Saturday, January 10, 2015

The Week in Review - The Most Popular Posts

Good morning from chilly Woodstock, Maine. Earlier this week I was in Pensacola, Florida where I had the opportunity to work with some great teachers. On my way home from Pensacola I took a trip to the USS Alabama Memorial Park. The plane that you see in the picture to the left is a B-25, one of many planes on display at the park. The B-25 was used in all theaters of WWII.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. How to Create a Jeopardy-style Game in Google Spreadsheets
2. How to Use Doctopus and Goobric to Grade Google Classroom Assignments
3. Using Timelines as Digital Portfolios and Reflections on Learning
4. How to Add Custom Columns to Padlet Walls
5. ReadWorks Now Offers Poems and Question Sets for K-12 Classrooms
6. PicCollage, ThingLink, and A Visit to the USS Alabama
7. A Couple of Graphing Calculators for Your Chrome Browser

Please visit the official advertisers that help keep this blog going.
Practical Ed Tech is the brand through which I offer PD webinars.
Versal is a great tool for building interactive online course components.
MidWest Teachers Institute offers online graduate courses for teachers.
Typing Club offers free typing lessons for students.
Discovery Education & Wilkes University offer online courses for earning Master's degrees in Instructional Media.
MasteryConnect provides a network for teachers to share and discover Common Core assessments.
The University of Maryland Baltimore County offers graduate programs for teachers.
Boise State University offers a 100% online program in educational technology.
EdTechTeacher is hosting iPad Summit San Diego in February.
StoryBoard That is a great tool for creating comics and more.
BoomWriter and WordWriter are fantastic tools that help students develop their writing skills.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Try TitanPad for Quickly Creating a Set of Group Notes

TitanPad is a free tool that allows you to quickly create an online place to collaboratively create documents with one or more partners. You do not need to register in order to use the service. You can chat in real-time while creating a document. Every person contributing to the documents you build is assigned a highlight color so that you can easily track who wrote what in the document. In the video embedded below I provide a demonstration of how to use TitanPad.


Applications for Education
Google Documents is great for collaborative writing, but not everyone has Google Documents. Google Documents also requires sign-in in order to track changes. When you want to quickly collaboratively create a set of notes, TitanPad is a good option to pursue. I first saw it used during a BarCamp (the partial inspiration and predecessor to EdCamp) meeting in which presentation attendees used it to take notes.

How to Take Notes, Ask Questions, and Share Them While Watching Video Lessons

VideoNot.es is one of my favorite tools for flipped classroom settings. A quick look in my archives has at least six previous posts about it. VideoNotes allows you to load a video on the left side of your screen then on the right side of the screen VideoNotes gives you a notepad on which to type. VideoNot.es has a Google Drive integration which allows you to save and share notes. In the video embedded below I provide an overview of how to use VideoNot.es.


This video was the 50th that I have made and added to my playlist of Practical Ed Tech Tips.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

A Couple of Graphing Calculators for Your Chrome Browser

A few days ago I wrote about the new graphing calculator Android app offered by Desmos. In that post I neglected to mention that Desmos also offers a Chrome app. The Chrome app version of Desmos works like the web version. Along with all of the graphing functions Desmos allows you to share your equations and graphs. Desmos graphs your equations as you type them and redraws them as you alter your equations.

Graph.tk is a free online graphing utility that is also available in the Google Chrome Web StoreGraph.tk allows you to plot multiple functions through its dynamically re-sizing grid. To graph an equation on Graph.tk just click the "+" symbol to enter a new equation. One thing that isn't clear the first time you use Graph.tk is that you need to delete the existing default equations before you start.

Applications for Education
If your school has gone 1:1 with Chromebooks, Desmos and to a lesser degree Graph.tk could be good alternatives to trying to keep track of TI-84's or other graphing calculators.

Now Open - Duolingo for Schools

Last week the popular language learning service Duolingo announced that they were launching a version just for schools. Today, I received their press release announcing that Duolingo for Schools is now open to everyone. I planned to write a longer review of it, but Larry Ferlazzo wrote one earlier that is better than what I had to say. Larry is using the service with his students so I encourage you to read his review.

Duolingo is a platform that offers activities for learning Spanish, English, French, Italian, Irish, Dutch, Danish, German, and Portuguese. The service works in your web browser and is available as an app on Android, iPad, and Windows 8. Duolingo for Schools allows teachers to assign activities and monitor students' progress.