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Friday, October 28, 2016

How JoeZoo Express Can Save You Tons of Time Grading in Google Documents

JoeZoo Express is a Google Documents Add-on that I have been raving about since I first tried it earlier this year. The JoeZoo Express Add-on can save you a ton of time when you are grading or editing your students' writing in Google Documents. The way that JoeZoo Express does that is by providing you with the ability to store canned comments to insert directly in your students' work. Not only that, JoeZoo Express includes an option for linking to tutorials that can help your students improve their writing. Watch my short video embedded below to see how JoeZoo Express make your grading process much more efficient.

Three Good Tools for Collaboratively Creating Multimedia Books

Collaborating to create multimedia books can be a good way to get students excited about writing stories. Students can collaborate with each other and or with you. Through the process of sharing ideas and revisions students' work improves. Writing a multimedia ebook can also be a nice way for students to illustrate and or further explain portions of fiction and non-fiction stories that they compose. The following three platforms make it possible for students to create and publish multimedia ebooks in their web browsers.

For elementary school students:
WriteReader is a neat multimedia writing platform for elementary school teachers and students. The appeal of WriteReader is found in the collaboration between students and teachers. Students can create multimedia books that teachers log into to correct. As is seen the video below, each page of a book has a space for students to write in and a space for teachers to write in. Teachers use the space on the page to correct spelling errors and or make editing suggestions. WriteReader books can include text, pictures, and voice recordings. Completed WriteReader books can be shared online and can be downloaded as PDFs to print.

Tools for middle school/ high school students:
Widbook is a platform designed to help people collaboratively create multimedia books. The service is part multimedia book authoring tool and part social network. Mashable called it "the YouTube of books." On Widbook you can create a digital book that contains text, images, and videos. Widbook is collaborative because you can invite others to make contributions to your books. To use Widbook you have to create a profile on the service. The books that you create become a part of your profile. If you allow it, other Widbook users can add content and or comments to your books. Likewise, you can search for others' books and  make contributions to their books. Due to the public gallery of books I would only use Widbook with students of high school age or older.

I've often described Lucidpress as a mix of the best of Apple's Pages with the best of Google Docs. Through Lucidpress you and your students can collaboratively create documents that incorporate videos and images. Through Lucidpress you and your students can collaboratively create documents that incorporate videos and images. The process of creating a document on Lucidpress can be as simple or as complicated as you want to make it. To get started you might stick with the basics of moving text and pictures around on the document by just dragging and dropping. There are options for layering images with differing amounts of transparency, image cropping tools, and font customization options in each Lucidpress template. As mentioned above, you can also add videos into your projects (obviously they only play when viewed online).

Nearly 19,000 People Get Their Ed Tech Tips This Way

The reason that I read more often than any other for people unsubscribing from Free Technology for Teachers is "too many updates." That's why over the last two years I've offered two other ways to find my ed tech tips and news in a less frequently updated fashion. Those options are the Practical Ed Tech Newsletter and my YouTube channel.

The Practical Ed Tech Newsletter is sent out once a week on Sunday evening (Monday morning in some parts of the world). The newsletter includes my favorite tip of the week and a list of the week's most popular posts from Free Technology for Teachers. Nearly 12,000 people are subscribed to the newsletter, you can subscribe to the Practical Ed Tech Newsletter here.

On my YouTube channel I post a couple of new tutorial videos every week. My YouTube channel has more than 400 video tutorials on everything from G Suite for Education apps to video creation tools to fun and free formative assessment tools. Nearly 7,000 people are subscribed to my YouTube channel and you can subscribe here.