Category Archives: Web 2.0 Tools

Student Creation with Book Creator


by Laura Girard, GCPS eCLASS Instructional Specialist

Teachers are constantly looking for new and exciting ways to keep students engaged while learning. Students love to make their own creations-no matter the topic. Creation-based tasks promote higher-order thinking, encourage collaboration, and connect students to real-world learning. Students who are “making” to demonstrate their learning can produce content that is shareable and valuable. Their creations can be geared toward a specific audience and viewed outside of the classroom. The sense of purpose that students have as creators can be leveraged to increase engagement and get learners of all ages excited about content (Monica Burns – 7 Apps for Student Creators-Edutopia).

Book Creator

Looking for an easy way to engage students in creation activities? Check out Book Creator! Students can use Book Creator to show what they know about pretty much anything!

Here are a few student created examples:


Being able to repeatedly engage content can positively affect student achievement.  There is now a tool that assists with this: H5P.  Teachers across the county have been exploring this free tool, which can be used to create and share various interactive activities, such as remediation and enrichment opportunities.  These activities can then be embedded onto their eCLASS course pages.

Explore the popular features below to see examples of ways teachers are using H5P.*

 H5P elevates teaching to the next level by enabling teachers to create media-rich content that previously would have been inaccessible without coding knowledge.  The program is user-friendly, easily accessible, and worth it to use with your students.  Wendy McDonald, a Local School Technology Coordinator (LSTC) at Jordan Middle School, agrees wholeheartedly: “At first, it is a little cumbersome to use. When you figure it out, you unlock a magical program!”  

 Which H5P features will you begin exploring with your students?    

 * “Examples & Downloads.” N. p., 2017. Web. 1 Aug. 2017.

Nearpod in your Classroom

What is Nearpod?

Laura Girard and Becky Mathews,  GCPS eCLASS Instructional Specialists, wrote this introduction to Nearpod

Nearpod is a cool free tool that can be used for for presenting content, checking for understanding, and increasing student engagement.  Teachers can search for already created lessons or create their own lessons that include content slides, videos, links to websites, quizzes, polls, images, drawing, and so much more. Students can join a Nearpod session on a device to learn, interact, and show understanding. Teachers can control Nearpod for class presentations or assign the Nearpod so that students can move through the presentation and interact at their own pace. After presentations are completed, teachers are able to access detailed reports about student progress.  

plan do check act

Why should I use Nearpod?

Today’s children are digital learners. They have grown up with more access to devices than ever before. Technology is naturally engaging for them. Why not harness that power and use it to your advantage? Students who participate in Nearpod lessons see and interact with presentations on a device that is right in front of them. No more trying to see the screen from the back of the room or complaining because someone is in the way! With Nearpod, every student can not only easily see what is being taught, but they can also interact with lessons to maintain engagement.

21st C learner

How does it work?

There are two main ways to present information with Nearpod.

2 main ways

What can my interactive Nearpod lesson include?

what can my nearpod lesson include

How can I use Nearpod with my students?

ways you could use nearpod with your students

What kind of data will Nearpod give me?

In Progress Data

As students respond during teacher directed lessons, teachers can see and share anonymous student responses. This allows teachers to check for understanding as the lesson progresses. Teachers can also use this information to identify when they need to clarify topics further  or stretch students to a deeper level of understanding.

End of Lesson Data

At the end of each Nearpod lesson, teachers can get a report that shows student progress. Here are a some things that you can find in reports.

  • Percent of student participation
  • Percent of correct correct/incorrect/no answer in quizzes
  • Student answers to open ended questions
  • Student answers to quizzes, indicating correct/incorrect answers
  • Pictures of student drawings
  • Link to Collaborate Board so the Nearpod lesson can be shared with other teachers

Nearpod in Action

K Student using Nearpod

Middle schooler using nearpod

Click here to get started with Nearpod.


10 Ways to use Nearpod in the Classroom. Nearpod Blog, 4 August 2015, Accessed 20 April 2017.

5 Ways Nearpod Transformed My Teaching by Monica Burns. Nearpod Blog, 23 March 2017,, Accessed 20 April 2017.

Augmented Reality Icon made by Freepik Flaticon, Accessed 20 April 2017

Computer Monitor Icon made by Popcorns Arts. Flaticon, Accessed 20 April 2017

Field Notes Week 3: Unpacking Ideas: 8 Ways to Use Nearpod Collaborate! TODAY!. Nearpod Blog, 2 March 2017,, Accessed 20 April 2017.

Hand Gesture Icon made by Freepik. Flaticon, Accessed 20 April 2017

How it works. Nearpod Blog,, Accessed 20 April 2017.

Laptop Icon made by Prosymbols. Flaticon, Accessed 20 April 2017

Learner Competencies. Rocky View Schools, 2017,, Accessed 20 April 2017.

Smartphone Icon made by Vectors Market. Flaticon, Accessed 20 April 2017


Tiny DoorYou are walking with your friend on the BeltLine in Atlanta on a beautiful spring afternoon. You smile at a passerby and notice the white fluffy clouds in the sky above as the breeze blows across your face. You tell your friend about your students, working so hard to master new skills that week. A glimpse of red draws your eye to the ground. It’s a small, red door with fencing surrounding a garden on either side. There is a miniature bicycle parked outside the door. You notice a frame with the words “#TinyDoorsATL” inside. Questions abound. Who lives behind the door? What is their tiny life like? Who rides the miniature bicycle? These questions will never be answered but will be imagined by all who pass these Tiny Doors.

Tiny Doors ATL

This red door, like so many others, has been carefully designed and crafted by Tiny Doors ATL. The goal of Tiny Doors ATL is to create free, public art that generates wonder, creativity, and imagination. Two teachers at Hopkins Elementary School took this art installation to the next level by creating #TinyDoorsHop, short for Tiny Doors Hopkins. Sydney Cohn, Math Connections Teacher, and Amanda Main, Art Connections Teacher, envisioned a project that combined art, math, and technology to help students understand that math is all around us while also encouraging student creativity.

Tiny Doors HopClasses begin the project by seeing Ms. Main for a week in art class. On Monday, students take a pretest consisting of 10 questions: five questions are focused on the elements of art while the other five questions are centered on area and perimeter. Next, students are introduced to the project by viewing an emaze presentation about Tiny Doors ATL. The following day, students complete a foldable using terms and Foldabledefinitions. Students learn about line, shape, form, texture, space, value, and color while thinking about how they can use some of these elements in the design of their doors.

Students begin executing their vision by creating a sketch of their Tiny Door, keeping in mind the elements of art and how the location of their door will influence their design. Ms. Main incorporates student use of technology by having students answer questions on a Padlet.
Students must describe how the location of their Tiny Door impacts the design and what elements of art are included in their design.

Padlet ExampleThe first group of 4th graders who completed this project had never used Padlet. Without teacher instruction, the students quickly discovered the camera feature and chose to capture images of their doors in addition to answering the given questions. Allowing students the freedom to explore tech tools independently takes projects and activities to new heights!

The week after students finish creating their Tiny Door, they visit Ms. Cohn in Math Connections. Here, students spend a few days learning about area and perimeter and measuring different parts of their door. For example, students can measure the actual door, the design of the door, or specific aspects of the design. Students compile their calculations using a graphic organizer. Students synthesize their learning, about both art and math, into a paragraph that is then typed into a QR code generator.

Ms. Cohn differentiates this activity by providing different forms of the same graphic organizer. One group of students will compose their own paragraph, another group of students use sentence starters to create their paragraph, and yet another group of students circle answer choices and fill in blanks. Students submit their final QR code to a dropbox so Ms. Cohn can print them out.

Tiny Doors will soon take over the halls of Hopkins Elementary and each door will be accompanied by a QR code that describes the elements of art used in the design of the door, the area of the door or design, and the perimeter of the door or design. The last piece of technology integration in this project is an online post-test. Students take the same test that they took in art to show knowledge gains in the topics of elements of art, area, and perimeter.

The most meaningful part of this project is seeing what the students have taken away. When asked the question, “How does math influence art?” students were able to articulate more connections between math and art than at the start of the project. They identified many elements of art that are present in math.

“Each time we draw, we use the elements of art.”

“Math influences art by using shapes. Shapes are just like geometry. Squares and rectangles can be measured to find out the area and perimeter. That is how math influences art.”

Watching students complete this project showed me that making connections to the real world, integrating subjects, and embedding technology in meaningful ways grabs students’ attention. The students at Hopkins Elementary School are so excited to see their Tiny Doors decorating the halls. Once placed throughout the school, students may choose to develop a creative writing piece that describes the world around these Tiny Doors. Students will answer many of the same questions that are generated by Tiny Doors ATL.

Kudos to Sydney Cohn and Amanda Main who dreamed up this highly engaging project. I leave you with the words of a fourth grader at Hopkins Elementary,

“Art and math go together because they both help you learn more things. If you do half math and half art it will be so much fun.”