Tuesday, January 30, 2018

How to Add Q&A to Your Google Slides Presentations

From TodaysMeet (a perennial inclusion in Best of the Web) to FlipGrid (included in this year's Best of the Web) to Padlet there are plenty of ways to gather questions from students in a digital format. But one of the ways that is often overlooked is to just add a Q&A component to a slide presentation. That can be done quite easily in Google Slides right from the presentation menu. Watch my video embedded below to learn how to add Q&A to your Google Slides presentations.


Applications for Education
The option for students to vote a question up or down is useful in determining which questions seem the most important to your students.

Learn more about Google Slides in lesson 3 of my Practical Ed Tech course, G Suite for Teachers.

New Google Sites Publishing Options

One of my favorite features of the old version of Google Sites was the option to restrict access to individual pages through a function called "page-level permissions." Google hasn't brought that feature over to the new version of Google Sites, but they did get a little closer with the announcement of a new option to specify who can see your site when it is published.

In the new version of Google Sites you can now specify individuals who can view your published Google Site. This option is a middle ground between making your site public and keeping it private. You invite people to view your published site by entering their email addresses in the "invite people" box (found in the upper-right corner of your site editor) and then choosing "can view published" after entering email addresses. 

Like almost all new features added to G Suite products, this new Google Sites privacy option will be gradually rolled-out. Depending upon your domain, you might see it today or you might not see it until the end of February. 

Google Sites is featured in lesson 9 of my online course G Suite for Teachers

How to Use Microsoft Translator

Last week I wrote that Microsoft Translator was the coolest thing that I saw at BETT. If you haven't tried Microsoft Translator, watch my video below to see how it works.


For a demo of Microsoft Translator working in PowerPoint in a classroom, watch this video from Microsoft. (Jump to the 1 minute mark).

Monday, January 29, 2018

LinguaPracticaVR - Learn English in Virtual Reality

Update August 2019: This app is no longer available. 

As I walked around the BETT Show last week there seemed to be a vendor selling a virtual reality product at every turn. LinguaPracticaVR is one of those VR products that I tested.

LinguaPracticaVR offers free English lessons in a virtual reality context. LinguaPracticaVR builds short lessons into virtual reality images of places in Ireland and the United Kingdom. For example, in the screenshot below you will see an image of the Powerscourt Waterfall. Within that image there are three short lessons about the words used to describe what is seen in the image.

Applications for Education
LinguaPracticaVR is a still in the early phases of its development, but there is excellent potential for its use as an instructional tool. One thing to note is that it seems to be built with high school age or older ELL/ ESL learners. I say that because one of the tours includes a visit to a pub.

Code for Life - Coding Challenges and Lesson Plans

Code for Life is a free program that I learned about while attending the BETT Show last week. Code for Life has a programming interface based on Blockly. Anyone who has used Blockly or Scratch will immediately recognize the similarities when they launch Code for Life's programming interface.

Code for Life contains more than 100 challenges that students can complete through Code for Life's Rapid Router program. Each challenge is preceded by some simple directions for students to follow. Students can save their progress in Rapid Router by creating a free account on Code for Life.

Applications for Education
Code for Life offers an extensive collection of free lesson plans for teachers. The lesson plans are aligned to the UK Computing Curriculum. That doesn't mean that you can't adapt the lesson plans to meet the standards for your school district, state, or province.