Saturday, March 28, 2015

7 Tools for Building Review Games

This week I received at least a half dozen emails from people who were looking for suggestions for creating review games or practice quizzes for their students. The following are the tools that I suggested in reply to those emails. One teacher's needs are little bit different from another's so this list covers a fairly wide range of options.

TinyTap is a good iPad and Android app for creating your own review games based on pictures and diagrams. You can create games in which students have to identify parts of picture or diagram. You can also build games in which your students have to assemble a puzzle by dragging and dropping pieces into place (the puzzle does not have to follow the jigsaw puzzle format). Click here to see a selection of games that teachers have made and published through TinyTap.

ClassTools.net offers a handful of templates for building your own educational games. Through ClassTools.net you could build a Pac-Man style game, a Connect Four style of game, or build a QR code treasure hunt for your students.

Socrative and Kahoot continue to be my two favorite platforms for hosting fast-paced review quizzes. Both services allow you to create quizzes and host quizzes that your students complete through their mobile devices or laptops. Students can receive instant feedback on each question (if you allow that option) and a final score. In both tools you can include pictures as part of your questions. Socrative allows you to host team activities that they call "space races."

If a Jeopardy-style game is what you're after, eQuizShow, Jeopardy Rocks, and FlipQuiz are worth giving a try. None of the three services requires you to download any files to create your activities. All three services provide text-based questions for free. eQuizShow and FlipQuiz support picture-based questions if you upgrade to their premium plans. Click here to learn more about FlipQuiz, eQuizShow, and Jeopardy Rocks.

The Week in Review - Keep Calm and Go Skiing

Good morning from the FreeTech4Teachers.com world headquarters in Woodstock, Maine. For a few seconds this morning I thought that this week's week-in-review post wouldn't be happening. When I logged into my blog this morning 9000+ posts were missing. It took me a few more seconds to realize that I logged into the wrong blog. That experience reminded me of two things. First, back-up your blog often. Second, sometimes there is nothing you can do so keep calm and go skiing. Skiing is what I'll be doing soon. I hope that all of you have something fun planned for your weekend too.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. 10 Charts Comparing Popular Ed Tech Tools
2. 10 Good Google Docs, Sheets, and Forms Add-ons for Teachers
3. 60 Second Lessons on the Presidents of the United States
4. Twisted Wave - Create Audio Recordings Online to Save in Google Drive
5. Three Good Ways to Use Socrative In Your Classroom
6. PlayMessenger: Supervising Children on the Digital Playground
7. An Overview of Important Basic YouTube Settings for Teachers

The Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp being held on July 13 &14. The Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp is a two day, hands-on learning experience for teachers. This year's event is being held in downtown Portland, Maine just a few blocks from the ocean, great dining, and iconic lighthouses. Register by April 16th to save $50 on registration.

Please visit the official advertisers that help keep this blog going.
Practical Ed Tech is the brand through which I offer PD webinars.
BoomWriter provides a fantastic tool for creating writing lessons. 
Storyboard That is my go-to tool for creating storyboards and cartoon stories.
Versal is a great tool for building interactive online course components.
MidWest Teachers Institute offers online graduate courses for teachers.
PresentationTube provides a good way to use PowerPoint to create flipped lessons.
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 host workshops in six cities in the U.S. in the summer.
SeeSaw is a great iPad app for creating digital portfolios.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Quick Key Mobile - Now for iOS and Android

For the last 18+ months my former colleague Mike Morrell has raved about Quick Key. Quick Key is an app that turns your iPhone into a bubble sheet scanner. This morning I learned from Mike that Quick Key is now available as an Android app too.

Quick Key has two parts to it that when combined make it very easy for you to quickly grade multiple choice and true/false quizzes. Here’s the basics of how it works; create your quiz on the Quick Key website then print and distribute a bubble sheet. After your students have completed the bubble sheet you simply scan the sheets with your iPhone (it works on iPads too, but the resolution is grainy) and the grading is done for you. From the app you can send grades to the classes that you have created on the Quick Key website. If you enter students’ email addresses into your class rosters on Quick Key, you can have grades emailed to students.

Telling a #Dogsofed Story With Shadow Puppet Edu

If you follow me on Twitter you might have noticed that I started a fun hashtag last night called #dogsofed. I did it just to have fun and help people connect on a common interest of education and dogs. Lots of people shared pictures of their dogs through the chat. Then this morning Tom Grissom upped the fun a bit by posting an awesome audio story about his dog, Wego the Wonder Dog. Tom's story is a great example of the possibilities of telling stories with audio.

Listening to Tom's story about Wego the Wonder Dog got me thinking about making a story of my own. I decided to use Shadow Puppet Edu to create my story about my dogs Max and Morrison. Shadow Puppet Edu is a free iPad app that you can use to create audio slideshow videos. The app offers an integrated search tool for finding pictures from the Library of Congress, to search for images from NASA, and to find Creative Commons licensed images from Flickr. You can also import pictures and videos from the camera roll on your iPad. After selecting a set of images students you can arrange them into any sequence by simply dragging and dropping them into order. Then to create a story press the record button and talk while flipping through your images. My story is embedded below.


You might have noticed that on the first slide I had a magic wand effect to highlight each dog. That is one of many effects that you can add to your images in Shadow Puppet Edu. You can also zoom and type over your pictures. Completed Shadow Puppet Edu projects are automatically saved to your iPad's camera roll. You can also export your projects directly to YouTube.

How to Create a Multifaceted Backchannel Through Tozzl

Update: On October 17, 2020 the new owners of the domain tozzl.com threatened to sue me if I didn't take down this post. Needless to say, I don't recommend that anyone go to that site, ever.



A few weeks ago I reviewed a new backchannel/ message board tool called Tozzl. Then two weeks ago I had this horrendous experience with TodaysMeet. As a result I'm switching to using Tozzl for most of my backchannel needs. Tozzl allows me to create sections for chat, file sharing, and YouTube videos within one backchannel. I can also import the feed of a Twitter hashtag into my Tozzl backchannel. In the video embedded below I provide a demonstration of how to create a Tozzl backchannel.