Tuesday, November 4, 2014

5 Ways to Collect Digital Exit Tickets

One of the strategies that I use when creating lesson plans is to reflect on the previous lesson. Part of that reflection includes feedback from students. This can be done by simply asking students to raise their hands in response to a "did you get it?" type of question, but I like to have better record of responses than just a hand count. Here are some tools that can be used for collecting exit information from students.

Google Forms
Almost as soon as my school went 1:1 with netbooks six years ago, I started using Google Forms to collect responses from students. The Form that I created and frequently re-used simply asked students to respond to "what did you learn today?" and "what questions do you have for next class?"

I started using Padlet back when it was called WallWisher. Padlet enables me to have students not only share exit responses as text, but to also share exit responses as hyperlinks. For example, if my students have been working on research projects I will ask them to share a link to something they found that day along with an explanation of how it is relevant to their research.

I started to use Socrative after using the Google Forms and Padlet methods. Socrative actually has an exit ticket activity pre-made for teachers to distribute to students. The exit ticket in Socrative provides two questions; "how well did you understand today's material?" and "what did you learn in today's class?" As the teacher you can add a third question.

Socrative allows you to collect responses from students with or without seeing their names. Students can respond to prompts through any device that has a web-browser.

Poll Everywhere
Poll Everywhere has been around for a long time and it is still a tool that many teachers love. Poll Everywhere is a service that allows you to collect responses from an audience via text messaging or through the web. The free plan for K-12 educators provides a selection of features and quantity of responses that is adequate for almost any classroom. One of the neat ways to display feedback gathered through Poll Everywhere is in word clouds. The word cloud feature integrates with Wordle, Tagxedo, and Tagul.

Plickers - For the classroom that isn't 1:1
If not every student in your classroom has a laptop or tablet to use, then you need to check out Plickers as a student response system. Plickers uses a teacher's iPad or Android tablet in conjunction with a series of QR codes to create a student response system. Students are given a set of QR codes on large index cards. The codes are assigned to students. Each code card can be turned in four orientations. Each orientation provides a different answer. When the teacher is ready to collect data, he or she uses the Plickers mobile app to scan the cards to see a bar graph of responses. In your teacher account on Plickers you can view and save all of the data that you collected from scanning your students' Plickers cards.

I will be sharing more ideas for using Google Forms in my Practical Ed Tech course Getting Ready for GAFE. That course starts on November 24th. 

See a New View of Earth Every Time You Open a New Chrome Tab

The Chrome Webstore is full of fun little applications that you can add to your browser. Earth View from Google Maps is a neat Chrome extension that I recently learned about on the Google Earth Blog. Earth View from Google Maps displays a new satellite image of the Earth every time you open a new tab in Chrome.

Applications for Education
Installing Earth View from Google Maps on the computers your students use could be a neat way to introduce them to different parts of the world. In a geography lesson the interesting satellite images that pop-up could be the prompts that you have students use to start a small investigation into a new-to-them place in the world.

Virtual Tour of a Sailing Canoe and Lessons on Navigation

Exploratorium is one of my favorite places to find short educational activities that can be conducted online and offline. Over the weekend I browsed Exploratorium's list of activities and found a neat virtual tour of a Polynesian canoe. The virtual tour is more than just a look at a canoe.

In addition to touring the canoe, students will find information about its history and construction. Students viewing the tour will also find information about navigation at sea. In the section on navigation students can learn about wayfinding methods.

Applications for Education
While the virtual tour of a Polynesian canoe is interesting, my favorite aspect of the tour is the section on navigation. The navigation section will help students understand how people navigated at sea before GPS and cell phones were available.

How to Create a Multimedia Timeline

A few weeks ago I published a short list of good tools for creating multimedia timelines. My favorite tool on that list is Timeline JS. In the video embedded below I provide a short demonstration of how to create a multimedia timeline on Timeline JS.

The New Google Drive Empowers Language Learners

This is a guest post from Jennifer Carey (@TeacherJenCarey) of EdTechTeacher - an advertiser on this site.

Recently, while demonstrating to a Spanish class how to use Google Drive, I also showed them how to change the overall text to Spanish. By doing this, autocorrect would stop trying to change their text, and they would no longer have that annoying red line appearing under their writing. I then reminded them to switch the language back to English when they returned to working on other classes. A student (7th grader) quickly shot up his hand and taught me something new today about Google Docs.

With the New Drive, not only can you now set your overall language, but you can also include a subset of languages that you understand. This is a great tool for students taking foreign language classes. A first year Spanish student, for example, can easily get confused when their menus switch to Spanish as a result of changing the primary language in Drive. That’s no longer an issue if Spanish is added as an additional language rather than the primary one!

The addition of more languages is easy. While in the New Drive,  click on Settings (the gear shaped icon in the top right corner) and then select “Settings:” Screen Shot 2014-10-29 at 2.21.59 PM

 Under “General” select Change language settings next to “Language:”

  Screen Shot 2014-10-29 at 2.22.06 PM

Next, click on Select languages next to “Other languages you understand.”

  Screen Shot 2014-10-29 at 2.22.21 PM 

Once the pop-up window appears,  check the box(es) next to all language(s) that you understand.

  Screen Shot 2014-10-29 at 2.22.26 PM

By doing this, you enable the features of the other languages without changing the overall language of Google Drive. It’s a great new feature to support language students in Drive!

Looking to learn more great Google and language tricks? EdTechTeacher ran a great Back to School with Google webinar in September and has a full set of app recommendations for language classrooms.

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