Just this past spring we learned of the shuttering of three major edtech services: Office Mix, and Ten Marks. Also a change in Padlet’s Terms of Service. Today’s Meet is also shutting down.

1) OfficeMix – Link below on migration tips. The link below that is on the “new” method.

2) – Below is a link for an alternative to the QR Code maker in Also bitly can be used to shorten URL’s and there is TinyURL

3) Alas I had just found out how much I like TenMarks Writing.

4) “FYI for those that use Padlet. Looks like padlet are now charging and bringing in a free and a premium service. If you’re already a member you’ll get a limit of 3 more padlets than you already have. New members will get 3 max. And to get any more you’ll need to pay. We’ll all need to be better at deleting old defunct padlets ” -
Links to alternatives for Padllet below: Lino, Wakelet, Dotstorming, Scrumblr, or Pinside

I’ve also posted a link to Padlet, in case you have not tried it yet.

For myself, I am currently willing to pay for the upgrade to Padlet. Why? They have added built-in audio and video recording recently. And I believe that it is a service worth paying for.

These are companies after all and must unlike us in the public sector, post a profit-otherwise they will be gone.

A member of my PLN, Lynn Hilt, puts it so well in here recent post. I have posted a link below.

QR Droid Zapper | QR Code Generator
lino – Sticky and Photo Sharing for you

Wakelet – The best way to share and collect content

Pinside – Virtual sticky notes, collaborative or private.
Padlet is the easiest way to create and collaborate in the world
Tools come and go. Learning should not. And what’s a “free” edtech tool, anyway? – Learning in Technicolor – shorten that long URL into a tiny URL
Important information about Office Mix Preview end of service – PowerPoint



Innovative & Interactive Response to Text

I’m sure that like me you might get frustrated by some of the obvious drawbacks PDF’s have. And, so many of our docs these days are in PDF format.

So, you may find this to be a relief.


“It’s so important in this digital age when so many students consume text online that they learn how to transfer their pen and paper annotation strategies to the online space. Kami is another fantastic tool for supporting active reading online.”

This is a quote from a fellow educator, Catlin Tucker. It was excerpted from this blog entry ==> Make PDFs Interactive with Kami

I started to have my learners engage with a PDF text and then suddenly in the back of my mind I remembered Catlin’s post from last spring.


Here is a recent example from my class illustrating our use of this tool. In order to protect my learner’s identity, the comments he posted have been redacted, only his highlights have been shared.

Setting Sail



Assignment Directions and Rubric

Read and Annotate

Learning Goal: Stop, think and react using a variety of strategies to understand

Read pp. 1- 9
On pages 7-9 keep track of your thinking using highlighting, underling and/or commenting with Kami.
*Stop to think and react to the information
*Ask questions
*Identify and consider big ideas
*Paraphrase the information in your own words
*Infer to fill in gaps
*Activate your schemaView the rubric below to guide your thinking and outcome.After you finish, find two or three others who have finished. Form a group to share your reactions to the article.
Think about the important ideas as well as any issues, questions, or thoughts you have.
Share your thinking with the whole class via the Padlet below.
Here’s a recent post from Jacqui Murray in support of PDF use in schools. The Case for PDFs in Class


In response to: “Fighting the battle of copy/paste cheating”

I don’t like the conclusion you reached because I know in my gut that it be true. However, I find it is also a time problem. I have 4 hours each week to plan, provide feedback, communicate, and create for Reading, Writing, Math, Science, Social Studies, Listening, Speaking, Vocabulary Work, Grammar, Mechanics, Technology, and Art Standards. Planning includes analyzing myriad assessments, personalizing, providing remediation, planning for whole class, small group, partner and individual instruction. Communication involves all stakeholders; students, parents, and fellow staff. It also includes writing progress reports and report cards. Creation includes designing units, lessons, and assessments since we often either do not have a guaranteed, viable curriculum or what we have has to be modified. Now throw in a recess incident, a discipline problem, a depressed student, an IEP, etc. and some of that 4 hours is gone. In my desire to be succinct I may have left out a few other requirements.

Obviously, the great load of teaching is played out behind the scenes while the bulk of our time is on the carpet in front of our learners. Hence, many use “activities”, TPT, Pinterest, etc.


And I love teaching. Yet, we find we are constantly striving for a sustainable practice. Sustainable for ourselves, our families, our students, our colleagues, our schools and our communities, all of whom we serve.




  • Determine a theme of a story, from details in the text, including how characters in a story  respond to challenges
  • Explain how a series of  scenes fit together to provide the overall structure of a particular story
  • Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences.

We have been studying the Arc of the Story aka Plot Diagram during part of our ELA learning. To help reinforce and cement the learning we have incorporated the use of Ozobots to trace the path of the story and react to certain parts such as the climax or rising action.

Here’s some video from our class as they work on this project; including their first day of exploring the coding of their Ozobots in conjunction with their story-maps.


Subscribe By Email

Get a weekly email of all new posts.

Please prove that you are not a robot.