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181 Google Tricks That Will Save You Time in School

28 Jun

181 Google Tricks That Will Save You Time in School [Updated] – Online Colleges.

Lots of Great Stuff!!  Here’s a run-down:

#1-35   Search Tips
#36-47  Education
#48-65  Google Docs
#46-95  Gmail
#96-107  Calendar
#108-120 Google Mobile
#121-154  Google Chrome
#155-165  Google Books
#166-170  Google Voice
#171-181  Google Services and Apps



WL Assessment with Web 2.0

1 Apr

Speaking exams always gave me headaches.  One student at a time coming to your desk, the rest of the students busy taking a written exam or doing something else.  I didn’t like the fact that I could not monitor the students doing the written part because it took the whole class time to listen to students speaking parts one by one.

I was very excited when I found Clear’s Audio Drop Box.  Scroll down on the page to see the Drop Box link, but check out everything else, too.  Lots of great stuff there!  My procedure for exams now is to have one day in the computer lab and one day in the classroom.  In the computer lab they do the listening and speaking part.  In the classroom we do the writing, reading and culture.

I have a wiki page set up for the speaking and listening parts.  On the speaking exam page, there are 4-5 prompts and the audio drop box.  In front of the keyboard is an index card telling the students which 2 prompts they must address.  When they are ready they click on the audio drop box, type in their name, and perform their speaking exam.  Once they have spoken they can listen to the audio over again, then decide to send it or delete it and start over.  The audio clips come to me on a page provided by Michigan State’s Clear site.  I listen to them later and score them.  I have heard other teachers are doing the same thing with Google Voice.  I went to the site and was immediately confused.  I sense that someone needs to walk me through it.

The listening part is even simpler.  I put a link to the audio clip they must listen to on the wiki page.  Below the audio link is an embedded Google Form with their questions.  They can listen to the clip as many times as needed, then they click Submit to send me their answers. (Don’t forget to make one of the question “What is your name?”).  Back in my Google Docs page, their answers are saved spreadsheet style.  Google has another trick for you to use with the spreadsheet.

While your spreadsheet with the student’s answers is open, click on Insert then script.  Type in the search bar “Flubaroo”.  It is an amazing time saver!  Flubaroo grades the student answers for you.  Click on this Flubaroo video to see how to create your form and use Flubaroo.  Here is the user guide with step by step instructions.

Google forms can also be used on parts of the exam that are multiple choice.  Grade them with Flubaroo and some of the grading is already done!  I have also used them for quizzes and for feedback when we try a new site or activity to get the student’s thoughts.

Google forms are also a great way to hold students accountable for assigned collaboration.  We collaborate with a couple of different schools, one in San Jacinto and recently with one in Maryland.  Students will occasionally be assigned as homework or in the lab to respond to prompts made to the students, and also to reply to individuals from a different school.  To keep them honest and save a little grading time, I put a Google Form into a wiki page and they tell me which topics they answered and which students they replied to.  I just go to the spreadsheet to see who has completed this.  This way, when I am reading through what they have written, I can enjoy the reading and not have to be thinking about grading.

Just one more way Web 2.0 is making things easier.  I know there are many other sites that are useful for testing and grading.  Let me know what you like to use.


Search engine madness

3 Feb

I just found a new search engine that I am crazy about (so far)!  I will share that later…

I use Google.  I have a Google account, I like to search for images, sometimes use the translator, LOVE Google Docs.  Google has even become a verb, an everyday word.  I can be the noun “Googler”.

I saw a new search engine posted in Diigo today and I thought about all of the ones I have used:

Spezify:  results are in thumbnail form
Wolfram: Math and more search engine.  We had fun putting in our first names and seeing what they ranked (Jacob is number one for boys).
Kid Search:  Found this nice kid friendly list
Pic Search:  Less likely to have indecent pictures.  I ask the students to use this one in the lab.
Multicolr Search lab:  Search by color!  Great for my elementary WL.

I also love Only2clicks to make your own little search engine.  If I am having the students do some research on Hispanic customs, people or festivals, for example, I give them this link and tell them to only look through those pages.  It is a pretty cool site because I have other tabs there that are not shared, so the students cannot see them.

So the new search engine (to me anyway) is Carrot2.  I did a search for Cinco de mayo.  Up came a side menu with 12 folders in it.  I could click on Battle of Puebla, History, dances, etc.  It was one of those moments when you think “Why didn’t anyone do this before”.  Like I said, it is brand new, but I am going to use it for a while and see how it goes.

I would love to hear other people’s favorite search engines!


SVSU mini conference

2 Feb

I am taking a break in preparing the technology session for the World Language Mini Conference on Monday.

Topics for the technology session are free online tools, the WL teacher wiki page, networking with other teachers, and finding authentic material online.

For several of my online tools I have a class account.  I have a Google account that is just for my classroom.  Students log in to many sites with that email address and the class password.  They joke each time we do a new website because they already know they password…  I like to have them use the class account in sites such as Photo Peach where I can see their finished products all on the same page. The trick is they need to name their project with their name because “Sra. Hildinger” is the default author.  Their Photo Peach project might be called “Breanna S” for example.  I do discourage them from using last names.

There are times, especially in collaboration sites like Collaborize Classroom, Diigo Education, Schoology and others where they do need to create their own account.

The online tools I will present include:

Quizlet: an online flashcard maker.  It is incredibly easy for me because my textbook is online.  I just copy and paste the vocabulary words from the book into the “Import” section and they are created in seconds.  We take a few minutes every day in class to review with flashcards.  I was annoyed at first because some students would yell out the answers before other students could have a chance to think about it.  My solution (for now) is they have to wait 3 beats.  As soon as we hear the words we do 3 beats (a mixture of claps, stomps, snaps, etc).  They cannot give the answer until then.
It is much more than simply a flashcard maker and presenter.  I put the link on our EdLine page so they can practice anywhere.  I even made QR Codes from the URL.  I print them out and post them in the room for the students to scan.

Only2clicks:  I like using Only 2 Clicks when I want the students to do directed research.  We have all had experiences when most of the lab time was spent doing research.  If I know the best sites to find the information, I make an Only 2 Clicks page for them to use.  Example.

Wallwisher:  one of those sticky note sites.  I like that students can add a picture.  One of the activities that works great is creating a class Wallwisher.  Each student builds a different wall and poses a question in the target language.  For example, “What do you like to do on the weekends?”.  Then they walk around and answer each other’s sticky notes.  Great for a change of state during a 70 minute block.

Photo Peach:  Photo Peach is a slideshow creator.  Since we use a class log in, I can see all of their projects on one page.  Students first have to upload their photos or clip art, then write a sentence or two about the page.  I tell them what vocabulary and grammar structures I expect to see.  The slideshow is nice because it has some movement in the final project.

Issuu: Easily turn a research project into a beautiful magazine.  When finished, the students can get an embed code to put on their wiki page.  Much better than grading 30 research papers with no pictures.  I do have the students do a bibliography at the end of such research projects.

Well, back to preparing for the technology session.  Cresting this post has helped me organize my thoughts a bit.  🙂


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