Don’t know what to do with that Chromebook cart? Learn practical information for implementation, and take back lessons that will motivate you and your students to make learning fun.


  • Daniel Reynoso

    “Low-performing schools have the computer tell the students what to do…high-performing schools let the student tell the computer what to do.”

    Mr. Selak, as a teacher with nearly 25 years of experience in the elementary classroom setting, I found these two slides the most inspiring, and most challenging. So often with teaching, we search for the “cookie-cutter” ways to engage and assess our students. It’s safe to say that the worksheet manual is unfortunately the most used of my series sets. While not the most effective way to engage nor assess, it’s the path of least resistance for most educators.

    Not being quite as tech savvy as many of my colleagues, I’m facing a crossroads in my life as an educator where the world of technology is either going to be a disaster for my career, or a much needed boost. Just as overwhelming as a Google search can be, the possibilities for utilizing technology in the classroom, especially for those of us who are fortunate enough to have a cart full of Chromebooks charging in our rooms as we speak, can be quite daunting to a generation that didn’t grow up behind the computer screen.

    My question is, where would you suggest a safe “ground-level” for an educator in my position in using technology in the classroom on a day-to-day basis, and not just those once a year projects, or quarterly assessments. Scholastic offers great opportunities as far as an online resource, but I’m more interested in making something of my own.

    Thank you for your time, and this VERY informative site.
    -Daniel R. Reynoso
    4th Grade Teacher
    Sacramento, CA

  • This question makes me so happy, Daniel. One of the greatest things about technology is that we just need to create the environment. If we set students up well and truly get out of their way, they will do amazing things.
    Google Cultural Institute is one of my favorites. Students can curate their own gallery of images, paintings, or sculptures, and add annotations to each curated piece. Here’s an overview of it:http://www.billselak.com/2014/googleculturalinstitute
    The great thing about this one is that once you understand the basics of it, it’s just a matter of figuring out where it fits into a unit and letting students run with it.
    Thinking much more broadly, I recommend using that blue Share button liberally. Have students share with each other, with you, with other classes on campus, other classes nearby, other classes around the world. Students can collaborate on a doc/presentation/spreadsheet, or comment, or edit, or share.

  • Angela Reyes

    The idea of low performing schools have the computer tell the students what to do and the high performing schools let the student tell the computer what to do is some what a revelation to me. As I was watching the slide show it was bringing information to the fore front of my mind. I am not that tech savvy but have been trying to find a great balance of tech and books in my classroom. As I think of the idea of letting the students tell the computer what to do it makes so much sense. We are allowing them to be the creators and giving them an opportunity to learn in unconventional ways. It is so true that we should beg, borrow and steal, because the resources are out there we just need to find them. Your blog gives me a great understanding and start to utilizing more technology.

  • Tracy Cruz

    I am very interested in the whole world of google right now. I haven’t ever used it before a month ago and I am loving it. It is so easy to create and share work. I am a high school math teacher and I have been sitting here trying to come up with ways that I can have my students utilize this tool. I know of one other teacher in the school that uses Google classroom for all her students. She teaches English and requires the students to submit all work through Google docs. Her students are performing exceptionally well. I usually have the younger age group and I know that with math we don’t do a lot of writing but I really want to integrate this technology into my classroom. When you said to take an old project and tech it up I had my light bulb come on. I do have a project that my students use and usually they create a spreadsheet and fill it in by hand but I am thinking I can have they use google sheets and then have they creates a short presentation with google slides that they have to submit to me for grading. I am so glad I came across this blog when I did. I actually had that Aha moment that I look for in my students. Thank you and keep the great ideas coming. I am going to go write down all the ideas I now have for my freshman project.