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Friday, November 8, 2013

Studying Through Text Messages

Here's a fun challenge to give to students and most adults; try to wait ten minutes before looking at your phone when you hear your text message notification. It's a difficult challenge for most people. Study Boost knows this and is trying to leverage that compulsion to check text messages in order to make studying a part of students' text messaging habit.

Here's how it works; students sign-up on Study Boost and link their favorite IM service or SMS (mobile number) to their Study Boost accounts. Then students create batches of questions or find batches of questions made by others. After creating and or selecting batches of questions students "activate" those questions. Activating a batch of questions means that those questions will be sent via IM or SMS at intervals specified by the student. Students answer the questions and get feedback via IM or SMS.

Watch the video below to learn more about Study Boost.


Applications for Education
Study Boost could be a good service for students to use to study on the go. Using Study Boost students traveling for club or sports activities need to only take their mobile devices with them study. As a teacher you can register and submit batches of questions that your students can study. Or students can create their own sets of questions to study.

Before you have students use Study Boost, you may want to consult with their parents to get permission for using the service. Study Boost is free to use as long as you have an unlimited text messaging plan within the United States. 

How Flubaroo Helps Teachers Save Time

We all have times when we wish we had more time in our day. Unfortunately, we can't make more time, but we can use our time more efficiently. Flubaroo is a tool that I've used for years for to help me use my time more efficiently. Flubaroo is a script that you can use in Google Spreadsheets to have your multiple choice and short answer quizzes graded for you with just a couple of clicks on your part. The latest version of Flubaroo can even be used to email grades to your students.

Applications for Education
If your school uses Google Apps for Education, when you have students take quizzes that you've created through Google Forms, have your students sign into their accounts before taking the quiz. That way you will capture their email addresses and be able to quickly email grades to them after you have run the Flubaroo script to grade the quiz. If your school doesn't use Google Apps for Education you can still require email addresses by making "email address" a required question on the quizzes you create in Google Forms.

I'll be covering a lot of topics like this one and many more in my December PracticalEdTech.com course, How To Use Google Drive In School.

Stipple - Create and Search for Interactive Images

Stipple is a new service that allows you to create interactive images. The service launched in closed beta during the summer. Since the summer Stipple has left beta and has added a free iPhone app for creating interactive images on the go. Using Stipple you can upload an image and tag it with pinmarks. Within each pinmark you can include videos, links, text, audio files, and more images. Stipple also gives you the option to track where your images are viewed and shared by others. The video below provides an overview of Stipple's features.


Meet Stipple from stipple on Vimeo.

Applications for Education
Stipple is similar to the popular ThingLink service. Both services can be used by students to enhance images with videos and links that they find on the web. One possible use could be to have students upload images of the solar system (or parts of the solar system) then add pinmarks with videos and links about the solar system. During a field trip you could also have students take pictures of famous landmarks and add pinmarks with information about what makes those landmarks significant.

EWC Presenter - Create Animated Infographics

EWC Presenter is a new tool from Easy Web Content (a website creation and hosting service). EWC Presenter makes it easy to create slideshows, banner graphics, and interactive infographics. The slideshow creator and banner graphic creator don't stand-out from other tools like them. The EWC Presenter's infographic animation option is worth noting.

EWC Presenter's infographic tool allows you to animate elements within your infographic. The video below demonstrates how that is done.


How to easily create animations online - HTML5 and mobile friendly from Easy WebContent on Vimeo.

Applications for Education
EWC Presenter could be an excellent tool for your students to use to create infographics based upon data that they research or gather on their own. Some student infographic projects that I've seen include comparing development data and community demographic data.

eQuizShow Makes It Easy to Create Jeopardy-style Games

Last winter I reviewed eQuizShow, a service built by a high school student in New York. This week I revisited the site and found that it has been redesigned yet still offers an easy way for teachers to create Jeopardy-style review games. Unlike similar tools you do not have to download or upload any PowerPoint files to use eQuizShow. On eQuizShow you can build and display your quiz completely online. To build your quiz just enter a title, an administrative password, and your question categories. eQuizShow will then generate a grid on which you can enter questions and answers.

If you don't have time to build a quiz or you just need some inspiration, browse the eQuizShow gallery. When you play the games you have the option to assign points to up to six teams playing the game. You can also play without awarding points.

Applications for Education
eQuizShow works well on interactive whiteboards. If you have an interactive whiteboard, using eQuizShow could be a good way to display questions and answers to students during a review session.

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