Monday, July 10, 2017

Google Forms Question by Question Grading


ISTE 2017

The ISTE conference never disappoints. It is a great opportunity to be oriented with great pedagogy, new technologies, and awesome people to build up your personal learning network. As far as GSuite for Education news goes, one of the awesome additions is the ability to do question by question grading in Google Forms. Forms have certainly transitioned much in the last year or so with an entirely new makeover, the edition of quizzes, automatic grading, and now the ability to grade question by question. It is a small update, but it is mighty in the sense that it fills a void that people have desired since the built-in quizzes debuted. 

Question by Question Grading

In the previous version of Google Forms quizzes, multiple choice and short answer questions could be graded automatically. The short answer has some issues of being unreliable. If a student spells a response incorrectly or add/misses capitalization, the answer is automatically counted as incorrect. This would cause the teacher to have to go into each individual response, scroll the specific question, and reevaluate the response. This is especially time-consuming. Now the teacher has the ability to look at that specific question and analyze every student's response. The teacher can then quickly adjust grades by simply selecting the green check-mark to accept a response; all other responses can be left as is. This is also handy if partial credit is necessary. If a question is worth two points and a student is on the right track, the teacher can simply add a single point to that response. 

The most important scenario as to why question by question grading is important in Google Forms quizzes is in the case of an extended response. To get a more accurate measure of a student's learning, multi-faceted and reflective questions are necessary. These types of questions obviously require more time. The best way to assess these types of question is to focus on one question at a time instead of looking at the student's entire quiz. It saves time for the teacher to have a specific focus while analyzing responses. The question by question feature allows the teacher to accomplish just that. 

Most people are hands-on and would rather jump right in and start trying this feature. You can find it in the exact same place as where the quizzes already exist. You'll see the option in the same place teachers could view student individual responses... 


If you prefer to see it in action first, I made a practice quiz and a quick demonstration of how the viewing of questions can be an asset to you. 


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Be Internet Awesome with Google


Digital Citizenship

Great resources for teaching students to be Internet savvy are here! It is a necessity to be smart about security and digital footprint conscious. We are molding the future of Internet users each and every day. It doesn't matter if you are in a 1:1 technology environment, have carts of devices you wheel into your classroom, or if you take your students to the computer lab once a week, training students to be wise online is a part of what we do. 

Google just launched a new site with more opportunities for students and teachers alike. If you visit beinternetawesome.withgoogle.com, users can access a wide range of resources. 

Interland

Interland is an online game for elementary students to navigate through some of the tough questions we face with the troubles of the Internet. As students navigate through Interland, they explore the concepts of being kind online, secure passwords, information protection, and being Internet savvy. Each world focuses on a different area of being Internet awesome. The worlds are as follows:

Kind Kingdom

Students should be aware that what they say online can affect others. Online bullies should be reported or blocked to create a safe environment for others. This world consists of the user spreading positive messages to others and taking action when bullies are present. 

Reality River

There are a lot of schemes and tricks online to get your to give up personal information and/or buy unwanted services. Being aware that these advertisements and schemes exist will help students to think twice before clicking on them. This world has a series of scenarios where these schemes exist and make the best choice. 

Mindful Mountain

Being conscious of what you share with whom you share is important. Not all information is necessary for the whole world to see. This world runs the user through a series of scenarios and causes him/her to question what information should be shared and with whom. 

Tower of Treasure

Password security is important. Users should change their passwords often to keep data secure. They should also utilize a series of upper and lower case letters along with numbers and symbols. The users collect letters, numbers, and symbols to build a secure password. 

Resources for Teachers

Curriculum

Along with Interland for students, there are also great resources for teachers. Interland shouldn't be used in isolation. The information in the game will not be very meaningful unless there is deeper content taught in conjunction with the game. There is an online curriculum (that can be downloaded) that has a series of lessons and activities to go through with your students. The students should be discussing online safety and their digital footprint to make it meaningful. 

Teacher Training Course

Google is also offering a Digital Citizenship and Safety Course for teachers. To complete the course, the teacher must read through content, watch a few short videos, and answer questions pertaining to online safety. It would be good for all teachers to go through this content. I found it to be beneficial as reminders of things I should be doing to make sure my information is kept secure. 

MSDSC Teachers

If you are a teacher in my school district, please complete the course. If you do so and receive your certificate of completion, forward it to me via email and I will send you a certificate for two Professional Growth Points. 

What's in the Video

The video below gives an overview of where to find all the contents listed in this blog post. I go through how to access Interland, the online safety curriculum, and the teacher training course. So check it out and be Internet awesome! 

Monday, June 12, 2017

Storytelling Slides


A Great Podcast

I'm always on the lookout for a great podcast. If I'm traveling to and from work or if I have a long drive to a conference or workshop, a podcast is a great way to make the most of my time. Just over a year ago, I wrote a blog post about the Bam Radio Network and the great options they have available in short, 10-minute podcast sessions. I didn't list the session there, but Matt Miller (Ditch that Textbook) had a great series by the title: Hook 'em! He has since moved on to a much longer platform and has teamed up with Kasey Bell (Shake Up Learning). This one is the Google Teacher Tribe. If you have 45 minutes to give it a listen, I'd highly recommend it. My favorite times are while I'm driving or going for a run. It is a simple way for me to make the most of my time.

Last week, I was attending the IGNITE conference Lafayette, IN. Since this was a 2.5-hour drive, I was able to listen to quite a few podcasts and catch up on the Google Teacher Tribe. The session that sparked my thinking was one specifically on digital storytelling. Kasey and Matt spoke quite a bit on various tools, but the one that stood out to me most was using Google Slides. My mind immediately went to Slides because of a couple of more recent posts I did featuring the newer video options contained in Google Slides. Google Slides would make for a great platform for digital stories by using the trimming and autoplay in the video options.

Workflow

In order for students to successfully create a digital story, they really need to be accustomed to using Google Slides and Screencastify. It is helpful if students know how to manipulate shapes, images, and utilize animations fluently so that the story can be enhanced. With Screencastify, I find it to be most helpful if students know how to fluently use the keyboard shortcut (alt+shift+R) to start and stop recording. Have students practice using these skills with other projects before expecting them to build a full-blown digital story. You and your students will be more pleased with the results if they know the tools well. 

In my video below, I demonstrate how to quickly record, insert video, and trim appropriately to meet the story needs. By turning on autoplay, the audio of the file will start immediately when the Slides are in presentation mode. Here is the breakdown of the steps:




My Story

The story I created is in the video tutorial, but in case you want to view the published version, I'll include the link here.  I chose to not embed it because it would automatically start playing the audio when you all visit this post. That brings flashbacks of those terrible midi songs that would start playing on all of the Angelfire or Geocities websites from the 90's. Anyone else remember those days?