Saturday, January 13, 2018

Music, Doodles, and Forms - The Week in Review

January, 2015 Patriots v. Ravens 
Good evening from Maine where I am getting ready to watch the Patriots play their first playoff game on their way to the Super Bowl. Before I enjoy the game and some delicious chili, I have this week's post popular posts to share with you. This week's list features some Google Slides and Forms tricks, some math resources, and Microsoft Forms.


Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. Free Music to Use In Google Slides Presentations
2. Doodle 4 Google is Back for 2018
3. 25 G Suite Add-ons & Chrome Extensions for Teachers & Students
4. How to Quickly Copy Questions from One Google Form to Another
5. g(Math) Has Been Deleted - Try These Three Alternatives
6. 10 Good Resources for Math Teachers and Students
7. Three Things I Like About Microsoft Forms

Online Professional Development
The 2018 Practical Ed Tech Coaching Group will had its first webinar on Tuesday afternoon, but you can still join until the end of the month.  And you can start Teaching History With Technology or G Suite for Teachers at any time.

Book Me for Your Conference
I’ve given keynotes at conferences from Australia to Alaska for groups of all sizes from 50 to 2,000+. My keynotes focus on providing teachers and school administrators with practical ways to use technology to create better learning experiences for all students. I like to shine the light on others and so I often share examples of great work done by others as well as my own. Click here to book me today.

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.
MySimpleShow offers a great way to create animated videos for free.
Metaverse enables anyone to create amazing things.
Kids Discover provides fantastic tools for helping kids discover new information. 
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.

Eight Lessons in Teaching History With Technology

A couple of month ago I launched an on-demand version of my popular Teaching History With Technology course. So far more than 50 people have completed the course. The question that almost everyone asks before they enroll in the course is, "what's covered in the course?" That's a fair question to ask so I published the following outline of the eight lessons in the course.

  • Lesson 1 - Search Strategies for History Students
    • Lesson 1b - saving and sharing search results.

  • Lesson 2 - Using technology to help students analyze historical/ primary source documents.
    • Lesson 2b - Making artifacts interactive.


  • Lesson 3 - Hosting online history discussions
    • The importance of structure and expectations.


  • Lesson 4 - Using audio in history lessons.
    • Recording history with students
    • Hearing history


  • Lesson 5 - Creating multimedia timelines with students.
    • Simple to complex options for every grade level.


  • Lesson 6 - Creating multimedia maps
    • Google Maps and Earth are not your only options.


  • Lesson 7 - Creating videos and teaching with video.
    • Student creations and teacher creations.


  • Lesson 8 - Making and using virtual tours.
    • Virtual Reality tours, Augmented Reality tours, and online virtual tours.
The eight lessons in Teaching History With Technology are delivered via email. Each lesson contains at least one how-to video (20-30 minutes) and a suggested activity to use in your classroom. Click here to get started today!

5 Add-ons I'm Utilizing More Often in 2018

Add-ons can provide a lot of additional functionality to Google Forms, Sheets, Slides, and Docs. In some cases using the right Add-on can save you a lot of time on completing routine tasks. Other times they make Forms, Sheets, Slides, and Docs do things that they could not otherwise do for you. Here are five Add-ons that I'm going to be utilizing more often in 2018.

Certify'em
Certify'em makes it possible to not only give students their grades right away, it also issues them a certificate for passing a quiz created in Google Forms. To use Certify'em properly you should install it and enable it before creating your quiz in Google Forms. When you enable Certify'em on a Form it will populate a couple of required fields in your Form and ask you to specify a minimum passing score. Complete those fields then write your quiz and set an answer key just as you would for any other quiz that you build in Google Forms. When students complete the quiz they will automatically receive PDF certificate in their email inboxes if they have passed the quiz.

Certify'em was developed by the same person who developed the extremely popular Flubaroo Add-on for Google Sheets.

Unsplash
The selection of Google Slides Add-ons is fairly limited at this point, but there are some good ones for teachers and students within that small collection. One of those is the Unsplash Photos Add-on. This Add-on gives you instant access to Unsplash's collection of free, royalty-free photographs. In the following video I demonstrate how to add the Add-on to your Google Slides, how to use Unsplash Photos, and I explain the licensing of Unsplash Photos.


Audio Player for Google Slides
Audio Player for Google Slides is a free Add-on that will enable you to play music in the background of your Google Slides presentation. It will work with any audio file that you have stored in your Google Drive account. To use Audio Player for Google Slides simply activate the Add-on then choose that audio file that you want to have played in the background of your presentation. You can specify an start and end time for your file. It is also possible to have your audio file loop continuously throughout your presentation.

Form Recycler
formRecycler is a free Google Forms Add-on that makes it easy to reuse questions from one Google Form into another form. When you have the formRecycler Add-on installed you can access all of your existing Google Forms and then pick questions from one of those existing Forms to use in a new form. You can use formRecycler multiple times on the same form and thereby include questions from multiple existing forms in your new form.

Photo Slideshow
Photo Slideshow is a free Add-on that makes it quick and easy to import an entire Google Photos or Google Drive folder into Google Slides. Once you have installed the Add-on just select either Google Photos or Google Drive and then choose the folder of images that you want to have displayed in a slideshow. Each image in the folder will automatically be placed on a slide.

Learn more about Add-ons for G Suite products in my on-demand course, G Suite for Teachers

Twitter Moments - One Storify Alternative

Earlier this week someone emailed me looking for an alternative to Storify which is shutting down and no longer accepting submissions.  Moving forward, one way to create collections of Tweets about a topic is to use Twitter's Moments feature. I have a video about how to create Twitter Moments.


In May Storify will be removing all content. You can download your content as HTML until then.  Alan Levine has developed a tool for extracting embedded Storify links. He's also published an extensive blog post on what to do with your Storify content (warning, there is a lot of coding talk in the post). 

Applications for Education
Creating Twitter Moments could be a good way to organize a collection of Tweets about an event at your school. Another way to use Twitter Moments is to create a collection of Tweets about a current events topic that your students are studying.

Friday, January 12, 2018

10 Good Resources for Math Teachers and Students

One of the things that I wish that I had done when started this blog was to build pages like Larry Ferlazzo's "Best Resources for X" lists. Instead, I have relied on people using the search box on this blog to find the resources that they need. That's why from time to time I will publish a list like this one to organize some of my current favorite resources for a particular subject area. Here are ten good resources for math teachers and their students.

Math Challenges
Expii Solve is a series of more than fifty sets of mathematics word problems. Within each set there are five problems aligned to a theme. For example, there was recently a set of Thanksgiving themed problems. The problems within each set on Expii Solve vary in difficulty so that you can pick the one(s) that best suit your students. Or you can let your students register on the site and self-select the problems that they want to tackle. In fact, that is how the site is intended to be used. Students can get instant feedback on their answers to the problems that they try to solve. Students who need a bit of help solving a problem can avail themselves of tutorials linked at the bottom of each problem page.

Would You Rather? is a website maintained by John Stevens for the purpose of sharing quick and fun math challenges for students.  Would You Rather? presents a picture with a mathematics problem that asks "would you rather?" Most of the questions have a financial aspect to them. One of my favorite examples is this challenge that asks "would you rather go on a 5 minute shopping spree in the store of your choice or get a $2,000 gift card to the store of your choice?" Would You Rather? offers a simple worksheet that your students can use to analyze the choices presented to them in the challenges.

Math Pickle is a free site that offers dozens of fun and challenging math puzzles for students of all ages. The puzzles are designed to foster collaborative problem solving over the course of 45 to 60 minutes. Almost all of the puzzles are presented as a series of small, connected problems that students need to solve to complete the puzzle presented to them. The puzzles can be viewed as slides and or downloaded as PDFs.

eTexts, Models, and Interactive Tools
XtraMath is a free service designed to help teachers and parents help their students learn basic mathematics. The service provides an online environment in which students complete practice activities that are recorded and shared with teachers and parents. Teachers can create classroom accounts in which each child has his or her own log-in credentials. Parents can also be given log-in credentials to see how their children are progressing. XtraMath offers materials seven languages. Those are languages are English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and American Sign Language.

ADA Project is a great resource being developed by a mathematics teacher named Sam Powell. The ADA Project is an open multimedia mathematics textbook that covers everything from basic arithmetic through calculus. When you visit the ADA Project's home screen you can choose a category then choose a topic. Within each topic you will find a set of sample problems. Each sample problem is accompanied by a link to reveal the answer, the solution, a video about the solution, and a link to a discussion forum. Take a look at this set of long division problems to get a sense of how the ADA Project works. Teachers are invited to contribute to the ADA Project's development by submitting problems, solutions, videos, and discussions. The submission form is found here.

I cannot publish a list like this one without including GeoGebra. GeoGebra is a free program that math teachers and students can use to build interactive models of problems and concepts. Over the years I have had friends and colleagues who teach mathematics rave about the capabilities of GeoGebra for modeling functions and graphing equations. GeoGebra has a huge community of users who share ideas and tutorials for using GeoGebra in a wide variety of settings. You can join that community here. The GeoGebra YouTube channel is probably the best place to find tutorials to help you get started using GeoGebra on your laptop, tablet, or Chromebook.

Geoboard is a free app on which students stretch virtual rubber bands over pegboards to create lines and shapes to learn about perimeter, area, and angles. The app is available as a Chrome app, as an iPad app, and it can be used directly in any modern web browser.

Calculators, Graphs, and Homework Checkers
Desmos is a free graphing calculator that you can use in your web browser on a Chromebook or any other computer using the Chrome browser. It is also available for mobile phones. Desmos has a robust website full of activities and lessons to use in your classroom.


EquatIO is a popular tool that math and science teachers like to use for using handwriting, equation and formula prediction, and graphing in Google Forms, Sheets, Slides, and Drawings. The service is provided by TextHelp who also makes the popular Read & Write add-on for Google Docs. A couple of months ago TextHelp announced that EquatIO is free for teachers to use. To get a free teacher account just create an account on TextHelp then complete this form. Upon approval, you will be granted access to all of the premium features that EquatIO offers.

Photomath was the first app that I remember having the capability to let students snap a picture to get the answer to a math problem. It will not only show students the answer it also shows the the steps required to solve a math problem. Photomath is available for Android and iOS.