Bond with James: December 2015

Friday, December 25, 2015

Twelve Techie Gifts - Day 12: Plickers

Merry Christmas! The final day of Twelve Techie Gifts is upon us and I'm a little excited about sharing the last gift - Plickers.
Plickers is an awesome and fun way to quickly formatively assess your students. If you're familiar with the remote clickers concept, then Plickers is essentially the same thing - only without having to fork over tons of money for the actual clicker remotes and software.  

What you need to get started:

  • Go to and create a free account.
  • Download the Plickers app onto your phone or tablet device (this is important because using a QR code reader, other scanner, or your phone/tablet camera will not work).
  • Visit to select the type of student cards you want and print out them out (see image below). 
  • Use your phone or tablet as a scanner and also have Plickers open on your computer screen (if you wish to show the results LIVE to your students). 

If you utilize student interactive notebooks, then you could print out the standard cards (which come 2 cards per sheet). Plickers provides the capability to assign students a card. This prevents having to print out new cards each time. 
Or you can play anonymously and give students new cards each time; however, I recommend creating class rosters and assigning names to gather data about your students. 

Currently, the only question formats are multiple choice or True and False. You can add pictures and choose more than one correct answer. 
The only caution I would add is to avoid laminating the cards as this may interfere with the Plicker scanning app. Plickers does provide a set a special laminated cards, however, there is a cost associated with it.  You could also order cards from Amazon for a reduced fee.  However, the cards will hold up if students place them in a pocketed section in their interactive notebooks as I previously suggested. 

Take a look at Plickers in action. I hope this is something you can utilize for the New Year as you head back into the classroom refresh and revitalized.  Thanks for reading and Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Twelve Techie Gifts - Day 11: Smore

Smore is a free program that allows you to create classroom newsletters.  This is a great service, especially if you're interested in getting classroom information out to students, parents, and/or the rest of your school's community.  There are various selections you can choose from to enhance your newsletters - including pictures, videos, audio, and links.  Additionally, you can easily drag and drop the components within your newsletter to the areas you like. Smore is easy to use and a great way to showcase all the excitement and learning that occurs in your classroom on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Twelve Techie Gifts - Day 10: Google Slides

Google Slides is another tool located in the Google Drive.  You will need a Gmail account in order to access the Google Drive application. Google Slides is similar to Microsoft PowerPoint.  Since Google Slides is available through Google Drive, you are able to share your presentation with others. This is a useful feature if you would like to collaborate with other individuals - which may be great for a group of students working together on a project as they can edit and/or make comments on the presentation.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Twelve Techie Gifts - Day 9: PROJEQT

PROJEQT is another interactive presentation software. Similar to some of the other software applications  I've shared, PROJEQT allows you to work and view your presentations on multiple technological sources and screen sizes. The one thing about PROJEQT that I noticed was different from some of the other software applications was that you are able to embed real-time feeds from various social media sites, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, blogs, and more. Check out the video below.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Twelve Techie Gifts - Day 8: Canva

Do you need to create a new Facebook or Twitter cover photo? Or perhaps you need to update your blog or classroom website header but you don't know how to utilize graphic designing tools such as Photoshop. Don't worry!  Check out Canva - a graphic design software that makes the graphic designing process easier for you. Canva provides more than 1 million images and fonts in their library to help you get started.  Additionally, you can share Canva designs with other people and even give them access to edit your design (if they have a Canva account).  One thing to know is that there are items that have fees associated with them and you'll be prompted to pay for those elements during the publishing process. 

Friday, December 18, 2015

Twelve Techie Gifts - Day 7: Sway

Sway is an interactive presentation software from Microsoft.  Sway allows individuals to create and share stories, newsletters, projects, and other presentations.  Sway adapts to the type of device you are using (e.g. tablet, phone, or computer) like some of the other techie gifts that I shared. 

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Twelve Techie Gifts - Day 6: Joomag

Joomag is a digital publishing service that allows teachers or students to create interactive flip-book / magazine publications.  Joomag comes with several pre-designed templates.  The software also allows multiple versions of the publication to be created for use on various devices, such as a phone, tablet, or webpage. 

Additionally, Joomag provides the opportunity for students to earn money on their publications. Publication experience is not required as Joomag will assist you in developing a publication that suits your needs. While this might seem applicable to a journalism or newspaper class, I'm positive that Joomag could be utilized in all subject areas. 

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Twelve Techie Gifts - Day 5: Raw Shorts

Raw Shorts is another animated video generator that can help teachers or students create awesome presentations that help explain subject related content.  Individuals are able to share their videos on Facebook, YouTube, or their personal website.  The Raw Shorts media library provides thousands of icons and images to help enhance your videos.  While Raw Shorts seems to be advertised toward businesses, it still could be applicable for use in the classroom. 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Twelve Techie Gifts - Day 4: EMaze

Emaze is alternative presentation software that allows you to create presentations similar to layouts found in PowerPoint or more sophisticated 3D presentations.  Check out the sample video below...

Monday, December 14, 2015

Twelve Techie Gifts - Day 3: Piktochart

Looking for an infographic but can't seem to find one that meets your classroom needs?  Check out Piktochart - a software that will allow you to create your own infographic in a matter of minutes.   
Piktochart allows you to name your infographic, add your own data, choose themes, change backgrounds, add icons or photos, and much more.  When you're ready, you can export it to sites such as SlideShare and even share your work on various social media sites. View the video below for more information.  

Note: I am not affiliated with any of the technology companies presented in the 12 Days of Techie Tips series.  I assist the technology committee on my campus in order to find and share awesome resources with other educators so that they may have alternative resources to utilize in their classrooms. 

Friday, December 11, 2015

Twelve Techie Gifts - Day 2: Haiku Deck

Create simple, engaging slideshow presentations with Haiku Deck. This software is flexible for use on a desktop, laptop, or tablet. You can subscribe to Haiku Deck Basic for a free version; however, the software limits some of the features that may only be accessible through paid versions

Please note that SlideShare will no longer support the Haiku Deck presentation as of December 15, 2015. 

Note: I am not affiliated with any of the technology companies presented in the 12 Days of Techie Tips series.  I assist the technology committee on my campus in order to find and share awesome resources with other educators so that they may have alternative resources to utilize in their classrooms. 

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Twelve Techie Gifts - Day 1: PowToon

Looking for an alternative method to present content to your students instead of using PowerPoint or Prezi? Why not check out PowToon - a free animated video/presentation software. PowToon allows an individual to create digital stories or presentations in a non-traditional format (e.g. PowerPoint).  The software is applicable to all grade levels and could be utilized in a flipped classroom model.  The video below illustrates a PowToon in action, as well a short explanation on how you can start using the software to create your own PowToon. 

You may also visit the PowToon homepage or YouTube site for tutorial videos

**The free version allows a person to utilize the software, however, the software applications are limited.  Please review the pricing plans here.

Note: I am not affiliated with any of the technology companies presented in the 12 Techie Gifts series.  I assist the technology committee on my campus in order to find and share awesome resources with other educators so that they may have alternative resources to utilize in their classrooms.