Friday, September 17, 2021

Ziplet - A Good Way to Share Digital Exit Tickets

Ziplet is a service for gathering feedback from your students in a variety of ways. The simplest way is to create an exit ticket by using one of the dozens of pre-written questions provided by Ziplet. Back in July I published a video about how to use Ziplet. Since then it has been updated to no longer require students to have accounts to respond to exit ticket questions. Now your students can simply enter an exit ticket code that you give to them before they answer the question. 

What Ziplet offers that is somewhat unique is the option to respond directly to individual students even when they are responding to a group survey. The purpose of that feature is to make it easy to ask follow-up questions or to give encouragement to students based on their responses to a question posed to the whole group.

Applications for Education
Ziplet fits in a gap between tools like Kahoot and Google Classroom. For that reason it could be a good tool for engaging students in discussions about assignments, course topics, or the general feeling of the class. Ziplet does offer a Google Classroom integration as well as an Office 365 integration.


Five Helpful Google Keep Features for Students

Google Keep is a great tool for middle school and high school students to use to create assignment reminders, bookmark important research findings, organize information, save images, and re-use notes in their research documents. All of those features and more are demonstrated in my new video, Five Google Keep Features for Students

Five features of Google Keep that students should know how to use.

➡Reminders
➡Labels
➡Bookmarks
➡Images
➡Inserts

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Great Reads from Great Places - An Interactive Map from the Library of Congress

Great Reads from Great Places is an interactive map produced by the Library of Congress for the National Book Festival. The purpose of the map is twofold. First, to help visitors find National Book Festival-related events in their states. Second, to help visitors find books that are connected to their states. Those connections could be that the author wrote the book in that state or the story takes place in that state. 


Applications for Education
Great Reads from Great Places could be a useful tool for students to use to find a new-to-them book to read. It's a good model for having students create their own interactive maps.

Following the model of Great Reads from Great Places students could use a tool like Padlet or Google's My Maps to create interactive maps featuring their favorite books aligned to states, provinces, cities, or countries. Here's a demo of how to create a multimedia map with Padlet.

An Idea for Using Padlet for Self Reflection in K-2

I get a lot of questions sent to me throughout the week. Some of them are very specific and the answers only apply to one person. Others have the potential for a broader appeal. One of those came to me earlier this week when a reader asked, 

"What’s the best interactive tool that we can use to help kids (K-2) to self-reflect on learning? We’d like them to be able to use the touch display to ‘pull’ their names into a column that reflects where they are in their learning."  

My suggestion was to try using Padlet with columns in the background. Students would have their own notes with their names on them to drag and drop into a column that reflects how they feel about the day's lesson or their overall progress. In this short video I go into a little more detail about how to create that kind of Padlet activity for your students. 

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

It's the Last Year for Weebly for Education

More than a decade ago Weebly was one of the first DIY website builders that recommended to teachers. I helped countless teachers and their students create classroom websites with Weebly for Education. This morning I got the news via email that Weebly (now owned by Square) has decided to shutter Weebly for Education in 2022. This will happen on August 1, 2022. If you're using Weebly for Education right now, you have plenty of time to plan for what you'll use as a replacement (I recommend Edublogs or Google Sites). 

Weebly for Education hasn't had any updates in a few years so it's not surprising that it is being closed down. I always liked the service and found it to be a good way for teachers to build their own websites. More importantly, it provided a good way for students to create their own websites that teachers could actively monitor. But all good things come to an end. Thanks for the good service for all the years, Weebly for Education. 

Now that Weebly for Education is closing and Google has officially excluded Blogger from Google Workspace for Education (for those under 18), the only good blogging option for students that I can recommend now is Edublogs unless you want to go the route of self-hosting. And if you were using Weebly for Education for digital portfolios I'd recommend taking a look at Google Sites, Spaces, or Seesaw.