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Recent Blog Posts

Workbench and Google Sheets part 2

Workbench and Google Sheets part 2

The coding space in Workbench has a Blockly workspace that resembles Scratch, so it is readily familiar with students and teachers and it works super well on Chromebooks as well as other laptops. This blog is the second in a series of five and you will learn how you can add devices that can interact with the code.

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Workbench and Google Sheets part 1

Workbench and Google Sheets part 1

As a teacher, I am always looking for ways to integrate digital tools, especially in the STEAM space, so that meaningful learning experiences can take place. Ultimately, I want to be able to combine a variety of applications and devices together and develop some coding to gather data and control external devices. Workbench provides the backbone to be able to do that.

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How to get started with unplugged activities in your classroom

How to get started with unplugged activities in your classroom

If you were asked, ““If a visitor to your school was to walk into a typical room, what might they see students doing with technology?” what might your answer be? Using unplugged activities can help develop computational thinking in your students, allowing that use of technology to maybe look a little different. This blog will give some ideas of ways to integrate these activities into your classroom.

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Technology, sustainability and saying goodbye to some old friends.

Technology, sustainability and saying goodbye to some old friends.

If you were to create a pile of all the LPs, cassettes and CDs you ever owned how big would it be? Where are they all now? Did you throw them out? Recycle them?
Technology has both positive and negative consequences – the impact of some technological change on the environment has been massive. Exploring technology, sustainability and the environment should be part of all curriculums.

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Up your Slide Design Game

Up your Slide Design Game

How many slides have your students produced – whether it be in Google Slides or Microsoft’s PowerPoint – where there has been little, or no, thought given to the design of the slides? This blog will look at four sites designed to easily solve this problem for you.

Three ways to get started with Minecraft Education Edition

Three ways to get started with Minecraft Education Edition

Have your Minecraft Education Edition licenses but not sure where to begin? This blog gives you three ideas to get started in meaningful ways, leading you gently into the wonderful world of Minecraft so that you can transform learning for your students.

3 steps to developing a PD plan that actually works

3 steps to developing a PD plan that actually works

If you are organising the learning for your staff, you know that it is near impossible to organise anything that pleases everyone!
Let’s take a step back and look at WHY you are organising profession learning opportunities for your staff…

How to get a date picker in a Google Sheets cell

How to get a date picker in a Google Sheets cell

I recently learnt a nifty trick in Google Sheets that will force a cell to display a pop-up date picker box when you double click on it. This is a great alternative to typing in dates manually! The secret is to use the Data validation feature to limit the cell data to dates only.

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How to make your handwriting editable text

How to make your handwriting editable text

Sometimes it’s simply quicker and easier to hand write the notes you want to take. But what happens to them once you’ve written them? Well here’s 2 ways to save those notes and make them editable text at the same time.

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Photo Gallery by Awesome Table

Photo Gallery by Awesome Table

Photos are a great way to capture evidence of the activities and the learning that happen within a classroom. Sharing those photos can sometimes be frustrating though- but not with the Photo Gallery by Awesome Table add-on for Google Sheets. Read on to see how easy it can be to embed a folder of folders into your Google Site with this awesome tool.

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Gmail’s Send + Archive button explained

Gmail’s Send + Archive button explained

Gmail’s Send + Archive button is a great feature that lets you perform two actions with one click. However, many of the attendees at my training sessions either don’t know it exists or are confused about how it works. In this post, I’ll explain what the Send + Archive button does, how to turn it on and why it should be your new favourite Gmail feature!

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Use Gmail filters to auto-label & file your emails

Use Gmail filters to auto-label & file your emails

Managing the never ending avalanche of emails that arrive in our inbox can sometimes feel like a full time job in itself! One strategy that can help you overcome this is using filters to automate email management and keep less important emails out of your inbox. In this post, we’ll show you how to setup filters in Gmail.

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Demystifying Gmail’s Archive button

Demystifying Gmail’s Archive button

For many people that attend our Gmail workshops, the ‘Archive’ button in Gmail is a bit of a mystery. Some people even tell me that they’re a bit scared about clicking it, as they’re not sure what will happen to their email if they do! Read on and demystify the Archive button for good!

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Organise your files with the Google Drive Priority page

Organise your files with the Google Drive Priority page

When I ask people what their biggest frustration with Google Drive is, the overwhelming response is always ‘keeping it organised!’. That’s why I am so excited about Google Drive’s Priority page. In this blog post, I’ll explain what it does, how it can keep you focused and efficient and how you can use Workspaces to organise the files you use the most.

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How to organise your folders in Microsoft Outlook for Mac

How to organise your folders in Microsoft Outlook for Mac

If you’ve been using the same email account in Outlook for Mac for a while, you’ve probably ended up with a long list of folders that can be cumbersome and time consuming to navigate. In this blog post, I’ll share three tips you can use to better organise your folders for greater efficiency.

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Free sites for current events

Free sites for current events

Being aware of the wider world around them is important for our students today, but often the news sites can be inappropriate for younger learners. The challenge is how to make them aware of what’s occurring without exposing them unnecessarily to situations beyond their understanding.This blog will share four sites that are written especially for our younger people.

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Ideas for building positive relationships with parents

Ideas for building positive relationships with parents

Besides the students in your school, one of the next most important groups of people are your student’s parents. Building positive relationships with parents is not always an easy journey – but there are some things we can do to help establish positive relationships with them. Here are five ideas to help with this.

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Five ways to make Chromebooks even easier to use for younger students

Five ways to make Chromebooks even easier to use for younger students

I recently spent three days working with staff and students at Waipahihi School in Taupo, New Zealand. While helping the teachers to introduce Google Classroom to their grade 3 and 4 students, I noticed that a lot of time was spent directing students to particular websites and assisting them to change settings on their Chromebooks. In this blog post, I’ll be sharing these five ways to customise Chromebooks to eliminate these time wasters.

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How to organise your folders in Microsoft Outlook for Mac

How to organise your folders in Microsoft Outlook for Mac

If you’ve been using the same email account in Outlook for Mac for a while, you’ve probably ended up with a long list of folders that can be cumbersome and time consuming to navigate. In this blog post, I’ll share three tips you can use to better organise your folders for greater efficiency.

VIEW POST
Up your Slide Design Game

Up your Slide Design Game

How many slides have your students produced – whether it be in Google Slides or Microsoft’s PowerPoint – where there has been little, or no, thought given to the design of the slides? This blog will look at four sites designed to easily solve this problem for you.

Three ways to get started with Minecraft Education Edition

Three ways to get started with Minecraft Education Edition

Have your Minecraft Education Edition licenses but not sure where to begin? This blog gives you three ideas to get started in meaningful ways, leading you gently into the wonderful world of Minecraft so that you can transform learning for your students.

3 steps to developing a PD plan that actually works

3 steps to developing a PD plan that actually works

If you are organising the learning for your staff, you know that it is near impossible to organise anything that pleases everyone!
Let’s take a step back and look at WHY you are organising profession learning opportunities for your staff…

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What our clients say about us

It really gets you thinking about ‘why’ you do what you do. Great to have time out from the classroom to experiment and have time to think and discuss different ideas.

Abbey Howard

Highlands Intermediate

Thank you Mike! I really found the 4 week course on ‘How to Motivate, Manage & Engage Your Students’ really interesting and great food for thought on how to improve my class routines and student engagement. I look forward to the next sessions with the technology course.

KiKi Tsoli

Banks Town Senior College

Just replayed last week’s session and enjoyed it just as much second time around. This is a great facility!

Where was this kind of training when I did my Bachelor of teaching???

Ken Sullivan

Sunning Hill School
(Juvenile Correctional Centre)

I just wanted to say an extra big thank you for providing such a great service. Online, at night and in the comfort of home – with my two young children asleep in the other room – pretty awesome actually. It was very engaging and entertaining.

Leda McFadzean

 

OMG!!! What a change! This class has a lot of students in it, and I find the room very small for all the different personalities. But after I set the picture, the students were working with me instead of against me.

Vicki Nation

Chair Mathematics Faculty
Billanook College

I have been teaching for four years, and this was the best Professional Development course I have completed…even the students said to me “you should do these things more often.

Ailie Granger

Griffith High School

Mike, awesome course, fantastic resources and a real wake-up for someone who considers himself technically astute but not necessarily updated!

Shaun Hardy

Technological and Applied Studies Teacher
Coffs harbour High School

Today was amazing. By far the best PD I have done in my 5 years of Teaching.

Josh Harding

Head of IT – Cobham Intermediate School

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