Makerspace Resources for Teachers and Students

"There are no rules here--we're trying to accomplish something." – Thomas Edison

What is a Makerspace?
My guess is that most people reading this post have some idea about what a makerspace is, so I won't spend too much time describing the spaces.
That being said, I recently rediscovered a post from one of my favorite blogs. This post reenergized my exploration of the makerspace movement and is the primary reason I am writing this post today.

Jennifer Gonzalez shares John Spencer's definition of a makerspace.
“I see a makerspace as simply a space designed and dedicated to hands-on creativity,” he explains, “and the key thing there is they’re actually making something. Creativity is sometimes idea generation, it’s sometimes problem-solving. But (in) a makerspace, you’re actually going to create some kind of product. Now it could be a digital product. It could be a physical product. But there is an actual product, so you’re not going to, say, design an event or a service project. That’s not what a makerspace is for, so it’s a space devoted to and differentiated and set up for making.” - John Spencer
I like John's definition, but I know it is not the only way to look at the goals of a makerspace. I believe a Makerspace is what you make of it. Pun intended? I don't think there should be rules to what is and what isn't a makerspace if learning is happening. I've seen too many posts, with too many different opinions to ever tell anyone what a makerspace should or shouldn't be.

Why Makerspaces?
If you've been reading my blog you know that I am always curious about the 4 Cs connected to teaching and learning. For me, makerspaces provide students with opportunities to collaborate, communicate, think critically, and create. The best makerspaces are all about student choice and student voice. I love opportunities for students to own their learning experiences, and makerspaces are great places for curious self-directed exploration.

Want To Learn More About Makerspaces?
I am by no means an expert on makespaces, but I love the potential that these spaces have to engage students. Here are some of the resources I've discovered as I've explored the Maker Movement. I apologize in advance if there is too much here. When I fall down a rabbit hole of exploration, it is usually a very deep one.

Social Connections to Learn More About Makerspaces
Web Resources and Posts Connected to the Makerspace Movement
Videos Connected to the Makerspace Movement
Some of  the Tools and Resources Often Connected to School Makerspaces
Funding for Maker Tools
  • School / District Grants
  • Local and National Educational Organizations
  • Private Organizations
Makers Outside of Schools
What ideas or resources connected to makerspaces can you share in the comments below?

Engaging Learners with Video

Video in the classroom is not a new thing, but it is evolving as an essential resource for all learners. If you were born before 1980 you've probably experienced at least one classroom documentary on a film strip with an awesome and noisy Film Strip Projector. I know I was always excited to see the film projector and reels in the room, but when I reflect on my these learning experiences I realize that most of these documentaries did very little to engage me as a learner.

Video in the classroom has evolved. Today, classroom video is all about engagement and critical thinking. Students and teachers are creating content and actively engaging in videos using a variety of strategies and tools. Video has become a great medium for Creative Student Voice. I was inspired to dive deeper into my exploration of video in the classroom after exploring some of Common Sense Education's Video in the Classroom Resources.

I have also been looking to incorporate the ISTE standards as part of my teaching and learning foundations. There are some direct connections to video in some of the ISTE Standards.

ISTE Standards for Students - Creative Communicator
Students communicate clearly and express themselves creatively for a variety of purposes using the platforms, tools, styles, formats and digital media appropriate to their goals.
ISTE Standards for Students - Knowledge Constructor
Students curate information from digital resources using a variety of tools and methods to create collections of artifacts that demonstrate meaningful connections or conclusions.
ISTE Standards for Educators - Learner
Set professional learning goals to explore and apply pedagogical approaches made possible by technology and reflect on their effectiveness.
ISTE Standards for Educators - Designer
Use technology to create, adapt and personalize learning experiences that foster independent learning and accommodate learner differences and needs.
Learn More: ISTE

When I think about using video to engage students I usually start by considering one of two categories: Creation and Exploration. Students and educators can create videos as part of the learning process. Exploring videos connected to concepts and skills can serve as a lesson hook, part of the body of a lesson, or as a way to reinforce or review key concepts. Mixing videos in with text and images are also great ways to differentiate the learning experience. 

Favorite Video Creation Resources
  • Adobe Spark Video - Create photo stories with voice-overs and music
  • Flipgrid - Video discussion platform
  • Recap - Video discussion platform
  • Screencastify - Screen recorder extension for Chrome
  • WeVideo - Full featured video creation, editing, and screen-casting resource
Favorite Video Exploration Resources
  • ClassHook - Popular clips from TV shows and movies
  • Edpuzzle - Interactive video engagement resource
  • PlayPosit - Interactive video engagement resource
  • TEDEd - Customized video lessons
  • TED Talks - Collection of talks from expert speakers
  • YouTube - Playlists and channels connected to anything and everything. 
Learn More -Additional Resources

Design Resources for Educators and Learners

I've been exploring ways to improve how I design instructional materials, websites, and other visual resources for several years. I don't know if an eye for design can be developed, but I am valiantly trying. This summer I was lucky to find a great online class from EdTech Teach that focused on visual design.

The course reawakened my drive to become a better designer for my students. I took many things away from the course and I've decided to share them in this document. I've categorized a variety of resources that had and will continue to have an impact on my exploration of design. 

If you have any design resources or tips, please consider sharing them in the comments below or reach out to me on Twitter. (@WickedEdTech

I am always hoping to learn something new every time I create a new post. 

Additional Posts and Resources Connected to Design

September Books of the Month - Making Your School Something Special by Rushton Hurley

The best educators are not content to do the same old thing year after year. Innovative educators push their thinking by engaging in social media, exploring blogs, attending conferences, and exploring the newest generation of educational books.
I've created a Recommended Educator Book Site to organize and share some great books connected to teaching and learning. I will also occasionally feature a new book recommended by my PLN. 

Have an idea for our next featured book? Please share in the comments below.

I am super excited about my September Books of the month. This is a two-volume set written by one of my favorite educators, Rushton Hurley. Rushton is the founder of Next Vista for Learning and an incredible presenter. 

Making Your School Something Special: Enhance Learning, Build Confidence, and Foster Success at Every Level (Volume 1)
What Makes Your School Special? If you’re a teacher, you want your students to love coming to class. If you’re a school leader, you want your teachers to love coming to work. So how do you make your school a place where students and teachers alike want to be—because it’s where they feel energized, inspired…special? In Making Your School Something Special, educator and international speaker Rushton Hurley explores the mindsets, activities, and technology that make for great learning. You’ll learn: *How to think about and create strong learning activities, *Why fostering and sharing successes benefits everyone, *How to strengthen individual confidence in both students and teachers, and *How to know, and help others know, what makes your school special. A great school is a place where everyone experiences meaningful learning, and this book is designed to help you and your colleagues make such learning happen at your campus.

Making Your Teaching Something Special: 50 Simple Ways to Become a Better Teacher (Volume 2)
Two things any great teacher would tell you if asked: there are all sorts of things that you probably didn't encounter during your professional preparation, and no matter how good you are, there is always room to improve. Making Your Teaching Something Special is a collection of 50 short chapters designed to fill gaps and build talent, with each chapter covering a piece of advice for those looking to raise their game as a teacher or trainer. Divided into five areas (rapport with students, assessments and assignments, delivery, collegiality and professionalism, and logistics), newbies and veterans alike will find plenty of ideas to try with their classes. Each area finishes with discussion questions for those using the book as part of a professional development effort. The author, Rushton Hurley, mixes stories and ideas to make this an easy read, whether spending the afternoon developing ideas or taking a few moments during lunch to be inspired.

Let’s Talk About Engagement

I am excited this week to be co-authoring a post with my friend and partner in all things EdTech Melissa Wilson. Melissa is an English teacher and Instructional Technology Coordinator at Neuqua Valley High School. We will be cross-posting this story on her blog “#Whatsup Wildcats”. If you’ve never had a chance to explore Melissa’s blog I highly recommend that you change that today. Melissa provides some incredible insights about teaching and learning that happens every day at Neuqua.

We are in our second year of 1 to 1 with Chromebooks, and we have been amazed by the incredible engagement we’ve witnessed as teachers have enhanced and transformed their instructional practices. Our classrooms are full of students engaged in a variety of activities enhanced with a variety of digital resources. Teachers are facilitating and our students are collaborating, communicating, creating, and thinking critically on a daily basis.

We’ve enjoyed visiting classrooms and observing, but we needed something more. We wanted to encourage teachers to come together and share how they are engaging students.

We believe that one of the most rewarding professional development activities is when teachers find time to talk to each other. Powerful things can happen when educators from different departments have time to sit and talk to each other about teaching and learning.
With this in mind, our first CAFE Connect was born with these two questions to guide us:
  • How has student engagement evolved in your classroom this year? 
  • What digital resources or strategies are making the difference for your students?
We shared these two guiding questions, scheduled the days we would be in the faculty cafeteria, and created a list of resources we’ve seen teachers using this year. No formal presentations, just teachers talking to teachers.

Melissa and I enjoyed two days of questions, classroom stories, and educators exploring resources to support engagement. Together, we reflected on this collaborative experience:
  • Teachers are excited to have a chance to share how and why they’ve used certain tools to support engagement. 
  • It isn’t just about the technology. Some of the best discussions centered on facilitating shifts in and out of the technology on the fly. Face to face collaboration and communication still matter! 
  • Simple strategies like adding a Pear Deck slide at the beginning of a lesson to ask for questions/reactions to homework has made a big difference for student advocacy. Pear Deck has become a powerful tool for engagement and classrooms are using it in a variety of creative ways. We even have some teachers using Pear Deck as a type of backchannel for questions during student-centered activities. 
  • Students are utilizing similar engagement resources throughout the day, so they are becoming more familiar and confident. 
  • Many teachers are utilizing or plan to utilize Flipgrid to amplify student voice. It is a quick, easy way to ask ALL student to take ownership of their learning and verbally share out with the class.
  • Variety was a common word both days. We had some great discussions about how often you should use one tool. Does engagement fade if it is used too much? We did not reach a solid conclusion, but most agree that have a few different engagement tools is essential. 
  • Another great discussion topic was how one tool can be used in a variety of creative ways. For example, Google Autodraw can be a tool for reflection, a resource to introduce a new topic or part of the learning process. Students are using Autodraw for sketchnotes, memes, vocabulary graphics, infographics, and more. 
  • It has never been easier to document student work in various ways: images, videos, writing, and so forth. Resources like Screencastify, Padlet, Flipgrid, Peardeck, and Adobe Spark make this possible, while Google Classroom provides a seamless platform for submitting evidence of learning. 
  • The Share to Classroom extension can be used to promote student advocacy. Students can share their screen/work with the teacher, and the teacher can then digitally answer questions and support the students. 

The best part of the day....connecting and laughing with our colleagues. What a great way to end the week. Thankful to work at such an awesome place. #whatsup

Building an Instructional Coach Mindset

What are your must-have ingredients in a recipe for learning? Is it just about the technology and the content or is there something more?

Here today, gone tomorrow? This can be EdTech as many of us know it today. This can be good when we are able to move onto something better or it can be devastating when we've invested so much time into learning a tool does what we need it to do. This is why we believe that sound teaching pedagogy will always trump the power of any technology tool when we create a recipe for learning.

The best teaching and learning recipes start with ingredients connected to strong pedagogy concepts before adding in the technology ingredients.

Today, we try to always start supporting educators and students by asking "why" questions. Sometimes, when we don't know why we are doing something, we always have to ask why are we still doing it? Maybe we need to look at changing the recipe, before moving forward? Without a reason why we need technology, we rarely see technology have a solid impact on improving the teaching and learning experience.

It is important for any educator or group of educators to first explore how they might approach the instructional goals before adding technology to the plan. Once we have a pedagogical plan, we are ready to find the right technology that we can add to our teaching and learning recipe.

These two resources are great places to start exploring how we can create great learning experiences.

We also always try to emphasize that the best EdTech does not have the power to make a bad lesson great. EdTech can even make a good lesson worse. A strong teaching and learning plan must always come first or the power of instructional technology is to often wasted time.
I hate wasting time!

Here are a few of the resources that might help EdTech and Instructional Coaches build their recipe cards to best support teachers and students.
Here are a few additional resources that can support an Instructional Coaching Mindset.
What courses/concepts/skills/resources do you think are essential for an Instructional Coach's Mindset?

Getting to Know Your Students - Ideas to Start the Year Right

“You are obligated to understand that you are unique in the world. There has never been anyone like you because, if there were, there would be no need for you to exist. You are an utterly new thing in creation. Your life goal is to realize this uniqueness.” - Aaron Perlow

One of the greatest joys and greatest challenges of being a teacher is starting every year with a new class of incredible students. I love the new personalities and perspectives that wander into my room the first day, but I always struggle with the challenge of learning how to best meet the needs of 30 unique individuals each period that I teach.

My students and I will invest a bit of our time every day outside of learning about Environmental Science to get to know each other. The goal is always to build a learning community that supports the needs of everyone in the classroom.

Here are a few of the things I've planned for the start of the 2018 school year. These projects are designed to also help my students explore some of the EdTech resources we will be using this year.
  • YouVideo Project 2018 (Twitter descriptions and Flipgrid sharing. Students write and share a precise description of who they are. We've added some props into the creations this year with the plan to make some inferences about each other using Flipgrid video responses. ) 
  • Avatar Creation - The Digital You (Students create and share avatars that represent them in a digital space)
  • Identity Challenge Collage  (Brainstorming, organizing, and sharing images that tell the student's story.) 
  • Daily Attendance Questions (We share both verbally and using the Pear Deck Google Slides Add-on. Some of the questions are fun, some dive a litter deeper.)
  • Empathy and Service Learning (A collaborative activity that gives me time to talk to each group of students as they explore empathy and service learning. This is part of our classroom community building objective.)
Looking for something more? Check out these great posts from my PLN.

Exploring Adobe Spark - Design Challenges

Storytelling is the oldest form of teaching. It bonded the early human communities, giving children the answers to the biggest questions of creation, life, and the afterlife. Stories define us, shape us, control us, and make us. Not every human culture in the world is literate, but every single culture tells stories.” 

Adobe Spark is an incredible storytelling tool. In fact, it is three tools in one.
Create and share visuals with Spark Posts.
Create and share videos with Spark Videos.
Create and share web pages with Spark Pages.

Resources to Support Visual Storytelling
Design Challenge: Choose one or more of the options below and create a post, page or video to tell a story. Share your story in this Padlet and on Twitter using the #ShareYourWhy. I've also included a Google Doc version of these challenges that could be adapted for student use at the end of this post.

Option 1 - Spark Video
Explore Spark Videos and then plan and create a Spark Video that you could use with your students, colleagues or parents. The choice of topic is yours, but here are a few ideas to help you get started.
  • Share why you love being a teacher. 
  • Share your teaching philosophy. 
  • Share important classroom procedures. 
  • Introduce a topic or concept 
  • Welcome your students back to school. 
  • Brainstorm and get started with your own idea. 
Option 2 - Spark Post
Explore Spark Posts and then plan and create a Spark Post that you could use with your students, colleagues or parents. The choice of topic is yours, but here are a few ideas to help you get started.
  • Share why you love being a teacher. 
  • Share your teaching philosophy. 
  • Share important classroom procedures. 
  • Introduce a topic or concept 
  • Welcome your students back to school. 
  • Brainstorm and get started with your own idea. 
Option 3 - Spark Pages
Explore Spark Pages and then plan and create a Spark Page that you could use with your students, colleagues or parents. The choice of topic is yours, but here are a few ideas to help you get started.
  • Share why you love being a teacher. 
  • Share your teaching philosophy. 
  • Share important classroom procedures. 
  • Introduce a topic or concept. 
  • Welcome your students back to school. 
  • Brainstorm and get started with your own idea. 
Extended Learning
“There are three responses to a piece of design – yes, no, and WOW! Wow is the one to aim for.” - Milton Glaser

Tuesday Tips - Two Favorite Google Slides Visual Design Add-ons

I spent part of my summer exploring design and design thinking. This led me to explore a variety of resources that support better visual design in my Slide Decks and HyperDocs.

Add-ons are found in the menus of Google Slides, Docs, Forms, and Sheets. Add-ons are tools built into G Suite that help you do more. You can find Slide Add-ons in the menu of Slides.

You can learn more about finding and installing add-ons using this Google Help Page.

Here are two Google Slides add-ons connected to visual design that I love.

The Noun Project - Quickly find the icon you want, change its color & size, then insert it right into your Google Slides and Docs.

Unsplash Add-ons - Insert free, HD photos from Unsplash easily in any slides presentation.

Looking for more EdTech and Google Tips? Explore the Archive of Past Tuesday Tips.

If you have a question or idea, please share in the comments below. 

Pear Deck Adds New Critical Thinking Questions Templates

Pear Deck is an incredible resource that supports student engagement and student voice through formative assessment, exit slips, reflections, interactive questions, discussion prompts, and more. 

The Pear Deck Google Slides Add-on integrates with existing slide decks to add interactive elements that allow the students to engage with the teacher during a presentation or self paced exploration. Existing Google slides can be supercharged with interactive features and questions including:
  • Multiple choice questions
  • Text entry questions
  • Numeric entry questions
  • Drawing interactive questions
  • Draggable interactive questions

The Pear Deck Add-on also has a Slide Library of templates that can be inserted into a new or existing Google Slide Deck.

Pear Deck recently added new Critical Thinking slides to the add-on. I am incredibly excited to explore these newly updated slides in the Pear Deck Add-on. 
There are 9 new editable slide templates. We''ve created this presentation to show each of the new slides. 

If you would like to explore the interactive questions from a student perspective we’ve created this  Student Paced option for your exploration.
Additional Pear Deck Resources

Let's me know if you have any questions?

Google Drive Essentials

Whether you are just getting started with Google Drive or have used it for years, there is always something new to learn. We've put together some Google Drive Essential Tips. Click on the links below to learn more.

Get the most out of your Google Drive experience by signing into Chrome. 
  • Login
    Login to Chrome to access all Google resources with one sign in. 
  • Account Sync
    Connect preferences and extensions across devices.
  • Incognito
    Login on shared computers for quick access. 
  • Adding/Removing a User
    Sometimes it is good to have multiple accounts logged in, sometimes it can be trouble. 
Getting help is only a few clicks away.
One of the best things about Google Drive is the ability to share and collaborate on files.
Organizing your drive or searching for files? The choice is yours. 
  • Naming Files - Be Consistent and complete. Long is not wrong. 
  • Sorting - Take advantage of sorting options to find recent files. 
  • Symbols - Add Symbols to add favorite folders to the top of the sort. 
  • Emojis - Add Emojis to group essentials folders or docs. 
  • Colors - Color code folders for quick visual cues. 
  • Star - Create a group of favorites. 
  • Search - Google is a search company and drive has some powerful search tools. 
There are many different ways to collaborate in Google Drive.
Apps, Add-ons, and Extensions are just awesome ways to enhance your Drive experience.
  • Chrome Extensions
    Extensions are enhancements to the functionality of the Google Chrome browser. Some connect to Google Drive. 
  • Drive Add-ons
    Add-ons are found in the menus of Google Documents, Google Slides, Google Sheets, and Google Forms. These add-ons add additional functionality to G Suite for Education.
  • Drive Apps
    Apps for creating, accessing, and working with files stored in Google Drive. There are drive apps for editing and viewing documents, spreadsheets, presentations, pictures and more.
More Help
Bonus Quick Tips
Keyboard Shortcuts

Tuesday Tip - Shortcut Keys in Google Drive

"Nothing is a waste of time if you use the experience wisely." Rodin

Moments add up and saving a few of those moments is essential when using technology. I believe that efficiency is a skill that can always be developed. One way to be more efficient is to use shortcut keys. Google Drive supports a variety of powerful shortcut keys that can help anyone save moments that can be invested elsewhere.

Here are 5 of my favorite Google Drive Keyboard Shortcuts.
  • Open selected item ( o
  • Create new Items ( New Document: Shift + t | New Presentation: Shift + p | New Spreadsheet: Shift + s | New Drawing: Shift + d | New Folder: Shift + f | New Form: Shift + o )
  • Share selected items - Open the Sharing Menue (  .  The period key )
  • Go to details pane of selected item ( g then d )
  • Move selected items to a new folder ( z ) or add selected items to multiple folders (Shift + z ). If you are interested in exploring the difference between moving and adding files in Google Drive, this post has some additional details.
Open Google Drive and give it a try?

To display the keyboard shortcut list in Google Drive, press Ctrl + / (Chrome OS, Windows) or ⌘ + / (Mac).

My next Tuesday Tips will focus on Chrome Shortcuts. If you have a favorite keyboard shortcut to share, please add it in the comments below.

Looking for more EdTech and Google Tips? Explore the Archive of Past Tuesday Tips.

Diversity Resources for Educators

"Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!" - The Colossus (Statue of Liberty Poem)

When you think of Diversity, what comes to mind?

For me, the first thing that comes to my mind when I think of diversity is the Schoolhouse Rock Video “The Great American Melting Pot”. I remember watching this video many times on Saturday mornings. I grew up in a rural area with limited diversity and I think this video impacted my worldview at an early age.

I like this definition of Diversity from Queensborough Community College

The concept of diversity encompasses acceptance and respect. It means understanding that each individual is unique, and recognizing our individual differences. These can be along the dimensions of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs, political beliefs, or other ideologies.Source

I used to think that is was doing my best by treating everyone as an equal regardless of how they were different from me, what some educators call "being colorblind."  My mindset has changed and I’ve learned over the years that treating everyone the same is not necessarily the best path for all learners. Today, I do my best to consider how a person's differences impact how they see the world. It is confusing for me at times because I do not always have the knowledge to “walk in the shoes” of another person when my life experiences are so different, but I try to keep an open mind. Today I try to be both aware of and accepting of the differences I see and others.

I firmly believe that diversity should be recognized as a positive for all communities. A diverse community is a strong community, but I understand that there are issues and misunderstands that can result in diverse communities. People will say and do the wrong things, sometimes intentionally, sometimes by accident. I do my best to engage diversity in my classroom on a daily basis.  I believe simple awareness is the first key to making diversity a strength for our learning environment. Eyes wide open.

Here are a few resources I've organized to support diverse learners in our classrooms. If you have any suggestions or ideas please consider adding them to this Padlet or in the comments below.
Diversity YouTube Playlist

Curiosity Question - What Would You Change About Your Past?

The last Curiosity Question had some great responses.

If you had the power to change one single thing about yourself today, what would you change? Why?

This week's question following a similar path. I borrowed this question from Christine Borst's response to a #creativites question. I think this is a really tough one, but I think we all have a moment in time that we wish we would have done differently? Hindsight is always 20/20 right?

What is one thing from your past that you wish you could go back and change? Is there a moment in your life that you wish you had done differently? Why? 

Thanks Kim and Christine for the inspiration!

Please share your answer and your why in the comments below or using the Hashtag #CuriosityQs. Each Thursday, I will share a new question that I hope will inspire you to share your thoughts and maybe explore something new.

If you have a great question that I can ask, please DM me on Twitter. Full credit will be given for all questions that I share that are not my own.

Exploring Equity and the Digital Divide in Education

Fairness does not mean everyone gets the same. Fairness means everyone gets what they need.” ― Rick Riordan

I recently had the opportunity to complete an Equity Course through EdTechTeam Online. I am sharing this post to reflect on the experience and to also share some of the classroom resources we created. Hopefully, there is something here that you can use.

Course Description: Digital Equity has been a major concern for many years. In the Digital Equity course, you will build an understanding of what equity is, and how it affects the community in which we work. You will explore what changes you can make to transform your teaching to make the learning more equitable for all students.

Here are some of my takeaways from the learning experience.
  • I think it is important to remember that equity needs to be more than just providing equal access to technology. Access without helping learners understand how to best use the technology leads to unintentional inequities. 
  • We need to provide richer experiences for all students when they use technology. It is not enough to just use the technology to master content. Students need to have rich experiences connected to the 4 Cs of collaboration, communication, critical thinking, and creativity when using technology. 
  • Technology should be used to bridge gaps and make connections, not isolate students or groups. 
  • We need to not only provide access to technology, we need to provide differentiated training and resources to support deeper and more diverse learning experiences for students. 
  • Schools and districts need to also engage teachers in professional development connected to using EdTech in innovative and effective ways. Too many districts assume that teachers will figure out best practices and don’t have consistent supports in place for educators. 
Here are some of the resources we created to support equity in classrooms.

Tuesday Tip - Customize Your Google Forms

Google recently announced an update to forms.

Google says this was a top request from users, but I've always been surprised by how many users don't know about or use the "Customize Theme" menu. Most forms I've completed are the default purple. There is nothing wrong with this, but sometimes it is nice to see a theme that connects to the questions, the content or is branded for a school.

If you are curious about how to take this default purple . . . 

and quickly transform it to this? (Maybe match your school colors?)

or even this? (Connect the theme to the content? Maybe a book reflection or reading quiz?)

Then here is a quick overview of how to access and change a form's theme. 

1. Open a New Form or an Existing Form in Google Drive or in the Google Forms Home Screen. (Themes only modify the visual aspects of an existing form. It will not change the existing the existing questions or modify the order. .)

2. Click on the Color Palette Button. and a "THEME OPTIONS" sidebar will now open with all of your theme options.

3. "HEADER" allows you to choose a header for the top of the form. This will also impact the background color of the body of the form. There are quite a few choices and you can even upload your own image to use as the header.

4. "THEME COLOR" allows you to change the colors on the form. If you add a header, the "THEME COLOR" choices will change to match the header. 

5. "BACKGROUND COLOR" allows you to change the background shading of the "THEME COLOR".

6. Right now there are 4 font styles and these impact the entire form. (Right now it is not possible to just change the font on individual parts of the form. Maybe a future update?)

7. Click on the X to close the sidebar. You can open this and make changes at any time. 

The built-in G Suite Training also has a quick video that can help you learn about themes in forms. 

Looking for more EdTech and Google Tips? Explore the Archive of Past Tuesday Tips

Digital Resources to Support Science Educators and Students

"Science is fun. Science is curiosity. We all have natural curiosity. Science is a process of investigating. It's posing questions and coming up with a method. It's delving in.
Sally Ride

We are working on updating our web resources for different subject areas. This week the focus is connected to Chrome and G Suite Resources for K-12 Science teachers and students. This is the working document:

If you have suggested resources or ideas can you share them with us?

Curiosity Question of the Week - What Would You Change About Yourself?

The last Curiosity Question had some great responses.

What is your favorite movie of all time? Why?

This week's question is all about a little self-reflection.

If you had the power to change one single thing about yourself today, what would you change? Why?

Please share your answer and your why in the comments below or using the Hashtag #CuriosityQs. Each Thursday, I will share a new question that I hope will inspire you to share your thoughts and maybe explore something new.

If you have a great question that I can ask, please DM me on Twitter. Full credit will be given for all questions that I share that are not my own.

Fun Summer PD Opportunity for Educators - The Easiest Book Club, Ever!

If you know me, you know that I am always exploring new learning opportunities. I get a bit too excited when I find something unique and this PD opportunity has gotten me very excited. I love everything about it!

Rushton Hurley, Participate, and ISTE Affiliate ICE have joined forces to create a new Summer Book Study and it starts today! 

The book study is connected to Making Your Teaching Something Special: 50 Simple Ways to Become a Better Teacher (Volume 2) which follows up his first book Making Your Teaching Something Special: 50 Simple Ways to Become a Better Teacher (SomethingSpecialEDU)

Here are the details from Rushton's post.
Starting in mid-July, join colleagues who will take a few minutes each week to join the easiest book study ever. It's an opportunity to find little things that will make you better and connect with others committed to being the best teachers they can be.
Rather than being asked to read dozens or hundreds of pages, each week choose from a set of very short chapters in Making Your Teaching Something Special. Look at ways to improve rapport with students, how to approach assignments and assessments, delivery of instruction, collegiality and professionalism, and the logistics of making great learning happen for all students.
An idea or a technique will spark discussions with others, allowing you to explore that part of you that is at its best when teaching. It won't take a lot of money, or even a lot of time, but it will require taking part to see what can make you better as a teacher.
It'll be the little things that inspire you. We ask that you explore, share, improve and be inspired.
Want to get started today? Join the ICE Portal to connect with other educators and access the discussion topics each week. You can also visit this page where links to collections, discussions and more will be added each week!

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