Thursday, October 5, 2017

How to Create a Conversational Poll

Acquainted is a neat polling service that I wrote about earlier this week. I described it as a conversational polling service because you can program responses to appear based on the response choices someone make on your poll. That description might have confused some folks as I have received a bunch of questions about how the Acquainted system works. In the following video I demonstrate how to create a poll on Acquainted and show what the poll looks like to a student.

Applications for Education
As I mentioned earlier this week, in addition to polling Acquainted could be used as a mini tutoring service when added to your classroom website. You could build a series of questions for your students to respond to and get feedback that is programmed by you. You could build responses that provide explanations of why an answer is correct or incorrect. Your responses might even include a link to further explanations.

Meet Google Pixel Buds

Pixel Buds, one of Google's latest pieces of hardware, were unveiled yesterday at an event in San Francisco. These wireless earbuds will work with any phone, but provide the best experience when paired with a Pixel phone. When used with a Pixel, the user has full access to Google Assistant through touch sensors located on the earbud. You can control the volume as well as play and pause music. You can also access Google Assistant to send texts and ask for direction, all without removing the device from your pocket. The Pixel Buds will last for about 5 hours on one charge. 

The feature that caught my attention was the translation feature. When the Pixel Buds are paired with a Pixel, the user will have access to a new feature called automatic translation. The video below shows how this works. 

Pixel Buds are not cheap. A pair will set you back $159. There are other viable options for translating conversations. The Google Translate app and Skype Translator translate both text and speech and both options are free. 

Applications for Education
Apps and devices that help break down language barriers have the potential to allow students to learn from more people than ever before. They truly help flatten the world by removing barriers to communication.  

Goosechase Scavenger Hunt

GoosechaseEdu is an app that combines the excitement of a scavenger hunt with mobile technology. Games consist of a series of missions that are completed by individuals or teams.

Once you create an account, you can opt to use games from the game library or you can design your own missions. Once your game is ready you will share the link with the participants. Participants need to download the app which works on both Android and iOS devices and have a Goosechase account. Points are earned for completing missions which requires participants to either submit a photo, answer with text, or check into a specified location. Missions might require participants to complete an action such as solving a math problem and uploading it or finding the area of the Louisiana Purchase and submit the correct answer. The game organizer sets a time limit and the team with the most points when time is up wins.

Applications for Education
Goosechase is great for team building for both students and adults. Since games are customizable, they can be used for introducing new material or reviewing for a test. Goosechase is good for field trips as well.

ClassFlow: Creating Interactive Digital Lessons

ClassFlow is a free lesson delivery application that is used by over 125,000 institutions around the world. It helps teachers design interactive and engaging lessons. Teachers can create lessons from scratch or find free and low cost lessons that are already made in the marketplace.

To get started, you will need to set up a free account. Then you will either set up new classes manually or import them from Google Classroom. ClassFlow has an app called ClassFlow Moments that is specifically designed to keep parents in the loop. As a teacher you have many options for what you can include in your classes including:
  • Interactive Whiteboard- Draw freehand or insert text and shapes.
  • Quick Poll- Select from eight types of questions including multiple choice, true/false, essay, and creative response.
  • New Lesson- Create one or more cards that contain text, pictures, and shapes.
  • New Activity- Categorize items, crossword puzzle, flashcards, labeling diagrams, matching, memory, sequencing, timelines, Venn diagrams, and word search.
  • Assessments- Build different types questions to check for understanding including, multiple choice, true/false, short answer, essay, and creative response.
You can learn more about ClassFlow by watching the overview below or by visiting their YouTube channel.

Applications for Education 
This entire app is designed to be used in classrooms and can be used with students at all grade levels. I think one potential benefit would be for teachers to use ClassFlow when they are not physically present in the classroom. Resources and activities could all be housed in one place, making it easy for students and substitute teachers to access. Like many things in a classroom, this would take practice and repetition to make sure students were comfortable with it.

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