Oct 1, 2018 Symbaloo

If you’re looking for an easy way to organize and share resources, Symbaloo is your answer! Visually, Symbaloo makes it easy for students to locate the websites quickly, and Symbaloo offers the flexibility to arrange those websites in any order you wish. You can update your Symbaloo on the fly, knowing that your most recent updates will be readily available to your students. And once you’ve created a Symbaloo webmix it’s easy to post it on your website or create a link or QR code directly to it.

I’ve used Symbaloo to create small webmixes for a specific class project, posting the directions in one box, a video explanation or example in another, weblinks in additional spots, all color-coded so that students know where to start, and where to go from there. And whether your students are in preschool or high school, or anywhere in between, Symbaloo is the perfect fit!

Symbaloo webmix

The best way for you to understand Symbaloo is to experience it, so take a look at my “How to Symbaloo” webmix: https://www.symbaloo.com/mix/howtosymbaloo7. This site has tutorials, sample webmix links, videos and more, that will have you making your own webmixes in minutes! Want to try one with your class? Let me know, and we can create your own webmix with all the links that you want to share with your students on one page!

And, did I mention that Symbaloo is FREE? You’ll want to check it out today!

Symbaloo is the tool I used to create links for each grade level, and the high school PR Digital Library.  All of these are linked on the Symbaloo above, as well as on our school library homepages, so you can check them out now if you haven’t been using them.

An additional part of Symbaloo, and the real power of it, in my mind, comes with Symbaloo Learning Paths. https://learningpaths.symbaloo.com/

With Learning Paths you can create digital lessons for your students, specifying the order they must complete activities you’ve handpicked. You can put in options, such as selecting different learning activities, and you can add quizzes, games, videos, and much more. Learning Paths are a completely flexible, exciting way to share your curriculum with your students! They make terrific center activities or homework activities, as the pathway is determined by the teacher. And Symbaloo Learning Paths comes with a Marketplace of activities, so you don’t have to start from scratch. Teaching a new lesson? Search for similar lessons for your grade level in the Marketplace to find some great resources to share with your students…already in the Learning Paths format, and ready for you to adjust for your students’ needs!

Symbaloo Learning Paths

Like Symbaloo webmixes, Symbaloo Learning paths are free. Sign up with your school email address (or choose to log in with your Google account) and start creating today!! And, as always, please contact me if I can help you set these up for your class.

September 24, 2018

Now that we’re a few weeks into the school year, and hopefully you’ve had a chance to take a deep breath – it’s time to think about how you’re providing electronic resources to your students and their families. With the number of people who look for everything online, chances are they would appreciate being able to locate your study guides, online resources, assignments and URLs that way too. And, especially for those little ones, trying to access online information with a long, complicated URL can be a pain! There are so many better ways to get students to their resources easily than having them copy a URL.

Here are just a few:

Grades 3-12 (although even K-2 students can learn to use this tool)

Google Classroom Google Classroom provides an easy way to share information (videos, documents, web links, images, PDFs and more), and to post assignments, worksheets, study sheets, and other classroom information. When students log into a Chromebook and go to the Classroom page (classroom.google.com) they are automatically logged in to all their classes. As the teacher, you can post assignments and have students directly submit their work through Google Classroom. If you want to you can allow students to comment, ask questions, or share their ideas. Classroom as a great storage area where all assignments, resources, and materials are readily available to students (and their families). I highly recommend it for every teacher. If you’d like any help getting it set up, please let me know.

Grades K-3 (although grades 4-12 may find some great uses for this tool)

Seesaw Seesaw is also an easy way to store and share information with your class, but it also provides an incredible digital portfolio of each student’s work. Sharing with families is optional, and students (and you!) have the additional opportunity to annotate, through video, audio, text, and drawing, on any piece of work. This is an exceptional way to record your students’ voices, whether they’re explaining their work, reading expressively, or doing vocabulary work. Although we often think of Seesaw as an elementary program, more and more upper grade classrooms are using it because of the flexibility and the potential! Let me know if I can help you set up your class.

Sharing with parents

Both Google Classroom and Seesaw have options for sharing classroom work with families. Particularly for Middle School students, who often need a way for parents to view assignments and study guides (and to be able to print out an extra copy), this is an excellent opportunity to connect and communicate with them.

School webpage

In addition to Google Classroom and Seesaw, our school webpage is a great place to post pictures, share student work, provide web resources, and store assignments and study sheets. You all have access to your webpage, and now that we’re a few weeks into the school year, consider how you can use this resource to your advantage. Your login is the beginning of your email address. If you have any questions, or want to learn to do more with your webpage, please let me know.

QR Codes

One additional easy way to provide URLs to your students with devices is to create a QR Code for the URL, and then post that QR Code somewhere in your classroom. You can even create URLs for videos, for text information, for images, for maps, and more, so QR Codes can provide a great way to create a scavenger hunt. One of the easiest ways to generate a QR Code is on the website GOQR.ME.  And, again, if I can help you use this, don’t hesitate to let me know.

September 17, 2018

The New GMail

Have you been hearing about the new Gmail but afraid to try it? I definitely recommend using it – but you can switch to it easily, give it a try for a while, and switch back if you’re not happy with what you see. I find that it streamlines much of what I do when I use my email. I can add events to my calendar (and view my calendar while I’m in my email!), reply back with ease, locate, open and download attachments more simply, and delete emails much more quickly. Take a look at these directions, switch to the new Gmail, and try it out today! If you want to see it in action, watch the video linked at the bottom of this page.

Try the new Gmail

  1. On your computer, go to Gmail.
  2. In the top right, click Settings Try the new Gmail.

If you change your mind, you can click Settings  Go back to classic Gmail.

View Calendar, Tasks, Keep & Add-ons

You can now use Google Calendar, Keep, Tasks, and Add-ons while in Gmail. I especially like having my calendar showing all the time, but if you use Tasks or Google Keep, you may opt to have those tabs open. Either way, it makes it easier to keep important items at your fingertips.

On the right of your inbox, click these icons:

New Gmail

  • Calendar: View your daily schedule, click events to edit them, create new events, and jump to upcoming events.
  • Keep: Create checklists and take notes.
  • Tasks: Add to-do’s and deadlines.
  • Add-ons: Get extra Gmail tools to help manage your mail.

Delete or archive emails from your inbox

When you point to messages in your inbox, you can quickly take action without opening each one individually: organize messages

  • Archive
  • Delete
  • Mark as unread or read
  • Snooze

Use suggested replies & follow-ups

Quickly reply to emails using phrases that’ll show up based on the message you’ve received. Learn how to use Smart Reply.

quick replies

Open attachments without opening email messages

Easily locate attachments, instantly recognize their type, and open and save files without having to open the email message.

view and open easy

To watch the new Gmail in action, click here: New Gmail Video

September 10, 2018

Easy Access to Great Online Resources:

We have access to some fantastic online resources, some of which we pay for as a district, and many that are paid for by the Minnesota Legislature. These resources ca be a pain to locate and log into, however, so to make it easier, our school library website have created easy access into these websites. The best part?  If you go into it through the school library webpage, you won’t have to log in at all. That link goes directly to the site, already logged in. It’s slick. I highly recommend that you make the library one of your homepages on your computer connected to your Smartboard, for easy access.

The Century (Elementary & Middle) School site is:


The High School site is: https://www.parkrapids.k12.mn.us/domain/111

Through these links are the ELM databases, which include Encyclopedia Britannica. It’s a wonderful resource!! Again, if you go through those links you shouldn’t have to log in. The Encyclopedia Britannica (and many of the other resources) have multiple reading levels or can be read aloud to students! This allows for some great differentiation! Please contact me if you need username/password information.

Additional ELM databases:


  • Britannica Learning Zone Interactive learning modules for pre-kindergarten through grade 2 includes drawing, reading, games, and geographical exploration.
  • Britannica School ElementaryEncyclopedia content for elementary grades plus multimedia, timelines, world atlas, country comparison, animal kingdom, and geography explorer.
  • Kids InfoBits(Interactive Tutorial) Popular elementary school magazines as well as encyclopedias and newspapers written for kids, plus an image collection of photos, maps, and flags.
  • Explora KidsContains elementary school-appropriate magazines, encyclopedias, dictionaries, and images. Includes Primary Search and Middle Search Plus databases.

Middle School

  • Britannica School MiddleEncyclopedia content for middle school grades plus multimedia, timelines, world atlas, country comparison, and primary sources.
  • Research In ContextA middle school-appropriate database of reference works, biographies, magazine and journal articles, primary source documents, and multimedia.
  • Explora TeensContains middle and high school-appropriate magazine, journal, and encyclopedia articles and also includes primary source documents, reference books, and multimedia. Includes Middle Search Plus, MAS Ultra – School Edition, Consumer Health Complete, Health Source – Consumer Edition, and Science Reference Center databases.
  • Student Resources In Context(Interactive Tutorial) Encyclopedia, magazine, and journal articles, plus primary sources, images, video, and more for middle and high school students. Includes the InfoTrac Student Edition database.
  • Points of View Reference Center(Interactive Tutorial) Pro vs. con essays that present multiple sides of current or controversial issues. Plus magazine and newspaper articles, primary sources, and more related to those issues.
  • Science Reference Center(Interactive Tutorial) Science encyclopedias, reference books, periodicals, and other sources covering numerous science topics for middle and high school students. Included in Explora Teens and Explora Library databases.

High School:

  • Britannica School HighEncyclopedia content for high school grades plus multimedia, timelines, world atlas, country comparison, and primary sources.
  • Student Resources In Context(Interactive Tutorial) Encyclopedia, magazine, and journal articles, plus primary sources, images, video, and more for middle and high school students. Includes the InfoTrac Student Edition database.
  • Explora TeensContains middle and high school-appropriate magazine, journal, and encyclopedia articles and also includes primary source documents, reference books, and multimedia. Includes Middle Search Plus, MAS Ultra – School Edition, Consumer Health Complete, Health Source – Consumer Edition, and Science Reference Center databases. Tags
  • Points of View Reference Center(Interactive Tutorial) Pro vs. con essays that present multiple sides of current or controversial issues. Plus magazine and newspaper articles, primary sources, and more related to those issues.
  • Science Reference Center(Interactive Tutorial) Science encyclopedias, reference books, periodicals, and other sources covering numerous science topics for middle and high school students. Included in Explora Teens and Explora Library databases.
  • AAS Historical PeriodicalsDigitized images from the American Antiquarian Society of the pages of American magazines and journals published between 1684 and 1912.

Brainpop and Brainpop Jr: I especially want to share this great resource to you, particularly in grades K-6. It is full of videos on school topics in every curriculum area that give a base set of facts. If you select either Brainpop or Brainpop Jr from the library website you will automatically be logged in and won’t need the username or password. (Please contact me if you need username/password information.)

Primary iTools links are also there, and I HIGHLY recommend it. It gives you “manipulatives” that are electronic. For example, you get base ten blocks you can break apart into 10s and 1s, or put back together in their groups again. Also, coins you can break apart – to illustrate a nickel equaling 5 pennies. These are perfect for the SMARTBoard too. And, again, if you go through our website there aren’t any usernames or passwords to worry about.

In addition to those specific resources, the library websites have grade level specific listings of websites you will want to use with your students. Grade level teachers: please email me with any websites you’d like added to these lists, or any you’d like removed. If there are direct links to resources that require a password, I can connect them here so a password isn’t necessary. It makes using these websites especially easy for your learners!!

April 8, 2018 Tech Notes

I am available all week: please email, call or text anytime to set up a time to get together!

This summer’s district technology and educational training dates are scheduled for:

  • June 4-7 (Monday – Thursday)
  • August 20-22 (Monday – Wednesday)

BoomWriter: https://www.boomwriter.com/

Interested in engaging your students in creative writing activities? BoomWriter’s free tools help students with story writing, vocabulary development, literary analysis, and more! It includes great lesson plans and quick writing ideas and story starters. There are resources for creating amazing class projects, and helpful handouts and useful information, all created to help your students become more effective writers and story tellers. Create your free account and try it out with your students in grades 2-12 today!

Fluency Tutor by TextHelp: https://www.texthelp.com/en-us/products/fluencytutor/

Fluency Tutor helps students of all ages and ability levels become more avid, engaged and confident readers. What’s more, it gives teachers a clear picture of every child’s reading progress over time. This easy-to-use app lets students record themselves reading aloud on a laptop, Chromebook, or tablet, away from the stress and embarrassment of reading out loud in a classroom environment.

Many teachers have asked what types of apps can be used on our older model iPads. This is a great option for your students!

Bookshare: https://www.bookshare.org/cms/

Bookshare is an accessible online library with over 600,000 titles, all available at no charge for students (and adults) with print disabilities that limit their reading options. Bookshare is for visual impairments, physical disabilities or severe learning disabilities. Students listen to books with high quality text-to-speech voices, hear and see highlighted words on screen, can read with digital braille or enlarged fonts, all from their internet browser. Bookshare makes reading possible! As a teacher, you must register and be approved for an account, which is specific to a student who qualifies for the service.

Prizmo Go: https://creaceed.com/prizmogo

Need to get text into your cell phone or tablet? Prizmo Go may be your answer. It lets you grab printed text easily, so you don’t have to retype it. Before shooting, the app shows lines of text directly in the camera preview, so you can see how it will look. Once you’ve snapped the picture, Prizmo Go can read the text aloud, and you can copy and paste that text into other apps or to your computer.

Tech & Learning: https://www.techlearning.com/

One of my go-to magazines, Tech & Learning, is available FREE for educators. It gives you an inside look at issues, trends, products and strategies pertinent to the role of all educators – and gives you the tools you need to succeed! Visit the website and click on the Subscribe link to start your own free, all access (print, digital and mobile) subscription.

Parent Communication: http://bbbb.blackboard.com/community-engagement-report

According to the Speak Up data released by Blackboard and Project Tomorrow, there’s still a disconnect between parents and schools. The 514,000+ respondents on the survey provided feedback on a variety of questions, but I thought this was of particular interest to teachers. While 74% of district communications officers pointed to Facebook as an effective way to communicate information, only 16% of parents agree. The top four most effective methods parents listed for district communications were: Email (76%), Auto phone messages (62%), Text (45%), and Online newsletters (26%). And when it comes to teachers communicating directly with parents on academic progress, parents listed: Email (74%), Face-to-face meetings (45%), Text (39%) and Phone calls (32%). How does that compare with what you’re hearing?

Five Alternatives to Padlet: https://goo.gl/KQWLdu

No….say it isn’t so! One of my favorite tech tools for group collaboration and discussion is Padlet. However, Padlet has recently changed their model to a fee-based only product, which means it isn’t available for me any longer. If you use it too, you’ll want to check out this blog post from Richard Byrne’s Free Technnology for Teachers where he lists five alternative tools.

Podcasting: https://www.audacityteam.org/

Spring is a fun time to have your students try out Podcasting! Cool Cat Teacher Vicki Davis has two great introductory videos to share on her YouTube channel including What is Podcasting? and Getting Started Editing with Audacity. If you’re interested, take a look at those – and give me a call. I’d love to help!

Project Based Learning: https://goo.gl/5hnAtD

Project Pals is an interactive platform that schools can use to facilitate student-centered inquiry as well as PBL. It integrates with Google Classroom, and students can work in collaborative teams as they dive into a subject area specific or cross-curricular activities. The Project Pals platform is updated in real-time, so students can participate in a collaborative workspace as they view the progress of their project and participate in problem-solving activities. At the same time, teachers can access student work and provide feedback to students in a timely and actionable manner.

Here’s the link to sign up for a free teacher account!

PBS Nature Nuggets: https://goo.gl/KdxS8E

Nature Nuggets are short, minute-long videos drawn from NATURE, one of the most watched documentary film series on public television.

Nature Nuggets began as a new pilot campaign by WNET’s Education Department to test text-based technology as an effective community engagement technique. For this purpose, the minute-long videos from the NATURE series were repackaged for early learners (ages 2 to 6) and promoted as a tool for active science and language learning opportunities to parents, educators and caregivers across the nation.

Nature Nuggets videos are also available on the Nature on PBS YouTube page.

Science U: https://goo.gl/CMBNEz

Looking for some hands-on science to engage your young students this spring? Experiment! Each hands-on Science-U experiment includes an overview video, a student handout, and a teacher’s guide.  The handouts include a materials list, step-by-step instructions, guided scientific questions, keywords with definitions, and a description of how and why each experiment works. Engage your students in these fun scientific activities!

Science-U is dedicated to advancing science literacy in youth through the sharing and discovery of scientific knowledge. Our chief goals are to educate and inspire students, encourage critical thinking, and prepare them to become responsible, skilled and caring citizens, as well as capable scientists and teachers when faced with tomorrow’s challenges. This is a program of Penn State Science Outreach, the Eberly College of Science, and WPSU.

Creating video on Chromebook: http://classtechtips.com/2017/03/11/movie-making-chromebooks-spark-video/

I ran across a good tool and some great suggestions for making movies with Chromebooks, and it’s by using Spark Video. The blog post above, from Dr Monica Burns’ Class Tech Tips, provides some clear directions for use. It also highlights places you can look for more information. If you’ve been wanting your students to create videos on devices, this may be a big help!


March 26, 2018 Tech Notes



Reminder: This summer’s district technology and educational training dates are scheduled for:

  • June 4-6 (Monday – Wednesday)
  • August 20-22 (Monday – Wednesday)

Digital Safety

Ready for this fun fact? More people own cell phones today than toothbrushes! Whether the children you see on a day-to-day basis are your students or your own children, you want to keep them safe, right? This blog post includes descriptions of ten apps that teens (and even pre-teen!) can be drawn to, and explains the concerns. The blog post: https://appsolutelyapril.com/2018/03/21/10-apps-teens-are-using-that-parents-need-to-know/

Ten apps to watch out for include: Hot or Not (Rating of other people), Calculator% (looks like a calculator, but stores photos secretly), Burn Book (anonymous rumor messages, texts and photos), Omegle (free anonymous chat), Yubo (Yellow) (like Tinder – for flirting), and many more. Note that these apps change continually – but just a quick search in the App store locates many, many more.

Jove: https://www.jove.com/

Science teachers will LOVE the video journals and blog posts on Jove. This site gives students the opportunity to see cutting-edge science! World-renowned experts share their experiments on video and give intricate details along the way. They cover biology, chemistry, environmental studies, psychology, physics, and engineering. The videos are peer-reviewed and fascinating! As an example, I watched a few on cancer research and another on immunology and infection. If you are interested in science, especially at the higher levels, check them out today!

April is Poetry Month!: https://goo.gl/XD2mBG

Don’t miss out on one of my favorite April activities: poetry! The blog post above details many great interactive classroom activities related to poetry, including Poem in Your Pocket Day, and http://www.poetry4kids.com. If you’d like to do a collaborative project with a classroom somewhere around the world, please let me know. I know of some teachers looking for poetry partners!

ELM eBooks in Other Languages: https://z.umn.edu/LOTE

This collection includes a lot of very hard to find Ojibwe titles, but also Hmong, Somali, Karen, and a few Spanish titles. Simply click “Read This” and the book opens on your screen. These are awesome for sharing on your SmartBoard!

There are many additional Spanish language books in the eBook collection of ELM. You can find these by going to https://library.biblioboard.com/categories/. The categories will appear, and you can browse for any type of book you want.

These eBooks are FREE for Minnesotans. They open EASILY in any browser, or can be read on the Kindle or iBooks apps. These are a MUST for every classroom!!

ClassFlow Activities: https://classflow.com/teachers-use-classflow-activities/#feb2018news

ClassFlow website: https://classflow.com/

If you haven’t tried ClassFlow yet, there’s no better time to try it out. ClassFlow allows you to set up interactive activities with your students on their devices: quizzes, polls, activities, and wonderful ways for students to collaborate! And ClassFlow is FREE, and if you don’t like logging in you can use it without creating an account.

ClassFlow Activities are fun and engaging resources that are created in the ClassFlow Activity Builder. You can find ready-made activities in the ClassFlow Marketplace or you can customize your own with 10 different types of activities in the Activity Builder. With so many choices available, below are a few examples of how teachers use activities in their classrooms, with a focus on categorize and matching activities.


There’s a lot of stress right now about Facebook privacy and security. The following was shared by Jen Legatt, Hopkins North Junior High, and she said I could share it with you. Thanks Jen!

You don’t need to delete your Facebook page to keep your digital life *more* secure. Remember, like we tell our teenage students, you’ll never be completely secure if you’re sharing on the internet. There’s a lot you can do with your Facebook profile settings to improve your privacy. Some tips are below. These are some setting changes that I’ve made/updated on my own account.

The steps below are for the Facebook App on the iPhone for iOS 11. The steps will be slightly different for other devices.


Post Privacy

Bottom right corner: 3 lines


→Account Settings


Step 1:

  • Limit who can see past posts -> Limit Past Posts
  • Who can see your future posts -> Friends

Why? This turns off any posts you may have set to public in the past. They are now set to be shared with friends only. If you want to go back and change a certain post, you can do that.

Step 2:

  • Who can see the people Pages, and Lists you follow? -> Only me (or Only Friends)

Why? The information on your likes for Pages and Lists would be information easily used to profile you. I have it set to Only me, as I feel no one really needs to see this info. Only Friends would also be a safer setting.

Step 3:

  • Who can send you friend requests? -> Friends of Friends.

Why? I have this set so that people who have mutual friends with me can connect. I still need to approve the connection.

  • Who can see your friends list? -> Friends

Why? Only people that I have approved as my friends need to see my friends list.

  • Who can look you up using the email address/phone number you provided? -> Friends

Why? This is the most restrictive setting Facebook has. Once people are my friends, I assume that I can trust them to contact me via email if needed.

  • Do you want search engines outside of Facebook to link to your profile? ->

Why? Google and other search engines do not need access to your profile data.

In the past, saved Cover photos remained public. After going through these steps, only my current Cover photo is viewable from someone looking at my profile.

NOTE: After these changes, if a friend is tagged in a picture/post of yours, his/her friends can see this picture/post of yours. This happens even if you are not friends with the one viewing these posts.



Check which Groups you are enrolled in. If the group is listed as a “Public” group, it is visible on your profile to people who are not your friends. If you do not want that Group to represent you, you can remove yourself from the group:

Bottom right corner: 3 lines


→Tap the Group

Look under the name of the Group. It will list if this is a public group.

To remove the group, click the down arrow after the name. Choose Leave Group.

Clean out any old Groups that you may no longer be affiliated with at this time.


Login Location

Check where you are logged in:

Bottom right corner: 3 lines


→Account Settings

→Security and Login

Where you’re logged in:

The devices where your Facebook account is logged in are listed. If you are not currently using a device, click on the three dots—- and choose Log Out.


Timeline and Tagging

Bottom right corner: 3 lines


→Account Settings

→Timeline and Tagging

  • Who can post on your timeline? -> Friends
  • Who can see what others post on your timeline? -> Friends
  • Who can see posts you’re tagged in on your timeline? -> Friends
  • When you’re tagged in a post, who do you want to add to the audience of the post if they can’t already see it? -> Friends?

Why? The least restrictive I would make posts is at the level of Friends only so that if you’re tagged, only your Friends would be the audience.

  • Review tags people add to your posts before the tags appear on Facebook -> ON
  • Review posts you’re in before the post appears on your timeline? -> ON

Why? This gives you the chance to approve or not approve any time you’re included on a post that has your name attached, giving you the opportunity to remove yourself before the tag appears.


Note: I found one problem with tagging/mutual friends. Let’s say you have a mutual friend with your ex, John Doe. John can see mutual friend Tim’s Facebook page because they are friends. You are also Facebook friends with Tim. If John searches your name, any of Tim’s posts or pictures where you are tagged are open for John to see. Unless someone else can find a setting that hides these, I believe this is how the system works. To make it so that your ex John Doe can not see your tags, you will need to Block John Doe. Honestly, you may just want to block John Doe anyway. (This is hard for me to test without a handful of accounts to see what can be seen and what can not.)

Bottom right corner: 3 lines


→Account Settings


→Add to Block List

The setting states: Once you block someone, that person can no longer see things you post on your Timeline, tag you, invite you to events or groups, start a conversation with you, or add you as a friend. This doesn’t include apps, games, or groups you both participate in.


Connected Apps:

Bottom right corner: 3 lines


→Account Settings


Some of the articles out there right now are suggesting simply turning off Platform in this section. BEFORE YOU DO THIS, I suggest you stop and look at the accounts that you have linked.

One friend of mine had 100 linked apps. I suggested writing them down or screenshotting them. I don’t know what happens to accounts out on those other sites if you just shut off Platform. I suggest that you may want to delete those other accounts if you no longer use them before disconnecting Facebook, especially if they also contain private information. It may take a while to work through the apps, but if we’re going to be safe, then you may want to consider going through this process too.

You may choose to just go down to a few, trusted Apps.

Or, if you are ready to disconnect Apps…

  • Platform -> Off

Why? This un-authorizes apps from using your Facebook account. What the Settings say if you try to turn Platform back on: “Turning Platform back on resets related settings (such as your “How people bring your info to apps they use” setting) and allows Facebook to receive information about your use of third party apps and websites.”

  • Apps others use -> Disabled

Why? The setting description explains it: “Use the settings below to control which of our information is available to applications, games and websites when YOUR FRIENDS use them. The MORE INFO you share, the MORE SOCIAL the experience.

Your name, profile picture, gender, networks, and user ID (along with any other information you’ve made public) is available to friends’ applications unless you turn off platform applications and websites.