Monday, May 13, 2019

5 Good Options for Making Digital Portfolios

In yesterday's Practical Ed Tech post I mentioned that if you have been using a service like SeeSaw all year to have students create digital portfolios, it is relatively easy to have students create an end-of-year showcase of their best work. Of course, SeeSaw isn't the only way to create a digital portfolio. Here's are my five go-to recommendations for creating digital portfolios.

Google Sites
For students that have G Suite for Education accounts, Google Sites offers a convenient way to create a digital portfolio. Students can import documents, slides, videos, and just about anything else stored in their Google Drives into pages in Google Sites. In the following video I demonstrate how to create the first pages of your first Google Sites website.

As mentioned in the opening, SeeSaw is a great tool for making a digital portfolio. It is accessible to students of all ages including those who don't have email addresses. You can have students sign into SeeSaw via student codes and or QR codes. Students can select the items that they want to include in their portfolios. You can view all of your students' portfolio items from one page. Get a big picture overview of SeeSaw by watching the following video.

ClassDojo Portfolios
ClassDojo is best known for its behavior and habits tracking tools. Over the last couple of years ClassDojo has made an effort to be more than just a behavior tracker. Last June ClassDojo introduced a portfolio tool. ClassDojo Portfolios let students select the items that they want to include in the portfolios they build to share with you and their parents.

Weebly for Education
Weebly for Education is the free website creation tool offered by Weebly. Weebly for Education lets you create and manage student accounts. Students can use those accounts to create websites in which they showcase examples of their best work. Here's a quick guide to getting started on Weebly for Education.

FreshGrade is a digital portfolio service that enables teachers and students to create portfolios containing video and audio files, pictures, and text files. Teachers using FreshGrade can create and manage accounts for their students. From their dashboards teachers can assign tasks to students and see the work that students complete. A nice end-of-the-year aspect of FreshGrade is the option to create a "video yearbook" of up to ten highlights of a student’s portfolio. That video slideshow can be shared directly to parents.

On a related note, you may be interested in exploring this rubric for digital portfolio assessment.

How the Stock Market Works

Playing a stock market simulation game is one of the popular ways to teach the basic concepts of stock markets. I played one when I was in fifth grade and decades later teachers still use the same concept. In fact, I did a stock market simulation game with my own high school students. Before jumping into the game I always spent a day or two introducing some of the big concepts of what stocks are and how stock markets work. A couple of weeks ago TED-Ed released a video that I'll add to my list of resources for introducing stocks and the stock market to students.

How Does the Stock Market Work? is a TED-Ed lesson that provides a four minute overview of the origin of stock markets, why companies offer stock, and the basic factors that influence the prices of publicly-traded stocks.

Here are a couple of related items to explore:

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Adding Audio to Google Slides When Your Domain Doesn't Have the Native Audio Feature

Six weeks ago Google announced the introduction of native support for audio in Google Slides. Unfortunately, the roll-out of that feature seems to be taking longer than was initially promised. I have been receiving emails for weeks from people asking me if they missed something in their Google accounts. They haven't. I don't have the feature in any of my accounts yet, either. And, unfortunately, Ed Tech Team seems to have pulled support for their AudioPlayer for Slides extension and add-on.

If you want to add audio to your Google Slides and your domain doesn't have new audio feature, you're not completely out of luck. The methods that I outlined in the following two videos that I published a couple of years ago.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Digital Maps, Collages, and Legends - The Week in Review

Good morning from Maine where this week the weather was finally nice enough for bike rides, flip-flops, and lots of yard work. And this weekend's forecast has lots of sunshine in it which is perfect for Mother's Day. Speaking of which, happy Mother's Day to my mom, to Jess (Isla and Emma's awesome mom), and to all of the mothers who read my little blog on a regular basis. I hope that you have a wonderful weekend!

These were the week's most popular posts:
1. 5 Google Earth Pro Tips for Teachers and Students
2. 8 Options for Making Digital Maps
3. An Interactive Map of English Myths and Legends
4. Three Ways to Create Digital Collages to Summarize the School Year
5. Twelve Tools for Creating End-of-Year Review Activities
6. 5 Ways to Quickly Create Audio Slideshows for End-of-Year Events
7. How to Add a Calendar to an Edublogs Page or Post

Thank You for Your Support!

Now You Can Re-use Questions in Your Activities

Formative is a one of the tools that I regularly feature in my workshop on Fast & Fun Formative Assessments. I like it and use it because of two outstanding features. The first is the ability to collect handwritten responses from students through a feature called Show Your Work. The second feature that I always highlight is the option to add questions directly on top of pictures and documents (watch this video to see that feature in action).

Recently, Formative added a handful of new features. The one that I'm most excited about is the option to re-use questions from previous assessments that you have made in your Formative account. That new feature is called Personal Item Bank. A few other new features include notifications when students change their answers, expanded standards descriptors, and a new way for students to sort the assessments that have been assigned to them. All of these new features are shown in the short video that is embedded below.