Thursday, December 3, 2020

Write on PDFs in Google Classroom - Good Tool for Math

Earlier this week one of my colleagues asked me if there was a way that her students can do free-hand writing on documents that she shares in Google Classroom. She teaches mathematics and was looking for a better option to having students take pictures of handwritten work and uploading it to Google Classroom assignments. My suggestion was to have her students try using a Chrome extension called Lumin PDF.

Lumin PDF is a Chrome extension that enables students to draw on top of PDFs that you open in Chrome. After drawing on the PDF students can save the PDF as a new copy or replace the existing copy of the PDF that was sent to them in Google Classroom.

Here's my video overview of how students can use Lumin PDF to write on PDFs that are assigned to them in Google Classroom.

Twelve Free Apps for Math Instruction

Math Learning Center is a resource that I've shared in the past. The last time I wrote about it was a couple of years ago. Back then it offered ten free apps containing virtual manipulatives for math lessons. Since then MLC has expanded to offer twelve free apps. Ten of them are available for iOS, Android, and Chrome while two are currently Chrome-only. 

Math Learning Center apps are designed for teaching elementary school mathematics lessons. With the exception of the flashcards app, all of the Math Learning Center's free apps are designed to provide you and your students with virtual manipulatives. By the way, the flashcard app is available in English and Spanish.

Geoboard is one of the oldest and most popular apps offered by Math Learning Center. It is a good example of how all of the apps are intended to be used. Geoboard is a free app on which students stretch virtual rubber bands over pegboards to create lines and shapes to learn about perimeter, area, and angles. 

Applications for Education 
It is important to note that except for the flashcard app all of the Math Learning Center apps are really just virtual manipulatives designed to be used as a part of lesson plan not as stand-alone practice apps. You will need to provide your students with feedback when they are using these apps.