Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Five Comic and Storyboard Activities With Pixton EDU

Disclosure: Pixton EDU is currently an advertiser on FreeTech4Teachers.com

Online comic creation tools like Pixton EDU make it possible for almost anyone to create great-looking comics and storyboards without having to be a master artist. Creating comics and storyboards with online tools like Pixton EDU is a good way for students to share creative ideas, to illustrate concepts, and to show their understanding of events. Those are just a few of the ways that students can use Pixton EDU. As we head into the summer (in the northern hemisphere) and as we get requests from parents for at-home learning activities, here are five ideas to consider sharing.

Create Your Own Coloring Pages
Use the premade settings, objects, and characters to design scenes in Pixton EDU. When you’re done you can use them with the standard color schemes. But if you want to make coloring pages from your story’s scenes, you can print the scenes as black and white outlines to be colored by hand. Pixton EDU has a feature that lets you remove the colors and leave just the outline.

Create Your Own Digital Greeting Cards
We’re coming up on graduation season and Father’s Day. Many kids find enjoyment in making their own cards instead of just affixing their signatures to a store-bought card. Utilize some of the content packs in Pixton EDU to create a digital card. There’s even a content pack for Father’s Day.

Develop Fan Fiction
Rather than writing another book report, have students write an alternate ending to a favorite book. Pixton EDU has some content packs about books that are commonly taught in elementary school and middle school. But you don’t have to limit your students to those books as the tools in Pixton EDU could be used to create a fan fiction piece for just about any story.

Make Animal Stories
My kids, like many kids their age, love to watch baby animals. And now that spring is here (for those of us north of the equator) baby animals like ducklings, goslings, calves, and fawns may be spotted by curious kids. Capitalize on that curiosity and encourage kids to create stories about the animals they see. Pixton EDU has some animal content packs that can help students develop those stories.

Pitch a Product
Do you have a middle school or high school student who enjoys watching Shark Tank or Dragons’ Den? If so, encourage them to craft a pitch for their own products or services. Pixton EDU has presentation content packs. Utilize the idea of Dan Roam’s Back of the Napkin books and have students create simple storyboards to explain their products or services. It just might be what launches the next million dollar app or at least a kid’s summer job.

Certify'em Adds Two Helpful Features for Sending Certificates When Students Complete Google Forms Quizzes

Certify'em is a Google Forms add-on that I've been using and recommending for a few years. Certify'em makes it easy to automatically send certificates to students when they get a minimum score on a quiz conducted with Google Forms. You can set the minimum passing score that triggers the delivery of the certificate. You can also choose to use a standard certificate template or use your own custom template. A complete overview of Certify'em is available here.

This week the developer of Certify'em, Dave Abouav, released added two new features to the add-on. Those new features are the option to resend certificates and the option to monitor use of your email quota.

Resending certificates in Certify'em will be useful when you've previously sent certificates but a student says he/she didn't receive it. With this option you can view the responses to a quiz that have been received over the previous 14 days then choose which student(s) you want to resend a certificate to.

The email quota monitor in Certify'em is a new feature to address a problem that many teachers never worried about until they had to transition to remote instruction and started using Gmail-based tools a lot more frequently. There is a limit to the number of emails that you can send through add-ons in a day. That number varies according to the type of Google account you have, but it generally ranges from 100 to 1500 emails per day. Certify'em's new email quota monitor lets you quickly view how many emails you can send on any given day.

Applications for Education
One of the ways that I use Certify'em is to offer certificates to people who complete an online workshop with me (like the upcoming Practical Ed Tech Virtual Summer Camp). Another way that I've used it is to give students certificates when they have successfully completed a lab protocols assessment.

Move Items from One Google Account to Another

It's that time of year again when some teachers will be leaving one school district for another. With that move comes the need to move your digital resources as well as your physical resources. I was reminded of this yesterday when I got an email from a reader who wanted to know how to move her files out of her school Google Drive and into another. I covered this in a video that I published last year. The video is still accurate so I've included it below.

On a related note, if you're moving from a G Suite environment to a Microsoft environment, here's a video on how to move your files into OneDrive.

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