Friday, June 3, 2016

A Good Place to Find OneNote Tutorials

Yesterday morning I woke up to an email from a reader who told me that it was "ridonkulous" that I don't write about OneNote. (Side note, I need to get back in the habit of not checking email first thing in the morning so that I'm not starting my day with a nasty tone).

The reason that I don't write about OneNote is that I don't use it with any degree of regularity. It's a fine product and many people like it, but I've been a Google Apps guy for a long time and people kind of know me for that so I tend to write about Google Apps more than I do other cloud-based productivity services. All that said, I am happy to refer people to my friend Jeff Bradbury's website where he has many OneNote tutorials because he is regular user of that service. One of Jeff's videos about OneNote templates is embedded below.

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.