Sunday, August 28, 2016

Remind Introduces a New Way to Coordinate Activities

Remind is one of my favorite tools for keeping parents informed about what's happening in your school. Last week Remind released a new feature that could help you organize and keep track of registrations for school events like field trips. The new feature is called activities.

Remind's new activities feature enables you to create activity registrations that are sent through Remind's platform to parents and students. Teachers and or school administrators create the activities and invitations are sent to specified students and or parents. Parents and students can respond through the Remind apps to register for the activity.

Activities created in Remind can be free events or events that require a payment such as for a field trip. If you choose to create an activity that requires a payment, parents can pay through the Remind app. Remind charges a transaction fee for events that require a payment. The transaction fee is paid by the parent in a manner that is similar to buying tickets to a sporting event and having a "convenience fee" tacked on to the purchase. As Audrey Waters pointed out, the transaction fee is clearly part of Remind's plan to move away from reliance on venture capital funding.

Applications for Education
Free events should be fairly easy to create and track in Remind's activities function. There could be plenty of problems enabling the payment option in schools. The people at Remind must be anticipating that because they have published a bunch of resources about managing activities and money collected through the app.

Padlet's Remake Feature Lets You Use & Create Templates

Last week the folks at Padlet introduced their fourth update of the summer. In June they overhauled the user interface and published a best of education gallery. Earlier this month they added a new post attribution feature. And late last week they added a new template copying feature they're calling "remake."

Padlet's new remake feature lets you make a copy of your own Padlet walls as well as those of anyone else who chooses to publish and enable the remake option. When you click on the remake option on a Padlet wall a copy will be created in your account. You can choose to copy all of the posts on a wall or you can choose to copy just the template/ layout of the wall. See the screenshot below for an illustration of the remake options.
Click image for full size.

Applications for Education
Padlet's remake feature could be quite handy when you want to use the same format for a wall, but don't want to reuse the posts on a wall. For example, I often create Padlet walls to use as exit tickets in which I want students to share something they learned that day and to share something that they still have questions about. Rather than recreating a wall for each class, I can now simply click remake and reuse the template across multiple classes.

Check out my playlist of Padlet tutorial videos to learn more about the many features that Padlet offers to teachers and students.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

The Week in Review - A New Team Member

Good morning from Maine where I'm writing my first blog post since Tuesday morning (yes, I write and schedule posts in advance). I haven't written a post since Tuesday because I've been a bit busy as my partner Jess and I welcomed our daughter this week. Isla was born on Tuesday evening. The room that she was born in overlooks the Portland Sea Dogs baseball stadium so on Wednesday evening we watched our first baseball game together. The Sea Dogs won and fireworks were displayed. Maybe years from now I'll tell her the fireworks were for her.

And for those who have followed my dog stories over the years, the dogs are adjusting well to have a new little sister.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. How to Create a Simple Check Out / Check In System in Google Forms
2. 15 Google Forms Tutorial Videos
3. How to Create a Map and Timeline Mashup
4. 11 Google Apps Updates You Might Have Missed This Summer - PDF
5. Google Expeditions Will Soon Be Available to iPad Users
6. How to Impose Time Limits on Google Forms
7. Remember to Sleep - A Lesson for Students

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How to Import and Convert PowerPoint to Google Slides

One of the questions that I often receive when I conduct Google Apps workshops for schools goes something like this, "what do I do with my old PowerPoint slides? Aren't they useless now?" The answer is, "no, they're not useless. It's easy to convert PowerPoint to Google Slides." In the video embedded below I demonstrate how to import and convert PowerPoint to Google Slides format.

A Good Way to Refine YouTube Search Results

When you search on YouTube the results will be a mix of current videos along with videos that could be many years old and no longer relevant to the topic you're researching. There is a quick and easy way to filter the results to show just recently published videos. I demonstrate how to do that in the video embedded below.