Wednesday, August 3, 2016

PingPong - Collect Sketches & Written Feedback from Students

PingPong is a student response system that I recently learned about from Danny Nicholson. Like many similar systems PingPong provides you with a free and easy way to collect feedback from students in the forms of multiple choice, true/false, and short answer questions. PingPong also lets you collect sketches from students which is a great way to have students illustrate solutions to mathematics problems or to submit diagrams to answer a question.

To start an activity on PingPong you need to create an account, but your students do not have to create accounts. Once you've created a PingPong account you can begin an activity by clicking "start PingPong" in your admin panel. Then select the type of activity that you want to run. You can run a multiple choice, true/false, short answer, or image response activity. Image response will let students draw a response to your prompt.

Students participate in your PingPong activity by going to then selecting guest and entering your room code. You can choose your own room code or use the default code that is assigned to you. Your room code is the same for all of the activities that you conduct. That could be helpful feature because once you've run a few activities your students should get the in the habit of using the same room code over and over. You could also post your PingPong room code on a board in your classroom.

Applications for Education
All PingPong activities are single question/ single prompt activities. The single question nature of PingPong makes it good for conducting a quick survey of your students' knowledge of a single concept before or after a lesson. The drawing feature makes PingPong a good option for asking questions that aren't easily answered with a typed response. PingPong offers free Android and iPad apps which make it easier than using a mouse or touch pad for students when they sketch responses to your questions.

Page Level Permissions & File Cabinets in Google Sites

On Tuesday morning I shared directions for using DropItToMe to collect files from students and have them automatically appear in a designated Google Drive, Dropbox, or OneNote folder. I shared those directions as part of an answer on how to collect pictures from students to use in a big project like a yearbook. Another way that you can accomplish the same thing is to create a file cabinet page in Google Sites and let students add files to it. You can set page-level permissions in Google Sites to make sure that students only upload files to the pages that you have designated for collecting images. The directions below show you how to create a file cabinet page in Google Sites and how to set page-level permissions.

Creating a file cabinet:

Click image to view in full size. 
Click image to view in full size. 
Click image to view in full size. 

Setting page-level permissions:

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Let the Games Begin - An Interactive Map of Issues Surrounding the Olympic Games

The 2016 Summer Olympic Games begin at the end of this week. The lead-up to the games has been full of new stories about physical, political, and economic conditions in Brazil. ESRI has published an interactive storymap about all of these issues. On Ready or Not, Let the Games Begin you can scroll through a story that features summaries of stories about construction of Olympic venues, issues regarding displacement of residents of Rio de Janiero, the zika virus, pollution, and security around the Olympic Games. At various points in the story you can click on maps to learn more about each issue.

Applications for Education
Back in 2008 I had students in my ninth grade world geography course write persuasive essays on the question of whether not the Olympic Games benefited the people who lived in the areas immediately surrounding the event venues. Ready or Not, Let the Games Begin provides students with background on the 2016 Olympic Games that they could use in making persuasive arguments about this year's Olympic Games.

H/T to Maps Mania

Free Guides to Windows 10 Accessibility and Deployment in Schools

A few weeks ago Microsoft released more than 200 free ebooks. Those ebooks cover everything from Windows 10 accessibility settings to keyboard shortcuts to school-wide deployment of Windows 10 (links open PDFs). The list of free ebooks isn't limited to just Windows 10. As you browse the list you will find free guides to OneNote, Outlook, and the entire Office suite. For the IT professionals the list of titles includes plenty of guides to server set-up and maintenance as well as database management.

Applications for Education
If your school is using Windows 10 or will soon be using Windows 10, take a look at the Windows 10 accessibility settings to keyboard shortcuts to help you get up to speed on the basics. The entire library of free Microsoft ebooks can be found here.

H/T to Lifehacker.

Try DropItToMe to Collect Files from Students and Colleagues

DropItToMe is a free tool that you can integrate with your Google Drive, Dropbox, or OneNote account. DropItToMe lets you collect files from anyone and have those files directly deposited into a Google Drive, Dropbox, or OneNote folder. The beauty of using DropItToMe is that people sending files to you don't see the contents of the folder. So rather than creating a shared folder in which everyone can see everything submitted, you create one folder to which anyone can contribute but only you can access the contents. Watch my video embedded below to see how the DropItToMe system works.

Applications for Education
This morning I received an email from a reader who was looking for a way to collect pictures from her school's student body to use in the yearbook. She didn't want to use a shared folder because she didn't want to risk having students accidentally delete files. She also didn't want to use email because then she'd be inundated with email attachments. DropItToMe was the perfect solution for her because she could collect lots of pictures from the student body without having to share a folder or get flooded with email attachments.