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Friday, November 24, 2017

Four Tools for Recording Time-stamped Notes While Watching Videos

There are many tools for creating video-based lessons and quizzes in which students answer the questions that you create for them. There is nothing inherently wrong with that. I've done that myself. However, there are times when I want students to watch an educational video and record notes of their own. Those notes could be questions that they want to ask me or they could be simple notes about an important point made in a video. The following four tools enable students to record time-stamped notes while watching educational videos on YouTube, Vimeo, and other video hosting services.

Vialogues is a website that is designed to enable users to host conversations around a video. Users can upload videos to Vialogues or use YouTube videos as the centerpieces of their conversations. After you have selected a video from YouTube or uploaded a video of your own, you can post poll questions and add comments that are tied to points in the video. Your Vialogue can be made public or private. Public Vialogue's can be embedded into your blog or website. Watch the video below to learn how to use Vialogues.



With the TurboNote Chrome extension installed your students can take notes while watching any video. To take notes students just need to click the TurboNote extension icon in their browsers and start writing notes in the menu that appears on the right side of the screen. Any notes that studetns type are automatically time-stamped. Notes can be edited while the video is playing or while the video is stopped. All notes can be shared via social media and email.



VideoNot.es is a great tool to connect to your Google Drive account. With VideoNot.es you can take notes on one side of your screen while watching a video on the other side. Your notes are automatically synchronized with the timestamps in the video. You can share your notes just like you share any other file within Google Drive. In the video embedded below I demonstrate how VideoNot.es works.



ReClipped is a neat tool that lets you take notes, share notes, and share clips from educational videos. With a ReClipped account you can clip sections of videos that you find on YouTube, Vimeo, DailyMotion, Coursera, and TED. In addition to clipping you can create time-stamped notes about the videos that you clip. A Pinterest-like aspect of ReClipped appears if you choose to share your clips and notes on a board. ReClipped boards can be shared publicly or kept private.

Three Ways to Broadcast Review Sessions for Students

Today, instead of having to stay after school or come back to school for an extra review session, students can tune-in to a broadcast that you host. Of course, you can still have students come to you after school for a review session, but you can help even more students if you broadcast that review session. Here are three ways that you can broadcast a review session for your students.

YouTube Live
YouTube Live makes it possible to broadcast from your computer's webcam or from your phone (you'll need the YouTube app for Android or iOS). Students can type questions while watching your broadcast and you'll see those questions appear on your screen. YouTube Live broadcasts are automatically recorded and added to your YouTube channel for students who missed the live broadcast to view later. Click here to read about how Tom Richey used YouTube live to help more than 2,500 students prepare for the AP European History exam. Directions for how to create a YouTube Live broadcast can be found here.

Know Lounge
Know Lounge is a free service that I started using about ten months ago. It will let you create a live broadcast from your laptop. Know Lounge includes a whiteboard that you can draw on and share with your audience. Students can ask you question by writing them into a chat box. Additionally, you can allow students to use their webcams to ask you questions during your broadcast. Directions for using Know Lounge can be watched here.

Facebook Live
If you have a Facebook page for your class or for your school, you can use it to host a Facebook Live broadcast. Students can ask questions by typing them into the comments below or next to your video (placement depends upon how they view the broadcast). The questions are time-stamped which is helpful to students who watch the recording of the broadcast. You could also put your own notes into the comments to have them time-stamped for viewers.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to all who are celebrating the holiday today or this weekend.  I hope that it is the best Thanksgiving ever! I'll be celebrating with my family in Connecticut. One of our traditions that goes back for 30+ years is watching the Manchester Road Race. Another tradition is listening to Alice's Restaurant Masacree. And here it is for your listening pleasure...


Regular blog posts will resume tomorrow.

Mapping the Thanksgiving Harvest

Where Does Your Thanksgiving Dinner Come From? is the title of an Esri Storymap. The storymap displays where eight popular Thanksgiving foods are grown and harvested in the United States. The storymap includes a map for each ingredient. Each map shows the locations of commercial producers. Fun facts are included in the storymap too. For example, did you know that Illinois has at least twice as many acres of pumpkins as any state?


Applications for Education
It is too late to use this storymap in this year's Thanksgiving lesson plans, but bookmark it for next year. You could use the storymap to spark students' curiosity to investigate questions like "why does Illinois grow so many pumpkins?" or "why don't we harvest any pecans in New England?"

You can learn how to make maps similar to this one in my upcoming course, To Geography & Beyond With Google Earth & Maps.

H/T to Maps Mania for the Thanksgiving storymap.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

7 Good Tools for Surveying Your Audience

Games like those you can make on Kahoot and Socrative are great for review activities. However, you don't always need to play a full game to gauge your students' understanding of a topic. And other times you just need a quick way to anonymously survey your class. Here are some tools that you can use to poll your students or any other audience.

PingPong is a free online polling system that lets you collect feedback in the form of multiple choice, text, or image-based responses. In the short video embedded below I demonstrate the teacher and student views of the free PingPong response system.



Acquainted is a free tool for conducting online polls. Unlike other online polling tools, Acquainted is a conversational polling tool. What that means is that people who take your poll can get an instant response from your regarding their selections of poll options. Your responses are written into Acquainted and programmed to appear to poll respondents as they make answer choices.


Swift is a polling service that lets you collect responses through text messages or through a simple webpage. The free version of the service allows you to collect responses from up to 50 people per poll. That limit is adequate for most classroom settings. Swift could be a good little service to use to gather anonymous feedback from your students. The option to use text messaging, web responses, or both makes Swift a versatile tool for schools. The option to send students to a new page after submitting a text response could help you keep your students on task. The option to instantly show poll results could be helpful in starting discussions in your classroom.

Poll Everywhere is the standard in this market. It has been around for a long time and doesn't show signs of fading. It's a service that allows you to collect responses from an audience via text messaging. The free plan for K-12 educators provides selection of features and quantity of responses that is adequate for almost any classroom. One of the neat ways to display feedback gathered through Poll Everywhere is in word clouds. The word cloud feature integrates with Wordle, Tagxedo, and Tagul.


Add Poll Questions to Your Slides
The Q&A feature in Google Slides lets your audience submit questions to you. They can view all of the questions submitted and vote for the ones they want you to answer. In the video embedded below I demonstrate how this feature works.



Mentimeter lets you add questions to your slides. You can create slides in Mentimeter or import slides from your desktop. You can create poll questions that your audience responds to in a multiple choice format or they can respond by using emojis. Like a lot of audience polling tools, your audience responds to your questions by going to a specific URL then entering a code to access your questions.

Microsoft Office users can take advantage of the OfficeMix plug-in for PowerPoint to add quizzes and polls into their slides. Watch the tutorial below to learn how to use the features of OfficeMix.