Monday, October 13, 2014

Have Older Google Forms? They Will Soon Be Updated Automatically

If you have been using Google Forms for more than 20 months, you may have some Forms that were created with the old version of Google Forms. If those Forms were created in a Google Apps for Education account your old Forms will soon be automatically updated to the current version of Google Forms. Updated Forms will include all of the latest features of Forms like randomizing questions to your old Google Forms.

According to Google the automatic updating of Forms will begin on October 20th.

Reminder - You Can Use Remind Worldwide

This week's tip of the week featured Remind (formerly Remind 101) tutorials. After I posted those tutorials I had a few people reply that they wish Remind was available outside of the United States. One of the many updates that Remind made this summer included expanding the service to users outside of North America. You can now use Remind worldwide through the free Remind Android, iOS, and Chrome apps.

One of the other updates that Remind made this summer was the addition of voice greetings and feedback stamps. You can use the mobile apps or Remind website to create short audio messages to send to students and their parents. Messages can be up to fifteen seconds long. Voice messages can be sent to individuals or to groups.

Stamps is the new feedback mechanism available through Remind. Students and their parents can now reply to your Remind messages by selecting one of four stamps to indicate that they have received your message and their thoughts about your message. For example, a student can use a question mark stamp to indicate that they don't feel prepared for an upcoming quiz.

123D Catch Turns Pictures Into 3D Models

This post is a combination of cross-posts from my other blogs and

123D Catch is a free iPad and Android app. The app makes it possible to turn your pictures into a 3D model that you can manipulate on your iPad or on your Android tablet.

To create a model with 123D Catch select a physical object that you can photograph with your tablet or phone. Then take a series of pictures of that object as you either walk around it or rotate it slowly as you take pictures of it. Then select the best images from those that you took (20+ images works best) to let Autodesk process and turn into a 3D model for you. Your completed 3D models can be shared to the Autodesk community where others can view and use them.

Applications for Education
123D Catch could be a great app for creating virtual manipulatives to use in a math or science lesson. The app could also be used to create 3D models of interesting landmarks that you visit during a vacation, but that your students would otherwise only see in 2D pictures. Finally, all of the models that you create with 123D Catch can be edited in Meshmixer and printed with a 3D printer.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Use GoSoapBox to Survey Your Students In a Variety of Ways

Yesterday, I attended Jeff Bailey's excellent presentation on teaching in a flipped classroom environment. One of the tools that Jeff used during his presentation was GoSoapBox. GoSoapBox allows you to have your audience respond to questions through their laptops, tablets, and phones.

Polls and Discussion in GoSoapBox are the meat and potatoes of the service. The Polls tool allows you to survey your audience by having them select an answer choice in response to a question. The Discussions tool allows you to have audience members reply to open-ended questions.

One of the simplest yet effective survey options in GoSoapBox is a tools called a Confusion Meter. The Confusion Meter allows members of your audience to simply say, "yes, I get it" or "no, I don't get it." The Confusion Meter, like all of the GoSoapBox survey tools, can accept anonymous feedback.

Want to gather questions from your students to use to inform your instruction? GoSoapBox has you covered. You can use the Social Q&A tool to have students submit their questions to you. Students can see each other's question submissions and vote them up if they want to.

Scroll through the SlideShare below to see visuals of all of the features of GoSoapBox.

Applications for Education
GoSoapBox allows you to create an event prior to your presentation or lesson. You can select all of the questions and question formats ahead of time. When your presentation or lesson starts, give your students the link to the event and they can access respond to the questions when you prompt them to respond. The Confusion Meter is the simplest tool in the GoSoapBox collection, but might be the most useful for some teachers.

The Week in Review - The Most Popular Posts

The number from my
first road bike race.
Good evening from Woodstock, Maine where I'm a little late on writing this week in review because I spent the morning competing in my first road bike race. Road biking is a pursuit that I took up this summer and have enjoyed immensely. I was happy with how I performed today so I saved my number. Wherever you are this weekend, I hope that you are doing something fun too.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. Simple Google Search Tools and Strategies for Students
2. How to Insert Special Characters Into Google Documents
3. Math at Mount Rushmore
4. Best of the Web Fall 2014
5. Remind Launches a Chrome App for Communicating With Students and Their Parents
6. Poll Your Students With Google+ Polls
7. Math Chat - Solve Problems Together in Real Time

Would you like to have me speak at your school or conference? Click here to learn about my keynote and workshop offerings. 

Please visit the official advertisers that help keep this blog going.
Practical Ed Tech is the brand through which I offer PD webinars.
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MasteryConnect provides a network for teachers to share and discover Common Core assessments. is a provider of free educational games for K-5.
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EdTechTeacher is offers professional development workshops in Boston, Chicago, and Atlanta.
StoryBoard That is a great tool for creating comics and more.
BoomWriter and WordWriter are fantastic tools that help students develop their writing skills.

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