Tech Tips Tuesday #1.7 - Kahoot!

Have you used Kahoot!?
I really love how excited and engaged my class get when they are playing Kahoot! quizzes.

They also love trying to beat their ghosts. I do a mini-explanation after the questions, especially when a lot of students get a particular question wrong, then they play the quiz again. Their "ghost" is their first try (but it takes some students a while to realise this!).

Kahoot is free to sign up, and there are quizzes from people all over the world that you can use, or you can create your own. You can use iPads, mobile phones and Chromebooks to Kahoot!

My next Kahoot quiz is going to be focusing on adjectives and adverbs as an attempt at doing some Retrieval Practice (which is probably worth a look at - brain science for the win!).

Thanks for dropping in,

Podcasts, Podcasts, PODCASTS!

All opinions are my own, and I have not been asked or paid to review any of these podcasts. 
All images used are referenced below


Just like Benny, the Classic LEGO Spaceman, from The LEGO Movie (2014) I am #superexcited at the moment. Not about spaceships (although they are pretty cool), but about podcasts.

If you know me in real life, you will probably have heard me say, "Have I told you about this podcast I'm listening to?"

Here are my favourites:

Teaching Related Podcasts

The Google Teacher Tribe

This was the first educational podcast I dipped my toes into. It came about during the Teach Tech Play 2017 conference, where Matt Miller was a keynote speaker and a presenter at quite a few workshops. From that point, I was hooked! Matt and Kasey are hilarious, and I love that their ideas and tricks are designed to be used in the classroom right away. 

Find Kasey Bell here:

Find Matt Miller here:

Ditch That Textbook

Which leads me to: Ditch That Textbook Podcast! Also by Matt Miller, these are super short (about 5 minutes each) podcasts of ideas and thoughts that are delivered daily. I have been listening to this one on Anchor, an app that allows you to create easy podcasts straight from your mobile device. This podcast was launched earlier this year (February) so it's quite easy to catch up.
To connect with Matt, see the links above.

The Cult of Pedagogy

After listening to The Google Teacher Tribe for a while, I heard about Jennifer Gonzalez's podcast, The Cult of Pedagogy. Jennifer's podcast covers a wide range of topics, including technology tools, brain science, behaviour management and so much more. I love the variety, and Jennifer's wealth of experience, as well as the knowledge her guests bring to the podcast.

Find Jennifer Gonzalez here:

Well PlayED

This podcast was one I discovered after Ditch Summit 2017. (Thank you, Matt!) I really enjoyed Michael's enthusiasm and passion for gamification and creating memorable learning experiences for his students. Michael is the author of Explore Like a Pirate.

Find Michael Matera here:

Non-Teaching Related Podcasts

These podcasts I'll be brief about, as they have nothing to do with teaching, education or pedagogy explicitly. I just like listening to them!

Atlanta Monster

This one is fascinating - an unsolved mystery. Children went missing in Atlanta in the 1980s and the man who was incarcerated for their murders may not be the person who killed them.


I listened to both seasons of Serial and enjoyed them immensely. I also downloaded the 7 episode podcast S-Town, which effected me so deeply I cried in the ending. The reason I loved them all so much was the way Sarah Koenig and Brian Reed connected to their subject matter - real people, doing real things for real reasons - and how they helped the listener to connect as well.

TED Radio Hour

Oh my goodness! If you love TED Talks, but can't keep up with the plethora of available videos, try this! This has got to be my most favourite podcast to listen to at the moment. Again, another recommendation from the wonderful Matt Miller, and I am obsessed! I love how they curate talks on specific topics, then interview the speakers in a 'behind the scenes' style. You get snippets of the original TED Talk, as well as the person behind the talk.

Pop Culture Happy Hour

Also created by NPR, Pop Culture Happy Hour is a podcast I've only listened to a handful of episodes. A great premise, condensing pop culture into manageable chunks that allow you do decide if it's worth watching a particular tv show or movie. 


Technically not a podcast, hence the brackets. I subscribed to Audible back in 2015, and listen to novels mostly. I've racked up 23 days, 13 hours and 21 minutes of listening to books from authors such as Stephen King, Joe Hill, Ernest Cline, Andy Weir, Matthew Reilly, Terry Brooks, Michael Crichton and Neil Gaiman. I have discovered that I can consume more novels through listening to some, and reading others myself. Plus, there's something nice about being read to, even as an adult. 

Professional Learning while Commuting

On my way to school, I used to listen to the radio. Then I moved on to listening to CDs (yep, I still have CDs) and then on to music streamed from my phone. I listened to my Audible books, then discovered the convenience of listening to educational podcasts on my way to school. It was great - if I heard something I liked, I would walk into school and try it out with my class, or look into it further to find out more. I have shared so many tech tips from The Google Teacher Tribe with my colleagues. There's something practical about using my time commuting (which I have to do) in the pursuit of gaining more knowledge and understanding about my profession.

I want to say a HUGE thanks to all the educators out there who share their knowledge, experience and expertise so freely. It's through this sharing that we all get better. Thank you!

...and if you have reached the end of this very -long- blogpost on podcasts, thank you, too.

Thanks for dropping in,

Google for Beginners and Experts

(Wow! I completely forgot that I had written an entire blogpost and not posted it - mainly because I didn't want to post it before the session was presented. Here it is, in its unedited glory!)

9 January 2018

I was asked to co-present a quick hour "Google for Beginners and Experts" session for my school's staff in our PL Week this year.

In my usual nerdy fashion, I started planning my part of the presentation at the end of 2017, whilst watching Ditch Summit videos. I was so inspired and #superexcited by all the ideas from these videos that I wanted to incorporate some into my presentation.

All of the Ditch Summit videos for 2017 have been archived now, but I would highly recommend the 2018 Ditch Summit (if Matt decides to do one!) as the 2017 summit has been invaluable to me as an educator, but also as a peer coach for my colleagues.

Ditch Summit 2017

How to Make Learning a Game

Michael Matera has inspired me to gamify my class using some of the strategies he shared in his video. I loved the idea of putting 'easter eggs' into Google Slides for students to find as an extension or enrichment task. 

Michael has a YouTube channel (and a lot more subscribers now, after Ditch Summit!) and he shares lots of ideas on how to incorporate gamification into the classroom.

How in the Google Did You Do That?

Eric Curts' video reminded me of the ways I can use Slides more effectively, and to create 'collabera-dependent" learning tasks, where students all work in the same file, using feedback from each other and myself to improve their own learning. 

I really loved the Pear Deck Add-on for Slides. Eric also shared ideas on Sheets, Drawings and Maps/Tour Builder.

EduProtocols: What They Are and How They Can Impact Learning

Jon Corippo introduced me to the idea of Edu-protocols to save time and avoid the constant 'reinventing the wheel' cycle we all go through. It was interesting to see him using 'what not to do' (Don McMillan's Life After Death By Powerpoint Ted Talk) in order to highlight common errors when creating presentations that all students (and some teachers) make when they are starting out.

The Science of Happiness for Teachers and Students

I loved watching Kim Strobel's video! There was so much to take away from it that I can't possibly share it all. She reminded me to see the positive in each day, and to write a gratitude journal to rewire my brain. 

Something that resonated with me strongly was the idea that as teachers we need to keep our own cups overflowing. What overflows is then what we can give to others (like the procedure on planes to fit your own oxygen mask before helping others).

Technology and Pedagogy

As someone who is championing the use of technology in my school, Tanya Avrith & Holly Clark's video gave me more to think about when sharing ideas with my colleagues. I am fascinated by HyperDocs and Book Creator, and can't wait to try them with my class.

They also reminded me of Bitmoji! I had completely forgotten that I'd downloaded this app and set up my account. I tweaked my bitmoji (I've cut my hair and got glasses since I last used the app) and I'm looking forward to using these in my classroom.

Chromebook Crash Course: What You Need

There was so much in Matt Miller's video that I didn't know! I will be sharing the Chromebook touch pad gestures with my kiddos, as well as quick commands for Docs, Drawings and Slides. 

The best tip I saw was the half screen browser window. Previously, I used the Open Side By Side extension by Alice Keeler. With the new Chromebooks, you can drag the browser window to the top left or right hand corner of the screen to resize it. 

I know that I am totally behind the times with Twitter. I joined in September 2015, but never tweeted. After watching the Ditch Summit videos, I realised that I was missing out on an amazing resource - hundreds (possibly thousands) of educators; sharing their ideas, tips, tricks, blog posts and connecting with other educators from around the world. I still haven't tweeted. But I am so inspired by the educators I follow!

Google for Beginners and Experts

To start off, I used the "Jachimo" presentation from Slides Carnival.

Jachimo presentation from Slides Carnival
I love how easy it is to make an awesome looking presentation using these templates. I used them with my class last year, and it just takes the hassle out of making a Slides presentation.

This presentation is scheduled to go for an hour. The plan is to do 10-15 minutes together as a whole group to cover some ICT administration and updates to our internal system, then break into two groups, with staff nominating whether they want to go to the 'Beginners' session or the 'Experts' session.


I've opted to take the beginners session, with the aim of supporting the self-nominated beginners to feel comfortable to try a few things themselves. My colleague, Ryan, will be taking the experts, as he has more experience with some of the more complex parts of G Suite for Education, Apps and Extensions.


We'll start with Drive, and work through some helpful hints on Team Drives for collaborating with their teaching team, but also for organising student work in their own classrooms.


I'll share a few things about accessibility and how we can get our littles and our special needs students using voice typing to support their learning.


I LOVE Slides. I made the mistake early on, of asking my students to create their own individual Docs in a shared folder. When I needed to print their work (or give them feedback), I had to open each individual file... it took forever!

Then I realised that if they all had their own slide in a Slides presentation (I resized the page size to print on A4 paper before sharing it with them), I only had to open one file! It totally streamlined the process of giving feedback and printing.

Easter Eggs

With the presentation I am sharing with the staff, I intend to hide some Easter eggs. As they will have access to the presentation afterwards, they can go back to it and play with some of the 'extras' I've included.

One Easter eggs I'll include is a link to bitmoji, so teachers can download the app and create their own bitmojis for use in class. Plus, there's a Chrome extension they can try out.

I'm planning to finish up with this YouTube video, as it really resonated with me. I never feel my ideas are that special, but what seems obvious to me, may be amazing to others.

Thanks for dropping in,