Friday, November 4, 2016

A Clear Explanation of Gamification

Gamification is one of the trendy words in education right now. In most education conference programs I find at least a couple of workshops or presentations about gamification. You've probably seen those too. What is gamification? Common Craft's latest video explains gamification in clear and concise terms.

Gamification is something that I had to experience first-hand in order to really understand why it appeals to so many students and teachers. I experienced it when I started using the Strava app to track my bike rides. Once I started using it, I realized why kids like digital badges. More of that story is found in my post, What Strava Taught Me About Why Kids Love ClassDojo and Digital Badges.

How to Find Google Docs Published by Others

Earlier this week in my post about finding rubrics to use in JoeZoo Express I mentioned the idea of performing a Google search to find rubrics that other teachers have made in Google Docs and Sheets. I've had a couple of readers ask follow-up questions about how to do that. In the video embedded below I demonstrate how to conduct a Google search to locate publicly shared Google Docs, Slides, and Sheets.


The short version of the video above is to simply limit your search to the .docs.google.com domain by entering site:docs.google.com after your search terms.

All of my #GaETC16 Slides

This week I had the privilege to give six presentations at GaETC16 in Atlanta. Earlier today I shared my slides from the Best of the Web presentation that I gave there. The slides from my five other presentations are embedded below.





Best of the Web - Fall 2016 Edition

On Wednesday afternoon at GaETC16  I gave the latest version of my popular Best of the Web presentation. The room filled to capacity almost 20 minutes before the start time and unfortunately many people who wanted to see it were not allowed into the room due to fire code restrictions. While you don't get my commentary from the presentation, you can view my slides from the presentation. The slides from Best of the Web - Fall 2016 are embedded below.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Create MadLibs Through Google Sheets

Flippity is my favorite place to find templates for creating neat things in Google Sheets. A MadLibs story generator is one of the cool templates you'll find on Flippity. Flippity's MadLibs template lets you create a series of MadLibs-style stories for your students to complete online (see a demo here).

To create a MadLibs-style story generator first select the template on the Flippity homepage. Then you'll be asked to make a copy of the template in your Google Sheets account. Once you've made the copy you can edit the template by writing your own stories into the spreadsheet cells. To define variables, those are the parts your students will complete, simply place brackets around the words "verb, noun, adjective, place, name, or number." For example, if I want students to fill in a noun in the story I'd write [noun] in the spreadsheet cell in which I'm creating my story. When your completed work is published your students will see something like this on which they'll complete the MadLibs story.

Applications for Education
Using your MadLibs-style stories could be a fun way for your students to practice identifying parts of speech. When they use verb instead of a noun in a MadLibs-style story, the story doesn't make quite as much sense as it should have.

If you have students that are comfortable using spreadsheets, they could use the Flippity template to create and share their own MadLibs-style story templates to share.