Noisli – Background Noise to Improve Focus and Productivity

WHO: Teachers looking for background noise in the classroom.

HOW: Open a web browser and type into the address bar or download the app in the App Store, Google Play, or Chrome Web Store.  There are a wide variety of choices to make a custom background scene for you or your students. Teachers can create an account to save the setup for use again.

WHEN: Whether a teacher is trying to increase their own productivity during a planning period or improve focus with their students while working, Noisli provides an answer with subtle background noise.

NCEA Webinars – Free Professional Development Resource for Educators!

WHO: Educators that are looking for quality professional development webinars at low-costs (better yet, free!). Many of the webinars hosted by NCEA are sponsored by various vendors, allowing educators to access the material at no cost.

HOW: Head over to, register for an account, and register for the webinar of your choice.  As this is a Catholic-based entity, some of the webinars will focus specifically on Catholic Schools.

WHEN: Most webinars are hosted in the evening on the east coast.  Educators should be sure to check the time of the specific webinar they are interested in, but they are also available “on-demand” at a later date.


Wired Educator Podcast: Recharge Your Passion for Education

WHO: Teachers looking to gather ideas and hear from educational leaders from around the world! Kelly Croy has nearly thirty years in education between teaching middle school English and as an administrator. Currently serving as Director of Innovation and Instruction, Kelly has a personality that brings out the best in everyone around him.  He travels the country speaking on a variety of topics and also as a chalk artist!  Kelly is the author of Along Came a Leader (available for purchase on Amazon). I’ve been actively listening to the Wired Educator Podcast over the past few months.  I am amazed by the wide variety of topics that are covered as well as the list of educational leaders that Kelly has interviewed. I find myself motivated and ready to try something new after each episode.

HOW: Head on over to, take a look through Kelly’s blog posts and over 100 episodes and interviews.  I highly recommend Episodes 10 (Dave Burgess), 91 (Matt Miller), 92 (Todd Whitaker), and 100 (Celebrating 100 episodes).

WHEN: Each episode of The Wired Educator Podcast is about 50 minutes, making it perfect for planning periods, the commute to work, or while grocery shopping! You can listen to episodes through the Podcast App on your Apple product or stream directly from the website.


Badge Tracker: Simple Credentials to Gamify Your Classroom

WHO: Teachers looking for an easy way to begin using Badges in their classroom.

HOW: has done it again! Another great tool with an easy-to-understand instruction sheet allows teachers to create a badging system using Google Sheets.  The instructions are listed on the website here.  Teachers find or create their own images to use for badges, add a student roster, awarded badges, and publish the spreadsheet to the web! After it has been published, teachers can grab the public link from the separate sheet at the bottom of the page.  Teachers can also add asterisks to the award column to add stars to skills.  Students are able to see all available badges and how they compare to their classmates.  If a teacher wanted to make it private, they could make an individual spreadsheet for each student by just making a copy of a completed sheet. Badges could be created for mastering content, attaining new skills, or demonstrating competency.

WHEN: Badge Tracker is a great tool to motivate students while giving a gamification flare to the classroom.

Here is how a class page looks in their demo:

Here is an example of an individual students page:

The Most Dangerous Writing App – Disappearing Writing Exercise

WHO: Teachers that are looking for a tool that will allow students to focus on writing rather than editing.

HOW: The Most Dangerous Writing App is simple to use!  Direct students to  and tell them to select a time length or word count.  The frightening part of this application is that when the writer stops typing for five seconds, their work starts to disappear!  The only way to save their work is to accomplish the goal set forth before the exercise begins.

WHEN: This option for the class could be very useful for students to practice while the teacher completes administrative tasks such as attendance.  Teachers may also find it useful to prepare students for projects that require creative thinking or even just practicing home row typing.

Classroom Screen: The Toolkit Teachers Ask For!

WHO: Teachers with interactive whiteboards or at minimum a projection system (Television, projector).  Classroom Screen is the toolkit teachers have been searching for! No more visiting multiple sites for timers, name pickers, and noise meters. Classroom Screen is a one-stop shop for simple tools teachers are asking for.

HOW: No sign-up required, which means no password to remember!  Simply head on over to and get started right away!

WHEN: Classroom Screen has built-in tools that are great to use during any part of your lesson!  Tools include; Random Name/Roll the Dice, Sound Level, QR Code generator, Full Screen and widget drawing, Text, Work Symbols, Traffic Light, Timer, Clock/Calendar, and Exit Poll.

PBS Learning Media: Rich Resource for Content, Activities, and More!

WHO: Teachers looking for online resources that can be distributed to students with ease.  Teachers that are looking for ways to create puzzles, quizzes, storyboard, and more!

HOW: Visit and create an account and explore! Inside the dashboard, there are a variety of tools.  Teachers can search through content areas, grade levels, or a simple keyword search.  All of the resources can easily be shared via Google Classroom or other mediums.  Content can be organized into folders to be shared with classes as well.

WHEN: There is a wide variety of content inside of PBS Learning Media.  It can be used as a Bell Ringer, classroom discussion, or even as something to view at home.

Unsplash: Beautiful Free Images to Make Presentations Amazing

WHO: Teachers that are looking for great images to use with their students while not infringing on any copyright issues.

HOW: Visit, type in what you are looking for and hit search!  There are currently over 400,000 images that have been submitted for anyone to use.  While it is not required to cite credit to the photographers, it is recommended in order to give them exposure for their work.  Here is the information from Unsplash regarding licensing and the images on the site:

All photos published on Unsplash can be used for free. You can use them for commercial and non-commercial purposes. You do not need to ask permission from or provide credit to the photographer or Unsplash, although it is appreciated when possible.

More precisely, Unsplash grants you an irrevocable, non-exclusive copyright license to download, copy, modify, distribute, perform, and use photos from Unsplash for free, including for commercial purposes, without permission from or attributing the photographer or Unsplash. This license does not include the right to compile photos from Unsplash to replicate a similar or competing service.

Tip: How to give credit 🎁

Even though credit isn’t required, Unsplash photographers appreciate a credit as it provides exposure to their work and encourages them to continue sharing. A credit can be as simple as adding their name with a link to their profile or photo:

Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

WHEN: Unsplash is great for students (and teachers) to use for classroom presentations.

yellkey: Convert URL to Common Word Shortener

While at the Future of Education Technology Conference (FETC) I was able to hear from a lot of fantastic educators from all over the country.  Yellkey is one of the many tools that were shared over the course of the conference.  Specifically, I picked this tool up from Leslie Fisher.  She has some awesome things going on at her newly revamped website (including great pricing on webinars) that you should check out!

WHO: Teachers that frequently share URLs in class but have issues with students using URL shorteners.

HOW: Visit, paste in the URL to share, select a length of time for the key to exist, generate yellkey and share!

WHEN: Yellkey is great for situations that need to share a URL, but it does not need to be permanent. A prime example would be when you are giving a presentation at a conference and need the audience to quickly get to your shared slide deck.  In the classroom, it is great for those quick websites that may not be shared links elsewhere.  I plan to use it for the Google Form for Homecoming Court voting, the online ballots will be protected with required sign-in and the link will only be available through yellkey for a specific length of time.

Metaverse – Create AR Experiences in the Classroom

WHO: Teachers looking for an engaging activity for students to demonstrate knowledge and/or creativity.

HOW: Create an account at and start creating a new experience.  Here is a video I created to demonstrate Metaverse in action and how to get started creating.

Direct Link to video:

WHEN: Metaverse is a great activity to use for team-building or to allow your students to create on their own.