Fishing in the LIVE STREAM 🎣

Fishin’ in the Live Stream

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Hello! I hope you are well. I know right  now is a different time in education, but I hope you “keep swimming.”  We’re all doing our best, and staying afloat, during these “unprecedented” times.

One of the questions I’m getting lately is: How are you (or your school) running Live Meets?

There are so many different ways I’ve seen it being done, but there is one common thread among everyone- TEACHERS ARE TRYING THEIR BEST!  Live, or synchronous, teaching is a challenge as there are many variables outside of our control right now (weather, device settings, wifi connection etc).   The virtual classroom gives us challenges we had not faced before-  one of which being the best way to run a Meet. Although many variables are out of our control, let’s take a look at what we can control…

Presenting your Screen

Within a Meet, there are three options to present one’s screen. You can choose Entire Screen, A Window, and a Chrome Tab.  Each option has a purpose. Check out my video below to see!

Extending your Desktop – a second screen to SEE your students

One challenge you may have is being able to see your students while also teaching those in front of you. Try extending your desktop. This will allow for essentially two screens – one for teaching and one for the Meet.

Live Stream using Google Meet

Did you know you can use a Google Meet link to also Live Stream?  We’re currently using this for our Morning Announcements but it would work with all LIVE streaming!

Make your Meet even More Secure!

Quick Access

Although Meet is pretty secure when using the Google Classroom meeting link or the Nickname feature – students can still copy the link from the URL bar while on the Meet and send it to a pal.  If this is something that has happened to you, consider turning off QUick Access.   By turning off Quick Access every student has to ask to join your Meet.  See my example below.


The Nickname feature is another great way to protect a Meet. It works the same way as the Google Classroom Meeting link feature.

How to Meet Faster

Is your Meet running slower than you would like? Freezing even? Try altering the video quality in your settings. By lowering to standard definition, you may find your Meet running a bit quicker. I also recommend having everything you plan to present open and ready to go.  Video seems to play slowly when on a Meet, so if possible have students watch the videos before or after the Meet and use the Meet as a time to talk, discuss, and check in.

Engagement Ideas for Meet

Jamboard in Google Meet

Woohoo!! This is a great integration!


Need some fun ideas for your Google Meet? Check out this folder that Jen Giffen posted on Twitter – it has many different templates, activities, and ideas to make Meet more engaging.

Meet + Pear Deck for Remote/Hybrid Instruction

Pear Deck is a GREAT option to have running for hybrid instruction.  Students both in class and at home can join the live session, participate, and see responses! Take a look below! Pear Deck has been a phenomenal tool to reach ALL learners!

Fix those Google Meet Camera/Mic Issues

No video, no problem! Try this quick fix if you’re experiencing issues with your video or audio on Meet.

wow So that was a LOT! Hopefully, you can pick up one little nugget that can make your Meets just a little easier!

Take care everyone,

oFISHally Yours,

Erin Fisher 🐟 🐟 🐟

The Unsung Hero 🐟🐟

have a good week

All throughout the unprecedented spring, I would refer to Google Classroom as the unsung hero of remote learning. It truly was a life preserver to help keep many of us afloat during an extremely challenging time. Now, as we gear up to enter the fall in a VERY new way, Google Classroom comes to the rescue once again. It allows for a singular place to distribute and collect work, communicate with students either through Meet or email, and also share with your plans and posts with colleagues. This tool continues to improve each and every year, however, it is still missing a few key pieces that we would all like to see.  Knowing Google, they will eventually add those key pieces but until then we can manipulate this fantastic tool with a few hacks. Let’s take a look at some of my favorites below!

Google Classroom HACKS 🛠

Track who views your links

Do you want to see if the kids are clicking the links you put in Google Classroom?  Check out this trick!!


Use a different font

Seriously, this is amazing! I heard about this from Janice Griffin, 7th grade teacher at my school.  Check out the website:

Type what you want for your Google Classroom topics, assignments, material or any item really!  Copy and paste it into your Google Classroom, and VIOLA! Different Fonts!

Emojis in Classroom 💥😃🦸‍♀️️

Emojis may allow for your Google Classroom to stand out! I like using an extension for emojis, but you could also use the Emoji Keyboard built in to your device or an Emoji website. Check out the Emoji extension here. Copy and paste them into Google Classroom. Personally, I love seeing them in the Topics on the Classwork Page. Eye-catching AND engaging!

If the Google Classroom Genie 🧞 appeared and granted you 3 features, what would you choose? and you CAN’T wish for unlimited wishes…mine would be: Subtopics, Discussion board options, and options to hide student names in the people tab. I would LOVE to hear your suggestions!


Tip of the week: Extend your Desktop

Non-Classroom related….Need two screens for remote learning? One to see your students and one to present to your students? Try extending your screen!  This works so awesomely well when you’re connected to a projector. Bonus – if you have a board that you can touch (like a Smartboard, Touchview, etc) you can fully touch that second screen. This works great with Meet, Jamboard, GoGuardian, Peardeck teacher dashboard and many more!

I truly wish you the BEST first week – seriously, it’s going to be FINTASTIC 🦈 !

Take Care!

oFISHally yours,

Erin Fisher 🐟 🐟 🐟

So many updates….

keep me posted

Throughout this journey of remote learning,  Google has surely tried to keep up!  So many updates have come out for all Google Products in the last two months. Trying to keep up with updates is a full-time job! Luckily, it really is my full-time job…so, without further ado, check out some my favorite updates (among many) below.

Also, be sure to check the end of this post for the latest trend in education – Bitmoji virtual classrooms. Thanks to my friend Nancy Carroll, tech integration specialist from Walpole, for the slide deck!

Add to Tasks: task button

Your email just got the task button! Woohoo!!  It looks like this:

Why is this a great update? Check out this video below to see how to use tasks.  It makes it so you no longer have to leave emails unread – you just add them to tasks and get a reminder embedded right into your Google Calendar.

Hyperlink Individual Words in Sheets

Sheets received a great update in the last week. If you ever wanted to use Sheets as a database, you may have noticed you could only hyperlink an entire cell, rather than a singular word or phrase. Well, that has changed!  Now, just as in any other Google Product, you can hyperlink individual words.

Google Docs FIXED Images

One of the concerns I have received with Google Docs (over Word) is the lack of ability with inserting images.  Recently, Docs received a great update in terms of image options. If you like to have a Google Docs newsletter or insert images for students, check out this new update!


Drumroll please….this update is LONG awaited!  Finally, you can have music or narration play THROUGHOUT Google Slides.  This works really well with picture slideshows as well as student projects! Be sure to use copyright free audio when using this new feature. Get free music to use here or record your own narration with Vocaroo!!

The Latest Trend….

Have you seen the latest trend that’s popping up all over the internet? Bitmoji Virtual Classrooms or Slides? Well, they are quite cute and easy to make! Make a virtual classroom and insert yourself in! Use it as a Slide and insert Hyperlinks over different areas of your classroom (like your library, or math centers)

Want to make one of your own? Click here for an editable template.

For a few more resources, check these out below:

How to put Bitmojis into Google Products

How to use and Install Bitmoji Extensions

Do you have a recent update that you just LOVE?!! Share it out, I love learning new things!!

Take care, Everyone!
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oFISHally Yours,

Erin Fisher 🐟 🐟 🐟


A “MEETy” Fish 🥓 🐟

video chat

Where do I begin….Everything is very different, but one aspect of my life has remained the same: my love of educational technology.  This recent turn of events has spotlighted my role a bit. My inbox has probably increased by 100% and I’m busier now more than ever. I think this is true for all teachers – being busier than ever.  We’re all wearing many different hats right now.  Every person in education is working hard; trying to learn new ways to do what they’ve always done: connect with kids. Google Meet is being used among MANY districts to connect with kids.  Personally, I LOVE Google tools and I find that Meet has some real MEAT to it! Let’s take a look…

Why Google Meet?

I’m asked this question quite often, actually. There are many video conferencing tools out there, both paid and free.  I prefer Meet over others and it’s simply due to the fact that I know I’m covered.  In a Google For Education School District, there’s something called “the vault” in the Google Admin Panel.  This vault, much like a bank vault, takes some power to open – but it stores highly important information if it is ever needed. Recording meetings, particularly with students, is not advised and can be against the law. It violates student privacy.  The vault gives me that feeling of security when in a meeting, even if it is hijacked, I know it can be pulled up by the powers that be.

Google Meet can also be set to “Domain Only” meaning that only those inside your domain can join. This works with the Google Classroom or nickname feature.

Google Meet Classroom Integration

Did you notice the latest Google Classroom update?  You can turn on Meet in settings of each classroom you own. This works like the nickname feature and only those inside the domain can join.  Another safety measure!

Google Meet Nickname Feature

I’m a HUGE fan of the nickname feature with Google Meet.  I simply set a meeting code for myself. Any meetings I have, participants just enter my nickname. Since I am not a classroom teacher, I find this method to work best for me. Take a look at how it works below:

Google Meet Attendance

Are you recording who is attending your Meets?  This is a great extension that was recently developed!  It’s called Google Meet Attendance and you can install it from the Chrome Web Store.  With a click of a button, it takes attendance for you with a timestamp! My only hesitation with many of the new extensions coming our for Meet, at a rapid pace, is that they may conflict with others. For instance, I noticed Nod last week was causing the screen to chop off when paired with the Nickname option.  Many of these extensions for Meet are by developers, so all of the bugs may not be worked out yet. If you notice Meet doesn’t run how you would like, simply uninstall the latest extension installed.

Google Meet Virtual Whiteboard Options

Virtual Whiteboard

The latest extension to hit the scene allows you to show a whiteboard!  You can install it here. Take a look at how it works!


Jamboard is in the Google App suite.  This works well as a whiteboard if you plan to share your screen. What’s nice about Jamboard is you can also have students as editors as well, so it can be a shared whiteboard between everyone. It works just like a Google Slide or Doc, except it’s designed with Pens in mind. You can search my blog with the term “Jamboard” to learn more about the app. Check out the video below to see how to use it with Meet!

Classroom Screen

Classroom Screen is a GREAT tool that requires NO LOGINS or INSTALLING. Have it open in another tab and simply present your screen. You can use all of the tools on this site. Check out Classroom Screen below:

Lastest Meet Updates

Google Meet just recently received Grid View (not the extension) which now allows you to see 16 on a page.  Personally, I’m keeping the Grid View extension because I like it better – but you may not, so check it out (and other updates) here!

Extras During Remote Learning…


Could I be any MORE excited about this….NO!!!  This is a GREAT feature added to Google Sites.  Do you want a little banner to pop up when people visit your site? Well, now you can! It’s in the settings gear of your site – SUPER easy! Don’t forget to click “publish” when you’re done!

Slides Mania Templates (click here)

I love these fancy looking templates from Slides Mania that have come out in light of Remote Learning. The creator of Slides Mania is a teacher herself! Check them out below!

I honestly have like a MILLION other things swimming in my brain that I would love to share with you, but they will have to wade for another post (hahaha)! I truly hope you ALL are well! Maybe we can “meet” up! Reach out 🙂

Take care, everyone!

oFISHally yours,

Erin Fisher 🐟 🐟 🐟

G to the Mail 📧

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Gmail, you either love it or you hate it, right?  For me, it’s a love/love relationship.  However, I know to those other email users, Gmail can be a bit much to get used to.  Upon the first time using it, it can layout quite differently than other email platforms. However, it has SO MUCH functionality and it only keeps improving! There are so many different ways you can harness this powerful Google App to make your life more streamlined and productive. So, let’s do that…let’s use this POWERFUL app to make life easier!

Gmail Templates

Do you find yourself writing a weekly email to families or colleagues?  Do you have a few common responses you often reply to emails you receive?  If your answer is yes to either question than Templates in Gmail are for you.  Take a look below and I’ll walk you quickly through how to set up some templates to make your responses that much quicker!

Add Reminders and Tasks from Gmail

Confession: I am TERRIBLE with clearing out my email. I tend to leave emails unread, even though I’ve read them, so I remember to come back to them. Well, tasks can solve this problem!  With a simple click of the three dots, I can add an email to my tasks, set a reminder, and not worry about the email anymore!  Check it out below!

Schedule your Gmail

I LOVE scheduling Email.  Every week, I schedule an email for Positive Sign Thursday! For example, if you send a newsletter or homework doc to parents each week, use templates and scheduling to send it weekly!  As long as you have the link to a Live Doc – this is now off your plate!

Mute the Reply Alls

If I followed my own advice and did this tip, my inbox would be half as full! If you’ve ever been a member of a large group email, you know that you will get ALL of the replies.  Well, you can actually MUTE the email.  Take a look below:

If you would like to see ALL that Gmail has to offer, check out this product forum by Google!

I hope these little tips treat you well!  I could certainly use them myself, lol!! Do you have a useful, Gmail tip?  Share it!! We are all better together! 📧

Take care, everyone!

oFISHally Yours,

Erin Fisher 🐟 🐟 🐟

Let’s take a Dive into Writing ✏ 🐟

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Let’s talk writing!  I absolutely love to write (hence the blog), however, sometimes it can seem like a chore when I have to do it.  Personally, I prefer to type in Docs and I find the act of typing engaging in itself.  I feel the only way to really improve as a writer, is simply to write.  However, with students, it can be challenging at times to motivate students to write. So, what can we do as educators to assist students with writing? And how can we make it easier for ourselves to look at writing? Well, let’s “dive in” and look below and see what we can find!

Docs as a Blog

I really like using the Titles and Headings options in Docs. It allows you to create a pretty neat product if you set it up just right.  You can even make your Doc look just like a blog with monthly, themed, posts.  I put an example video below! If you wish to use my template and modify it for your needs, please click here.

Google Blogger

Google Blogger is a pretty cool app! You can find Google blogger by clicking here. Sometimes, we just need a cool tool to get students writing! Why not a blog? Google has a great help center, found here, that will walk you through how to create a blog!

Writing in LIVE time

As educators, it helps to have tools so see a student’s writing over time.  There are some great tools that allow both teacher and student to see the progression!

Revision History

See the progression of a student’s writing, or the collaborative efforts of a group write, by using the revision history found in the File Menu of Google Docs.  This can be a powerful tool, and also a lifesaver especially if you accidentally have your own writing wiped out!


Draftback is a valuable Chrome Extension that allows you to see writing play out as a video from start to finish!  You can install this extension by clicking here.  To see how it works, check out the video below.

Word Count

A live word count can help a student see the visual of his or her own writing. Analyze character count and length by turning on this great feature of Docs. You can find Word Count under the Tools menu.

Tip of the week

I love this post from Catlin Tucker which includes a “writing playlist!” It’s not a new post, but it’s new to me and a great resource! Click here to check it out!

What helps you as a writer?  I left out many of my favorite tools I use since I could go ON and ON…Can you guess what they are?!

Take care, everyone!
oFISHally yours,

Erin Fisher 🐟🐟🐟

Tired of watching your students flounder?

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I think, possibly, one of the most frustrating challenges we face as educators is when we plan for this GREAT lesson and the tech WON’T work.  Oh my goodness, I feel the heat prickle right up my neck and the panic sets in. It’s when I want to throw something!  Sometimes, the problem is beyond our control. However, other times, we may be able to have a quick fix! Let’s take a look below and see if these tricks can “tide” you over!

Update your Chrome OS

There is NOTHING more frustrating than when you have your plans in place and something just won’t run and you can’t figure out why! Sometimes, the version of Chrome is what is to blame!  Did you know even our state test, MCAS, needs at least Chrome OS 74 in order to run?  Before you run to check your Chrome version, watch the video below of how to quickly update your Chrome! Why doesn’t it update on its own, you ask? Well, it will when it’s looking for the latest version, but when Chromebooks are not used for a longer period of time (say the summer), they may not pull the latest OS version.  Thus, we need to do a manual update. Have no fear, this is a QUICK fix!

Resolve Flash Issues

Ahhh the blessed Flash. So many sites use this application, that this quick fix may help so many. Ever see the “install flash” message? This one is for you!

WiFi Issues

Sometimes multiple networks can confuse a Chromebook. It doesn’t know which one to connect to. Here’s another easy fix from Principal of the Gordon Mitchell School, Andrew Gentile.  He shows you in the video how to “prefer” a network so your Chromebook always knows what network to choose. This will result in a faster connection that will not be interrupted!


If we TRULY do not want our student to flounder, then accessibility tools are where it’s at!  Chromebooks have accessibility BUILT-IN!  Students may flounder with spelling when trying to access a resource, have them try this! Personally, dictation has helped so many students – including my own sons.

If these quick, troubleshooting tips don’t help you at the moment, REACH out!

What are your quick tips to help in a hurry? Let me know!

Take care!

oFISHally Yours,

Erin Fisher 🐟 🐟 🐟

SPLASH: New Year, New Ideas 💦 🎉 🐟

SPLASH: New Year, New Ideas Bitmoji Image

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Welcome back, everyone!  Are you ready for it? Another great calendar year in Ed-Tech? I know I am! I can’t wait to see what this year holds.  2018 was full of so many great ideas that I know 2019 can only be better! Do you have the resolution to try something new? A “new year, new me” sort of thing? Don’t just insert innovation into your diet – try it with your instruction too! Even if it’s just something small, trying something new can reinvigorate our practice and our students. My blog has some neat ideas for new activities, such as my post on Choice Boards, Student Expression, or one of my favorite tools: Pear Deck!


As a tech-educator, I am also trying new things…here’s what I’ve tried this week! Take a look:

Curating Content: Wakelet (The new Padlet, only better)!  Bitmoji Image

This is a pretty neat tool I must say! I had heard of Wakelet last year when Padlet instituted a fee structure, but I had yet to play with it. Then, I was on a Twitter Chat with my good friend Colleen Terrill before the holidays and she was able to save the WHOLE chat to Wakelet. She then shared the collection or “wake” with me! She put me in touch with James from Wakelet and he walked me through it.  Well, to say I was blown away is an understatement.  This tool has so much potential and you can do so many cool things with it! It reminds me of Padlet and Pinterest all wrapped into one! I’m just getting into it, but I am SO pumped about it! You could even use this awesome tool to create Choice Boards too!

This is a great post by Karly Moura about Wakelet where she includes others who are using it and her experience with it! I have a feeling you’re going to see this tool EXPLODE on the EdTech scene!

Emoji Bullets Bitmoji Image

This is so much fun! It came to be from an AWESOME Ed-Tech blogger by the name of Jake Miller. If you haven’t checked out his blog, I HIGHLY recommend subscribing. He teaches everything using GIFs! It’s so cool!  I’m a video girl myself, but GIFs are quick and FUN! Check out his blog to see what I mean.  Meanwhile, here’s how you can use emoji for bullets. Take a look at my video below!

Guess Who?! Digital Version Bitmoji Image

Have you ever played Guess Who? Well, this is the digital version that you can custom modify!

I caught this neat activity in another blog I subscribe too, Control Alt Achieve by the AWESOME Eric Curts! By subscribing, I get an email with little gems including his “intake” from other Ed-techies! This one is by Amanda Sandoval, a history teacher from California.

Tip of the Week: Multiple Google Accounts Bitmoji Image

Have you had family Google Photos show up in your school account? Wonder why a link is opening under your personal account when you’re logged in at school? Take a look at this great post from  Shake Up Learning regarding how to manage your multiple Google Accounts.  She actually suggests creating separate profiles. This is a GREAT tip!

New year, New Ideas… 🐦 Bitmoji Image

For more new ideas, please join me in the first MassCue Twitter chat of the new year. We will be discussing new ideas and learning from each other! It will be GREAT!

Happy New Year! I hope you use many new ideas!

oFISHally Yours,

Erin Fisher 🐟 🐟 🐟

HOOKED: App Smashing ↩️ 🎣 🐟

Students differ markedly in the ways in which they can be engaged or motivated to learn.

If students are actively engaged, they are more likely to be actively learning and succeeding with content as opposed to passive learning. Every learner is different, therefore trying to engage in many different ways will most likely reach more learners.  Perhaps the coolest lessons I see are when teachers are App Smashing! What is App Smashing? Well, it’s when you are on your favorite app and you combine it with another! There are so many cool apps you can combine, I do it every day! Anytime you see a video from me, I’m usually combining Screencastify with something. Screencastify is my favorite app to smash with since it is such a versatile tool! App Smashing can be very engaging when done correctly! Students this week really enjoyed smashing some apps!

Google Slides + Screencastify 

A REALLY neat activity I worked on in 6th grade this week was a stop-motion animation project.  Students took Google Slides and showed how food traveled through the digestive tract. They would take the slide and move the food ever so little and then duplicate the slide. Once the 50+ slide deck was complete, students put the deck into present mode, started up Screencastify and narrated over the process explaining every organ the food traveled through.  The students were all highly engaged and quite enjoyed the stop motion! When the phases of the moon topic come in, teachers may try this again showing how the moon cycles around the sun and show the different lit phases. Take a look at my video below to see how you may pair Screencastify with Slides!

Google Slides + Pear Deck + Your Favorite Site 

If you’re a reader of my blog, you know I love Pear Deck.  Well, here’s one more reason to love it…embed websites!  How many times do you have students have multiple tabs open?  Why not just embed the site, or even a Doc or Draw item, directly into Slides.  Simply get the link and choose the Embed Website option in Pear Deck.  See the links below for more information on this awesome SMASH!

PearDeck + FlipGrid

SnapChat + Padlet 

A pal of mine loves to use Snapchat with her older High School students smashed with Padlet! Students take “snaps” of independent books they’re reading. They highlight something in the book that strikes them. They post the “snap” on a Padlet wall that is for the class to see. Most students include some bitmojis with their snaps and circle particular text within the book page.  This Padlet wall of booksnaps encourages other students to also read the book, thus engaging students and increasing independent reading!

FlipGrid + Screencastify 

Check out this great post on the FlipGrid blog of Smashing Flipgrid with Screencastify! It’s pretty awesome!

Tip of the Week: Closed Captions in Google Slides! 

Google Slides continue to get even MORE awesome! You can click the closed caption button on Slides, and your Slides with record your voice and add the captions! Smash this with ScreenCastify and talk about AWESOME!


What Apps are you Smashing?? I’d love to hear about it, or see it first hand! Reach out!

Have a SMASHINGLY good week, and Thanksgiving! You’ll hear from me AFTER the holiday!

oFISHally yours,

Erin Fisher 🐟 🐟 🐟



“Reel” it in with Student Video Projects! 📽️🎞️ 🎣


I send you off with some REELY good ideas for video projects!  A teacher reached out this week and asked for a good program to make book trailers. What a fantastic project for students! There are so many fun ways to do this!  Check it out below:

Animoto 📸 😁 

Animoto is a great, free, website and app that allows you to make videos with premade templates.  It has themes and music, premade video or you can use your own.  It’s very easy and fun! See my how-to video below and check out Animoto here!

This is an example video I made with Animoto for Little Vikings Summer Program!


iMovie  😮

iMovie is also a great option for those students using their iPhones or home devices (iPads and Mac books). Like Animoto, it has premade templates and music to create pretty cool short videos.  See the how-to and video example below! iMovie


Screencastify 📹 

Screencastify is my favorite go-to for all things video. There’s just so much you can do with it! It works well on the Chromebooks and has a webcam option! You can pause and resume and the videos save directly to Google Drive, making it easy for students to add to Classroom.

Video Project Ideas from Others  🎥

This is a great post (click here) by Richard Byrne from Practical Ed Tech showcasing his lesson plan with video options for students. He goes into many of the free tools and how to use them. He even provides a link to example lessons.

This post (click here) by Eric Curts features video mashing using Google Slides and Youtube. Basically you insert two videos onto the same slide and have them play simultaneously. Why do that, you ask? Well, take a look at his post. He has a great explanation!

This post (click here) by Matt Miller is about how to take Google Slides and create stop motion videos. It’s pretty neat, and not too challenging! Students who like to design may enjoy this one!

Lastly, Eric Curts (click here) also suggests video dubbing using Screencastify. This is a neat idea! Essentially, you mute a video (either that you made or borrow from YouTube and you provide voice-over and narrate it.  This would be great to do over a Google Slide presentation as well to provide audio explanation.

Have a wonderful, restful break! You deserve it!

oFISHally yours,

Erin Fisher 🐟 🐟 🐟