Thursday, April 16, 2020

Create Self-selected Review Guides With Google Forms

Last week I published a video about using Google Forms to create a tech help site. The concepts featured in that video can also be applied to any subject that you teach. The basic framework remains the same, you just change the content that is added to each section of your Google Form. The other small change is that you should add a section for students to enter their names so that you can see which students are using which sections of your guide.

In the following video I demonstrate how to create a self-selected review guide with Google Forms. The most important step is to make sure you add a question at the end of each section that lets students either return to the beginning to choose a new section or exit out of the form. Without adding that question at the end of each section, students will have to go through all of the sections even if they don't want to.

In the video above I mentioned adding a link to a Google Calendar appointment page. If you aren't sure how to do that, watch this short video.

Facts v. Opinions - A New Common Craft Lesson

Now more than ever our students are getting bombarded with information and opinions in all forms of media. Therefore, it's more important than ever that we help them recognize the differences between facts and opinions. Common Craft recently released a new video that can help students understand the differences between facts and opinions.

Facts and Opinions Explained by Common Craft uses examples of print journalists and television commentators ti help viewers understand why it is important to fact-check when they hear or read something that is presented as fact.

More resources on facts and opinions:

Factitious is a game for testing your skill at identifying fake and misleading news stories. The game was recently updated to include content related to the COVID-19 pandemic. To play Factitious simply go to the site and select quick start. You'll then see an article appear on the screen. Read through the article, click the source listed at the bottom, and then select either the green check mark or red X to indicate whether or not you think the article is a real news story. After you make your selection you'll get instant feedback and an explanation of how you can tell if the article was a real or fake news story.

Checkology is a service that is designed to help students develop those skills. Checkology offers interactive modules for students to complete. Each of the modules is comprised of between twenty and forty-seven instructional video clips and interactive comprehension checks. The four of the modules are titled Info Zones, Democracy's Watchdog, Practicing Quality Journalism, and Misinformation. As you might expect, the contents of the modules gets progressively more difficult as each section is completed.

Disclosure: I have a long-standing, in-kind relationship with Common Craft. 

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

How to Share Your Videos in Google Classroom - With and Without YouTube

A lot of teachers are making their own instructional videos for the first time. Whether you make them using screencasting tools, by converting slides into videos, or by just using the camera on your Chromebook, you're going to need a way to share your videos with your students. In this post you'll see a few ways to share your videos in Google Classroom with and without using YouTube. All of those methods are outlined in the screenshots and video below.

Upload as an announcement in Google Classroom
In this method you simply create a new announcement in your Google Classroom then attach the video file that is stored on your computer to the announcement.

Share as an announcement via Google Drive
In this method you will upload a video to your Google Drive and then post it as an announcement in Google Classroom. This is a good option if you used your Chromebook or smartphone to make a video and saved it in your Google Drive. When you do this, the video will automatically change to "shared" in your Google Drive.

Post as a material in Google Classroom
This method has you sharing your video as a material in the classwork section of your Google Classroom. You can either upload the video directly or import from your Google Drive just as you can do in announcements.

Post as an assignment in Google Classroom
With this method you can post your video as part of an assignment in Google Classroom. This is a good option if you want to a copy of the video placed in each of your students' Google Drives. This is also a good option if you want to attach a question sheet to go along with your video.

Upload to YouTube as an "unlisted" video then share in Google Classroom
If you want to use YouTube to host your videos, but don't want every random person on the web to be able to find it, try using the "unlisted" option when you upload your videos to your YouTube account. You'll still be able to share a link to your video in Google Classroom as an announcement, as a material, or as an announcement. That method and the ones above are outlined in the video below.

Share from Screencastify directly to Google Classroom
Screencastify has an option to share your screencast videos directly to your Google Classroom account.

Lessons About Income Taxes

In most years today would be the deadline for Americans to file their income tax returns. This year that deadline has been extended to July 15th because of the COVID-19 pandemic. I already had these resources ready to go for this week so I'm going to share them now rather than wait until July.

What are tax brackets?
Tax brackets are not as straight-forward as they seem on paper or in political debates. Vox offers a concise explanation of what tax brackets are and how they work. Money Coach also provides a good explanation of tax brackets although that explanation is longer with a bit more nuance.

Do you need to file a tax return?
If you teach high school students like I do, some of them may be filing taxes (or having parents do it on their behalf) for the first time. Doing that can lead to all kinds of questions about why we have taxes, the way taxes are calculated, and types of taxes. Money Coach has two videos that do a good job of explaining why you have to file a tax return and how to do it.

The concept of an income tax.
Crash Course offers a video that explains the origins of income taxes and a general explanation of how money collected from income taxes is used.

Income tax lesson plans.
PBS Learning Media offers a free lesson plan through which students learn about reasons for taxes being withheld from paychecks, where the withholdings go, and why some people have more or less withheld than others. In addition to helping students understand taxes withheld from paychecks Taxes - Where Does Your Money Go? introduces students to concepts related to saving for retirements. To that end, the lesson plan includes a video about how a self-employed person handles budgeting for taxes and retirement.

Create Lessons With These Videos
EDpuzzle is my favorite tool for creating lessons with videos that I find on YouTube. In the video below I demonstrate how you can use EDpuzzle to create your own lessons with videos that you find on YouTube.

The Student View of Comments on Google Classroom Assignments

One of the things that I've always recommended doing when using a new-to-you web tool in your classroom is to look at the students' perspective as well as your own. Unfortunately, that's not always easy to do. In the case of Google Classroom this can be hard to do if you only have a teacher account and don't have access to a student account. That's probably why lately I have received a lot of questions about what assignments look like to students in Google Classroom. I made the following short video to demonstrate how Google Classroom assignments look to students.

In the video below I demonstrate how to give an assignment, how students view an assignment, how to give feedback on a student's assignment, and what that feedback looks like to a student. My example features a student uploading a picture of a math assignment completed on paper for his teacher to review. The concept in the example can be applied to PDFs and any other document that you have your students complete and return in Google Classroom.