31 Days of Digital Goodies

Included in the Digital Ideas Advent Calendar

One way to engage students is to create interactive digital calendars. December is the month for advent calendars, so I’ve created the Digital Ideas 2014 Advent Calendar to give you a hands-on example of how this works. Throughout December, you will discover free web tools, apps, and resources by clicking on each day in the calendar below. You will also be given a challenge so that you are motivated to try out these ideas. Keep reading to find out how to make your own interactive digital calendar. Check out the 2013 Digital Ideas Advent Calendar for more great ideas!

Create Your Own

Create your own interactive digital calendar with Google Docs and Thinglink, a free tool and app to make clickable images. Feel free to use my Google template to make it quick and easy. To create your own:

  1. Copy/download my Google Calendar template so that you can edit as you like. Click FILE then MAKE A COPY and it will open in your Google Drive or Click FILE then DOWNLOAD AS to save as a Word Document.
  2. Edit the calendar or have students create their own.
  3. Take a screenshot of your calendar. I recommend Awesome Screenshot if you don’t know how to do this.
  4. Upload this image to ThingLink. You can create a free Thinglink account. The educator plan allows you to add your students as contributors without them having to create an account. Thinglink also has an awesome app for Android and iOS devices.
  5. Add links, a video, an audio clip, an image, or a reflection each day.


With my Google Calendar template  you can easily create a calendar for any month by right clicking the first numbered cell and changing the date. The calendar will automatically update to that month. Here are a few ways to implement this:

  • Kindness calendar– each student creates their own calendar in which they add an act of kindness they did and a reflection. Get them to do this for a series of days. They can add pictures, videos, or audio clips to illustrate their actions.
  • Game, learning app, or web tool recommendation calendar
  • Is It True calendar– post a fact about your subject and have students search the web to determine if this was made up or actually happened.
  • Who Said It and Why calendar– post a quote and challenge students to determine who said it and the reason behind the quote. 
  • Parent events calendar– share free community events and activities with parents.
  • Writing prompts calendar– students check the calendar to find a writing prompt for their journals or blogs. You can find awesome writing prompts created by other teachers in this post.
  • Wacky experiments calendar– post quick science experiments they can try out
  • Math tricks calendar 
  • Brainteaser, word scramble, Sudoku, riddle or optical illusion calendar
  • Solve a mystery calendar– reveal a new clue each day
  • Joke or meme calendar– you can find tons of jokes and memes for math, science, etc and have them reflect on the concept, theory, or knowledge illustrated.
  • Goals calendar– each day students mark progress on their goals or a quote, song, or video to help them focus on their goals.
  • Mission & digital badge calendar– add a learning mission for students to accomplish each day and have a digital badge they will receive if they succeed. Find a video about this here and the slides, Meaningful Learning with Missions and Badges.


Create your own interactive digital calendar.

If you enjoyed these ideas, you may want to get your copy of The 30 Goals for Teachers or my $5.99 ebook, Learning to Go, which has digital/mobile activities for any device and editable/printable handouts and rubrics. Subscribe for FREE to receive regular updates!

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), Facebook.com/ShellyTerrell, and on her blog, TeacherRebootCamp.com, 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 https://www.slideshare.net/ShellTerrell/presentations

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