Category Archives: Uncategorized

Teacher Tools

It has been awhile since my last post, and it seems like we are living in a whole new world. As the saying goes “one day at time”. And that is about what I am doing. As a Teacher there will be many unknowns this school year. We will be starting our year hybrid, half the students in class and the other half online. Each district and school will make their own decision. I have concluded that whether I am online or at home, I need to think about both worlds.

So, what do both worlds look like, maybe a hybrid class. Half the students in class and the other online. Or totally online. And finally, everyone in class. So how do you prepare for this type of learning environment. First, I think you need to find some help somewhere within your PLC. So, I started to look through Social Media for some help. And there are tons of platforms or online applications that can help you get started. I am not going to go over everything. So first start with what you are looking for, do you need an area to post video, or how about a tool to create video. Work through some of them and pick the ones that really work for you and will be helpful to your situation. Do not use all of them, that just does not work. And trust me I found that out the hard way.

I will start with Microsoft 365, free to all students and Teachers. You can sign up for an account at Microsoft 365. Information is all over the internet about how you can get an account. I like Microsoft 365 because you have all the applications like Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. But you can also use Microsoft Forms, Teams, and OneNote. There are tons of video resources explaining how you can use these tools for Remote Teaching, I have listed a couple at the bottom. I do use Teams and OneNote. Microsoft has done a good job improving these products. OneNote at first use to be very anti-user friendly, now it has become a great tool for distance learning. When integrated with Teams, OneNote can be much easier to use. Using Teams, you can create notebooks for all your students. Both tools have made remote learning much easier. Microsoft has added a ton of applications that can be integrated into the Teams. Kahoot, Polly Polls, Adobe Creative, Quizlet, Flipgrid, and many others. Their Teams app has been updated and have made meetings easy and fun. I know some Teachers who used it to do individual help with students. But it also has a ton of features now. What makes it convenient is that there is a mobile app for it, students can use their phones if they do not have their computers. I could go on about Teams, I think it is something worth keeping in the Teaching Toolbox. One other thing about Teams is that you can populate your OneNote Class Notebook to all your students through it.

I have listed some places I go for help on these tools. There are a ton of tutorials and help videos on Microsoft 365, Teams and OneNote. Next time I will talk about Flipgrid and Screencastify they are two video tools that can be great to use for assessments. I am not an expert but if I can help one person out that is great.

If you considering using Microsoft Teams, OneNote or 365 see the resources below:

Microsoft Education

Learn how to use Microsoft Teams

Class Notebook in Teams

Getting Started with OneNote

Education Blog (Microsoft)

Mike Tholfsen

Why We Need To Embrace Esports In Education • Teched Up Teacher

I have been thinking about this lately, especially during these unusual times. I know one of my colleagues a while back started a gaming team with Fortnite. But he left and no one took over. So why not try this for next year? Who knows what the school year is going to look and maybe this will be a great outlet for students?  The author talks about the two most important things he hopes to address on by hosting esports; “violence in the age of school shootings” and “the misogyny found in a disturbing subset of gaming culture”. Being a gamer myself I think both are good points to make to students. Gaming can be violent and mature, so some will have a concern. The author debates this, it is evident that there are violent games, but games like overwatch are cartoon violence. Which I am not sure if he is not stretching it here a bit. I do know that games like Overwatch and Fortnite are the major draws for esports. This is the future, and it can be used a teaching tool.

To say esports is booming would be an understatement. Esports, or electronic sports, is the term used to describe the sport of competitive video game playing. The world of professional esports has exploded over the last few years and is expected to reach nearly 5 billion in value and a global audience of nearly 600 […]

Source: Why We Need To Embrace Esports In Education • Teched Up Teacher

Online Workshops

North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in downtown Raleigh: visit natural history exhibits, go to fun events, take a class, go on a trip or learn about scientific research and collections.

Source: Online Workshops

Great Opportunity for Teachers in all grades.

Distance Learning: A Gently Curated Collection of Resources for Teachers | Cult of Pedagogy

An overview of the nuts and bolts of distance learning, including general tips, advice on tech, and troubleshooting some common problems.

Source: Distance Learning: A Gently Curated Collection of Resources for Teachers | Cult of Pedagogy

Just finished listening to this podcast. It was a great introduction and helpful tips to online learning. There were some resources that were new to me and I’ll have to check out. Ms. Gonzalez does a great job with going through different parts of online learning. Her resources are extensive and explained throughout the podcast. This is well worth a listen if you need some help with online learning.

Adobe Enables Distance Learning Globally for Schools Impacted by COVID-19 | Adobe Blog

Source: Adobe Enables Distance Learning Globally for Schools Impacted by COVID-19 | Adobe Blog

Companies are stepping up to help Teachers and Students out. Check this out if you need an online platform. Adobe Connect is being offered for free to Teachers and Students for 90 days. This is a web conferencing platform. If you are looking something for free temporarily you might want to check this out.

Earth Science Online

Source: Earth Science Online

These are some awesome resources for teachers to use while doing distance learning. Two of them I use a lot; Infiniscope and American Meteorological Society. Infiniscope has a number of adaptive learning modules. The lessons address Dinosaurs to Eclipses, students get instant feedback after answering questions. There are VFT’s (Virtual Field Trips) throughout the lessons, which really are great for keeping the students engaged. AMS has courses and resources they give Teachers when they take their DataStreme Courses. But they do a great job with NOAA in delivering content to Teachers and Students.  A colleague from Infiniscope is having an online meeting to introduce teachers to the content. Feel free to join it. See below

Check out this information on Infiniscope:

Greetings Science Educators,  

As many schools move to online teaching and learning resulting from precautions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, we would like to support teachers with free high-quality digital learning experiences that are aligned to NGSS and can be quickly implemented in your online classroom. They are organized here by content area and topic with a link to the experience. To help you get started, we will be hosting a Quick Start to Infiniscope Webinar on Wednesday, March 18th from 3:30-4:30 PT/ 6:30-7:30ET. Register now to reserve your spot.


You can find more details as well as additional resources in this community document. Feel free to add resources that you think other educators could benefit from. 

Sina Kirk

Educational Outreach Coordinator

Center for Education Through eXploration

School of Earth & Space Exploration

Arizona State University

Tempe, AZ  85287-1404


Feel free to contact me if you need any information or help with these resources.

Stay Safe and Healthy


Team obtains the best measurement of neutron star size to date

Source: Team obtains the best measurement of neutron star size to date

Astronomers use slime mold model to reveal dark threads of the cosmic web

Source: Astronomers use slime mold model to reveal dark threads of the cosmic web

Biology and Astronomy at its Best!! Great article to use for current events in Science, especially if your a Biology or Astronomy Teacher.

The combination of plant-based particles and water forms an ‘eco’ super-glue

Plant-based cellulose nanocrystals have remarkable inherent properties, and when combined with water, a powerful adhesive is formed that competes in strength with Superglue, without the need for toxic solvents.

Source: The combination of plant-based particles and water forms an ‘eco’ super-glue

The theory of panspermia — the idea that simple life can travel from world to world — is back in the limelight after several interstellar objects were discovered in our solar system.