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!

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8 Google Chrome Extensions for Students with Learning Needs…And Everyone Else

8 Google Chrome Extensions for Students with Learning Needs (1)

Author’s note: The author is honored to have served as a Special Education teacher for ten school years. This post is meant to offer helpful suggestions to all educators who teach students with learning needs. These extensions, like many special education interventions, are beneficial for students with learning disabilities and anyone else who wants to be more productive when using the Google Chrome Browser. 

Google Chrome and its Extensions

Think of extensions as mini-programs that run in the Google Chrome browser. Users can add extensions to Google Chrome at the Chrome Web Store. Here are three ways to access the Chrome Web Store.

Find it in Google by typing “Chrome web store.” Click “Extensions” to search for extensions:

Finding Chrome web Store in Google

Find it in the Chrome browser’s Apps:

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Find it in the Chrome browser’s “More tools” menu. This is also where extensions can be deleted or turned on and off:

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Google Chrome can use a lot of memory. Users should be careful to not use too many extensions and risk slow computer performance. One way to quickly turn extensions on and off is our first extension:

Extensity

Extensity allows users to easily turn extensions on and off:

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AdBlock

AdBlock might be the very best Chrome extension. It blocks advertisements. No more annoying distractions! Check it out in action:

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Readability

Readability takes away distractions so students can read articles. Check it out in action:

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Grammarly

Grammarly is a great spelling and grammar checker. It works in Gmail and text fields on websites. It does not work in Google Docs at the moment. Take a look at it in action:

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Open Dyslexic

Open Dyslexic is an extension that converts text on screen into a font that some people with Dyslexia prefer:

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Split Screen

Author’s Note (1/25/16): Split Screen no longer works. Fortunately, this post still has 8 great Chrome extensions thanks to Ellen McDonnell who commented below about Reading Ruler. It’s a great tool.

Split Screen allows users to view two websites side-by-side in the same browser:

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OneTab

Too many tabs open at one time? Just use OneTab to condense them into links on one website. Teachers can use it to make a list of sites for students to visit. No more clutter and users still have access to sites they want in one click:

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Read and Write for Google

Read and Write for Google gives users a highlighter with four different color options.

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It also converts highlights words as it converts on-screen text to speech!

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Update 6/10/16:

Voice Actions for Google Chrome

This extension just came to my attention. I think it has great potential for students with disabilities. Watch me play with it:

I hope these extensions are useful for you and your students. If you have any questions or want to discuss further, please leave a comment below or tweet me at @edtechtom. The animated gif screen captures in this post were made with two more Google Chrome extensions, Screencastify (which I absolutely love) and SnagIt. Thank you for reading!

 

 

 

 

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.

Making Lesson Recap Videos with SnagIt and a Chromebook

I went to to EdCamp New Jersey at the end of November where I heard Chris Aviles suggest teachers should make video recaps. He argued that in a 1:1 classroom, video lesson recaps are a powerful tool to fight learned helplessness. A student doesn’t know the answer to a question? Have them watch the video recap. Chris also made the point that video recaps give students multiple opportunities to learn and help absent students catch up.

Intrigued, I set about using December to incorporate video recaps into my practice. I made this video about what I have done so far:

After you create your account (I used my school Google e-mail), SnagIt creates a folder in your Google Drive. It is called “TechSmith” after the company that makes SnagIt.

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When you record using SnagIt, the app will capture your screen and the Chromebook’s microphone. I use the Chromebook camera so students can see my face rather than listen to a disembodied voice. When you stop a recording, it will appear as ” unfinished video” in the TechSmith folder.

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You can rename your video in the SnagIt video player and push it directly to your GAFE connected YouTube account.

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When SnagIt is finished processing you can access the video file in the TechSmith Google Drive folder.

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From Google Drive, you can download the video. I take this extra step because I post videos to my personal YouTube channel.  I want the videos to still exist should my job change. It is very easy with only upload and download time as minor inconveniences. Login to your personal GMail account and go to YouTube. From there:

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Then simply click on upload and you’re good to go.

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Pixiclip is another tool with great potential for video recaps. As I explained in the video above, I stopped using Pixiclip because when my students play it back on their Chromebooks they cannot rewind and fast forward.

Video lesson recaps are one way educational technology transforms educational practice. I am only one month into using them and am thrilled with the opportunities they create for my students!

 

 

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.