Monday, October 28, 2013

Form+ Adds More Flexibility to Your Google Forms

Google Forms has received some nice enhancements over the last few months. Still there are times when I've wished that Google Forms could do more. That's where Form+ comes into the picture. Form+ is a third party service that adds features to Google Forms. Probably the best aspect of Form+ is that through it you can create forms that can accept file uploads. Form+ offers pre-made form templates for you to use. You can also create your own form templates through Form+'s drag-and-drop interface.

Randy Rodgers shared a Form+ tutorial on Google+ earlier this month. I encourage you to watch his tutorial to see Form+ in action.


Applications for Education
If you have been looking to expand your use of Google Forms, Form+ might be the tool for you. Using the option to collect files through upload could be a good way to organize students' assignments. Simply create a form for each assignment and post it on your classroom blog to have all of the uploaded files go into a folder. Form+ has an upload form template ready for you to use and re-use as often as you like.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Packrati.us Lets You Tweet and Bookmark Simultaneously

One of the great things about Twitter is the wealth of links that teachers share with each other. Packrati.us is a service that makes it easy for you to bookmark your favorite links that you share and that others share with you on Twitter.

Packrati.us will bookmark any link that you share, any link in a Tweet that you favorite, or any link that is shared with you in an "@" reply. Packrati.us works with Delicious, Diigo, Instapaper, Pocket, Historius, and Pinboard (not to be confused with Pinterest). Once you've authorized Packrati.us to work with one of your bookmarking services, you're ready to start bookmarking while you Tweet. If you are a Four Square user, you can tell Packrati.us to ignore those links from your check-ins.

Applications for Education
If you have students using Twitter to share resources, Packrati.us could be a great tool to help you and them keep track of what everyone is sharing.

Bulb - Create and Share Collections of Educational Media

Bulb is a new service through which you can create, share, and browse through collections of educational materials. On Bulb you can create your own collections of text, images, and videos. You could create collections of materials about an academic topic or about a skill that you want to help others learn.

You can browse Bulb and view the collections without registering on the site. To create your own collections you will have to create an account. Once your account is created you can develop collections of materials. Each of your collections can have multiple chapters. For example, this collection of materials about digital literacy has seven chapters. As you create your collections on Bulb you can write text, upload or link to pictures, and upload or link to YouTube videos. All collections can be shared via email and through popular social networks like Twitter and Google+.

Applications for Education
The basic idea of creating collections of educational materials could be accomplished on any number of wiki and website services. The appeal of Bulb is that you and your students wouldn't have to worry about managing layouts, controlling editor permissions, or any technical work. The other nice aspect of Bulb is that you and your students can browse through the collections created by others.

Huzzaz - Embed Galleries of Educational Videos Into Your Blog

Huzzaz is a new site (still in private beta although you can request an invitation) for organizing and sharing collections of educational videos. I tried the site for the first time back in August. At that time I thought that it had some excellent features for creating and sharing collections of educational videos.

Today, I learned through this post on the Huzzaz Blog that the service a new sharing option. The new option allows you to embed your collections of educational videos into your blog or website. The difference between creating the collection on Huzzaz versus on YouTube is that Huzzaz collections can include YouTube and Vimeo videos whereas YouTube playlists only have YouTube videos.

The basic purpose of Huzzaz is to help you create and organize collections of videos. In your account you can make as many thematic collections as you like. To add a video from YouTube or Vimeo to your collections you can search within Huzzaz, use the Huzzaz browser bookmarklet, or copy and paste video URLs into your collections. Once you have some videos in a collection you can organize them by simply dragging and dropping them into a sequence. Your collections can be shared with others. Likewise, you can share individual videos.

When you share an individual video from a Huzzaz collection you can host real-time discussions about it. To do this simply click the "comments" icon while the video is playing to open a live chat box.

Applications for Education
Teachers that are using the flipped classroom model could find Huzzaz to be an excellent tool for organizing the videos that they plan to share with students.
Students may find Huzzaz's real-time chat feature to be useful for holding online review sessions that are based around the videos their teachers have shared with them.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Week in Review - The Part Where I Become a Professional Athlete

Good morning from the Toronto International Airport. I'm currently on my way home from another great visit to the Grande Prairie, Alberta School Division. I've been to Alberta at least a half dozen times in the last year, but this trip was special because a Canadian customs agent flagged me for extra screening. While that was not what I wanted to go through at 1am after flying with a head cold, I did come out of the experience learning that I could be admitted under the same "performer" exemption used for musicians, professional athletes, and "internationally recognized experts." This is the closest that I'll ever come to being confused for a professional athlete.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. 7 Free iPad Apps for Science Lessons
2. 5 Free Apps and Sites for Creating Animations
3. PBS Math Club - Short Interactive Math Videos
4. How to Create a Linked Series of YouTube Videos
5. How to Create Audio Slideshows in YouTube
6. 5 Online Tools That Help You Align Lessons to Common Core Standards
7. A Search Engine for SMART Notebook Files

Would you like to have me visit your school this year?
Click here to learn more about my professional development services.

Please visit the official advertisers that help keep this blog going.
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Discovery Education & Wilkes University offer online courses for earning Master's degrees in Instructional Media.
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MasteryConnect provides a network for teachers to share and discover Common Core assessments.
ABCya.com is a provider of free educational games for K-5.
The University of Maryland Baltimore County offers graduate programs for teachers.
Boise State University offers a 100% online program in educational technology.
EdTechTeacher is organizing two iPad summits this school year.
Metta is a great tool for creating multimedia presentations and quizzes.

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