Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Testmoz - A Simple Tool for Giving Tests Online

Testmoz is a simple service for creating and administering multiple choice tests online. Testmoz provides a unique url for the tests you create. Testmoz also provides a "pass code" that test takers have to enter. As the administrator of the tests you create you can quickly see who has taken your test and how many questions they answered correctly.

To create an online test on Testmoz just click "make a test" then pick a name for your test and set an administrative password. After you choose an administrative password, Testmoz assigns your test its own unique url. That's the url you will give to students to take your test. It's in the set-up process that you also assign the "pass code" for test takers.

Applications for Education
Creating quizzes and posting them online through Google Docs is a relatively simple process. Writing the formulas to make those quizzes self-graded take some time to get right. If you're looking for a simpler option for giving multiple choice quizzes online, Testmoz is worth your time to give it a try.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Five Tools to Create and Administer Quizzes Online
How to Create Self-graded Quizzes in Google Docs

How to Remove the Navigation Bar from New Blogger Templates

Last winter I posted some instructions for removing the navigation bar from Blogger blogs. Since that time Blogger released a new template designer and slightly modified the code that defines new Blogger templates. This made it easier to customize most Blogger templates, but put the navigation bar back at the top of all blogs. The good news is that it is still easy to remove the navigation bar. I've posted directions in the slideshow below.

Why You Might Want to Remove the Navigation Bar.
The navigation bar that appears by default at the top of Blogger blogs can be useful for searching the content of your blog, but that "next blog" link can potentially lead your students to blogs containing content that is not appropriate for school.

Disclaimer: Before you go and remove the navbar, keep in mind that some people consider removing the navigation bar to be a violation of the Blogger terms of service. That said, it's a gray area as many bloggers have removed the navbar and continue to use Blogger. You can read the TOS and make the decision for yourself.  

View the slideshow in full screen for greater clarity of images.

Something a lot of Blogger users aren't aware of is that for just $10/year you can have your own custom domain for your blog. For that $10 not only do you get to drop the .blogspot on your url you get access to all of the Google Apps like custom branded email. You can learn more about that option in this video created by Google.

Collaborative Diagramming Tool Cacoo Leaves Beta

Cacoo, a collaborative diagramming tool that I reviewed when it launched last year, has now left beta. Cacoo changed their pricing structure while leaving beta, but the good news is that they still have a free version and the free version offers plenty of functionality for most classroom uses. The free version allows for 15 collaborators on a diagram and up to 25 diagrams per account.

Cacoo allows you to draw shapes, type, and drag and drop elements of your diagram. One of the unique aspects of Cacoo is that you can also upload images to include in your diagrams. The collaborative aspect of Cacoo is that you can invite other people to contribute to your diagrams. Cacoo allows you to chat with your collaborators in real-time while you work on your diagrams. Watch the video below to learn more.

Applications for EducationFor students that are visual learners, creating diagrams can be very helpful in forming an understanding of concepts. I often use diagrams or mind maps in my US History classes to help students understand how multiple themes apply to a particular event. I can see myself having my US History students use Cacoo to contribute to the creation of diagram about the themes of post-Civil War Reconstruction.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you: - Free Mind Mapping Tool
Flock Draw - Simple, Collaborative Drawing
Lovely Charts - Create High Quality Charts

Wack Wall is now Wall.FM

WackWall, a free service for creating your own social networks, has changed its name to offers all of the same great features that it offered when it was called WackWall. I reviewed WackWall in August and you can read that post here.

Applications for Education
If you were a Ning user who was left without a network when they switched fee structures, is an alternative you might want to explore. could be useful for created an online environment in which you, your students, and their parent can share information related to your courses.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Lefora - Create a Free Message Board Forum
Ning Ends Free Networks - Try These Alternatives

Todoist - Individual & Group Task Management

Todoist and its sister service Wedoist are easy-to-use task management services for individuals and groups. Todoist is the service for individuals and Wedoist is the service for groups. It takes just a minute to register and begin using both services. You'll notice with both services that the user interface is very clear and intuitive. When you create projects and assignments by default they are arranged chronologically, but reordering them is a simple matter of selecting an up or down arrow.

To help you keep track of your to-do lists wherever you go Todoist offers desktop clients, iGoogle Gadgets, a Google Chrome extension, and three mobile applications. Todoist can also be integrated with your Gmail account.

Applications for Education
To-do lists and task management tools are only useful if people actually use them. The user interface of one task management tool might appeal to one person while not appealing at all to another. It is for that reason that I like to provide my students with a list of task management tools to try. That said, what I like about Todoist is that it provides a variety of ways for students to access their to-do lists through the web, with desktop clients, and through mobile devices.

Here is a related item that may be of interest to you:
7 Organization Tools for Students