Monday, August 12, 2013

Socrative 2.0 Is Coming In September

Earlier this month it was announced that Socrative had received a sizable investment. Part of that announcement included hints of what is to come from Socrative. Today, Socrative announced what a few of those features will be when Socrative 2.0 is released to everyone in September.

Socrative 2.0 will give students the option to work on questions in any order that they like when they are completing student-paced activities.

Socrative 2.0 will include the option to assign Common Core Standards tags to all of the assessments that you create.

Applications for Education
Socrative replaces the need for expensive "clicker" feedback systems. Socrative works on any device that has an Internet connection. Students sign into a virtual classroom in which you can post questions and they can reply either anonymously or with their names depending upon how you want to use the service.

What Would You Do If You Knew You Could Not Fail?

What would you do if you knew you could not fail? That is the question posed in a doodle/ poster that was featured on Richard Branson's blog today. The image is posted below and you watch the accompanying video on Branson's blog. With the exception of one line that may not be appropriate for students below high school / college, the poster provides some good thoughts about leveraging failure.
Source http://www.virgin.com/richard-branson/failure-as-a-tool

Applications for Education
As we start the new school year this is good time to think about how we can take risks and how we can encourage students to take risks. Without taking a risk and being willing to fail and move forward, we can't move forward in our teaching and learning. To tie this to educational technology, one of the patterns that I see in schools is teachers who try to use technology once and it doesn't go as they hoped so they default back to the safe and old methods. Use opportunities like that to enlist the help of students and or colleagues and learn together to make the experience better the next time around.

A Quick Tip About Editing In Apple's Pages

I’ve been working on a rather large (currently 60+ pages) document all summer. Because it is an image-heavy document and because I like the templates that are available, I have been using Apple’s Pages to create this document. The problem I was having with the document for a while was that every time I tried to expand a section of the document and insert a new image, two, three, or ten other pages had elements shift on them too.

I shared this frustration with my friend Katrina Talley at Pearson OLE a few weeks ago. Katrina is also working on a similar document and was having the same problem. After commiserating for a while we started to explore various settings to see if we could alleviate our shared frustration. What we discovered was that rather than simply letting Pages expand our documents and automatically insert new pages when we added new text or images, it was better to simply manually insert a new page. By manually inserting new pages rather than allowing Pages to insert them for us, we found that each page can be edited individually without affecting the formatting of other pages in that section.

Perhaps this is old news, but I’m going to hazard a guess that there are others who have struggleed with the same problem Katrina and I had. Hopefully, this little tip helps those of you who have experienced the frustration with Pages that I experienced.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

100+ Tips for New Teachers and Good Reminders for Veteran Teachers

In 2011 and 2012 I asked readers to share their best tips for new teachers. I compiled all of the tips that were submitted and put them into a Google Slides presentation. I was reminded of this today when I received a couple of requests to share the slides again. The deck of slides is embedded below. I've made the slide deck public for anyone who has a Google Account to edit. Please make a copy and add your own tips if you feel inclined to do so.


Saturday, August 10, 2013

21 ClassDojo Tutorial Videos

Earlier this week I shared some information about ClassDojo's iPad mini and Nexus 7 contest. That post resulted in a few people emailing me with questions about ClassDojo in general and questions about how to use it. ClassDojo's YouTube channel contains video tutorials for just about everything you can and might want to do with your ClassDojo account.

At this time of year you're probably getting students and parents into the habit of checking-in to monitor their records. To help students and parents understand how to do that you might want to share the following ClassDojo video about entering student codes into ClassDojo.


Class rosters are often in flux at this time of year. If you need to know how to add students to a class in ClassDojo, watch the video below.


Check the ClassDojo YouTube channel for nineteen more helpful tutorial videos.