Tools to Make Learning Easier – Google Classroom

With a computer in every classroom and access to one for every student at school and at home, Google Classroom provides a way for teachers and students to stay on the same page, encouraging learning and effective teacher-student communication. The video illustrates just how simple and helpful Classroom is for a student, from receiving the email to join the classroom to viewing assignments and due dates to emailing teachers and classmates with questions.

*For safety and legitimacy reasons, there is no way for a student or someone outside of a school or official organization to make a “classroom” (thus, this video focuses mainly on how Classroom looks to a student).

Google Chrome App: Socrative, Written by Conrad Tulig, uploaded on wrong account…

Socrative is an app in the Chrome store which allows teachers to easily make and set up online practice quizzes. It has four modes the teacher can set up on the go: starting a quiz, asking a quick question or poll, a space race style quiz, and a ticket to leave mini quiz. Students can easily connect to this classroom by simply typing in their teacher’s unique room code, no need for hundreds of accounts for all the students. My favorite part of this app though, is the ability for a teacher to see an overview chart of what each student answered for every question, and the ability to click on the question to see what percentage of students chose each answer. This is the perfect way for teachers to quickly find out what topics students are struggling in and nailing down, allowing them to save time for both themselves and the students by effectively ironing out the common mistakes and skipping the well-known questions. Also Socrative live results also lets the teacher see if all the students have finished their current question so they can move at a steady pace to the next question without constantly asking if everyone is done. Socrative is also compatible with a large variety of computers, tablets, and smartphones, allowing for students to quickly and easily connect to the app right from their desk. All in all, Socrative is a quick, easy to use practice quizzing program that can help teachers quickly analyze their students strengths and weaknesses, so they can prioritize their teaching.

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Socrative home page displaying the four quizzing options.Screen Shot 2015-12-22 at 11.26.38 AM

Overlay table results of a quiz. You can then click on specific questions to get a better view on the percent of students who answered each answer.Screen Shot 2015-12-22 at 11.20.50 AM

Percentage what students who answered each response.

Snagit Logo

Techsmith Snagit: Easy Screenshots in Chrome

Let’s face it, using a computer can be hard, and it can be even harder to explain how to do something on the computer. Techsmith Snagit for Chrome is a free-to-use tool that makes it easy to take and annotate screenshots of webpages. It’s easy to install from the Chrome Web Store. Once it’s installed, it’s easy to use. Just click on the S icon, then choose the type of screenshot. You can drag and select a section of the page, take a picture of the entire page, or even use the Scrolling mode, which will capture the entire webpage, even if it doesn’t fit on a single screen. Once a picture is taken, you can name it and use the easy tools to draw annotations. Once saved, the files are placed in the Techsmith folder in Google Drive. You can alternatively download the snapshot directly or copy a link to it for easy incorporation in a website. In the example below, I take a picture of the AHS website and highlight the link to iParent. To view any of these images in more detail, click on the thumbnail to see the full-size version.

Opening the Snagit menu
Opening the Snagit menu
The editor after taking the screenshot
The editor after taking the screenshot
Annotating the screenshot
Annotating the screenshot
The final, annotated screenshot
The final, annotated screenshot

For more information about Snagit for Chrome, please visit the Techsmith website at

Chrome App: Chalkup

Chalkup is a learning platform that makes it easier for teachers to connect with their students. The app offers an an abundant amount of shortcuts for grading and assigning work as well as easy access to communication outside of school.

One of the features of Chalkup is the ability for students to turn in their assignments through the app. The most popular app used for writing essays and reports is Google Drive. Chalkup makes it easy for teachers and students to to share their assignments from Google Drive to Chalkup. No need to download or copy and paste anything. And because every student and teacher at Ashland High School is given a Google Account, they can use that account to sign into Chalkup.

Screen Shot 2015-12-21 at 9.06.07 AMAfter a student submits an assignment, the teacher can then grade it right there and then of the same website. All they have to do is click on the submitted work and in an instant they are able to highlight, comment, edit and offer feedback of their student’s work.

Not only does this app let teachers view their student’s work, but they can also create a personalized rubric for any assignment. So when they’re done reading their class’s work, they have a rubric right there to grade it.

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Chalkup also offers other features that help keep students up to date and organized with their school work. For those who prefer visual aids for studying. this app lets students create as many flashcards as they want and organize them by topic. One of the most useful tools for students is the LookAhead feature. With this, students can add a new assignment to the checklist, give the due date and give themselves an estimate of how long they believe each assignment will take. This makes it easier for students to organize the their school work and manage their time.Screen Shot 2015-12-21 at 9.39.02 AM

There is also a feature almost like a group chat where students and teachers can share links to helpful websites and videos for studying or learning.





Overall the app Chalkup is rewarding for both students and teachers.

Chalkup and Google Drive:

Grading and Creating Rubrics: 

Collaboration and Communication:  

Using Quizlet to have a better class experience.

Quizlet is a great thing for teachers to electronically give out vocabulary homework and use it as a good study guide. Teachers can save so much time and money by doing these homework assignments electronically. The app is very well designed and put together. The organization works well and is not complicated to find and get to the things you want. Kids always have struggles with studying for quizzes and test and quizlet makes it so you can’t cheat or lazy out and stop half way. it can also speak to you so you don’t always have to read the words and information. It can do different languages so if you can’t understand a language well it can help you learn it or understand it better. It can also help you study in a foreign language class.

This is good for juniors to prepare for the SAT test
This is good for juniors to prepare for the SAT test

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High School and even Middle school kids can easily access and learn how to use quizlet and it is a really good way to study and really learn the content.

Chrome Web Apps

The Google Chrome Web Store is full of many tools to help teachers teach their subjects and students understand their classes. One of the many tools on the chrome web store that can vastly enhance the student and teachers experience in the classroom is HUMAN 3.0. HUMAN 3.0 allows teachers and students alike to view the human body under different situations. The tool can also let the user search for and see certain parts of the human body under different situations. This tool allows students to view the human body doing things in a way that would be impossible with out the use of chrome. Another tool offered on chrome for free is GeoGebra. GeoGebra allows the user to graph in and explore other geometry ideas in a 2d or 3d plane. GeoGebra now lets a teacher graph clearly and in way that can help the student understand.

For more information on GeoGebra  Follow the link below

For more information on HUMAN 3.0 follow the link below

Citation add-ons in Chrome: Paperpile and Easybib

Paperpile is a free, easy to use, add-on in Google Chrome (especially in Drive and Docs). Basically, it is a citation device that allows users to research topics in a side bar and then easily make customized citations and annotations. While Paperpile is a highly professional tool and used by researchers and university students alike, it is simple enough and useful enough for high school and possibly younger children to utilize. It could also be useful for teachers working toward degrees (such as a Master’s).

Paper Pile Academic User Stats
Paperpile Academic User Stats, released by Paperpile.

For instance, when Paperpile is added into Chrome, should you need help navigating and using it, it provides a simple guide to help you get started, as well as many other resources.

Paperpile Quick Start Guide
Paperpile Quick Start Guide and beginning instructions in the research bar, screenshot

The simplicity and availability of Paperpiles would be useful both for students prone to forgetting to record their citations until the end of the paper to quickly research and save their citations in just a couple of clicks, staying in the document the whole time. Usually, myself included, students must go through the time-consuming process of researching something (in a book, a website, etc.) and then going to an external website to cite sources. While websites like or make citing sources much easier, it is annoying to have to leave the document and spend valuable time inputting sources. This is why many students forgo this process while writing, only to have to laboriously re-research their sources at the end. Students and teachers can save time by using Paperpiles or even the easybib add-on. Here is what the Easybib add-on bar looks like to the right of a document:

Easybib bar, screenshot
Easybib bar, screenshot

In addition, multiple add-ons can be acquired without cluttering the document. For instance, the bar on the right can be closed when not in use, ready to be accessed with just one click.

Ready to use add-ons
Ready to use add-ons, screenshot

These in-document citation add-ons are user-friendly and efficient, and can be easily downloaded free of charge right into the document. 1,399,188 people are using the easybib add-on at the time of publication, and there are 13,572 users of Paperpile. Both teachers and students could benefit from these Google Chrome add-ons.

Using Versal to Make Class More Interesting

Versal is an app on the Chrome App Store that allows a teacher to create an interactive course easily accessible by students.

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Versal has an easy to use sidebar as seen above. Using this, a teacher can create individual courses and sections within those courses. It is easy to add text as well. A lesson can be written plainly or it can be made interactive. There are ‘gadgets’ used to add any amount of things to a lesson.Screen Shot 2015-12-16 at 9.28.38 AM

By simple click and drag, a timeline can be added, a map can be added, or you can add a quiz.

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Things such as quizzes are easily customizable from a small menu on the left. A single button adds a question or another choice of an answer, and you can type anything you need into the questions or answers. Other gadgets are interactive for the learner and just as easy to use. Along with built in gadgets, more gadgets can be added using the ‘gadget market’ button on the top of the page.

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Using the gadget market, you can find gadgets made by teachers just like yourself. These range from geography, to math, and to music. You can pick any you want to use by searching for topics and insert them into your lesson with ease. These downloaded gadgets can be edited just as easily. With Versal, you can make a course from scratch with help from built in gadgets, or you can use other people’s gadgets to start off your lesson and build your course from there.

Students in your class can view your course using the Versal app as well. This allows you to create your course and let all your students do any activities and readings in it independently.