Boomerang App – Make your email work for you

Based on remarks I heard at the weekly faculty meeting, I shared an addon I use to manage my email.  I use the addon on my browser called Boomerang app which seamlessly integrates into our school email account(Google Apps Email) to expand it’s utility and make digital communication more user friendly. With Boomerang, I can write an email now and schedule it to be sent automatically at the perfect time. Here are some of the things you can do with Boomerang:

  1. Re-send yourself emails, closer to the dates and times listed in an email.
  2. Send an email at a later time.
  3. Check to see if someone has opened the email you sent them.
  4. Get reminded if someone doesn’t respond to your email.
  5. Use Boomerang’s Respondable feature to write better emails.
  6. Stop emails with Boomerang Pause to get things done without interruptions.


Do yourself a favor and give it a try. Let me know if you have any questions.



EdTechPD: Teaching with Google Forms

Google Forms—along with Docs, Sheets, and Slides—is part of Google Apps for Education suite of tools. It’s easy to use and one of the simplest ways to collect data from users and save to a spreadsheet, and it’s the best sidekick to Google Sheets’ spreadsheets.

During our weekly EdTech PD event this week, I plan to demonstrate how Google Forms can be used to create assessments and provide feedback to students. I use Google Forms to keep track of student progress on projects, collect project proposals, mastery quizzes, and skill assessments. In these assessments, I provide students with immediate feedback on their progress.

I came across number of excellent resources for teachers interested in using Google Forms. Here is the list of resources that I feel will be useful.

The training video below is an excellent resource by Meagan Kelly. Whats covered in the video include:

  • Create a Google Form that contains a variety of question types, such as short answer, multiple choice, checkboxes, paragraph answers, etc.
  • Adjust the theme and style of the Google Form.
  • Set up the Google Form for automatic and manual grading.
  • Create a password to lock the Google Form.
  • View and analyze assessments results through Google Forms and Sheets.

Here is another very good Google Forms resource I discovered through @Google For Education. This is basically a presentation comprising 52 slides each of these slides features a Google Forms tip shared  by a teacher or educator on Twitter. Teachers are asked to use #GoogleForms handle to share their own experiences using Forms in their instruction and the folks in Google for Education collect and organize these resources into presentations such as the one below.

50 Practical Tips to Use Google Forms in Your Teaching

Here are some other useful resources.

Using Google Forms – by Eric Curts

Google Forms Add-ons” by Eric Curts


Padlet has been around for a while, but it continues to stay relevant and remains one of padlet_logo_jit-150x156the tools I always come back to, especially if I am using a student-centered lesson such as student projects.

Here is what is great about this dependable and time-tested app:

  1. You can record a video or voice note right in the app. This gives the teacher the ability to leave a video prompt or have students leave video responses. While there are many apps that do this – and do it well – this is just another way you can add creativity and creation to your Padlet.

Made with Padlet

2. There is a gallery of sample padlets that helps to get started easily.

Made with Padlet

3. Comments just got more powerful. You can add likes, vote a response up or down, and giving student the ability to see which responses are the most compelling.

Made with Padlet

4. The Dashboard is more visual and less cluttered.



Online Schools is at the “peak of inflated expectations” – Larry Cuban

I read a blog post by Larry Cuban talking about the hype of online learning especially at high school level and what drives the hype. He referred  to the news coming from Stanford University where the Stanford Online High School graduated 30 seniors this year.

What struck me was the explanation of the hype cycle and the causes. Many have commented on his post and as expected there are many who are not fully convinced on the promises of such technological innovation and radical changes to the teaching and learning.

As a classroom teacher, I feel like taking the side of the teachers but as a technology enthusiast and learning sciences researchers I am somewhat convinced that technology can make a difference and teachers need to learn to live with it. That being said, I agree that teachers will and should play a vital role in the learning experiences of high school children regardless of the medium( virtual or in a physical classroom). Effective teachers should and would be able to teach with or without technology.

final post on field project

Reflections on my project:

This semester long project has been a “growing” experience for me. This project not only gave me different insight into implementing technology in higher education setting with adult learners but I also successfully mastered the Google Page Creator tool. I faced with number of difficulties including having to change the tool from new e-portfolio tool to be implemented at Lehigh to this free online tool from Google. I think this is an eye opening experience for me or anyone else who is working in this field. In reality instructional technology projects are very much like many other information technology projects and hence there are very few projects that are implemented on time and with-in the budget.

Another important learning experience for me in this project was dealing with adult learners especially student teachers. I working with student teachers is as challenging as in-service teachers. May it is something to do with the name “Teacher”. As teachers most of us still feel that we should be an authoritarian and be always in control of our learning as well as classroom. Both as a technology student and teacher, I came to understand the important of trusting technology and using them like the way adolescent students would. Unless we, teachers or adults try it that way, we will always be two generations behind the technological development and instructional technology will not succeed in schools.

This project also taught me a lot about e-portfolios and this will be one of the area I will continue my research. Hopefully, after I graduate, I will be able to help the pre-service teachers in Maldives to create their online portfolios.

Comment on Classmates project:

Discusses a classmate’s project that you found particularly interesting and that you’d like to learn more about. Perhaps you liked the technologies involved, or you thought the application of the technology to the learning goal was especially creative, or you thought interesting issues arose during the implementation.

I liked Tim’s project because he was able to really get the teacher and students participation. Also he had the opportunity to continue with his field project and get it supported by school principal. Its is these kind of projects or endeavors that are likely to be successful and adopted in schools as there is backing from influential people in the school. According to Tim he worked on what the teacher wanted and gave her suggestion as to how other technologies will be of use for the task. I feel this is a better approach than those teachers who expect everything from technology person because teacher is also playing an important part in the project and therefore will be more likely to be motivated to work for its success.

project update: nov. 24th

I worked on the final documentation of the project over the thanksgiving break. It seems like it is not as easy as I thought when I submit the first draft. I was not very sure if I can write in first person, but writing in third person is challenge since I am trying to describe what I did for this project. The other issue I ran into was on making a decision wheather or not to write some sections such as context analysis in pont form rather than long paragraphs. As of now, I have the context analysis section in point form and I am planning to make changes to it as I add content to other sections.

I hava also created evaluation survey with nine questions on and emailed to the class and professor to get some feedback.

Also, last week I attended a meeting with Dr. Waddel and IT team leader and IT consultant for College. During the meeting we talked about the portfolio creation and how things will proceed once the new eportfolio system is in place hopefully next semester.

field project updates(Nov 12)

This past week, I was waiting to hear from the teaching intern class. Although, I didn’t get any email requesting for help, I am positive that they will have some questions and need help once they start working on their portfolio Websites. As for the project documentation, I will be working with Lifang on some parts since we are working with the same class with two different approaches. I talked to Dr. Hammond about collaborating with Lifang on the project documentation and he agreed to my suggestion.

Project Updates ( Oct 29 – Nov 5th )

This week I presented Google Page Creater (GPC) during Dr. Waddel’s class on Tuesday. I tried to demonstrate how to create a portfolio using GPC and I ran into some issues with browsers on my macbook. Both Firefox and Safari on my macbook didn’t allow me to use some functions of GPC that requires pop-ups. So I finally demonstrated using IE 7 on windows xp which was the test environment I used before when I created the how-to document.


Unfortunately, all the students in the class on Tuesday, had already designed their portfolio’s using Dreamweaver and they had more questions on how to use dreamweaver. In spite of this, I was still able to demonstrate to them how easy and useful GPC is for creating portfolio Website. Some students said they plan to re-design the entire portfolio, so I am hoping that some of them will use this tool.

Also I am hoping to assist those two students who are not in the class on Tuesday as they are my intended audience for this tool since they have not yet created portfolio Website.

Records of activities for the week (Oct 15- Oct 29 )

This week Lifang and I met Dr. Hammond at his office to test drive what we will present during next week tuesday at Dr. Waddel class. Here is what we will likely be doing on wednesday 30th October, when we meet the teaching interns at Mac Lab.

  • Show everyone’s Lehigh website?
  • Ask: In five years, where will your portfolio be?
  • Go over the rubric, ask people to score their website or that of a classmate
  • Find out who is
    • using Mac vs PC
    • working from campus vs from home
  • Organization for the session:
    • FTP’ing files — everyone needs to know this
      • Mac or Windows
      • Understanding file location in FTP vs. file access via URL
    • Google Pages — two different ways to view this (starting portfolio or moving portfolio)
    • Q&A time — Dreamweaver, etc.  OR Word-PDF conversions
    • Review what you covered
  • Provide contact info
  • …set follow-up date if necessary?

Also during our meeting Dr. Hammond gave us very useful suggestions on how we should write our how 2’s. Here is the first draft of  document I prepared on “How to use GPC to create portfolio Website“.

Reflections on pattern of use of technology

Let me start by writing how I use technology until this semester and how or what has changed during this semester.

In the past I very much enjoyed using technology to keep in touch with family and friends and use it as a library of resources for class work. I spend several hours everyday talking to my friends in MSN messanger, writing emails, reading online news papers or blogs. Even though I used technology for learning and created some online content through blogs and wikis, for me technology is good tool for social connectivity with a clear recognition that online resources are a great way to learn new things.

Since the beginning of this semester, I started using technology especially Internet differently. I came to know a number of new as well as familiar tools from our class tools presentations that persuaded me to use these tools. Also I started using some new tools for another class I am taking this semester: Bugeting, Managing and Maintaining Technology in Schools. I started contributing or publishing online more than ever through weekly blogs, wikipedia, wikibook project for class.

In addition , I started learning new tools and ways to use technology for instructional purpose from my internship at Library Technology Services(LTS). It is amazing for me ,at times to listen to, how much technological resources are available for us and how different get influenced to start using technology. Some times its a from a presentation, some times its from a one-to-one demonstration session of the tool/technology , or some other conditions that forced them to use the technology. As for me I get influenced in many different ways. For example I stated using social bookmarking tool and RSS after listening to our class presentations. Also I try to test and start using any new tools/technology that I feel will be useful for me in the future.