Monday, January 29, 2018

NEW iOS Screen Recording Feature!

Screencasts are extremely helpful for learning how to use an app, find resources, or following step-by-step instructions. If you were an iPad user, this step involved a complicated set of instructions and wires. This is no longer the case!

You can now record screencasts and share from an iPad or iPhone. There is no special App to download because it comes native with iOS 11. 

How does it work? 

First, open up Settings and choose Control Center. You will see a listing of applications that you can use to add to your Control Center (when you swipe up on your device).



Then, you will need to tap on the green plus sign containing the "Screen Recording" option. 





Next, swipe up on your screen to access the Control Center and you will see an icon that looks like a white bullseye. Tap on this icon to begin recording. 



Finally, when you are finished, you will need to swipe up again to access the control center. Tap on the bullseye icon again to stop your recording. Your video will convert into a video and save on your camera roll. Now you can share your video via text, email, Google Drive, etc. 

Need to see this in action? Here is a screen recording:












Wednesday, January 24, 2018

4 Important Tips for the Question Feature in Google Classroom

Google Classroom provides teachers with a variety of ways to help students learn how to function in an online environment. Have you ever used the Question feature to post something in Classroom? Here are four things you should know about the Question Feature. 

1. How to Post a Question

When you are in the Stream section of your Google Classroom, choose the plus sign and choose Create Question. This feature is a powerful tool to help gain insight into what students know or address misconceptions that they may have. 

2. Ask a Short Answer Question

You can ask students a Short Answer question by default with the Create Question feature. Google Classroom has added some helpful features to prevent student misuse. For example, you can turn on/off the feature for students to respond to one another or be able to edit their response. This is helpful if you want to keep students on task. 



3. Poll Your Students

When you create a question in Google Classroom, you click on the "Short Answer" icon (bottom left-corner of your screen) to create a poll. A poll consists of a multiple choice question without needing to create a Google Form. You can turn on/off the class summary feature, where students can see the summary of responses. 


4. Restrict Students from Posting in the Stream!

When Google Classroom first came out, it was difficult to prevent students from posting to the Stream. I remember working with a 4th grade class that thought it would be fun to post random stuff. You can now restrict students from posting to the Stream. How does it work? 

1. Visit the Students Tab at the top of your screen, which lists all of the students in your class. 

2. On the left-side of your screen, you will see your Class Code. Underneath the code, select "Students Can Post and Comment." This is the default setting on Google Classroom.

3. Choose "Students Can Only Comment" if you want students to have the ability to reply to posts.  Choose "Only Teachers Can Post and Comment" if you do not want students to be able to reply to posts. 

Conclusion

A recent study by The Distance Education Enrollment Report 2017 found that almost 6 million college students have enrolled in at least 1 online course. As advancements in technology continue, this number will rise dramatically. How do we prepare our students to survive in an ever-changing online world? Tools like Google Classroom provide students with the opportunity to communicate and function in a safe online environment.


Perhaps you are skeptical of using Google Classroom because you are fearful of students posting something inappropriate. The Question feature in Google Classroom may be a great place to start to help students navigate the complicated online world that we live in. 

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Limit Form Responses with the Form Limiter Add-On

How do you limit the number of respondents on a Google Form?

The Form Limiter Add-On is a great tool to do exactly this. You can restrict the number of respondents or close your form by a certain date and time.

How does it Work? 

First, once your Google Form is created, you will need to install the Form Limiter Add-On. Click on the three vertical dots in the top-right corner of your screen and choose "Add-Ons."



Next, find the Form Limiter Add-On, install (click on the Free Button), and give permission to access your Google account.



Then, click on the Add-Ons icon (puzzle piece) at the top of your screen and choose Form Limiter. On the next screen that appears, choose Set Limits.



Finally, use the window that appears on the right-side of your screen to begin setting your Form Limits. You have the ability to choose Date and Time (close at a specific date), Number of Form Responses, or Spreadsheet Value. Follow the instructions to set your limits.







Monday, January 22, 2018

Save Time with Share to Google Classroom

Efficiency is one of the biggest challenges facing teachers when trying to infuse technology into the classroom. How can you increase your efficiency and productivity, while saving valuable time and resources? If you are a Google Classroom user, then you will see that Share to Classroom Chrome Extension is a valuable tool for quickly sharing websites with your students.

How does it work? 

1. Install the Share to Google Classroom Chrome Extension to Google Chrome and browse away!



2. When you find a website that you would like to share with students, choose the Share to Google Classroom Chrome Extension.

3. Choose which class you would like to share the link with. 




4. Choose how you would like to share with your students. 

  • You can choose "Push to Students" to share a website with students while they are signed into Google Classroom. This is a great way to save time, rather than relying on students to type in a URL and navigate a website.

  • Create an Assignment, Ask a Question, or Make an Announcement like you would in Google Classroom. Now you can do it from the extension! 

Friday, January 19, 2018

3 Ways to Use for Students to Use Webcams or Selfie Cams in Learning

Marshall McLuhan once said that the "median is the message." Today's classrooms are filled with infinite possibilities and media, which can change the way that students process information, demonstrate understanding, and engage in learning.

Sometimes we think that we have to find the latest and greatest app to create powerful learning experiences for students. Remember, it's not what tool you use, but how you use it. Here are three ways that you can use the power of a webcam or your iPad's camera.


1. About the Author or Artist

I was working with a kindergarten teacher today, who wanted to infuse technology into an art project.  She will have her students paint pictures of pandas to enter in a school art show. We are working together to use the selfie camera on their iPads, so that they can talk about their paints and share interesting facts about pandas. We are going to publish the videos online and create a QR code to place on the painting, so that parents will be able to hear their child talking about their painting.



2. Vlogging

It is important for students to have the opportunity to reflect on learning. In a sense, it helps them connect the dots and make connections, but not all students like to write. Instead of downloading another app, why not use your iPad camera or iPad camera to develop a video?

Make sure that you give students a format and limits to follow. Some students may need to have a template for structuring their conversation. For example, "Hi my name is ____. I am going to tell you three things I learned today about _____. First....Next....Finally." You may want to also restrict students to speaking for 30 to 120 seconds. Anything more may not be very effective.


3. Jigsaw / Test Review

It's the end of a chapter or unit, how do you usually review content for a test? We turn to our handy review worksheet, review games, and our Jeopardy PowerPoint. This may be helpful, but brain research has found that students remember 90% of what they taught others. Why not give students a chance to reteach information?

It may be helpful to develop a collaborative Google Slides Presentation with specific questions or concepts that you want to review. Assign a specific slide to individual or small groups of students. Have students use their webcam or selfie cam to record a 1 - 2 minute video of reteaching a specific concept. Then, have students upload their content to Google Drive and embed into your Google Slides presentation. Now you have an interactive slideshow presentation. Students can add links to external websites or documents for review. Now you have a living an breathing review!





Thursday, January 18, 2018

5 Time Saving Google Forms Tips

Here are 5 ways to save yourself time in creating a Google Form!

1. Use Templates

Many people don't realize that Google Forms has a Template Gallery, where you can access already created templates for signups, collecting contact information, etc. Check out my blog post on templates for more information. 


2. Duplicate Questions

Do you have a question that occurs more than once? You might want to use the duplicate question feature in Google Forms. Perhaps you want to recycle some of the answers in a multiple choice question. Simply choose your question and select the duplicate question icon. 




3. Use Preferences

Do you want to make all questions required by default? It will take you less time setting defaults than having to click on every question. Do you want to set a default value for quizzes? Use Preferences to set the default settings in Google Forms. 

Click on the three vertical dots icon in the top-right corner of your screen. Choose Preferences. 


4. What's Your Rule of Thumb for Sharing?

I get a lot of questions about how you should share your Google Forms. Choose the Send icon in the top-right corner of your screen to share your Google Form. You have several different options for sharing. Most people choose to email their form to others or share the link.

I usually use the email function to share with 1 to 10 people. If I am going to share with more than 10 people, I usually share the link instead. It saves time from having to enter everyone's email addresses in the email section. You could save yourself some time by creating a distribution list for large groups of people too; however, I don't have that option in my organization. 


5. Add Collaborators

Sometimes you need more than one person to help develop a Form. You can do this easily by adding collaborators. Choose the three vertical dots in the top-right corner of your screen and choose Add Collaborators. Now you have the ability to work with someone else on designing a Form. 












Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Save Time with Templates Gallery in Google Forms

If you love Google Forms (like me), then you are constantly looking for ways to use the tool to increase learning and productivity; however, it can be time consuming to build new Forms on a regular basis. Templates are a great way to save time when you are working in Google Forms.

Many people don't realize that Google Forms has a Template Gallery, where you can access already created templates for signups, collecting contact information, etc.

How can you access the Template Gallery? Here are a few different ways to do this in Google Forms:


1. Visit forms.google.com and you will see a list of templates appear at the top of your screen. 




2. Visit Google Drive > choose New > choose More > choose Forms





Thursday, January 4, 2018

With g(Math) Gone, Turn to EquatIO Instead

Today marks the end of an era. If you are a user of the g(Math) add-on for Google Docs, Sheets, and Forms, you are no longer able to use it.

If you are a math teacher, then you might want to take a look at the EquatIO Chrome Extension, which is very similar to the g(Math) Add-On. What is EquatIO? Check out this short video below: