Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Best Add-Ons for Google Forms

Many of us are using Google Forms to create quizzes, send surveys, gather input, and collect data. With the use of add-ons, you can extend the use of forms and make it work harder for you. Here are some useful add-ons and how you might use them.

QR Code Maker - Do you want your students to fill out a form but you don’t have a quick way to send them the link? You can use QR code maker to have it create a link to the form that they can scan with an iPad or chromebook and it will open the form directly on the page. You could use this to hang the survey in a location for parents or students, put it on an assignment page or parent information sheet that is sent home to gather contact info, or put it on your website.

Form Limiter - This add-on allows you to turn off a form from accepting responses. You can choose the condition that stops it from collecting responses to be after a certain date or after it has received so many submissions. It can be used to accept data until a week after the initial request for example, or when the first 10 spots are taken.

Choice Eliminator - if you have a form with multiple choice, checkbox, or list question, this option will eliminate that as an option once someone else selects it. For example, you have a list of possible project topics that students A, B and C need to choose. If students A and B choose their topics, student C will only see the remaining options and be able to choose from those. Other ways to use this are to choose meeting dates and times, tasks for completion, or sign-ups for events.

With these add-ons, Google forms can be used beyond just giving a survey. If you need help getting started or troubleshooting an issue, please reach out!





Wednesday, April 18, 2018

One Button Studio


We are excited about the brand new One Button Studio here at Warrior Run!  Located in the library classroom at WRHS, it offers students and teachers the opportunity for video production at the push of a button. 

Wondering what it's all about?  This video will tell you in just one minute.


Developed by Penn State University, the OBS is a simplified video recording setup that can be used without any previous video production experience. The design of the studio allows you to create high-quality and polished video projects without having to know anything about lights and cameras. We have the equipment - you push the button.

What could you use the OBS for?  Lots of stuff!  To name a few...

  • Class projects
  • Basic interviews (or creative ones)
  • Presentations
  • News reports
  • Language practice
  • Green screen
  • And so much more!


The process is straightforward:

  1. Students plan before recording: research, write a script, create a story board, practice, collect props or costumes
  2. Record in the OBS
  3. Edit and produce video: edit green screen background, manipulate audio, add text or subtitles, most likely using WeVideo.
With a little ingenuity, it's easy to be creative in post-production.  Check out this blog post on WeVideo, or these tutorials, and watch the short video below.


So far, we've several classes into the studio to work on class projects.  Check out some examples here.
  • 5th grade Science: news reports on volcanoes
  • 6th grade Social Studies: interviews with Greek gods and goddesses
  • World Cultures II: news reports from the field of World War I
  • World Cultures II: infomercials for inventions from the Industrial Revolution
  • French I: vignettes of restaurant conversations
More questions?  Check out the FAQs on the OBS site.

The OBS was funded by EITC funds from Muncy Bank and Trust and Citizens and Northern Bank through the First Community Foundation Partnership.  We started building it after Thanksgiving, and it started being used in January.  Until now, we've been figuring out best practices and working out kinks, and as of last week, we are officially open for everyone!




Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

WeVideo

When students (or teachers) work on video projects, they often turn to WeVideo, the non-Apple answer to iMovie.  WeVideo works directly in your browser, so students can use their Chromebooks to make incredible videos with ease.  The web tool also offers a Google single sign on (SSO), so it's easy for students and teachers to access quickly.

Up until last month, we were just utilizing the free version. Now, the free version is good.  But the paid version is better.  So WRSD purchased WeVideo school licenses for up to 500 users.  Let's explore that.

If you would like to utilize WeVideo licenses, contact Liz Brobst for the group link and access code.  These work for both teachers and students; you need them access the premium features.



In addition, to the perks listed above, WeVideo makes it SUPER easy to use the green screens we have around our buildings.  All students need to do is film in front of a green background (or any solid color background, really), and then they edit it out in WeVideo.

If you would like to utilize WeVideo licenses, contact Liz Brobst for the group link and access code.  These wors for both teachers and students; you need them access the premium features.

I've been working on tutorials for WeVideo: here are two for you use to use and share with students.  The first shows you how to use the color keying effect (for green screens), the second shows you how to add audio to your video.




There are so many things you can do in WeVideo, just click around and explore.  I'll share more tutorial videos as they are created, so you can watch those too.  And as always, if you have further questions, just ask your friendly school librarian.

If you would like to utilize WeVideo licenses, contact Liz Brobst for the group link and access code.  These wors for both teachers and students; you need them access the premium features.



Wednesday, March 14, 2018

The Best Google Docs Add-Ons



Google Docs has a lot of functionality on its own, but you can also choose to use add-ons that will simplify, streamline and extend the possibilities for its use.



Below is a quick snapshot of where to locate the Add-ons menu in docs, sheets, slides etc.




If you have not checked out the add-ons for Google Docs, you can check them out in any Google doc.

If you just want some highlights, here are three great ones to start.

  1. Doc Tools  - this add on offers 13 ways to easily make minor changes to your doc
  2. Speech Recognition SoundWriter - use speech to text with Google Docs to type your ideas
  3. Rhyme Finder - just what it says, making poetry more accessible
  4. Lucidchart Diagrams - create diagrams from data in Google sheets to ease the interpretation with visuals
  5. GradeProof - Instantly correct spelling, grammar and phrasing within docs.


Let us know if you try one out and what you think!

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Digital Citizenship


This June, it will be 11 years since the iPhone was first released. The first iPod was released almost 17 years ago. That means our seniors have probably never bought a CD, nevermind made a mix tape with recordings from the radio.

With great technology comes great responsibility. While we encourage the use of technology in our classes in order to create greater access and possibilities for our students, it also means that we need to inform them about what constitutes being a good digital citizen. This has become more relevant than ever with the institution of the 1:1 program at the middle and high school. So with that in mind, here are some resources for teachers and students. This will serve to begin a conversation about how to improve 1:1 instruction and integrate this as a topic of our everyday interaction with students.

My favorite resource for Digital Citizenship resources is Common Sense Media, which is also great for parents and I first learned about from Chris Long (thanks, Chris!). As part of the 5th grade specials rotation, I would use a number of resources on this website to expose kids to these topics in an engaging way. Here is a rundown of the best resources for each level.

For teachers
https://www.commonsense.org/education/training - This training is for any level teacher and is different depending on the one you choose. If you choose to participate, you will receive a certificate and you can turn it in to receive 1 hour of Act 48 credit. I did the one for high school and found it to be really engaging and helpful.
https://www.commonsense.org/education/posters - These posters are free to print and display in classrooms.
https://www.commonsense.org/education/recognition-educators - Receive a digital badge to showcase your skills as a Common Sense Educator.
https://edutrainingcenter.withgoogle.com/digital_citizenship/course?reset=QE9BL64Q - Complete this training with Google to touch on the most important topics related to Digital Citizenship and Safety.

For elementary
https://www.commonsense.org/education/digital-passport - This is for grades 3-5 and has several modules on digital citizenship and internet safety in game format.
https://beinternetawesome.withgoogle.com/en/resources - From Google, could be high elementary or middle.
https://assessments.commonsensemedia.org/ - Use these questions to gauge a student’s mastery of digital citizenship concepts. When they finish the 20 question assessment, they will receive a percentage grade and a certificate.

For middle school
https://www.commonsense.org/education/digital-compass - This game is case studies in decision making online, but presents kids with options and choose their own adventure. It talks to them about the reasons for choosing the correct answers and the consequences of poor decisions.
https://beinternetawesome.withgoogle.com/en/resources - From Google, could be high elementary or middle.
https://assessments.commonsensemedia.org/ - Use these questions to gauge a student’s mastery of digital citizenship concepts. When they finish the 20 question assessment, they will receive a percentage grade and a certificate.

For high school
https://www.commonsense.org/education/digital-bytes - This is designed for high school students and has them hear from other teens, but then actually has them create a project to voice their thoughts on the topic of digital citizenship.
https://assessments.commonsensemedia.org/ - Use these questions to gauge a student’s mastery of digital citizenship concepts. When they finish the 20 question assessment, they will receive a percentage grade and a certificate.

Please reach out if you have questions or comment. We will continue this discussion in the future at all levels.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Your Next Book

You'd like to read a book, but you're not sure what to read next.  Unsure of what you're in the mood for or what will be "good," you don't know where to turn.  Sound familiar?  Have no fear, your friendly high school librarian can help!

Websites
These websites' primary goal is to help you find your next book.
Reading Communities
Book Talks, Trailers, Teasers
Browsing Your Library

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