Monday, January 1, 2018

My Top 10 "Go To" Techs of 2017


Google, Google, Google! From Google Docs, Slides, to Google Classroom and Google Photos I simply can't get enough of Google.  Google is the ultimate tool for collaboration.  Two of my favorite bloggers that keep me up to date on all things Google are Alice Keeler and Kasey Bell.



I learned about Unsplash in 2017 from Librarian at Lowndes County Public Schools, Holly Ballard O'Neal.  Unsplash gives you access to over 300,000 copyright free high-resolution photos.  Chances are if you see a great image on something I am presenting it most likely came from Unsplash!


Buffer is the ultimate social media tool.  Basically Buffer allows you to compose social media messages, choose which social media sites (Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Linkedin) to send the message out through, and schedule what day and time the messages are to be sent.  Buffer saves me so much time and makes me look like a social media guru!


Remind is a K-12 communication platform that helps educators reach students and parents where they are.  This year I am part of a six day Specials color rotation.  I have a difficult time keeping track of what color day it is so I can only image the difficulty parents must have, especially if they have more than one child at the school.  I use Remind mainly to help remind parents of what color day it will be so that they can remember to get library books packed away in their child's backpack.


Smore makes it easy to design beautiful and effective online flyers and newsletters that can be seamlessly shared via social media, via a link, or embedded on a webpage/site.  What I love the most about using Smore is that, similar to Google, when I inevitably discover a spelling error AFTER I have sent out the Smore there is no need to worry. I can make any changes to the Smore and the changes take place universally.  No need to send out an email telling people to ignore the previously sent newsletter! YAY!

This year I began making our school morning announcements via video.  When I first started I used iMovie but knowing that I would be transitioning production responsibilities to students I began my search for a collaborative video production tool.  Thanks to my awesome PLN (Professional Learning Network) I quickly found WeVideo and am now ready to start working on collaborative video productions! WeVideo is fantastic for so many reasons! I would never go back to using iMovie now that I've discovered WeVideo.


Canva makes me look like a genius graphic designer. Whether I need to design a presentation slide, poster, infographic, resume, etc, I can always count on Canva to help me know the right sizes, fonts, colors, placement and more!

Clipping Magic

Have you ever been looking for the perfect graphic but couldn't use it because you needed a transparent background and couldn't quite figure out how to get rid of the background? is a website dedicated to helping you remove image backgrounds as quickly and painlessly as possible.  

Do Ink Green Screen app has been invaluable to me as we produce our video morning announcements.  I simply couldn't do this task without this easy to use green screen app.  "Green Screen by Do Ink makes it easy to create incredible green screen videos and images right on your iPad or iPhone. The app lets you combine photos and videos from the camera roll with live images from your iPad or iPhone's camera."


FlipGrid is one of the most amazing tech tools I have used to empower and amplify student voice.  There are a million different ways that you can use FlipGrid. I have used it this year for students to submit Book Reviews and Quote of the Day submissions to be included in our morning show.  The thing I love most about FlipGrid is just how easy it is for anyone to use.  As long as students have an Internet connected device they can contribute.  I love seeing so many students and their parents contributing.  FlipGrid is also a great way to get the conversation about digital citizenship started in a a way that is real and relevant to students.  Below is a FlipGrid submission a student made with her mom!


EasyPrompter is a free, easy to use teleprompter that I use all the time while filming for our morning news program.  It works in a similar manner as the teleprompters news anchors use. I have my kids create their news scripts in a Google Doc and then copy and past into EasyPrompter.  I also love that you can highlight and change the color of different parts of the script so that students know which parts are theirs to say.  This tech is a definite must have for anyone making video productions with students.