Saturday, November 12, 2016

Two Options for Collecting Students' Questions to Appear on Review Games

Earlier this week I received the following email from a reader,

My desire is to create a database of questions in multiple choice, short answer and T/F . I guess a quiz, however I would like to "share" (like g docs) this database with my students so that they could add questions . What app or program would be best for this (open source)?

I had two suggestions to offer. First, Triventy is a free online quiz game platform that is similar in concept to platforms like Kahoot and Socrative. Triventy differentiates itself from the crowd by allowing you to accept question suggestions from students. You can see an overview of Triventy in this video that I published in January.

The other tool that I suggested was Quizlet. Quizlet is an online and mobile (free Android and iOS apps available) for creating and studying flashcards. All of the flashcards that you create on Quizlet can be made public. Your students can create and publish flashcards too. Then you can can create a folder within Quizlet in which you collect all of the flashcard sets your students have created. Once you've put those flashcards into a folder in your account you can create quiz games by using the Quizlet Live option.

These Tools Help Students Compare the Sizes of States & Countries

I'm in Scottsbluff, Nebraska this morning. On Friday I drove from Denver to Cheyenne to Scottsbluff. Making that drive reminds me that Maine is quite small in comparison to western states. While it's hard to replicate the experience, there are tools that help students see the size of states and countries relative to others. The following three tools are good for that purpose.

If It Were My Home is a neat site that provides comparisons of countries. If It Were My Home will show you a comparison of geographic size of your country with that of another of your choosing. Beyond the size comparison, If It Were My Home shows you comparisons of twelve health and economics statistics about life in different countries. To view the comparisons just select two countries from the lists and click compare.

Overlap Maps is a free service that can be used to quickly compare the size of countries, states, provinces, and some bodies of water. To create a visual comparison of two countries select one country from the "overlap this" menu and select one country from the "onto this" menu. The comparisons you make are displayed on a map. You can make comparisons from different categories. For example, you can overlap Lake Erie onto New Hampshire.

The True Size Of... is a free web tool that lets you quickly compare the size of two countries or two states within the United States. To compare two countries simply enter one into the search box then enter a second one into the search box. Both countries will be highlighted for you. You can then drag and drop one onto the other. The same can be done with states of the United States as is demonstrated in my screenshot above.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Three G Suite Updates You Might Have Missed This Week

The tools within G Suite for Education are constantly evolving. Sometimes it feels like the updates come in waves like they did this week. These are the latest updates to tools within the G Suite environment.

1. A new version of Google Sites is now available to everyone who has a G Suite for Education or Work account. The caveat being that your domain administrator must enable it. Google teased us with this update back in June and finally rolled it out this week. The new version of Google Sites provides a new drag-and-drop editing platform, enhanced collaboration features, and new responsive design templates. If you have sites made in the current version of Google Sites, don't worry because they're not going away and you don't have to change anything on them until 2018.

2. Android users who have the Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides apps installed will now receive notifications within those apps as well as within in the Google Drive app. (If that sounds like too many notifications for your liking, you can turn them off in your phone's settings).

3. The Gmail and Google Calendar iOS apps were updated this week. The Gmail app will now allow you to use the undo send function just like on a desktop computer. The Calendar app now supports viewing weeks and months in landscape mode. The Calendar app also now supports non-Gregorian calendars.

The new version of Google Sites will be featured in my online course Getting Going With G Suite. The next class starts on November 21st. Graduate credit is available. 

How to Create Multimedia Timelines on

HSTRY is a multimedia timeline creation tool that I've been a fan of since it launched a couple of years ago. One of the features that makes it different from other timeline tools is that you can build quiz questions into your timeline. HSTRY also offers a collaboration option for students and teachers to use to create timelines together. In the video embedded below I provide an overview of how to create a multimedia timeline on HSTRY.

Applications for Education
There are two features of HSTRY that make it stand-out from the crowd. First, as a teacher you can create an online classroom in which you can view all of your students' timelines. Second, as a teacher you can build questions into timelines that you share with your students. You can even build-in explanations of the answers to your questions.

11 Video Tutorials About Creating Multimedia Maps

Next week is Geography Awareness Week. That is a great time to have your students create their own multimedia maps. Yesterday, I shared five map creation activities that your students can do to increase their understanding of geography. In that post I suggested using Google's My Maps, Scribble Maps, and National Geographic's Map Maker Interactive tool. If you or your students need a tutorial on those tools, take a look at my playlist of tutorials.

Check out my YouTube channel to find more than 400 other educational technology tools tutorial videos.