Free Technology for Teachers. It gives me a sense of what people are interested in learning about. That information helps me brainstorm new blog posts for the next month (by the way, I have a running list that I keep in a notebook). The three most commonly searched terms in August were "timers," "word cloud," and "Kahoot." Here's some information about all three.
Simply type into Google search "set timer" followed by an amount of time and a countdown timer is displayed. An alarm beeps when time is up. You can make the timer appear full screen without advertisements by clicking a little box icon to the right of the timer.
Russel Tarr's Classtools Countdown Timer has two slick features. You can create and set multiple timers on the same page. This means that if you had students sharing in rapid succession you wouldn't have to reset the timer for each student, you simply move onto using the next timer on the page. The second feature of note in the Classtools Countdown Timer is the option to add music to your timers. You can have your countdown timers set to music. Mission Impossible, The Apprentice, and Countdown are the standard music options. You can add other music by using the YouTube search tool built into the timer.
Word cloud generators provide students with a nice way to visualize the most frequently used words in a passage of text. There are plenty of word cloud creation tools on the web. There is even a Google Docs Add-on for making word clouds. One relatively newer tool for making word clouds is found at WordClouds.com. In my video embedded below I demonstrate the features of WordClouds.com
Watch my video embedded below to learn how to make word clouds in Google Documents.
In April Kahoot released a new team mode.
The team mode is designed to be used with students who are sharing
computers, tablets, or phones. In team mode students arrange themselves
in teams around a shared computer or tablet. When you start a Kahoot
game you'll now choose "team mode." With team mode selected your
students will be prompted to enter a team name and a list of the team
members. After the teams have entered their names you
will be ready to start the game. One of the nice features of team mode
is that students have time to discuss their answer choices before they
are allowed to submit a response. From there the game is played and
scored as any other Kahoot game is scored.
Kahoot's ghost mode essentially gives students the opportunity to
play a Kahoot review game against themselves. In ghost mode students
measure their progress against themselves. First,
run a Kahoot game as you normally would. At the end of the game select
"ghost mode" to run the game again. In ghost mode students play against
their own scores from the previous game. Then when you run the game
students will be competing against the "ghost" version of themselves
from the previous running of the game. For example, I play a game as a
student in the first running of a game then in the second running of the
game I'll be competing against my previous score as well as those of my
One of the features of Kahoot
that I frequently demonstrate in my workshops is the option to
duplicate and edit quizzes that teachers have contributed to the public
Kahoot quiz gallery. Duplicating and editing existing quizzes can save
you a lot of time when you need to find a quick review activity for your