Create a Digital Advent Calendar

Part of the Effective Technology Category!

For the past few years, I have played around with creating a digital advent calendar. With an advent calendar, a new idea, prize, or suprise is revealed each day. My Digital Ideas December Advent Calendar will be updated each day with a technology integration idea. These will be posts I’ve previously written that provide great free resources, web tools, and apps for teachers. Some of these will also be new posts. You can find my Digital Ideas December Advent Calendar here, I’ve also embedded it below.

31 Days of Digital Tech Integration Tips

Create Your Own

I first read about the idea from Kelly Tenkely’s fantastic Edtech blog, I Learn Technology. Kelly creates her calendar with Wix. I decided to do mine with Thinglink, a free tool to make clickable images, and Google Spreadsheets. The reason for my choice is I wanted to create a template teachers could replicate and use. To create your own:

  1. Go to my Google Calendar Template. Click FILE then MAKE A COPY and it will open in your Google Drive. If you do not have a Google account then Click FILE then DOWNLOAD AS.
  2. Edit the calendar to fit your needs or have students create their own.
  3. Take a screenshot of your calendar.
  4. Upload this image to ThingLink.
  5. Add the links each new day.


You can use this digital calendar throughout the year to motivate your students. Here are a few ideas:

  • Motivate learners to accomplish tasks during their breaks! Add a new game or app each day. 
  • Share free community events and activities with parents.
  • Add a writing prompt each day.
  • Have them solve a brainteaser, word scramble, optical illusion or other challenge.
  • Reveal a new clue to solve a mystery.
  • Share a joke or meme about your topic. Tons of jokes and memes for math, science, etc.
  • Share a motivational quote or poem. This could be to support learners who are trying to accomplish goals.
  • Share a new video. Thinglink will have a Youtube pop-up. It could be a TED Talk or funny video.
  • Have them discover a new cool fact of the day about your topic.
  • Have students create their own Random Acts of Kindness calendar. With Thinglink you can just add text so each day they can write what they did that day.


Create your own digital advent calendar.

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Shelly Terrell

Shelly Sanchez Terrell (@ShellTerrell) is an award winning digital innovator, an international speaker/consultant, and the author of Hacking Digital Learning with EdTech Missions, The 30 Goals Challenge for Teachers, and Learning to Go. She has trained teachers and taught English language learners in over 20 countries as an invited guest expert by organizations, like the US Embassy, UNESCO Bangkok, Cultura Inglesa of Brazil, the British Council in Tel Aviv, IATEFL Slovenia, HUPE Croatia, ISTEK Turkey, and Venezuela TESOL. She has been recognized by several organizations and publications as a leader in the movement of teacher driven professional development as the founder and organizer of various online conferences, Twitter chats, and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Two of the projects she co-organized were shortlisted for ELTons, #ELTChat and the Virtual Round Table Language and Technology online conference. She was named Woman of the Year by the National Association of Professional Women, awarded a Bammy Award as a founder of #Edchat, and named as one of the 10 Most Influential People in EdTech by Tech & Learning. Her greatest joy is being the mother of baby Savannah and Rosco the pug. Shelly has an Honors BA in English with a Minor in Communication and a specialization in Electronic Media from UTSA, a Masters in Curriculum Instruction ESL from the University of Phoenix, and a CELTA from CELT Athens. She regularly shares her tips for effective technology integration via Twitter (@ShellTerrell),, and on her blog,, which has won several awards and recognitions as one of the top ESL, Edtech and Elearning blogs. Find over 400 of her slide presentations at


  1. Could you explain how to edit the calendar? I am ‘new’ to alot of the tools, and really need some steps. Is Thinglink a free app, or do I need to pay something to upload it? would each of my students need to subscribe as well? — I need some guidance there too. I love your ideas, and would really like to try this out.

    • Hi Cheryl,

      Check out slides 26-30 in this presentation. I have screenshots of the process.
      Thinglink is a free web tool and also has a free iPad app. With free apps, students will have to either create their own account and upload their projects or you could upload the images for them. If you upload their images, they can still add the links without having to register for an account. To add the links you will need to go to Edit then Sharing Settings then click Image Visibility not listed and click on allow anyone to edit. Then you will send each student their image url. Once the student is done go back to Sharing Settings and change it to Public and uncheck the box for anyone to edit. Hope that clears some stuff up.

      Thank you for writing!


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