Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Math, Rocks, and Overlooked Features - The Month in Review

Good evening from Maine where the sun is setting on the first month of the year. It seems like just yesterday we were ringing in the New Year. How are you doing on your New Year's resolution? I'm 50/50 on the follow-through for the two resolutions that I made.

As I do at the end of every month, I have compiled a list of the posts that were visited the most in previous 30 days. Take a look and see if you missed anything new and interesting in January.

Here are January's most popular posts on
1. Ten Overlooked Google Docs Features
2. Gamifying Writing Instruction
3. Google Calendar is Changing Whether You Like It or Not
4. 10 Free Apps for Elementary School Math Lessons
5. 12 Free Lessons About Rocks, Minerals, and Landforms
6. Ten Overlooked Google Slides Features
7. 10 Good Resources for Math Teachers and Students
8. How to Create an Interactive Diagram in Google Slides
9. Automatically Issue Certificates When Students Pass a Quiz in Google Forms
10. Free Music to Use In Google Slides Presentations

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Add Live Polls and Q&A to Your PowerPoint Slides

Glisser is a live polling and online Q&A platform that offers a free PowerPoint add-in. Glisser's free PowerPoint add-in will sync your slides to Glisser's online service. With Glisser activated you can ask multiple choice poll questions or let your audience submit their own questions much like the Q&A feature for Google Slides.

To use Glisser's free PowerPoint add-in just create your slides as you normally would. Then with the add-in activated select "sync" followed by "go live" in your PowerPoint deck. While presenting live you can use a Glisser's keyboard shortcuts to toggle between your slides and your polls.

Applications for Education
If you're in the habit of using PowerPoint to deliver lessons to your students, Glisser's free PowerPoint add-in could provide you with a way for students to submit questions and then vote for the questions that they want you to answer first. You could also use Glisser's PowerPoint add-in to build questions to use as quick warm-up quizzes at the start of a lesson.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

The History of the State of the Union Address

Tonight, President Trump delivered the State of the Union Address. This post is not about what he said or didn't say tonight. Instead, it is intended to share some resources that could help you teach your students about the history of the State of the Union Address.

The following two videos from CNN and Fox News, respectively, cover the bare basics about the history of the State of the Union Address.

The History of the State of the Union from C-SPAN is a longer, more in-depth, and fairly dry overview of the history of the State of the Union Address.

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