Sunday, March 27, 2016

ClassTag Streamlines Scheduling of Parent Teacher Conferences

ClassTag is a new service that aims to help you organize parent-teacher conference, classroom volunteer requests, and school events. The highlight of ClassTag is the option to create appointment slots that parents can reserve to meet with you.

To get started on ClassTag create an account and enter some basic information about your classroom or classes that you teach. To get the full benefit of ClassTag you will need to enter the email addresses of your students' parents. Once those steps are completed you can create a parent-teacher conference schedule. You can create time slots as short as 15 minutes or as long as an hour. Once a parent reserves a slot no one else can grab it.

The other core aspects of ClassTag are a requests feature and an event scheduler. The requests feature in ClassTag allows you to send out notes requesting things like field trip chaperones or material donations to your classroom. Parents can volunteer to fulfill the requests through the note that you send via ClassTag and ClassTag will keep track of the responses for you.

If you have a school event coming up, you can promote that event through ClassTag. Your ClassTag event page can include information about times, things you should bring to the event, or event costs. ClassTag will also keep track of RSVPs for you.

Overall ClassTag does offer a nice set of features of teachers. Many of the features can be found in other tools, but ClassTag does a good job of putting them all into one place for you.

Quizzy Offers a Quick Way to Create Online Quizzes

Quizzy is a free service that enables you to quickly make and publish online quizzes. To get started simply register for a Quizzy account then title your quiz and start writing multiple choice questions. When you have finished writing your questions you can publish your quiz publicly or keep it private. Quizzes that you mark as public can be shared with others by simply directing them to the URL assigned to your quiz. People taking your Quizzy quiz online receive a score as soon as they complete all of the questions. You can try my sample quiz here.

At this time Quizzy quizzes are entirely text-based without any options for inserting images or videos.

Applications for Education
Quizzy could be a good tool for creating practice quizzes for your students. At this time Quizzy doesn't have a mechanism for you to record students' scores on the quizzes that they take.

If you don't work in a 1:1 environment you can print Quizzy quizzes with just one click in your Quizzy account.

Need a Metronome or Timer - Just Google It

Whenever I run a workshop that is longer than an hour I use Google's built-in timer function to time breaks. All I have to do is type "set timer 5 minutes" into a Google search and a timer appears and starts counting down. You can enter any amount of time after set timer and you can pause the timer if you need to. Watch the video below to see how that works.


A new to me feature of Google search is the option to use a metronome. To access a metronome in Google search simply type "metronome" into your search and the metronome appears. You can adjust the tempo of the metronome by dragging the slider below the tempo display.

Thanks to Lifehacker for the metronome tip.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Now You Can Sync Your Google Classroom Roster With Quick Key

Quick Key is a free app that turns your iPhone or Android phone into a bubble sheet scanner. It has two parts to it that when combined make it very easy for you to quickly grade multiple choice and true/false quizzes. This week Quick Key introduced the option to sync your Google Classroom rosters to your Quick Key account.

Here are the basics of how Quick Key works; create your quiz on the Quick Key website then print and distribute a bubble sheet. After your students have completed the bubble sheet you simply scan the sheets with your iPhone or Android phone and the grading is done for you. From the app you can send grades to the classes that you have created on the Quick Key website. If you enter students’ email addresses into your class rosters on Quick Key, you can have grades emailed to students. Google Classroom users can sync their rosters with Quick Key for distribution of grades. Watch the video below to learn more about Quick Key's Google Classroom integration.

Quick Key: Sync Rosters with Google Classroom from Quick Key on Vimeo.

Applications for Education
Tools like Quick Key don't directly change the way that we teach, but they can give us more time to actually teach and build relationships with students instead of spending time manually grading tests and quizzes.

How to Use Google Slides to Crop and Filter Images

This week Google made the Nik collection free to all users. The Nik collection is a set of plug-ins for desktop editing tools like Photoshop and Aperture. While those tools are powerful they are probably more than most of need for editing images that we'll put into slideshows, collages, or documents. Google Slides and Google Documents have image editing tools built into them. Those tools are more than adequate for most classroom uses of images. In the video embedded below I demonstrate how to use the image cropping and filter tools in Google Slides.



Learn more Google Drive tips and tricks in the new section of Getting Going With GAFE starting on April 5th.

H/T to Lifehacker for the news about Nik.