I’m making new Google Sites. Are you?

Once Google released it’s testing version of Google Sites this summer, I immediately switched over and haven’t returned. In fact, I redid my Fennovation site to the new Google Sites. Does it do everything I want it to, yet? No? Is it better in almost every other way, though? Yes.

Curious how you, too, can move over to the new and improved Google Sites? Check out “Google Sites : New and Improved.”

So far, I have helped our entire staff make consistent splash pages (there is not a domain template option yet, but since the standard Site looks the same, it’s not hard to standardize them). I have also taught my English class to make them for three different digital writing (collaborative) projects.

What are you using the new Sites for?

Beef up your Google Geo knowledge!

My favorite area of Googleness resides in its geography arena. And, they are not just for the geo teacher. They are cross-curricular. For instance – use Tour Builder to create ePortfolios of their journey through school. Use Earth or Map Builders tools to take measurements and integrate geometry.

Google’s Geo tools transcend the social studies classroom. So, I challenge you to check out some of my favorite geo tools. How can you use it in your classroom? How can you collaborate with another teacher to use it in both of your classrooms?

Check out fennovation.org for an extensive list of Google tools.


Let’s get Digital

Before spring break, it’s a great time to remind students and staff to take a digital detox, or to beef up their digital image. In honor of our upcoming spring break, I’ve added some new resources to assist in this:

  • NYC Department of Education’s guide to creating a better digital image
  • NYC Department of Education’s guide to social media
  • NYC Department of Education’s guide to social media (for teachers)

Check out the full “Let’s Get Digital” presentation as well as fennovation.org for all things innovation!

Making your GSuite experience even better

Recently, I realized I had been using some of GSuite’s latest updates, but I had not shared them out. So, today, I’m sharing out a few of my favorite “recent” updates.


Assigning work through the comments feature is great. As an English teacher, I use this every time I give feedback to students. While I used to use the directed commentary, now I can assign it to them as a task. They receive a noticed and must complete it. Wonderful.


I love being able to link to a range of cells within my spreadsheets. I can now set up a table of contents of sorts in my sheets.


I’ve saved the best for last. Google Slides have always been a cleaner alternative to PowerPoint. The minute I started using them, I never went back…8 years or so later. So, when they stepped up their game with the Q&A feature, I wasn’t surprised. However, when they added in the ability to insert  YouTube videos and choose the stop and start points, that blew my mind. Plus, you can now insert videos from Google Drive! I used Screencastify to make many screencasts. Those go into my Google Drive (though, they can go into YouTube). Now, I can immediately put them in my presentations! Plus, you can also now automatically put images into a slideshow!


Check out Fennovation.org for more Google Tips!

Become a search ninja & fake news detective

Fake news is more than just evaluating sources for their legitimacy. It’s also understanding the way search results are sorted – their algorithms. Without understanding this, it’s easy to live in a “filter bubble.”

For today’s addition to “Becoming a Search Ninja,” I’ve added in a section on how to detect fake news and how to understand the science behind your search results. Being a search ninja is not only about searching effectively, but understanding how searching works.

Check out the new additions to “Becoming a Search Ninja” below (new additions appear after slide 89). You may also check out Fennovation.org for a digital citizenship approach to searching.

Google Classroom – The Basics & The Extras

…all in one presentation! We recently asked all of our teachers to create classes in Google Classroom, whether they used all of Classroom’s features or not. The idea behind this was to create a consistent interface for students. For our teachers who use a hybrid of GSuite apps and Moodle, we asked that they place a link to their materials in the “About” page of Google Classroom. Now, when a student needs to access work, they only need to go to one spot – Google Classroom.

In helping all of our teachers get on board, I added some new tricks to the “Fennovation – Using Google Classroom” presentation. Check it out and other Googlicious resources at Fennovation.org!

Let’s Get Digital!

With the hot topic of “fake news,” digital citizenship should be on every educator’s plate if it was not already. However, we tend to just think of fake news as articles from sources that are not accredited. What about the other “fake news”? You know – the kind that you see because of the “filter bubble.” That is – this is the news that is built upon your own interest biases. We owe it to ourselves and our students to discuss this.

With that in mind, I’ve updated my “Let’s Get Digital” presentation to include an interactive activity at the beginning that can be used with students or staff to discuss fake news. Check out “Let’s Get Digital – Interactive.” Check out Fennovation.org for more digital citizenship resources.

GSuite Hacked!

I have delayed writing these updates for some time, but now, they are here! My favorite updates to come to the GSuite products include the ability to assign work and to explore across GSuite products. Admittedly, I really miss the research tool, but I do like the ability to link across tools with the  Explore tool.

Check out the Google Apps Hacked presentation (Yes, I need to change it to “GSuite Hacked!”) for more “things you didn’t know you didn’t know you could do” with GSuite. Check out Fennovation.org for all things Google!

Let’s get Chromified – new updates!

Recently, I was helping my sister-in-law with her photography business. She wanted to book appointments and charge all in one spot. Historically, I’ve used youcanbook.me, but she used Schedulicity. Though my allegiance will got to youcanbook.me, I was impressed by the clean interface of Schedulicity.

To explore Schedulicity and more Chrome apps and extensions, check out the “Let’s Get Chromified presentation” (nearly 200 listings!) and the apps and extensions database on Fennovation.org.