Thursday, December 17, 2020

Quickly Create Polls and Quizzes in Google Meet With Edu-pal

Edu-pal is a new Chrome extension developed by students for teachers and students to use with Google Meet. The extension was recently featured on Product Hunt and I gave it a try earlier this week. It worked as advertised and is an extension that I'd recommend to any teacher who is looking for a quick and easy way to create polls or quizzes in Google Meet. 

Edu-pal provides an easy way to quickly create multiple choice, true/false, and free response questions to distribute to your students to answer during a Google Meet call. You can create your question at anytime during your call by simply selecting it from the Edu-pal menu that appears in your Google Meet when you have the extension activated. Students receive a notification in Google Meet that you've posted a question for them to answer. You can see their answers in real-time in Google Meet. 

For Edu-pal to work you and your students need to have it installed in Chrome. And it will only work if when using the browser version of Google Meet and not the Google Meet mobile apps. 

Applications for Education
At this time there isn't a way to save all of your students' responses to the questions you share through Edu-pal. That said, it is easy to use and could prove to be a convenient tool to use to quickly take the pulse of your online class. 

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Best Job Ever - National Geographic Stories About Interesting Jobs

National Geographic's YouTube channel is one of my favorites because of the variety of interesting playlists it offers. One of  those playlist is called Best Job Ever. The playlist features short stories about people who have interesting jobs that are primarily in the outdoors. These are primarily jobs incorporating some kind of conservation and or awareness missions.

National Geographic Kids also has a playlist called Best Job Ever. It's much like the Best Job Ever playlist on the main National Geographic channel. The difference is the that content is tailored to an elementary school audience. 

Applications for Education
These videos, particularly the ones from Nat Geo Kids, could be good for helping students discover that there are careers and jobs that don't fit in the typical "career guidance" books. I'd consider using these videos as a jumping-off point to have students do some more research into the jobs that interest them that are featured in the playlists. 

Book Creator Has a New Color Selection Tool

A couple of weeks ago Book Creator introduced some new shapes and fonts to use in the creation of multimedia ebooks. This week Book Creator added a new color selection tool that will help you apply the exact color you want to use on those shapes and other page elements. 

Book Creator now offers the option to use color hex codes to choose colors instead of just selecting a color from a paint palette. Using a hex code gives you the finest level of control over color selection. If you're not sure what a hex code is or what the hex code for a particular color is, HTML Color Codes is a handy reference site to consult. 

Make Offline Copies of Important Files in Your Google Drive

Monday's little Google services outage was a bit of an "oh, crap!" moment for many people who have come to rely on Google to create, store, and access all kinds of important files. While I was able to get by without Google Drive for an hour on Monday morning, it was a good reminder to make offline copies of important files a little more often. If find yourself feeling the same way, take some time this week to create offline copies of the important files you have in Google Drive. This little video shows you a few methods for making offline copies of Google Docs and other files in your Google account. 

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

When Will It End?

I'm tired, you're tired, our students are tired, we're all tired. I'm tired of switching from in-person classes, to online classes, to hybrid classes, back to in-person classes, back on online classes, back to hybrid classes, and starting every Friday wondering what the format for the next week will be. Yes, we're all adapting and making the best of it, but it has to end at some point, doesn't it? 

The distribution of the first COVID-19 vaccines provides some hope that the pandemic will end sooner than later. There's still a long way to go until we're "back to normal." So when does a pandemic end? I know I'm not the only one to ask that question. My students have asked the question and I'm sure some your students have asked the same question. Six months ago TED-Ed released a video to address that question. If you haven't seen it, now is a good time to watch it and share it with your students. 

Yes, we will eventually get "back to normal." Until then, hang in there.