Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Searching the Deep Web as Explained by Common Craft

When students conduct research on a public search engine like Google or Bing they are only scratching the surface of what could be found on the Internet. The rest of what students could find is in what's often called the "deep web" or the "hidden web." The latest addition to the Common Craft library explains what the deep web is and how students can access resources from it for free. The Deep Web Explained is embedded below.

PingPong - Collect Sketches & Written Feedback from Students

PingPong is a student response system that I recently learned about from Danny Nicholson. Like many similar systems PingPong provides you with a free and easy way to collect feedback from students in the forms of multiple choice, true/false, and short answer questions. PingPong also lets you collect sketches from students which is a great way to have students illustrate solutions to mathematics problems or to submit diagrams to answer a question.

To start an activity on PingPong you need to create an account, but your students do not have to create accounts. Once you've created a PingPong account you can begin an activity by clicking "start PingPong" in your admin panel. Then select the type of activity that you want to run. You can run a multiple choice, true/false, short answer, or image response activity. Image response will let students draw a response to your prompt.

Students participate in your PingPong activity by going to then selecting guest and entering your room code. You can choose your own room code or use the default code that is assigned to you. Your room code is the same for all of the activities that you conduct. That could be helpful feature because once you've run a few activities your students should get the in the habit of using the same room code over and over. You could also post your PingPong room code on a board in your classroom.

Applications for Education
All PingPong activities are single question/ single prompt activities. The single question nature of PingPong makes it good for conducting a quick survey of your students' knowledge of a single concept before or after a lesson. The drawing feature makes PingPong a good option for asking questions that aren't easily answered with a typed response. PingPong offers free Android and iPad apps which make it easier than using a mouse or touch pad for students when they sketch responses to your questions.

Page Level Permissions & File Cabinets in Google Sites

On Tuesday morning I shared directions for using DropItToMe to collect files from students and have them automatically appear in a designated Google Drive, Dropbox, or OneNote folder. I shared those directions as part of an answer on how to collect pictures from students to use in a big project like a yearbook. Another way that you can accomplish the same thing is to create a file cabinet page in Google Sites and let students add files to it. You can set page-level permissions in Google Sites to make sure that students only upload files to the pages that you have designated for collecting images. The directions below show you how to create a file cabinet page in Google Sites and how to set page-level permissions.

Creating a file cabinet:

Click image to view in full size. 
Click image to view in full size. 
Click image to view in full size. 

Setting page-level permissions:

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