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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Google Launches Google Classroom Mobile Apps

Just a few hours ago Google announced the launch of Google Classroom mobile apps for students. The new Google Classroom iOS and Android apps enable students to take pictures and attach them to the assignments that they submit to you. This could be a great option for math students who have trouble typing responses to mathematics problems as they now can write on paper and submit assignments to you by taking a picture of their papers.


The Google Classroom iOS and Android apps allow students to share material from other mobile apps like Docs and Gmail.

Today, Google also announced new desktop features for teachers. You can now archive your classes when you're done with them at the end of a semester or school year. Archived classes will become "read only" so you and your students can still go back at look at the content, but not change the content. The other new desktop feature is a new teacher assignments page where you can see all of your students' assignments and mark assignments as reviewed.

RefME Helps Students Create Bibliographies

A couple of days ago on iPadApps4School.com I wrote about RefME's iPad app. You don't have to have an iPad to take advantage of the service RefME offers. RefME is a service designed to help students create citations and organize bibliographies.

The free RefME iPad and Android apps enable students to scan the barcode on a book, periodical, CD cases, and many other media cases to have a citation formatted for that item. RefME provides more than 6,500 citation and bibliography formats for students to use. If your students don't have an iPad or Android device, they can still take advantage of RefME's service by simply logging into the website and performing a search for the book, periodical, or website that they need to cite. If RefME finds the item, a citation will be created that students can import into their accounts.


If your students do have iPads or Android devices they can take advantage of the barcode scanning capability of the RefME apps. After creating a RefME account students create their first projects in RefME. A project is essentially a folder for the citations that students are going to create for a paper. Students select a project name then add a reference to it by scanning the barcode on a book or periodical. When they have finished scanning all of their references (they can also add references manually) student can export their lists of citations to Evernote, email the list, or create a Word document of citations on the RefME website.

Applications for Education
RefME could be a great tool for students to use to keep track of their reference materials as they put together research projects. The option to manage multiple projects could be helpful to students who are working on multiple research projects at the same time.

Plate Tectonics - Video and a Google Earth Lesson Plan

MinuteEarth recently published a new animated video about plate tectonics. The videos does a nice job of explaining how the movement of tectonic plates is measured. The video also illustrate the forces that cause tectonic plates to move. The video is embedded below.


After your students watch the video above you might want to use one of the featured projects on the Google Earth educator's page about plate tectonics. The lesson was developed by Cheryl Davis for 5th and 6th grade students. The lesson uses Google Earth to help students understand plate boundaries and plate subduction.

ClassResponder - Real Time Student Response System

ClassResponder is a service that provides a nice way for teachers to distribute quizzes to students and gather results as soon as students answer the quiz questions. ClassResponder can be used through your web browser or through their free iPad apps. There is an app for teachers and an app for students. Students don't have to create accounts to participate. Students simply enter your classroom code to join your ClassResponder activities.

ClassResponder offers pre-made quizzes that teachers can use. The quizzes are designed for elementary school students. The pre-made quizzes are aligned to ELA Common Core standards. You don't have to use ClassResponder's pre-made quizzes. You can create your own multiple choice, true/false, and short answer quizzes in your ClassResponder account.

Applications for Education
ClassResponder, like other student response systems, could provide a good way to deliver short review quizzes to your students. You can use the service to make quizzes to use at the end of a lesson to quickly check for your students' understanding of your lesson's main points. You can turn on ClassResponder's instant feedback option for your students so that they don't have to wait until everyone is done before they see their own scores.

How to Use Your Own Images in Google Forms Headers

In yesterday's post about customizing Google Sheets headers I mentioned that you can also customize Google Forms headers. Someone emailed me this morning asking for further clarification about customizing Forms headers. In the video embedded below I demonstrate how to use your own images in Google Forms headers.


Applications for Education
Customizing your Forms headers with a school logo or a classroom logo is a nice way to re-assure students that they are completing the right Form.

Chromebook Creation: Slides, ThingLink, & Snagit

This is a guest post from Greg Kulowiec (@gregkulowiec) of EdTechTeacher - an advertiser on this site.

With Chromebooks being adopted as the 1:1 tool of choice in schools throughout the country, it is helpful to note that there a number of options that allow for student creation that go beyond the suite of Google tools. One example of this creative potential takes advantage of a staple in the Google Apps library, Slides, and works in combination with Thinglink as well as the Chromebook screencasting option from TechSmith, Snagit.

In the image below, the process is outlined where a student could create an image or poster in Google Slides, export the image as a PNG or JPEG file, and then upload that file to Thinglink.




Once in Thinglink, the hotspot tags can be added to include text, links, or even YouTube videos. While typically the final product of this sort of creation would be the URL or embed code to the final creation in Thinglink, by layering the capacity of Chromebook screencasting with Snagit, the final product can instead be a video where the creator can explain the hotspot tags in Thinglink. This sort of layering of tools facilitates a level of creation with Chromebooks that allows student thinking to be archived, shared and made visible.

Below is a final screencast that demonstrates the entire creation process and what a final Thinglink screencast created with Snagit could look like.



Looking to learn more about creating with Chromebooks? Greg Kulowiec and EdTechTeacher will be leading a number of Google and Chromebook workshops this Summer.