The Mighty Matt Miller posed a question on a recent tweet: “What parts of pandemic-era remote teaching will you keep?” There are dozens of replies, and it’s worth a look to see what worked for people. You don’t need to join Twitter to read the thread.
Pixlr, a suite of tools for image modification and creation (think Photoshop or iPhotos), has recently provided students and teachers free access to its premium features. You can upload your own images for manipulation, or create your own using their templates. This tool would be great for students using Chromebooks because it’s a web-based tool. They can just upload the images they want to work on from their Chromebook to the site and let their creative juices flow.
This one sounds almost too good to be true: Grade Transferer is a Chrome extension that will take your grades from Google Classroom and transfer them to PowerSchool. I haven’t tried it out yet (I don’t have any classes on Powerschool), but the review are very positive. One of the big drawbacks is that it isn’t free after the trial period, but it may be worth it for the time saved. Here’s the video which explains how it works:
Google will be changing the layout and adding some features to Meet starting in May. The new features include many that teachers have been asking for including the ability to preview what you are presenting and shrink the presenting preview to the size of a tile. The redesign will consolidate all the controls to the bottom of your screen. Here’s a great video from Eric Curts at Control-Alt-Achieve which demonstrates the new layout and features.
If you keep a blog like me, a tool that allows you to embed a web page within a web page would come in very handy, wouldn’t it?
Say “Hello” to iFrame Generator. Just take the URL of the site you’d like to embed and enter it on the site and it will generate the iFrame that you can insert into your site. This would be useful for teacher blogs or websites to give students a visual confirmation that they are using the correct website. Students may also find it useful in creating their own websites on something like Google Sites.
While most of our students are in person, we still have some remote ones. If you’re still using online assessments like Google Forms, this post from Matt Miller at Ditch That Textbook has some great ideas about how to make these assessments a little more meaningful and authentic for the students. These ideas focus on giving students some open-ended questions within the form to explain their thinking or show what they’ve learned. It might mean it takes a few more minutes to grade the test, but it also adds some questions whose answers really can be “googled”. They also engage the students in some higher-level thinking skills.
If you’re a hardcore Slides user, you should check out the latest post on Tech You Can Do on how to use the master slide to create great learning activities. The master slide allows you to set the “background” of your slide so students won’t accidentally change it. The post has four embedded videos to show you how this works. The third of these included a great tip on how to use the Master Slide to create “hidden” slides for you to add for individual students who may finish early.
This is a great tip for teachers who are using Slides as a hyperdoc. You can push out the copies to each student but only activate the “hidden” slides for certain individuals. Pretty slick!
In the latest post from Control Alt Achieve, Eric Curts does a deep dive on Equatio, the powerful Chrome extension for math. I experimented with it last year, but after reading the post and watching the accompanying video, the developers have clearly added more stuff. One of the coolest additions is called Mathspace, where you can create a host of specialized math images (protractors, coordinate planes, etc.) that can be inserted into something like Jamboard. Curts focuses on the Jamboard aspect, but you could also insert this math into a Google Slides file and then present that with Peardeck. You could create a drawing question to identify a point on a number line or solve an equation. Any teacher creating digital math manipulatives should really take a look at the samples Curts shares on the post.
Best of all, the premium version of Equatio is free for all teachers.