Thursday, March 4, 2010

Jeopardy Labs: Make Your Own Online Jeopardy Game

Playing Jeopardy-style games is a review method that teachers and students have been using for quite a long time. I remember playing Jeopardy games in the 4th grade 20+ years ago. Over the years the game hasn't changed, yet the means of delivering the game have changed.

Jeopardy Labs is a free service you can use to create your own online Jeopardy game. Jeopardy Labs provides a blank template on which to build your game. You do not need to register in order to build your own game. However, if you want to be able to edit your game at a later point you will want to create a password before you create your game. When completed your game is given its one unique url. Post that url on your blog, wiki, or website and anyone can then play your game.

Applications for Education
Jeopardy Labs provides a good way for teachers to create a review game that students can play independently or in the classroom. You could also have students create games that they share with each other.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Jeopardy PowerPoint Game Template
Parade of Games in PowerPoint

Auto-captioning Available for All YouTube Videos

There are some good tools on the web for captioning videos and even a video sharing site, DotSub, created for the purpose of captioning videos. Today, YouTube made it easier than ever to caption videos. Earlier today YouTube announced that auto-captioning of videos will now be available to all YouTube users. To use the auto-captioning option just select the "captions" option after uploading a video. Then choose "machine transcription" to have your video captioned. Right now auto-captioning is only available in English. The process does take some time to complete depending on the length of the video and the clarity of the sound.

Applications for Education
Auto-captioning of videos will make more videos available to students with hearing impairments than ever before. Captioned videos could also be helpful to students who are learning English as they will be able to hear the words they're reading in English.

Urtak - A Simple Online Polling Service

Urtak is a free and simple polling service that can be used on any blog or website. The polls you create can have multiple questions, but they must be "yes or no" questions. But Urtak isn't that limited because visitors to your poll also have the option of writing in their own questions. Try it out for yourself in the poll I've embedded below.

Practice Poll

You can get started using Urtak in seconds by registering with your Twitter or Facebook account. You can also use your email address to create an account with Urtak. As you can see above, Urtak polls can be embedded into your blog or you can direct people to your poll by sharing the unique url Urtak assigns to your poll.

Applications for Education
Urtak could be a useful tool for quickly collecting informal feedback from students.
I like to run polls on my course blog about a week before a test. I use these polls to gauge how my students are feeling about the course content and what we may need to spend more time studying.

Thanks to Michael Zimmer for the lead on Urtak. Check out his blog.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
ProProfs - Polls, Quizzes, and Flashcards
Vorbeo - Simple Free Polling Service
SignAppNow - Quickly Create Sign-up Forms

Wacky Web Tales - Fun Tales for Kids

Wacky Web Tales is a collection of MadLibs-like activities from Houghton Mifflin. Wacky Web Tales is designed for students in grades three and above. Wacky Web Tales asks students to fill-in a blank form using words to make parts of speech prompts. The words the students write into the blank form are the used in an automatically generated short story.

Applications for Education
Wacky Web Tales could be used by elementary school and middle school students to practice identifying the parts of speech. If students get stuck on a line, Wacky Web Tales has a help option that they can utilize.