Thursday, June 13, 2019

5 Time-savers for Teachers Using G Suite for Education

Whether it's to indulge our favorite hobbies, to get some chores done around the house (my lawn can stop growing any minute now), or to spend more time on the fun parts of teaching, we all need a little more time. I can't give you more time, but I can help you be more efficient in completing tasks associated with our jobs. If you use G Suite for Education, try the following five time-saving tips.

Use a Comment Bank in Google Classroom
If you use Google Classroom to give Google Docs, Slides, or Sheets assignments to your students, create and use a comment bank to speed up the process of giving feedback to your students. Watch my video below to learn how to do this.



Use Google Keep to Add Comments to Students' Work
Google Classroom is great for giving feedback on final drafts of students' work. But if you don't use Google Classroom or you want to give students feedback on early drafts of their work, then the following method of using Google Keep to add comments to your students' Docs, Slides, and Sheets can be a time-saver.



Use Canned Responses in Your Email
Do you find yourself answering the same emailed questions over and over again? If so, you need to try using canned responses in your email. Canned responses allow you to draft messages that you can save and insert into responses over and over again. Watch my video to learn how to enable canned responses in Gmail (G Suite for Edu mail).



Self-grading Quizzes
If you give multiple choice, true/false, or short-answer quizzes use automatic grading options that are available to you in Google Forms. In the following video I demonstrate how to create a self-grading quiz in Google Forms.



Set Default Point Values and Requirements in Google Forms
Almost everyone who has made created a Google Form has at one time or another forgotten to set a point value for a quiz question or forgot to require a response to a survey question. You can avoid doing that and having to go back and fix the error by creating default point values and a default question requirement for all of your Google Forms. Watch my video below to learn how to do that.

66 Lessons on the Chemistry of Food and Beverages

Reactions is a YouTube channel that I've mentioned in a handful of posts in the past. The channel is produced by PBS Digital Studios and the American Chemical Society. All of the videos on the channel include chemistry lessons based on ordinary, everyday parts of life like food and beverages. In fact, Reactions has a playlist of sixty-six videos that teach short lessons about the chemistry of food and beverages. Some highlights from that playlist include 3 Egg-cellently Weird Science ExperimentsWhy is Pizza so Good? and Why Does Stinky Cheese Stink?  And who hasn't looked in the refrigerator and wondered Can I Still Eat This? All for of those videos are embedded below.










Applications for Education
All four of the above videos as well as dozens of others in the Food Chemistry playlist could be great to use to help students see how science, specifically chemistry, is a part of everyday life.

If you want to use these videos as part of flipped lesson or a classroom discussion, consider using EDpuzzle or Classhook. I have video tutorials for both of those services embedded below.


Wednesday, June 12, 2019

How to Use WorldCat to Locate Books in Libraries Near You

Over the last couple of days I've seen a lot of summer reading lists floating around on Twitter. If you're starting to acquire your summer reading books, before you hit "buy now" on Amazon, search on WorldCat to see if a library in your area has a copy of the book that you want to read. WorldCat lets you search for a book then enter your zip code to see a list of the libraries in your area that have a copy available to borrow. In the following video I provide a demonstration of how to use WorldCat.org to find books in the libraries in your area.


Applications for Education
WorldCat.org is great not only for finding a copy of a book that you want to read this summer, it's also great for students who are conducting research on Google Books. When students find a book through Google Books they can then use WorldCat to locate the libraries in their area that have copies available to borrow.

Teaching With Historical Newspapers - An LOC Webinar Recording

There are two sites that often refer people to when I'm asked about locating copies of old newspapers. The first is the Google Newspaper Archive. The second is the Chronicling America collection from the Library of Congress. The Chronicling America collection contains more than 2,600 digitized copies of newspapers printed in the United States between 1789 and 1963. You can search through the collection according to date, state in which the newspaper was published, and keyword.

The Library of Congress hosted an online conference for teachers in the fall of 2016. One of the featured presentations of that conference was Teaching With Historical Newspapers. Chronicling America was featured in the presentation. You can watch the recording embedded below to learn how to navigate the Chronicling America collection and pick up some tips for incorporating the newspapers into your practice.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Beaker - Virtually Mix Chemicals on Your Phone or Tablet

Beaker is an iOS and Android app that lets students virtually mix chemicals. In the app students can select chemicals to mix to see how they react to each other. The app also has a virtual match that students can light to see how chemicals react to heat. The most impressive feature of the app is called Air Mix. The Air Mix feature in Beaker lets students virtually pour chemicals from one Beaker to another. When you have two phones or tablets that have Beaker installed, you can "pour" chemicals from one device to the other to virtually mix them.


Applications for Education
Beaker could be a great app for middle school and high school science students. The app offers more than 150 chemicals that students can virtually mix together in a safe environment. The app provides a safe and cost-effective way to create demonstrations for chemistry lessons.