Friday, October 13, 2017

Five Great Add-ons for Google Forms

Google Forms are one of the most flexible of all of the tools in G Suite for Education. There are countless ways Forms can be used by teachers and students. There are a number of add-ons that can be used with Google Forms which can make them even better.

Before we begin exploring a variety of add-ons, let's take a look at where you can find add-ons. When you are in Forms, click the hamburger menu which is the three vertical dots on the upper right side of the screen. Select Add-ons from the menu. A selection of add-ons will open up. Once you install an add-on you will be able to access it by clicking the puzzle piece icon on the toolbar in Forms.

  • Simply Send- Easily send the results of a Form to a list of people that you specify.
  • formRecycler- Reuse questions from other Google Forms.
  • formRanger- Allows you to populate multiple choice, list, checkbox, and grid options from columns in any Sheet or Doctopus roster.
  • Advanced Summary- Generate charts and filters based on a Google Form response.
  • Form Values- Store and use selections for multiple choice, list, and checkbox questions that you find yourself using over and over again. 

Read about more popular Forms add-ons.

Next Week is Free Webinar Week!

Next week I am hosting three free professional development webinars. I hope that you can join me for one, two, or all three of them.

Help Kids Discover New Information
On Tuesday at 4pm ET I am hosting 7 Ways to Help Kids Discover and Analyze New Information. In the webinar you will learn how to help students form better search phrases, how to help kids analyze the resources they find, and how to collaborate on research. You'll also discover how online resources like webs and mind maps can lead students to information that they might not otherwise connect to their original search queries. Register here. (This webinar is sponsored by Kids Discover).

Understanding Copyright
On Tuesday evening at 7pm ET Beth Holland and I are presenting Copyright for Teachers. Some of what we'll cover in this webinar includes why teachers should care about copyright, common misconceptions about Fair Use, and how to find copyright-friendly media. Please join us to learn about this important topic that anyone re-using media from the Internet should understand. (This webinar isn't sponsored by anyone other than me and Beth and our passion for the topic).

Augmented Reality in Education
On Thursday afternoon at 4pm ET I will be hosting The Past, Present, and Future of Augmented Reality in Education. In this webinar you can learn what AR (augmented reality) is and how it is different from VR (virtual reality) and how AR has been and is being used in classrooms. Finally, we'll look at how you and your students can create augmented reality apps even if you have never coded before. Click here to register. (This webinar is sponsored by Metaverse). 

Each webinar will be recorded. If you cannot attend the live session, you will be able to see the recording posted on my YouTube channel the next day.

Turquoise Mountain: Preserving Traditional Afghan Crafts

Turquoise Mountain is a non-profit organization that was founded by the Prince of Wales and the former president of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai. The Turquoise Mountain Institute, located in Kabul, Afghanistan, has helped transform this war-ravaged city and preserve its rich cultural heritage. Artisans learn a variety of crafts including woodworking, carpet making, ceramics, calligraphy, and jewelry making. The teaching staff at Turquoise Mountain employs some of the most skilled artisans in Afghanistan who pass along their skills to the next generation. This method of learning was nearly lost due to decades of civil war. The Turquoise Mountain Institute has played a critical role in making sure skills and knowledge of these crafts are not lost forever.

In addition to working with artisans in Afghanistan, Turquoise Mountain also helps works with Myanmar and Saudi Arabia. This organization also helps rebuild and preserve historic structures and they provide educational and health care services.

Applications for Education
Teachers can use this site to help students understand Afghan culture. The short videos produced by Turquoise Mountain illustrate the importance of passing on traditions from one generation to generation. This website can also be used by teachers looking for an example of the power of community.

This video will give you a better idea about what happens at the Turquoise Mountain Institute.

Turquoise Mountain Institute from Turquoise Mountain on Vimeo.

Enhance Your Google Classroom Experience

Google Classroom is a blended learning solution that was introduced by Google in 2012 and it is one of only two products that Google has created specifically for education. It's purpose is to provide teachers with a simple way to collect,distribute, and grade assignments. Like all Google products, Classroom is constantly evolving and improving.

Let's take a look at some apps and extensions that make Google Classroom even better.
  • Share to Classroom- This extension allows teachers to push any website to their students and have it open for them in a new tab. This would be useful if you want to get all of the students to the same place quickly. 
  • Classroom Split- This extension makes Google Classroom easier for students to use. It will split their screen even so they can have their directions on one side of the screen and their work on the other side. It is similar to Tab Scissors, but it works inside of Classroom. 
  • Google Classroom App- This app allows you to have instant access to Google Classroom from your phone making it easy to do things like post assignments, ask questions, and interact with students. 
  • Whisper- This app is undergoing some upgrades so it is not working right now, but I wanted to include it because it will be incredibly useful once it is ready to go. It will allow you to quietly send messages to the entire class or to just one student. This is perfect for those times when you need to send make an announcement to the class, but everyone is working quietly and you don't want to disturb them. I will provide an update once Whisper is ready to go.

Anchor - A Good Alternative to AudioBoom is a free podcasting service that I started using about ten months ago. It has steadily added features throughout the year. If you find yourself looking for a replacement for AudioBoom which this week announced the removal of all free accounts, is a service that you should try.

Here are some highlights of

  • Record by simply holding down the record button the Android or iOS app. 
  • Publish recordings to your Anchor channel or publish directly to iTunes or Google Play. Learn how in this video
  • Have your spoken words automatically transcribed and displayed in a video suitable for posting on YouTube, Facebook, or Twitter. See a demonstration in this video
  • Import audio from other sources to use as bumper music. 
  • A "call in" feature lets users speak responses to your podcast (if it is published on an Anchor channel). 
You can find some other alternatives to AudioBoom in this post that I published on Monday.