Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Google Calendar Reminders Coming Soon to a Browser Near You

The Google Calendar Android and iOS apps have offered task reminder alerts for quite a while now. I certainly appreciate most of the reminders that pop-up on my phone. But I don't always have my phone next to me or have audible alerts turned on when I'm working on my computer. That forces me to look in my email for my task reminders or use Hashtag ToDo to add and see reminders in my web browser. Fortunately, Google announced today that over the next couple of weeks Google will be rolling-out a reminders feature in the browser-based version of Google Calendar.

The new reminders option in Google Calendar will let you create task reminders within the browser-based version of Google Calendar. Reminder tasks that you don't complete on a given day will automatically forward to the next day until you complete the task. 

Applications for Education
For students in school districts that are using Google Apps for Education, this new Calendar feature could provide a good way to keep track of homework assignments for each of their classes. 

How to Clip and Share a Portion of a YouTube Video

Online videos can be quite useful for reiterating a lesson to your students, for inspiring thought and conversation, and for introducing a new concept to your students. The struggle we have sometimes is finding a video that gets to the point quickly. And sometimes we don't need students to watch all of a TED Talk or other lecture in order to get them thinking about a concept. That's when a tool for sharing a portion of a video is handy to have. In the video embedded below I demonstrate how to use TubeChop to clip and share a portion of a YouTube video.

ClassDojo Presents a New Series of Videos on Growth Mindset

A few months ago ClassDojo published a series of videos about growth mindset. Those video, produced in association with Stanford University’s Project for Education Research That Scales, were accompanied by discussion guides to use with students and their parents. The series proved to be popular so ClassDojo has announced the launch of a second series of videos and discussions about growth mindset.

The second Big Ideas series produced by ClassDojo continues with the theme of growth mindset. In the first episode of the new series we see the main characters Katie and Mojo tackle the problem of the "the dip." The video aims to teach students how to identify a "dip" and what to do about it. The video is embedded below. Discussion questions can be found in this PDF.

Applications for Education
ClassDojo's Big Ideas video series can be used in any K-12 classroom. The discussion guides that accompany each episode are suitable for K-6 students. When you download the discussion guide (PDF) you will also download a sheet of "tear away" questions that you can send home with your students to discuss with their parents.

For resources to use with older students, take a look at the Mindset Kit produced by PERTS at Stanford University.

Earn PD Hours and Graduate Credit While Learning About Google Apps

Starting tonight and throughout the next few months I will be teaching three sections my online course Getting Going With GAFE. This five week course is designed to help teachers, teacher-librarians, and school administrators learn best practices for using Google Apps for Education. Through my partnership with the Midwest Teachers Institute you can earn three graduate credits for completing the course. The next class begins tonight at 7pm Eastern Time. There is still some space available.

Getting Going With GAFE is a five week course covering everything you need to know to integrate Google Drive, Google Classroom, Google Calendar, and Google Sites into your practice. The Midwest Teachers Institute offers more information about the course and graduate credit options.

Spring section I: April 5th, 12th, 19th, 26th, and May 3rd at 7pm Eastern Time.
Register for the April session.

Spring section II: May 10th, 17th, 24th, 31st, and June 7th at 7pm Eastern Time.
Register for the May session.

Summer section: July 5th, 12th, 19th, 26th, and August 2nd at 7pm Eastern Time.
Register for the July session.

Learn more about the course and the graduate credit options.

Poetica is Shutting Down - Try These Alternatives for Delivering Document Feedback

When it launched in 2014, I raved about Poetica's capacity to help you give feedback on digital documents in a manner very similar to writing on paper. Unfortunately, this week the Poetica team announced that they've been acquired by another company. At the end of May the service will close entirely.

Poetica was great because it allowed you to write comments in the margins of a document and have them directly attached and or inserted into document. A couple of alternative services that perform similar functions are Kaizena, Annotation Studio, and JoeZoo Express. 

Kaizena is a Google Docs Add-on that allows you to add voice comments and written comments to Google Documents. 

Annotation Studio is a platform on which you can create a classroom in which you share documents. You can create documents from scratch by using the Annotation Studio text editor or you can import a Word document or a PDF. Once you have created a document you can share it with your class or you can make it public for anyone to comment on. The best aspect of Annotation Studio is that every annotation you add to a document can include videos, pictures, text, and hyperlinks.

JoeZoo Express enables you to give feedback on students' Google Documents by simply highlighting text then selecting feedback statements from a huge menu of options. For example, in my sample document I highlighted text then chose the category of "structure" within the structure category I then chose to tag the sentence with the comment "awkward." When a student sees the feedback he or she will also see an explanation of "awkward" and how he or she can fix it.