Tuesday, November 2, 2021

TinyTap - Create Your Own Educational Games in Your Browser

TinyTap is a company that is best known for its iPad app that lets teachers create educational games to share with their students. I've used it and written about it for almost a decade. Recently, TinyTap made a fantastic update. You can now use TinyTap to create your own educational games in the web browser on your computer.

To create your own educational game on TinyTap simply head to TinyTap.com and click "create." From there you'll see a menu of six game types to create. (There is an intermediate prompt tosign-in or sign-up if you haven't already done so). You can then watch tutorials on game design or simply jump into creating a game. All games are created in a slide-by-slide basis. Within each slide you can add pictures, text, and audio prompts. You can choose how your students interact with questions and prompts in your game. They can interact by tapping, clicking, circling objects, matching objects, typing, or speaking. Here's a short tutorial on making a shape puzzle game on TinyTap.  



If you'd like some inspiration for creating your own TinyTap games, browse through the public gallery of teacher-created games. The gallery is organized according to age, topic, and skill. When you find a game that you like you can use it as is or copy it and customize it in your account.

Applications for Education
One of the things that I've always appreciated about TinyTap is that you can make games that are perfectly tailored to your students' needs.

TinyTap games can be shared with your students via Google Classroom and through the TinyTap platform. Additionally, you can link to the games in any LMS. Games can also be embedded into blog posts and websites as I've done with this fun dinosaur game.

Certify'em - Send Personalized Certificates via Google Forms

Certify'em is a Google Forms add-on that I've been using for the last few years whenever I need to distribute personalized certificates. Certify'em will automatically send certificates to students when they get a minimum score on a quiz conducted with Google Forms. You set the minimum passing score that triggers the delivery of the certificate. If students achieve that score or more, a personalized certificate is sent to them via email or Google Drive. 

Certify'em has always provided some certificate templates and the option to utilize your own certificate template. Recently, Certify'em added some new certificate template options. The new options include updated designs and an easier way to utilize your own certificate templates. 

Previously, if you wanted to use your own template design in Certify'em you had to create it in Google Slides before importing it into Certify'em. Now Certify'em lets you simply click "Create My Own" from the certificate template menu to jump right into designing your own custom certificate template. 



Applications for Education
Besides using Certify'em to give students certificates for doing well on a quiz or test, I use Certify'em to send certificates to people who have completed one of my professional development courses. I've also seen Certify'em used to send certificates to students who have successfully completed lab safety and protocols assessments. 

Monday, November 1, 2021

Samsung Solve for Tomorrow - Only Two Weeks Left to Enter

Disclosure: Samsung Solve for Tomorrow is an advertiser on FreeTech4Teachers.com

Samsung's Solve for Tomorrow contest is a STEM project contest that awards large educational technology prizes to public schools in the United States. As I outlined a few weeks ago, the contest places a premium on student-teacher collaboration as well as project effectiveness.  

It takes just a few minutes to make your initial entry into the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow contest. The initial entries are used in selecting state finalists who receive prizes and go on to compete in the national competition which awards a prize of $100,000 in classroom technology.

The deadline for initial contest entries has been extended to November 15th! Enter here! 

This short video walks you through how to enter Samsung's Solve for Tomorrow contest.

How to Use Google Books

Google Books is one of my favorite search tools. Unfortunately, students often overlook it as a research tool unless they've been shown how it works. In this short video I provide a demonstrate of the key features of the current version of Google Books. 

In the video you'll see how to:

  • Search for a book. 
  • Refine search according to publication date.
  • Use Google Books to find books in your local library. 
  • Use Google Books to search within a book. 
  • Create an online bookshelf to share with others. 


If you just want to see how to use Google Books to find libraries near you that have house rare books, watch this short video that I posted on Instagram last Friday morning. 


Embed Google Forms & Microsoft Forms into Canva Designs

It seem like every week I find something new and interesting that can be done with Canva. Last Friday I discovered that you can embed working Google Forms and Microsoft Forms into your Canva designs. This works with Canva's website templates as well as presentation and infographic templates. 

In this short video I demonstrate how you can create a simple website with Canva and include a Google Form or Microsoft Form in that website. 


Applications for Education
Canva's website templates are great for making simple websites that accomplish a singular goal like attracting interest in an upcoming school event. By putting a Google Form or Microsoft Form into website you can collect RSVPs to your upcoming event. You could also include a form so that people can contact you with questions through the website. 

By the way, this video was also featured in my Practical Ed Tech Newsletter on Sunday evening. If you're not subscribed to that weekly newsletter, you can subscribe right here