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1 min read

How exciting! You came here looking for great information about BreakoutEDU. Well, just to "tease" you a bit, below is a short video about BreakoutEDU. However, to get more detailed info about the platform and its potential for higher-order teaching and learning, please follow this link to my blog, Ed&Tech566. See you there.


Book Creator

3 min read

What is Book Creator?

Book Creator started as an app for the iPad, and quickly grew to become a best-selling Education app in the App Store, with over 30 million e-books made in classrooms across the world. Now they have created a platform for both your iPad and an e-based platform, that way anyone can create a book on any device.



With Book Creator you can... 

  • Add text, images, drawings, shapes, audio and video.
  • Create awesome comics
  • Publish and share your books online
  • Work collaboratively and combine books from multiple authors.
  • Access all your books on any device

Students can create...

  • Interactive stories
  • Digital portfolios
  • Research journals
  • Poetry books
  • Science reports
  • Instruction manuals 
  • ‘About me’ books
  • Comic adventures
  • Class Book: My Pet Monster 


·       After a school year, you can archive your library and start over

·       Kid-generated material

·       Simple to use: less options means less time toying around



·       Privacy Policy is wishy-washy

·       Not many pre-made objects, shapes, or people

·       Limited books available for free trial


Book Creator & The SAMR Model


Substitution: Assessment of language acquisition skills through the use of written text in the e-books students created, as well as through the ability to record audio and place audio files into the e-book. 

Augmentation: Through use of apublished e-book, students gain a more professional level of communication in a published book, to gain efficiency and to add authenticity to the demonstration of learning

Modification: Students continuously reflect on the book creations through feedback. The teacher or students can provide feedback to one another using the audio feature and adding an additional page. This provides four advantages: students could work on the rough draft of the ebook at any time, both the teacher and student have the feedback available since it is in audio format, Students create a lasting product that demonstrates their understanding, and the reinforcement of language acquisition being a constant growth through learning and reflecting.

Redefinition:Creating an e-book presents the opportunity for students’ writing and creation to be open to the global community. Teachers from across states, countries, or the globe can share their libraries electronically.

Privacy Policy:

Statement from their Privacy Promise: "Book Creator is run by Red Jumper Limited (we, us, our) and we collect and use information in order to run and manage Book Creator. This policy sets out how we do this and applies to anyone who uses Book Creator, whether by uploading book content or creating and using an account. Please read it carefully and if you are under 13, please ask a parent or guardian to read it for you."


4 min read


Flipgrid is a online video discussion platform.  Signing up is free and it gives you access to one grid.  Once you have a grid created and named, you can start posting questions or topics for conversation.  Each question/topic creates its own video discussion board and anyone who has the code can access it.  Once the board is accessed, the student can view existing videos on the board or add their own video to the discussion.  You can provide access to these codes by sharing the URL, embedding the code in a Google classroom announcement, or by posting a QR code for mobile access.

Flipgrid’s mission is to “empower learners of all ages to define their voices, share their voices, and respect the diverse voices of others.” I think this platform does support their mission statement, as diverse students at all academic levels can easily access this platform.  Students are not required to demonstrate their understanding with academic constraints, but can use voice to explain their thinking and share their understanding.  This tools is great for all students, but is an exceptional support for EL students.  EL students tend to develop oral language acquisition first, so it allows them to clearly represent their ideas.  Flipgrid also has nice capabilities for students with special needs. Students can access content that is both visual and contains content can be replayed, if necessary.  Videos can be liked by other viewers by clicking on icons at the bottom of the video.  The idea of “respect,” as mentioned in the mission statement is maintained by the positive icons available to support the video.

The only downfall that I experienced was that I had a few students who were camera shy.  I also noticed that my students with Autism had a harder time sharing their ideas verbally.


How to get started with FLIPGRID

Quick Walkthrough Video from Flipgrid on Vimeo.


A teacher's view of Flipgrid



SAMR Model


Substitute (No functional change)

Number Talks: Using Flipgrid allows more time for students to think about and respond to the math problem. Also, everyone gets to share their voice and add to the conversation.

End of the Unit Thinking Routine: Use the powerful thinking routine “I used to think, now I think” to have students reflect on their learning at the end of a unit.

Augmentation (Direct substitute with functional improvement)

Book Discussions: One example might be – predictions. These are great because once posted on a grid, you can go back to them later when you are done reading. Then have students comment on their prediction –  analyzing  how they got it right or might be wrong, The comment might include a deeper look into the evidence presented in the text  like foreshadowing and context clues.

Modification (Task redesign)

Student created math tutorials: Provide a topic where students can post questions or calls for help. Have students add math tutorial responses on a predetermined math skill. Then share the filled Flipgrid Topic as a resource for others to use like a “math help hotline.”

Redefinition (Creation of new tasks)

Collaborative Flipgrid: Collaborate with a teacher from another state. Share a grid with each other with one topic being your state and another topic being their state. As students begin to learn about their states, they post fun facts about each state – and ask questions of each other.  

* These ideas for the SAMR model were provided by Flipgrid. You can find these ideas and more in “Use Cases,” under the Resource tab on the Flipgrid website.


What do you know about privacy/ data collection/safety?

Legal Policy

Additional resources:

Common Sense Media Review

15 ways to use FLIPGRID in your classroom

Blended Learning Models


Explain Everything!

4 min read

I'm pretty impressed by this app. Explain Everything is a fairly intuitive screen casting and interactive whiteboard tool that lets you animate, narrate, annotate, import and export. Using iPads, teachers and students are able to create animated stories, tutorials, presentations and more. The content you create through this app can capture the process and/or the product of the learning experience. You can either start from a blank canvas or prepare a presentation in advance (similar to PowerPoint but much more interactive).

After exploring this tool, I definitely see its value for a diverse range of ages (from upper elementary all the way to high school) as well as a diverse set of learning styles and needs. I see this tool being a great fit for ELLs and LD learners as well. It allows students to demonstrate their thinking in a multitude of ways; they can artistically draw out their thought process, find tools (such as graphics and pictures) to demonstrate their ideas as well as orally explain themselves through voice recordings. The options here bring us way past paper assessments.

Basic How-To Video that I found valuable:

Some ideas for using Explain Everything:

Augmentation:  Students are given access to their teacher's presentation and slides and take notes directly over the slides that they can revisit later.

Modification: Students are given a template from the teacher. They annotate over the template, send it back to the teacher, and the teacher presents annotations that she thinks show a deep level of understanding.

Redefinition: Students draw and record their thinking around a topic then share it with a partner. The partners then annotate over the original videocast, pausing it and adding in comments and additional graphics (highlighting, arrows, etc.) to connect their ideas to their partners' ideas.

How is this different than other presentation software?

Explain Everything will record what you're doing in real time.You can either record as you create the graphics or create all of the graphics first and then record after or add onto the graphics while recording later on

There is also a slide option that allows you to create different sessions with separate drawings and voice recordings. My favorite feature is that you can import preexisting videos and images, you play videos while you annotate over the top of them with both audio and visual media.

I found navigating the account/subscription process to be pretty confusing. Here is what I found:

1. You can either buy only the Classic tool (for $9.99) or get the subscription (which is $4.99/month or $24.99 annually for an Individual Account). The subscription for 5+ EDU Group Account would cost $4.99 per person (or device?) per year.


Downsides to the tool?

-Steep learning curve for lower elementary students

-Pretty expensive for each student to have their own account (apparently it used to be you bought the app and then didn't have to pay anything else? Hard to find sharing information now that the licensing has changed).

What about Privacy?

*Children under 13 years old are not allowed to create an account without a parent or guardian’s permission.

*We receive and store any information you knowingly enter on the Service (including through User Submissions (as defined in the Terms of Use)), whether via computer, mobile phone, tablet or other wireless device that you provide to us in any other way. This information may include Personal Information such as your name and email address, Children’s Personal Information (which shall be limited to your name and the contact information necessary to receive notifications via the Service from your teacher, school, and/or district), and any other information necessary for us to provide our services.

Here are some more resources to check out:

Review for Explain Everything

20 Lesson Ideas for Using Explain Everything in the Classroom

Adobe Spark Video

2 min read

My first Encounter with Adobe Spark Video was this past summer in digitalstroytelling class. Both Adobe Spark Video and WeVideo caught my attention because they were very simple to use and did not take up time.

Here is quick Tutorial Video on how to use it. 

basically you create a quick video. You insert icons, text, audio, pictures,videos. each slide can be up to 10 sec long.

i would say it is it is a great suplementsry tool if kid is talking about how they spent vacation; or any kind of presentation. I would say it does a better job than powerpoint. Simple and does not have too many options which is great for the children. ELL student could use it to help explain something but again i see it as supplementary tool. This could easily turn to 'death by powerpoint' so kids would need to be encouraged to keep it short!

Substitution- student instead of presenting by talking creates a quick video with text and audio and plays it. that could help kids with selective mutism. they talk at home on their own but refuse in front of people

Augmentation - kid presents but supplements it with quick pictures and videos for engagement

Modification- kids work in groups  and upload video about animals going extinct for feedback

Redefinition -  kids work in groups  and upload video about animals going extinct for feedback. find other similar videos and share with each other???

1. Go on the website and create an account. Two options: through Facebook or through email

2. It is for free but there is an upgraded version:


3. Privacy: 

4. Advantages- FREE/ you can save your work/very simple to use/ quick/ if want updgrade it's cheap/ limits each slide length to 10 sec 

5. Disadvantages- collects your info/  limits each slide length to 10 sec ;-)



3 min read


List of available sites for creating comics: (Thanks, Jane!)

Comics have some great uses in the classroom and in a variety of curricula. From pre-readers to high school students, from English to ESL to Science and Math, comics can help students analyze, synthesize and absorb content that may be more difficult when presented in only one way. Here is one of the comic tools that I have explored for this Speed Geeking Project.



“Bring the world’s best storyboard creator into your classroom!” 


'Storyboard That’ is a browser-based storyboard creator that allow users to create storyboards, graphic organizers, comics and visuals. The application includes many layouts, characters, scenes and search items. Once a storyboard is created, the user can present via PPT, Google Slides, email, post to social media or even embed on a blog. Users also have options to store their visuals on their account so that they can access it anywhere, from any device. 

Privacy Policy:

l  Personal information is only required to create free account (profile information, name, email address, and zip code). More information (payment information) is needed if you are upgrading or pay fees.

l  Main reason to collect and store user data is to provide service and for internal operation, product development and administrative purposes.

One thing I really liked about this website is that it has teacher resources available.

l  Teacher guides and common core aligned lesson plans

l  Variety of tools for Elementary, middle and high school, history, SPED, STEM, health and lot more


I thought this website was well organized and easy to find important information. It is very user friendly- if you just click on 'create storyboard' it will direct you to a clean storyboard layout where you could be creative.  All features (settings, characters, textables, shapes etc.) are listed above the cells. There were many characters and setting options to choose from. I also liked how you didn’t need to create an account to play around and see what’s being presented. One feature that I found it very interesting was how you could personalize your storyboard by uploading your own images.

 "Create your own storyboard"

I can see how Storyboardthat can align with all 4 stages of SAMR Model

l  Substitution: Students can make comic strips digitally rather than by hand.

l  Augmentation: teachers can create a standard comic with blank text and have the students come up with the narration and comments to summarize a particular event

l  Modification: students can create their own comics with specified character or events to demonstrate their understanding of a certain event (great for narrative writing (B.M.E) or when teaching about sequence)

l  Redefinition: students can create their own comics with their own characters, settings, and text to construct their own knowledge about a concept, event, or characters.


l  Could be pricy when purchasing it for every student.

n  There is a free trial options if you want to try it out before purchasing. 


Read more:

Speed Geeking with Padlet

2 min read

I initially encountered padlet about five years ago and I did not like the results. It was difficult for

students to post without being crowded out of the screen and it was hard to keep track of what

students were posting. Revisiting it recently, it seems to have moved to something that is more than

a gimmick and can be used effectively in the classroom.


Here is a video showing how to use Padlet for collaboration:

Padlet offers a lot of opportunities for collaboration and interaction between students without

having to speak in front of the class. As a result, it lends itself well to involving students in discussion

like activities who may be shy or nervous about speaking in front of the class. Since students can

post by uploading photos, recording their own voice, and doodling their own pictures, Padlet allows

diverse learners to demonstrate their knowledge and express themselves. The simplicity of the

program also makes it easy for students to become involved in the learning activity without

having to worry about how to use the program.


Here are a few ways that I have used Padlet in class:

Boarding School Padlet


 KWL Examples

Here are a few uses that I came across or thought of for Padlet:

Question boards

Compiling Teacher or student presentations

Collaborative Note Taking

Interactive Storytelling

Picture Sorting Activities

Posting or Collecting Examples of Concepts

Student Created Class Resource/Bookmark Collection

Multimedia Timeline

Virtual Tour



Padlet allows for many of the same features as twitter and other social networking sites within

a contained community. This could be useful for protecting student privacy and limiting online

footprints while engaging in the similar types of activities. Monitoring is also much easier with



Overall, the ability to interact instantaneously with a variety of resources gathered from the

internet places this tool within the augmentation level of the SAMR. The collaborative nature

of the tool and the ability to use video also allows for the potential to move into the

modification level.

What are some downsides to the tool?

Visibility of other posts

Risk of negative interactions

*This can be addressed by enabling the moderation setting


More Resources:


Demonstration of Padlet

Ideas for uses

Poetry Example

Odyssey/Timeline Example

Speed Geeking with Infographics

2 min read

I created infographics for my Speed Geeking project.

Most of the different websites I tried, Easely (more "complex"), Vennage (lots of graphics, can't save), VisMe (simple to use, good image choice), Piktochart, were similar... I did find the Easely "introduction video" to be the best, and it kind of sums up what each of these products offers (although not all allow you to save your Infographic).


The basic steps were:

1. Sign up for a free account (the biggest limits of the free account were access to images, and ability to save)

2. Choose a template

3. Change/adjust photos and graphs to fit with information -- The ability to create a graph was by far my favorite feature of creating an Infographic

4. Save, publish, and share -- One important note is that some of the free versions don't allow you to save a copy on your computer!

Your finished product could look like...

Pretty simple, right? Four steps, and fairly quick--I found the process to be very user-friendly (some sites more than others).  While I could see using this in the classroom being very engaging for students, I think there have to be some parameters.  It could easily be an activity that is primarily Substitution--are you just having students choose pictures and write down facts?  Great, but that's no different than high-tech notetaking. I also feel that there could be the potential to create the Infographic itself fairly easily with just a pen-and-paper.

I think where the task begins to move towards modification is in having students edit, resize images, and create their own graphs. Also, how are students sharing these infographics and getting feedback?  If they share their inforgraphics with students in different classes, maybe that stretches this activity further.


Read more:

1. Eight Examples of Incorporating Infographics in Middle School Classrooms
2. 46 Tools to Make Infographics in the Classroom
3. Student examples and reflections on creating Infographics: Using and Creating Infographics with in the Classroom
4. Video: How to Create an Infographic - Part 1: What Makes a Good Infographic
5. One way a teacher uses Infographics: As an Assessment





Oh, and did I mention that not all of these allow you to save your infographic without a paid account?


1 min read

On this site, we'll each post resources from our Speed Geeking presentations.


You can connect your own posts to your own Twitter and Wordpress accounts (and Facebook) so that what you post here gets posted there.


You can also toggle between public and private (private is visible to our class members who are logged in) but I encourage your public posts.


You can also comment/ ask questions/ add perspectives.


We'll build a great resource together.