connecting educators & enhancing learning
I used a google doc form to perform a pre-assessment for my class at the beginning of the semester. I was teaching a 5th grade computer class for the first time, and had no info about what these students might already know. So I created a 25-question 'quiz' that tested my students' computer knowledge. The great thing is that Googledocs gives you a pie graph for each question, showing "on question #3, 55% got it right, while 35% thought it was option C, etc." I know there are other tools that can do online quizzes, but this was great for someone with no experience and someone more concerned with "what percentage of my students already know how to do this" than "which students scored the highest." The results are also automatically put into a spreadsheet, so I can sort them based on several other demographic-related questions I put on the form (i.e. homeroom, how many computers they have at home, etc). All I had to do was supply the link to this form to my students, and I will give the same assessment at the end of the semester to see how I did teaching the material.
This is a great tool. I use it whenever I start a new Chapter. I didn't know that google docs would do this for the user. I always gave mine the old fashioned way. Good to know I can use docs. Thanks!!
I am sure this tool has been discussed before and many of you may be familiar with it; but I believe when you find a great tool, you can never sing its praises to often. I am speaking of Jing! This tool is incredible and extremely easy to use. Jing is a simple and free download that remains open at the top of your screen for instant access. From this easy access point, you can capture screen shots or record a short on-screen video in a few simple mouse-clicks. You can then use these screen-captures or videos in PowerPoint presentations, Blog posts, websites, or any other application you need. It is simple, free, and is versatile. This has quickly become one of my favorite progrmans...I highly recommend that if you haven't used it before, to give it a try.
I would like to draw everyone's attention to Dartfish (www.dartfish.com) a great software company that delivers outstanding products.
It was primarily known for its contributions to sports video analysis which can be used very effectively in PE classes as it gives instant feedback to students and teachers as well as great analysis options.
Now it also offers cross curriculum solutions to use digital video in state of the art classroom environments that are conducive to learning.
I have also used comic life in my classroom. I do have Macs so I brought my own computer in and it served a a writing station during center times. My 3rd graders were learning about dialogue and they were able to explore it using comics. They then scanned in pictures that they drew and added the dialogue and thought bubbles.
I like the idea of having student act out real situations such as teasing and getting along with others. It could serve as a poster as to how to act in cerain situation and they could refer back to it on the wall.
Here are some websites ReadWriteThink and Make Belief Comics where students can make their own comics for free that I discovered this year and used with my 4th graders. They are easy to use. Students can create the number and style of the outline of the comic, characters, and scenes. It has really helped with sequencing, organizing writing, staying on topic, dialogue and style in writing. I then did not have to bring my computer in and students were able in the computer lab to create their own comics. Then I scanned the images into my computer and we created a Voicethread document to work on fluency.
I had originally planned to talk about the importance of embedding objects in text. I personally find it annoying when I have to constantly navigate away from what I 'm looking at to see a picture or video that could have been put right inline with the text. Not to mention the mess of 17 browser windows or tabs that results if you want to leave them open for quick reference. I had created a Google Docs Presentation that I had intended to embed into this post; however, Ning has some control issues and won't let me edit the HTML (keeps removing the edit I make). So what to do now?
If you noticed the Google Docs tab that appeared at the top of this page, this came as a direct result of looking for a solution to being able to post what I wanted. I contacted Ben Rimes (his name is at the very bottom of the page) and we worked for a little while on the solution to this. Unfortunately, it was to no avail, you still can't embed a Google docs presentation in this forum, (but you can add one to your page now if you would like). Here's the tip though, just because there isn't an immediate solution doesn't mean it can't be done. Invest some time and you will probably find a solution/workaround (works most of the time for me, was just unlucky with this one).
You should also learn how to embed objects in text too. :)