3 Great Rubric Generators

There are a few great rubric creators that I would like to share with you!


Rubistar has been around for years. In fact, it’s the first online rubric creator I used. You can use rubrics that are already created, share your rubric with others, or create your own from a template or piece by piece.  It is simple and saves time!



iRubric also allows the instructor to create a new rubric or use a pre-made rubric. The thing I like is the ability to search by subject:


ForAllRubrics is also free and works well with iPad integration. Instructors may collect the data offline, and then save as a .pdf or spreadsheet.




My Personal Assistants

Do you have a personal assistant? I am blessed to say that I not only have a personal assistant, I have three! Yes, most of you probably didn’t know that. You may have met them while on or off campus – but if not, I’ll introduce you:


1.  Ed. I must say Ed is amazing. He knows what to do without me asking. His full name is Easily Do but I call him Ed for short. Ed is a smart assistant that knows how to get things done. I can let Ed know where I have a meeting and he will not only map it out for me, but he will advise me when to leave based on traffic patterns. Ed schedules birthday greetings for me so that I won’t miss anyone’s birthday. He integrates with Facebook and not only says happy birthday to friends, he will even insert a picture of a cake. (Isn’t that sweet? Lol.) Ed merges my contacts and manages boarding passes. Ed knows when I leave work each day and he texts my husband for me to let him know I am on my way!


2. Mary. Mary is my Mailbox app. She helps me clean my mailbox  to a “zero” box. Mary is modern and sophisticated. With a swipe of a finger, I can sort through my mail quickly. What I really enjoy is the option to snooze emails until later, tomorrow, or next week. I use this on the weekends. I select to snooze the email until next week so that I can enjoy my weekend without a full inbox. She will also file my email into folders for me. Oh Mary, you are so efficient.

mailbox3. Siri. Many of you have met Siri. In fact, many of you employ her as well. Siri is intelligent and will get things done just by asking.  Siri is an iPhone expert and works with the following apps:

siri1I have used Siri to schedule appoints, make dinner plans, find locations, and text my family. Sometimes she does not understand me, but the more that we work together, the more we understand each other.

The best news about all of this? My assistants would like to work for you as well! Click on their links and “hire” them today!

All Presentations are not the Same

QuintanaRoo / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

Have a classroom presentation coming up and want to try something new to engage your learners? There are many options for you! Some of these options incorporate PowerPoint, and others are a PowerPoint alternative. My advice? Pick one and test it out!


The above link to Prezi will bring you to a presentation ABOUT Prezi. You see, Prezi is not just a presentation tool. It is non-linear and, if created correctly, tells a story by engaging the viewer using zoom and focus. Prezi has many tutorials available, content can be shared and viewed on or off-line.  You can also CLICK THIS LINK to view Prezi’s tutorial channel.

Haiku Deck

I am a huge Haiku Deck fan! In fact, I used Haiku deck to create all of my lecture slides this semester. CLICK HERE to read my blog post about Haiku Deck. The app is amazing. I created my slides and imported into PowerPoint so that I could also embed video and active links. I saved the slides as well as a .pdf to upload to my class Moodle shell.

Google Docs

Google Docs allows users to create slides similar to PowerPoint. Although I am not a huge fan of the themes/layouts, it is easy to use and the collaboration feature is very nice.


Keynote is Apple’s version of PowerPoint. I like it much better than PowerPoint. To me, it is more visually appealing and I like the choice of transitions and themes.


Powtoon creates animated video presentations. “To make your video, simply drag and drop the characters to the movie area and add text. A great feature is the ability to import straight to YouTube, no hassle, no fuss.” -AvatarGeneration View this simple video created by FixUp:

…or this one about Cloud computing:

Slideshare allows you to easily share the slides you have created on a blog or Moodle site. Voicethread  also allows the user to create slides with audio functionality. Collaborators may input a voicethread as well to a slide or picture.

What I enjoy are the tools that allow the instructor to not only present information, but engage the audience. Some of these tools are apps, others are web-based. Some of the tools push content to student devices so that they may follow along and others will not only push content, but will engage with questions and feedback.

Doceri :   CREATE hand-drawn lessons, presentations and graphics and SHARE them as still images, PDFs or audio/video screencasts – or mirror anything you’ve created to Apple TV via AirPlay. (via Doceri)

Mighty Meeting :  Share slides, images and whiteboards, push content to student devices

Create presentation videos using ShowMe, Explain Everything, or Screenchomp.

Try presenting using Presentain. Launch the Presentain app and use your smartphone as a clicker and presentation tool. It pushes content to student devices and allows them to engage with polls. Nearpod is very similar app that pushes content, adds polls but also has the ability to send web pages to student devices, then click off and back to the slide show with instructor control. Watch this video for more information!

Tips from the Best in Leadership


Today I am not going to write about technology. Rather, I have been at the Global Leadership Summit the past 2 days so I have decided to share some of my notes taken during the conference and summarize the thoughts that spoke to me the most. Yes, I did use my technology! I took notes with on my iPad using my Notability app.

During the first day of the session, I had the privilege of hearing such speakers as Bill Hybels, Gen. Colin Powell, Patrick Lencioni, Liz Wiseman, Chris Brown, Bob Goff and Mark Burnett. It was a day of powerful speakers!

Notes from delivery by Bill Hybels:

Courage correlates to every facet of leadership. This was the theme. Bill gave a great definition for vision as a picture of the future that creates passion in people. He continually reminded the audience to be strong and courageous because every vision will put your courage to the test. Some leaders become paralyzed by fear and abort the mission.  If an organization is in trouble, it is up to the leader to build a sense of urgency…status quo is “the precursor to death of the organization.”  He encourage leaders to cast a vision, then create a value to do it. Employees can like it or leave it.  I wish I would have heard this speech a couple of years ago!

Notes from delivery by Patrick Lencioni:

Patrick Lencioni is a gifted and talented speaker – and just plain fun to watch! His beginning question – Do you love your job? It’s not about a good job or bad job. It’s about having a fulfilling job – or we will be miserable. 

3 Things that Cause Job Misery:

1. Anonymity. Anonymity is a killer. We are called to love the people that work for us. We simply need to care for people!

2. Irrelevance. If you don’t think your job matters in some way, you cannot love your work.

3. Immeasurement. (Yes, it’s not a word.) Humans need to assess whether or not they are doing a good job. We need an intrinsic understanding of how we are doing.

Many people wonder why great employees will leave a company. Most times it does not have to do with money. It is because they either felt anonymous, irrelevant, or they had no performance feedback. It can be a game-changer for employee satisfaction, loyalty, and be a life-changer. These 3 things are qualifiers for happiness in a job.

Notes from Liz Wiseman:

Cover of "Multipliers: How the Best Leade...

Cover via Amazon

Liz wrote the book Multipliers. (I have it on order!) In it she describes how leaders are either multipliers or diminishers. “When you lead like a multiplier, people around you get smarter because they are working with you.” Multipliers use their intelligence to grow the intelligence of others.  Multipliers have vision, listen communicate, trust, and empower others.

The diminished makes others feel like they are not as smart as the leader. They do not delegate and tend to micromanage. They are often full of ideas, but do not know how to turn off the switch. (Hint: Look at this! We could do that! How about this?…) What do we do with leaders that don’t have an off switch? We tune them out! The pacesetter leader can be a diminisher because they may be out in front so far from others, that others never feel as though they can catch up. The rapid responder leader (quick decisions and quick actions) may cause others to feel diminished because everything is answered before they get to it. The optomist may even be a diminished because they may gloss over the struggle and invalidate the feelings of others.

I thought about how I have lead others in the past and I am pretty sure I have been a diminished without wanting to be. I would love to say, “Oh, I am a multiplier!” But as Liz read through so many of the scenarios, I could see myself in them. I am full of ideas and I am often out front. I tend to micromanage because I like to do things myself for fear that it won’t get done. I don’t like to be managed this way – so I should know that others don’t like it either! And, I am also a rapid responder. I like to get things done … right away. I never considered that I was robbing the joy of finishing something from others until I heard Liz speak today. Yikes. I am going to work on being a multiplier and not a diminisher. Starting now! (See – rapid responder.)

So – how can we be a multiplier and not a diminisher? Focus on one thing. Speak in the form of questions instead of telling. Don’t tell others – ask and let them find the answers. “Be a genius maker.”

The second day of the conference, I was able to hear Joseph Grenny, Vijay Govindarajan, Dr. Brene’ Brown, Oscar Muriu, Dr. Henry Cloud, and Andy Stanley.

Cover of "Influencer: The Power to Change...

Cover via Amazon

Joseph Grenny spoke about how to be an influencer. I adore his books and have read all of them. Rather than summarize his notes, I suggest you read his book Influencer.  I know I need to go back and read it again! And, even though I am tempted to write about all of the wonderful speakers, I won’t. I’ll finish with Dr. Brene’ Brown: 

“The 2 irreducible needs of men, women and children are love and belonging…in the absence of these, there is always suffering.” Love is when we allow our “most vulnerable selves to be known, when we give it to another person with trust, kindness, affection, and respect.” It is shared when there is self love present in both.  She explained how to lead with love:

1. Love is grown through connection. We do not do it by ourselves. It is not our job to have the answers. What a leader needs to do is model the courage to ask the questions.

2. We cannot give what we do not have. We can’t give help when we cannot ask for help. We can’t give courage if we don’t have it. When we judge ourselves for asking for help, we are judging others when we offer help.

3. Professing vs. Practicing. Love is a practice. We can profess love – but we have to practice it!

4. What kills love kills organizations. Five things kill both:  shame, blame, betrayal, disrespect, and withholding.

We need a sense of belonging. Be here. Be loved.

My final take-a-ways…get connected, listen, ask questions, love.

13 Great Interactive Presentation Apps and Sites

Edshelf is a great tool to share favorite sites and apps. Sadly, Edshelf will not embed into WordPress because of the security settings. So, I will just have to insert a picture and ask you to CLICK the picture to bring you to the interactive page where you may visit each of the resources.

I know that when I give a presentation, not only do I want to present information, I want to be able to interact with my audience. These applications and web sites allow for a variety of different interactions – from pushing content to devices, sending polls, or collecting information. By interacting with my audience, I am able to drive my instruction. Are they engaged? Do they understand? Are there any questions? Should I slow down or revisit the topic? Try picking your favorite one from the list and give it a try!

interactive presentation

Google Doc Research Tool – Great Find!

English: Google Logo officially released on Ma...

English: Google Logo officially released on May 2010 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I just came across a feature in Google Docs that I didn’t know was there…the research tool! What a great tool for any student or instructor.  When inside a Google doc, highlight the word that you want to research and click “Tools” and “Research”


The right side panel will open with a Google search of the word or words:

research2Find a site that will support your research.


The side work area allows you to preview the web site, insert a link into the document, or create a citation. The citation is placed into the footnote of the document:

research 4Love this find!