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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

OpenEd Offers Thousands of Quizzes and Review Materials to Share in Google Classroom

OpenEd is a service that has offers a massive catalog of educational videos, games, and practice assessments that you can browse by topic, grade level, or Common Core standard. Today, OpenEd announced an improved integration with Google Classroom.

There are two ways that you can use OpenEd resources with Google Classroom. First, you can share resources from OpenEd to your Google Classroom classes by using the "share to Google Classroom" button within OpenEd resources. Second, you can now import your Google Classroom roster into OpenEd. Importing your roster will allow you to create collections of resources to share with your students instead of just sharing individual items.


Applications for Education
My favorite aspect of OpenEd is its search tool. Rather than searching and hoping to find a video on YouTube that matches the standard(s) you're addressing in a lesson, you can start with the standard and have OpenEd locate videos for you. Likewise, it's easy to find and share games and quizzes that match the topics you're teaching.

Quizalize - A Fun Quiz Platform

Quizalize is a newer quiz game platform that reminds me of Kahoot. Like Kahoot, students play your quiz games on their laptops or tablets by going to the Quizalize website then entering their names and a class code. Students are awarded points for correctly answering questions quickly. Students are given feedback instantly on every quiz question that they answer. A total score is presented to students at the end of every quiz.

Creating quizzes on Quizalize is a simple process. To get started just name your quiz and tag it with a subject label. As you write each quiz question you can include a picture and up to four answer choices. You can specify a time limit of 5 to 120 seconds for each question.

Quizalize offers a marketplace in which you can find quizzes created by other users. Some of the quizzes are free and others are sold for a dollar or two. To be clear, creating and playing your own quizzes is completely free.

An overview of Quizalize is provided in the video embedded below.


Applications for Education
One of the better aspects of Quizalize is found in the results page that you see as a teacher. The scores for each student appear on your screen in one place. On the results page you can quickly identify the questions that gave students the most difficulty in terms of correct answers as well as time needed to answer each question.

NatGeo Map Maker Interactive - A Good Classroom Alternative to Google Maps

National Geographic's Mapmaker Interactive can be a good alternative to using Google Maps in your classroom. Mapmaker Interactive offers a number of features that students and teachers can utilize without the need to enter an email address or register to use the Mapmaker tools. Those tools include measuring distances, adding placemarks, layering information, and switching between base map layers. In the video embedded below I provide an overview of the features in National Geographic's Mapmaker Interactive.

9 Google Apps Productivity Tools & Tips for Teachers

The one thing that every teacher wants more of, besides salary, is time. I can't give you more time in the day. What I can do is point you to some tools and techniques for completing routine tasks more efficiently.

Email:
Auto Text Expander for Google Chrome is a convenient Chrome extension that I've recently started using. The extension enables me to create keyboard shortcuts for words and phrases that I frequently use in emails. In the video embedded below I provide a short overview of how this helpful Chrome extension works.


Add Reminders is a Google Sheets add-on that enables you to send emails from a spreadsheet. The add-on will format your spreadsheet so that you simply enter reminder messages and email addresses then specify a date on which you want your reminders sent. The Add Reminders Add-on allows you to send the same reminder to everyone in your email list or you can send individualized reminders to everyone in your email list. In the video embedded below I demonstrate how to use the Add Reminders Google Sheets Add-on.


The Add Reminders add-on for Google Sheets is great if you just need to send reminder emails. However, ff you want to create custom, personalized emails then you're going to need a slightly different spreadsheet script. Doing this requires adding a script to a Google Spreadsheet containing email addresses. It might sound complicated, but it really isn't. Watch the short video below from the Google Developers team to learn the process.



When you receive a document that needs to be signed, you don't need to print it if you use Hello Sign. Hello Sign offers a Google Drive app. You can also use it without integrating it into your Google Drive account. Learn more about Hello Sign in the video below.


Grading:
Flubaroo is a popular Google Sheets Add-on that enables me to grade all at once all of my students' responses to a quiz created in Google Forms. The autograde option in Flubaroo allows you to have students automatically receive their scores after submitting their responses to a quiz you created in Google Forms. The autograde feature will send students an email with their scores and the answer key (you can exclude the answer key). With autograding enabled students do not have to wait for you to run the grading process or wait for you to send emails. You can also print grades from Flubaroo and or save them as a PDF.

Online Rubric is a Google Spreadsheets Add-on that enables to you create rubrics, enter scores, and email scores to students all from one place. Online Rubric provides very clear instructions for each step of the processes of creating a roster sheet, creating a rubric, and emailing grades to students. The video below provides a demonstration of how to use the Online Rubric Add-on.


Doctopus is a Google Spreadsheet Add-on that can help teachers manage the flow of shared work in in their Google Drive accounts. The basic concept behind the Add-on is to enable teachers to quickly share documents with all of the students on a roster, monitor usage of shared documents, and give students feedback within that roster spreadsheet. When Google launched Google Classroom it seemed that Doctopus might become redundant, but that has not exactly become the case as Justin Brink demonstrates in the videos embedded below.



Scheduling:
Lab Scheduler is a neat Google Sheets Add-on that enables you to easily create and maintain a lab or room reservation system for your school. It is designed for schools that use a labeled block schedule (for example, the high school in my district uses "period 1" through "period 8" even though there are only four periods in a given day). Once you have added Lab Scheduler to your Google Spreadsheet it will walk you through the process of creating blocks of time and lab/room space in your spreadsheet. You can set your Lab Scheduler to maintain a preview of as many dates as you like. The preview is what people will see when they want to make a reservation. Share the spreadsheet with your staff and they can reserve a block of time in it.

YouCanBook.Me is a meeting scheduling tool that integrates with your Google Calendar and is easier to use than the appointment slots feature in Google Apps for Education calendars. YouCanBook.Me allows people to book fixed blocks of time in your calendar. You identify the times in your calendar that you are available to meet. Then when someone needs to schedule a meeting with you, you send him or her a link to your booking calendar. Visitors to your calendar click a block and enter their email addresses to reserve a block of your time. When a block of time is reserved you receive an email alert and the other person receives a confirmation email.