Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Voxer (part 2 of 2)

We are publishing this slightly out of order, this is post 2 of 2. We are currently writing about the professional development side of Voxer and will publish at a later date.

Voxer is one of those tools that can be used for professional development and giving quick feedback to students. This idea comes from our Sappington principals Dr. Parker and Dr. Albers, so thankful for you sharing this idea with us!

The big idea of using Voxer is that it is fast, simple and impactful.

This post will detail how to use Voxer to record an audio clip and share it with the students you are working with. This could be the tool you have always dreamed of, timely feedback that does not take a ton of time to create.

Getting Started
Download the Voxer app on your Android or iOS device.
Create an account.

Open the app.
Click the hamberger icon (three lines) in the upper left corner.

Click My Notes.

To record an audio note, click and hold the little radio button in the lower right corner.
When you are fisnished release the radio button. 
The second you release the button the recording will stop.
This reminds me of a walkie-talkie or the sweet PRC-77 we used in the Corps. Nothing better than talking on a radio.

To share the note, click the small arrow to the right of the recording.

Click the share button in the upper right corner.

I use the email button but you could share in a million different ways.

We would recommend putting something in the subject line of the email to help the recipient key into why they are receiving the clip.

When the recipient opens the email all they need to do is click on the play button.

What is flipgrid and how can I use it today?

This post was created to be used during an experimental ELITE 3 session.

Flipgrid is a super fast way to get kids to share their thinking about whatever topic or idea you assign. Video responses for the free version are limited to either 15 or 90 seconds.

Getting Started
Start by visiting the Flipgrid sign up page.

Using Flipgrid One I am allowed to create one grid but I can add unlimited topics. Start by clicking on the blue New Grid button.

1. Name your grid. A grid is where all the topics are kept.
2. This link is what the students will use to access the grid. I have blurred mine out for right now.
3. I would always recommend filling in some type of purpose. I like to refer to these sections as a place to post your directions.
4. Click Create Grid.
There are many, many options if you keep scrolling down the page. I'm leaving everything set to default for this post.

You should be prompted to create a topic. Topics are discussion starters or prompts.
1. Title your topic.
2. Flipgrid One allows you to pick either 90 seconds or 15 seconds.
3. I usually replace the description with a shorter version of the directions just to key the students back to the main point of the discussion.
4. Click Create Topic to get started. 
There are many, many options if you keep scrolling down the page. I'm leaving everything set to default for this post.

The arrow is pointing to the URL your students will need to visit to submit their video feedback. I blurred it because I am not ready for anyone to give feedback yet. 

Students Responding
Have the students install the Flipgrid app on their iOS or Android device before attempting to answer the prompt.

Students type in the six character code, the letters and numbers, that appear after the slash.

This is what appears on the student's device. See how helpful the directions are?
They just click the big green plus symbol to get started. 

I clicked on the red record button at the bottom. The button turns into a pause button, click that to stop the recording.
Click the green arrow to start the upload process.
The next screen will ask for a first and last name.

When the video is uploading this screen will appear. I'm not sure exactly what happens if you close the app but I assume it will lead to some type of disaster.

After Submissions
Students can see all the videos posted.

     Catch the Flipgrid fever - 15 quick ideas on how to use Flipgrid today in your classroom from the DITCH blog. Many of these can be adapted for your class. I wonder if it was used for some type of daily reflection that is shared with parents or another class, would that be impactful?
     17 Ways to incorporate Flipgrid - similar to the post above, many ways to try this tool in your classroom. It does appear reflection might be one of the most impactful ways to use this.

     Flipgrid's resource page for teachers and students. Here you will find simple guides and walkthrough videos.
     Flipgrid ebook - download this for additional information on the settings and ideas to help you either launch or improve your Flipgrids.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Easy Voice Recorder - Record/ Share Your Thoughts In A Flash!!!

In an ELITE session, we took a look at a thinking protocol called See/Think/Wonder. We built upon this idea by finding ways for the students to share what they are thinking with each other on the fly. We picked this app because it was free, it does not require an account and it is available on Android and iOS

Getting Started
Search for Easy Voice Recorder by Digipom in your app store.
It should look like this.

                                    iOS                                                                   Android

To begin recording click the app.

1. Name the recording.
2. Click the red button to begin the recording.

Click pause when you are finished recording.

1. Find the recording you just made.
2. Click the share button. Find the email icon and click.
You could also share to Drive.

The audio clip is automatically attached to the email.
All the recipient needs to do is click and the clip starts to play.

Socrative - Gathering Feedback in a Flash

We talked a lot about Socrative years ago and thought now would be a good time to revisit what Socrative can do for you and your students. This post will help guide you through the basics of how it works and asking your first questions. Our next post will describe how to use Socrative as a way to start conversations in the classroom.

What is Socrative?
A very fast online tool to ask your students questions on the fly and do something with the answers in a flash. The part I really love is there is literally nothing you need to do ahead of time beyond creating a simple account.

Getting Started
Navigate to Socrative and create an account.

1. This is the name your student will type in when they are answering the questions.
2. A premade exit ticket that consists of three question. Two questions are on the screen and the third is verbally give by the teacher. This allows you to be super flexiable.
3. On the fly, think of a question and click the button.

The following two examples are based upon the premade Exit Ticket and the quick Short Answer.

Premade Exit Ticket Example
Click Exit Ticket to get started.

After you click Exit Ticket this screen will appear. There are no students listed as no one logged in yet. Have the kids Google Socrative Student and the first result is the site they need. See the last screenshot if you need to know the name of the room.
1. Results - when the quiz is live, or accessible to students, you should see a little pulsing radio wave emitting just to the right of the word Results.
2. Results dashboard. Just watch the information appear. You can also toggle off the names so no one can see who said what. 


As the students begin to answer you will see information start to populate the screen.
I clicked number two to see what the students were answering.

The Exit Ticket automatically populated this question. I could display this on the board or export it as you will see further down the post.

On the main screen, you will see the finish button, click when you ready to close out the question.

I wanted to see the results so I clicked Get Reports.

I clicked for the results to be emailed to me.

The title in my inbox showed up as reports, look for that.
I opened and downloaded the Excel file to further examine the results.

Using Socrative to focus the conversation.

Our last post was dedicated to getting you up and running very quickly with Socrative in your classroom. This post will follow that, a way to use Socrative on the fly. You don't need to prepare anything ahead of time, just click and ask.

There are probably a million things happening in your classroom on an hourly basis, sometimes it would be nice to focus that energy on one little area. How do you know what is needed beyond relying on your teacher instincts? Keep reading, this idea might be useful to you.

The question I used isn't the best but it is what I was thinking as I watched the various salt trucks hot Sappington and Gravois.

Getting Started
We will assume you have an account and are somewhat familiar with Socrative based on our last post.

Start by clicking on Short Answer.

You can actually type a question, write it on the whiteboard or verbally call it out.
Then click Start.

1. Answers will start to roll in and show up in blue.
2. Click Start Vote to allow the students to pick the answer they want to investigate or talk about more as a class. 

You can see on the screen how many voted and what they voted for. This could be one way to use Socrative to focus attention and discussion on something you are studying in the classroom.

Socrative's official help page. Some of the FAQs might be worthwhile to read.

Screencastify - A Great Way To Make Your Thinking Visible

There are times when I think it is wicked hard to understand what people are thinking. Wouldn't it be awesome if there was a way they could explain things visually? Think if you could see something and hear the person explain their thinking behind whatever you were looking at? If this is something you dream of, keep reading!

What is Screencastify?
Screencastify is a tool that allows you to capture, edit and share whatever is on your screen wicked fast.

Getting Started
Signing up and Signing in.
Install the Screencastify extension to Chrome.

Click Add extension.

You should see the extension appear somewhere in the upper right corner of your Chrome browser once it installs.

Click on the extension then select Setup Camera Access.

Click Allow. If you block you will be unable to create screencasts.

Save your recordings to Google Drive, click Next.

Sign into your Google account.
This makes the whole process a million times easier to use and way more efficient.
Make sure you click Allow when it asks for Google access.
This is followed by a few screens asking you who you are and what type of school you work in or attend.


1. Click the Screencastify icon in the upper right corner.
This drop-down will appear.
2. Click Record Desktop. You could also click Embed webcam so anyone who watched the recording could also see your face. I'm not really sure why someone would want to see me but that option exists.

This tiny red dot is the only thing that shows you are actively recording your screen.

Click the Screencastify icon to display the above toolbar when you are ready to stop recording.
Click Stop to end your recording.

Once I hit Stop my video uploaded to Drive.

I opened Drive and found my recording quickly by clicking Recent.
Now share the recording!

Voxer (part 2 of 2)

We are publishing this slightly out of order, this is post 2 of 2. We are currently writing about the professional development side of Vo...