Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Annotate Images and Videos

You've heard the expression A picture is worth a thousand words, but it can be so much more!  Thinglink is a site that allows you to take a pictures (or even a video) and annotate it so it's so much more.  The free education plan gives you and up to 100 of your students access to the basic ThingLink platform.  Of course your students can sign up for their own account that isn't connected to you if you have more than 100 students.  The only difference, is that if a student isn't connected to your account you won't be able to see what they have created unless they share the link with you.

The basic program allows you to annotate an image with little hot spots that pop up either a link to a website of your choosing or just some descriptive text.  You can also search for a previously created ThinkLInk images and remix them.  This means you can edit the image to add or remove hotspots to fir your need.   Thinglink is multiplatform and can be used on the computer or with the Android or iOS app.

Below is an example of a ThingLink on the human body (I can't take credit for this, it was created by a student ThingLink user).   As I've done here you can embed ThingLinks into any place that allows HTML code.  She decided to make the hot spots letters and numbers so that you can hover over them for more information.  You can also use small target like circles as the hot spots.  (If the image below isn't working, click here to see it)

Monday, June 19, 2017

Removing all of the related videos from YouTube

Showing a YouTube video in class is great.  There is so much awesome educational content on there and the videos can really add to your lessons.  What isn't always great is the related content videos that show up on the side.  Sometimes I wonder how YouTube thinks that what they are showing is actually related to what I am watching.  Often times it's not inappropriate, some some times it is and you don't want that.  Even when it isn't inappropriate, kids will always look at the related content and ask to watch that video next.  There are a few different website that will allow you get ride of those annoying related content videos.

Watchkin is a site that will allow you to both search for YouTube videos and also watch YouTube videos without any of those sidebar add.  It's very simple to use; you just copy and past the URL into the site and you are good to go!  If you have a topic you are interested it you can also use Watchkin as a search engine to find videos to watch that will play without the annoyances.

ViewPure is very similar to Watchkin is that you can paste in a video URL or search for a video.  In addition to getting ride of sidebar ads and related videos, it also hides the comments.  There is also an option to create a clean URL to the video. You can create a URL like viewpure.com/BabyDebate instead of youtube.com/watch?v=_JmA2ClUvUY.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Find images you can legally use

We all use images in our lessons whether we are putting them in our presentations or students are using them in their projects.  It is important that we are not taking images that the creator didn't give us permission to use.  It is very easy to take images from a website and to justify our use under the guise of fair use.  The fair use doctrine was create to allow copyrighted works to be used fro classroom instruction (among other things).  Many teachers believe this means that they can use anything in their classrooms and this is not true.  I'm not here to discuss the ins and outs of fair use, but if you want to learn more you can visit this site from the US Copyright Office.

While, many times I am covered under fair use when I use images for my teacher, I like to be sure that I am covered.  To do so you can filter your searches in your search engine to include ones that are licences for your to use.  While each site uses slightly different language here are some ideas as to what each term means.

  • Public Domain - the creator has basically waived all copyright rights
  • Free to share and use - you can use it and share (but not change it) for personal purposes only
  • Free to share and use commercially - you can use it and share it for personal or commercial purposes
  • Free to modify, share and use: you can use, edit and share it for personal purposes only
  • Free to modify, share and use commercially - you can use, edit and share it for personally or commercial purposes 
Here are some short animated gifs that show you how to find these search filters on a few different search engines.




Monday, June 5, 2017

QuizBean - great for quick feedback or simple quizzes

QuizBean is a website that you allows you to digitally assess students. You can use this as an actual quiz or for things like in class feedback or something like an exit ticket. As with many similar sites, there is a both a free and paid version. The free version lets you have 3 quizzes at a time, up with to 26 students total. This is not really the most idea for those who teach secondary and have multiple different classes. This might be good, however, if you have one section that is different than the others. (In the past I have taught one section of chemistry and the rest biology so I could use this with just my chemistry class).

The site itself does give you a lot of options for your "quiz." You have the option to scramble choices and choose from three different question types (multiple choice, multiple correct and true/false). I also like that you can add in images and videos in the questions and explanations in the answers.

Once you have the quizzes created you can share it with your students through Quizbean (assign to specific students or classes) or with url (direct link or embed link) . You can also set an expiration date when it will no longer be activate and the maximum number of attempts students can have.

Once the test has been taken the students can see their score and which questions they got right or wrong. You get to see how many students took the quiz, what the average score was and even look at a specific student and see who they did. You can print or export this data as a pdf, csv or excel file.

What's your go to site for online assessment?

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Top 5 Posts of May

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