Tech Tuesday

Finds and Thoughts about Tech Integration

Student Reflection with Recap

November15

I am always on the look out for a way to record student thinking. Recap was introduced to me as an iPad app at the Innovation Summit this month. While it certainly fits the bill for reflection in all subjects, space in our Creation folder on our iPads is prime real estate. Too many apps on an iPad becomes a management nightmare as well as a digital memory issue. Therefore, I was psyched to learn it is Chromebook friendly!

Please check out Recap in this video below. Super easy to set up and use with young students (the Pin option!). There’s even a great summary feature (Daily Review Reel) you don’t want to miss!

Recap Quick Start from Swivl on Vimeo.

So what do you think? Ready to make one and assign it in Google Classroom?

Here’s the Spark You May Have Been Looking For!

October25

A month ago, I watched a great SimpleK12 video, “Creation Tools for Web Browsers: Projects for Students on Chromebooks” presented by Monica Burns. One of the tools mentioned was Adobe Spark. At the time I was intrigued, but in consulting with various teachers, I didn’t push it as there were other tools that seemed to be more fitting for meeting current student learning objectives in their classrooms. I have learned over the years not to get too crazy about trying out EVERY new thing. (Yes, I was a free app hoarder for a while… <sigh>.) Essentially, find a tool you like and really try out its potential. If it’s a good one, the tool will help reach many goals that you have.

Fast forward to the MassCUE Conference last week where I noticed that Adobe Spark was a workshop being offered. Also, the presenter was no other than Monica Burns! I admit a little celebrity-itis hit, and I had to go see her in person. Boy, was I glad I did… it gave me a chance to explore a little deeper with the Adobe Spark products and discover how great they can be for education.

A little promo video:

There are 3 options: Post, Page and Video.

Post is more socially minded… think 140 characters… getting a short message out… summarizing with an eye-catching visual… showcasing a vocabulary word. Here’s an example from the site. See more about Post here.

Page is poster-like, but with web page navigation. Photos, text and links can be shared to an audience on-line. Here’s an example from the site. See more about Page here.

Video is exactly what it implies with visuals, animation, sound and music. Here’s an example from the site. See more about Video here.

All of them are so easy to use and FREE! You can supply your own images or use built-in ones. Music is the same way. Video even produces a credits page. One thing that I was very impressed by were the templates. Video had quite a few that were so student-friendly with guiding suggestions for analyzing characters and events.

All three options are web based, so a Chromebook is perfect. You also can download them as separate apps for iPad.

As far as log-ins… this is the policy stated in the user guide:

‘Children under the age of 13 are not allowed to create their own Adobe ID and so they will need to sign in with an account created by and supervised by a teacher or parent.’

It seems reasonable that since we are a Google Apps For Education district, and our student accounts have all been created by us and we supervise these accounts that our elementary students could use the Adobe Spark service by logging in with their school Google accounts.

So I am ready to start delving into this new opportunity. Anyone have a student learning objective that they (and their students) are stuck on and want to…

adobe-spark1

Recommended Read: 7 Lesser-known Google Ideas for the Classroom

September13

Yesterday, I read a jam packed post from SimpleK12 about using Google with students. I am passing along the link to that post in my blog today as I think it’s a goody that should not be missed!

Go here to see the 7 Lesser-known Google Ideas for the Classroom by Kimber Thompson. There are some great, short videos for the various ideas to check out, too, if you don’t want to get bogged down with reading! Busy, busy, time of year for all of us!

Let me know if you see anything that you’d like to try.

Make a Self-Graded Quiz in Google Forms – Fast!

August30

Did you know that you can quickly turn that Google Form into a quiz that gives students immediate feedback with a grade and lets you view the results individually or collectively and even graphically?

I needed to update a Responsible Use Policy quiz for this school year that I had made years ago with another program. I no longer have that software, so I decided to remake my quiz in Google Forms. At first, I was thinking: I’m going to have to look at the results as they come into the spreadsheet and figure out how to set up a grading system. I’ve always liked how my old quiz program gave students immediate feedback that I could look at right on their screens. Wasn’t I elated to see under Settings today in Google Forms the option to make my Form into a graded quiz that did a lot of the work for me!? I also was thrilled that the assessment data is collected and archived for me… something my old program did not do. Therefore, if a student clicked out of the quiz without showing me at the end, s/he had to take it over to prove their score to me. (And that did happen on occasion!)

If you work in the Westford Public Schools, try out my demo quiz here. I have it set to collect usernames, so people have to sign in. That’s an option that I like to use with students so they are not giving out too much personal information on an online questionnaire, and I can identify them easily. It also gives them good practice with logging into their accounts. Furthermore, I have it set to not let them skip questions… another option, so just do your best educated guesses if something’s not applicable or you’re not sure of an answer. (I won’t share your score with anyone, promise!)

Learn how to make one of these quizzes here at Google’s glorious Docs Editors Help. It has step by step directions!

Furthermore, I just did a search to see if anyone had made a video about this feature…voilĂ ! SimpleK12 has one in their 3-Minute Classroom Problem Solvers! Check it out:

Or contact me, and I’d be happy to coach you through it and chat about the possibilities of using Google Form Quizzes with your students.

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Digital Lesson Creator

June7

Recently, someone shared Blendspace with me.

If you want to create stations, differentiate instruction and/or preview, enhance or review topics with students, you’ll want to check out this quick demo of this service:

Using Google Classroom? Blendspace lessons may be a perfect match for organizing links and online content for access via a Classroom Assignment. It also will work on Chromebooks. (Win-win for us!)

I know it’s the end of the school year, but that often is the time when teachers will look for new ideas. Perhaps, you will have the leisure of putting together new lessons or approaches during the summer? Just something to think about and play around with (if you choose) during your time off!

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