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Wednesday, June 6, 2018

New Layout Controls in Google Slides

Back in April Google added some handy rulers and guides to Google Slides. Those tools make it a little easier to ensure that elements on your slides are aligned as you want to be. Today, Google introduced another little tool that will help you make your slides look a little better.

Google Slides now gives you the option to set numeric values for the size of objects in your slides. For example, you can specify that you want an object to appear to be 5.5" x 3.5." To do this you will be able to do this from the Format drop-down menu or by right-clicking on an object in your slide to open the Format menu.

As with most updates to G Suite products, the new slides layout controls will be rolled out over the course of a few weeks. If you don't see the new options today, you will see them before too long.

Is your school making the switch to G Suite for Education next fall? If so, my G Suite for Teachers course will get you up to speed on what you need to know to hit the ground running in the fall. 

Join Me Tomorrow for an Introduction to Using AR & VR in School

Thursday at 4pm ET I am hosting a Practical Ed Tech webinar all about using augmented reality and virtual reality in your classroom.

In Introduction to VR & AR in Your Classroom you'll learn the difference between AR and VR, how to find AR and VR experiences to use in your classroom, and how to make your won VR and AR experiences. We'll also take a look at some research on the effectiveness of using AR and VR in classrooms.

Click here to register for Introduction to VR & AR in Your Classroom. It will be recorded for those who register but cannot attend the live webinar. The recording will be sent to you within 12 hours of the live webinar's conclusion.

Quizalize Introduces New Differentiation Tools

Quizalize is an excellent platform through which you can create and distribute online quiz games. Your students can play the games as a group in your classroom much like Socrative or Kahoot. You can also have your students play the games at home. In fact, Quizalize offered the "play at home" option long before Kahoot did.

Earlier this year Quizalize added some features that gave you insight into how your students are doing on the games in realtime and after the game is over. Today, Quizalize introduced a new feature that builds upon those insights.

Quizalize now lets you give assignments and practice activities to students based upon how they performed during a quiz game. For example, you can specify that any student who answers less than 75% of the questions correctly has to watch a video or read a review sheet. This new differentiation feature isn't limited to just one score trigger. You can specify that students scoring 50-60% receive one type of review activity and students scoring 60-75% receive a different review activity.
Applications for Education
I think this new differentiation feature pushes Quizalize to the top of the heap in the category of quiz game platforms. Your students still get the fun of the review game and you get the benefit of the insights and the option to immediately provide your students with the kind of review materials that they need.

Microsoft Adds New OneNote and Teams Features for Teachers and Students

This week Microsoft announced a handful of new OneNote and Teams features. These new features were all developed for the purpose of improving collaboration and transparency.

Rubrics in Teams 
Back in February Microsoft acquired Chalkup. One of Chalkup's primary services was to provide a platform for creating, sharing, using rubrics to grade assignments online. Chalkup's capabilities are now found in Microsoft Teams. Microsoft Teams now lets use rubrics to grade assignments. Students can see the rubrics used for grading an assignment before and after completing an assignment. Read more about rubrics in Teams right here.

OneNote Class Notebook Page Locking
Page locking in OneNote Class Notebooks will let you lock an individual page within a notebook. You can also lock a page as read-only after giving a student feedback on a page. As usual, the location of these setting options varies between versions of OneNote Class Notebooks. You can find the directions for each supported version here.

Team Join Codes
In an effort to make it easier to have people join a team you can now share a join code. A similar feature is available in Google Classroom. That feature is quite popular and I think the Microsoft Teams join code feature will be popular too.