Wednesday, October 2, 2019

How to Randomize Question and Answer Sequences in Google Forms

On Tuesday afternoon I published Google Forms Features You Should Know How to Use. That post and corresponding video has prompted a slew of emails from people either asking or suggesting that I make a video about how to have Google Forms questions and answers appear in random order within a quiz. So as a man of the people I have made that video.

My new video, embedded below, demonstrates how to questions appear in a different order each time a Google Forms quiz is opened. The video also shows you how to have the answer choices for each question appear in a different order each time the quiz is opened. It's important to note that you shouldn't randomize the question sequence if you are using the "go to section based on answer" function as it will break the logic used in designing the form. If all of your questions are on form that has only one section then you can use both the random question and random answer choice options.

A Halloween-themed Physical Education Program

In last week's episode of The Practical Ed Tech Podcast I mentioned a great blog for physical education teachers. That blog is called Keeping Kids in Motion and it is written by Justin Cahill. One of the free resources available on his blog is Fitness is Spooktacular.

Fitness is Spooktacular is a kids fitness challenge for the month of October (adults can do it too). There is a downloadable calendar of little workouts that you can do with your students throughout the month of October. Each workout is represented by either a jack-o-lantern, a skull, or a bat.

When students complete the Fitness is Spooktacular challenge they can receive a certificate. Certificates are available for teachers to download and print for free from the Keeping Kids in Motion blog.

Applications for Education
Keeping Kids in Motion is a blog that's great for elementary school physical education teachers as well as anyone who is looking for ideas on how to encourage kids to stay physically fit. The blog is full of ideas that can be implemented across a school and not just in the gym.

The Library of Congress Poses a Search Challenge for Anyone to Try

In the 2019-20 Practical Ed Tech Handbook I included a section about creating image-based search challenges for students. The idea behind giving students image-based search challenges is to provide them with some prompts that force them to use all available clues and tools in order to arrive at the correct answers. That concept is taken to the extreme in a new "contest" presented by the Library of Congress. I put contest in quotes because there are not any prizes other than the joy of being right.

Who Am I? Mystery Photo Contest is a blog post that appeared on Monday on the Library of Congress's blog. The blog post contains nine pictures of people that the LOC needs help identifying. The only clues provided are that the images are publicity stills from the library's moving image section and that performing a reverse image search did not yield and matches.

Applications for Education
If you're looking for a difficult search challenge activity to use with your students, the LOC's Who Am I? Mystery Photo Contest could be just what you need. Students will have to string together as many clues as possible in order to get to arrive at an answer.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Creative Bridge - A Next Vista for Learning Video Contest

I have been a fan and supporter of Next Vista for Learning for the last decade. Next Vista is a video site for students and teachers to share video lessons with other students and teachers. Videos submitted to Next Vista are reviewed for accuracy before they appear on the site. Speaking of videos on the site, one of the ways that Next Vista acquires new submissions is through student and teacher video contests.

The latest Next Vista for Learning video contest is called Creative Bridge and it is now open for submissions. Submissions will be accepted until midnight on December 13th. Submissions received by November 15th receive bonus points. The contest is open to students and teachers. There is a category for student-produced videos, a category for teacher-produced videos, and a category for videos created through the collaborative efforts of teachers and students. Regardless of the category, all videos must teach a lesson in 90 seconds or less. The lesson can be about almost any concept a person would learn about in elementary, middle, or high school. Take a look at this video made by a Kindergarten class or any of the previous contest's finalists here for some inspiration.

Contest winners receive iTunes gift cards and the pride of showcasing their videos for a larger audience.

Complete Creative Bridge contest rules and guidelines are available here.

Google Forms Features You Should Know How to Use - Video

After Google Earth, Google Forms is the Google product that I get the most excited about helping other teachers use. From gathering survey data to organizing event registration to creating online quizzes there are lots of things that can be done efficiently if you know how to use Google Forms. That said, Google Forms has lots of little features that are sometimes overlooked even by people who have made lots of forms in Google Forms. In the following video I demonstrate five features of Google Forms that every teacher should know how to use (if they use Google Forms).

The add-on that I mentioned at the end of the video is called Certify'em. My tutorial on how to use is is embedded below.

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