Learn with me this summer – ISTE, MassCUE and More


The summer is a great time to rest, recharge and learn. Join me at some of these exciting events:

ISTE19 Gsuite Secrets to Success, June 23 9:00-10:00am

Join Jenn Judkins and I as we dive into a fun and frantic blast through a ton of quick tips and tricks in Gsuite. We have a totally new app-based format for the presentation, and can’t wait to share the fun. Join us in Philly and quick ISTE off with us!

Gsuite Secrets to Success – June 23 9:00-10:00am

MassCUE Google Bootcamp: Level 2 Certification Prep

Join me for 2 full days as we prep for the Google Educator Level 2 Certifications, and become more efficient and effective through Google.

Register at MassCUE: Google Bootcamp: Level 2 Certification Prep

MassCUE Google Bootcamp: Certified Trainer Prep

Want to be a Google Certified Trainer? Join me for a one day workshop as we dive into the requirements and tips to become a trainer.

Register at MassCUE: Google Bootcamp: Certified Trainer Prep

MassCUE Google Certification Prep

Do you work in the Admin Console? Learn about Google’s newest redesigned certification and dive into the tips, tricks and techniques needed to master your (Google) domain.

Register at MassCue: Google Administrator Certification Prep

Seekonk Summer GooglePalooza 2019

Join the fun at GooglePalooza Summer Seekonk as I and other Google Trainers dive deep into the Google products.

Register at MassCUE: Seekonk Summer GooglePalooza

Test your Google Skills with a Google BreakoutEDU


Test out your Google skills with this digital BreakoutEDU! This was my first time creating a digital breakoutEDU, and I had an absolute blast creating the puzzle and watching attendees of the MassCUE Winter Googlepalooza ’18 grapple with the challenge. Test your google skills across a wide variety of areas and try to make it past your first day at Google! Can you unlock the digital locks and succeed?

For more information on digital breakoutEDU, check out:

Forcing Users to Make a Copy in Google Drive


If you’ve been using Google Drive for a while, you have probably come across a common task when sharing a template with others. Very often, a template is first shared as view only, and then users are expected to make a copy of their own. In a classroom setting, often students are trained to do the “make a copy dance” (especially if not using an LMS like Google Classroom), but if you need to share a document template with a group that isn’t as accustomed, it can become a little cumbersome.

This is process most folks follow.  Typically, you would share the document with others as a view only link, and then send that link on to others (email, short link, QR code, or other method).

Then, when the url is shared to others, they are expected to first to go to file and make a copy to make a copy of their own.

This works, but sometimes folks unfamiliar with the process can get a bit lost, especially after seeing the document but not being able to edit it

Here’s a better way!

Take the view only URL and change everything after the final forward slash “/” to “copy.

Now, share that link as you usually would, whether that be in an email when someone visits that link, they’ll be automatically forced to make a copy immediately:

I hope you find this helpful!

9 Must Have Chrome Extensions


One of the great features of Chrome is the countless extensions that can add extra features. Here are the extensions I couldn’t get by without.


Buffer Chrome Extension

I love twitter and use it in primarily two ways: to share resources and have conversations. Often, I’ll find links in bunches and at unusual times. Rather than deluge my followers with 10 link tweets in the middle of the night, I use Buffer to space my tweets out and post at times that the majority of my followers are online. I’m generally very wary of any tools that auto-tweet (spam) on my behalf, but buffer is different in that every tweet is mine — I’m just time shifting the tweet to a better time. I highly suggest you check this one out if you are a heavy social media user.

Evernote Web Clipper

Evernote Chrome Extension

Evernote is amazing. It’s become my digital brain, where I store reference materials and notes. The easiest way to get a web page or pdf into Evernote is through this extension.
Evernote Web Clipper


LastPass Chrome Extension

Too many passwords? Don’t fall into the trap of reusing the same one everywhere. Use LastPass to remember your passwords. The form fill feature alone is a huge time saver as it’ll fill your saved information (address, email, etc) with one click.

My Chrome Theme

My Chrome Theme Chrome Extension

I’m a heavy Chrome users user, and a different theme for each user is the easiest way to tell them apart. Create your own theme with this extension.
My Chrome Theme

Pinboard Tools

Pinboard Tools Chrome Extension

When Delicious went south, I switched to Pinboard as my bookmarking service of choice. This extension is an easy way to add a bookmark quickly.
Pinboard Tools


Pocket Chrome Extension

Pocket is a read it later service. I’ll click this extension when I have something I’d like to read but don’t have time to now, and it’ll be added to my Pocket account.Then, when I have time I’ll use the Pocket iOS app and enjoy some longer reads.

Read&Write for Google Docs

Read&Write Chrome Extension

This is a fantastic extension that helps in the writing process, particularly by reading back text in a Google Doc. I’ll often catch writing mistakes by listening to Read&Write. Anything that helps improve my writing is a must have for me!
Read&Write for Google Docs

Turn Off the Lights

Turn Off the Lights Chrome Extension

YouTube is full of great videos, but it’s also full of some not-so-great ones that always seem to be recommended on the side of the videos I watch. YouTube comments are notorious as a display of the depravity of the human race. Especially when teaching or presenting, I don’t want those distracting aspects on display, so I’ll use Turn Off the Lights to black out everything but the video itself.
Turn Off the Lights

WAV Player for Gmail

WAV Player Chrome Extension

The voicemail service at my school is able to email messages as a .wav file. Before this extension, I had to download the attachment and use an application or OSX’s quick look to listen. Now this extension adds a player in the email, no download needed.
WAV Player for Gmail

Those are the extensions that work for me. I’d encourage you to try them out, but also to look through the Chrome Web Store and find extensions that work for you.

Did I miss any must have extensions? Please let me know in the comments!

4 Reasons Why Every School Needs Google Apps


Why Not? day 52/365
Recently a good friend asked me for some details on why Google Apps is a good fit for K-12 education. As I thought over all the reasons why Google Apps works for education, I actually had hard time picking a place to start. To me, it’s become a platform – a digital foundation – that the communication and creativity of our school is based upon. I seriously couldn’t imagine going back!

So, here’s just a few reasons why I believe that every school should make the switch to Google Apps.

1 – Collaboration.

As one of the “4C”s of 21st Century Skills, it’s essential that collaboration is a friction-free, common, everyday activity for our students and faculty alike. The tools of Google Apps are focused on quick, powerful yet simple collaboration. There’s not a better email system, with a powerful organizational system like labels, built in chat and Google+ style Hangouts, interesting experimental Labs, and countless other details. Google Drive (formerly Google Docs) is a fundamental tool. Watching students work on the same document, at the same time is amazing, and Google Drive quickly becomes a tool students and teachers simply can’t survive without.

2 – Ubiquitous.

These tools are available on any computer or device with an internet connection. The same apps are available at home as used in school. Remember the switch from .doc to .docx files? I sure do! Never again will we have to deal with incompatible versions of documents. USB drives aren’t needed, as files are available anywhere. With more colleges and businesses using Google Apps, as well as being a fantastic tool for personal productivity, it’s likely that our students will use these tools later in life.

3 – Cost Savings.

Google Mail and Drive have rapidly replaced the need for Exchange servers and Microsoft Office. For many schools, Office licensing can be the largest software licensing fee budget item. While it might not have every feature, I’d estimate that 90% Office – the key features – are available. Sometimes, a lack of a feature is a feature in itself. Honestly, the world would be a better place without some powerpoint features like custom animations and transitions!

4 – Security and Up-time.

Moving to the cloud can be a scary process. It’s hard to not feel a loss of control. But compare the numbers. Can your self-hosted or current email system compete with the track record of Google? Honestly, I trust the resources of Google – the same resources used by BBVA, a financial services company of over 110,000 employees  – to be more secure and dependable than anything I can host myself.

These are just a few of the major reasons why I can’t imagine “doing technology” in K-12 education without Google Apps. Take a look at the creative ‘hacks’ at youpd.org  or the massive collaborative projects such as this presentation made by 140+ teachers, and it’s quite clear that this is a tool with far too many benefits to ignore.

When considering Google Apps, a few common mistaken sticking points seem to surface again and again. Dr. Henry Theile has created a superb overview answering the common objections to Google Apps Dealing with the FUD – Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt. that anyone considering the switch should investigate.

Google Apps for Education is a easy decision after you consider the facts. Going Google is the way to go.

Simple and Easy Screen Sharing – Chrome Remote Desktop


If you’re using Chrome as your everyday browser (if you’re not switch already!), the new extension Chrome Remote Desktop comes in very handy. Using the extension, you generate a one time code to give to who ever needs to see your screen. They enter the code and through the Googley magic, they have access to your desktop. Sure, there are other remote desktop products out there, but none that I’m aware of that work so smoothly with Macs, PCs and even Chromebooks.

While it’s still in beta, it’s another example of how the Chrome team is walking the line between features and minimalist simplicity.

Chrome Remote Desktop BETA