Monday, April 4, 2022

Two Great Features of Formative for Formative Assessment

Formative is a tool that I've been using for the last six or seven years to create and conduct online formative assessment activities. You can use it to create all of the typical activities that you'd expect like multiple choice and short answer questions. But it also has two outstanding features that make it one of my go-to tools. Those features are the ability to create show-your-work questions and the ability to upload images and documents to annotate with questions. 

The show-your-work option in Formative lets you write a question that your students answer by drawing or handwriting on a virtual whiteboard. 

The upload option in Formative lets you upload an image or document and then annotate it with questions that appear when students click on the image or document. 

Both of these outstanding Formative features are demonstrated in this short video

Sunday, April 3, 2022

My Five Favorite Flipgrid Video Features

Over the last few years Flipgrid has added so many great features that it has evolved beyond being just a platform for teachers to ask questions and have students record selfie videos in response. Now you can use it to create video lessons, to create audio-only conversations, and much more. In this new video I demonstrate how to use my five favorite features of Flipgrid's video recording tools (web browser version). 

In the video you will see me demonstrate the following Flipgrid features:

  • Uploading and sharing videos made outside of Flipgrid.
  • Creating whiteboard videos with split screens.
  • Blur backgrounds and use virtual backgrounds. 
  • Enable the microphone-only option. 
  • Use the picture-in-picture feature. 


Bonus Feature!

What's Onomatopoeia Mean? - Another Question from My Daughters

Every night my daughters (ages 4 and 5) ask us all kinds of interesting questions. Some of them are about things that I haven't thought about in a long time. Some of them aren't easy to answer in a way that they can understand. And some of them are a bit of both. That was case one night last week when my five-year-old asked, "what's onomatopoeia mean?" I did my best to explain that it is a word like "moo" that is created from the sound that it makes. 

After dinner and my somewhat unsuccessful explanation of onomatopoeia, I turned to YouTube to try to find a video that might help my daughters better understand what onomatopoeia is. That's where I found this cute and short music video about onomatopoeia. I'll warn you, the song is kind of catchy (if you're a five-year-old). 



On a related note, Next Vista for Learning hosts a great video explanation of onomatopoeia. The video was produced by a high school student for one of Next Vista's many student video creation contests.

Saturday, April 2, 2022

Paper, Programming, and Games - The Week in Review

Good morning from Maine where it feels like spring this morning. The wind is blowing away the clouds of yesterday and it should be a sunny day to play outside. We're going to put on our boots and go for a little hike this today. I hope that you do something fun outside today too. 

This week I held a follow-up Zoom meeting for folks who participated in my webinar about how to create and sell digital products. I also held a webinar for a fun little group of librarians. If you'd like to have me host a webinar for your group, please send me an email at richardbyrne (at) freetech4teachers.com

Next week Rushton Hurley and I will resume our Two EdTech Guys Take Questions series, register here to join us for that free event. 

These were the week's most popular posts:
1. Try This New Google Chrome Feature
2. Seven Sites and Apps to Help Students Learn Coding and Programming
3. Plays.org - Educational Games Your Students Will Love to Play
4. A Huge Collection of Resources for Fun Phys Ed Activities
5. Spaghetti Trees and the History of April Fools' Day
6. Stop Printing the Internet
7. Chronicling America - A Great Place to Find Historic Newspapers

Summer Workshops for Your School!
I'm going back on the road this summer to host professional development workshops in-person! If you'd like to have me come to your school, please get in touch with me soon.

Spring and Summer Webinars
I conduct professional development webinars throughout the year. I'll host a free one-hour webinar for any school or group that purchases ten or more copies of 50 Tech Tuesday Tips.

On-demand Professional DevelopmentOther Places to Follow Me:
  • The Practical Ed Tech Newsletter comes out every Sunday evening/ Monday morning. It features my favorite tip of the week and the week's most popular posts from Free Technology for Teachers.
  • My YouTube channel has more than 40,000 subscribers watching my short tutorial videos on a wide array of educational technology tools. 
  • I've been Tweeting as @rmbyrne for fifteen years. 
  • The Free Technology for Teachers Facebook page features new and old posts from this blog throughout the week. 
  • If you're curious about my life outside of education, you can follow me on Instagram or Strava.
This post originally appeared on FreeTech4Teachers.com. If you see it elsewhere, it has been used without permission. Sites that steal my (Richard Byrne's) work include Icons Daily and Daily Dose. Featured image captured by Richard Byrne.

Eclecticism - Some Good Weekend Reading

It's the weekend, it's spring (in the northern hemisphere), and that means some of you will be looking through job listings in hopes of finding a new position for the next school year. Others of you may just be looking for something fun to read this weekend. In either case, head over to Terry Freedman's new Substack project titled Eclecticism

On Eclecticism Terry writes about a mix of practical things like what to do at a job interview for a teaching or school administrative position and lighter things like the language barrier between two native English speakers

I've been reading Terry's new Substack articles for a week now and have thoroughly enjoyed all off them. The one about teaching in a prison led to a nice conversation with Terry about our respective experiences. And his articles about evaluating job descriptions and what to do at a job interview take a slightly unconventional approach to those topics that can only be shared by someone who has extensive experience with both. If you're job hunting this spring, read his advice.

Full disclosure: Eclecticism has a mix of articles that are publicly available and some that are only available to subscribers. Terry gave me a subscription. I believe that all of the articles I mentioned in this blog post are publicly available for free.