Saturday, August 27, 2011

Week in Review - The Most Popular Posts

Good morning from Maine. As I look out my window and see some leaves changing color, it's almost hard to believe that autumn is just around the corner. I hope that everyone who started school again this week, as I did, had a great start to the year. I know that I'm looking forward to trying some new things and improving on past practices. This year I plan to try using QR codes in classroom. In fact, I plan to do it next week. What new thing(s) are you trying in your school this year?

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. Try Splicd to Share Just a Portion of a Video
2. Find Helpful Bibliography Templates in Google Docs
3. Activities for Introducing Google Tools to Teachers and Students
4. Digital Dialects - Games for Language Practice
5. ScreenChomp - Create & Share Tutorials on Your iPad
6. Some Fun and Handy Chemistry Resources
7. ConceptBoard - A Collaborative Whiteboard Space

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Create Word Clouds in Poll Everywhere

Here is a neat feature of Poll Everywhere that I just learned about this week, word clouds. The word cloud feature has been there for a while, but now it integrates with Wordle, Tagxedo, and Tagul. To use this feature just create an open-ended response poll as you normally would. Then in your administrative panel select "word cloud" on the right hand side of the screen. From there you will be given the option to pick your favorite word cloud service.

For folks not familiar with Poll Everywhere, it is a service that allows you to collect responses from an audience via text messaging. The free plan for K-12 educators provides selection of features and quantity of responses that is adequate for almost any classroom. Watch the video below to learn more about Poll Everywhere.

It's a bird. It's a plane. It's the new way to create polls! from Poll Everwhere on Vimeo.

Applications for Education
Poll Everywhere provides an excellent service for collecting instant anonymous feedback from students. You could use it to quickly assess a class's prior knowledge on a topic. I've also seen it used by teachers to collect feedback about the length of time it took students to finish a homework assignment.

The new word cloud options in Poll Everywhere could make it possible for everyone in the room to quickly see the most and least common responses to an open-ended question.