PeriscopePD: Chrome Apps for Middle Years Students

Below is the list of Chrome Apps that I recommend for grades 5-9 in the classroom. As with anything, please review each Chrome App to see if it fits with the work you are doing in the classroom before you share it with students. The five “bolded” Chrome Apps are shown via the 15 minute PeriscopePD video above.

BrainPOP – movies, info

Canva – posters, flyers, brochures

Coding with Chrome – beginner and advanced

Coggle – collaborative mind maps

Daum Equation Editor – create + save math expressions

Discovery Education – requires a subscription

DOGOnews – 3500+ ELA, Science, Social Studies articles

Duolingo – learn a language

EDpuzzle – insert videos with questions, etc.

Fluency Tutor for Google – students record themselves reading, requires subscription to use analytical tools

Geoboard – perimeter, area, angles

Geogebra Math Apps- interactive geometry

Google Classroom

Google Cultural Institute – artworks, museums, world events

Google Docs

Google Drive

Google Earth

Google Forms

Google Maps

Haiku Deck – presentations

InstaGrok – research search engine w/facts, websites, videos, images, pins, quizzes

Itch – Scratch Teacher Dashboard

IXL – adaptive K-12 Math, LA, Science, SSt practice, requires subscription

LEGO Mindstorms Education EV3

LEGO Education WeDo 2.0

Newsela – current events articles at different levels

Pixlr Editor – photo editing

PowToon Presentations Edu – create presentations + animated videos, require a subscription

Sphero Blockly – visual code editor for the Sphero (for Chrome OS 48+, Mac OS X 10.11+, WIndows 10+)


Type Fu

Useful Periodic Table (lite)

VoiceNote II – Speech to Text

WeVideo – Video Editor and Maker – video editing

World Data Atlas


Sir Ken: A New Model for Education

Sir Ken was pushed into the global educational spotlight over a decade ago with his sharing via a TED talk regarding schools killing creativity and follow up talks such as Changing education paradigms, and Bring on the learning revolution. He’s also traveled the world even visiting Alberta a number of times to heighten our awareness that the traditional way of teaching and learning must change.

The video below is part of an introduction to the work Sir Ken is participating in with the Atlantic Rim Collaboratory (ARC). This is a global group of educational systems that want to advance values such as equity, excellence, wellbeing, inclusion, democracy and human rights for all students within high-quality professionally-run systems. What rings true for me is that the educational community cannot rest at ease in the work to move the learning and teaching processes forward. No longer should it be acceptable for systems to just look at OUTPUT but look towards SUSTAINABILITY while equipping teachers and students to handle the current and future global challenges and changes. It is also important to note that Sir Ken says it takes more than just one group to make this move, it takes many.



PeriscopePD: Chrome Apps for Early Years Students

Here is the list below of the Chrome apps that you see in the video. Bolded apps are showcased in the 15 minute PD session.

Ad-Block Plus – get rid of those pesky advertisements

Announcify – paragraph reader

Awesome Screenshot – screenshot, add annotations, blur, copy/paste, save

Calculator (Pop Up)

Google Dictionary (by Google)

Extensity – en/disable extensions and click on apps URL shortener – shorten all those long links

Google Keep – save notes, links, text, images, make checklists

National Geographic –  Photo of the Day

Print or PDF with CleanPrint – use only the text you want and eliminate the rest

Readability – declutter web articles, sign up to save

Read&Write for Google – reading, writing, research (requires a subscription for student use, free for teachers)

Save to Google Drive – quickly save anything to your GDrive

Scan QR

Screen Capture – screenshots

Send from Gmail

Speak It! – text to speech

VoiceNote II – speech to text

YoWindow Free Weather – weather stations with living landscapes which reflect the weather and time


What other Chrome Apps do you use and/or recommend for K-4 students?


Give Every Child a Voice

This is such a powerful and emotion story! Grab some tissues, sit down for 17 minutes and take time to watch this video. As you do so, think about:

  • How can we design learning opportunities for students to experience a variety of different technologies so that they can communicate, create, and connect?
  • What does independence mean to you?
  • What is your definition of an Inclusive Classroom? How can you create one? Who can support you along this journey?

Make Yourself Open to Opportunity

Kare Anderson is a super story teller and brings us into her world where everyone can make a difference. Not only are we all “smart” at something, we also can connect with each other and also connect others so they can network and learn. If our stories, our ideas and/or our products/services are presented by people who are startling (grab your emotion), compelling (show you there is a way) and credible (some experience), then change can and will happen.

It’s a great video to watch yourself, but even a better one to watch as a group!

Ask yourself/group – How are we using our collective talents to create a better society? Are there others (outside organizations/people) that we should tap into to help with our cause(s)?


Pigs + Innovation?

Design Thinking

Entrepreneurial Spirit

Critical Inquiry

And many more concepts are certainly part of the education vernacular in 2016. These are not new concepts, however what is NEWer, is that schools, administrators and teachers are re-inventing the use of flexible learning opportunities by changing how the school day looks and feels. No more, ALL students should use the same No.2 pencil AT THE SAME TIME, but more time given by teachers to provide a space for students to engage in some really interesting learning.

The commercial below reminded of the amazing ‘innovative’ work that I get to see within PSD70 and via the #psd70 hashtag of engaged and effective learning!



To continue your learning, check out:



The Alberta Education system should strive to install the following qualities and abilities in our students:

  • Engaged Thinker: who thinks critically and makes discoveries; who uses technology to learn, innovate, communicate, and discover; who works with multiple perspectives and disciplines to identify problems and find the best solutions; who communicates these ideas to others; and who, as a life-long learner, adapts to change with an attitude of optimism and hope for the future.
  • Ethical Citizen: who builds relationships based on humility, fairness and open-mindedness; who demonstrates respect, empathy and compassion; and who through teamwo9rk, collaboration and communication contributes fully to the community and the world.
  • Entrepreneurial Spirit: who creates opportunities and achieves goals though hard work. perseverance and discipline; who strives for excellence and earns success; who explores ideas and challenges the status quo; who is competitive, adaptive and resilient; and who has the confidence to take risks and make bold decisions in the face of adversity.
  • Some great documentation is found with the Cross Curricular Competencies, created by the Edmonton Regional Learning Consortium (ERLC).


  • Critical Challenges found in Alberta’s Social Studies Program of Studies (password-protected). Once in LearnAlberta portal, then search “Critical Challenges” and you’ll find a goldmine of resources!
  • The Critical Thinking Consortium is also a great place for these resources. Some free but to dig into some more amazing stuff, get a membership! They also have some Critical Challenges but also so many more resources.

PeriscopePD – Get it in 15 mins!


I love learning! YES, love it! With the upsurgence of Social Media over the last five years, I can grab learning opportunities almost 24/7 if I wanted to! From specific subscription-based organizations like Discovery Education to WebEx webinars to Google Hangouts to day-long to week-long conferences to Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook, teachers in 2016 can engage in learning just about anything to heighten and fill up their toolkits full of effective and engaging instructional practices. One of the neat parts about using Social Media for your professional learning, is that you really don’t do it alone. There’s always someone from somewhere that you’ve never met that will enhance the collaborative learning environment.

Periscope is one such online tool that I’ve used throughout the last school year to not only share snippets of what is going on in our school division but to also have scheduled online PD available. Another school year is upon us and I’ve returned to sharing some quick info via Periscope (almost) every second Wednesday at 3:45pm MT. Just install the Periscope app on your device, follow me (by either finding my Twitter name as @nlakusta or full name of Nicole Lakusta) and add some calendar dates to remind yourself to join in on the fun!

Dates and Topics (so far)

  • Sept 7 Chrome Apps for Early Years
  • Sept 21 Chrome Apps for Middle Years
  • October 5 Chrome Extensions for Early Years
  • October 19 Chrome Extensions for Middle Years
  • November 16 RW4GC Reading Tools
  • November 30 RW4GC Writing Tools