10 Cool Techy Things to Try in the Classroom (2018)

A few cool things to try:


Create Virtual Reality Tours


From the Google Blog:

[I]ntroducing Tour Creator, which enables students, teachers, and anyone with a story to tell, to make a VR tour using imagery from Google Street View or their own 360 photos. The tool is designed to let you produce professional-level VR content without a steep learning curve.

Once you’ve created your tour, you can publish it to Poly, Google’s library of 3D content. From Poly, it’s  easy to view. All you need to do is open the link in your browser or view in Google Cardboard. You can also embed it on your school’s website for more people to enjoy. Plus, later this year, we’ll add the ability to import these tours into the Expeditions application.

Automatically Award Certificates with Google Forms & Certify’Em


From the Chrome Webstore:

Certify’em lets you harness the power of Google Forms by turning them into online, certification exams. With easy to use controls and minimal setup, you can now send customizable PDF certificates to anyone who passes your online exam!

Certify’em comes with several professionally designed certificate templates, and allows you to specify your own as well (created in Google Slides). Everyone who passes your exam will receive their own personalized copy as a PDF email attachment with a unique serial number. And you’ll be able to keep track of who has passed, and who hasn’t, using the spreadsheet of records that Certify’em automatically creates and maintains!

Insert Voice Message Feedback in Google Docs with Kaizena


From Kaizena.com:

Review up to 75% faster than typing with Voice Comments. Embed explainer videos in three clicks. Track Skills and we’ll auto-complete your rubric. Welcome to the future of feedback.

Save any YouTube video or website as a Lesson in Kaizena, then quickly add it to your comment when reviewing. Or save your own voice or text comments as Lessons.

Take Students on Both VR and AR Expeditions


Google Expeditions is an immersive education app that allows teachers and students to explore the world through over 800 virtual-reality (VR) and 100 augmented-reality (AR) tours. You can swim with sharks, visit outer space, turn the classroom into a museum, and more without leaving the classroom.

VR tours
Teachers and students use mobile devices and VR viewers to virtually explore an art gallery or museum, swim underwater, or navigate outer space, without leaving the classroom.

AR tours
Teachers use mobile devices to bring virtual objects into their classroom so students, using mobile phones, can see and virtually walk around 3D objects as if the objects were physically in the classroom.

Amplify Student Learning Using Video (FlipGrid)


From Flipgrid.com:

Flipgrid is where your students go to share ideas and learn together. It’s where students amplify and feel amplified. It’s video the way students use video. Short. Authentic. And fun! That’s why it’s the leading video discussion platform used by tens of millions of PreK to PhD educators, students, and families in 150 countries.

It’s super easy! Create a Grid – that’s your classroom or community. Add a Topic or two to spark the discussion. Your students share short video responses to ignite a dialogue. Super simple. Super powerful.

Flipgrid is now free! (Thanks Microsoft!)

Build a Topic-Based Tour With Google Tour Builder


From Google Earth Outreach:

Google Tour Builder is a web-based storytelling tool which lets you easily create and explore sto

ries and places around the world. Based on the Google Earth plugin, you can create a tour of any subject of your choosing, zooming in to show the places where events took place, and easily integrating the story’s text, photos and videos. Your tour will fly users from one place to the next along the storyline of your tour, immersing them in the relevant places through Google Earth’s imagery and the custom content you provide.

Get Inspired to Create Your Own HyperDocs


Navigate to the link above to see some awesome hyperdoc examples. And then add your own.

Explore Google Classroom Updates


From the Google Support page:

Teachers love Google Classroom for its ease-of-use and intuitive design. They also told us they need a better way to organize. As teachers and students added more posts to Classroom, users spent too much time scrolling and looking for work. We know that class time is precious, so that’s why we added a new Classwork page to help teachers and students stay organized. The Classwork page improves planning by allowing teachers to group work into units or modules, and reorder work to match their class sequence.

Teach Students Applied Digital Skills With Google


From Google’s Applied Digital Skills FAQs:

Applied Digital Skills is a free curriculum where students use G Suite for Education to practice life and job skills by building creative projects. The project-based curriculum has been designed for middle school students, high school students, and adults who want to learn digital skills in a blended learning environment.

With more than 90 hours of curriculum, Applied Digital Skills teaches a wide range of digital literacy alongside practical life and job skills. The curriculum includes lessons such as Research and Develop a Topic, where students develop tests for credible sources; Plan and Budget, where students collect and analyze data about a long-term, contractual purchase; and Picking the Next Box Office Hit, which teaches students to analyze movie data and formulate a data-driven hypothesis.

Applied Digital Skills also includes four “Explore Create Communicate” lessons that link digital skills with important technology topics. These lessons – Technology’s Role in Current Events, Technology, Ethics and Security, Technology at Work, and Equal Access to Technology – encourage self-directed research that highlights students’ creativity and critical thinking skills.

Applied Digital Skills encourages students to apply their digital skills to relevant, real-life problems. Students tackle financial decision making, event planning, and project management. Students work independently, allowing teachers time to give individualized attention and connect with students on a deeper level. Teachers also foster a collaborative educational environment: group projects allow students to do research, analyze data, and express ideas together.

Upgrade Your PowerPoint Skills


There are a ton of cool new things you can do on PowerPoint. Try these:

  • Hands-free typing
  • Scribble your ideas and have them converted to text and shapes
  • Record your slideshow to make ‘explainers’
  • There’s also ‘zoom’, ‘researcher’, ‘designer’, ‘morph transition’


Any other ideas you think are cool? Please let me know in the comments section below.



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