Video of the Week: "We All Win"

If you hang out with pre-teens & teens, you know how important video games are to their world. That’s why Microsoft’s Super Bowl ad this year had me agreeing that “When everybody plays, we all win.”

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Here’s what I look forward to chatting about this week:

  • Do you think it was unfair that there was no adaptive controller? Explain.

  • How does Microsoft show you that these kids are kids just like you?

  • What are some other areas you see where we need to innovate so that “everybody plays”?

  • At the end of the video, Microsoft has 10 seconds without content for you to click on other videos. What do you think of this marketing strategy?

Google Chrome for Teaching & Learning

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I love how Google Chrome can help teachers and students manage their workflow and focus on the content being studied. Take a look at some of my favorite ways to be more than a browser, and comment on your favorites below!

Customizing the Bookmarks Bar

Too often we leave the bookmarks bar cluttered with what came standard rather than customizing it for our own needs. Take a look at how many resources can fit on your bookmarks bar when you take the time to make it work for you:


See how many things can fit when I reduce them to only the icons associated with them? These are called favicons, and since we have awesome brand-recognition, we only need these images and maybe a short cue.

Use the images to the right to help guide you through the steps below.

Make your bookmarks bar appear.

Add new bookmarks. Click on the star to the right of the web address (URL).

Clean up your bookmarks bar. “Right-click” on any icon and select “Delete.”

Remove excess words. “Right-click” on any icon and select “Edit.” Delete any text in the “Name” field or edit it to be only what you need.


  • Google Docs Quick Create - Instantly create Google Docs, Spreadsheets, Presentations, Drawings, and Forms.

  • Adblock Plus - Remove ads from your web browsing.

  • Mercury Reader - Simplify your page so you see only the text.

  • Open Dyslexic - Change webpage font to Open Dyslexic.

  • PrintFriendly - Remove extraneous info or change font size to make webpages more printer friendly.

  • EasyBib - Create citations for web sources. Need something even more thorough? Try

  • Media Bias Checker - Check where on the political spectrum your source tends to lie.

  • Equatio - Create math equations from text or speech.

  • Share to Classroom - Push resources directly to your students through Google Classroom.

  • Screencastify - Create screencasts: video of what is happening on your computer screen.

  • Grammarly - Check grammar and quickly make corrections.

  • Permanent Clipboard - Hold phrases permanently in a clipboard to paste at any time.

  • CheckMark - Use an abbreviated keyboard in G Suite to leave customized comments.

  • Event Merge - Turn Google Calendar events that appear on multiple calendars into one striped event.

  • Sortd - Change your email inbox into a series of to-do lists.

  • Toby - Organize your tabs into collections to explore later.

  • OneTab - Collapse all open tabs into one tab listing the links; restore at any time.


The Omnibox is more than just where you write in a web address (URL). It’s a search engine for all of your most loved websites. By customizing your Omnibox, for example, you can just write in “dr staff meetings” to search your Google Drive for documents about “Staff Meetings.” Take a look:

What are your favorite ways to use Google Chrome for teaching and learning? Add them in the comments below!

Video of the Week: "Make Room | Netflix"

At SVCUE on Saturday, I enjoyed listening in on a great conversation between Jonathan Almerido and one of the students in his class about the importance of seeing diversity in Netflix shows during my session on TED-style talks. It is only fitting, then, that this week’s video of the week is a call from Netflix to do just that. Take a look:

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Here’s what we’ll be discussing this week:

  • “Have you ever been in a room and not seen anybody else like you?” What was that like?

  • How do we subtly tell people they don’t belong?

  • Do you think Netflix is doing a good job at “making room” for a diverse selection of voices to be heard? Give some examples.

  • Do you think other areas of pop culture are “making room”? Think perhaps about movies, books, songs, TV, etc.

  • Why does Netflix release this ad?

Video of the Week: "Dear Tech: An Open Letter to the Industry"

To me, the best part of a major TV event like the Oscars (or the Superbowl) are the new advertisements. Check out this new ad posed as an open letter to the tech industry:

Here’s what I’m excited to discuss:

  • What’s the effect of starting this ad with “Dear Tech, I love the way you…”?

  • How does using questions help communicate their message?

  • How does releasing this ad impact IBM’s brand? Why do they not show their logo until the very end?

  • This video uses a diverse selection of voices (age, gender, race, etc.). Are there any voices missing?

  • What would you write in your own letter to the tech industry?

  • This ad came across my Twitter feed via a promoted tweet from Janelle Monáe, actress in Moonlight & Hidden Figures, during the Oscars. How does that impact its message (or not)?

Video of the Week: "Sneakerheads: Inside the World of High-Stakes Sneaker Trading"

This week’s video comes recommended from one of my students and highlights an industry a few of my students care deeply about: sneakers. I knew this was a thing, but I didn’t realize how much money was being traded. Take a look:

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Here’s what I’m wondering:

  • This video was published on June 14, 2013. Do you think this source is outdated?

  • What gives sneakers their value? Why are some worth hundreds or even thousands while others are cheap?

  • Do these kids pay taxes? Should they?

  • How much are you willing to pay for a pair of shoes? What makes them worth the price?

  • What do you think about Nike changing its strategy for this market? Should they have done so?