Tech Happy Teacher

Google Research Tool

Google Research tools allows you to search for resources, images, quotes, and scholarly articles. It's a very cool tool. It's not something we had access to growing up, but it is definitely helpful. Here's how it works. 
  1. In Google Doc, Google Slides, or Google Drawings, click on "Tools" then "Research". You could also highlight a work or phrase and right click to choose "Research". 
  2. This will open a Google search area in the right sidebar of your document.
  3. Optional – Click the drop down arrow to view other options or to search "Everything"
  4. Click through the arrow to return to the search results.
  5. Use the pull-down arrow to narrow the search results.

Citing Sources is easy as buttons under each tool will show "Insert" or "Cite" buttons and automatically include footnotes for the resources you use. Watch the video for more info!

Google Extensions to Try

Extensions are small software programs that modify and enhance the functionality of the Chrome browser. You can easily add extensions to your Chrome web browser to customize your experience. Extensions can
be a shortcut and time saver, making your time online more efficient. Watch here:

The Video Notes extension lets you watch your video on one screen, take notes on the right side. All the notes you type are automatically synchronized with the video, so you can later just click on a line for the video to jump to the relevant part. It integrates with Google Drive so you can access your notes from anywhere, and  they are easy to share. You can manage your permissions, share with others, and make your notes private at any time. With the extension open, you can paste the URL on the left, and with note syncing turned on, you can pose a question for students at any given time. It's great tool for a flipped classroom assignment and/or sharing notes.


Turn of the Lights  is very easy to use. With just one click on the lamp icon in the address bar, the entire page around the video will fade to dark, bringing one's attention on the video. Click again on the lamp icon or click on the black screen, and the page will return to normal. This is great for watching videos to avoid getting distracted. It’s put little black

Readability also a great extension that declutters web pages or articles for a better reading experience. If you have an article that has a great deal of distracting clutter, you can click the button and it will make the article more readable for you. I have a CNN article here

Another one I use a lot is Print Friendly & PDF. It will make any page print friendly. So, if a page you are printing has lots of graphics or advertisements, it will delete all of that and just look for text. If you are trying to reduce your printing to one page, you can eliminate portions that you don’t need so it will all fit. It will print to your printer, print to PDF or email your text where you tell it to go. It’s also very useful. I use it quite a bit

Another great extension that I use a lot, and you may want your students to use, is Google Docs Quick Create. It adds a simple menu to your browser bar to quickly create new Documents, Spreadsheets, Presentations, Forms, and Drawings for Google Drive. Very simple, but very handy.

I also use the Add on Called “SPLIT at Selected Tab”. I love this and I think students will too. If you have at least two tabs in the selected Chrome window, it will split that window into two smaller side-by-side windows. All the tabs on the left side of the selected tab will stay in the left window, and the rest will move to the window on the right. This is great for students if you have instructions on one tab and they are completing an assignment in a Google App. They view both the assignment and their work simultaneously, hopefully with fewer distractions! Teachers can also have Flubaroo or Google Classroom grades open on one tab and a gr I used this when I was studying for the Google Educator exam and found it very useful!

Save to Google Keep is also an extension I like for myself and my students. It will “Keep” lists and notes on my phone and other devices, it’s one place for everything. You can easily save and sync your items across all of the platforms that you use — including web, Android, iOS. Web pages,  images, quotes, lists, assignments.  Students can keep assignments, media such as photos and links for projects and reminders.
Once in the app, you can take add detail and labels to quickly categorize your note for later retrieval.

So these are some extensions that I enjoy using. They really save time online and they are really accessible on your chrome browser. Thanks for watching this video and look for more like it on my channel.

Google Classroom Tutorial

Google Classroom. It’s a free web-based platform that integrates your Google Apps for Education account with all your Google Apps like Google Docs, Sheets,, and Google Calendar. Google Classroom makes it easy to create classes, distribute assignments, communicate, and stay organized - without pen/paper. It makes it easy to provide direct, real-time feedback and grades right in application.

If you’re new to Google classroom, you can go to the site, Make sure you are signed in with your Google for Education credentials. You’ll see your login information. And  you’ll want to click login as a teacher. You can instruct your students to come start here as well and sign in with their school credentials and choose students.

Google Cast for Education

With Google Cast, students or users can share their screen to a teacher or presenter eliminating the need for sharing files, emails, flash drives etc. Google Cast for Education allows the teacher station to receive students screens that are cast to his/her screen for presentation. So the teacher screen is the host, and invited students can cast to his/her screen. Google Cast - is for student use. Students download this extension and can share their screen when it’s ready.

Atari Breakout and Other Google Easter Eggs

Every once in awhile, we need a break from the computer. At least I know I do. Did you know you could play Atari Breakout on Google Image search? Super cool Google tool. Here's how: Just do an image search for "Atari Breakout" (or just click the hyperlink). A few more are listed below,  too. 

Green Screen with WeVideo

In this tutorial, I demonstrate adding green screen to a wevideo. If you have a google account, you can login with your Google credentials. Wevideo is very similar to Windows Moviemaker and other video editing software.


Kids Beg for this Interactive Game!

My students beg me to play the Interactive Game, Quizizz. It's a fun, interactive quiz game. You can search for quizzes or create your own. Kids love the memes that come up while they play and they love to compete with one another. The scored are tallied for me, so I'm all for it, too. It's a neat way to finish up a lesson or unit. 

Make a Copy of Google Docs, Slides, Sheets, Drawings

Making Copies for students 
If you create a document and share it with students, you don't want to have to also instruct your students to go to file>make a copy as there will invariably be students who will start typing on the document like it's their own.  You prevent this when you create an assignment in Google Classroom. Students simply open the document you've posted and it automatically creates the file in the student folder and drive.

If you are not using Google Classroom, there is another way. You can grab the link of the doc, sheet, slide or drawing--the one you see when you are editing. The link will have the the word "edit" at the end.  If you replace the word EDIT with the word COPY, the user will automatically be prompted to make a copy of the file. Once they click the "Make a Copy," button, it will make a copy of the file and add it to their Google Drive. 

Google Forms

Google Forms is new and different, but the functions are still the same. Many teachers are using Google Forms in the classroom. These are just  few ways!

1. Parent/Teacher Night - Collect parent information like emails, phone numbers and contact info. The collected data can be used to create a parent email list.

2. Gather Student Information - Every year I have students complete a student info sheet titled, "In a Million Words or Less” Google Form. It will be helpful to have this typed up in one place, and you’ll get to know your students better.

3. Create a Web quest - Insert short videos and short answer options. Students watch, learn, and respond.

4. Collect an Assignment - Create a Google Form that asks students for the link to their project. Students create a "sharable link" in Google application (docs, slide, sheets) and submit the form. Assignments are collected in one place with a convenient time stamp and easy paperless access to each student's assignment.

5. Homework/Field Trip Tracker - Create a list of students at the beginning of the year and check off the form to keep a list of students who have turned in assignments or documents such as field trip forms, money collected, or other data. Use a device to walk around and check off student completion.

6. Exit Tickets - have students complete a quick exit ticket at the end of the class period to get a quick assessment of what they have learned and what they may need for more information.

7. Pre Assessment - provide students with questions to determine their prior knowledge on the topic.

8. KWL Form -  Similar to the pre-assessment form, you could also complete a KWL form. This would also work with training or workshops to determine a baseline of where to begin instruction.

9. Book Review - Have students complete a mini-book report on a library book they've read independently or as a class.

10. Pop Quiz - Create a Google Form quiz for comprehension or unannounced quiz. With all the answers in one place, you’ll be able to see trends—what don’t they understand? What topics do you need to reteach?

11. Survey Says! - Create a Survey for students - favorite character, career of choice,  methods of learning, for comprehension. The responses are great for generating classroom discussions!

12. Reflection - Give Students a Chance to Reflect Use Google Forms as a reflection tool for your students to think back on their learning.

13. Teacher Conferences - Have parents sign up for a parent or students set up a conference. Click here for a sample.

Once you’ve created your Google Form, create a QR code so it’s easily accessible to your students.

How to Use Wordle

The Wordle website defines wordle as a “toy for generating word clouds”.

1. Go to /Click on Create
2. You can type or paste a collection of words in the text box and Click Go
3. Click on Save (save to public gallery and copy link OR take a screenshot)

Once your wordle has been created, you can Change the font (letter style), layout (horizontal, vertical, etc.), and color to suit your style. (You can click randomize until you like it, or design manually)

Using the Google Add-On Doc to Form

You can take a Google Document (or uploaded Word File) and turn it into a Google Form for distribution.

Capture the moment

Stitch together an unlimited number of clips as you build your story.

Edit on the go

Easily trim and rearrange clips right from your phone, and add a soundtrack from your music collection or Capture’s audio library.

Share your movie

Quickly upload your video to YouTube and in one step, simultaneously post to all of your social networks.


Sock Puppets App

The “Sock Puppets” IOS app allows users to quickly and easily create a variety of puppet shows. That can be uploaded to YouTube with a click of the button. In combination with a green screen app like Doink, there are a myriad of classroom uses!

Classroom Uses: Students/teachers can create puppet shows to:

  • Explain a science concept.
  • Retell a story.
  • Tell about an event from history.
  • Share information about a famous person.
  • Model appropriate social behavior or public service announcements
The app is Free for up to 30 seconds of recording. I’m demonstrating the paid app with includes more recording time and additional puppets and backgrounds.

Using Sock Puppets:

  1. Click the “New” button to begin a new puppet show.
  2. Follow the on-screen prompts to choose the desired puppets, backgrounds, and props.
  3. Use the buttons at the top to start and stop the recording, to save and share, and to navigate the app:
  4. To record a show:
    a. Click the red circle.
    b. Hold your finger on a puppet, talk, and move the puppet around.
    c. Repeat, touching each puppet as you want it to “speak.”
    d. Click the “square” button to stop the recording.
  5. When you’re done recording, you can:
    a. Click the “Share” button to upload it to YouTube.
    b. Click the “Save” button for replay on the iPad. Chroma Key Plugin for Green Screen Photos is a Free, easy-to-use photo editor with support for layers. If offers a wide variety of tools.

In order to get the free green screen effect on photos using the software you must download and install the Chroma Key plug in that goes with it. Once you have downloaded the program, then download the plug in. You must also place the plugin file into the effects folder of the program. Instructions for downloading and installing are at the end of this page. 

Download and Installation Instructions:

1. The software can be downloaded at . Just download the software and open it from your “downloads folder” or desktop. Download and install the program then download and install the plugin.

2. The Chroma Key plugin can be downloaded from a variety of sites. . The downloaded file will be what’s called a .dll file. This is one web address for the program: 

3. The chroma key file is a zip folder that will need to be unzipped with an unzip program. You probably already have one installed. Just right click and choose "Extract to ChromaKeyPlugin" . Once it’s unzipped, it will include a single file titled, named “ChromaKeyPlugin.dll”.  A final installation step is to move that .dll folder into your program file.

4. Locate the program files for and copy and paste the downloaded ChromaKeyPlugin.dll  file into the effects folder.  It may seem complicated, but it really only takes a few minutes and you’re good to go.

Reflector is an AirPlay receiver

Reflector is an AirPlay receiver that allows you to wirelessly display your iPad or iPhone on a number of devices. It’s available for Mac, PC and most Android devices.  There are no wires or complicated setups. Just download the app to your computer and you'll see the airplay option on your device. You must have an Ipad 2 or greater or Iphone 4s or greater for the desktop app to work.
You can record your screen and and add voice for tutorials, demonstrate an educational app, or have students display and present their work. There are many classroom uses.

It's a simple in that runs in the background of your computer. Once you click on the downloaded icon, the app becomes active and you can find the Airplay option on your device. For the Ipad, just swipe from the bottom up and you'll notice the airplay option. You can see my computer Amelia-PC. That's what I am mirroring.

 I can just scroll around so you can see what it does. Here are my apps, my campus website. Anything you want to mirror for your students

If I was hooked up to a laptop and using the same network connection in my classroom, students would be able to see the ipad screen. It's a nice feature that is currently available for a one-time fee of only $14.99.  Sometimes it is on sale. Today it is available for 20% so take a look at I hope you find it useful for your classroom uses.