Tech on the Terrace

Tech on the Terrace is a once monthly professional development opportunity held for ETHS Staff in the beautiful teacher's cafeteria, aka The Terrace. This just-in-time PD focuses on a different topic each month, providing fun, simple, and hands-on learning experiences that are easy to transfer into the classroom right away. See below for an archive of past sessions and check back each month to see what's in store for the next ToT topic! Need more info or have an idea for a topic you'd like us to cover? Just contact us here.

1/31/20 - Checking for Originality using

Alternate title: Did you copy my chili recipe? Find out with

Frustrated by plagiarism? Students sharing docs and copying each other's work? Teachers copying your winning chili recipe for the chili cookoff? is the answer you've been looking for! Learn more about how to use it and access our Teacher and Student guides in our slide deck below. Want help deploying it with your classes? Set up a time with one of us by clicking here.

ToT 1/31/20

12/6/19 - First Annual ToT Demo Slam

Watch Videos. Learn Tools. Vote for the best. The Instructional Tech Team (and Carlton!) developed nine one minute videos demonstrating our favorite technology tools. Voting was open for a week and the results are in! Print Friendly and PDF and Google Image Search tied for 1st place! Special thanks to all that watched, learned, and voted. This year's raffle winners include Traci Brown-Powell, Terri Sowa-Imbo, and Jane Osmelak. Check out all the videos below, and stay tuned for next year's friendly ToT Demo Slam Competition.

3 Tips to Take your Google Site to the Next Level

Easy Drawing with AutoDraw

Did you know you can do that with Google Image Search?

10/25/19 - Infusing Literacy with Newsela Pro

Did you hear? We recently upgraded our Newsela subscription to Newsela Pro! Use this tool to differentiate text for students with ease for your specific content. You can view the below presentation to learn how to Infuse Literacy with Newsela Pro.

ToT 10/25/19 Newsela Pro

9/20/19 - Five Tricks to Maximize Productivity in Google Classroom

Now that you’re up and running with your Google Classrooms, here's Five Tricks to Maximize Productivity in Google Classroom. Find out how a few little tweaks can save you (and your students) time and sanity in daily routines.

ToT 9/20/19 5 Google Classroom Tricks for Productivity

5/10/19 - Make a Book with Book Creator

The end of the year means final projects. Why not rethink yours? One idea is to have students create books! This month we're showcasing Book Creator, an online app that allows you and your students to make digital books and comics. It's simple, fun, and the possibilities across content areas are endless. Today at Tech on the Terrace, we collaborated with many of you on a shared book of appreciation to celebrate Staff Appreciation Week. Check out what we made below, and don't hesitate to reach out of you're interested in making a book with your students!

4/12/19 - Spark Joy with the #MariChanDo Method

You may have heard of the KonMari method, a system of simplifying and organizing your home created by Marie Kondo and popularized through her Netflix special. Unfortunately, Ms. Kondo does not dig into the digital realm, where heaps of email, disorganized Drives, and cluttered Classrooms leech joy from our lives.

Join us at Tech on the Terrace as we share the #MariChanDo method, a soon to be proven, non-research based system for tidying up your email, Drive, and Classroom. In just 15 minutes, your email will go from 6,000 to zero, you will have a firm grasp of how to search your Drive to find what you need, and your Classroom will be labeled, sorted, and decluttered.

#MariChanDo Method Intro.mp4

3/15/19 - Updating Teacher Websites

When was the last time you looked yourself up in the public ETHS Teacher Website Directory? Students and parents may be doing so more often than you think! Unlike Google Classroom, a Teacher Website is a great way to provide a public space for parents and students with basic information like teacher details, contact info, and course objectives or materials; however, if sites are not up to date, they can be confusing for viewers. So, if it’s been a while since you looked at your teacher website, please take a moment to do the following:

  1. Look yourself up in the ETHS Teacher Website Directory.
  2. If you have a site, consider these questions: Do you use this site? Is it up to date? Is it an old Google Site (which may become unsupported in the next year or so)? Should it mention that you’re using Google Classroom too? If you don’t have a site, do you want one?
  3. Fill out this form to request action for your site or additional support from our EdTech team.
  4. Come by Tech on the Terrace this Friday during lunch periods to learn more about ways to make your site more functional. We’ll even share some exciting templates to make your life easier if you’re thinking of redesigning your site.

2/15/19 - Making the most of the EDay

We are excited to announce that we’re taking Tech on the Terrace on Tour to support teachers’ preparations for ETHS’s first ever E-Learning Day. By now you have heard that on Friday, February 22nd students will engage in digital learning experiences from anywhere. Not sure how to plan for that? We’ve got you covered.

Please review our informational site at If you still have questions or need additional support, we’d love to see you at one of the drop-in sessions listed on the flyer below. All are during lunch periods 4, 5, 6 unless otherwise indicated.

12/14/18 - Fun with Green Screens

Thank you to all who came out to Tech on the Terrace last Friday to learn more about using Green Screens. We had a blast creating holiday cards, The Shining reenactments, and more! While it’s definitely a fun activity, using the Green Screen can also be educational. Let us know if you’d like to work together on a Green Screen project during second semester - we have ideas!

Final Products - ToT 12/14/18

11/9/18 - Premium Padlet

Did you know that we have premium features for Padlet?! This exciting platform allows you to post, share, and organize text, images, and other media in a digital, collaborative space. A truly dynamic tool, it can be used for parking lots, group discussions, lesson maps, multi-genre projects and more! Get your feet wet with a little fall fun here or have a look at our slide deck from our ToT session here.

10/19/18 - Read & Write for Google

Join us at the next Tech on the Terrace, Friday October 19th during lunch periods in the Terrace. We will be introducing Read and Write for Google, an extension that is available to all ETHS students. This extension provides comprehensive reading and writing supports for Google Docs, websites, PDFs, and other files stored in Google Drive. We will feature a special guest presenter, Mark McCabe, from the Illinois Assistive Technology Program. Mark is a technology trainer and travels all over Illinois, working with students and teachers to integrate assistive technology and universal design tools into schools. Miss the presentation, learn more about how to access and use this program with our ETHS Read & Write for Google Tech Guide.

By now you’ve probably noticed the new Classwork page, but there’s more! Join us to learn all about the updates, including the Classwork page and new grading and feedback features. We’ll also talk about how to navigate any growing pains you might experience when adjusting to these changes and preview what updates lie ahead. Take this opportunity to experience Classroom from a student perspective and hone your skills as a teacher.

Missed it? Check out the slide deck here, and reach out to Mina or David with any questions or requests for personal training.

5/11/18: Teacher Celebration Expo

Are you proud of an assignment that integrated technology this year? Did you transform a project into one that allows for more student choice, voice, and engagement?

The ETT needs your help! In May we’re turning the tables on ToT and handing the mic over to you and your students! ETHS staff and students have done some amazing things the #wildkitway this year using instructional technology, and we would like to create a space to honor and share them all.

So, If you have...

  • Integrated technology into an assignment that you are particularly proud of
  • Transformed a project that engaged and excited students
  • Created projects where students clearly demonstrate their growth and learning
  • Developed into a more effective/efficient teaching professional using technology
  • Students whose work deserves to be seen more widely
  • Anything that you would like to share through this platform

Then we need your help! Please respond to this email so we can coordinate efforts and invite you and/or your students to join us and share the learning during ToT On Friday, May 11th during 4th, 5th and 6th period lunches.

4/11/18: Chrome Extension Open Mic

Got a favorite Chrome extension? Wondering what a Chrome extension is? Come to the Tech on the Terrace (ToT) Open Mic this Friday (4/13) during lunch periods 4,5, and 6 to share, learn and have fun! Extensions have the power to dynamically change your browsing experience and exponentially increase your efficiency in Google Chrome! During ToT each of the EdTech Team (ETT) members will be sharing a few of their favorite extensions in short 3-5 minute presentations. The stage will also be open to you, the teacher or staff member to demonstrate your favorite upon arrival. All are welcome and encouraged to share!

All extensions will be shared with the staff after ToT and the school will vote on their favorite. If yours is chosen, you’ll win a prize! Not sure what an extension is? Check this out. Can’t make ToT, but have a favorite? Email your idea to one of the presenting ETT members (Aliaa, Danielle, David) and we can present on your behalf.

3/7/18: Puzzled by EdPuzzle No More!

Do you use videos in your classroom instruction? Do you wish there were an easy way to assess what students know before, during, and after watching these videos? Wouldn’t be great if you could engage students through video content inside and outside of the classroom? There’s a tool for that, and it’s called Edpuzzle! Not only does Edpuzzle do all of these things, but we recently added premium access for all ETHS teachers which unlocks even more features.

2/9/18: OK Google, Get me Organized!

At this month’s ToT, we will cover tips and tricks relating to Google Drive, Keep and Calendar. Be inspired to master your Drive organization, use Keep to create checklists and reminders, and let Calendar seamlessly schedule your day for you. Use these tools at work, home, with your students or children. Stay connected to your work, while freeing up time to do the things you love most.

1/11/18: Quia & Google Forms Exam Setup

With exams next week, we are offering this month’s Tech on the Terrace as a time to drop in with questions about Quia or Google Forms Exam setup (or other digital assessment components you may want to talk about). Stop by during 4, 5, or 6 tomorrow in the Terrace to talk digital assessments and get your last minute questions answered for next week.

11/10/17: Flipgrid

Have you heard about Flipgrid yet? If not, when you do, you’ll be flipping out for the awesome features that Flipgrid offers educators. Flipgrid is a video response platform where you can post a discussion topic and participants respond via short video recordings. Teachers can provide feedback on video responses and students can provide feedback to one another! Flipgrid even integrates with Google Classroom offering you yet another tool for formative assessment and student voice. To sign up for Flipgrid, visit

By now, you must be wondering how you can use Flipgrid in YOUR classroom, visit this live EXAMPLE FLIPGRID to hear how high school teachers and learning coaches are using Flipgrid around the country! Please, feel free to reach out to us if you would like to discuss all that Flipgrid has to offer and how to best integrate it into your classroom instruction. We'd also be happy to share directions for how to gain access to the paid features of Flipgrid through our school account!

9/1/17: Getting Started with GoGuardian

This year we've replaced the features of Teacher Dashboard with Google Classroom for managing classroom workflow and GoGuardian to help monitor students while on the Chromebooks. In this session we focused on how to set up and use GoGuardian efficiently and effectively. For additional help, check out our Getting Started Guide.

8/21/17: Get Your Tech Life Started at ETHS

Welcome back! It's a new year, and we are excited to be back! To kick of the new school year, we have created an infographic (below) to guide you through the steps of setting up your EdTech world. This is designed to help you forward your email, set up your Teacher Access Center (TAC), start your Google Classroom, get comfortable with GoGuardian and more.

4/21/17: Google Keep

Thanks to everyone who came out to Tech on the Terrace last week to learn more about Google Keep. In case you missed it, you can keep up with this helpful Google Keep Guide that will help you get started with using Google Keep.

At Tech on the Terrace we focused mainly on the following points:

  • Google Keep Basics
  • The integration of Google Keep and Google Docs
  • Giving instructional feedback using Google Keep

If Google Keep is a tool that you would like to investigate further and are looking to learn more about it with our support, feel free to reach out to us and we will be happy to come work with you!

3/10/17: Hyperdocs

Thanks to everyone who came out to Tech on the Terrace last week to learn more about Hyperdocs. In case you missed it, you can learn more about what they are and how to use them by visiting our hyperdoc about hyperdocs at

Also, last week we attended and presented at the Midwest Google Summit (MWGS). While we always hope that attendees walk away with big ideas, we definitely leave these conferences with our own takeaways that we are eager to share. In the case of MWGS, here are two to keep you satiated until Tech on the Terrace in April.

  • Google Keep - Keep now integrates with Google Docs and allows teachers to add canned comments to Google Docs! This is a great tool for providing feedback on essays as well as helping students to organize their notes and research.
  • Voice to Text in Slides - Speak your speaker notes and let Google Slides do the typing!

As always, if you are interested in meeting with one of us to dive deeper into any of the above-mentioned items, please don’t hesitate to reach out!

2/3/2017: Whiteboarding

Thanks to everyone who visited us at Tech on the Terrace last Friday to learn more about creating Whiteboarding videos. Check out the mashup of demos that you made while visiting! In case you missed us, feel free to have a look at the resources we put together for Whiteboarding here.

1/7/2017: Google Cast for Education

Over winter break, you may have spent time relaxing, recuperating, and catching up. Or, if you’re like us, you expended a lot of energy trying to entertain your children. In our case, we found that casting German cartoons from a Chromebook to a display screen provided a much needed moment of stillness for our toddlers (pictured below). This got us thinking about how many teachers might be interested in learning how to securely share student screens through projection in the classroom. Continue reading to find out how!

Google Cast for Education is a free Chrome app that allows students and teachers to share their screens wirelessly anywhere in the classroom without any additional equipment! Students can cast their Chromebook screens to the projector through the teacher’s computer. Essentially, you could have your students cast anything from graphs, to documents, to images and more right to the projector! Don’t worry, teachers control who can share and always have the ability to disconnect students at any time.

A few facts to know about Google Cast for Education:

  • Students do not need to have any special apps or extensions to cast their Chromebook screens to their teacher’s computer (as long as their Chromebook is up to date).
  • Teacher’s can restrict which classes through Google Classroom or specific students can have the ability to cast their screens
  • Teachers can set privacy settings so that only students who have permission to cast must have their cast accepted by the teacher prior to casting their screens
  • Teachers at ETHS already have the Google Cast for Education app and do not need to add it

For more information to help kickstart your use of Google Cast for Education in the classroom click HERE or make an appointment with one of your tech integration team members.

12/2/2016: Firefly by Kurzweil

At the last Tech on the Terrace we were joined by Tori Foreman who introduced us to Firefly by Kurzweil, a tool that is available to all students and staff at ETHS! Firefly by Kurzweil is an all in one tool that allows students to annotate pdfs, have text from pdfs or documents read aloud to them, highlight text, translate text and much more! All teachers and students should have access to Firefly through the Additional Tools menu on the ETHS website .

If you are having difficulty logging in or find that an account has not been created for you, feel free to reach out to Tori Foreman at For more information about all the great things that you can do with Firefly click HERE!

11/4/2016: Student Video Creation

In case you missed this month’s Tech on the Terrace (ToT), where we went over tips and tools for encouraging your students to make their thinking visible through video creation, we would like to provide you with the resources to begin investigating on your own! By CLICKING HERE you will access the slide deck that was used at this past ToT updated with resourceful links as well as helpful tips to get started with implementing student video creation in your class. This resourceful slide deck can also be accessed by going to

If video creation is something that you have considered and would like further support in the planning and implementation, we would be happy to set up a time and meet with you on an individual or small group basis.

10/5/2016: Communicating With Parents Through Google Classroom and Remind

Happy Fall Conferences! This is a great time to connect with guardians and fill them in on ways they can help their children keep on track in your classes. For those of you using Google Classroom and/or Remind, this is a perfect opportunity to provide guardians with the chance to join your Classrooms and/or Remind Groups. Please see the tips below if you need help getting guardians signed up for either.

Google Classroom

Guardians are able to opt in to receive emails with updates about their children’s activities in Google Classroom. This will include a summary of missing and due student work as well as a class summary of assignments and announcements (it does not include grades). To set this up, you will need to manually invite guardians via email addresses. Since this can take up precious time during your conference slot, we recommend you add guardians after the fact and instead plan a way to collect email addresses during your conferences to add later. This could be through a paper registration form or by having parents email you to request to be added to your Google Classroom. For detailed instructions on how to add guardians to your Classroom, please view the instructions with screenshots in this document.


Unlike Classroom, Guardians can add themselves to your Remind class groups directly. They will need to text a certain code to a certain number connected to your Remind classroom group. Luckily, Remind makes these directions easy to print and hang outside your classroom so guardians can join while waiting for their conference. Please view the steps in this document to learn how to easily print PDFs with instructions for guardians to follow.

Let us know if you need any assistance setting either of these up.

9/2/2016: What's new in Google Classroom & Quizzes in Forms?

In case you missed this month's Tech on the Terrace here's a recap of the topics that were covered hyperlinked to resources to support you further!

8/30/16: Looking to Organize Your Google Class Stream?

Have you tried attaching topics to your Google Classroom posts (assignments, announcements, etc.)? Choosing or creating a topic to include with your posts will allow students the ability to quickly filter through their streams by topic! Check out THIS short video for a visual demonstration of the use of topics in Google Classroom.

8/18/16: Google Classroom & Google Sites

Resources to check out when setting up your Google Classroom: