Friday, September 18, 2015

Quick Rubric Provides an Easy Way to Craft Rubrics

From the same people that brought us Photos for Class and StoryBoard That comes another great tool called Quick Rubric. Quick Rubric is a free tool for writing, editing, and printing rubrics. On Quick Rubric you can create a rubric that is tailored to your points/ scoring system, the quantity of descriptors that you need, and utilizes the exact language that you specify. You can save as many rubrics as you like in your free Quick Rubric account. You can copy and modify rubrics your account so that you don't always have to start from scratch when creating a new assignment rubric.

Applications for Education
Quick Rubric won't make choosing the language that goes into your rubrics any easier, but it will make it easier to save, edit, and print your rubrics once they are complete. There is a rubric writing tips section in Quick Rubric as well as a formatting tips section that some teachers should find helpful.

Disclosure: Quick Rubric is owned by the same people who own Storyboard That and advertise on

How to Search and Subscribe to YouTube Channels

YouTube can be a great place to find all kinds of educational videos, if you know how to search within it. One tip that I often share in my workshops is to search within a YouTube channel. Let's say you've found a YouTube channel that you like, but you don't want to scroll back through dozens or hundreds of videos in it. The search function within the channel makes it easier to find a video from a source that you trust on YouTube. In the video embedded below I demonstrate how to do that. The video also includes a demonstration of how to subscribe to a YouTube channel.

If you're interested in subscribing to my YouTube channel, you can subscribe here.

From Blog to Business

Earlier today I had the privilege to speak to a high school business class. The students in that class are studying various types of small businesses. I was invited to speak about how a blog can become a business. If you're interested in what I shared with the students, check out the slides embedded below.

If you're a business teacher who would like me to speak to your class on this topic, I can do so through Skype or Google+. Please feel free to email me at richardbyrne (at) to set-up a time to do that.

How to Customize the Look of Your Google Site

This morning I saw a Tweet from someone who was feeling frustrated by Google Sites. That is completely understandable because the Google Sites editor is not terribly intuitive. To help that person and anyone else who has or is struggling with customizing the look of a Google Site, I created the short screencast that is embedded below. For more detailed instructions on Google Sites, take a look at this guide that I created a few years ago.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Try Poetica's WordPress Plugin for Editing Posts Like Writing on Paper

Poetica is an interesting service that you can use to edit documents almost as if you were writing on paper. Poetica offers a collaboration function that allows you to share drafts of documents with reader that you invite to join your editing team. Until today Poetica was a stand-alone service. It can still be used at but it can now also be used as a WordPress plugin for editing blog posts.

Editing writing in Poetica is very similar to the manner in which we have written edits on papers for years. When you read a document in Poetica you can click on any word or space between words to insert a line drawn to the margin where you then write your comments. Clicking on a word or space also allows you to simply insert a suggested word above a line in the document you're editing. If you want to suggest a change for an entire sentence you can highlight it and insert a drawn line to the margins where you can write your suggestions. Your suggestions are written in blue while your corrections are written in red.

Once the Poetica WordPress plugin is installed on your blog it will replace the default WordPress post editor. The plugin provides the editing features that are found in as described above.

Applications for Education
Poetica itself is an excellent tool for collaboratively creating and editing documents. The visual connections between markings and the comments could make it easier for your students to match your suggestions to specific portions of their documents. These same features could be great for students who are collaborating on the development of blog posts.