This is a guest post in our Educator Stories series by Maribel Martinez, Education Consultant for Editure/AUSSIE, New York, New York.

The arrival of the Common Core State Standards has set in motion major instructional shifts, revisions in curricula and deliverables, and new expectations for student evaluation, among other major changes in school and classroom practices.

In New York City, where my work as an education consultant demands eclecticism within expertise, technology projects and final performance tasks are born when the curriculum drives the innovation.

My work with Abigail Farahmandpour, 8th grade Social Studies teacher at PS/IS 204, The Holmes School, in Long Island City, New York began with a general conversation about her upcoming unit on World War II, her existing access to technology, the technology-infused projects she had done in the past, how she wanted to revamp old ideas to include technology that would engage students, and also give them a new way to demonstrate their learning while pushing their 21st century skills further.

Since Abigail’s goals for the project included student research and writing, she wanted to incorporate a technology application that would allow students to really develop their thoughts instead of just adding captions or short statements to images.

Abigail did not want the writing and the research to take a backseat to the technology piece; she envisioned a final project that told the story of WWII through the eyes of someone who experienced the conflict firsthand.

Enter Biteslide. Biteslide offers its users the ability to support lengthy text, audio, video, and images within a lifelike scrapbook-known as a Slidebook-that anyone can easily customize by dragging and dropping digital stickers, paper, borders, and die cuts. Because Biteslide is linked to Google and YouTube, students easily performed searches for eye-catching media and uploaded them in one step into their Slidebooks.

Best of all, nothing is ever lost in Biteslide. Whether you upload directly from the Internet or your own computer, Biteslide stores your media in Your Bites for later use, and you never have to worry about power outages or computer glitches because Biteslide autosaves while you work.

Lastly, group work is easily accomplished on Biteslide because users can collaborate with one another on the same Slidebook project, making group project work easy and fun.

Creating digital scrapbooks on Biteslide was a natural fit for the goals of this project and a great way for students to allow their creativity to put a personal stamp on their WWII stories. Some examples of our 8th Grade Technology-Infused Performance Tasks on WWII:

Aside from bolstering student enthusiasm and easing the pressures of traditional testing methodologies, developing technology-infused performance tasks with tools such as Biteslide accomplish important points with regard to student assessment:

1. Technology-infused performance tasks maintain the original intent behind authentic assessments, measuring what students do with what they know not just how much they know.

2. Technology-infused performance tasks are evaluations of both process and product.

3. Technology-infused performance tasks are designed using active verbs requiring students to manipulate, produce, and create application extensions as evidence of learning.

“The kids are loving Biteslide!” announced Abigail before students were even finished with their projects.

For teachers, a final performance task with Biteslide also means a permanent electronic work product to share on a blog, teacher website, or within a digital student portfolio, in addition to less time spent grading lengthy essays, and more time enjoying the fruits of our labor.

Maribel Martinez is an experienced educator, teacher leader, and education consultant who has worked to effect school change in three of the largest four school districts in the country over nearly two decades. Her areas of specialization include collaborative/collegial coaching, special populations, technology in education, and literacy. Sparked by her collaborative work coaching teachers, Maribel developed the New Teacher Residency Pilot Plan, based on her research in the areas of second-career teachers and new teacher preparation, as an alternative model for new teacher preparation in the United States. Maribel lives in New York City and can be reached via LinkedIn.

As you’ve been using Biteslide, you may have noticed (it’s hard to miss) a shiny blue post-it note that has appeared on your dashboard.

Lots of you have been sharing Biteslide with your colleagues so this is our way of rewarding you kind souls for spreading the word.

Now when you invite a teacher who joins Biteslide, you’ll both receive 5 extra student logins for free – no strings.

Now you can create engaging school projects with even more of your students.

Happy days.

We’re excited to announce that we are sponsoring Edcamp Colorado.

If you’re not familiar with the brilliant Edcamp movement, here’s a quick overview.

Edcamp promotes organic, participant-driven professional development for educators worldwide.  The Edcamp mission is to support a network of free Edcamp ‘unconferences’ for education professionals to share ideas and learn together.

We are really excited to partner with the lovely people form Edcamp Colorado and encourage you to head along to an Edcamp as soon as you get the chance.


In March we launched a competition for students to create a one-page slidebook all about their favourite historical figure. Students downloaded their slides and sent them to us.

We were really impressed with the effort and creativity that students put into their slides. You can see all the entries here on the competition Pinterest board.

The competition winner was a middle school student from Garden City Public Schools, Kansas, USA. The slide he created was about the famous Wyatt Earp.

We loved the use of historical information, the great choice of photographs, but most of all, the thought and effort that went in to the use of colour, layout, and typography.  It really made the slidebook feel that it was from the same period as Wyatt Earp.

We mailed the canvas to our deserving winner – and here he is, looking very happy with his classmates and teachers.

Well done!


We’re incredibly proud to announce that Biteslide has won Best Presentation Solution (K-12) in the EdTech Digest Awards 2013.

The prestigious judging panel and quality of the other nominees and winners makes the award all the sweeter.  Thank you to everybody for your support.

Read more about the awards and see the other winners on The EdTech Digest.

Simplify Project Based Learning With Biteslide

What is Project Based Learning?
What is Biteslide?
Planning the project
The Entry Event
Researching the project
Creating the project
Presenting the project


In this article I shall give you a brief introduction to Project Based Learning (PBL) and show you how Biteslide can be used as an end-to-end technology solution for PBL projects.

There is a dizzying number of EdTech tools on the market today. Some are good and will give you a significant return on your time investment, others aren’t so good, and will lead to wasted time and frustrated students. Using an end-to-end solution simplifies the integration of technology and keeps the focus where it should be, on the project.

What is Project Based Learning?

Project Based Learning (PBL) is a dynamic approach to teaching where students undertake extensive inquiry in response to real-world problems and challenges.

In response to a driving question, students create authentic products and presentations that are then delivered to a public audience.

PBL projects are designed to address the curriculum and also develop students’ 21st century skills – creativity, collaboration, communication, and critical thinking.

If you’re new to PBL, two of the best resources around are the Buck Institute For Education and Edutopia.

What is Biteslide?

Biteslide is a creative presentation tool for school projects.

Teachers use Biteslide to assign, manage, and give feedback on projects. Students create slidebooks – a creative form of self-expression combining images, video, and text.

Biteslide works well across the curriculum and with students of all ages.

Now let’s see how Biteslide can be used used in each phase of a PBL project.

Planning the project

Good planning is the key to running a successful PBL project. If you’ve never planned a PBL project before, here is a good place to get to grips with the basics.

When planning your PBL project it’s a good idea to organise your planning into a series of project documents. Commonly these are a project form, project calendar, and project rubric. Thanks goes to Manor New Technology High School for sharing these excellent sample documents.

So, how can Biteslide help? Rather than having a static series of PDF documents stored on your school server, you can use Biteslide to create a slidebook of project documents.

This means your documents can be stored right within the project itself. They are accessible online, and can be easily copied into future projects.

Once the plans are in place and the project launch date has arrived, it’s time to introduce the project to your students.

The Entry Event

When introducing the new project to your students the aim is to activate their ‘Need To Know’. A simple handout just isn’t going to cut the mustard. Starting with inspirational and motivational content sets the tone and will energise your students.

A powerful way to activate your students’ need to know is to have an entry event. Entry events can be videos, discussions, or debates. Any format will work as long as it resonates with your students and makes them eager to learn more.

Slidebooks are a great tool to use at the heart of the entry event. During the planning phase of the project, use a slidebook to gather research and develop your entry event presentation. The slidebook format makes it easy for you to create a thought-provoking and interactive presentation as the centerpiece of the entry event.

And when your slidebook is ready, you can present straight from the slidebook to your students. You can do this from any computer or interactive whiteboard. Slidebook presentations save you time repurposing content and also provide an interactive forum for your students after the entry event has finished. They are the perfect catalyst to activate your students’ need to know.

Researching the project


Typically the initial phase of a PBL project will involve some form research. It could be desk-based or out in the field. Students begin to develop their knowledge and gather the significant content for their project.

As part of this process, they’ll inevitably gather a wide range of assets that they’ll need to organise for use in their final presentation. These could be quotes, photos, videos, diagrams, and much more.

During the research phase, a slidebook is a brilliant way to scrapbook together images, videos, and text. Students can use their digital scrapbook to organise and re-organise their thoughts before putting together the final presentation.

Students can even collaborate on slidebooks and use them as a shared resource to gather and organise their research. And as Biteslide is entirely web-based, students can do this from anywhere they have an internet connection.

Biteslide has several simple, yet powerful, research tools built right into the slidebook. Students can drag and drop images straight from Google and Flickr, and even add videos from Youtube. And if they want to gather images as they are browsing the web, they can use the Nibbler bookmarklet.

But to be honest, the best thing about researching a project with Biteslide is that it’s fun. The drag-and-drop interface and easy-to-use tools take the strain so your students stay energised and can keep their focus where it should be, on the research.

Creating the project

Once students have gathered the resources they need to create their slidebook, it’s time to synthesise the research and create the project narrative.

Biteslide’s easy-to-use design tools mean that students all the way from K-12 can create stunning projects. Eye-catching extras (backgrounds, borders, and stickers) help students to bring their projects to life.

During the creative process, a project’s slidebooks are open for teachers and other students in the class to view. This means that teachers and classmates (if you’ve enabled the feature) can give feedback during the project creation phase.

Making projects authentic is fundamental to Project Based Learning. This means involving people from the outside world. Biteslide can be used to invite outside parties into the project to comment and review as the slidebooks progress. This is a great way for students to hone their final presentation with authentic input from the outside world.

Presenting the project

A key milestone in a PBL project is the final presentation. As well as demonstrating what the students have learned and created, it provides focus and authenticity to the project.

Your students have used the slidebook to research, create, and now they can use it to present. A single button-click transforms the slidebook into presentation mode – an engaging showcase for your student’s work.

Presenting in person is undoubtedly valuable, but slidebooks can also be shared on the web. Embedding slidebooks into blogs, websites, and virtual learning environments (e.g. Edmodo or Moodle) is an excellent way to share projects with both inside and outside the school walls. Other teachers and students as well as outside parties such as parents or industry experts can all be invited to view and give feedback on a project.


We are living through a golden age of technology. Incredible new web tools for educators are appearing every day. Having choice is a good thing, but it also comes with two key challenges. Choosing the tools that meet your pedagogical needs and deploying your chosen tools in the best way.

There are no clear cut solutions to these challenges. Two good rules of thumb are to choose tools that are easy to use for both teachers and students, and keep the number of tools chosen to a minimum. As is often the case, keeping it simple is the key to success.

Sign Up For Your Free Biteslide Account Here

Are you using or thinking about using Biteslide for PBL? We would love you to get in touch. Your feedback will help us make Biteslide an even better tool for PBL.

Biteslide promotes creativity and engages students. And now it’s even more fun, we have just launched the first Biteslide competition.

How to enter

1. Students create a one-page slidebook about their ‘Favourite Historical Figure’.

2. They can enter as a class or individually – as many times as they like.

3. Download and email finished slides to [email protected].

The prize (yes, there’s a prize!)

The slidebook we like the most will be printed on to an amazing canvas (like these) to take home or hang in class.

The closing date for the competition is March 3rd 2013 and we’ll announce the winning entry on March 4th 2013.

We can’t wait to see what your students create and will pin every slide we receive to our competition pinboard.

If you’ve not joined Biteslide yet, sign up for our free teacher plan here.

Good luck!

We’re proud to announce that Biteslide has been shortlisted as a finalist in the EdTech Digest Awards.

Here’s an excerpt from the announcement:

“…the third annual EdTech Digest Awards Recognition Program honoring tools, trendsetters and leaders in the education and technology sector. The distinguished awards program recognizes outstanding solutions — and the best and brightest minds — in education and technology.”


“We’re excited to honor these finalists who have all earned it, they deserve special recognition for their efforts and are highly commended for their work in education”

We’re really happy to be a part of the awards and are hoping for a win!  You can read more about the EdTech Digest Awards here.

Hot on the heels of our last release we’re happy to announce the arrival of the brand new Biteslide Nibbler.

The Nibbler makes it beautifully easy to clip images from around the web as you surf.

Perfect for researching projects, gathering inspiration, or collecting ideas.

Here’s how it works:

  • Add the Nibbler bookmarklet to your browser (it takes less than 10 seconds).
  • When you find an image on the web you’d like to use, open the Nibbler, and simply click the image to save it to your clips.
  • Head over to any of your slidebooks and you’ll see the clipped image in the Your Bites section of the dock.

Click here to get started with the Nibbler now

Happy Nibbling!

If you would like your students to publish their work to blogs, websites, or virtual learning environments, you’re going to love this new feature – slidebook embedding.

An embedded slidebook is a fully-featured mini version of a slidebook. It looks just as good as it does on Biteslide, and when clicked it will open into a beautiful full-screen viewer. You can control whether students are allowed to embed slidebooks, when enabled they can be embedded into any website.

The cherry on the cake is that when you make changes to a scrapbook on Biteslide, these changes will instantly appear in the embedded scrapbook. Pretty whizz-bang technology, I’m sure you’ll agree.

Happy embedding!