Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Book Creator Adds New Options for Copying and Re-using Pages

Book Creator is one of my go-to tools for making ebooks and digital portfolios. In fact, I like it so much that it's one of the featured tools in my Practical Ed Tech Virtual Summer Camp. And now there is a new feature that makes Book Creator better than ever. That new feature is the option to copy multiple pages from one of your books and re-use them in another book.

In Book Creator you can now copy and re-use any of the pages in your books including the cover page. This can be done within the same book or be done between multiple books.


Applications for Education
As Book Creator wrote in their Tweet announcing this new feature, copying and pasting pages could be quite useful in creating a template that you want students to use for their books. I find that when using Book Creator as a tool for a portfolio it's nice to have students follow the same structure. Following the same structure makes it easier for a teacher to quickly locate an artifact related to a topic or standard within a portfolio.

Doozy - Create and Play Fun and Educational Quiz Games

Doozy is a neat service for creating online quiz games that you can share with anyone and they can play without having to register for an account. The quiz games that you create on Doozy can be multiple choice or short answer questions. The games that you make can, and probably should, include pictures as part of your questions. Doozy quiz games can be played individually and in teams.

The best way to understand how Doozy works is to just go to the site and select a game to play by yourself. (If you're of my generation, take a crack at the 1980's movie trivia game). You can play any of the games in the public gallery on your own and get a score at the end.

To create a game on Doozy you can either modify one of the existing games on the site or create a game from scratch. To create a game from scratch just click the "create" button on the home page and then title your quiz game, upload a cover image, and start adding questions. Whether you use multiple choice or short answer questions you do need to include a correct answer for each question. When you have finished creating your Doozy quiz game you can share it by clicking the "run quiz" option. Clicking "run quiz" will create a game pin that you can share with others to enter at Doozy.live to play the game.

Doozy games can be played in teams. To play in teams one player has to choose a game to join then select "play with friends." That selection will then generate a unique link to share with teammates.

Applications for Education
Doozy doesn't require players to register to play the games which makes it quick and easy to get a group of students playing your quiz game in your classroom or in a Zoom or Google Meet call. Doozy doesn't offer any options for you to track your students' scores so playing games in Doozy is purely a review or practice activity.

If your students are over 13, you might consider having them create their own Doozy games to share and show what they know about a topic.

I discovered Doozy through one of Larry Ferlazzo's recent Ed Tech Digest posts. If you don't follow Larry's blog, you should. 

Join Me Next Week for the Practical Ed Tech Virtual Summer Camp!

Next week I'm hosting the third session of the Practical Ed Tech Virtual Summer Camp. The first two sessions were full of enthusiastic teachers who asked great questions and shared great ideas over the course of ten interactive webinars. Some of the topics that sparked the most questions were online assessment, digital portfolios, video creation, and developing virtual tours. But those are just some of the topics that are covered during the week. The full list is available right here on the registration page.

There is still time to register for the Practical Ed Tech Virtual Summer Camp that runs next Monday through Friday. A handful of seats are still available. You can claim yours right here.

Here are some comments from people in the first two sessions of this year's Practical Ed Tech Virtual Summer Camp:
  • This is an awesome bootcamp with more stuff to learn than I could have ever imagined. The one I'm most interested in the portfolio. I can't wait to play around with it. Thank you for offering this camp.
  • Thank you for a great workshop! I learned a lot and I will apply some of them to my Spanish classes next year. 
  • The camp with you has been a delight and I've learned so much from you. I laugh every time you make a funny face for selfies or make drawings and laugh at yourself. I just wanted to let you know that I'm having a great time and learning so much.

Want to know more? 
Check out the FAQs or watch the video below.



p.s. sometimes people ask why I advertise this event here if it's not free. The answer is that registration fees from this event and other PD webinars go toward keeping Free Technology for Teachers going. 

Monday, July 13, 2020

Anonymous Users Blocked from Google Meet in G Suite EDU

A couple of weeks ago Google announced that seven new features would be added to Google Meet over the coming months. According to an announcement on the G Suite Updates Blog the first of those started to roll out today.

Starting today anonymous users will automatically be prevented from joining or asking to join Google Meet meetings hosted within a G Suite for Education domain. This will be the default setting for G Suite for Edu and can only be changed by a G Suite for Edu domain administrator who requests an exception from Google.

This is definitely a positive step for Google Meet. This is the feature that I've been looking forward to the most along with the ability to remotely mute all participants at once.

Canva Introduces Real-time Collaboration Options

This year Canva has become my preferred tool for designing audio slideshow presentations. Now, thanks to a tip from Larry Ferlazzo, it's now one of my favorite tools for collaborative brainstorming sessions.

Canva recently started rolling-out real-time collaboration options similar to what you might experience with Google Docs or Drawings. Your collaborators can work on the same Canva design as you and you'll see their names displayed on the design element they're working on. For example, in my screenshot below you'll see the name of my collaborator, Mason appears on the yellow sticky note that he's added to the brainstorming template we're working on.

Applications for Education
Canva has a large collection of brainstorming and mind-mapping templates that students can use to collaboratively plan research papers, develop a presentation, or generate fiction story starters. There are also great templates for KWL charts and story analysis.

Canva has an education version that is completely free for teachers and students. Head to the Canva for Education page to learn more and sign up.