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Thursday, July 23, 2009

ProProfs - Polls, Quizzes, and Flashcards

ProProfs offers users a free service for creating polls, quizzes, and flashcards. Any poll, quiz, or flashcard set that you create can be embedded into your blog or website.

In the quiz section of ProProfs you can create a "scored quiz" or a "personality quiz." Scored quizzes are designed for asking questions that have a clear right or wrong answer. Scored quizzes can have up to five answer choices. You can include an answer explanation to be displayed after the question has been answered. All quizzes can have images and videos included in the questions.

Applications for Education
Teachers could use ProProfs to create a quiz to display on their course's blog or website. The quiz could be used by students for self-assessment prior to a quiz or test. A ProProfs poll could be used to take an informal, anonymous survey of your students' understanding of a topic.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
Obsurvey - Create Custom Surveys
Quizlet - Create and Share Flashcards
Zoho Challenge - Conduct Tests Online

Slideroll - Create Audio Slideshows

Update: as a reader just pointed out, sometimes the pre-roll intro to Slideroll has images that may not be appropriate for school. Therefore, until that changes, I remove my endorsement of Slideroll and advise you to consider it carefully before using it in your classroom. If Slideroll does change their pre-roll intro, I will update this post again.


Slideroll is an audio slideshow creation program that is similar to the very popular Animoto service. Slideroll gives you the ability to transform a boring collection of images into an entertaining audio slideshow.

To use Slideroll simply sign up for an account and start uploading your images. You can upload up to 100 images for your slideshow. Once you've uploaded your images, select from the collection of free music or upload your own music (remember to respect copyright laws). After completing those two steps, Slideroll generates your new audio slideshow. If you're not happy with the slideshow, you can user the Slideroll editor to adjust the sequence of the images as well as the length of time for which each image is displayed. You can see the editor and my Slideroll slideshow below.


















All of the images in the slideshow were taken at NECC 2009.

Applications for Education
Slideroll could be a good alternative to the standard slideshow. You could have students create Slideroll slideshows to complement a story that they wrote. In an art class students could use Slideroll to show off the art they've created.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
Stupeflix - Free Video Montage Creator
Photo Peach - Quick and Easy Audio Slideshows
Coming Soon from Glogster

Jimdo - Great Option for Building Your Website

There is no shortage of free platforms for building your own website. Some are very good and appropriate for schools while other platforms are not. I've outlined eight good free website platforms in the past. Now I will add Jimdo to that list.

Like most other free website building platforms, Jimdo allows you to pick your own subdomain. For example, my Jimdo site is richardbyrne.jimdo.com. What makes Jimdo such a good option is the wide array of templates, layouts, background options, and editing options. On many free website builders once you pick a template or design you're locked into all of the pre-defined parameters of that template unless you know HTML and CSS. Jimdo is different because it allows you to tweak the predefined templates and designs.

Aside from the design options, Jimdo has some other integrated elements worth mentioning. Jimdo offers you the option to create a blog as an element of your website. You can also take advantage of email management options within Jimdo.

To learn more about Jimdo, watch the short video embedded below.


Applications for Education
If you're looking for a free platform on which to build your classroom website and blog, Jimdo is well worth giving a good look. If the look of your website and blog is important to you, Jimdo gives you more options than most of it's direct competitors.

As we approach the end of the first decade of the 21st century, every classroom should have it's own web presence. Not only is it a good resource for parents and students, it's a good way to keep track of what your class has done over the course of a semester or year.

Inventor's Digest Essay Contest for Grades 7-12

It's kind of an odd time to hold an essay contest, but Inventors Digest is holding an essay contest during the month of August for middle school and high school students. The contest asks students to write a 500 word essay about how their visions of the world in 2059. Specifically, students should address how technology will shape our lives in 2059. The winning essays will receive a new laptop, publication of their essay in Inventors Digest and an assortment of other prizes. You can read all of the contest requirements here.

Applications for Education
This contest is being held at a time when a lot of US schools are still on summer break. For those students who are in school in August, this could be a fun essay topic to explore. Even if you're not in school in August, keep the essay topic in mind as the topic itself could be a good beginning-of-the-year essay topic for students in computer classes.

Ignite Philly Slideshow - Chris Lehmann Presentation

Yesterday, I posted the video of Chris Lehmann's Ignite Philly presentation. Later in the day two people sent me the link to the slideshow that Chris was playing behind him which you cannot see in the video. The slide show is embedded below.
If you're reading this in RSS you may need to click through to view the slideshow.

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