Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Now You and Your Students Can Create Quizzes in Kahoot's Mobile App

Kahoot has released a major update to their free mobile apps. As of this morning you can now create a Kahoot game within the free app. The app also lets you distribute games to be played in your classroom or as "challenges" for students to play at home. More importantly, now students can create games in the Kahoot mobile apps!

Creating a game in the Kahoot mobile app is a fairly straight-forward process. In fact, the process is nearly identical to the process used in the browser-based version of Kahoot. Open the app, select "create," and title your game. You can add a cover image to your game's title page. Creating each question in your game is just a matter of writing the question then writing the answer choices. Just like in the browser-based version of Kahoot, in the mobile app you can include pictures or videos in your questions. Watch the following video for an overview of the game creation process in Kahoot's mobile app.

Applications for Education
I'm excited about this update to Kahoot's mobile app because it lets kids show what they know and what they think is important about a topic through the process of making and sharing their own games. Rather than just playing the games that you make, your students can make a game that features what they think is important about a topic. In doing that they are showing you how they interpret a topic. One of Kahoot's co-founders talks about that idea in the following video.

An Easy Speech-to-Text Option for Word, OneNote, and PowerPoint

Word, OneNote, and PowerPoint users have a new speech-to-text option. A new dictation option has been added to Office 365. The dictation tool will transcribe your spoken words into text on your screen.

This afternoon I tried the dictation option in both Word and PowerPoint on my desktop. It is easy to use and accurate as long as you speak clearly. Your text will appear wherever your cursor is placed so make sure to move your cursor if you want to place text in different boxes on a slide. Text appears in your default font style unless you change it before dictating. It's important to note that the new dictation tool doesn't yet work in the online versions of Word and OneNote. Microsoft says that dictation will be available in the online versions later this year.

Adverbs, Themes, and Labels - New Immersive Reader Features

Immersive Reader is a free add-in for Word, OneNote, Outlook, and Edge enables students to have articles read aloud to them at pace that meets their needs. Additionally, Immersive Reader will identify individual syllables, highlight each word as it is read, and identify parts of speech for students. It has become my go-to recommendation whenever I'm asked to recommend an accessibility tool that has either text-to-speech capabilities or readability enhancement capabilities.

This week Microsoft added three more options to Immersive Reader. First, Immersive Reader will now highlight adverbs. You can activate this option in the "parts of speech" menu in Immersive Reader. Second, there are new color palette choices in Immersive Reader. This gives users more control over contrast and text visibility. The third new option is the ability to have parts of speech labels displayed in Immersive Reader. These labels are in addition to the color-coding that is already in place for parts of speech highlighting.

These new Immersive Reader options are available in Word Online, OneNote Online, OneNote for Windows 10, OneNote for iPad, OneNote for Mac, and Outlook in the Web. Immersive Reader is a part of Microsoft's Learning Tools.

Crayon - Super Simple Collaborative Whiteboard

Update: May 2020. This tool is no longer available.

Crayon is a new service in the collaborative whiteboard market. You can use Crayon without creating an account. To make a collaborative whiteboard just go to the Crayon site, enter your name, and enter a name for your whiteboard space. With your whiteboard open copy its URL and send it to the people you want to collaborate with you.

Crayon doesn't offer anything other than a whiteboard on which you can draw. There isn't any kind of chat option so there is the potential for you to write over your collaborators if you're not already talking via Skype, phone, or Google Hangouts at the same time.

I'm not ready to recommend Crayon in place of other online whiteboard options, but I do like its simplicity and its potential. Crayon is still in an "alpha" phase so there should be more features coming in the future.

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