Thursday, January 26, 2023

Google Certified Educator Levels 1 & 2 Exam Prep Bootcamps (Asynchronous)


Looking to become a Google Certified Educator? Look no further than our exam prep bootcamp! At AdaKat EdTech Consulting, our program is designed to provide you with the knowledge and skills you need to pass the Google Certified Educator Exams, Level 1 and 2. Our Google Certified Trainers will guide you through scenarios that will prepare you for the ideas and concepts you will encounter on the exam.  

Additionally, we will provide you with practical tips and tricks to apply your Google Workspace skills to create more engaging lessons and expedite your workflow. With our bootcamps, you'll have access to a wealth of resources, including tutorials, best practices, challenges and your own personal Certified Trainer for feedback. Enroll now and take the first step toward becoming a Google Certified Educator!

Each bootcamp provides with you with access to the materials for 3 months or 2 weeks after completion. Included in the price is an exam voucher. Click the links below to see more details on each bootcamp.

Level 1 -  Level 2

If you would like to bring me to your school for PD, workshops, a keynote, training or a follow-up on this or previous blogposts, click here to schedule an appointment to chat.

My book, The Complete EdTech Coach: An Organic Approach to Digital Learning, co-authored with my wife Katherine Goyette is now available on Amazon. Click here to purchase. It is published by Dave Burgess Publishing. Be sure to follow the hashtag #OrganicEdTech and #CVTechTalk for updates.

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Boost Efficiency and Power Up Collaboration with Google Classroom Shells


Two things educators all need are more time and collaboration. Google Classroom Shells is a simple idea, hiding in plain sight, to help streamline the lesson design process all the while forming a foundation for effective collaboration in departments and PLC’s.

A Shell is a Google Classroom with no students enrolled. If you are fan of Marvel, it's a little bit like the "mirror dimension" from the first Dr. Strange movie. The "mirror dimension" is a place where sorcerers can practice their spells without affecting the real world. Your Shell allows you to fine tune activities, templates, instructions, accommodations and more without students seeing it. When your assignments, and different versions of them are set in your Shell, simply reuse them in your Classrooms in which students are enrolled. These templates are set so you can add unique details and documents without having to retype instructions, etc. A Google Classroom Shell is your "mirror dimension".

In this session, learn to develop a class shell within Google Classroom to house templates of often-used assignments, activities and Eduprotocols. In addition, learn to use a class shell to facilitate collaboration with departments and PLCs for common assignments and assessments. Each example shared will be rooted in 4 C’s lesson design in order to increase engagement while empowering students to take ownership of their own learning. Attendees will leave the session ready to create different types of Google Classroom Shells: Go-To Activity Templates, Common Activities and Assessments for PLCs, Eduprotocols, Curriculum Aligned, and Fitness for PE Class.

"Go-To Activities" Shell

No matter how long you've been teaching, you likely have an arsenal of go-to activities and assignments that can be reused for multiple topics. During the pandemic and distance learning, if you weren't already using Google Classroom, you were forced to adapt these lessons to Google Classroom.

One thing I found annoying was the process of reusing my go-to activities by reusing posts from different classes. Though not difficult, I was annoyed in how instructions and accommodations varied from class to class. I did not enjoy having to retype or re-edit instructions or re-attach unique versions of documents.

It was this inconvenience that led me to develop my first Google Classroom Shell. This Shell was just for me. One of my go-to assignments was my weekly assessment where I gave students the same 4 options each week to demonstrate learning. The only thing that changed was the weekly essential question. I put the instructions in English and Spanish and used the same rubric regardless of the topic. Each week, all I did was reuse the post from the Shell, type in that week's essential question and click Assign. This was such a huge time saver. Slowly, but surely, I began adding more template activities and assignments to the Shell. My lesson plan time was reduced dramatically

The X before the assignment name was a placeholder for the week number. When I reuse the post, I simply replace the X with the week number. Get started building your "Go-To Activities" Shell by creating posts with your instructions, leaving room for customization. In addition, add template documents that include the format you want to use, but open ended to add custom content for future reuse. When you reuse the post in the future, Classroom will make a copy of the documents for you. No need to attach template documents anymore!

Common Activities and Assessments for PLCs

After establishing with my Go-To Lessons Shell, colleagues thought it was a cool idea and wanted to use some of my templates. What we did instead was create a shared Shell for our PLC where we were all co-teachers. We each created a Topic with our name and added our go-to activities. Doing this, we all had access to each other's activities and template documents. We were able to reuse each other's materials.

In our PLC, we were mandated to periodically proctor common assessments. Using our PLC Shell, we collaborated on assignments for each assessment. We discussed and agreed upon instructions, documents and accommodations. We created a generic version of the assignment in addition to versions for English learners and SPED students. We were able to reuse any version from the Shell. For organizational purposes, we created a Topic titled "Common Assessments".

This process galvanized our PLC and made collaboration very enjoyable. For common assessments, we downloaded our student scores to compare data at future meetings. 

Get started with this process by creating a Classroom and inviting colleagues as co-teachers. From there, create a topic for each member and add your templates and go-to activities.


These days, Eduprotocols are all the rage. If you're reading this and you haven't heard of Eduprotocols, open a new browser window and navigate to You will not be disappointed. 

For those of you new to Eduprotocols, in a nutshell, they are a series of lesson frames that can be reused over and over, with the 4C's embedded and applicable to any grade level or subject. As Eduprotocols became a huge part of my teaching, I instinctively built an Eduprotocols Shell. Just like in my "Go-To Activities" Shell, the instructions, accommodations and template documents stay the same each time I reuse. Only the topics or content changes. Below is a screenshot of my Thin Slides template.

When I reuse this Eduprotocol template, I add the topic and week number in the title. If you're new to Eduprotocols, Thin Slides is what I recommend you use to get started before diving into the rest. It's great for checking for understanding and getting students comfortable presenting in front of their peers. I facilitate by reusing the post then adding a specific topic and giving students 3 minutes to build their slide. On their slide, they will include ONLY one word and one picture about a takeaway, opinion or idea about the assigned topic. They click turn in and I present via Google Classroom on the projector each student's slide. 

When student's slide appears, they have roughly 7 seconds to present, elaborating on their one word and one picture. The one picture and word is there to help them remember what they want to say. In less than 10 minutes, I can have every kid present, everyday. Imagine how comfortable they will be presenting by the end of the year! If interested in joining one of my Eduprotocols Shells as a co-teacher, email me at

Curriculum Aligned

If you like the idea of creating a Shell for your department or PLC, then you'll be sure to like the idea of building a curriculum aligned Shell. This type of Shell, best created with a department, takes a specific curriculum and develops assignments and activities that align with each section and chapter of the textbook. 

I originally thought of this type of Shell because I was disillusioned with how textbook companies often have an online version of their book with an accompanying system for which students will login to access curriculum aligned activities. This was just one more thing for students to login to. These systems often where heavy duty, taking up processor power on Chromebooks causing them to operate very slowly. 

Since we were already using Google Classroom, I decided to adapt the curriculum's prebuilt assignments, in addition to my own, to the Google Classroom environment. Classroom works fine on Chromebooks and do not slow them down. Working with colleagues, we went section by section and chapter by chapter creating a treasure trove of activities. If new teachers joined the department, they were given access to this Shell and they had a head start. Even though we were reusing these posts, we still maintained creative control to adapt them as needed. 

Below is a screenshot of a curriculum aligned Shell for a 7th grade World History class that contains Eduprotocols for each section in the textbook.

The naming conventions above were for the grade level, chapter and section. For example, 7.1.1 stands for 7th grade, chapter 1, section 1. No matter the section being covered, this department had activities already built beforehand for teachers to pick, choose and reuse. Get started by creating a new Classroom and inviting co-teachers. Crack open your curriculum, look at the chapter/section structure, create topics for each and start building your curriculum aligned activities. This will take some time if doing for an entire textbook, but the collaboration involved will strengthen your team and save time in the future. 

Fitness for PE Class

For years I struggled to find a way to meaningfully integrate technology into a PE class. Initially, I thought about getting students to use something like a Fitbit to track fitness, but that posed too many logistical problems. I thought about having students use a fitness app on their cellphones, but not every kid has a cellphone. After a conversation with a PE teacher, we decided Google Classroom was the answer. All of our students had access to Google Classroom either on their cellphone or a school issued Chromebook. 

A PE teacher friend and I built a PE Fitness Tracker Shell. This Shell included Google Classroom Questions where students would record mile times, sit and reach scores, height, weight and much more. This allowed the teacher and students to see their fitness and health progress over time. 

Topics were created to organize activities by BMI, cardio and flexibility records. The "x's" were there as placeholders for dates of recording. This helped the teachers and students see progress over time. Below is a screenshot of this Shell.

Google Classroom Shells are very versatile, help facilitate collaboration and save time. For what will you create a Google Classroom Shell? If you would like to bring me to your school for PD, workshops, a keynote, training or a follow-up on this or previous blogposts, click here to schedule an appointment to chat.

My book, The Complete EdTech Coach: An Organic Approach to Digital Learning, co-authored with my wife Katherine Goyette is now available on Amazon. Click here to purchase. It is published by Dave Burgess Publishing. Be sure to follow the hashtag #OrganicEdTech and #CVTechTalk for updates.

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Simple Google Tools to Give English Learners Access to Curriculum

English learners often feel left out and teachers struggle to find ways to simply give them access to content. Have you ever felt a little uncomfortable trying to help give English learners access to content? If so, Google has a variety of easy to use tools that help teachers accommodate the learners and empower the learners to access the content. In this session, we will explore Google Docs/Slides Add-ons, Google Chrome extensions and systems to not only give access, but help aid with their development with the English language.

This session will demonstrate simple ways to use Google to give ELLs access to content in their home language and side-by-side with English. A common practice when attempting to give English learners access to content, teachers create separate versions of content or assignments in the home language. This can make English learners feel alienated, and at the same time, it does not help them grow with the English language. Don't get me wrong, there is a time and place for separate versions in the home language, but in this session, we will take a look at simple tools and systems to provide side-by-side translation in the same resource or activity. This can begin to help English learners feel included, accommodated and develop with the English language.

In this session, attendees will:

  • Take a look at tools built into Google Docs to aid with translation

  • Investigate Chrome extensions to help English learners access curriculum and engage

  • Demonstrate Add-ons in Google Docs and Slides for translation and engagement

  • Develop a system for side by side translation, not just versions in different languages

  • Practice using Google Translate conversation mode to enhance your ability to give in-person, real-time feedback

If you would like to bring me to your school for PD, workshops, a keynote, training or a follow-up on this or previous blogposts, click here to schedule an appointment to chat.

My book, The Complete EdTech Coach: An Organic Approach to Digital Learning, co-authored with my wife Katherine Goyette is now available on Amazon. Click here to purchase. It is published by Dave Burgess Publishing. Be sure to follow the hashtag #OrganicEdTech and #CVTechTalk for updates.

Monday, January 9, 2023

A Full Day of Professional Learning: Organic EdTech Integration with Google Workspace for Education

Are you looking for an action-packed full day of professional learning? If so, look no further. Bring in AdaKat EdTech Consulting to lead a day of affordable professional learning that will build teachers' capacity to organically integrate technology with Google Workspace for Education and more.

What does it mean to organically integrate technology? In our book, The Complete EdTech Coach: An Organic Approach to Supporting Digital Learning, we state "If you plan with the 4C's in mind, the tech will take care of itself". This means we lead with learning, never with tech. Using our 4C's lesson design process, teachers identify a learning goal and brainstorm how students will engage in communication, creativity, collaboration and critical thinking. As the coach in this process, we rely heavily on the teacher, drawing upon their content expertise and years of experience. They know their content and students best and we will recommend technology we know resides in their teacher toolbox and only if it fits naturally. If no tech is required to enhance the learning process, we will not force it.


This day of professional learning begins by building teacher capacity and adding to their teacher toolbox. Using Google Workspace for Education tools primarily, we will show how use simple tools and strategies in innovative ways.

Executive Processing and Simple Tools for English Learners

Teachers will learn executive processing skills to expedite their workflow and how they can impart these same skills to their students. From there, we dive into simple tools that will give English learners access to content and curriculum. Supporting English learners is something all teachers must do, and we will demonstrate ideas, tips and tricks that hide in plain sight, and can be used effectively by anyone.

Engagement with Chromebooks

Too often Chromebooks are used only as tools for word processing or algorithm-based learning programs. Using Chromebooks in this manner does not engage all learners in the 4C's and makes students passive consumers of content. During this portion of the day, we will investigate ways to use Chromebooks to guide your students to be active creators of content. We'll take a look out maximizing the Chromebook's camera, built-in screen recording app and ways to strike a healthy balance of paper/pencil with technology.

Google Classroom Shells

With all of these ideas, skills, tips, tricks and strategies at the forefront, we will next take a deep dive into the development of Google Classroom Shells. Google Classroom Shells are a simple way to power up PLCs and departments increasing ability to collaborate. Attendees will learn to develop Shells for go-to lessons, common activities, common assessments, Eduprotocols, specific curriculum and even PE classes.

Now that attendees' toolboxes have begun to fill, this day of professional learning will culminate by designing lessons using our 4C's lesson design process. Using a simple 4 square, presenters will guide teachers in a brainstorm in how students will work towards a learning goal while engaging in each of the 4C's. The presenter will rely and draw upon the teachers' years of experience, content expertise and tech toolbox empowering them to organically integrate technology into the lesson. They will be given time to work one on one with the presenters, in groups and or with department/PLCs. Attendees will end the day with at least one lesson they can use in class the next day.

Are you interested in an action packed day of professional learning and lesson design like this? If so, please reach out to AdaKat EdTech Consulting. Click here to book an appointment discuss logistics and pricing. Click here to purchase a copy our book The Complete EdTech Coach: An Organic Approach to Supporting Digital Learning.

Friday, January 6, 2023

4C The Future: Lesson Design That Empowers



Have you ever struggled with student engagement and effective technology usage?  Would you like students using technology to interact meaningfully with content rather than just staring quietly at a screen? With our 4C's lesson design model, we will help you focus on student engagement and organic tech integration while honoring your years of teaching experience and skillset.

In our book, The Complete EdTech Coach: An Organic Approach to Supporting Digital Learning, we say "If you plan with the 4C's in mind, the tech will take care of itself". We believe you should "lead with learning, never with tech". Using our 4C's lesson design model, we begin with a conversation about your learning goal and your teaching experience & toolbox. With those things in mind, we brainstorm the student moves in how they will engage with each of the 4C's, communication, creativity, critical thinking and collaboration. In this process, as coaches, we lean on your years of experience, skillset and content knowledge as we delve into each of the 4C's. You are the expert and you know your students best.

There is nothing fancy to it. On a whiteboard or scratch paper, draw an open-ended four square, one square for each C. After deciding on a learning goal, discuss and jot down ideas for how students will engage with each C in pursuit of the learning goal. It is this brainstorm where technology naturally finds its way into a lesson. If no technology is needed for students to engage in one of the C's, no worries. We aren't going to push technology for technology's sake. If the technology is the best fit for your students to engage in a C, it is used. When finished with the 4 C's brainstorm, your lesson ideas, with organically integrated technology, can easily be plugged into any district or school mandated lesson plan template. This can be a great activity for departments and PLCs.

Faces were covered for privacy

Questions and ideas to consider when brainstorming with the the 4 C's

  • Creativity: What will students create to demonstrate understanding?

  • Communication: Who is the target audience for the student work? Just the teacher? Whole class? School community? Local community? The world via the web? What structures do you have in place for real-time teacher to student feedback?

  • Collaboration: Where and how will students give each other peer feedback as they work together? How might they act on the peer feedback?

  • Critical thinking: How will students engage in problem solving? How might they think outside the box? Will they be given voice and choice to choose the best tools and methods for demonstrating understanding?

  • Teachers and Coaches: With what tech tools am I familiar? With what tech tools are my students familiar? What strategies are my go-to teaching strategies? What are the various skillsets of my students? What student accommodations need to be made?

  • Coaches: Recommend technology tools if a teacher is hitting a brainstorm roadblock. Recommend a technology tool if it truly is the best way for student engagement and demonstration of learning. If a teacher isn't familiar with a tech tool, offer to co-teach part of the lesson.

Faces were covered for privacy

If you would like to bring AdaKat EdTech Consulting to your school for PD, workshops, a keynote, training or a follow-up on this or previous blogposts, click here to schedule an appointment to chat.

Our book, The Complete EdTech Coach: An Organic Approach to Digital Learning, co-authored with my wife Katherine Goyette is now available on Amazon. Click here to purchase. It is published by Dave Burgess Publishing. Be sure to follow the hashtag #OrganicEdTech and #CVTechTalk for updates.