Make Vocabulary Fun with Digital Breakouts

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My latest BamRadioNetwork EdWords blog post is Make Vocabulary Fun with Digital Breakouts – my strategy for using Quizlet, Google Forms, and Google Sites to rejuvenate vocabulary review. Thank you for reading and considering it. Please comment below or tweet me at @TomEMullaney if you would like to discuss further.

The Impossible to Fail Quiz in the New Google Forms

After Chris Aviles introduced me to the Impossible to Fail Quiz at EdCamp New Jersey, I liked it so much I used it with my students and created a tutorial to show other teachers how to make it. This quiz is a great strategy to deliver precise remediation to students who need multiple opportunities to learn. However, since I published that blog post, Google has since changed Google Forms. So here is my updated tutorial. 

Start by opening Google Drive and creating a new Google Form:

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Follow the pattern of adding a section and a question for as many questions as you want. I recommend keeping it short. I like five questions.

Now add the magic of the Impossible to Fail Quiz: videos! Wrong answers will direct students a video that reviews the concept addressed by the question. I use Screencastify to make videos with my ChromebookSnagIt works too, but I prefer Screencastify. Making your own screencast videos is great, but you can use any video on YouTube if you prefer. Keep the video short so students watch and quickly return to the question. To add videos to the quiz:

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Add a video corresponding to each of your questions in the order of the questions. The second video should help students answer the second question and so on.

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Now return to your multiple choice questions. You have to tinker with them so that correct answers advance to the next question and incorrect answers advance to the videos.

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Do this for each question.

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This is what students will see after they correctly answer the final question:

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Take care of one last detail on each of the video pages and you have an Impossible to Fail Quiz ready to go!

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With that, the Impossible to Fail Quiz is ready to go. Take the Google Classroom Impossible to Fail Quiz designed in this tutorial to acquaint yourself with the student user experience.

If you have any questions, please comment below or tweet me at @edtechtom. Thank you for reading!

4 EdTech Tips and Tools to Revamp Multiple Choice Assessments

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Check out my latest post on the Imagine Easy blog where I write about using educational technology to improve multiple choice testing for students. Please enjoy 4 EdTech Tips and Tools to Revamp Multiple Choice Assessments. If you want to discuss these tools, please comment below or tweet me at @edtechtom.

Back to School Night Pro Tip: Use Google Forms to Make Parent Contact Lists in Gmail

Do you want to e-mail all parents for your class without entering twenty-five e-mail addresses into Gmail? Would you like parent e-mail addresses to populate in Gmail so you don’t have to remember them?

Thanks to a great idea Damien Akelman showed me at Mooresville Summer Connection, you can have parents answer a quick form and accomplish both these goals. Damien’s idea was to have parents input their information themselves into a Google Form.

This is perfect for Back to School night. Have parents use their phones, classroom devices or simply have them meet in a computer lab. Share the form using a URL shortener such as bit.ly or goo.gl.

Your form should have four simple questions. Word the questions exactly as you see here:

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This is what parents will see:

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When you have collected your responses, go back to editing your form:

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This creates a Google Sheet with your responses. In that Google Sheet:

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You now need to open the CSV and briefly edit it. This means uploading it back to Google Drive if you are using a Chromebook. It’s a small inconvenience. If you are using a computer with Excel, simply use that to edit the CSV. This is the only edit you have to make:

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Save your file. If working on it in Google Sheets, you will need to download it as a CSV again. The key is that you have to wind up with a CSV file on your hard drive. The file should look like this when you open it:

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Now go to Gmail.

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This will open a new window with your Google Contacts.

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You will receive the prompt below. Choose the CSV file you downloaded.

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You will see the contacts you just imported on the side of the screen. They will be named “Imported Today’s Date (#of contacts).”

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This is what you see after you click on the group:

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This is what you see when you click on a single contact:

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Now you can e-mail a parent by simply typing their name in the Gmail “to” field:

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You can also e-mail the whole contact list by typing the name you gave it in the Gmail “to” field:

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Thanks for reading. I hope this tutorial was helpful for you. Please let me know if you have any questions by commenting below or tweeting at me at @edtechtom.

Make Paperless Assessment with Google Forms – Part 2 of 2: Grading with Flubaroo

In part 1 of this post, I showed you how to create a Google Form, import questions from a Google Doc or Word Doc and collect answers. Now it is time to grade your Google Form and give students quick, helpful feedback.

Start by going to the Google Form assessment you shared with your students:

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Then return to the Google Form’s answers spreadsheet:

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Now it is time to install the Flubaroo add-on for Google Sheets. This is what makes grading the Google Form so easy:

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Now that it is installed, use it to grade the answers by taking these steps:

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Flubaroo is very valuable to teachers. It highlights students who struggled and questions many students answered incorrectly. It has one other great feature: the ability to quickly give students detailed feedback. To e-mail students their results:

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Some teachers might not be comfortable e-mailing the answer key. I prefer total transparency when assessing students. The nice thing about Flubaroo is that it gives you options for how much you share with students.

If you would like to know more about creating assessments in Google Forms, take a loot at part 1 of this post. If you would like to ask me any questions about making paperless assessment in Google Forms, comment below or send me a tweet at @edtechtom.

Make Paperless Assessment with Google Forms – Part 1 of 2

Are you teaching in a school that recently went 1:1 or is about to go 1:1? Do you hate stacks of paper burying your desk after you give students a test? Do you want students to take tests on their devices? Do you hate it when your school’s photocopier jams? Do you want to reduce cheating on assessments?

If you answered “yes” to any of the above, read on. This is a visual tutorial for making an assessment with Google Forms. By the end of this post, you should be able to create an assessment and add questions from assessments you have in Microsoft Word and Google Doc formats. In part 2, I show you how to automatically grade paperless assessments in Google Forms.

To get started creating a Google Form, go to the Google Drive folder where you want to store the form and:

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Checking “Shuffle question order” means the questions will appear in a different order for each student taking the test. This makes cheating during the test very difficult.

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My students use HP Chromebooks. The touchpads are sensitive. This causes students to accidentally submit forms before they have answered all questions. Making each question required prevents forms from being submitted until all questions have been answered.

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Now that you have started entering questions into your form, here’s a suggestion: get rid of all numbers for the questions and letters for the answer choices. Those are relics of the Scantron era. In part 2, I will show you how to automatically grade your assessment. You won’t need numbers or letters. The absence of letters and numbers makes cheating harder. Additionally, to tell another student an answer, a cheater would have to state the question and the answer. Instead of saying “2 is b,” a cheating student is re-teaching content!

Once you have entered your questions, get your form ready for students’ eyes:

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Your form will open in a new tab.

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After students have taken the assessment:

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The answers, on a Google Sheet, appear in a new tab:

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This is where I will end this post. Now you should be able to create a form and view answers. In the second post, I demonstrate how to use Flubaroo to easily grade the assessment and give students fast feedback. If you have any questions about Google Forms for assessment, please comment below or send me a tweet at @tmullaney23.

Use the Impossible to Fail Quiz to Give Students Instant Remediation

Does your gut (and your assessment) tell you some students didn’t get it the first time you taught it? Would you like to give students remediation exclusively for concepts they don’t understand? Isn’t it impossible to deliver precise remediation to each student in your classroom?

The solution to these challenges is the Impossible to Fail Quiz. I had the opportunity to learn about this tool from Chris Aviles at EdCamp New Jersey. The Impossible to Fail Quiz uses two components of Google Forms that had previously been unexplored frontiers for me: “Go to page based on answer” and inserting page breaks. This tutorial takes you step-by-step through the process of designing an Impossible to Fail Quiz. If you are curious about the student experience, take an Impossible to Fail Quiz before we get started. Two quick points before we start:

  • The quiz is impossible to fail because it directs students to a review video when they incorrectly answer a question. Students then re-try the question. Every time they answer incorrectly, they are directed to the video. When students answer correctly, they move on to the next question.
  • The quiz is meant as an opportunity for students to practice and receive remediation when needed. It is not meant to be an assessment tool. Each student will eventually choose the right answer to the questions.

Start by opening Google Drive and creating a new Google Form:

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Follow the pattern of adding a page break and a question for as many questions as you want. I recommend keeping it short. I like five questions.

Now it is time to add the magic of the Impossible to Fail Quiz: videos! Wrong answers will direct students a video that reviews the concept addressed by the question. I use Screencastify to make videos with my ChromebookSnagIt works too, but I prefer Screencastify. Making your own screencast videos is great, but you can use any video on YouTube if you prefer. My suggestion is to keep the video short so students watch and quickly return to the question. To add videos to the quiz:

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Now return to your multiple choice questions. You have to tinker with them so that correct answers advance to the next question and incorrect answers advance to the videos.

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This is what students will see after they correctly answer the final question:

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Take care of one last detail on each of the video pages and you have an Impossible to Fail Quiz ready to go!

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With that, your Impossible to Fail Quiz is ready to go. Take the quiz designed in this tutorial to acquaint yourself with the student user experience.

Google Classroom, Educational Technology and the Absent Student

I recently received an e-mail from a student who missed a week with the flu asking how she could catch up. This student’s class is not 1:1 so we don’t use Google Classroom daily like we do in my 1:1 classes. I replied to the student listing the ways she could use the resources I had posted to Classroom to catch up. It was a long e-mail. When I was finished, I was impressed with how much easier it is to meet the needs of absent students than it was a few short years ago. The student had missed lessons in our Civil War unit. I was able to point her to the following resources:

  • The homework for the unit was all on Google Classroom. This previously was print-based but I used Google Drive to digitize the print material, making it accessible to anyone with an internet connection and eliminating the problems of students losing it, absence and homework-eating dogs.

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  • I had a video recap on Classroom for each lesson she missed. I need to thank Chris Aviles, who made the suggestion of taping lesson recaps while speaking at EdCampNJ. For students in 1:1 classrooms, strategies like this transform learning and eliminate the “$1000 pencil” problem I heard Joshua Koen speak about, also at EdCampNJ. I have been making recaps of all my lessons since EdCamp. Even though this student’s class cannot access the recaps in the classroom, they can at home to review or catch up in the event of absence. I have been using SnagIt to make my video recaps on my Chromebook. I write more about this in another blog post.

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Technology integration in education should not be bells and whistles. It should be about simple strategies that make a big difference for students. This absent student was able to catch up in ways unheard of when she started her time as a student. These are just a few ways teachers can use technology to keep absent students on track.

Math Teachers: Add g(Math) to Google Forms!

g(Math) is a great add-on for Google Docs. If you do not have it, go get it! g(Math) is now available as an add-on for Google Forms too.

To get g(Math) for Forms, open Google Drive and create a new Google Form. While editing the new form, follow these steps:

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The form you are editing will now looks like this:

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To take advantage of g(Math)’s capabilities:

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Now your form will look like this:

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Have fun using Google Forms to assess math!