Friday, October 23, 2015

Delivering Instruction in a Star Wars Setting

Russel Tarr has just added another fun tool to his catalog of resources on The latest addition is a template called Movie Text. Movie Text lets you create Star Wars-like scrolling introductions.

To use Movie Text simply go to the template found here then click the edit button in the lower, left corner of the screen. Change the text in the template editor to read whatever you want it to display then save it. Once you have saved a template it will be assigned its own URL and you will have an opportunity to grab an embed code to post in your blog.

Applications for Education
If you play the Movie Text sample all the way through you will find some ideas for using it in a classroom setting. I think it could be fun to use it occasionally to give instructions to students.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Give Written Feedback on Students' Answers in GoFormative Assessments

Formative, found at, is a free service for assigning questions to students and having them answer on their laptops or tablets in real-time. One of the best features of Formative is the option to have students draw responses to your questions. A couple of months ago I published a video about that feature.

Another feature of Formative that stands out is the option to give students feedback in real-time. You can give them feedback in a points system or you can give them written feedback in real-time. In some cases, like in the case of a multiple choice question, you can use both feedback mechanisms to help your students understand their mistakes. The video below demonstrates how to use the written feedback function in Formative.

Applications for Education
Letting students see the results of their work in real-time is a nice feature for them and for teachers as it can guide everyone in identifying what they need to spend more time studying. From a practical standpoint it might not always be possible to give every student written feedback immediately. In that case the written feedback mechanism is still helpful as your students can check later to see an explanation from you of why their answers were incorrect.

Teaching With Primary Sources - A Free Online Conference

Thanks to Glenn Wiebe I just registered for an exciting online learning event for social studies teachers. Next week the Library of Congress is hosting an online conference titled The Library of Congress and Teachers Unlocking the Power of Primary Sources. This two day event will be comprised for more than a dozen live webinars about teaching with primary sources. The webinars are taking place next Tuesday and Wednesday between 4pm and 8pm Eastern Time.

The conference has two strands. There is a resource strand and a strategies strand. The resources strand focuses on collections in the LOC. The strategies strand appears to offer sessions that will present ideas that can be applied to the social studies classroom regardless of whether or not you use LOC collections.

You can register for each session in the conference individually. I'm already registered for a session on working with visuals. All sessions will be recorded and certificates will be available to those who watch the recordings and or participate in the live sessions.

Register today for The Library of Congress and Teachers Unlocking the Power of Primary Sources.

How to Create a Student Certificate in Google Slides

Throughout the course of the school year there are plenty of occasions when you might need to create certificates for students. In the Google Slides template gallery there is a template for creating a student certificate. In the older Google Drive template gallery there are many certificate templates. In the video below I provide an overview of how to access and modify these certificate templates.

Check out my Google Tutorials playlist for more Google Apps tips.

How to Create & Customize Tables in Google Slides

After publishing yesterday's post about the Table Formatter Add-on for Google Documents, I received a couple of questions about formatting tables in Google Slides. Unfortunately, there is not an Add-on for Google Slides that makes it easy to format tables. However, it is possible to manually style tables that you insert into Google Slides. In the video embedded below I demonstrate how to do that.

This video is the 73rd that I have created for my playlist of Google Apps Tutorials.

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