Category Archives: Leverages Technology

GSuite in Action: GSlides

Classroom Uses

Google Slides is a presentation editor that users can work on individually or collaboratively. They can be used at any grade level with any subject area. Check out the various examples below!




  • Flat Icon – students can show what they are learning visually with icons



  • Writing with Pictures
  • Writing/Picture Prompt






















GSuite in Action: GEarth

Classroom Uses

Google Earth is a free application that works as a browser for all sorts of information on Earth. It uses satellite imagery to grab, spin, pan, tilt and zoom down to any place on Earth. Students can explore every corner of the globe, measure distances, create their own virtual tours, and share their tours with others. You can also create and download layers of information and view them in geographic context.



  • Have students explore the placemarks for Harry Potter and Fairy Tales from Around the World through the Voyageur section.



  • Teach your students that mathematics is all around them: use Google Earth to identify shapes and angles, such as looking at the different shapes of swimming pools; or get a close-up view of a cafe with outside tables, and have students count the tables and the number of customers. For older students visit for great idea on using Google Earth to teach mathematics.



  • Have students explore verified locations where meteors have hit the Earth, then create a chart of the number of craters per continent.
  • Explore the earth’s terrain in 3D – Discover the world’s incredible physical geography by using the compass to tilt your perspective into a 3D view.
  • Extreme biodiversity on the high seas – Join Mission Blue on a high seas adventure to the Costa Rica Thermal Dome Hope Spot where we follow marine biologists in the field tagging turtles, tracking sharks and more.
  • Pristine seas – Join Dr Enric Sala on his mission to protect the last truly wild places in the ocean. Activities.



  • Have students pretend they are with Sir Ernest Shackelton during his adventure in Antarctica. Explore the virtual tour in Google Earth and have students write diary entries to personalize the experience. mapping, the iterative design process, and user feedback.
  • A Storytelling Odyssey – Journalist and National Geographic Fellow Paul Salopek is walking the globe in the footsteps of our ancient forebears. Follow along as he reveals hidden stories of Earth’s remote corners, and of the people who inhabit them. Activities.
  • Explorers: Age of Encounter – The explorations of Samuel de Champlain, Jacques Marquette, Louis Jolliet and Renee de LaSalle opened the interior of North America to European settlement and trade. Lesson Plan.
  • This is Home – While the countries, cultures and climates may differ, knowing we all have a place to call home is a first step to understanding everything we have in common. Activity.



    • Immersive global imagery – Dive into Google’s huge library of 360-degree imagery using Street View. Just click on Pegman and follow the blue lines to where you want to go in Google Earth.
    • Using the Search feature, you can easily learn more about places around the world by clicking open the related Knowledge Card. Within the card you will find detailed information and related places to explore.





GSuite in Action: Google MyMaps

Classroom Uses

Google My Maps is an online mapping tool allows users to create their own highly customized maps to share with others and for display. Google MyMaps can be used in any subject area at any grade level for whole class, projects or portfolios. Check out some of the exemplars on this page.



  • Setting of a novel, short story or other literary work — Where was the story set? Instead of dropping a single pin there, plot the different locations that show up throughout the story.
  • Make a map of where authors you’ve studied are from Pin their hometowns. Add biographical information, other books, etc. in the description as well as photos of the author and/or covers of their books.
  • Map how words are different in different locations Is it a lift or an elevator? An apartment or a flat? Create a word usage map.




  • Calculate rate of travel — As students learn about calculating distance/rate/time, have them choose locations and calculate the travel time to get there. They can add pins to those locations and show their work in the description of the pin.
  • Use the ruler tool to calculate distances in various units of measurement See Maths Maps.





  • Plot locations with certain environments — Seeing locations with different climates and vegetation can be clearer with a MyMap. Students can add pins of different locations with pictures and description of how they’re different.


  • Identify locations where animal species live Animal units get a whole different dimension when students can see where they live. Add details and photos to those pins, too. Neigh-BEAR-Hood Watch Kids video and Roots & Shoots info.)



  • Important locations in a historical event —Have students plot locations on a MyMap, filling in additional details as well as historic or current photos and links to more information.
  • Create a map-based timeline with layers Studying content over time? Have students plot events or locations of each decade (or year or century) in a different layer. When viewing, you can turn off all layers except one to see that time period … or see all of them together with all layers turned on.
  • Log important or historic locations in an area being studied Studying a certain location? Before digging into your content, have students do some preliminary Internet research and create a MyMap with their findings. They’ll be better prepared for your unit of study!
  • Log locations where political candidates have visited Want to see who’s campaigning where? Create a layer for each candidate and pin the locations where they’ve stumped.
  • Create map layers with different forms of government Create a layer for each type of government, and add pins to those layers to see where the democracies, monarchies, oligarchies, etc. are.
  • Everybody lies (even Maps) All might not be as it seems, Maps projections class activity.



    • Turn statistics into a visual aid Looking at the top 50 cities for obesity or fitness? Studying population statistics? Add that data to the description. Then use the “individual styles” option on the layer you’re editing to make the pin’s color change based on the data.
    • Map where alumni are going to post-secondary (or have graduated) — Show how far from home students are studying, have studied or will be studying with a MyMap.
    • Provide parents with an interactive map for a field trip Give parents clear, interactive information about your trip with a MyMap. Plus, they can click the “Directions to here” button right from your map!
    • Make a pinboard of locations where your class has Videoconferenced Does your class do Mystery Skype games? Use Google Hangouts/Webex to provide virtual guest speakers or field trips? Create a MyMap of all the locations you’ve video called.






Videoconferencing on a Budget

I support all of our school sites in utilizing videoconferencing equipment in its most effective state – the classroom, with experts, other classrooms around the world (and around the corner!). Over the years we have developed special partnerships with companies like Cisco and Compugen that have brought in some fantastic VC equipment. Yet, not all of our classrooms nor school sites can afford these items AND all students should have access to the opportunity to videoconference with someone/a class outside of their own classroom. There are also organizations that offer free VC programming, you just need to know where to look!


The Logitech BCC950 Conference Cam has a full HD camera, 78° field of view with autofocus, zoom, duplex speakerphone with echo and noise cancellation and an omnidirectional microphone. With 2 USB connections, teachers just plug in this device to their laptop, get on the VC application that they need (Cisco Webex, Google Hangouts, Zoom, Skype, etc.), choose the proper settings and start any VC. When I show this to teachers who have not used this equipment before, they are so excited AND they are ready to go in five minutes.


Below are the various organizations that I go to in finding many substantial and relevant videoconference activities (free) for our sites. Yes, there are organizations who charge and do a great job or hosting VC events and if classrooms have the $$ to spend for them that is great too. These ones offer free VC programming and are worth it to check out!

Enjoy your VC journey!



GSuite in Action: GSites

Classroom Uses

Google Sites is a structured wiki- and web page creation tool. Google Sites can be used in any subject area at any grade level for whole class, projects or portfolios. Check out some of the exemplars on this page to get you using Google Sites!



Digital Literacy Fundamentals – citizenship and tech skills resources

Indigenous Education

Make1Change Learning Road Trip



Creating Numeracy Rich Environments in Schools

English Language Learning

French as a Second Language 4-6

Launch into edTech

L’immersion en Alberta

Math and Technology

Thinking Strategies






Harnessing Skynet for Good: Using AI in the Classroom

When we think artificial intelligence, it is very likely that we conjure up scenes from franchised science fiction thriller (Terminator) or complete infatuation with a computer (Her) or even autocorrect on our own smartphones.

Check out a basic video overview on Artificial Intelligence. (5:27)

Examples in Everyday Life article and more HERE.


How teachers can utilize AI in engaging student learning with next practice strategies?

AUTOMATION: assistance with grading. Here teachers can give quick feedback to students through a survey that is autograded. Opportunities for exit tickets, anticipatory knowledge gathering of a new concept/topic or just general interest will give both teachers and students a baseline of information to work from.

  • Chatbots like those found on Snatchbot ( can be created by students and teachers. Examples like Mitsuku, WestJet’s Juliet and Snatchbot gallery.
  • Chatbots for students – these at can be used to get organized or to have a conversation.
  • Siri is found on an iOS device in Settings > Siri & Search. Allow “Hey Siri”.
  • Cortana is a digital agent for Windows 10.
  • A caution for teachers in using Voice Assistants like Amazon Echo Dot or Google Home in their classroom. Currently these smart speakers connect with a personal account which would not use a school division’s filtering system. Once these smart speakers are able to utilize or be connected to a hosted O365 or GSuite Apps for Education teacher account, they would be more secure and safe to use.

Such as text-to-speech or speech-to-text online systems that reinforce and provide tools to remove barriers for students so that they may demonstrate their learning.


Artificial intelligence resources in education are great in providing secondary sources of information and support for learners. The above examples are a small sampling of what teachers can do to provide students with access to machine learning in a purposeful way. Yet it is important to note that AI does not provide the humanity and emotional-social support that is so important in the classroom. School staff are an integral part of making a learning environment the most engaging, safe, imaginative and creative it can be.


All Lines Clear – Videoconferencing in the Classroom

We have a number of our school sites heavily involved in using videoconferencing technology in order to collaborate with experts, other classmates and administrators from around the world. In order to have a great VC experience, our sites got together with students and established a VC Etiquette so that what was illustrated in the above video is eliminated during a class VC event.

Videoconferencing Etiquette

Videoconferencing provides an engaging way for classrooms and schools to introduce, collaborate and learn from each other.

Protocols for ­before, during and after a video ­conference.


  • Students may need assigned roles/responsibilities (depends on the goal of the VC).
  • Work with students to set up presenting/speaking etiquette and review before each VC.
  • Have a camera/iPad/smartphone to take photos/video during the VC to share via Social Media if you like.
  • Do a test connection if you are able.
  • Remind participants/teacher/guest on what tech tools are available for use – chat, microphone, video, audio, screenshare, etc.



To ensure the highest quality learning environment for all video-conference participants, we ask that  take note of the following:

  • Mute smartphones, chromebooks and laptops.
  • Be courteous to other participants by sitting quietly and looking at the screen so your audience can see that you are paying attention to them – remember they can see you the whole time. (Within PSD, TelePresence members can use Spark app to chat quickly to one another without interrupting the VC. With outside members, please review how to use Webex chat.)
  • Introduce yourself first before you start speaking – say your first name only.
  • Speak clearly, one participant at a time.
  • Keep body movements minimal.
  • Maintain eye contact by looking into the camera.
  • Avoid side conversations; even whispers are being broadcast.
  • Turn off microphones during periods when feedback is not necessary.
  • Make sure you can understand what the other person is saying. Don’t be afraid to ask them to repeat themselves.
  • Thank your VC guests.


  • Reset the room.
  • Shut down all the VC equipment.
  • Reflect on what was learned. Share in small groups, in a journal or via some other way to recap the learning.