Archives for November 2014

Get Students Playing with Kahoot!

Screen Shot 2014-11-21 at 12.18.15 PMGames are fun, and turning a quiz review or a discussion into a game can make these activities exciting and engaging for students. Kahoot.it! is a game-based Web 2.0 tool that teachers and students can use for content reviews or formative assessments. All you need is a projector, a host device, and mobile devices in the classroom to run a game of Kahoot!

How Does Kahoot! Work?

  1. Sign up for an account at getkahoot.com.
  2. Start a quiz, discussion, or poll, and give it a name. Kahoot!1
  3. Type in your first question. You can add an image or a video to make the question a little more engaging, especially if it has something to do with the question! You have options to make the question worth points or not, and you can also change how many seconds you provide to click an answer. Each question starts with the same number of points, and points are awarded to correct answers based upon how long it took to choose the answer.Kahoot!2Kahoot!4
  4. Add answers at the bottom of the page. You will probably need to scroll down to see where to add the answers. There’s a 60-character limit to the answers which is reflected by a number to the left of Incorrect/Correct button. Each answer defaults to incorrect, but you just click on the incorrect/correct button to change it. You can have up to four answers per question, and you can also make all of the answers correct if there isn’t just one right answer.
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  5. Continue to add questions by clicking on the “Add Question” button at the bottom of the page. You can also move between questions by clicking on the numbers at the bottom left.Kahoot!11
  6.  When you are finished with the quiz, choose Save and Continue. You’ll be asked to provide a little more information about the quiz. You can keep the quiz public or set it to private, and you need to indicate who the audience of the quiz is. You can add a description or tags if you wish.Kahoot!6
  7. When you are all finished with that, choose Save and Continue. You’ll be taken to the final page, which allows you to play or preview the quiz. I recommend doing the preview because it shows you exactly what your quiz will look like to the students.Kahoot!8
  8. When the preview screen comes up, make sure to choose “Launch” on the right so that you are given a code to enter the quiz. Enter it on the little phone on the right and you’ll be able to play just like the students would.Kahoot!10
  9. When you are ready to allow students, launch the Kahoot! game and provide the code to your students. Project your Kahoot! on the screen so all students can see it, and you are all set!

Classroom Connection

Kahoot is a fun way to have students work individually (if you have 1:1) or in teams to play a review game or have a class discussion. If you have a few devices in your classroom or even if you only have two, have students work in larger teams. When you create the game, make sure to allow a little longer to answer each question so that students have the opportunity to talk about the answer with their group. Pass the device around so that all students have the chance to choose an answer. They get really competitive with this game and they want to be at the top of the leaderboard! It will get loud in the classroom, but it’s the kind of loud you want– engaged-in-learning-loud! Even adults get into the competition with Kahoot! Students could also make their own Kahoot! quizzes for themselves or their peers as review.

Common Core Connection

As a review game, Kahoot! can potentially help students meet the standards because the questions you ask will be Common Core-aligned questions about the content you are studying. If you choose, you can wait between questions and discuss answers that were given to help students process the questions and answers. This will help students go deeper and explain their thinking on an answer, which helps with their communication and critical thinking skills.

What Do You Think?

Have you used Kahoot! in the classroom? How have your students responded to this type of review?

Create Digital Thinking Maps with Popplet

Screen Shot 2014-11-18 at 10.44.50 AMMiddle school teachers in my district have been using Thinking Maps since 2009. When I was in the classroom, I loved using Thinking Maps to give my students a conceptual net for gathering their thoughts. Students took ownership of the maps quickly and they were able to use them in all areas of their learning. When we started using iPads in the classroom, students were interested in learning to create Thinking Maps in a digital way.  The app that I have found to be most user-friendly in creating digital Thinking Maps is Popplet or Popplet Lite.

How Does Popplet Work?

Popplet starts with a blank canvas. Tap anywhere on the workspace to start a new popplet.

IMG_1022Within each popple, you can draw, type, or insert an image. You can also change the color of the outline of each popple. This is helpful for color-coding Thinking Maps.

poppletTap on any of the round gray buttons to create a new popple branching from the current one. Once it’s created, you can drag it around the page to format your Thinking Map properly. Some Thinking Maps work better than others using Popplet. For example, it is going to be very difficult for your students to create a Circle Map that actually looks like a Circle Map. However, others are much simpler. Click on the photo to enlarge it.IMG_1027

It’s also possible to make a Double Bubble Map. It requires a little creative Popplet action to get it done, but it’s possible! Watch the video below to see how.
If you are using the free version, you can only create one Popplet at a time. To start a new one, just save your current Popplet to the camera roll, and then you are free to clear the workspace and start on a new one.popplet1 The paid version is $4.99, and if you plan on having your students use Popplet pretty often, it might be worth the purchase price.

Popplet is also available on the Web at popplet.com. If you are working online, you are able to invite collaborators to work on Popplets together. You are also able to make your Popplet public and share via social media directly from the website. Screen Shot 2014-11-17 at 4.11.39 PMThe free account on the Web allows you to create 5 Popplets before upgrading. The upgraded subscription is offered for a fairly reasonable price and you can make unlimited Popplets. You can read more about education pricing for Popplet Groups here. You can also subscribe as an individual.Screen Shot 2014-11-17 at 4.22.29 PM

Common Core Connection

Most creation apps have Common Core connections— but it’s all about how you use them. As far as technology integration goes, using Popplet is more than likely within the Substitution and Augmentation levels of Reuben Puentedura’s SAMR model. Using the app in conjunction with Thinking Maps, however, will have students using the app while thinking critically, so it can address any Common Core standard.

What Do You Think?

How have you used Popplet in your classroom?

YouTube: Add Sections to Your Channel

Screen Shot 2014-11-11 at 9.44.56 AMIn a previous post, I talked about how to create a playlist. Making playlists is the first step when gathering videos for a lesson, and once you’ve done this, making playlists easily accessible to students is the next step. This post will show you how to edit your channel navigation so that you can put a playlist on the home page of your channel for easy access. Students are able to view your playlists by choosing playlist from your channel menu, but adding the playlist to your channel for a short time gives them immediate access to the lessons. One of my favorite things about doing this is that you can put a playlist up for a unit of study, and when you are finished with that unit, you can hide that playlist and put your next one on your channel’s landing page.

Edit Channel Navigation

This video will walk you through the steps for editing your channel navigation. This must be done in order to put a playlist on the landing page of your channel. It will enable you to add sections to your channel.

Add A Playlist to Your Channel

If you aren’t already there, click on the menu next to the YouTube logo in the upper left and navigate to “My Channel.”YouTube My ChannelNow that you are able to add sections to your channel,  you will click the “Add Section” button. If you don’t have this button on your home page, please watch the video above! The button will be located under the area for an Unsubscribed Channel trailer. This is an optional video that you can create to let others know what your channel is all about. Add a Section to ChannelClick on the Content dropdown menu and choose Single Playlist. When you do this, a new set of menus will appear underneath the Content and Layout menus. You can also change the layout from horizontal to vertical.Add a Section 2There are two options under Choose A Playlist. Click on the option on the right that says “Find playlist.” This will bring up all the playlists you have created. Choose the one you’d like to display on your channel.Add a Section 4A preview of what your playlist will look like appears, and if you are satisfied, choose Done in the upper right-hand corner of the workspace. Now students (or anyone who visits your channel) will be able to see this playlist when they visit your channel.

Remove the Playlist from Your Channel

Removing a playlist will not destroy it, but instead it will hide it from the front page of your channel. To do this, hover your mouse over the playlist you’d like to remove. In the right-hand corner of the playlist, you will see the edit icon (pencil) appear. Click the pencil.YouTube edit buttonYou will now see the menu that you used to add the channel to your section, and in the upper right-hand corner you will see a trash can. Clicking the trashcan will remove the playlist from your channel’s home page, but it will not remove the playlist from you account. You can always add it back if you change your mind by following the steps for adding a playlist to your channel.Screen Shot 2014-11-11 at 9.29.10 AM

What Do You Think?

How have you used YouTube playlists on your channel home page? Do you have other suggestions for helping your students find your videos easily?

 

 

 

How to Create a Playlist in YouTube

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Gathering videos on a YouTube playlist is an awesome way to collect video resources for your students. You can include videos you’ve created for students, and you can also explore YouTube for videos that others have created for educational purposes. This post will just deal with creating the playlist. In the next post, I will show you how to edit your channel so that you can put your playlists on your channel for students to have easy access to the videos you want them to watch.

How Do You Create a Playlist?

1. Make sure you are logged into YouTube with your GAFE account (if you use Google Apps for Education in your classroom) or whichever account you will point your students to.YouTube sign in

2. Search for a video you want to add to the playlist.YouTube video search

3. Click on the video you want to view and/or save, and look at the menu under the video. You will see an “Add To” button. YouTube Add to

4. If you have already created some playlists, you will see all of them when you click on “Add To.” Check a playlist to add the video to that list. If you do not already have a playlist, choose “Create new playlist.” You will have the option to make your playlist public, unlisted, or private. Public playlists are always available on your playlists page. Unlisted playlists and private playlists are available to your eyes only. To share a playlist with students, it must be public. You can change this at any time in playlist settings.

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5. Now that you’ve created a playlist, where do you go to see it? Click on the menu next to the YouTube icon at the top left. You can either click on “My Channel” choose one of your playlists from the ones that are listed in the menu.

YouTube MenuPlaylists can be as long or as short as you’d like them to be. You could have a playlist for each unit of study, or you could have a playlist for each week– whatever works best for your students.

What Do You Think?

How have you used YouTube playlists with students?