Thursday, September 5, 2019

One Code to Share It All at Open House Night

September is a popular month for schools to have open house nights or back-to-school nights for parents. Those are great opportunities for parents to see how the first weeks of school are going and what's happening in your classroom and school. At open house night parents often end up with collection of papers that they may or may not save for reference throughout the school year. This year try using QR codes to put the odds in your favor of the information in those papers being saved. You can create QR codes and paste them on the door to your classroom, on a bulletin board, or right at the bottom of the papers you're distributing.

I use QR Droid's free QR code generator to create QR codes that lead to all kinds of valuable information. In the video embedded below I provide a short demonstration of how to create a QR code that contains your contact information.

How to Avoid the Google Calendar Scheduling Mistake I Keep Making

Google Calendar is a great tool for scheduling appointments with students, friends, and colleagues. I use it all the time. Despite my regular use of Google Calendar I've made an annoying mistake with it twice in the last week.

I'm using Google Calendar to schedule times to record episodes of a new podcast. I have a bunch of guests lined-up to be on the podcast. The guests are all appearing virtually so I'm using to have them call in and we record through Zoom.

The annoying mistake that I've made twice in the last week is forgetting to remove the default Google Hangout link that is generated in the Google Calendar invitation and replace it with the Zoom link. Because of that mistake both of my guests this week have been sitting in an empty Google Hangout waiting for me while I was sitting in an empty Zoom meeting waiting for them.

In the following video I demonstrate how to remove the default Google Hangout/ Meeting link that appears Google Calendar invitations.

Learn more about Google Calendar and all aspects of G Suite for Education in my self-paced Getting Going With G Suite course. The course is on sale now.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Knoword Offers Fun Vocabulary and Spelling Games

Knoword is a site that I first reviewed more than eight years ago. Over the years the it has evolved but one thing has remained the same, it offers a fun and challenging way for students to test their vocabulary and spelling skills.

The latest iteration of Knoword has three levels for students to play. The game is played the same way across all three levels. To play the game simply pick a level and then hit "Begin." Once you begin you have 90 seconds to correctly spell as many words as possible. The catch is that you have guess what words to spell based on the definitions that are provided. It's a bit like Jeopardy in that way. You can earn more time to keep the game going by getting streaks of five correct words in row.

Applications for Education
Knoword offers a fun way for students to test their spelling and vocabulary skills. Students can play the game without signing up for a Knoword account. But they can sign up for an account if they want to keep track of their scores.

How to Use Stop Motion Studio

Last week I featured a couple of videos about making stop motion movies. One was about the big concepts of making a stop motion movie. Those concepts can be applied to any app or software that you use to create stop motion movie. Stop Motion Studio is one of those apps that your students can use to create a stop motion video.

If your students have have iPads, iPhones, Android phones, or Android tablets they can use the freemium Stop Motion Studio app. The free version of the app doesn't require students to create accounts in order to be able to use the app and save their videos on their iPads or Android tablets. In the following video I demonstrate how to use the Stop Motion Studio app.

You can get the Android version of Stop Motion Studio here and the iPad version here.

Join Me Tomorrow for a Live Q&A

Tomorrow afternoon at 3pm ET I'm recording the next episode of my Practical Ed Tech Live series in which I answer batches of questions that readers like you send to me throughout the week.  This school year I'm opening each broadcast with a recap of some ed tech news that you might have missed in the previous week.

I'll be broadcasting this live on my YouTube channel. (subscribe to my channel to be notified when I go live). You can ask me questions during the broadcast or submit them in advance to ensure that I'll see your question. You can submit questions through the form that is embedded below.