Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Random Fun

Sometimes I learn about something new that doesn't really merit a full blog post. Read on for a list of a few of the random fun things I've come across lately!

Create a template of a Google Doc without using the template gallery:
I don't know about you, but for me, the template gallery has been a bit temperamental lately. I'll create a template, and it doesn't show up in the gallery at all, or takes days to do so. Other times, it'll make the template, then I can't find it again later. I don't know what's going on with the template gallery, but I've learned I don't have to use it!

Did you know you can just set up a doc so that anyone with the link can view, then just replace the /edit at the end with /copy and share the new link! This will force the user to make a copy of the document before they can even view it, thus giving them their own editable copy! This works with not only Docs but Spreadsheets and other Google Drive file types as well. Check out Alice Keeler's blog post on this for more details!

Use Google Forms as a Decision Tree:
Rather than using Forms to take surveys or give quizzes, you can use them to create a decision tree for teachers or students. Check out this great Web Tool Decision Tree shared by Lori Hower on the Educational Technology Google+ Community.

The New Google Forms
If you're trying out the new look of Google Forms, check out this fabulous tutorial/presentation by Geri Feiock.

For additional Google Forms resources, visit my Pinterest Board!

Fun Chrome Apps/Extensions/Add-Ons I've recently learned about:
Readability - Lets you easily share online articles with students while stripping away ads, links, and other distractions to make it easier for students to focus on the article. I learned this one through Ben Johnson's blog post in which he talks about 4 other cool extensions as well.

DocHub - This is a nice Chrome app that lets you annotate PDFs easily. Simple to use and totally free. Highlight, add notes/text, rearrange pages, collaborate, and more.

Check out this video from one of our district's 5th grade teachers. Her students created a screencast of their participation in a Kagan Rally Coach structure while working on a close reading assignment using DocHub with SuperQuiz.

docAppender - This Google Forms add-on lets you add Google Form responses to the bottom of selected documents. Check out this site that explains what docAppender does and this video tutorial on how to set up docAppender.

Online Assessment Tools
Kahoot - Kahoot is a free tool that allows teachers to create multiple choice assessments that can be deployed to students in a game-like environment. (Assessments can include images and videos.) Students compete to answer questions quickly and accurately to get the top score in the class. Students don't need accounts to participate in an assessment (they join through a code and enter their name before beginning) and individual student results are collected and saved for teachers to analyze later. Kahoot also allows for the creation of online discussions and surveys. I've heard this tool is a hit with both elementary and middle school students in our district and I imagine it would be appropriate and engaging for HS students as well...

Edulastic - This is a tool I have not had too much time to explore yet, but it looks quite promising. Edulastic allows you to create PARCC like assessments that let you assess students knowledge while simultaneously giving kids experience in a PARCC-like environment. This site also has pre-made assessments for you to use!

Plickr - This site allows you to collect responses from students in real time without the need for students to have any type of device! Check out this blog post that describes how it works, written by one of the fabulous teacher librarians in our district!



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