Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Mystery State Skype from Tracy Watanabe

All the steps to set up and run a Mystery State Skype can be found on Tracy Watanabe's blog found here.

Tracy says Mystery State Skype "isn't a new idea, it's basically taking learning geography and placing it in a game format like Twenty Questions via Skype, by asking questions to guess the location of the other classroom. Not only does this connect students from across the country (or globe), but it also gives a context for students to apply geography with critical reasoning, collaboration, communication, digital citizenship, and information fluency -- 21st century skills."

Please look at her post for the full scoop to successfully run a Mystery State Skype!

Skype in the Classroom

Thursday, November 6, 2014 - Easy to Use Browser Home Page

Still suffering from withdrawal with the loss of iGoogle? Rejoice! Thanks to a timely Twitter post, I discovered is my new browser home page, allowing quick access to general news and sports, my bookmarks and feeds, social media, local weather, Google calendar, gmail, and more.  There’s also a nifty little note-taking widget to jot down those brainstorms. offers ideas for classroom use.  Go to their education page for more information. Students can set up their own personal learning environment and learn the important life-long skill of managing their digital content.

Users can add pages to separate info.  It is very easy to set up and personalize, including numerous background images and layout.  You can use a template, or just start with a blank slate.  I started with a template, but pretty much deleted everything and just added widgets. makes importing Feedly feeds simple, be sure to peruse the support page to see how to do it and other migration tasks.  Dropping in gadgets with embed codes are easy too.  Somehow my page opens with each new tab (Chrome).  Not sure how that happened, but I’m ok with that.

If you have other great start page alternatives, please share!