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Friday, January 29, 2021

Dotstorming Gets an Updated Look and Easier Navigation

Dotstorming is a multimedia collage tool that has some neat voting and discussion features built into as well. I used it for a few years but haven't written about it since 2018. This morning I got an email from the developer of Dotstorming. The email announced a brand new look which includes an improved user interface.

Functionally, Dotstorming is the same as it ever was in terms of functionality. You can still create a collaborative board where you and your students can add notes and pictures. Dotstorming still lets you have chats on shared boards and still lets you vote for your favorite note or image added to your collaborative board. What's changed is that it's now much more obvious where to click to create boards, to create notes, to vote, and to chat. Previously, most of those features were "hidden" in drop-down menus. 

Dotstorming still provides teachers with tools to disable chat and or voting. It's possible to disable chat while still having the voting function turned on. 

Applications for Education
The value of Dotstorming in an online or in-person classroom is that it allows you to gather ideas or answers to a problem from your students and then have your students vote for the favorite idea or answer. Those vote totals can then be the basis for discussions with the whole class or in small groups.

ICYMI - Two Ed Tech Guys Take Questions - Episode 30

Last week Rushton Hurley and I hosted the first 2021 episode of Two Ed Tech Guys Take Questions and Share Cool Stuff (we're seeking suggestions for a better name). In case you missed it, the recording and slides are now available to view here or as embedded below. 

Some of the highlights from episode 30 of Two Ed Tech Guys Take Questions and Share Cool Stuff include:

  • How to help students find "lost" items in Google Classroom. 
  • The answer to the "what's the most common question you get?"
  • Adding voice comments to Google Classroom and Google Docs. 
  • A DIY document camera.  
We're hosting the next episode on February 18th at 4pm ET/ 1pm PT. You can register here to join us

A Good Video Series for Introducing Arduino

Earlier this week I shared how I used Tinkercad to introduce my students to key concepts in Arduino design and programming. One of the supplementary materials that I posted in Google Classroom for that course is a series of introductory videos produced by Bob at I Like to Make Stuff

In a three-part series he covers the big, basic concepts of programming in general before moving into the specifics of Arduino programming. The final video in the series puts everything together for viewers. And if you're wondering what an Arduino is, Bob has that covered too.

Part I



Part II



Part III