Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Creative Strength - A Student Video Contest

Creative Strength is the title of the latest Next Vista for Learning video contest. Like previous Next Vista contests, this one 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.

Entries into Next Vista's Creative Strength video contest must be received by April 24th. There is a small bonus for those who submit their entries by March 27th. Contest winners receive iTunes gift cards and the pride of showcasing their videos for a larger audience.

Take a look at this video made by a Kindergarten class or any of the previous contest's finalists here for some inspiration.

If you could benefit from a little guidance on classroom video projects, enroll in my Practical Ed Tech course titled Video Projects for Almost Every Classroom.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Vortex by ClassTools - Create Your Own Sorting Game

Vortex is the latest game template published by ClassTools. Vortex lets you create an online game in which players have to sort words or phrases into up to four categories. Vortex replaces the Dust Bin sorting game that ClassTools used to offer but ran on Flash. Vortex doesn't use Flash which means it can be played on any device that has a web browser.

To create a game with the Vortex template simply head to Classtools.net/vortex then click "create new game." On the next screen you'll enter your game title, categories, and the words or terms that you want students to sort when they play your game. When you've entered all of the required information hit the "create" button and choose a password for editing your game. Your game will be assigned a unique URL that you can then share with your students.

When students play your Vortex game they have to try to sort the terms that appear on the screen as quickly as possible. Scores are based on how quickly and accurately terms are sorted.


Applications for Education
Vortex provides an easy way to create a sorting game that your students could use to review a list of vocabulary terms.

On a related note, Flippity.net recently published a new template for creating sorting activities via Google Sheets. Watch the video here to see how that template works.

How to Use Microsoft Forms to Collect Files

In this week's Practical Ed Tech Tip of the Week I featured three ways to create online forms to collect files from students. One of those options is to use Microsoft Forms. With Microsoft Forms you can specify the type and size of files that you'll accept in response to a question or prompt. You can embed your form into a blog post, website, or share it in your favorite LMS. In the following video I demonstrate how to use Microsoft Forms to collect files from students.



Applications for Education
If you're looking for an easy way to collect samples of students' media projects in one places, using Microsoft Forms to collect files might be the way to go.

Monday, January 20, 2020

How to Create an Online Sorting Activity Using Google Sheets

Flippity is a great source of templates for making online games, flashcards, and quizzes. Recently, Flippity added a new template that makes it easy to create an online sorting activity based on information you provide in a Google Sheet.

Flippity's newest template is called Manipulatives. The template lets you create an online activity in which students sort items into categories. You can have students sort items into columns, grids, Venn diagrams, and even into regions of a map. In the following video I demonstrate how to use Flippity Manipulatives to create an online sorting activity.



Applications for Education
As is demonstrated in the video above, you can use just about any image as the background in your sorting activities. To that end, I can see the template being useful for creating activities in which students have to match terms to parts of a diagram. For example, you might use a plant cell as the background then have students drag the names of the corresponding parts into their correct places on the diagram.

Video Projects for Almost Every Classroom - Deep Dive

The single most popular Practical Ed Tech webinar that I hosted last year was 5 Video Projects for Almost Every Classroom. More than 150 participated in it in live or recorded form. The most common piece of feedback that I received about it was, "I wish there was time spent on each project." That's why I've designed a new five part course titled Video Projects for Almost Every Classroom - A Deep Dive.

In Video Projects for Almost Every Classroom you'll learn how to make animated videos, green screen videos, documentary videos, instructional whiteboard videos, and video journals. I'll show you how you can do these projects on Chromebooks, Windows, Mac, iPad, and Android devices.

In addition to the how-to elements of the webinar we’ll cover planning, assessment, and privacy concerns. You’ll learn how to use aspects of YouTube that most people overlook. But YouTube isn’t the only way to share videos so we’ll look at other great options for sharing videos.

Video Projects for Almost Every Classroom begins at 4pm ET on January 30th. Watch this short video to learn more and get a discount code. Or just head to here to sign-up now.