Monday, May 22, 2017

Top 5 Post of April

Once again I'm a little late with this, but below are the Top 5 Posts of April.  I hope that you enjoyed reading them and if you haven't now is a great time to give them a read. :-)
  1. StudyBlue Pro - give it a try!
  2. Separating and Combining Columns in Excel
  3. Socrative quick Questions
  4. Random Group Generator and Student Selector
  5. G Suite Google Apps Training Chrome Extension

Is there something that you are looking to learn how to do?  Leave me a comment below and I will work on a post and video to help you out! 

Thursday, May 18, 2017

A secure way to have students take tests and quizzes online

Microsoft has developed a super easy way to lock down students' computers so that they can also access the webpage that is hosting your online test. Students won't be able to use the clipboard, go to another website or apps, share their screen or print anything. All you need is the link to your online test (it doesn't have to be anything fancy; I use a form I created through Microsoft or Google) and a way to get the link out to the students. Students do need to be on a computer that is running Windows 10. I also recommend that they use the Edge browser as I haven't encountered any errors using it. 

The link that you need to share with the students is ms-edu-secureassessment:<URL>!enforceLockdown where you would replace <URL> with the url to the quiz. You want to make sure that there are no spaces in the address. I would also recommend that you set the link to display as a word or phrase so that students don't just copy and paste the quiz url instead of the whole long url. If you are not sure how to do this, leave a comment with how you are sending out the link and I will make a tutorial for you! If you want more information on the Take a Test app, you can read about it here.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Random Group Generator and Student Selector

This year I decided that I didn’t want to assign lab groups for my students, but rather, I would random assign them into pairs or groups depending on the activity. As one to try to do most things digitally, I wanted something better than Popsicle sticks. I came across a few sites that did what I wanted.

 The first is Random Group Creator. It’s a very basic page, but it does the job. You can choose the maximum size or the group or the maxim number of groups that you want. Then you just paste in a list of names (one per line) and click submit. While the site looks like it gives you an option to save and load lists, that feature doesn’t seem to work. I would keep a word or excel file with the names in it that you can copy and paste from each time you want to use that list. 

 The next is another simple one called Random Team Generator. You paste in the list of names and choose how many groups you want. Press the refresh button and your groups will be made for you.
Group Maker Tool is another generator and its part of the Super Teacher Tools site. What I like about
this one is that you create a sort of makeshift account, but all of your student names are saved there and you don’t need to copy and paste them into a site each time. If you do have the student names in a list, you can copy and paste them into the bulk upload section to add them in all at one. If not, you can type in the names one by one. Once you do that all of your student names are in the systems and you can use this list to not only make groups, but it can also be used as a random picker and a seating chart generator. The group maker allows you to choose how many in a group or how many groups you want. 

Team Maker is another really simple generator. Once again you will need to paste in a list of names. You then choose some team names (you don’t have to use them, but there are there if you want). Then you choose the number of teams you want, press Generate Teams and you groups are made! If you like the groups that are made you can download the list as a CSV file (a type of file that opens in Excel). 

 The last option I have for you is Random Student Generator. This one requires you to type in the names (you can’t copy and paste from a list), but then you can save that list. Once your list is in you can use that list to randomly select a student as well arrange students into a number of different size groups. The one downside to this site is that it can only save one class list. If you have more than one list, you’ll have to pay for their upgraded version (and it’s expensive and not worth it).

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Choose a Random Person from a Google Form

If you have people fill out a Google form and you want to select a random person from this form you can do that easily with the script that Alice Keeler wrote. Don’t worry, you don’t need to know anything about coding or script writing to use this. Alice Keeler made a template that you start with. You can access it by clicking here. Start off with this form and edit it to make it the way you want it to look. Distribute it and collect your responses. After you have collected the response click on the puzzle piece icon in the Google Form and run the add on “Choose Random Responder.” A random response will be selected and a pop up will tell you who it is. Each time you run this add-on a spreadsheet is created with the winner and all the (up to 19) runner ups. You will receive a link to that spreadsheet in your e-mail. If you already have a form that you want to use, the script is provided for you if you want to add it into your form. You can find more details on that and this whole process by visiting Alice Keeler’s blog directly.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Top 5 posts of March

I'm a little late with this, but below are the Top 5 Posts of March.  I hope that you enjoyed reading them and if you haven't now is a great time to give them a read. :-)
  1. Separating and Combining Columns in Excel
  2. StudyBlue Pro - give it a try!
  3. Using Mail Merge with Gmail
  4. Augmented Reality in the Science Classroom
  5. Multi-Owner Classes in Remind
Is there something that you are looking to learn how to do?  Leave me a comment below and I will work on a post and video to help you out! 

Monday, April 3, 2017

G Suite Training Chrome Extension

If you are new to using Google Apps, or you know people who are struggling using it, this extension is what you (or they) need! You simply visit this webpage in your Chrome browser (it does have to be Chrome) and install the extension. Now, that extension will be waiting for you read to give you advice and help when you need it. Once you are in any app that you need help in (Sheets, Drawings, Doc, etc.) you just click on the extension and you can access step by step written tutorials, video tutorials, product features and most anything else you would need to help you out. While it is fully functional in English, it does offer some limited support for Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Portuguese and Spanish. Lastly, if you are the domain administrator you can customize your domain’s’ training by installing the G Suite Training App in the Admin console.

If you want a quick visual of how to install it check out this post. 

What is one of your favorite places to look for edtech training (other than this blog of course ;-)?

If you would like to view a walk through, take a look a this quick walk through that I did.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Digital Exit Tickets

Many of us use exit tickets in our classes.  Exit tickets can give us valuable information about students understanding of the topic and how we can adjust our instruction to help students.  While paper based exit tickets are a simple and easy way, they can be time consuming to correct.  Electronic exit tickets can be a great alternative.  There are a number of different ways you can go about this and here are few of my favorites.

1. Google Forms
I would say that Google Forms is the simplest way to collect exit ticket data, but depending on how link will give you more information on creating a Google Form quiz.
you use it, it may not be any easier to grade than a paper exit ticket (although easier to collect).  If you construct a quiz that consists of multiple choice, checkbook ro drop-down questions Google Forms can automatically grade it.  This

2. Poll Everywhere
Poll Everywhere is a great tool if you are looking for something simple.  You can create multiple choice questions, true/false and short answer questions.  What's unique about Poll Everywhere that your students can answer via text if they don't have internet access.  You can even put your polls right into your slideshow so polling students is even easier.  If you decide to project the results you will see them update in real time.

3. Socrative
Socrative is fun way to collect feedback (as well as do a review).  They have four different options to choose from and one of them is called exit ticket.  For this purpose, I would suggest that one.  If you are looking to use it for other purposes, the space race is a fun one and quick questions are good when you want to do an assessment on the fly.
You can learn more about using Socrative by checking out this post and this post.

4. Plickers
If you love the idea of student response systems, but your students don't have individual devices to use plckers is for you! To use Plickers in your classroom you only need one device (apple or here.
android). Students each get a card (that you can print) that looks like a QR code. Depending on the orientation that students hold the card they are presenting a different answer. All it takes is a quick pan across the room with your device and you'll get all of the students responses.  Read my full blog post about plickers

This post is cross-posted on my science blog Savvy Secondary Science