Monday, July 31, 2017

Create Formative Labeling Activities

Back in June Formative released an overhauled user interface for creating digital formative assessments. One of the things that you can do in the updated interface is change the background on a "show your work" question. Changing the background lets you create a labeling activity for your students to complete. Watch my video embedded below to see learn how to create a labeling activity on GoFormative.com. The video also includes a view of the assessment from a student's perspective.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

The Week in Review - The Most Popular Posts

Good evening from Maine where we enjoyed a beautiful summer day. These are the kind of summer days that you want to bottle and save to re-use on dreary day in January. We took advantage of the beautiful weather by going for a hike with our dogs. Wherever you are this weekend, I hope that you're enjoying it too.

This week I wrapped up the second of two Practical Ed Tech Summer Camps that I hosted this year. And now I'm turning my full attention to back-to-school activities. To that end, on Tuesday I'm hosting a webinar titled Search Strategies Students Need to Know.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. Ignite Teaching is Shutting Down Next Week
2. Warning! The Default Order of Icons in G Suite Launcher is Changing
3. Historical Patterns Animated
4. A Virtual Amusement Park About Molecules
5. A TED-Ed Lesson on the Bill of Rights
6. View and Print in 3D More Than 200 Objects from The British Museum
7. The Half-life of Links and School Social Media Plans

I'm offering three online professional development courses in August. Join me for a few hours in August and you'll gain new skills and ideas to use in your classroom this fall.

Please visit the official advertisers that help keep this blog going.
Practical Ed Tech is the brand through which I offer PD webinars.
Storyboard That is my go-to tool for creating storyboards.
Beyond Tech Ed is hosting a great Chromebook training in Palm Springs. 
University of Maryland Baltimore County offers a great program on instructional design.
Discovery Education & Wilkes University offer online courses for earning Master's degrees in Instructional Media.
PrepFactory offers a great place for students to prepare for SAT and ACT tests.
Boise State University offers a 100% online program in educational technology.
My Simpleshow provides a great way to create explanatory videos.

Digital Storytelling With Comics - Free Ebook

Disclosure: Storyboard That is a long-running advertiser on Free Technology for Teachers. 

A few years ago I put together a PDF of five projects that your students can complete with Storyboard That. The projects outlined include creative storytelling, retelling of history, using comics in videos, crafting book reviews with comics, and creating multimedia ebooks. While the document focuses on using Storyboard That (they sponsored it) the concepts can be applied to many other other digital storytelling tool. The PDF is embedded below.



A Game for Learning About International Trade

This post contains content that I originally published a couple of years ago. An email from a reader who was looking for suggestions on activities for teaching global trade prompted me to pull these resources from my archive.

The multimedia library on The Economist contains a set of cartoon videos explaining some big concepts in economics. Of the six cartoons, the cartoon on international trade has the broadest appeal. The video is appropriate as an introduction to the topic for middle school and high school students.



After watching the video on international trade have your students put their new knowledge to use in Trading Around the World from the International Monetary Fund. The object of the game is to provide students with knowledge of the variables affecting international trade. Students experience the impact of each variable by playing the game as a representative of a country or region that is trying to buy or sell resources. The overall object of the game is to accumulate cash through buying and selling natural resources.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Tools to Show Your Students the Reach of Their Blogs

ClustrMaps is a free service that you can use to show students the global traffic sources of their blogs. ClustrMaps will display a real-time map of where in the world visitors are when they visit your blog. To get a ClustrMap for your blog just visit ClustrMaps.com, enter your blog's URL, and enter your email address. After your URL and email address are verified you will be able to get a ClustrMaps embed code to place anywhere on your blog.

Blogger users have a built-in set of visitor statistics that will show you where your visitors are coming from. To access these statistics select "Stats" from the drop-down menu next to the name of your blog when you sign-in at Blogger.com.

If you want to get really geeky with your blog statistics you can use Google Analytics to gather all kinds of information about visitors to your blog. To use Google Analytics you do have to add a bit of code to your site (Google Analytics offers good directions for doing this). Some of the statistics that Google Analytics will enable you discover are where visitors come from, which posts and pages are most visited, the top referrers to your blog, and how much time people spend on your blog.

Applications for Education
Depending upon which tracking method you use there is a lot that you and your students could do with blog visitor statistics. At the elementary school level looking at the geographic dispersal of visitors could lead into a geography lesson about countries and states. At the middle school and high school level you could have students investigate the visitor statistics to try to determine what keeps a visitor on a blog or why their blog posts are more popular in one location than another.