AI superpowers for your Google tools

A Chrome extension you need to try

Are AI tools REALLY saving you time?

When you read about new AI technology especially applied to the classroom everyone talks about saving time.

Saves teachers time. Save time planning lessons!

Ive started asking does it REALLY save time?

With some AI tools

  • you have to prompt it for what youre looking for

  • then you have to copy it and move it somewhere else

  • then you might need to massage it to look the way you want.

Ive seen this when working in ChatGPT and Google Gemini. It saves me some time but a lot of the potential time saved is used formatting and moving.

Thats what I love about Brisk Teaching, the tech tool in our Big Idea below.

If you use Google tools, it lives in your Google Docs, Slides, Classroom and more.

And its free. If you havent checked it out, read on!

Inside:

  • 6 books to support teaching with tech

  • DTT Digest: Subscriber appreciation, FigJam, Adobe

  • The Big Idea: A must-have Chrome extension

  • Tech Tip: Restricted mode for sensitive information

  • Smile of the day: Are you this old?

  • How we can help

6 books to support teaching with tech

Ive authored (or co-authored) six books that can help you level up teaching and learning with tech

  • Ditch That Textbook: Lots of ideas for teaching with tech in the 21st century

  • Ditch That Homework: If homework doesnt give you the results you want, heres what you can try instead.

  • Dont Ditch That Tech: Use tech to differentiate instruction, engage students, and meet them where they are

  • Do More with Google Classroom: Go beyond the basics with Google Classroom to create better assignments

  • Tech Like a Pirate: Create fun, memorable learning activities with tech to engage students

  • AI for Educators: A primer on AI in the classroom, translating it for teachers and suggestions ways to use it

DTT Digest

4 teaching resources worth checking out today

  • Be on the lookout! Next week is our second annual Ditch That Textbook Subscriber Appreciation Week! We will be sharing some exclusive digital content and goodies along with chances to win even more exciting prizes just for YOU!

  • 儭ICYMI A cabinet FULL of resources! Last week we shared our Worksheet to WOW virtual filing cabinet. It includes ideas, templates and links to resources that you can use right away!

  • Make puzzles in FigJam! David Curran shows you how to make fun puzzles right inside of FigJam is this two-minute tutorial.

  •  Grab images from any site Check out the Adobe Express Media Grab add-on and easily import images from your website or free public domain sites.

THE BIG IDEA

This message is sponsored by Brisk Teaching

 This is a MUST HAVE chrome extension (yes, its FREE)

Brisk Teaching has gotten a lot of attention lately, and rightfully so. Its a tool that can actually (yes, actually) save you time!

Brisk (briskteaching.com) is a set of teacher tools that lives inside of Google tools like Docs, Slides, Forms, and Classroom places where youre likely already spending time.

That way, its NOT one more thing (thank goodness!) Its something that helps you out where youre already working. Brisk overlays on top of your tools, without the hassle of managing a separate app or platform.

So why arent you using it?

Lets dive into a few questions weve seen come up and see if we can help you get started Brisking today.

Brisk Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Is it free?

Answer: Yes, Brisk is a totally free Chrome extension that you can start using now.

Question: Wait. It talks about a premium account trial? That doesnt seem free.

Answer: The forever free version includes ALL of these features:

  • Create Quizzes & Presentations without Images

  • Create Rubrics, Resources, & Exemplars

  • Create Lesson Plans, DOK Questions, & Decodable Texts

  • Create Emails, Newsletters, & Letters of Recommendation

  • Give Feedback in 3 ways: Glow & Grow, Rubric Criteria, & Next Steps

  • Inspect Student Writing with Replay

  • Change Reading Levels of Google Docs, Web Articles, & Digital Texts

  • Translate Text into 20+ Languages

  • Upload Rubrics & Give Aligned Feedback

  • Feedback Insights

  • Personalization Features

There are more tools that you can get access to with the premium version thats available only for schools and districts. You get access to ALL of the features for 14 days when you create your free account. However, the forever free version truly does have everything you need.

Question: So what happens after my 14 day premium trial ends?

Answer: Youll still have access to everything listed above. You can keep creating lesson plans, giving feedback, changing reading levels, translating text and instantly make quizzes in Google Docs or Forms without missing a beat.

Question: What if I want to try out all of those cool premium features again in 3 months or next school year?

Answer: Easy! Become Certified with the Brisk AI Professional Training (a 20 minute course that will teach you all of the Brisk AI essentials) and get 45 more days of Brisk premium.

OK, lets do this! How do I get started?

Heres a step by step guide for getting started. Its as easy as 1-2-34!

  1. Install Brisk Teaching Chrome Extension:

  • Visit the Brisk Teaching website.

  • Click on Add to Chrome for Free.

  • This will open the Chrome Web Store.

  • Click the Add to Chrome button to install the extension.

  • Confirm the installation by clicking Add Extension.

  1. Sign In with Google:

  • After installation, click on the extensions icon in your browser toolbar (it looks like a puzzle piece).

  • From the dropdown menu, find Brisk Teaching and click on the corresponding pushpin icon.

  • Brisk Teaching should now be visible on your toolbar.

  1. Complete Your Profile:

  • Click on the Brisk Teaching icon.

  • Sign in with your Google account.

  • Answer a few questions about your school (school name, state, etc.).

  • Click Next to proceed.

  1. Explore Brisk:

  • Brisk overlays on top of the tools you already use (Google Docs, Slides, YouTube, web articles, etc.).

  • It helps you save time by providing features like targeted feedback generation, creating quizzes, lesson plan generation, rubric creation, and more.

  • Explore the various ways you can use Brisk within your existing workflow.

  • Keep in mind that Brisk is continuously improving, so stay tuned for updates!

Excellent! Now its time to start Brisking (its a verb, trust me)

Want to see Brisk in action? Use it on the document below to see what it can do.

With the Brisk extension installed youll see a Brisk icon in the lower right corner (It is a black circle with a blocky white B in the center)

Click on the icon and start exploring Brisk!

Here are a few things you can try on your copy:

  • Click on the Create button and make a quiz.

  • Click on the Give Feedback button and see how the Glow & Grow feedback works.

  • Click on the Inspect Writing button and try to Detect AI Writing. (Remember the essay was AI generated).

  • Click on the Change Level button and level the writing either above or below 7th grade. Try changing the language too!

Tech Tip

Use restricted mode for sensitive information

This tech tip comes from Alice Keeler who shared this on Twitter/X:

When working with sensitive information, use the "restricted mode" feature in Google Docs to prevent others from copying, downloading, or printing the document. Tip: You can also set an expiration date for the document.

Smile of the day

Very clear memories of this in PE class!

h/t name and Teacher Nation via Teacher Memes Facebook group

How we can help

There are even more ways I can support you in the important work you do in education:

  1. Read one of my six books about meaningful teaching with tech.

  2. Take one of our online courses about practical and popular topics in education.

  3. Bring me to your school, district or event to speak. I love working with educators!

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