I am a professional reader. Isn’t that great, yes, I get paid to read. Don’t you wish you had my job? But I’m gonna let you in on a little secret that perhaps you already knew but, hey, none of us know everything that’s why you got people like me out there writing, right?

I suppose there are two types of reading that I like to engage in; reading for pleasure and reading professionally. Now when I read for pleasure, here’s my preferred medium.

And when I read professionally, here’s my preferred medium.

Why the difference?






  • In a former life I was a bookstore manager, so there is something indescribably visceral about the actual holding of a book that you enjoy reading.
  • I have way too many books already so the more professional books I can get electronically the better since after all, I am a professional reader.
  • Often times the electronic version is less expensive, has hyperlinks, perhaps bonus materials, might be more easily updated.
  • I usually read professionally in my office at my desk. Helps the mindset and keeps me from napping.
  • But one of my most important reasons for reading professionally in the electronic way is that I can highlight, write notes, and make multiple bookmarks. My highlights and notes are then easy to copy/paste for whatever nefarious purpose I may have though actually it is always an educational purpose.






Try it, you’ll like it




What Chrome Extensions do you use?

Here are some that I find particularly helpful. What would you add to this list?

This just in: Chrome Extensions (& 1 Google Add-on) too Good To Miss


Adobe Acrobat
Application Launcher for Drive (by Google)
Cisco WebEx Extension
Flip It URL Shortener
Goobric Web App Launcher
Google Cast for Education
Google Docs
Google Drive Quick Create
Google Keep Chrome Extension
Logitech Unifying for Chrome
Nimbus Screenshot and Screen Video
Number Pieces
OneNote Web Clipper
Padlet Mini
Pinterest Save Button
Read & Write for Google Chrome
Save to Cloud Drive
Save to Feedly Board
Save to Google Drive
Screencastify- Screen Video Recorder
Search by Image (by Google)
Send to Kindle for Google Chrome
smarterPod: Simple and Smart Podcast Player
Soapbox — screen & webcam recorder
Sphero- EDU
The Great Suspender
Web Clipper (Nimbus)
Zero Noise Classroom



Math- Spiral Review/Spacing/Distributed Practice

The beautiful creature that created this spiral most certainly did not create their spiral overnight, in fact the shell continues to develop as the snail ages. Thus it is a most suitable metaphor for reviewing math, it takes time.

This entry was prompted by a colleague of mine that was wondering if there was some way to digitize a text resource that we have been using for years to provide a spiral review for our learners.

So, I started to ponder this whole idea. I found a few resources:

Spiral Review Part 1

Spiral Review Part 2

It’s Instruction Stupid-“…ongoing, cumulative review…”

After viewing, reading these resources I came to the conclusion that it would be best to personalize the spiral review and not use a product from a publisher, TPT, or Pinterest. It will be more work for me but not all educational decisions should be based on the ease of the teacher.


But then there’s this: The Spacing Effect


Writing/Editing in Google Docs & Word

When I went to college I remember I was so proud to get my new typewriter. A Smith & Corona Selectric.


Well it was quite a bit more modern than this one, in fact my machine was state of the art for its time. Then technology progressed and I got an IBM PC Jr. that had a word processor and a dot matrix printer. It even had a “mouse”, sorry all you elephants in the room.




My point is, I predict that voice recognition is improving so rapidly that my students will use voice typing as their primary input to their devices before high school. Already we use it in our daily lives-think Alexa or Siri!

So here is a short video showing how I enable my students to use voice typing or STT (speech-to-text).

My apologies for the voice quality, looks like I need to adjust my settings.


Now, I can’t have the whole class using it at once given the quality of my headsets but the day will soon come. I think it is vitally important that they use a TTS (text-to-speech) app in order to listen to what they have voice typed. This kind of feedback loop will increase their independent editing skills. Much like we sometimes use these.

If you need any help, please let me know.


07.19.17 Here are other blogs on this topic:

Ideas for Using the Voice Typing Tool in Google Docs

Voice Typing in Google Docs

Microsoft Dictate

Text-To-Speech (TTS) Tools


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