TCEA Wrap Up!

And just like that… TCEA is a wrap! What a fun conference with even more interesting weather.

Walking Food Tour!

I had the opportunity to host the first ever Walking Food Tour with 30 awesome people thanks to Nearpod. We collaborated to make this happen and bring people together through food. I’ve said it over and over on the show, “the best conversations happen when we break bread with great people.” I was able to help make this happen at TCEA 2023. We had authentic tacos, burrata, pizza, meatballs, fried chicken, fried pickles, fried green tomatoes, and a sticky bun! More importantly, I got to witness strangers breaking bread together, laughing, and connecting on social media. At one point, I almost teared up because this is what it’s all about. My wife, two boys, and brother in law were by my side the entire side and got a chance to see me in my element. I cannot express how special this event was and how much it means to me. So you can expect to be my thing at all conferences I attend. Food tours in different cities with educators!


While at TCEA, I also had the chance to chat with presenters and attendees. These conversations are all being released soon on the podcast. I’ll also be releasing video clips of our conversations throughout the coming weeks. This too is something special. I don’t like calling these “interviews” because interviews tend to be one sided and have a rather rhythmic flow to them. Instead, I call them what they are; conversations. Conversations have a natural flow and don’t rely on questions to prompt the guests. Although I didn’t get a chance to have a conversation with everyone I wanted to, I did get a chance to highlight some special guests and what they are contributing to our educational space.


If that wasn’t enough, I also presented ways to “Slay Vocabulary With Your Students”. This was a packed session with standing room only. I shared 5 strategies teachers could use at anytime for vocabulary retention. The feedback was incredible and we had many laughs during the session. There were very creative drawings and turkey basters that made me blush. If you were in the session, YOU KNOW WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT 😂!

Overall, this was an awesome experience. That’s even taking into account the freezing weather I had to drive through to get to the conference! I live in San Antonio so I didn’t have the luxury of walking outside of my hotel and crossing the street to get there. It was a struggle! I almost split my wig getting into my truck! It was worth it though. An awesome conference experience doing what I love to do. I got to bring people together while breaking bread with them, hear stories from other educators, and share a bit of my expertise with other like-minded educators. I honestly cannot wait for next year’s TCEA. And if you thought this food tour was something… wait until next year! Buen provecho!

Peep The Video Below 👇🏼

Quickly Gather Parent Contact Information With Google Forms and Google Sheets!

Chances are that you’re reading this in your pajamas, during the last days of your summer break, and with your chin resting on your left hand! If that last statement was correct, give me a shout out on social media! Regardless of what you’re watching or doing, I know you’re thinking about the next school year. One of the things teachers need to do at the start of every school year is to collect and organize parent contact information. Your district’s Student Information System has all of this for you but not as organized as you would like it. Not only that, it’s probably behind a portal that requires authentication and is not very mobile friendly. No worries, Google Forms, Google Sheets, and I have your back!

In episode 111 of The EdTech Bites Podcast, I chatted with Shelly Sanchez Terrell regarding parent communication. One of the tips I gave in this episode was for teachers to collect all of your student parent contact information through the use of a Google Form. Upon submitting, all of this data will go to a Google Sheet that can be easily retrieved from any internet-enabled device. But why just talk about it when I can create it for YOU so you can have your own editable copy of this form! So here you go!

Step 1: Let’s Make A Copy Of This Form!

Before you make a copy of this form, make sure you are in the Google account you want this form to live in. More than likely, it will be your work account and not a personal one. Once you are in this account, CLICK HERE and you will be forced to make a copy of the form. Go ahead and click “Make a copy”. This form will now be in your Google Drive.

Step 2: Let’s Make Some Edits To This Form!

Check out the form and read through the description, title, and questions. Make any edits you would like to make. Another thing to think about as well is the confirmation message. In other words, what do you want your parents to read once they have submitted the form? Some people like to put something along the lines of “Thank you for your submission. I look forward to working with you for your child’s success this year.” To find this setting, click on the Settings tab of the form and click on Presentation.

Step 3: Let’s Make A Spreadsheet For The Data!

Once you’ve made your edits and you are happy with your form, click on the “Responses” tab. There will be a green Google Sheet icon on the top-right hand corner. Click on that and select “Create a new spreadsheet.” Make sure it has the same name as the form followed by (Responses) at the end.

Step 4: Let’s Send This Form!

Both your form and your spreadsheet are ready to go! Now what? How do we get this information to parents? There are a couple of different ways to do this. Before doing this, you need to make sure that your settings are correct. Click on the Settings tab of the form and toggle what you want on and off.

If you plan on putting this on a site or landing page, you will need to get the URL for this form. DO NOT COPY AND PASTE THE URL FOR THE FORM YOU ARE EDITING. THIS WILL GIVE RECIPIENTS ACCESS TO EDIT THE BACK END OF THE FORM. Instead, you will click on the purple Send button on the top-right hand corner and choose the hyperlink icon. You can now copy this link or shorten it as well. In addition, you can paste the link in another tab and create a QR code for it. This works really well if you’d like to post this in your classroom during Meet The Teacher night.

You’re all set! All you have to do now is wait for responses. The beauty of this is that the data can be filtered and organized however YOU want it to be. And, you can view it easily from your Smartphone without having to log in to a portal with 52 factor authentication. Enjoy, spread the word, and have a great school year.

🍩 National Donut Day 2022: Where To Score Free Donuts 🍩

Michael Scott had pretzel day and I… have donut day! Whether you spell it “donut” or “doughnut,” they’re all the same! Fried dough rings that I actually prefer to call “power rings.” Some national chains are giving these diet essentials away on June 3rd, 2022. If you prefer the local shop around the corner from you, check their social media accounts because more than likely they are celebrating this day as well. With that being said, there is no reason you shouldn’t score yourself a free power ring on National Donut Day 2022. And if you don’t like the center of the donut, just eat around it! 🤣

Krispy Kreme

A free glazed donut on June 3rd. What more is there to say? But there’s more! You can also score a dozen for free when you purchase a dozen at regular price. So take it easy tomorrow and sleep in a bit. If you show up a little late to work, be the hero and walk in with a couple of dozen donuts. You can either be “the one who was late” or “the one who brought donuts.” It’s a win-win scenario! Click here for more information.


If you are a Dunkin’ coffee drinker, then this offer is for you. Pick up your free donut with the purchase of any beverage. This offer is hard to beat because what’s a donut without something to dunk it in?! Dunkin’ will also be releasing National Donut Day content on their Social Media so make sure you are following them on Instagram and TikTok. Click here for more information.

Duck Donuts

If you are fortunate enough to have a Duck Donuts around you, there are giving away one cinnamon sugar donut to every customer, in-store only. And there is no purchase necessary! Duck Donuts will also be choosing 5 “lucky ducks” to win a free dozen donuts. To be entered, you must do the following:

  • Follow @duckdonuts on Instagram
  • Post the most creative, crave-able and beautiful-looking donut photos June 2-5
  • Tag @duckdonuts and use #MyDuckDonuts in the caption

Click here for more information

Have Parents Send An Inspiring Message To Their Student Using Flipgrid!

It’s that time of year again. State testing is just around the corner. As a matter of fact, some districts (especially here in Texas) have already started the STAAR state tests. Our students come to school nervous, scared, and anxious to sit through hours of state testing. For some of our students, this will be the first time they take a high stakes state test in a classroom in two years.

This is simple to do. Click here to view the original topic I’ve created in my Flipgrid account. Make a copy of this to your own library. When you edit the details, make sure you Moderate Responses and Comments and set a guest password, this way parents can record their videos (Watch the video below). Once they’ve submitted their videos, show the videos to your students or drop the link to their parent’s specific video to them. This is a great way to bring parents into the classroom with technology. Enjoy the responses that come in and have a great Teacher Appreciation Week!

Create Google Docs Quickly Without Going To Your Google Drive

In this video tutorial, I go over how to create Google Docs quickly without going to your Google Drive. This works for Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Slides, Google Forms, and Google Sites as well. These can all be created within your web address without having to go to your Google Drive. Make sure you comment, like, share, and subscribe for more EdTech and Food content! And don’t forget to share this video with your students as well. Buen Provecho!

Educator Rocket League Tournament 2.0

This past summer, I toyed around with the idea of hosting a 2 vs. 2 Rocket League Tournament. It was intended for educators to get together with a family member to game together in the spirit of ol’ fashioned fun. Well, it didn’t really go down like I planned. At the time, Rocket League was a paid game and most people who reached out never played it. Well guess what?! Rocket League is now free on all platforms and what a better time to play with a family member than during the Winter Break of this global pandemic! So here it is… Rocket League 2 vs. 2 Tournament… January 2nd, 2021 at 2pm CT. Get together with your child, nephew, niece, cousin, step-son, mother-in-law, distant second cousin’s nephew, or anyone who you could game with. The game is free on all platforms and requires an Epic Games account (Epic…the ones who host Fortnite). This is all in the name of fun in the educational community. If you are interested, fill out the Google Form below with your information. We’ll see you online and do not forget to subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already done so. Stay safe!

Rocket League Tournament!

“I want to be a YouTube when I grow up!” If you have children at home, more than likely, you’ve heard this. And more than likely, your children are gaming this summer. And whether you want to accept it or not, there are many benefits to gaming online. There’s a huge gaming community and some of these gamers aren’t old enough to vote but are bringing in more money in eSports than we are as educators. If you’re like me, you’ve played some games with them and probably realized that your child can now outplay you! No worries. Remember that the purpose of games and gaming in general is having fun. And that’s what I’m inviting you to. A fun tournament.

Saturday, July 11th at 1pm CT, I will be holding a 2 vs. 2 parent/child Rocket League tournament. I invite any mother, father, aunt, uncle, or guardian to team up with your son, daughter, niece, or nephew and join. Here are the requirements:

  • Have the Rocket League game on either PC, Xbox One, PS4, or Nintendo Switch
  • A stable internet connection
  • Have the online service for your particular platform and an account for that service. Your child will need an account as well. (Xbox Live, Playstation Plus, or Nintendo Switch Online)
  • If you only have one online subscription in the family, make sure that you have enabled the online subscription to anyone who plays on that console. Check out the video instructions for Xbox One, Playstation 4, or Nintendo Switch.
  • Make sure your settings are set to play online

How Do I Join?

To join this tournament, make sure you have a Voxer account, send me a DM on any Social Media platform or email me at with your Voxer handle. I will be sending out the tournament name and password Saturday morning. If you’re interested but can’t make it this Saturday, don’t worry. This will not be your only opportunity. I will be hosting more of these.

I hope to hear from you and get some practice in!

Resources For Digital Learning and Distance Learning

With recent school closures all over the country, I decided to reach out to Tisha Poncio and Jacob Luevano to put together some resources. We connected, put together a list (that’s not too overwhelming) and connected. We streamed this through Periscope and recorded the conversation as well. A full list of resources is available on Tisha’s blog. Click the link to see these and check out our discussion on YouTube below as well.

Click here to view our list of resources

#PedometerPD: Learn While You Work Towards Your Step Goal!

For the past 4 years, I’ve been obsessed with consuming podcasts. If you were to go through my subscriptions, you would find a variety of different genres from education, hip-hop, comedy, and parenting. I could confidently state that I now to the majority of my learning through my headphones. I learn while I type, drive, cut the grass, wash the car, and walk. That last one…walk…I’ve been brewing an idea for a couple of years now and I’ve always put it on the back burner until now!

#PedometerPD Is Born!

That’s right, Pedometer PD. What is it? Well, let’s break it down. Pedometer: An ancient device that counts your steps and motivates you to be more active (NOT a device that measures your pedos!). PD: professional development, making ourselves better ________. I wanted to bring something different to our educators in the realm of professional development. But first, I needed to get approval from my directors to give teachers credit for listening to a podcast while walking the track at one of our district facilities. I did not want it to stop there though. I wanted a way for teachers to share what they learned from a podcast in a not-so conventional method. This way, they could reflect and put together an implementation plan to make their classrooms a more engaging environment. Once I wrapped my head around this, I began executing my plan! My directors loved the idea and were in full support of this. First, I booked a district facility from 4:30pm-5:30pm for our “course”. Knowing that was taken care of, I curated a list of podcast episodes that gravitated around student engagement. I put these into a Google Doc and typed out detailed instructions for installing a podcast catcher app, searching an episode, and downloading it to the device. Next, created a Synth Podcast for reflection. Participants would answer a set of reflection questions in the form of a Synth podcast. This way, I could promote using podcasting in the classroom! Lastly, I put the course in our digital catalog so it would be discoverable by anyone in our district. Before I knew it, people signed up for the course!

#PedometerPD Day!

The official day was January 23rd, 2020. I arrived at our facility early, scoped out the walking paths, printed my sign in sheet, and was patiently awaiting participants. As they arrived, they signed in and I made sure they all had a podcast catcher app and an episode downloaded. As soon as all participants were present, we began walking. I was able to get in 2 miles in the 45 minutes allotted. We met up at the end of the session and I clarified any questions they had regarding the Synth recording for feedback. We agreed that 1 week would be enough time for them to get these reflections to me before I submitted my final attendance. The feedback was incredible! They loved being able to be outside on a perfect day and be able to learn about their craft while being active. I have received their Synth responses and they have some great ideas on how to increase student engagement. I responded to all of their Synth recordings and have another Pedometer PD setup for February 26th. I’ve already got people signed up for it and the word is spreading. I plan on keeping this as a monthly course and going with a different theme each month.

All in all, I would say this was a success and I really feel that this idea is going to grow exponentially. I love learning while I’m active and I feel that with the different media outlets that we all learn from, why not recognize podcasts as a true learning outlet? I’m really looking forward to next month’s session and I plan on outdoing my previous 2 miles. Let’s. Do. This.

January 23rd #PedometerPD Podcast List


I was first introduced to Nearpod in 2012 through my good friend, Nick Trakas. We were a two-person Ed-Tech department in Florence, Arizona and always looking for new ways to integrate technology in our schools. He showed me Nearpod and had me download the student app on my 16gb iPad 2 (remember when Nearpod had a separate Teacher and Student app???). It blew my mind. I couldn’t believe that he was able to get immediate feedback from me and control the presentation on my device. This led to an immediate bias to Nearpod which led me to eventually become a PioNear.

I was on Twitter one day minding my own business when wham! #flipgridfever is all over my timeline. I didn’t know what it was and started to raise an eyebrow. I then saw something shiny under the table and forgot what I was doing on Twitter completely! A couple of months later at an edcamp in our district, Flipgrid came up and I suddenly remembered seeing that along with #flipgridfever a few months before. We played around with it some at that edcamp and that summer, I had caught the fever. I even contemplated getting the logo tattooed on my neck… just kidding. I did however become a Flipgrid Student Voice Ambassador as well as a Flipgrid Certified Educator.

As the school years move along I’ve found myself app smashing different tools with one another to have students and teachers create projects that incorporate technology in meaningful ways. I found myself consistently using the same two apps. You guessed it, Nearpod and Flipgrid. This led to bigger and better projects with teachers, EL students, GT students, and administrators as well! I even created a YouTube video last year showing how to do this. Check it out!

It’s pretty evident that I love me some Nearpod and Flipgrid. I’m an ambassador for both and have taken my expertise in both to various conferences in and outside of my district. I know folks at both companies on a personal level and have had some great conversations with both parties…separately. I would however, like for my two friends to meet up and shake hands. And when they do, I have a request. I (along with thousands of other edtechers) want top see a Flipgrid integration built into Nearpod and a Nearpod integration built into Flipgrid. Perhaps this could come our way in the form of a Google Chrome extension, a complicated code written in the background of each tool, something! Please! We need and want this soooo bad. I’d love to be a beta tester and give input whenever needed. How about you? Would you enjoy this? Do you think these two tools should shake hands and share in this worldwide edtech playground?