Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Evernote Shrinks Free Plan - Here's What I'm Using Now

For a long time I have used Evernote as my primary tool for personal bookmarks. That's about to change because today Evernote announced that their free plan will soon only allow you to use Evernote on two devices. As I use three devices or more in the course of a typical week, the new Evernote free plan won't work for me. So instead of using Evernote I'm going to start using Google Keep for bookmarking.

Google Keep can be used on any device on which I sign into my Google Account. As you can see in the video embedded below, you can add labels to your Google Keep notes. Those labels can also be applied to bookmarks. All Google Keep notes and bookmarks can be shared with others.

Apps Made by Students - And a Challenge for Your Students

For the last few years Verizon has hosted the Innovative App Challenge for students. Verizon recently published the list of the best apps developed in the 2015-16 Innovative App Challenge. The top app was created by middle school students in Michigan. Their app provides a way for the public to alert local government to safety concerns in public parks. The whole list of top student-created apps can be seen in this PDF.

The next Verizon Innovative App Challenge begins in August. Students must make a video to explain the concept of their apps and write a short essay about their apps. Complete entry rules are available here.

If your students do want to build an app either for this contest or for their own enjoyment, the MIT App Inventor offers a great way to do that. Students can build working apps in their web browsers before using them on their Android devices. Click here to read more about the MIT App Inventor.

Digital Storytelling With the Latest Version of Buncee Edu Mobile

Buncee is a nice tool that makes it easy for young students to craft digital stories. Recently, Buncee updated their iOS app to optimize for iPad and iPhone displays. The latest version of Buncee's iOS app brings the best content creation tools of the Buncee Edu web app to the iOS environment.

Buncee Edu provides students with a wide variety of multimedia elements to their presentations. To add multimedia content to their Buncee slides students simply tap the "add" button then they can choose from videos (available from Vimeo and YouTube), animated characters, animated text, animated stickers, static stickers, audio from SoundCloud, images from Pixabay (filtered public domain images), and upload their own content from their iPad camera rolls. Students also have the option to draw directly on their slides.

Applications for Education
Buncee's free iPad app provides students with a great way to tell fiction and non-fiction stories. Students can create visual and audio stories about field trips, summer adventures, or a favorite personal story. Buncee's iPad app could also be used by students to create an alternative to the traditional written book report. They could use images and sounds to summarize the highlights of a favorite book.

Disclosure: Buncee is a client of MindRocket Media Group. I am a partner in MindRocket Media Group.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Google Forms Can Now Automatically Grade Quizzes Without an Add-on

For a long time Flubaroo has been one of my go-to recommendations for easy scoring of quizzes created in Google Forms. Today, Google made it easier than ever to have quizzes scored for you and to show students their scores. Now when you create a Google Form you can go into the Form settings and choose the quiz option. Within the quiz option you can choose to have your questions scored as students answer them. You can also choose to show students their scores as well as correct answers. See my screenshot below to learn where you can find the new quiz scoring options.


Applications for Education
The new automatic quiz scoring feature will make it easier to quickly deliver feedback to your students when they take multiple choice or true/false quizzes.

The automatic quiz scoring feature only supports multiple choice and true/false questions at this time. If you want to have short answer or fill-in-the-blank questions scored for you, you will need to use Flubaroo in Google Sheets.

Google Cast for Education Gets Your Students on the Same Page

This morning at the ISTE 2016 conference Google announced some great new features for teachers. One feature that immediately jumped out at me is the new Google Cast for Education Chrome app. The Google Cast for Education Chrome app enables teachers and students share their screens over wireless networks. The app integrates with Google Classroom to make it easy for you to quickly share your screen to your students' Chromebooks or laptops and for them to share with you. See the Google Cast for Education Chrome app in action in the video embedded below.



Applications for Education
The Google Cast for Education Chrome app will solve a problem that has plagued teachers for years. That problem is getting all of your students to look at the same webpage or app at the same time without having to rely on them to accurately enter a web address or click the correct link.