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 is a teacher trainer, author, and international speaker. She is the host of American TESOL’s Free Friday Webinars and the Social Media Community Manager for The Consultants-E. She has co-founded and organized the acclaimed educational projects, Edchat, ELTChat, The Reform Symposium E-Conference and the ELTON nominated Virtual Round Table language and technology conference. Her prolific presence in the educator community through social media has been recognized by several notable entities, such as The New York Times, UNESCO Bangkok, Edweek, Converge Magazine, the United Federation of Teachers, the 140 Conference, Mashable, English Central,, and T/H/E JOURNAL. Her education blog, Teacher Reboot Camp, is ranked as one of the top 10 language teaching and technology blogs and the 50 best blogs for education leaders. In 2012 find her book, The 30 Goals Challenge for Educators published by Eye on Education and participate with over 7000 educators worldwide in this online professional development course that helps educators develop Personal Learning Networks and accomplish social media and teaching goals. Find her on Twitter, @ShellTerrell. Shelly has taught English language learners at various levels since 1998 in the US, Greece, and in Germany. She currently presents and hosts workshops on integrating technology effectively with young learners and adults. Shelly holds an Honours BA in English and a minor in Communication with a specialization in Electronic Media from the University of Texas in San Antonio and an Honours MA in Curriculum Instruction ESL from the University of Phoenix.

2 thoughts on “Create a Digital Advent Calendar

  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.

    1. 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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