Friday, January 29, 2010

How to Publish a Quiz Using Google Docs

This is a post born out of a few conversations that I had this week with a few of my colleagues. All of the conversations centered around the time-consuming task of grading quizzes. In each conversation I mentioned that I've been using Google Forms for giving short multiple choice quizzes. I create the quizzes in Google Forms, post them on my classroom blog, students take the quiz on my blog, and their answers appear in an easy-to-grade spreadsheet. Below I've embedded a slideshow with directions for creating and embedding quizzes using Google Forms, but here are a few points that should be emphasized.

1. Make sure the first question is "student name." Otherwise you won't know who submitted which answers.
2. You can mix question types (multiple choice, short answer, paragraph) but if you have too many types and too many students, the spreadsheet can become difficult to navigate.
3. When embedding the form into a blog, make sure you edit the width to fit within your blog's main column. You can use the same principles of editing the size of a YouTube video for editing the width of a spreadsheet.

Follow EduCon 2.2 In Elluminate

EduCon is an education conference being held for the third year in a row, this weekend, at the Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia. I have never been to EduCon, but it seems that everyone who has been to it raves about it. Some of the leading personalities in education technology will be leading conversations all weekend at EduCon 2.2. If you're interested in virtually attending any of these sessions you can do so through Elluminate. To participate simply visit the schedule of conversations, pick one, and at the scheduled time click on the conversation title to enter the Elluminate room set up for that conversation. You can read more about virtually attending here.

Find Great Children's Literature

The Database of Award-Winning Children's Literature is a searchable database of more than 7,000 award-winning books for children. DAWCL was developed and is maintained by reference librarian Lisa Bartle. There are many ways to search the database to locate books which will appeal to your students and will meet your instructional needs. In addition to the typical search options of keyword, author, and title you will find search options like the age of the reader, historical period, genre, setting, and gender of protagonist.

Applications for Education
DAWCL could be a great resource for elementary school teachers that need to compile lists of books that will appeal to a wide range of students. After locating titles you might want to put them into a "bookshelf" in Google Books where parents and other teachers can browse through them.

Shift Your Perceptions

Every weekday the TED Blog features a new video from their catalog. Today's video features Derek Sivers, founder of CD Baby, reminding us that there is more than one way to look at most problems. Through a clever use of Google Maps, Sivers reminds us that our students don't always see the world the same way that we do.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
15 TED Talks for Teachers to Watch Before 2010
The Web Runs on Kindness

Support ISTE Newbie 2010 by Buying a Book

Last year because of the efforts of many of you, Beth Still, and VoiceThread I was able to attend the NECC/ ISTE conference for the first time. It was an awesome learning experience that I would have missed out on if Beth Still had not organized the fundraising effort. One of her co-conspirators (and I mean that in the nicest way) in organizing the effort was Jason Shrage who is a social studies teacher in New York. Jason has never been to ISTE/ NECC and, like me, his district can't or won't foot the bill. Therefore, Beth organized ISTE Newbie 2010 to send Jason to the ISTE conference in Denver. The fundraising has gone well so far the goal is in sight, but they could use a little more help in getting there. This is where you and I come in.

From now through Sunday night I'll donate any and all comissions generated through my Amazon Affiliate account. I'll also match all book revenues. I typically receive 6% of revenue generated through the Amazon links or widgets that I use. For example if someone buys a $20 book, I earn $1.20. This applies to everything sold through the Amazon widgets and links. So if you were thinking of buying a new book, DVD, netbook, or anything else Amazon sells and you would like to help out the ISTE 2010 Newbie this weekend is a great time to do it. Buy something for yourself, like Larry Ferlazzo'sBuilding Parent Engagement in Schools,and help out a good cause at the same time. (Just make sure you click one of the links or widgets here first).

Here are some more places to read out the ISTE 2010 Newbie.
Jeff Utecht's The Thinking Stick
Beth Still's blog