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Teacher Tools

Online File Storage: Box
Classroom Tele-conferencing: Skype
Classroom Actvitiy Stopwatch: Xnote
Grading Rubric Maker: Rubistar
Creating an Online Class Group: Google Groups
Creating an Online Class Calendar: Google Calendar
Placing All Your Google Apps in One Place: Google Sites
Sharing PowerPoints Online: Slideshare
Sharing Your Blackboard Online: Photobucket
Making PDFs: PrimoPDF
Translate Letters and Webpages: Google Language Tools

PROJECT BASED AND COOPERATIVE LEARNING: Many of the tools like Google Docs highlighted on this site make PBL and CL easier. For more info about these two methods:



For Use With:
Calling people over your classroom computer.

Work WITHOUT Skype: To talk to guest speakers, your class would either have to physically visit them or for them to visit your school. Often both are not possible.

What is Skype?
Skype if a free program that lets teachers call people over their classroom computer. It is free to call other computers (computer to computer). You pay a few cents per minute, competitive to phone cards rates to call people's land phones/cell phones (computer to phone).  All you need are Internet access, speakers for the classroom to hear the person you call, a basic computer microphone (I use a $5 microphone) for the person to hear you. The ability to teleconference opens up your classroom to so many possibilities beyond your classroom. There is even the option to do video conferencing for those doing computer to computer communications, and if both sides have web cams. I most often use Skype to call guest speaker's land lines/cell phones. Other classes have used Skype as a way for sick or suspended students to attend class virtually.

Skype Video Tutorial:

Watch Skype for Teachers Introduction in 3 Minutes in Family  |  View More Free Videos Online at

Skype Sample Image:







For Use With:
Creating grading rubrics.

Work WITHOUT Rubistar: Teachers can find it difficult to format rubrics.

What is Rubistar?
Rubistar if a free website that lets teachers create their own grading rubrics and to search rubrics made by other teachers. PBL Checklist is a variant that is helpful with projects. Note, also explore making your own rubrics using Google Docs forms.

Video Introduction: not yet posted

Video Tutorial: not yet posted

Rubistar Sample Image:


To help you calculate grades: Old Fashion Grading Aid
(Not everything has to be high tech):




For Use With:
Creating an online group for your class where you can communicate and share files with the whole class.

Work WITHOUT Google Groups: For schools that don't have Blackboard or Schoolloop, sending emails to your classes and sharing files like homework can be difficult.

What is Google Groups?
Google Groups is a free website that lets teachers create their own group for each of their classes. Once all students are added to the group, the teacher can email the class with a single group email address. Those messages are saved at the group for students who need to view past messages. Files can uploaded to the group to be shared with your students.

Quick Tip (Detailed Instructions and Tutorial Videos Coming Soon):
For teachers who don't want to manage a website, creating a Google Group is a simple alternative. Students don't need a Google Account, but it does make things easier.

Video Introduction: not yet posted

Video Tutorial: not yet posted

Google Groups Image:




For Use With:
Creating class calendar of assignments and due dates.

Work WITHOUT Google Calendar:
For schools that don't have an online school management system.

What is Google Calendar?
Google Calendar is a free online schedule maker that can be shared with your students. You can create a calendar for each of your classes or clubs. Each calendar you create is like a layer of an onion. You can decide which layers are private and which layers are shared. Students can view shared calendars online and even add a calendar as a layer to their own personal Google Calendar. If students add the class calendar to their own personal Google Calendar. To share your calendar with your students, you can provide them the HTML web address under "Calendar Address" in the "Details" menu. To allow them to add the calendar, you need to provide them with your "Calendar ID." If shared, they can even view it on their cell phone at: 

Quick Tip (Detailed Instructions and Tutorial Videos Coming Soon):
For teachers who teach study skills, having students create their own personal calendar can be valuable. For teachers managing their own set of calendars, you can add an event to all your calendars or specific ones by clicking the boxes seen in the lower left corner of the sample image.

Video Introduction: not yet posted

Video Tutorial: not yet posted

Google Calendar Sample Image:




For Use With:
Combining many of Google's other applications into one site.

Work WITHOUT Google Sites:
Users would have to visit all the different application sites.

What is Google Sites?
Google Sites is a free online web page/wiki maker combined with iGoogle, that gives you the control to determine who can view or edit your content. You share access similar to how Google Docs are shared. In the pages you create you can add applications that let people view or edit your uploaded files, Google Calendars, Docs, Forms, and other "gadgets."

Quick Tip (Detailed Instructions and Tutorial Videos Coming Soon):
To add a "gadget" like your Google Calendar, click "Edit page" under your Google Sites toolbar, and then click "Insert." Under "More" you will find many more gadgets. A "Dashboard" is a preformatted page, you can add gadgets to any page as described above.

Video Introduction: not yet posted

Video Tutorial: not yet posted

Google Sites Sample Image:




For Use With: Sharing your PowerPoints online so students can view from their Internet browser.

Work WITHOUT SlideShare: Teachers would have to upload their PowerPoint files to their own web site, students would have to download it, and students would need PowerPoint or a PowerPoint viewer to view it. It is difficult to prevent students from printing PowerPoints if that is a concern.

What is SlideShare?
SlideShare is free website that lets you share your PowerPoints with others without having to have a website. Within seconds you are done, you upload the file and SlideShare converts your PowerPoint to Flash so that it can be viewed by any Internet browser without additional software.

Quick Tip (Detailed Instructions and Tutorial Videos Coming Soon):
SlideShare is an easy way to share your PowerPoints online. Students do not need Office or any special software to view the slides, and you can even set it so that students can only view online and not print them out.

Video Introduction:

Video Tutorial: not yet posted

SlideShare Sample Image:




For Use With:
Storing and Sharing Photos and Videos Online

Work WITHOUT Photobucket: You want to capture a picture of your class blackboard or class project to share online, you would have to take a picture, download it to your computer, and upload it to a site or have a SMART Board.

What is Photobucket?
Photobucket is a free website that lets students create a virtual photoalbum through uploading images through your computer or through your cell phone via a unique email address associated with your account. You control who can see it and you have many easy options on how to share your photos including having them print and ship them to you (for a fee).

Quick Tip (Detailed Instructions and Tutorial Videos Coming Soon):
I don't have a SMART board, I'm lucky to have a white board. Occasionally, I'll put something on the board and some students will ask if they can get a copy of it. Some students snap their own photos (which is a distraction). I don't have the time to snap a photo to upload it online. With Photobucket I can snap a photo with my cell phone, email it to the special email address, and it'll be shared in my public folder that is linked to my class site without me having to anything other than email the photo on my phone (which does cost me 15 cents with my cell phone carrier).

Video Introduction: not yet posted

Video Tutorial: not yet posted

Photobucket Sample Image:




For Use With:
Converting Files to PDF

Work WITHOUT PrimoPDF: Some students find it difficult to view Word documents or other files because they lack the software.
What is PrimoPDF?
PrimoPDF is a free program that converts any file that you can print into PDF for easier sharing. It is software, so it has to be downloaded and installed. Once installled, it becomes an option under your print menu, and you treat it like a virtual printer which converts files instead of printing. Your physical printer will still be there under your print menu as it was before PrimoPDF. A wonderful alternative to PrimoPDF is Bullzip PDF.

Video Introduction: not yet posted

Video Tutorial: not yet posted

PrimoPDF Sample Image:






Contact Chris Chiang at: govandlaw@gmail dot com
(sorry no technical support questions please)