Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Timelines as Portfolios

Last month I featured some of my favorite tools for students to make digital portfolios and tools for students to use to create multimedia collages to celebrate the school year. One of the things that I forgot to mention last month was the idea of using multimedia timelines as a means to sharing growth throughout the school year.

The idea of creating a timeline to use as a digital portfolio is to have students show examples of growth throughout the school year. Students can add examples of their work from each month of the year. Here are the three tools that I would use in elementary school, middle school, and high school classrooms.

Elementary School - RWT Timeline Creator
Read Write Think's Timeline Creator is a good tool for students to use if you just want them to create timelines of things they learned during the school year. I would have them add an entry or two for every month of the school year. The entry doesn't have to be terribly detailed as I'm just looking at this activity as a reflection and summary activity. RWT's Timeline Creator does not require students to have an email address or register for an account.

Middle School - Sutori
Sutori is a timeline creation tool that I like because as a teacher you can create an online classroom in which you monitor your students' work. With a Sutori account you can build timelines in a vertical scroll format. The timeline can have videos, images, audio, and text in each event or date marker. Here's an example of a Sutori timeline being used as a digital portfolio.

High School - Timeline JS
Timeline JS is a great tool if your school is using G Suite for Education. Timeline JS creates a timeline based on entries made in a Google Spreadsheets template provide by Timeline JS. Your entries can include videos, images, text, and audio recordings. Take a look at this tutorial to learn how to use Timeline JS.

Sync Google Classroom Gradebook to Infinite Campus and Capita SIMS

Another of the announcements that Google made today concerning Google Classroom featured the news that a gradebook, formerly in beta, is now available for all domains.

I've had access to the gradebook feature in Google Classroom since shortly after its launch. While convenient, it wasn't something that I got too excited about because all grades still had to be moved into the student information system used by the school. That problem is about to be solved as Google announced a new beta program that will allow domain administrators to integrate the Google Classroom gradebook with Infinite Campus and Capita SIMS.

Learn more about the Google Classroom gradebook integration with Infinite Campus and Capita SIMS and apply for the beta here.

Create Rubrics in Google Classroom - Coming Soon!

Last year Google added a comment bank option to Google Classroom. That feature, demonstrated here, can save you a lot of time when giving your students feedback on their assignments. Today, Google announced another grading feature that teachers have wanted for years. That feature is the option to create and attached rubrics to assignments within Google Classroom.

Rubrics in Classroom is a beta feature for now. You have to apply to have the feature added to your account. Teachers and domain administrators can apply for the beta here. I applied for it. As I went through the short application it appeared that priority access may be given to teachers who can use the rubrics beta during the northern hemisphere's summer.

From Google's FAQ sheet about the beta and the support pages that have been created, it appears that you must create the rubric as part of an assignment. In other words, you can't create a rubric template and then attach it to multiple assignments. Students will be able to see the rubrics with they look at their assignments in Google Classroom. You can view the rubric while viewing a student's assignment. To give a grade you will select a score from each part of the rubric that you created. You can have up to ten criterion in your rubric with up to ten performance levels for each. I couldn't tell from the FAQ sheet or the support pages if it is possible to provide written comments along with checking-off scores in the rubric.

If you want to try to get beta access to the rubrics in Google Classroom feature, complete the application form that is available here.

Create a Rubric in Google Sheets
Don't forget that you can create a rubric that lets you email scores and comments to students through Google Sheets. Watch my video below to learn how to do that.