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  • Writer's pictureJulie Jamieson

Digital Tools for Game-Based Learning

It's no secret that students are more engaged in learning when they are having fun. Adding gamified learning opportunities to your instructional practices can be a great way to motivate students and help them be more accountable for their learning. After all, even as adults, who doesn't love earning a badge or a special achievement? Most of us are familiar with tools such as Quizziz and Kahoot to add a gaming element to your classroom. This blog post will hopefully introduce you to a few other tools that you can utilize in your classroom.


Learning, Creating, and Assessing!

Deck Toys is like a "choose your own adventure", cutomizable learning path type of digital tool. As the lesson designer, you can customize learning paths and differentiate for different learners. Build a study set with key vocabulary terms and you can turn them into a variety of games, like Wordle, crossword puzzles, maze chases and more. You can embed content like videos and Google Slides as well. Here is one I made for teaching students how to use our digital book platform, Sora, to preview.

Goosechase is a great tool for creating digital scavenger hunts. You can create interactive experiences with "missions worth points. You can even award teams extra points from behind the scenes (i.e. extra 50 points for demonstrating teamwork). Students do need a mobile device to participate in the Goosechase. There is an extensive library spanning content areas to choose from with premade games. You can make a copy and adjust missions as you see fit or you can start from scratch. For the free version, you can have up to five teams per experience.

Breakout EDU is a classic favorite for bringing gamified learning opportunities in the classroom. Students love participating in escape room-type activities with teams. The 4 C's are definitely all at play when students are trying to solve the puzzles: collaboration, creativity, critical thinking, and communication. We have access to ten physical boxes and locks. Since our district has a subsription to the platform, we have access to all the games, both digital and physical. Let me know if I can help plan a Breakout activity for your classes!

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  • Writer's pictureJulie Jamieson

Empathy and Emotional Support

Digital Tools for Empathy and Social Emotional Support

Sharing physical space with the crisis counselor (our wonderful Mrs. Osborn) over the past three years has really opened my eyes to the need for building empathy skills and mental health support in our building. It is definitely true that we are living in a different world now than even five years before. No one can deny that. This blog post will focus on three digital tools that help to either build empathy in our students or help support them with their own mental health needs. As we journey through the month of November, no doubt, we will be thinking of counting our blessings and showing our gratitude for all we do have. However, the beginning of the holiday season can also bring extra stress and some really hard feelings for some of us, including our students. Let's try to think about how how we can check in with ourselves and our students over the coming weeks.



The Global Oneness Project is a fascinating source that explores issues facing humanity. It is a free multimedia platform that has a full curriculum, films, photo essays, and essays to help students learn about social, cultural, and enviromental issues from arouind the world. Resources included help to broaden perspectives while fostering empathy and resiliance. For example, for Native American Heritagte Month, one idea is to have students watch the short film, They Take Care of Us, about reintroducing the buffalo back to Northern Montana and allowing students to reflect on the challenges of cattle ranching and creating jobs for tribal members. Films are short, around 10 minutes, and could be great for discussion pieces!


By far, Canva is my favorite digital tool for creating! I literally use it every single day. The possibities for using it in your own creative projects and for students to use to demonstrate work are endless. Did you know you can get a free educator account and have a Canva Classroom? Yep! You can! Students can create TikTok-style videos, infographics, presentations, social media posts, photo collages, videos, and more. The possibilities are endless on this platform. Need some low-key decompressing activities in your room? Just type in in coloring bookmarks and get a plethora of bookmarks to print and have your students color in the designs to decompress. There are also plenty of posters for printing. Just type in the keywords "mental health" .Type in "Student Check In" in the search bar and immediately get all kinds of templates you can easily share with your students to check in with them about how they are doing and to help them set goals. Check below for an example.

Just ask if you need a one-on-one help session. I'm happy to help. This is a resource that you will be so glad you have . . . I promise!

Assessing is an insightful test for you to take to understand yourself better . . . what motivates you? What helps you work with others? Imagine how much better you can understand your students if you have them share their personality types with you. The bottom line is introverts and extroverts react to the world differently. Taking this kind of personality test definitely will build an awareness about yourself and those in your care each day.

Did you know that Nearpod has several social-emotional activities you can do with your students? Here is a quick, less than 15 minute one you could do with your students to assess how they are feeling and build connections.

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  • Writer's pictureJulie Jamieson

Updated: Sep 28, 2022

Digital Tools for Teaching Media Literacy & Digital Citizenship

Digital Citizenship Week takes place this month! This year, it will be held on October 17-21, 2022. At this time, our high school students don't have a specific class for "digital citizenship" or "media literacy". In an era where social media reigns supreme, the responsibility for teaching these life skills to students falls on all of us. Fortunately, there are several good resources out there to help us teach students how to be ethical and responsible in the digital world within our content area(s). I hope you enjoy learning about some of these tools. I am happy to help with teaching any of these concepts!



Civic Online Reasoning is brought to you by Stanford History Education Group. This site will help you teach media literacy skills to your students. Create an account and you will have access to free lessons and assessments about evaluating inforamtion online. Lessons can be stand alone modules or you can embed the resources in what you already teach.


Copyright & Creativity is a free K-12 curriculum for teaching copyright and fair use concepts for all learners. Google Slide decks, lesson PDFs, videos, and a free professional development course are offered on the site as well as webinars and office hours to talk with ambassadors. I have been an ambassador for this nonprofit organization for over two years now, and I can't recommend these resources enough. Students are creating every day, and it is critical for them to understand their rights and responsibilities as creators. I am happy to provide lessons on this topic next time you have your students complete a creative project. We can structure it however you like. I can do a mini lesson over just the basics or go more in depth. The lessons can be used as stand alone lessons or they can be modified to be embedded in authentic learning activities. When students create videos, infographics, podcasts, etc, these lessons and videos can enrich the creation component. Lessons are framed in a positive way . . . copyright is about encouraging creativity!


Digital Skills for a Global Society is a collaborative resource created by Dell Technologies and ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education). The purpose is to provide resources for all learners to become empowered to navigate the digital world safely and ethically. Resources and questionnaires are provided for students and adult learners to test their own knowledge and to grow as learners in this area. Three categories are covered: Navigate, Consume, Create & Communicate. I want to highlight the questionnaire portion of this site. There is a different survey for students, educators, and caregivers. After you take the survey, you get immediate results with feedback and resources to help you understand areas you need to focus on to become more digitally literate in today's world.

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