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Saturday, October 7, 2017

Grids, Timelines, and Goals - The Week in Review

Good evening from Maine where I spent the majority of the day hanging drywall on walls that are far from square. Those of you who watch my Practical Ed Tech Live episodes have seen some of the space in my barn that I am trying to convert into office space. The project seemed simple enough, but it turns out that renovating a 170 year old barn is harder than it appears. Anyway, all that is to say that I didn't get in my usual Saturday routine of playing outdoors. But I hope that you had a relaxing Saturday.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. Grids, Timelines, and Notes in Google Slides
2. How to Create a Timeline in Google Slides
3. Kahoot Launched a Paid Plan - What That Means for You
4. ClassFlow: Creating Interactive Digital Lessons
5. Goosechase Scavenger Hunt
6. Lesson Plans for SMART Goal Setting
7. X-Ray Goggles Help Students See How Webpages Are Made

Please visit the official advertisers that help keep this blog going.
Practical Ed Tech is the brand through which I offer PD webinars.
Storyboard That is my go-to tool for creating storyboards.
SeeSaw is my favorite digital portfolio tool.
Metaverse enables anyone to create amazing things.
Kids Discover provides fantastic tools for helping kids discover new information. 
University of Maryland Baltimore County offers a great program on instructional design.
Discovery Education & Wilkes University offer online courses for earning Master's degrees in Instructional Media.
PrepFactory offers a great place for students to prepare for SAT and ACT tests.
Boise State University offers a 100% online program in educational technology.

Providing Feedback with Peergrade

Peergrade is a platform that allows teachers to make sure students receive meaningful feedback on all of their work. Teachers create an assignment and a rubric then students upload their work. They set a hand in time for when all work has to be uploaded. Once that time passes, the uploaded assignments are randomly distributed to students who then provide anonymous feedback. Students receive their feedback which teachers can see as well.
There is also an option that allows students to grade their own work and for teachers to provide feedback as well.

Peergrade can be integrated with several popular LMS's including Canvas and Moodle. The basic level of Peergrade is free while there is a fee for Peergrade Pro and the Institution level.

Applications for Education
Peergrade solves a problem that many teachers who have asked their students to peer review have experienced. That problem is lack of depth in the feedback that students give to each other. Peergrade can help you guide your students into providing more meaningful feedback to each other.

College Fair App by Kickwheel

The College Fair is an free app from Kickwheel is acts like a mobile college fair. The idea is to help students find a college or university that is a good fit for them. Students create a profile which includes details about their academics as well as personal information.

Students can search the app by major, career, location, and interests. There are over 3000 colleges and universities that can be searched. You can easily browse the majors for each institution and view the estimated cost per year as well as the estimated starting salary.

This article from Explore Colleges has additional apps that might be useful when searching for the perfect college.

Applications for Education 
Students and parents will be able to use this app to help with the college search. It can also be used in a classroom where teachers are helping students understand the cost of attending college.

Using Canned Responses in Gmail


Gmail Labs are something that often go unnoticed because they are somewhat hidden and hard to find unless you are looking for them. A word of caution about Gmail Labs. These features can be killed off at any given time with no warning so try to not get too attached to any of them. One of my favorite Labs is called Canned Responses and it has been around for a long time. This nifty feature is a breeze to set up,  it's super easy to use, and it will probably save you time. For it to work you need to enable the lab as shown in the top diagram. Once it is enabled you will compose an email that is a typical response that you find yourself sending over and over again. Think about how many times you email your office hours or have to remind students about your homework or extra credit policies.

The bottom diagram shows you the steps for how to create and save a canned response. Once you save a response you are ready to go! In order to use a canned response simply click the reply button on an email, then select the dropdown arrow on the lower right corner and select called responses and select the one you want to use.

Applications for Education 
By using canned responses, teachers are modeling digital age work and learning which is an essential skill for all teachers and students.






Canadian Thanksgiving vs. American Thanksgiving

This coming Monday in the United States is generally referred to as Columbus Day. In Canada this coming Monday is Thanksgiving. Start your Saturday morning on a lighter note by watching one or both of the following humorous videos that explain the differences between Thanksgiving in Canada and Thanksgiving in the United States.



You should always preview videos before showing them in your classroom. These videos, in particular are ones you should preview then decide for yourself if they're appropriate for your classroom. I know a lot of high school teachers who will not have a problem sharing these, but teachers of younger students may want to proceed with caution.