Friday, June 3, 2016

When a Spreadsheet is Better Than a Form

Earlier this week a participant in one of my online courses asked a good question about using Google Forms as an assessment tool. Here's the paraphrased question:

I have created a great rubric for some year end projects. Rather than going straight to the spreadsheet, I complete the form as students present. However, i cannot for the life of me figure out the easiest way for me to take the responses and return them to students. It seems that when I open Flubaroo- things get super confusing.

This is one of the times when a Google Form might not be necessary. In fact, my suggestion was to skip the Form and just enter grades and comments into a Google Spreadsheet that has the Online Rubric Add-on enabled. Online Rubric helps you create a rubric within a Google Spreadsheet. The template will let you include email addresses so that you can quickly send to your students their grades and your comments. The video embedded below demonstrates how to use the Online Rubric Add-on for Google Sheets.

Classroom Heroes Looks Like a New Tool for Recording Classroom Activities

Classroom Heroes is a new service that seems similar in concept to ClassDojo. Classroom Heroes lets you make a record of your students' behaviors in your classroom. The service also gives you a place to record homework assignments. You can share those records with your students and their parents through SMS and email. Like ClassDojo, Classroom Heroes offers avatars that can be used to represent your students in your classroom.

Classroom Heroes isn't open to the public yet, but it is accepting registrations for early users. If you're interested in being an early adopter, you can register on the site.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

15 Tools for Teaching History With Technology - A Handout

One of the things that teachers often ask me for is a set of tools to get them started on using technology in their classrooms. This is a common request because it can be overwhelming to look at a website or a read a stream of emails with tips and try to figure out where to start. For that reason, I have started to put together short PDFs that contain a few options for a three or four common activities in a subject area. These are not meant to be comprehensive guides, they're meant to be starter kits. The first starter kit is for social studies teachers.

In the handout embedded below you will find my recommendations for tools to create timelines, tools to create videos, tools to create digital maps, and tools to help students conduct better web research. You can download the document from Box or grab the Google Docs copy.


Learn more about how to use these tools in my online course Teaching History With Technology

A Great Video Explanation of Onomatopoeia

Next Vista for Learning recently wrapped-up a student video contest. One of the winning videos was Demonstrating Onomatopoeia. The video does a fantastic job of explaining what onomatopoeia is while also demonstrating how its proper use can enhance your writing. The video is embedded below. The video can be downloaded on Next Vista for Learning.


If this video sparked your interest in having your students make videos, take a look at Next Vista's next student video contest called Creative Spark.

How to Browse a Facebook Page Without Logging Into an Account

Earlier this week I received an email from a reader who was concerned that Facebook was requiring her to log into an account in order to view the content of the Free Technology for Teachers Facebook page. While the pop-up that Facebook puts over a page until you sign-in is annoying, there is a way to view and search a Facebook page without logging into an account. In the video embedded below I demonstrate how to browse a Facebook page without logging into an account.



As I noted in the video above, the Free Technology for Teachers Facebook page only offers some of what is found on the blog. On the blog you can find all of the shared resources including these alternatives to YouTube, more than 100 Google tools tutorials, and guides to video creation tools.