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Monday, October 28, 2013

The Pit and the Pendulum Rap

With Halloween just a few days away a lot of students may be getting acquainted with Edgar Allan Poe's classic The Pit and the Pendulum. The Simpson's brought the story to animated life in the 90's and that is still a good go-to resource if you have access to a licensed copy of it. Another way that you might introduce the story to students is through Flocabulary's rap of the story. That rap video is embedded below.

EDPuzzle - Add Your Voice and Text Questions to Educational Videos

EdPuzzle is a neat tool that I recently learned about from David Kapuler. EdPuzzle allows you to add your voice and questions to educational videos. On EdPuzzle you can search for educational videos from Khan Academy and Learn Zillion. Once you've found a video you can insert your own voice comments. You can also create a series of questions to go along with your chosen video. Questions are inserted along a timeline that matches the video. That means that your students don't have to wait until the end of a video in order to answer the questions. In that regard the EdPuzzle is similar to Blubbr.tv.

Applications for Education
EdPuzzle could be a good tool to use to create short review videos or flipped lessons for your students. You could also have students use EdPuzzle to annotate videos by pointing out important aspects of videos by using the voice comments option and or the question building option.

Do You Have a Google Jockey in Your Classroom?

Two weeks ago I gave the opening keynote at WLMA 2013 in Yakima, WA. During my keynote I mentioned the term "Google Jockey." It got a laugh when I described the "Google Jockey" as the student who seems to Google everything anyone says. You can leverage that student's habit into a force for good in your classroom.

I first discovered the term Google Jockey when I read Curtis Bonk's The World Is Open: How Web Technology Is Revolutionizing Education. In The World Is Open I came across the idea for having a "Google Jockey" in my classroom. The idea is that you have one or two students in the room who are responsible for looking up terms or phrases that come up during the course of classroom discussion. Combining the use of a back channel along with a Google Jockey could become a good avenue for drilling deeper into the content of the day's lesson.

Form+ Adds More Flexibility to Your Google Forms

Google Forms has received some nice enhancements over the last few months. Still there are times when I've wished that Google Forms could do more. That's where Form+ comes into the picture. Form+ is a third party service that adds features to Google Forms. Probably the best aspect of Form+ is that through it you can create forms that can accept file uploads. Form+ offers pre-made form templates for you to use. You can also create your own form templates through Form+'s drag-and-drop interface.

Randy Rodgers shared a Form+ tutorial on Google+ earlier this month. I encourage you to watch his tutorial to see Form+ in action.


Applications for Education
If you have been looking to expand your use of Google Forms, Form+ might be the tool for you. Using the option to collect files through upload could be a good way to organize students' assignments. Simply create a form for each assignment and post it on your classroom blog to have all of the uploaded files go into a folder. Form+ has an upload form template ready for you to use and re-use as often as you like.

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