Thursday, January 23, 2020

Quickly Create Collaborative Maps With Ethermap

Google's My Maps tool is great for students to use to collaborate on the creation of custom maps. The problem with it is that students must have Google accounts in order to use it. Ethermap solves that problem by not requiring users to have any kind of email account.

Ethermap is a new tool that anyone can use to create online maps. Ethermap lets users share maps and collaborate on maps by simply sharing a link. In the following video I demonstrate how to use Ethermap to create an online map.


Learn how to use Google Maps & Earth in Your Classroom
If you are interested in learning how to use Google Maps or Google Earth, take a look at my on-demand webinar titled Google Maps & Earth – More Than Just Social Studies.

Three Google Forms Tutorials for Beginners

Last night my friend Beth emailed me to ask if I had any tutorials for beginning Google Forms users. My answer was, "I sure do!" These were the three Google Forms tutorials that sent to her to share with the group of teachers she's working with right now.

This one covers all the basics:



This one covers how to combine forms:


And this one covers 5 things every teacher should know about forms:


But wait! There's more! If you call now I'll throw in How to Create an Activity Tracker With Google Forms:

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Rubrics and Originality Reports in Google Classroom

Last week Google announced that Originality Reports in Google Classroom would soon be available to all users with the limitation that you could only run three reports unless your school subscribes to G Suite for Education Enterprise Edition (the paid version of G Suite for Education). As of yesterday afternoon (Eastern Time) Originality Reports are now available in all G Suite for Education domains.

What are Originality Reports?
Originality Reports in Google Classroom let you check documents for elements of plagiarism originality against the millions of webpages and books that are indexed by Google. Students are able to run Originality Reports on their own work before submitting it as an assignment in Google Classroom.

Rubrics in Google Classroom
Last August Google launched a beta of rubrics in Google Classroom. As of yesterday's announcement by Google, rubrics are now available to all teachers using Google Classroom. In the following video I demonstrate how to use rubrics in Google Classroom. It should be noted that since I made this video Google did introduce the option to reuse rubrics from assignment to assignment.

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.