Tech Tuesday

Finds and Thoughts about Tech Integration

Editing Roles in Google Docs


OK… your students are using Google Docs, but are they harnessing the power of peer editing/collaboration?

Even with pencil and paper, asking students to give constructive feedback and edits to a peer’s work is challenging and even overwhelming for students. Some focus only on spelling while others only want to say “Good job!”

I watched a SimpleK12 presentation, “Facilitate a Writing Workshop Using Google Docs” by Susan Oxnevad, today and a real take away that I wanted to share is the jobs that she assigns for editing. I’m sure they are not something that you haven’t seen before in other subject areas or with paper/pencil tasks; however, sometimes when we go digital we forget about or do away with the great approaches that we used when we were non-digital.

Essentially, Oxnevad suggests putting students into groups. The students share (via Google) his/her Doc with each other within that group, and then the teacher assigns each student an editing role for that particular group. Next the training happens. The teacher does a mini-lesson with students of the same role so they understand how to do their respective jobs. Finally, students complete the assigned role for his/her shared group, using the tools of Google (commenting, suggesting, Research Tool). Of course over time with different assignments, roles change and new students are trained again and again. Perhaps, even new groups could be formed at this point.

This system just seemed so logical and practical to me about how to get students editing and collaborating with one another in Google.

Go here to see Oxnevad’s suggested list of jobs and responsibilities. I’m hoping this may help a teacher take the next step in having students share Docs with peers in the role of editors/collaborators!

Recommended Read: 7 Lesser-known Google Ideas for the Classroom


Yesterday, I read a jam packed post from SimpleK12 about using Google with students. I am passing along the link to that post in my blog today as I think it’s a goody that should not be missed!

Go here to see the 7 Lesser-known Google Ideas for the Classroom by Kimber Thompson. There are some great, short videos for the various ideas to check out, too, if you don’t want to get bogged down with reading! Busy, busy, time of year for all of us!

Let me know if you see anything that you’d like to try.

Summer PD


Looking for some free summer PD to help you make progress with student and professional practice goals?

Here are a few places that may help:

SimpleK12 Educational Webinars

(Don’t forget that Westford has accounts if something is not FREE, and you can make an individual professional development plan to earn PDPs from the District!)

Verizon Mobile Learning Academy Course Webinars

Education Week Webinars


Inspire: Virtual Community of Practice Course

(For Westford educators through the “University of Westford”)

EdTechTeacher Webinars

(Subscribe to find out when they will become available!)

Happy Summer!

Digital Lesson Creator


Recently, someone shared Blendspace with me.

If you want to create stations, differentiate instruction and/or preview, enhance or review topics with students, you’ll want to check out this quick demo of this service:

Using Google Classroom? Blendspace lessons may be a perfect match for organizing links and online content for access via a Classroom Assignment. It also will work on Chromebooks. (Win-win for us!)

I know it’s the end of the school year, but that often is the time when teachers will look for new ideas. Perhaps, you will have the leisure of putting together new lessons or approaches during the summer? Just something to think about and play around with (if you choose) during your time off!

Digital Storytelling with Toontastic


I had such a great time today with two third grade classes that I’m going to make this a “Two for Tuesday” with a second post!

I did some interactive “writing” with students where I modeled choosing a prompt and then how to tell my story using the app Toontastic. This easy to use app took us through the elements of a story, guiding us to choose backgrounds and characters. We even could add mood music! I brainstormed with students as I constructed my story and then made choices. I even asked students to get into character and help me with the animation and voices. What an engaging way to “write” a story as a class. They loved it, and are highly motivated to try out this app at a literacy center for writing their own stories or retelling stories that they have read.

The prompt that I chose today is holiday inspired… please enjoy the two different versions below! And of course, this app has so many backgrounds and characters, plus the option of creating your own, that the possibilities for topics are endless in your digital storytelling. Any subject will work, too. I envision seeing these embedded on blogs for sharing with an audience… How can you use it?

Please double click on the boxes for the videos to begin.

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