Teacher Tech blog with Alice Keeler

Paperless Is Not a Pedagogy

Alice Keeler

ThingLink – Let Students Figure it Out

ThingLink – Let Students Figure it Out


My husband teaches high school English. I made a reference to ThingLink. He says “What is ThingLink?” I said… “this is your lesson plan on Monday. Ask your students to create a ThinkLink about the book Jane Eyre… BUT… You are not allowed to look up what it is.”


The students created some wonderful and creative ThinkLinks.

When we know how to do something, we can feel that we should show this to students. This has the potential of limiting student ideas and creativity as they think that is the way to do it. There could be other ways. We tend to want to put constraints, provide a rubric, give directions… these limits can sometimes curtail student creativity.

If you do not know how to do it, the students have to work with each other, look it up, and figure it out. Isn’t this often what you have to do in your everyday life? We likely were not given enough PD on different programs or tools and no matter what we have to figure out how to use it. Being able to push buttons, see how things work, experiment, fail, try again, look things up, seek out suggestions from others, receive feedback from peers are important life skills.

The person doing the work, is the person doing the learning.

If we want students to be critical thinkers that means we have to stop thinking for the students. Providing step by step directions robs students of the opportunity for discovery. I’ve spent many hours preparing tutorials for students and other times I’ve simply told them to check something out. Why am I spending hours on tutorials when I can instead spend time giving students high-quality feedback that improves their learning. Let students try a ThingLink, do not look it up. When they turn it in, have their peers provide feedback for suggestions on how to improve it. Include your own suggestions for ways the student can improve on “clearly communicating their ideas.” Not grading 30 of the same thing is a beautiful thing.

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Help Your Students Prepare to Present

Maximize student success in presentations with ‘Speaker Notes by AliceKeeler,’ the ideal Google Slides add-on. Enhance how students prepare to present with easy transfer of speaker notes to Google Docs, promoting effective communication skills. Dive into the world of engaging, technology-aided presentations and empower students to shine in their academic endeavors. Discover the key to transforming student presentations into interactive, skill-building experiences.

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Infographic 7 Basic Steps for a Google Form

New to using Google Forms? This tool is essential for teachers to not only save time but to be adaptive to student needs. Use Forms to survey students, play games, personalize instruction, and assessment. This infographic on the 7 basic steps for a Google Form will help you get started.

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Online Workshop: Get Your Add-on Published

How can you make Google Workspace (Docs/Sheets/Slides) even better? You can create custom Add-ons with Google Apps Script. Wondering How to Get Your Google Workspace Add-on Published? Join Alice Keeler, Google Developer Expert, to learn the steps to get your Add-on officially published.

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