Computer Lab Set-Up and Teaching Style

I have received some questions about the physical set-up of my computer lab and my teaching style so I thought I would share information here about these important topics. In my room, the thirty desks and computers are facing the front of the room since I want to have all students’ attention during a video or to introduce new software using an LCD projector. I like to see their reactions and facial expressions to help gauge the effectiveness of a new lesson. If I am introducing new software and/or a website, I will generally take about five to ten minutes to demonstrate the features of the program using one of my step-by-step lessons with screenshots. I keep in mind that their attention span will be short and they will also learn a lot from actually using the program. After the short demo, I will let them utilize the software and get familiar with its features before introducing the first activity. I find that students enjoy figuring things out on their own but I will circulate around the room to assist as needed. I move through a lot of topics and software in my computer classes, only spending one or two periods for websites such as Popplet mind maps or PicMonkey photo editing . Other software requires more time such as Weebly websites and Comic Life . Of course, I invest the most amount of time into Microsoft Office and Google Drive.

Google Drive Education Templates


• Google has developed a series of Education Templates to use with Docs, Sheets, Slides and Forms
• Teachers and Students can use these layouts to help them quickly create beautiful educational documents
• The screenshots below show what some of the templates look like and where and how to access them in Google Docs
Doc Templates
• Essay, Report, Book Report, Class Notes, Lesson Plans

Form Templates
• Worksheet, Exit Ticket, Course Evaluation, Assessment

Sheet Templates
• Attendance, Grade Book

Slide Templates
• Lesson Plan, Book Report, Field Trip, Science Project, Science Fair, Student Certificate




Google Quiz New Feature in Google Forms


Google added a New Feature to Google Forms for teachers so that you can now create a quiz directly in Google Forms.

• You can create a quiz with correct and incorrect answers for questions with multiple choices, checkboxes or drop-down options
• Give students quick feedback with auto-marked questions
• Useful insight into class performance (Average, Median and Range)

Save to Google Drive Chrome Extension


  • The Save to Google Drive Chrome extension allows you to save web content directly to Google Drive through a browser action or context menu
  • Save documents, images, HTML5 audio and video
  • After your content is saved, you can open the file, rename, or view the file in the Google Drive document list
  • From the document list, you can organize and share your new document

Save to Google Drive Chrome Extension




  • GoogleFonts offer a large directory of open source designer web fonts that you can integrate into any design project seamlessly

  • Filter fonts by families, weights and scripts

  • Their series of collections helps you discover new fonts that have been organized by a team of designers and collaborators

  • Access code to add fonts to a Website or add GoogleFonts to a WordPress blog











Examples of several Google Font styles I just installed on my WordPress Blog…

HI Font – Aclonia


H3 Font – Walter Turncoat


H5 – Sigmar One
H6 – Slackey

Paragraph – Bowlby One – Checking for Plagiarism and Copied Work


  • I have overheard students in my computer lab, asking their classmates for permission to copy their work so that they can hand-in the same assignment
  • This is a serious academic offence but many students participate in this activity and they don’t seem to consider that they are being very dishonest
  • At my school when students are caught, both the student that shared the work and the student who copied the work will receive a zero on the assignment
  • If this happens multiple times, there are more serious consequences such as suspension from school
  • My goal, at the beginning of the 2016/17 school year, is to get teachers to notify their classes that copying work is not tolerated and teachers will be checking for plagiarism using through D2L (Desire to Learn) software
  • Your school board may not be using D2L but everyone has access to to check for plagiarism and copying

Enabling the OriginalityCheck through D2L…








Slide13 also lists the website(s) where work was plagiarized

Office 2013 vs. Office 2016


I had a chance yesterday to sit down with 2 computers in front of me and compare the ribbons (toolbar) in Office 2013 with the new Office 2016.  While Excel had a few changes, I was happy to discover that not much has changed with the layout of the ribbons in Word, Publisher and PowerPoint.  I like and was comfortable with the 2013 ribbons so I was glad that they had not changed dramatically.  I would estimate that 95% is the same.  In some cases a feature is in the same location but the button appears slightly different.

The main changes to Office involve the ability to create and edit documents and presentations with other people and the ability to access your documents, on the go, across all your devices.

Here is a link that describes some of the changes…

See What’s New in the Office 2016 Apps


Minions Picture using Shapes in Google Drawings


I developed an activity today that shows students how to create a Minion using Shapes in Google Drive Drawings.  This is a fun activity that allows students to learn more about Google Drive Drawings while creating an amusing Minions picture.   I used it with my Grade 9 Computers class and they loved it!  They were very engaged and it would definitely be a great activity for elementary students as well!



Topics/Skills Covered in this Activity
• Finding the Shape Button
• Using a Variety of Shapes
• Moving / Rotating Shapes
• Coloring Shapes
• Copy/Paste Shapes
• Putting Shapes Together to Make a Picture

Click on the link below to view this lesson…

Minions Picture using Shapes in Google Drawings Activity

Classroom Rules Minions Video


• This Minions Class Rules video currently has 627,984 views on YouTube
• Use this video to introduce, discuss and develop a set of class rules with your students

Class Rules

1. No gum
2. Be a good friend
3. Control bodily functions
4. Always follow directions and listen to the teacher
5. No teasing or bullying others
6. Don’t waste time when you leave the room
7. Keep your hands to yourself
8. Respect other learners by not disrupting
9. Supportive when working in groups
10. Leave toys at home
11. Keep cellphones turned off in backpacks
12. Ask for help when you need it
13. Keep your area clean

Click on the link below to download a free lesson about this video…

Classroom Rules Minions Video Activity