Browse Category: Tips and Tricks

Ed Tech Access and Competency Make Virtual Learning Options Equitable

In this article from EdTech Focus on K–12, Jason Trinh, an award-winning educator from Toronto, writes how giving students the opportunity to learn online is not enough—he challenges schools to provide devices, internet access, and an understanding of how to use the technologies.

Read here as Trinh shares how

  • digital equity relies on students’ access to online learning;
  • digital equity requires students’ competence using technology; and
  • educators’ competency with technology supports digital equity.

The Magic Beneath the Surface of EdTech

Editors Note: This blog was originally published on the VSTE blog and the Teaching4Tomorrow blog and has been reposted with permission. Get alerted about the next Teaching4Tomorrow blog post.

In many pursuits in life and learning, there are easy ways that cut corners and harder, but more rewarding, avenues to get to your desired destination. The world of edtech is no different, especially with the incredible pace at which technology evolves. I passionately recommend not moving away from a technology just because there is a new one available or without fully exploring the tool. Many times, the magic of edtech tools rest beneath the surface and are only discovered after users have had adequate time to explore, fail, learn, grow, discover, make connections, and collaborate. Simply because a technology isn’t the latest one released doesn’t mean it isn’t the best or just as capable as another. Likewise, if you have not given enough time for a tool to be explored completely, you may not know what is truly possible or the effect it could have on teaching, learning, or leading.

In the Land of G Suite

One area of prominent examples of the magic beneath the surface of edtech is within G Suite. Nearly every one of the apps that make up G Suite have an incredible amount of uses that you would never discover if the tool is only examined at the surface value. The power of the tools becomes apparent when you begin to peel back the outer layers. Two great examples are Google Chrome and Google Slides.

Google Chrome is, at its surface, just an internet browser. Like Microsoft Edge, Safari, or Firefox it will connect you to the vast amount of information and resources the internet holds. It will allow you to bookmark pages and even autofill forms and passwords for you. However, the magic beneath the surface is infinitely more powerful.

The first example of this is the ability to quickly change between Chrome users. This allows one to switch between work and personal accounts in seconds, each complete with their own separate bookmarks, saved autofill information, Google Drive, and more. Kasey Bell of Shake Up Learning explains the greatness of this feature quite well.

The second example of Chrome magic is found in the power of extensions installed via the Chrome Web Store. This store holds many free extensions that save time and enhance a user’s experience with Chrome. Countless added features and benefits can be found by adding in carefully selected and managed extensions (they do take system resources so choose wisely and manage with something like Extensity). Check out these blog posts all about Chrome Extensions and the magic they add to Chrome (Post 1Periodic Table of ExtensionsFor Struggling Students).

Whether you are teaching in person, virtually, or implementing blended learning, integrating photography in the classroom is accessible and adaptable for multiple subjects and grade levels. Based on our work with educators, below are five ways to use photography to effectively nurture empathy, challenge perspectives, and foster connection in students’ lives.

If you listen to the Google Teacher Tribe Podcast with hosts Kasey Bell and Matt Miller, you’ll know that Google Slides is the “Swiss army knife of G Suite” (Episodes). Without stretching the imagination too far, there are easily 50 uses for Google Slides that are not presentations. Some of these include social media templateseBooks/storybooksreview gamesanimationchoose-your-own adventure storiesbrainstorminginteractive notebooks, and even create an “app.” Trust me when I say this is barely checking into the magic beneath the surface of Google Slides…check these out for more: Control Alt AchieveDitch That TextbookShake Up LearningTeacher Tech, and All The Things You Didn’t Know Google Slides Could Do!

The Deep End of G Suite Magic Beneath the Surface
Thinking the above just isn’t enough Google awesomeness? I agree! Check out these additional resources to take an amazing look into the deep end of G Suite magic beneath the surface:


Written by Patrick B. Hausammann. Patrick is an Instructional Technology Resource Teacher in Clarke County Public Schools and was the recipient of a VSTE Tech Coach of the Year award at the 2018 Conference in Virginia Beach. Patrick describes himself as a perpetual optimist and believer in the power of a #growthmindset to #failfoward. He is the founder of UnisonEDU; Cofounder of #EdcampNSV; and a Google Certified Innovator, Trainer, Admin, and Educator 1 and 2. He can be found online at his website and as @PHausEDU on Twitter.View a recorded session on this topic.This VSTE blog has been reposted with permission. 

Proposal Rejected

What to Do If Your Funding Proposal Is Rejected

Rejection can be hard to take, especially when you’ve poured so much time and effort into a great proposal for your school or classroom. You may not know how to proceed after putting your best efforts into a proposal that doesn’t make the cut. A rejected proposal doesn’t have to be the end of your search. Here are some tips on what to do after your proposal is rejected.

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Checklist

Are you Grant Ready?

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” — Benjamin Franklin

When it comes time to prepare a grant application—whether you are an experienced grant seeker or a newbie—the one thing you will need is documentation.

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The Importance of Community Partnerships

Community partnerships can be great opportunities for schools to not only connect students, parents, nonprofit organizations, and educators to increase funding chances, but also a measure to create advocacy for education and work towards achieving a common goal.

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The Soft Underbelly of Nonprofit Collaboration Pt. 2

Last week, we looked at the first part of Valerie F. Leonard’s blog “The Soft Underbelly of Nonprofit Collaboration.” This week, we continue with part 2. Her blog focuses on the opportunities and pitfalls of collaboration between agencies and organizations.

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The Soft Underbelly of Nonprofit Collaboration Pt. 1

Everybody is talking about how important it is for organizations to work together. Few are addressing the potential pitfalls and vulnerabilities of partnership.

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How Not To Annoy Your Funder

Grant applications are a time-consuming process for applicants, but they can be equally time consuming for funders. Just as applicants may be overwhelmed by instructions, guidelines, requests, Letters of Intent, and multiple copies of paperwork, the person reviewing applications is confronted with the same workload. We complied some items that rank high on funders’ lists of frustrations.

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