Tuesday, September 10, 2013

pH and pOH - A Crash Course in Chemistry

This week Hank and John Green added the thirtieth episode to their chemistry Crash Course series. The latest episode is all about pH. Students will learn what pH is and how to calculate it. Like all Crash Course videos your students will probably have to watch the video twice or rewind the section on calculation to catch it all. The video is embedded below.

Applications for Education
The next time your students are in need of some chemistry review materials to watch online, they might want to visit the Crash Course Chemistry series from Hank and John Green.

Create Digital Portfolios On eduClipper

eduClipper, the popular bookmarking tool for teachers and students, has just released a great new feature. Students can now create digital portfolios on eduClipper.

The new eduClipper portfolio tool allows students to create portfolios of things they have clipped (AKA bookmarked) online, things they have stored in their Google Drive accounts, content they've created on services like Prezi and Animoto, and files they have stored on their computers. eduClipper portfolios use the same visual interface that students and teachers use when bookmarking things in eduClipper. Students can re-arrange elements in their portfolios by simply dragging and dropping them into position on their portfolio canvasses. Watch the video below to see the eduClipper portfolio tools in action.

Getting Started with eduClipper Presentation Portfolios from AdamBellow on Vimeo.

The best part of eduClipper, and why I think that teachers will love it, is that you can create class boards to share with your students and they can share boards with you. As a teacher you can create classes in your eduClipper account. When you create a class you will be given an access code that your students can use to join your class. Alternatively, you can directly add students to your class boards through your eduClipper account. As the teacher you have complete control over the content that is shared and the comments written on each board.

If you are an Edmodo user you can add eduClipper to your account and those of your students.

Disclosure: I have a very very small equity stake in eduClipper. 

Monday, September 9, 2013

How to Insert Videos Into Google Forms

Not less than ten minutes after I completed my guide to Creating and Grading Quizzes With Google Forms Google released a major update to Google Forms.

There were actually four new features added to Google Forms this afternoon. The best new feature is that you can now create Google Forms that include videos.

The other updates include data verification which allows you to require people to prove that they're human before submitting a form, an option to display a custom message when you stop accepting form responses, and a progress meter for people to view as they complete your form. I've included directions for these new features in the screenshots below.

Inserting Videos into questions: This could be a great way to enhance a flipped lesson. 
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Click image to view full size. 

Data verification AKA the "are you human?" test.
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Form closed message.
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A Short Guide to Creating and Grading Quizzes Through Google Forms

One of the things that I always do in my Google Apps workshops and webinars is teach people how to create self-grading quizzes through Google Forms and Spreadsheets. Depending upon the pace of the group we'll often look at creating image-based and multiple page quizzes too. I've recently put all of the screenshots of those processes into one PDF. You can view the PDF below. (If you are viewing this on an iPad, you might not be able to see the guide).

This PDF is not available for download at this time. My current Google Apps guides including this one are available as free downloads to people participating in my workshops and webinars. Please see my work with me page for information about my workshops. Please visit PracticalEdTech.com for information about my webinars. 

How to Use Google Maps Engine Lite - A Short Video Tutorial

Google Maps was updated earlier this year (if you're logged in with a Google Apps for Education account you may still the old version). The update was more than just a facelift for the browsing and search experience. The update included a switch to Maps Engine Lite for people who want to make their own maps. While you can still use the old version if you want to (open the settings menu and select "classic" maps) it is probably just a matter of time until everyone has to use Maps Engine Lite to create maps on Google Maps.

Creating maps through the new Maps Engine Lite is a different process than the process used for creating maps in "classic" Google Maps. If you want to try your hand at creating a map with Maps Engine Lite, Bradley Lands has put together a nice tutorial to help you get started. That tutorial is embedded in the video below.

Maps Engine Lite allows you to go beyond manually adding placemarks to your Google Maps by uploading a spreadsheet of locations that will be displayed on your map. You can import up to three spreadsheets per map. You can also draw custom lines and shapes on your maps. Like any other Google Map you can invite others to collaborate with you. You can share your map by embedding it into a website. Google Earth Outreach offers a detailed tutorial on how to use the new Maps Engine Lite.

Applications for Education
Maps Engine Lite could be a great tool to use to introduce students to using GIS to interpret data and make decisions based on that data. Here's one way that I might use Maps Engine Lite with students in my area. I could create data sets about ice thickness on a set of area ponds, create a data set about average weekly high temperatures in those areas, import that data into the map and ask students to make predictions as to when the ponds will be ice-free.