Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Earn PD Hours and Graduate Credit While Learning About Google Apps

Starting tonight and throughout the next few months I will be teaching three sections my online course Getting Going With GAFE. This five week course is designed to help teachers, teacher-librarians, and school administrators learn best practices for using Google Apps for Education. Through my partnership with the Midwest Teachers Institute you can earn three graduate credits for completing the course. The next class begins tonight at 7pm Eastern Time. There is still some space available.

Getting Going With GAFE is a five week course covering everything you need to know to integrate Google Drive, Google Classroom, Google Calendar, and Google Sites into your practice. The Midwest Teachers Institute offers more information about the course and graduate credit options.

Spring section I: April 5th, 12th, 19th, 26th, and May 3rd at 7pm Eastern Time.
Register for the April session.

Spring section II: May 10th, 17th, 24th, 31st, and June 7th at 7pm Eastern Time.
Register for the May session.

Summer section: July 5th, 12th, 19th, 26th, and August 2nd at 7pm Eastern Time.
Register for the July session.

Learn more about the course and the graduate credit options.

Poetica is Shutting Down - Try These Alternatives for Delivering Document Feedback

When it launched in 2014, I raved about Poetica's capacity to help you give feedback on digital documents in a manner very similar to writing on paper. Unfortunately, this week the Poetica team announced that they've been acquired by another company. At the end of May the service will close entirely.

Poetica was great because it allowed you to write comments in the margins of a document and have them directly attached and or inserted into document. A couple of alternative services that perform similar functions are Kaizena, Annotation Studio, and JoeZoo Express. 

Kaizena is a Google Docs Add-on that allows you to add voice comments and written comments to Google Documents. 

Annotation Studio is a platform on which you can create a classroom in which you share documents. You can create documents from scratch by using the Annotation Studio text editor or you can import a Word document or a PDF. Once you have created a document you can share it with your class or you can make it public for anyone to comment on. The best aspect of Annotation Studio is that every annotation you add to a document can include videos, pictures, text, and hyperlinks.

JoeZoo Express enables you to give feedback on students' Google Documents by simply highlighting text then selecting feedback statements from a huge menu of options. For example, in my sample document I highlighted text then chose the category of "structure" within the structure category I then chose to tag the sentence with the comment "awkward." When a student sees the feedback he or she will also see an explanation of "awkward" and how he or she can fix it.

Monday, April 4, 2016

What Would Happen if You Didn't Drink Water? - And 12 Other TED-Ed Lessons About the Human Body

What Would Happen if You Didn't Drink Water? is the title of latest TED-Ed lesson. The lesson addresses items like how much water should a person drink, how much water a body loses during an average day, and the effects of dehydration. The lesson also addresses what can happen when you consume too much water.

This lesson is the latest that I've added to a playlist that I call TED-Ed Human Body. Some of the other lessons in the playlist cover blood pressure, kidney function, and liver function. The entire playlist is embedded below.

How to Create Self-paced Review Quizzes on Quizzy

Quizzy is a free tool that allows you to quickly create and publish self-paced review quizzes for your students. After I reviewed it last week I received a few emails from folks who had some questions about how it works. I created the following video to answer those questions and more. The nice thing about Quizzy is that your students don't need to create usernames and passwords to take your practice quizzes. The downside to that is you don't have a good way to see which students have used your review quizzes and which students haven't used your review quiz.

Applications for Education
As you may have noticed in the video, you can print Quizzy quizzes with just one click in your Quizzy account.

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.

Capture Student Ideas with VideoNot.es & Google Classroom

This is a guest post from Avra Robinson (@AvraRachel) of EdTechTeacher, an advertiser on this site.

If you’ve used VideoNot.es, you know that it is a powerful application that allows users to take time-stamped, synchronized notes alongside a YouTube, Vimeo, Khan Academy, edX, Udacity or Coursera video.  Students using this app can record their thoughts and ideas to share with their peers, their teacher, or to refer to later as they review concepts.  Teachers can use VideoNot.es to gain a glimpse into their students’ thinking as well as to ensure that they have actively engaged with video content.Screen Shot 2016-03-25 at 1.36.05 PM

But what if teachers are using Google Classroom?  Do the two programs work together?   A few days ago, a participants from our EdTechTeacher T21 cohort raised that question.  After some exploring, here’s what I discovered:

Teachers who are using Google Classroom can push videos out through Classroom with a few easy steps.  First, students and teachers connect the VideoNot.es app to their Google Drive.  Next, teachers select the video that they want their students to watch and import it into VideoNot.es. Teachers can also add their own annotations or notes in the form of statements or questions to guide student learning.  This teacher-annotated copy of the VideoNot.es file gets automatically saved in the teacher’s Google Drive.

Because VideoNot.es are saved in Google Drive, when teachers create the assignment in Google Classroom, they can pull the VideoNot.es file from their Google Drive.  As demonstrated in this animation, teachers can simply select the Google Drive icon, navigate to the VideoNot.es folder, and select the VideoNot.es file.  The best part is that teachers can then assign an individual copy to each student using Google Classroom’s “Make a copy for each student” option in the drop-down menu.

Google Classroom and Video Notes

Once teachers push out the VideoNot.es file, students will open it in Google Classroom much like they would open a Google Doc.

Tech Tip: If students encounter the Google Drive preview screen that seems to indicate that Drive is unsure of which program to use to open the file, they should use the Open With drop-down menu, select VideoNot.es, and use it to open the file.

Upon taking notes and completing the assignment, students will “Turn in” their VideoNot.es file in a similar fashion as other assignments--using the Turn In button in Google Classroom.

Screen Shot 2016-03-25 at 1.36.10 PM

Upon receiving the completed assignment, the teacher can then open it to see their writing.  After opening the file, teachers can review the student’s notes, get a snapshot into their learning, and formatively assess comprehension of the material set forth in the video.

Looking to learn more about Google Apps and Chromebooks this summer? Avra Robinson will be leading a number of workshops this summer with EdTechTeacher.