Gimkit – Classroom Review with a Strategic Twist

WHO: Teachers looking for an engaging review activity or formative assessment opportunity.

HOW: Sign up for an account at https://www.gimkit.com/.  Users can create their own “kits” or question sets, choose from sets that others have created.  Question sets can also be exported from Quizlet to create sets.  When you are ready to play as a class, there are a wide variety of gameplay options to choose from. While answering questions, students are awarded “cash” or lose it depending on correct/incorrect responses.  As they build up a cash value, students can utilize power-ups to earn/lose more cash on each question or other bonus items.

When setting up a game, there are quite a few options to choose from.  Under the Game Goal category, users can select Time (time limit), Target (each player hits a target score), Race (first one to the target amount wins), or All-In (all students combine to a total score goal).  Teachers can also give a starting cash amount, which can help them unlock bonuses faster.  Other gameplay options include allowing students to see correct answers following incorrect responses, settings a handicap limit, background music, clapping, and displaying a Leaderboard during the game.

After completing a game, teachers have the option to look at statistics for individual and the class as a whole.

WHEN: Gimkit is a great option for formative assessment and classroom review.  Question sets can also be assigned for homework. As we finish up the school year, this is an option to do something different in your review sessions with students.

At first, I thought Gimkit would just be another Kahoot! or Quizizz.  After trying one out, I found myself fully engaged on a set of questions regarding surface area and volume (mind you my background is social studies).  Depending on what your students prefer, any of these three options are great.  As Gimkit is using question sets, allowing a timed game will allow students to benefit from question repetition that they would typically get from flash cards.

The Most Dangerous Writing App – Disappearing Writing Exercise

WHO: Teachers that are looking for a tool that will allow students to focus on writing rather than editing.

HOW: The Most Dangerous Writing App is simple to use!  Direct students to http://www.themostdangerouswritingapp.com/  and tell them to select a time length or word count.  The frightening part of this application is that when the writer stops typing for five seconds, their work starts to disappear!  The only way to save their work is to accomplish the goal set forth before the exercise begins.

WHEN: This option for the class could be very useful for students to practice while the teacher completes administrative tasks such as attendance.  Teachers may also find it useful to prepare students for projects that require creative thinking or even just practicing home row typing.

Classroom Screen: The Toolkit Teachers Ask For!

WHO: Teachers with interactive whiteboards or at minimum a projection system (Television, projector).  Classroom Screen is the toolkit teachers have been searching for! No more visiting multiple sites for timers, name pickers, and noise meters. Classroom Screen is a one-stop shop for simple tools teachers are asking for.

HOW: No sign-up required, which means no password to remember!  Simply head on over to https://classroomscreen.com/ and get started right away!

WHEN: Classroom Screen has built-in tools that are great to use during any part of your lesson!  Tools include; Random Name/Roll the Dice, Sound Level, QR Code generator, Full Screen and widget drawing, Text, Work Symbols, Traffic Light, Timer, Clock/Calendar, and Exit Poll.

PBS Learning Media: Rich Resource for Content, Activities, and More!

WHO: Teachers looking for online resources that can be distributed to students with ease.  Teachers that are looking for ways to create puzzles, quizzes, storyboard, and more!

HOW: Visit https://pbslearningmedia.org and create an account and explore! Inside the dashboard, there are a variety of tools.  Teachers can search through content areas, grade levels, or a simple keyword search.  All of the resources can easily be shared via Google Classroom or other mediums.  Content can be organized into folders to be shared with classes as well.

WHEN: There is a wide variety of content inside of PBS Learning Media.  It can be used as a Bell Ringer, classroom discussion, or even as something to view at home.

yellkey: Convert URL to Common Word Shortener

While at the Future of Education Technology Conference (FETC) I was able to hear from a lot of fantastic educators from all over the country.  Yellkey is one of the many tools that were shared over the course of the conference.  Specifically, I picked this tool up from Leslie Fisher.  She has some awesome things going on at her newly revamped website (including great pricing on webinars) that you should check out!

WHO: Teachers that frequently share URLs in class but have issues with students using URL shorteners.

HOW: Visit http://www.yellkey.com/, paste in the URL to share, select a length of time for the key to exist, generate yellkey and share!

WHEN: Yellkey is great for situations that need to share a URL, but it does not need to be permanent. A prime example would be when you are giving a presentation at a conference and need the audience to quickly get to your shared slide deck.  In the classroom, it is great for those quick websites that may not be shared links elsewhere.  I plan to use it for the Google Form for Homecoming Court voting, the online ballots will be protected with required sign-in and the link will only be available through yellkey for a specific length of time.

Game On World: Engaging Geography Gameshow

WHO: Teachers looking for a way to make geography interactive.

HOW: Game On World is really easy to use!

  1. Open a web browser
  2. Visit http://gameon.world/
  3. Click “Start a Game!”
  4. Choose the type (can choose multiple types from the list below)    ***There is a gear icon next to the “Game On” button that allows you to select the region and number of rounds. ***
  5. Have students sign-in using the Game ID Pin at http://gameon.world/
  6. Push “Game On”

Students will then see the question posted to the board in front of the class.  They will then have to drop a pin on the map on their screen.  Students are awarded points based on how many miles away they are from the actual location.  After the rounds have completed, the game is over and a podium is posted with the top 3 scores in the class.

Here are the types of questions that can be chosen:

 

WHEN: This is great for challenging students to learn geography.  It can also be used to complement classroom content by selecting the region the class is currently studying.  The visuals and sounds give it a game show feeling, engaging the students in their competitive nature.  This tool is great for review or to learn.

Answer Garden – Word Cloud Based on Student Response

 

WHO: Teachers looking to quickly gather responses from students, while easily recognizing most frequent responses.  AnswerGarden creates a word cloud of responses submitted by students to a teacher’s question.

 

HOW: Answer Garden is easy to use, and best of all, does not require an account to use!  Teachers simply visit https://answergarden.ch/, click the ‘+’ sign in the top right, and type in a question.  Teachers then have the option to set an AnswerGarden Mode: Brainstorm –

Teachers then have the option to set an AnswerGarden Mode:

Brainstorm – respondents can submit an unlimited number of answers, including the same unlimited times

Classroom – respondents can submit an unlimited number of answers, but only submit each answer once

Moderator – each answer is submitted to the teacher for approval

Locked – the garden is locked and no new answers can be submitted

 

Teachers can choose to allow answer lengths of either 20 or 40 characters, giving the students a feel similar to Twitter.  Teachers can also set a password and reminder e-mail, allowing them to fully control the AnswerGarden and edit it later.  There are also options for Spam Filter to remove common unwanted answers, set the case (all lowercase, uppercase, or no change), and an option to add local discoverability.

When finished, there are many options to export the word cloud after the session has completed.

 

WHEN:  AnswerGarden would be useful as a bell-ringer, formative assessment, exit ticket, check for understanding, and project brainstorming activity.  It allows for a full class discussion of ideas where every student has a voice.

Flipgrid: Giving All Students a Voice in the Classroom

WHO: Teachers looking for a way to give all students a chance to voice their opinions on topics. Flipgrid allows teachers to post a question/topic and students respond on the computer or on their smartphone.  Students record a video discussing the topic or responding to other students.

HOW: Start by creating an account at https://www.flipgrid.com/, start with the Flipgrid One account.  This will give the teacher a single grid with unlimited topics.  Flipgrid Classroom ($65/year) gives unlimited grids, unlimited topics, the ability to adjust response lengths, and more. Once the teacher is on the Admin page, they can create a topic, adjust a wide variety of settings, record a short clip of themselves explaining the topic, and share via Google Classroom, Facebook, Twitter, or link.  Students will then open the app or website, view the topic, then click the button to record a response.

WHEN:  Flipgrid is a great option for a new style of exit tickets.  Teachers could also utilize it for students that are able to dictate answers but struggle with writing.  Other ideas could include verbal book reports, biographies, reflections, debates, or “show me what you learned today”.  Flipgrid would also be useful as a formative assessment tool.  Teachers could have students discuss topics prior to beginning units then revisit a topic at the end.  Students that use Snapchat will feel a similar setup with taking video clips of themselves while learning to use the technology properly.

 

Quill: Writing Tools For Students

WHO: Teachers looking for an easy-to-use tool to help students become better writers.
 
HOW: Head over to https://www.quill.org/, sign-up as an educator using Google, Clever, or manual entry, and get started.  Teachers can import classes from Google Classroom or create their own in the system.  Once a class is in place, a diagnostic test can be assigned.  Information from this assessment will give recommendations on activities for each student. There are four main options for student use in Quill:
 
Connect – Practice combining fragments into complex and well-structured sentences.
 
Diagnostic – Allows teachers to find out where students need to focus.
 
Proofreader – Students learn editing skills.  Passages are supplied with errors allowing students to practice grammar.
 
Grammar – Sentence writing activities for students to practice grammar.
 
WHEN: The majority of these activities are 5-10 min so they function well as bell-ringers or closing reinforcements.  These could also be used for enrichment work for students to extend their learning when they have finished regular classwork.

Vizia – Make Online Videos Interactive and Replace Worksheets!

WHO: Teachers that use videos in class and would like to add in checks for understanding while making the assignment more interactive.

HOW: Create an account on https://vizia.co/, add in a link to a video, then start adding questions!  Teachers have the option to include Multiple Choice (called quiz), Polls, Response (user types short answer or extended response), and Call to Action (button with external link to visit).  If teachers select the Gate Video option, it will prompt the viewer to enter their name and e-mail address. When all of the questions are added, the teacher simply copies the link in the top right corner and directs the students to visit.  This link could be posted to the classroom website, LMS, or create a QR code for the tablet classroom to utilize. After the assignment has been completed, the question results are loaded into a Google Sheet allowing the teacher to collect data, and grade if they wish. When coupled with the Google Add-On Flubaroo, these assignments could be automatically graded.

WHEN: Vizia is a great option for the flipped classroom and teachers that regularly use videos in class.  Vizia allows the teacher to capture student understanding while the videos are being watched. Vizia videos could be useful for bell-ringers, exit tickets, or assignments or inclement weather as well.

Here is an example of a Vizia video: