- Alice’s Intro to Google Forms
- Provide Your Directions in a Google Doc
- Tim Payne’s PE YouTube lesson
- Abusing Students with Math
- Click the Logo
- What is Google Keep?
- To Do List Competition: Level UP
- The 4 C’s of Common Core
- 5 Chrome Extensions for Teachers – Part 8
- Use a GIF instead of YouTube
- Using Google Draw for Virtual Manipulatives
- Creating Classroom Discussions with Google Sheets
- Managing Browser Tabs
- Gamification Tip – Use Fun Vocabulary
- Google Plus: Insert a Video for Students
- Want to Start a Google Hangout? 6 Ways to Connect.
- Creating Google Presentations with Scoot & Doodle
- Averaging Grades
- SAMR: Adam Bellow
- Scrolling Text in Your Presentation
- Student Centered Lesson
- 5 Chrome Extensions for Teachers – Part 7
- We are ALL ELA and Math Common Core Teachers
- One Spreadsheet to Rule Them All
- Spreadsheet Tip: Press Escape
- My First Google Doc Assignment
- Add Your Classroom to Classroompics.com
- Using the Kindle App
- Control X – You are not using it, but you should be.
- Google Sites: Create a Click Here Button in 5 Easy Steps
- Let’s Bring on Educational Competitions
- Getting Started with Gamification
- Shared With Me
- The Front Page of Your Website
- Navigating Text on a Mac
Tagsanimation apple apps Chrome code Collaboration creative commons CUE docs document camera draw drive email extension flickr folder forms formula formulas gamification GHO google Hangout infographics IPad keyboard keyboard shortcut keyboard shortcuts keynote LEC mac math presentation projects QR SAMR search shift sites Spreadsheet spreadsheets twitter video vlog youtube
- Android Apps
- Blog Entries
- Chrome Apps
- Illuminate Ed
- Keyboard Shortcuts
- Open Source
- Student Projects
- Teaching with iPad
- Web 2.0
I have found that over the tenure of my teaching career I am not always as clear as I think I am. Inevitably at least a few students will misunderstand my directions or I accidentally leave out a detail.
It can be embarrassing and difficult for students to ask a question. In a face to face class the student can use facial cue’s and body language to show they are not being obnoxious in asking for additional clarification. However, when it comes to digital material in an online course or even when a student is at home away from the teacher, asking via email for clarifying details can seem trivial. The student may feel stupid, especially if the response is “it is written in the 3rd paragraph” or “I mentioned it in class.” I know I am trying to be helpful when I respond with things like this, but it can also squash a students willingness to ask questions in the future.
Teachers usually want to be helpful but it can be hard to maintain the same level of enthusiasm for helping a student when you have received the same email from multiple students. Typing out the same response can be frustrating, even though the questions are valid.
Use a Google Doc
Instead of relying on verbal directions or directions typed into a website or LMS, try posting your directions to a Google Document set as “anyone can comment.” This would allow students to insert comments to ask questions. As the teacher you can then modify the directions to be more clear. Since the directions are on a Google Doc ALL of the students in the class would have access to the updated directions.
Reply to the Comment
You are also able to reply to the students question and the answer would be visible for other students to see the answer. Inserting a comment asking for clarification is much easier than having to figure out what words to compose to ask the teacher in an email.
Tim Payne is a Physical Education pre-service teacher in my class. In going over the YouTube in the classroom lesson today Tim came up with a great idea.
Film the students in a game or completing an activity.
Upload the video to YouTube.
Set the video as Creative Commons
Share the link
This will make a COPY of the video to the students YouTube account. This launches the YouTube video editor.
Students edit the video
Ask students to create their own highlight video. The YouTube video editor allows students to edit the video, or even to mash multiple Creative Commons videos together.
Having students think critically about the essential parts of the video is a great way for students to have a deeper understanding of what is happening in the video.
Non Physical Education classes
In a non PE class students sharing a video with students on any topic and asking them to determine the essential parts of the video can help students with “close reading” of digital media. Students can reference the essential edits video in their writing in order to cite evidence.
What is the difference between an 87 and an 88 on a paper? Do we as educators have the ability to be so laser sharp with our assessment that there is a difference? How about between an 89 and a 90. Same gap, yet a completely different assessment. B+ vs an A. Do you grade with the same level of precision at the bottom of the stack of grading as you did at the top? It can be challenging to be consistent.
I am not sure at what point we started grading on a rubric where each category was worth a certain number of points, but this is a practice I dislike.
My first reason is because it takes the human element out of assessing students. It was not the teacher that gave the grade, it was the way it fell on the rubric.
My second reason is that I rarely think that the points the rubric adds up matches my holistic feeling on the paper. It is either too high or too low… usually too high. Not all of the elements of an assignment can be assessed mutually exclusive of the the other elements.
There are overlaps in how the elements work together. I have seen where the student clearly does not understand the learning objective but it was formatted correctly, cited sources, and had enough other elements so the student ended up with a decent grade. The student is satisfied and stops learning, but really the student needs to progress in improving their knowledge on the subject.
In short, the rubric is not able to be laser sharp in properly assessing students either.
Margin of Error
What if two teachers were to assess the same paper? Is it likely the score would come out exactly the same? What if the same teacher were to grade the same paper twice, perhaps a few days apart… I suspect the score might not be exactly the same.
This creates a margin of error on EACH assignment. We could say what is a point here and there on an assignment, but the cumulation of these margins of error could really make a difference in a students overall grade.
Throw in a Zero
If a student does not do an assignment this can cause a mathematical imbalance in the grade. The grade is not demonstrating what the student knows but reflects their compliance. I have heard of some schools trying to mitigate the damage a zero has on the grade by giving 50%. This does not accurately reflect what the student knows either. Click Here for a paper on the effect of giving a zero.
I would prefer to see stars of mastery or anything other than numbers in the gradebook.
Using numbers makes it tempting to average scores. For example I have seen teachers use a 4 point rubric and then translate the rubric scores to a grades. Really, on this assignment you can earn an A, C, F or really low F?!
I have also seen on many many many occasions where a students grade is incorrectly calculated for a variety of reasons. One reason is not fully understanding the way the electronic gradebook calculates the grade. The scores end up being calculated in ways the teacher did not intend and the teacher oftentimes is not even aware it is happening.
The irony of using numbers to be fair, ends up not being fair.
On almost every website there is a logo or title at the top of the page. Usually this is in the upper left hand corner. Clicking on the site logo or title will typically return you to the homepage.
Take for example the Amazon website, if you want to get back to the home page after searching for Catlin Tucker’s Blended Learning book, simply click on the Amazon logo in the upper left hand corner to return to the main page.
On my website if you click on “Teacher Tech” you will be taken to the main page of my blog, especially handy if you are looking at an old post on the blog and want to see what the current post is.
This can be a handy skill to teach students to help them avoid frustration when they can not find the “home” button.
http://keep.google.com is a Google product for digital sticky notes. In particular this is an app for tablet devices that also syncs to the web so students can access their notes from anywhere.
What is nice about the Google Keep app is first the interface is very clean and easy to use. Create a new note and choose a color. The note can be typed, a picture or a voice recording directly into the app. Quick and simple is the name of the game. In particular the voice recognition on my Nexus tablet is nearly perfect, thus making it easier to voice dictate my ideas rather than type with my thumbs.
For my doctoral program I am part of a cohort. This means that all of us have the same assignments that need to be completed. We have found that it is motivating to know that someone in the cohort has completed a task, thus lighting a fire under other cohort members. We created a Google spreadsheet to keep track of all the assignments due during the semester. Each person who voluntarily wanted to participate created a column for themselves to check off when they have completed a task. This was helpful, but after adding a gamification element to the to-do list it really got fun.
For each of the tasks I assigned it an arbitrary number of “XP” points. These point values are not related to the point values in the class. For a regular task I assigned 10 XP points and then considered the difficulty of the other tasks in comparison to that.
As we complete tasks we mark an X in our column. This automatically adds the XP values to our individual totals. This is then compared to a chart of levels to determine our level in the to-do list game.
For a copy of the template go to: http://goo.gl/xwqUmB
You will need to use the File menu to make a copy of the spreadsheet.
As teachers we could use a little help to make our jobs more efficient. Chrome extensions are one way to do that. Here are five more extensions that you might helpful.
I use this extension daily. For any webpage I am on I simply click on the dot dot dot and it automatically creates a short URL and a QR code. Click Here for my post on the directions for using this app. The URL is automatically copied to your clipboard, saving you steps. Even when composing an email a short URL is much more attractive than a longer one. I use this almost every time I want to share a link.
Click Here to install the ShortenMe extension.
Google Voice Search Hotword
This app lets you search Google with your voice. It is actually incredibly fun to use. Go to Google.com and say “Ok Google.” No need to use your mouse or anything. This triggers the app. As soon as you see the microphone start asking your question. You can also use it as your concierge to add things to your calendar and to find directions.
Click Here to download Google Voice Search Hotword extension.
CleanPrint puts you in control of saving paper, ink and money when printing from the web. You can edit content before saving articles to Print, PDF, Google Docs, Google Drive, Dropbox or Box.net.
Click Here to download CleanPrint extension.
Click Here to download Keep Awake extension.
Picture in Picture Viewer
Have you ever tried to watch a video or reference a second website while you were doing grades or composing lesson plans? By clicking on the Picture in Picture viewer the webpage you are looking out pops out into a panel that is fixed in the bottom right of your screen AND STAYS ON TOP. As you actively work on a different website you will still be able to fully see the other website in the corner. Note that if you move the floating website it loses the always on top property.
Click Here to download Picture in Picture Viewer extension.
Link to post on Virtual Manipulative’s: http://goo.gl/BaHklV
If your school blocks YouTube a work around could be to use a GIF creator. I create a screen capture to demonstrate computer techniques and upload it to YouTube. I have the MakeGIF Video Capture Chrome extension that will convert part of the video to an animated GIF. Embedding the GIF on your webpage will show the segment of the YouTube video without having to source YouTube.
Install the Extension
Using Google Chrome web browser Click Here to install the Chrome extension.
Make or Find a YouTube Video
Link to YouTube video: http://goo.gl/3U0YIL
Go to YouTube and locate an educational video you want to share with students. If the video is audio dependent this trick will not work for you. Creating a GIF does not include the sound.
This parody music video by Diane Main is not as good in a GIF, but can still glean a little bit of Diane’s awesomeness. Link to the actual YouTube video: http://goo.gl/5UbvEO.
Click on the Extension
Click on the extension icon to start recording the frames. You can record up to 500 frames which is about 50 seconds. If the video is paused clicking on “Start” will start the video and the GIF capture.
Inserting this image onto your website will play the video segment in a loop, no pressing play or streaming required.