Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Google Forms Cheat Sheet

If you have never tried Google Forms, there are a variety of different things that you can do with it, such as creating:

  • Surveys
  • Quizzes
  • Sign-Ups
  • Documentation Logs
Here is a cheat sheet that I developed for using Google Forms: 


Click here if you would like a downloadable copy. 


Monday, March 27, 2017

7 Ways to Use Google Drawings in the Classroom

Google Drawings is quickly becoming one of my favorite tools. How do you use it? How can you incorporate it into your classroom? Here are 7 ways to use Google Drawings in the classroom:



Do you have other creative ways of using Google Drawings in the classroom? I would love to hear your ideas! Please comment below.

Friday, March 24, 2017

14 Things Siri Can Do

Siri is a powerful tool that often gets overlooked; however, it has the power to help you stay organized, increase efficiency, quickly find information, and perform tasks with very little effort. Just when you learn one trick, there are new things added each day!

Here are 14 things that you can do with Siri to increase your productivity inside and outside of the classroom:



Click here to download the PDF version of the 14 Things Siri Can Do Cheat Sheet.

If you are interested in seeing the full list of Siri commands, here is an excellent article from CNET that has even more!


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Tell Your Story with Sutori

How do you tell a story? Sutori is a free tool for telling your story in a unique, engaging, and interactive way.



Here is how it works:

Step 1: Create Your Title

Create a short title to get your audience engaged and interested in your Sutori.


Step 2: Use the Story Tool

Creating your story begins with using the Story Tool. You can use the tool to add, move, or delete items. Not only can you add traditional text and multimedia components, you can also add assessment tools (i.e. multiple choice and drag and drop) and a discussion forum.



Step 3: Collaboration

Groups are a great way to collaborate with others on your story. Collaboration is free and unlimited, meaning you can add as many users as you want. The only limitation with the free version of Sutori is indeed with the number of groups you can create, limited to two per user.


Step 4: Share the Love

When you are finished with your story, add a conclusion and share with the world to see. There are a variety of different ways to share your Sutori with the world.


Conclusion:

Sutori is an excellent tool for creating engaging and interactive stories that will solidify learning. Need more information on how to use Sutori? Check out Sutori's How to Create a Story guide.

Need help being inspired? It may be helpful to explore what users have created.





Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Encouragement: The Breath of Our Soul

I recently met Karen on my leadership journey to interview 50 leaders in one year. She is one of the most positive and encouraging people that I have ever met. Whether it is thanking a veteran for their service or offering a kind word to a stranger, she makes it a point to encourage others on a daily basis. In fact, she regularly distributes pre-printed cards with encouraging quotes to others on a regular basis.

I was intrigued when she handed me a business card containing the word "encourager" as her title. In a world full of negativity, her job title stood out to me like an oasis in the desert.  Her journey to encouragement began fifty years earlier, when a kind-hearted little girl offered Karen the most valuable commodity - friendship and encouragement.

What is Encouragement? 

To encourage means to notice, find value, appreciate, and care for the needs of others. Leaders must encourage others to inspire greatness because encouragement is like breathe to our soul. In our fast-paced and ultra-competitive world can forget to see the needs of other people. We can intentionally or unintentionally alienate colleagues, annihilate the competition, and dehumanize others to meet the bottom line. Is our need to get ahead distracting us from encouraging others?

One Small Action

Encouraging others may be uncomfortable, unnatural, or overwhelming; however, it can be as simple as a kind gesture or action. I recently came across a great illustration in a video of a teacher who encouraged a student to finish a race. The student, named Matt, has significant physical challenges which make running tough; however, he wanted to run a 400-meter race (or one lap around the track).  At one point in the race, Matt was overcome with fatigue and discouragement, but his teacher quickly reacted and inspired an entire school.


Conclusion

The number one job of a leader is to encourage others to reach the impossible. Great leaders and organizations inspire greatness in others. Encouragement is the currency used to achieve the impossible.

One action, one kind word, one note, one smile, or one text can breathe encouragement and inspiration into another person's life. When was the last time you encouraged another person? When was the last time that you offered a kind word, note, or email?  Take a moment to encourage another person today. You never know how powerful your words or actions will be.


NOTE:

Encouraging others is something that I need to work on. In order to challenge myself, I decided to take a page out of Karen's book and created personalized postcards from Vistaprint. I am using the cards as a tool to inspire and encourage others.








Monday, March 13, 2017

NEW! Quizlet Learn Adapts to Your Student's Needs

How do you typically prepare your students to take a quiz? Do you help them create a study plan? Does your approach customize and adapt to your student's individual needs? Quizlet launched a new tool called Quizlet Learn, which does exactly that.

How Does it Work? 

Tell Quizlet what materials you need to master and when you need to learn them by. Quizlet Learn develops an individual study plan that adapts to your needs.

The program identifies patterns and makes adjustments to increase or decrease difficulty while you are studying. Quizlet Learn provides you with up-to-date information on your progress to keep you focused and motivated. Quizlet Learn is currently available on iOS, but an Android version will be coming soon.

Conclusion:

Quizlet Learn is an excellent tool to increase student engagement and motivation. Students have the ability to set due dates and measure their progress to see how close they are to reaching their goal. Quizlet customizes review materials to provide the appropriate rigor and relevance to challenge students to learn material more effectively.

Want to learn more? Check out this brief video:





Sunday, March 12, 2017

Good?


The word good can take on many different connotations. It can provoke a sense a feeling of peace and generate positive emotions. When life is good, we feel good. The word good can rise the cynic within us. We scroll through social media posts and grow cynical by the good life our friends and family have.

The truth is that life is good, but it can be hard to see in the midst of adversity, challenge, and heartache. When our world is falling apart, it can be difficult to see anything good. Seeing the good in any situation is essential to growing as a leader. Whether you are leading students, teachers, soldiers, or a sales staff, there will be times that you have to find the good in a situation. The people who rely on you are counting on you. If you are trapped within a world of darkness, how can you lead others to the light?

Good:

A few months ago, a colleague recommended that I view the following clip by former Navy Seal, Jocko Willink. In the video, Jocko talks about his philosophy in dealing with adverse situations. Although I am not as intense as Jocko, it was a great reminder that I have to learn how to see the good in life. Cynical and negative leaders tend to have a short shelf life.




I challenge you to say the word "good" when things are falling apart. I challenge you to see the "good" when things appear bad. There is a great saying in scripture that says "what you meant for evil, God meant for good."

Where can you begin? Where can you start small?

Things didn't go your way? Good...a chance to find another way.

Struggling with others? Good...a chance to grow stronger and more meaningful relationships.

Fell on your face once again? Good....a chance to redeem yourself.

It is not easy, but the people in your life are counting on you to master this. We must master ourselves before we can master our piece of the world. What is your struggle?

How can you learn to own it, appreciate it, and see the good?