a novel, such as posting pictures of Vietnam before reading Things They Carried, Mrs. Toflinski, ELA Teacher, Northwood, OH
  • Suggest students post pictures for journalism stories in a media album – Leslie Louder, ELA teacher, Dover, DE
  • Post pictures of innovative teachers in action in a professional development course – Dani Patterson, Technology Integration Facilitator, Copperas Cove, TX

Schoology Announces Enhanced Integration with Google Drive

by Kristie Burk, DASD Coordinator of Cyber and Blended Learning

Schoology has just announced that enhanced integration with Google Drive is coming soon. Teachers will be able to make a copy of a Google Doc for every student with one click and there will be a button inside the Google Doc within Schoology that will let students auto-submit to the assignment.

Check out the short video that shows what it’s going to look like:

Website Wednesday: Storybird

storybirdby Kristie Burk, DASD Coordinator of Cyber and Blended Learning

Children love to write stories, but sometimes they have a difficult time getting started. Storybird is a free website that helps students write stories by providing images that can help spark creativity. Students can select the type of book that they want to create, such as a picture book or a chapter book, and the photos or illustrations they want to use. Then, they can start typing their stories.

Although the stories seem like they’re primarily aimed at younger children, older students could also use the site. Amanda Friedman, Spanish teacher at Downingtown East and West, is using Storybird with her classes.  The students will read one of the stories in Spanish first and do an activity on comprehension. Then, students will work in groups to create their own stories using the templates provided.

Tech Tip Tuesday: Quickly Create Copies of Google Docs with this Add-on

CopyDocs-for-Classes-by-Alice-Keelerby Khristina Hunt, Downingtown West High School Instructional Coach

If you teach several sections of a class over different periods or days, you might find yourself making a copy of a collaborative Google Doc multiple times. Alison Keeler created an add-on script called CopyDocs that will duplicate any Google Docs, Sheets, Slides or Drawings that you wish to copy for each class. The name of each class is put in front of the document title to make it easy to know which copy is for which class.

Instructions for the add-on and more details can be found here.

Website Wednesday: Breaking News Generator

by Kristie Burk, DASD Coordinator of Cyber and Blended Learning

downloadThank you to Ellen Resnek, Downingtown East High School social studies teacher, for suggesting today’s website called “Breaking News Generator.” It is a great tool to use as an exit ticket while making social studies more engaging. Students upload an image and give the news slide a headline and description. Students can also brainstorm creative names of news agencies!

This tool could be used outside of a social studies curriculum; teachers could ask students to summarize key details from a text or to support vocabulary instruction. Students can also create their own image to use.

Do you have a tech tool that you want other teachers to know about? Email us at or post here.

Tech Tip Tuesday: Breakout EDU

by Sara Brosious, Downingtown East High School Instructional Coach

Guess what happens when you tell students to put everything away except their device and then give them a box with 4 padlocks on?  Complete student engagement.

On Friday, February 17 Downingtown East High School’s Spanish Teacher Michelle Podolak piloted Breakout EDU with a STEM twist.  Breakout EDU is the education world’s version of an escape room experience.  Michelle provided students curricular puzzle clues that unlocked the various padlocks to ultimately break into the locked box.

Mrs. Podolak’s Spanish IV and Honors classes were first presented with a learning scenario and with the assistance of their mobile or 1:1 laptop devices collaborated in small groups to solve the clues.  Once the teams broke into the boxes, they were then presented with the task of building a trap with makerspace type items such as legos, magformers, and tinker toys.

The students then collaborated to produce a one minute video in Spanish describing their traps, and upload it to Schoology.  There was also a discussion board conversation commenting on the other team’s cupid traps.  Additionally, Mrs. Podolak required her students to reflect on the experience via a Schoology quiz.

If you’re interested in creating a breakout experience for your students, reach out to your instructional coach!


Website Wednesday: The Ultimate Google Cardboard and Expeditions Resource Guide

by Kristie Burk, DASD Coordinator of Cyber and Blended Learning

Shake Up Learning is an educational blog written by Kasey Bell.  Bell recently posted “The Google Cardboard and Expeditions Resource Guide.” The guide contains the steps to get started, resources for buying devices and headsets, YouTube tutorials, blog posts, lesson plans, apps and more!

Google Cardboard and Google Expeditions can truly enhance students’ learning experiences. Judy Deppen, French teacher at Marsh Creek, used Google Expeditions so that her students could take a virtual tour of the Palace of Versailles

Michele Boreman, social studies teacher at Lionville Middle School, used Google Cardboard with her students to take a virtual tour of Ford’s theater and the house where Lincoln died. They could move around to explore the different rooms, floors, etc. Even cooler? The class tweeted about it; Ford Theater responded to the Tweets and a conversation ensued.