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Monday, November 7, 2016

How to Create MadLibs Story Starters in Google Sheets

Last week I wrote about Flippity's free template for creating MadLibs story starters in Google Sheets. I have received a handful of questions about how to use that template. This evening I made the following short video to address those questions.


Applications for Education
Using your MadLibs-style stories could be a fun way for your students to practice identifying parts of speech. When they use verb instead of a noun in a MadLibs-style story, the story doesn't make quite as much sense as it should have.

If you have students that are comfortable using spreadsheets, they could use the Flippity template to create and share their own MadLibs-style story templates to share.

A Lesson on the First U.S. Presidential Election

In my previous post I shared a video from Keith Hughes in which he explains the origins of the Electoral College. It's a great explanation of the original arguments for and against the creation of the Electoral College which has chosen every President beginning with George Washington. Keith offers a lesson about that first election. In three minutes Keith runs-down what made the first election different from all that have come after it.


Applications for Education
After watching the video above ask your students to think about how campaigns today would be different without social media, television, or radio. Or flip that concept and have them use tools like this fake Facebook template to develop a social media advertising campaign for George Washington.

5 Videos to Help Students Understand the Electoral College

A new President of the United States will be chosen tomorrow, kind of. The popular vote which in most states determines how the electors in the Electoral College will vote in December. If that sentence baffles your students, they could benefit from one of the following short video explanations of the Electoral College.

This TED-Ed lesson offers a short explanation of the Electoral College by answering the question, "does your vote count?" The video for the lesson is embedded below.


Common Craft offers The Electoral College in Plain English.



How the Electoral College Works, embedded below, gives a nice overview of the Electoral College. The video isn't perfect, I wish the producer had included that the number of Electoral votes a state receives is tied to the number of Senators and Representative it has. Instead the video simply stated that the number of Electoral votes is tied to population. Overall, it's not a bad summary of the Electoral College.



Keith Hughes has produced two videos about how the Electoral College was developed and how it works. The first video below is just one minute long. The second video goes into much more depth.


New Online Course - Getting Going With G Suite

I wasn’t planning to offer a new section of my course on G Suite for Education until January, but I’ve had a lot of requests from folks who want to take it before the end of 2016. Therefore, I got in touch with the Midwest Teachers Institute (my partner for graduate credit offerings) and we scheduled a new section of Getting Going With G Suite for Education that will start on November 21st!

Getting Going With G Suite is a webinar series designed for teachers and administrators who are new to using Google Apps for Education. Getting Going With G Suite is a five week course covering everything you need to know to integrate Google Drive, Google Classroom, Google Calendar, and Google Sites into your practice. Register today.

Five things you can master while taking this course:
Google Classroom.
The nuances of Google Drive.
Taking control of your schedule with Google Calendar.
4 ways to use Google Sites in your classroom.
Improving your workflow with Google Forms & Sheets tricks.

What’s included? What does it cost?
Registration is $147 (subscribers to the Practical Ed Tech newsletter receive a discount code).
The graduate credit option costs an additional $450. Click here to register for graduate credit. Note: you must also register for your preferred spring or summer section using the links below. Registration is not confirmed until payment has been received. Cancellations received less than 7 days prior to the start of the course will not be refunded.

All live sessions are recorded. The recordings are made available to all participants to stream and or download.

Participants will receive digital handouts with directions for everything demonstrated in the webinars.

Full course details.

Whenever I offer these courses some people ask why the courses aren't free. There are quite a few reasons, but two primary reasons. The fees to license GoToTraining and to host the recordings are not cheap. The other reason is that free webinars have a very low turn-out rate. I want to help you as best as I can and I can't do that if you don't attend the webinar. When you pay to register you're making a commitment to attend and pay attention on a higher level than just filling out a form and saying, "yes, I'll attend." I've experienced this first-hand as I frequently pay to attend professional development webinars myself. When I pay, I show up and I pay attention much more than if I didn't have to pay anything for the webinar.