Saturday, August 12, 2017

Google Forms & Sheets for Beginners - A Practical Ed Tech Webinar

Throughout the year I host many professional development webinars at PracticalEdTech.com. The next one in my Tech Tuesday series is Google Forms & Sheets for Beginners. In this webinar on August 15th you will everything you need to know to get started using Google Forms and Google Sheets to streamline your workflow in grading quizzes, emailing parents and students, and keeping track of classroom materials. You will also learn how to build self-guided video review activities for your students. Finally, we'll tackle any questions that you have about Google Forms and Google Sheets.

This webinar will be held live at 4pm Eastern Time on August 15th. Register here. A recording will be available to those who register, but cannot attend the live session. The cost for this webinar is $20. Your registration includes access to the live webinar, live Q&A, unlimited access to the recording of the webinar, and a PD certificate.

In this webinar you will learn:

  • Two ways to create self-grading quizzes.
  • How to create self-paced guided video review activities.
  • How to develop Jeopardy-style games and flashcards in Google Sheets. 
  • A great method sending personalized emails to parents and students from one spreadsheet.
  • How to easily keep track of classroom materials through the use of Forms and Sheets.

Register Today!

This live webinar will held on August 15th at 4pm Eastern Time.

The cost for this webinar is $20. Your registration includes access to the live webinar, live Q&A, unlimited access to the recording of the webinar, and a PD certificate.

Friday, August 11, 2017

10 Things You Can Do With Google Sheets

As I mentioned yesterday in my run-down of ten ways to use Google Forms, Google Forms and Google Sheets is the part of G Suite for Education that I get most excited about teaching to others. My excitement comes from seeing how many applications for Google Forms and Google Sheets teachers develop once they understand the basics of how Forms and Sheets work. Here are ten ways that you can use Google Sheets once you understand the basics of how to use Sheets.

1. Send personalized emails to everyone in a group. Rather than sending a generic, "hi everyone" greeting you can address each person by name.

2. Create and display progress trackers. This is ideal for things like reading logs or fundraisers.

3. Create flashcards. You can make them or have your students make flashcards from the information in a Google Sheet.

4. Schedule room use. Keep track of who is using a meeting room and when.

5. Develop and publish multimedia timelines. Include pictures, videos, and maps in your timeline.

6. Keep track of iPad/ Chromebook carts in your school. The same logic can be applied to keeping track of anything commonly borrowed in your school.

7. Create maps of data sets. If your spreadsheet contains location data, you can map it from a Google Sheet.

8. Create rubrics and email grades from a spreadsheet. Email scores and feedback from the same place that you recorded scores and feedback.

9. Develop and manage a gradebook. If your school doesn't have a system-wide gradebook system in place, you can create your own in Google Sheets.

10. Create Jeopardy-style games. This staple of review games can be developed and played from a Google Sheet.

This Is Augmented Reality, This Is Virtual Reality

The difference between augmented reality and virtual reality is one of the things that I get asked to clarify on a fairly regular basis. This post has an example of each.

Earlier this year I featured a fun app from PBS Kids called Plum's Creaturizer. It's a free augmented reality app that lets students create fun cartoon creatures then place them into outdoor settings through the use of augmented reality. The purpose of the app is to have students learn and show how the characteristics of an animal help it thrive in its environment. A video demonstration of the app can be seen here.


Plum's Creaturizer and other augmented reality apps like it, are dependent upon location services in order to provide your on-screen experience. Virtual Reality apps, however, are not dependent upon location services to provide you with an immersive on-screen experience. Google Expeditions is an example of a virtual reality app. In my video embedded below I provide a short overview of how to use the "explorer mode" in Google Expeditions to view Mount Everest in virtual reality.


You can create your own basic virtual reality experiences by using the Cardboard Camera app from Google.

The Imperial Presidents - And Other New Lessons from Tom Richey

After a little bit of a summer break it looks like Tom Richey is back to publishing some great videos for history students. His latest videos focus on the topic of American Imperialism. In particular, the most recent video is about the policies of Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and Woodrow Wilson.


Tom's videos for AP U.S. History and A.P. European History have become quite popular with students and teachers. That popularity is due in part to Tom's relaxed manner of presentation which is a nice contrast to the sometimes harried style of Crash Course videos.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Student Stories Drawings in ClassDojo

Student Stories is ClassDojo's student portfolio tool that they launched around this time last year. A few weeks ago I gave a run-down of new features that are going to be added to ClassDojo's Student Stories tool for the new school year. One of those features is an option for students to draw or annotate images in their portfolios. That feature is now live and ready for your students to use.

Applications for Education
Drawing on an image in a portfolio can be a good way for students to highlight the most important parts of an picture or of a diagram. In an art history lesson you could have students take a picture of a famous work and then use the drawing tool in Student Stories to highlight the techniques used by the artist.