Tuesday, May 5, 2015

What2Learn - Create Your Own Review Games

This morning David Petrie reminded me about a post that I wrote five years ago on building your own review games. In doing so he pointed out that one of the resources was offline. I then took some time to revisit the other resources in that post. One of those was What2Learn.

What2Learn is a site offering lots of review games on topics in math, science, social studies, and language arts. Most of the games are of the question and answer variety. Students can play the games without registering on the site. While it is nice to have a place to find games, the reason I'm bringing up What2Learn is to point out the option for building your review games.

On the What2Learn Game Machine you can select from sixteen game templates to use as the framework for your game. You can play a sample game representative of each template before you begin building your game. Once you've chosen a template all that you have to do is input the questions or prompts you want to use and the correct responses. What2Learn does review each game for content before it is live on the site. The review process can take 24 hours. If you don't want to wait for your game to be reviewed you can purchase a premium What2Learn Game Machine account.

Applications for Education
If you already have a list of questions and answers, perhaps from an old quiz, then building a review game on What2Learn Game Machine won't take long at all. The advantage of creating your own game compared to relying on pre-made games is that you can customize the content of the game to directly match your curriculum.

Thousands of Elementary School Math Practice Activities Aligned to Common Core Standards

MathGames.com sounds like it is just another website hosting math games for kids. Scroll down below the games and you will find dozens of practice exercises aligned to K-8 Common Core math standards. On each exercise page students will find a virtual scratch pad on which they can work out the answers to the problems presented to them. On some of the exercises students will be shown an explanation of the correct answer if they have answered incorrectly.

To access the practice activities on MathGames.com scroll past the games section and select a grade level. After choosing a grade you will be taken to a complete list of the Common Core math standards for that grade. Choose any of the standards and a set of ten practice problems for that standard will appear on your screen.

Applications for Education
MathGames.com offers a teacher dashboard service through which you can view students' progress. You can register for a teacher account through Edmodo, with your Google account, or you can create an account with your email address.

Tips for Using the Site Operator in Google Search

When teaching search strategies to students I teach them how to limit search results to a specific top-level domain. From there we move on to using the site operator to search within a site. Thanks to a recent post by Daniel Russell I have a new resource to share with students when they are learning about using the site search operator. Google Tools for Media: Advanced Search Tips is all about how to use the site operator in conjunction with other search parameters. The video is embedded below.

Monday, May 4, 2015

How to Eliminate Choices as They're Used on Google Forms

This afternoon on Twitter I was asked if there is a way to have choices eliminated from a Google Form as they get used up. For example, if you want to offer meeting times without the possibility of people double-booking you. Yes, you can do this in Google Forms with the help of the Google Forms Add-on called Choice Eliminator.

To use Choice Eliminator start by creating your Google Form as you normally would. Then enable Choice Eliminator on your Form. Once Choice Eliminator is enabled you can select the question or questions that you want to have choices removed from as they are used.
Click image for full size.

Now You Can Embed HSTRY Multimedia Timelines Into Your Blog

HSTRY is a great multimedia timeline creation tool that I have been raving about since it launched to the public last fall. There are two features of HSTRY that make it stand-out from the crowd. First, as a teacher you can create an online classroom in which you can view all of your students' timelines. Second, as a teacher you can build questions into timelines that you share with your students. You can even build-in explanations of the answers to your questions.

This morning an email from HSTRY's marketing department contained the news that you can now embed timelines into your blog or website. To do this you will have to make your timeline public. Any public timeline can be embedded. To embed a timeline into your blog just copy the embed code provided in the upper, right corner of the public timeline that you're viewing. Then paste that code into your blog post just like you would do if you were embedding a YouTube video.

Applications for Education
While this isn't a major update to HSTRY it is a convenient update. Embedding timelines could make it easier for students to include them in their digital portfolios. It also makes it easier for you to share review material with your students.