Friday, January 15, 2016

Try PrepFactory for Free SAT & ACT Review

SAT and ACT testing and test prep isn't something that any student or teacher really looks forward to, but it's a something that most in the U.S. have to do at some point. PrepFactory is a free service that helps students prepare for those tests .PrepFactory offers students a series of tutorial videos and written tips to help them prepare for both tests. After completing a tutorial students can test themselves in a series of practice questions. Each question set is timed and and limited to chunks of ten questions at a time. Students can earn badges for completing tutorials or question sets. In the video embedded below I provide an overview of PrepFactory's features.

Disclosure: PrepFactory is an advertiser on

Numberock - Math Music Videos for Kids

Last month I shared ten good YouTube channels for math students. This week I learned about about another good math video channel. Numberock is a YouTube channel that features quick music videos that teach and or reinforce elementary school math lessons. The videos were developed by an elementary teacher for elementary students. Take a look at some of the videos as embedded below.

Applications for Education
When I was in the fourth and fifth grades my teachers would play records of people singing multiplication tables. They would play those records while were coming in from recess or coming into school start the day. I thought the records were annoying, but to this day I still hear those multiplication tables being sung to us. Music videos like Numberock won't replace a lesson, but they could certainly help reinforce a lesson.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

4 Helpful Gmail Settings for Teachers & Students

This morning I received an email from someone who was looking for tutorials on using Gmail. The Google for Work YouTube channel offers a bunch of great tutorial videos on everything from how to compose a new message to applying filters to messages. I have also made some of my own Gmail tutorials for teachers.

Create a contact group:
Creating and using contact groups can save you a lot of time when you're sending messages to groups of parents, colleagues, or students. Watch the video below to learn how to create a contact group.

Use Gmail offline, unsend a message, reply all vs. reply:
Setting your Gmail account for offline use is easy and makes it easy for you to work on email even when you don't have a connection to the Internet.

Every once in a while you might hit "send" a bit too early. The undo send function can rescue you from that situation.

No one likes to be copied on a email thread when they don't need to be. Make sure you know when to use "reply all" and when not to use it.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Create Video-based Polls on ClipChoose

There is not a shortage of online polling tools to use in your classroom. Most of those polling services are simply text-based or text and images. Clip Choose is different because your polls are based on videos.

To create a Clip Choose poll you enter the URLs of up to eight YouTube videos. After entering your videos your audience then votes for their favorite video or whatever prompt you give them regarding the videos.

Applications for Education
Clip Choose could be a good tool to use to create video quizzes for a lesson about bias and propaganda. When teaching students about types of propaganda I could put two or three videos in Clip Choose and ask students to select the one that demonstrates the use of a particular propaganda technique. For example, if I wanted my students to practice recognizing the use of "glittering generalities" I would put in a video that demonstrates that method and two videos that don't.

Have You Tried Kahoot's Ghost Mode?

The buzz coming out of the Tech Share Live session at FETC today was all about the "ghost mode" in Kahoot. Kahoot's ghost mode essentially gives students the opportunity to play a Kahoot review game against themselves. In ghost mode students measure their progress against themselves.

How ghost mode works:
First, run a Kahoot game as you normally would. At the end of the game select "ghost mode" to run the game again. In ghost mode students play against their own scores from the previous game. Then when you run the game students will be competing against the "ghost" version of themselves from the previous running of the game. For example, I play a game as a student in the first running of a game then in the second running of the game I'll be competing against my previous score as well as those of my classmates.

What is Kahoot?
Kahoot provides a fun way to gather feedback from a group through their phones, iPads, Chromebooks, or any other device that has a web browser and an Internet connection. You can include pictures and or videos as part of each question that you create and share in a Kahoot activity. Players are awarded points for answering correctly and quickly. Or you can turn off the points system to use Kahoot in a non-competitive environment.

How to use quizzes from the Kahoot gallery:
One of the features of Kahoot that I frequently demonstrate in my workshops is the option to duplicate and edit quizzes that teachers have contributed to the public Kahoot quiz gallery. Duplicating and editing existing quizzes can save you a lot of time when you need to find a quick review activity for your students. In the video embedded below I demonstrate how to find, duplicate, and edit quizzes in Kahoot's public quiz gallery.