Technology Update #39

In this Issue

Happy Halloween! In this Spooktacular technology update we talk about new resources from Apple on how to promote creativity for elementary students, check out two GREAT new updates to Google products on the Mac and then see how you can use technology to elicit student responses.


A New Resource: Everyone Can Create!

Apple recently announced its Everyone Can Create curriculum for iPad. Designed to help unleash kids’ creativity throughout their school day, Everyone Can Create teaches students to develop and communicate ideas through drawing, music, video and photos on iPad. The new, free project guides give teachers fun and meaningful tools to easily fold these skills into any lesson, assignment and subject. Everyone Can Create joins Apple’s successful Everyone Can Code initiative as one-of-a-kind programs for teachers that keep students excited and engaged.

The Everyone Can Create collection is designed to allow teachers to easily incorporate creativity into their existing lesson plans in any subject, including language arts, math, science, history, social studies and coding.

You can check out all of the new books on Apple iBooks.

Collaboration Update with Google Drive FileStream

Avoid version conflicts when editing Microsoft Office files stored in Drive File Stream!
Google has just now released real-time presence. This will check to see if someone else is viewing or editing a Microsoft Office file while you have it open and alert you and them to help avoid version conflicts. When conflicts do occur, it’ll help you resolve them with a side-by-side view of the document versions, allowing you to easily merge them into one up-to-date file.

Check out for more information and to see screen shots of the feature in action!

Google Slides – Real Time Closed Captions!

You can now show automated closed captions in real-time when presenting in Google Slides! This feature uses your computer’s microphone to detect your spoken presentation, and then transcribes what you say as captions on the slides you’re presenting.

When you turn captions on, Google Slides will use the audio from your microphone to automatically create captions of what you say. These captions will display in real time at the bottom of your screen to all audience members watching the presentation. This will work for local presentations and for presentations over video conferencing software, where captions will show on the shared screen.

The feature works in U.S. English on Chrome browsers. Captions are created from the presenter’s computer and its microphone, so captions may not work consistently if there are multiple presenters using different computers. You may want to let the audience know that captions are from Google Slides, not the video conferencing software, and that only the speaker’s voice is captioned.

Learn more about this, including how a short video explaining how to use it by checking out Google’s update blog.

Showcase – Tools for eliciting Student Responses

Flipgrid is a FREE video response platform where educators can have online video discussions with students or other educators. Teachers can provide feedback to students AND better yet students can provide feedback to one another. With Flipgrid you get unlimited grids, topics, responses, and replies to responses. FlipGrid works on both Macs and iPads. To learn more about FlipGrid, check out this getting started guide:

Poll Everywhere
Poll Everywhere transforms one-sided presentations into two-way conversations with the audience. This web-based audience response system lets you embed interactive activities directly into your presentation. The audience responds on the web or via SMS texting on their phones.

Poll Everywhere is best suited for use by Middle School and High School students.

Learn how to create polls here:
Learn how to present your polls here:

Padlet is a service that allows you to create an online bulletin board where students can post responses to questions, complete brainstorming activities, or even plan a project. While there is a paid version, the free version is fully functional for up to 4 free walls. You can delete old walls and create new ones as needed.
Check out this introductory video /( and then the learn how to make your first post!

Socrative is a tool that lets you create and use formative assessments quickly in class. You can create a variety of activities including quizzes, exit tickets, multiple choice & true false and even a game! As a teacher you can view student results in real time.

Socrative works on both Macs and iPads. Check out the getting started guide here:


Thank you for taking the time to read through this tech update. As a bonus, the first person to send me (Matt Lee; a message back will have a $10 HuHot gift card sent to them in the pony! See.. reading emails pays. Literally 🙂