Using Google Doc’s Voice Regonition Tool

Google Docs Voice Recognition feature is a powerful dictation tool that’s often overlooked. Once you get started, you can even use commands to edit and format your document. For example, “Select paragraph,” “italics,” or “Go to the end of the line.” Check out the video below to see how to get started with Voice Recognition.

Note: this is only available when using your Chrome browser.




EdPuzzle should be on your shortlist of essential tools. Why is EdPuzzle essential and so useful?

Simply this, take any video from YouTube or Khan Academy (and other sites) and make it interactive by embedding questions right in the video.

This allows for:

  • self-paced lessons. It lets students move through content they already understand to focus on what challenges them. Students are also able to stop and review content they missed the first time the teacher taught it. 
  • students to ask questions that they too embarrassed to ask in class
  • teachers to easily add images, interactive graphs, websites and comments to a video lesson
  • students to respond to teacher posed questions. There is a useful “big-brother” aspect to this. As a teacher, I can see how many times a student watched a particular segment (or if they watched it at all).  I’ve had students watch segments of a video up to 5 times to answer a particular question. This lets me know if my question is too hard or the concept is too challenging.
  • full integration with Google Classroom.

Take it another step. Tape yourself either during class delivering the content or in advance of class. Now your lesson is archivable and interactive in ways it never was before.

By the way, I rarely go to as I usually use the chrome extension to do my edpuzzling. It gives me all the utility I need and saves me some clicks.

To learn everything you could ever want to know about EdPuzzle, check out its YouTube Channel.


Flipgrid – A Video Tool for the Classroom


Flipgrid is a video discussion platform. It couldn’t be easier for students to use as they simply click a big green + button and begin to talk. As a teacher, I can control how long their responses are supposed to be.

I used the tool this year in two similar but different ways. I have my students journal every couple of weeks usually via a blog or google docs. Instead of a written journal, a couple of times I asked students to do a video journal.

Here is one such example as this student reflects on an in-class simulation. It gets even richer as students begin discussion threads and go back and forth discussing and debating ideas. Below is a screenshot of a portion what I see as a teacher. You can see each video has its own unique shareable url. I can easily comment on any of these posts with a typed or filmed comment. You can also see that “4th wall” of teaching is partially penetrated. These kids are viewing what their classmates have to say. Blake had 11 classmates view his responses. The discussion moved beyond the classroom.

I also used it for quick status reports as my students did a month long maker-space project. Simply clicking through the video responses was a quick and easy way for me to gauge student progress.

Stacy Roshan is a Flipgrid superuser and posts quite a bit on her own blog about Flipgrid. Here are some highlights.



Find Quality Videos More Quickly

I frequently check YouTube for videos for my classes. I’ve found some gems, but I’ve also waded through some dreck.  This video shows how to use YouTube Playlists to find quality videos much more quickly, curate videos for your classes, and to use playlists in lesson plans.

Other video tips, use EdPuzzle to further edit YouTube videos. As FCS teachers, we all have the extension added to YouTube. Just click Edit with edpuzzle.

Finally, if concerned about distracting thumbnails for other videos and content, use a tool like safeyoutube.