Monday, August 17, 2015

Riddle Adds More Features Teachers Will Like for Creating Online Quizzes

Late last spring a new platform called Riddle was launched for creating online quizzes. The first time that I tried it, I liked it. Since then the developer of Riddle has steadily added features to it. The latest batch of updates to Riddle is particularly useful to teachers.

The most important update to Riddle that teachers should note is a new option to require user names when replying to questions on a Riddle quiz.

Second, you can now build Riddle quizzes based on embedded YouTube videos. Previously you could only use images or text as question prompts in Riddle.

The third update of note is a new selection of text formatting tools. You can now bold and italicize your text. An option to make bullet lists is now available too.

Learn more about Riddle in my instructional video embedded below.

Applications for Education
Riddle's format of using images as response choices could make it a good option for giving informal quizzes on topics that require a lot of visuals. For example, a quiz on fractions might use pictures which represent various fractions. A quiz on art history might use Riddle to showcase works of art of answer choices.

5 Tools Students Can Use to Keep Track of Assignments This Year

While I appreciate services like Remind and WhatsDue for sending reminders to students about upcoming assignments, I also think it is important for students to take ownership of keeping track of their assignments. As we start the new school year many students will be looking for tools that can help them keep track of assignments. Here is a selection of tools that I've used and or my students have used over the years.

Strike App is a simple to-do list creation and management tool. To use Strike App just title your list of things to do and start typing your list. When you've completed a task just come back and strike it out by clicking on it, dragging it off the screen, or "x-ing" it out. You can share your to-do lists by sending people the link to your list. For those people who like to experiment with different backgrounds and themes, Strike App offers a handful of designs to choose from.

Fetchnotes is a neat service for creating and keeping notes online. Fetchnotes uses an interface for creating and sharing notes that will feel familiar to Twitter users. When you write a note, just use a hashtag to label your note. Then whenever you want to search for a note just enter a hashtag. For example, if I was a student taking notes in a history course I might use the hashtag "#revolution" for all notes related to revolutions. Then I could go back and read all of my notes about revolution by just searching for that hashtag. When you want to share a note with someone in your contacts you can do so by just putting "@" before the person's name. Fetchnotes works in your web browser and offers Android, iOS, and Chrome apps.

If your school is using Google Apps for Education or your students have personal Gmail accounts, they already have some great tools at their disposal. In Gmail students can simply select "tasks" under the "Mail" drop-down menu in Gmail. That will open a small pop-up window in which they can enter their lists of tasks. Google Calendar is what I use for keeping track of longer term projects. After entering a project due date I set a series of reminder alerts to be emailed to me at various intervals until the due date.

Dayboard is a free Google Chrome extension that opens your daily to-do list every time you open a new tab in Chrome. When you open a new tab for the first time Dayboard will appear and ask you to enter your to-do list for the day. After creating your to-do list for the rest of the day whenever you open a new tab you will see your list. You can place a checkmark next to items as you complete them. Dayboard does not require you to create an account, it works offline, and when I installed it it only asked for permission to view activity on the Dayboard website.

Google Keep can be an excellent to-do list app for Android and Chrome users. You can color code notes, make lists, and share notes. On an Android device you can set reminder alarms too. Click here for a video on how to use Google Keep.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Next Vista Names Their Educational Videos of the Year

Last month Next Vista for Learning asked viewers to vote for the best videos of the 2014-2015 school year. Videos were arranged in three categories; student creations, teacher creations, and collaborative creations (teachers and students producing together). This weekend Next Vista sent out the results of that voting and announced the Videos of the Year. The winners are Literally in the student category, The Digestive System won in the teacher category, and in the collaboration category Team Text Features was the winner. Each of the winning videos is embedded below.

135 Practical Ed Tech Tips

Late last winter I started to organize the screencast videos that I've made over the years. I called the list Practical Ed Tech Tips. Since I started that list I've made an effort to add one or two new screencasts to it every week. The playlist now contains 135 videos.

In the playlist you will find videos about tools for flipping your classroom, videos on managing workflow, social media tips, search strategies, and media production. The playlist also contains videos about tools like Remind, Duolingo, ClassDojo, Classtools, and many other popular web services for teachers and students. The entire playlist is embedded below.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

The Week in Review - The Most Popular Posts

Good evening from the world headquarters in Woodstock, Maine. As is typical for this time of year, the humidity is making me long for a desert climate where "at least it's a dry heat." The heat and humidity created the perfect reason to make my dogs for swim today (well Max swims, Morrison just wades in and drinks the pond water). Wherever you are and whatever the weather, I hope that you had a fun Saturday too.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. How to Create a Jeopardy-style Game in Google Spreadsheets
2. 5 Good Google Tools for Social Studies Teachers - And How to Use Them
3. How to Create a Progress Chart in Google Sheets
4. Jeopardy Rocks - Create a Review Game Online
5. Padlet Now Offers an iPad App - 5 Ways You Can Use It With Students
6. A Quick Way to Access a Countdown Timer on Your Computer
7. Formative - A Possible Replacement for Infuse Learning

Get your classroom blog off the ground and running well in my online course Classroom Blog Jumpstart. The class will be a three night event (August 17, 18, 19) in which I'll cover everything you need to know to create an awesome classroom blog. Learn more about it here.

Would you like to have me speak at your school or conference?
Click here to learn about my professional development services. 

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.
HelloTalk is a mobile community for learning a new language.
Discovery Education & Wilkes University offer online courses for earning Master's degrees in Instructional Media.
PrepFactory offers a great place for students to prepare for SAT and ACT tests.
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.