Google Forms: Surveys, Assessment, and Elections

Computer room at CBCMR: 2017 polling station

During this school year I’ve had the opportunity to use Google Forms in various contexts: as an assessment in the classroom, as a questionnaire to elect candidates for different organizations and as a tool to determine students’ perceptions of their teachers. My tech students who are in their Senior year of high school have used it for their science and Spanish-language research projects. Bear in mind, that a form is only as good as the items created by the teacher (or student).

So far I’ve found Google Forms to be effective. A G Form is easy to create and the results can be had almost immediately (depending on the Internet connection). The resulting graphs are usually visually pleasing and relatively simple. This past week, the student body elected their student council representatives using Google Forms. The results of the voting of 212 students were obtained in less than two hours without the hassle of a hand count! Half-way through the second-class period (Note: We have 80-minute periods) we were able to announce the winners. The student council adviser was impressed and rightly so!

However, there is one drawback with Google Forms which I haven’t been quite able to work out. When it comes to printing out the graphs, not all the data can be seen. Unless, the print version is scaled down quite a bit (and you have a magnifying glass at hand to read it!), there is always one circle that is cut off or some of the percentages aren’t visible. I suppose it depends on the length of the form. But I’m still trying to work around this “glitch” and the Google Forms HELP section is really not helping at all. So, if there is anyone out there in the cyber world who can provide assistance, I’ll be eternally grateful!  I will continue to use this app because, frankly, I like it, and the best part of all, it’s free! ~~LMMolina

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Another look at Wikispaces

I’ve been checking out Wikispaces to see what they have going for them that’s new, and exploring the possibility of using it in one of my courses this new year (2017). Wikispaces is now Wikispaces Classroom.  Competition for Google Classroom? More than likely. And by what I’ve discovered so far, Wikispaces Classroom seems to be in the lead. Why? For one thing, the teacher can invite all students no matter what their e-mail addresses are. Google Classroom needs every student to be in the same organizational domain. Something , that right now is not user friendly for me as a teacher. It would mean that I would need someone at the administrative level to do that. I’m not sure my school is ready for that yet.

However, I can invite my students to join my Wikispaces classroom through the Wiki I’ve created, in this case, mrsmolinatechnology. Each student can use his own email address. I can create group projects and monitor each student’s work.

How is Wikispace different from Wikispaces Classroom? Apparently, it’s “social writing with formative assessment.” A place for a classroom to work, connect and communicate. Sound cool? I think so. With Wikispaces I can email and receive private messages. I can also customize permissions: who can view, edit, or create pages. I can allow discussion posts from non-members if my Wiki is public. To safeguard my students’ privacy, I think I’ll keep it private for now.

Wikispaces by TES has brought me to Blendspace. This is a free web tool for teachers to collect resources in one place to form a bundled, interactive lesson for students or colleagues. I’m experimenting with that, too, and looking forward to using it with the students during the new semester of the current school year.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed and hoping I’ve found the ‘ideal educational platform’. Here’s to a successful semester for all! ~~~LMMolina

 

Sources:

https://www.wikispaces.com/content/classroom/about

https://www.tes.com/lessons

Prisma: An App to try out

Just recently I was introduced to an App I decided to experiment with and decided it might be useful. Prisma is an app for editing photos artistically.  If I want to post photos of my students and I don’t want their faces to be easily recognized, this just might be the ticket!

I tried it out with a photo of the school’s female volleyball team.

volleyball-team-prisma-app

Only the teammates will know who’s who! ~~LMMolina

Check out the site for more details: http://prisma-ai.com/

Cyberix Members: Tech Support for School’s Mock Election

Another use for Google Forms: Mock Elections! ~~LMM

CBCMR IT CLUB

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Last Thursday three of our club members were on hand to help out student electors with the process of voting electronically. It was the school’s first mock election using Google Forms. Total count of those who voted was 179.  Results were displayed graphically through a pie chart (see image below). Our History Department Head, Wanda Ríos had prepared a group of students to function as election officials. The computer room served as part of the polling station.   Everything went smoothly and we hope to use this more frequently in the near future for other voting events. My thanks to the tech team of Kevin, Ángel and Victor. ~~LMMolina, Club Adviser

resultados

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Publishing student writing with the Book Creator App

Through my Twitter feed, I just came across an app that I might be able to integrate into my classes. Using the Book Creator App students can not only create a book but a video as well.

which is a simple and easy stop motion animation app for iPad.

 

 

Apps for Making Movies

burns-apps-making-movies-flickr_0

Just came across an interesting article about apps for making movies. I decided to share it with my students; those who are blogging and those taking the course on films. All students will benefit. They’ll be creating their own original video during the school year so every little bit of help will count! I’ll advise them to first look at the freebies to try out. Then if they’re really serious, they can purchase an app that suits their needs.

You can check out the article by Monica Burns here at http://www.edutopia.org/blog/apps-making-movies-mobile-devices  I think you’ll find it very useful!

Who knows? Maybe I’ll create a video of my own!  I have to model for my students, of course, and it might just prove to be fun!~~LMMolina

So many apps! Which ones to choose?

Education Apps

As an English teacher and technology coordinator, I’m often overwhelmed by the amount of apps out there that can be used in the classroom. The teaching staff come to me from time to time to ask me which apps are suitable for their needs. Students come to tell me which apps they use and work for them. I’m continually on the lookout for those apps that meet these requirements: (1) simple to use; (2) enjoyable; (3) useful and (4) lasting. Number 4 is important because once you become familiar with an app and use it frequently you want it to be around for a while. This is not often the case and usually leads to frustration.

Which apps do I recommend for an educator? Based on a variety of opinions and what I’ve tested so far, I’ve come to some interesting conclusions.

Here’s a list of my favorites so far:

EduBlogs (been using this WordPress platform for the past 7 years).

Wikispaces is excellent for collaborative learning.

Pinterest has lots of cool stuff for teachers. I use it for organizing and decorating my classroom, as well as for lesson planning

Socrative can be used for creating quizzes and surveys.

Slideshare is excellent for uploading and sharing slideshows.

Google Docs for creating and sharing all types of documents.

YouTube has a channel which focuses on education.

I’ll keep searching for new apps that can be used as a source of learning and test them to see if they’re worthwhile.

Which ones have you tried out and find useful for a teacher and her students? Care to share? Comment below or send an e-mail to lmolina@colegiobeato.org. ~~LMMolina

 

Google Forms: Effective Research Tool

As a requirement for their Spanish course, the 12th graders at our school present a research paper towards the end of the school year.  They must use a questionnaire to gather some of the information for their paper and present the results when they defend their conclusions. What better way to do this than through the use of a Google Form? It’s less time-consuming and the results may be displayed graphically. The students can either embed the form on their blogs or send them via e-mail. Either way works well and students should get responses quickly. Since everything is done electronically, trees are saved in the process! That’s a plus!

Their teacher is promoting this method since she herself has used it in the past. I will provide one of my technology students to present this Google application to her groups. Hopefully, the students will benefit from the experience and use it to present the results of their research. I hope they can use it again later as they go through classes at the university level and then as professionals in their chosen career.

For further details on this and other related apps,  check my post on forms-and-surveys-on-blogs-or-webpages/~~LMM

questionnaire

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Programming and Rubrics: One and the same?

An interesting thing about programming: it gets your brain to think differently. I’ve learned that programming is a bit mind-boggling! Every action has to be thought out thoroughly or the end result may be a disaster.

At one of the meetings with my Cyberix Club members I decided to try a bit of programming or coding. A few of the members had a vague idea of what was involved but when I exposed them to an activity in which one of them ‘became a robot’ and another had to ‘program’ him to follow a set of instructions, it was an eye-opener! They soon came to realize that the directions had to be very specific in order to achieve a satisfactory outcome.

As a teacher, I’m aware that when giving students instructions I must be very clear and precise. It’s that or I can expect a variety of results that I’ll have to accept. I can transfer the idea of programming to the classroom by making sure my set of instructions are specific enough and thus allow each student to produce what I had in mind.  Rubrics come to mind and are used for this purpose. By thinking like a programmer, I just might be able to come up with a rubric that will be so precise in the directions a student must follow that I, as the teacher, should be able to accurately evaluate the student’s performance. Sounds simple, right?

Of course, students are not robots. Each student perceives the world differently, but if I am able to direct his steps by programming each action in such a way as to get the student to create a worthwhile project, then I will have achieved my goal. Whether it be a poster to create awareness for the environment or a robot that can control it, I must be clear in what I want my students to achieve and how they will go about it.

So I will take into account the principles of programming when working out a rubric to evaluate my students.  I will also explore the possibility of getting my students and tech club members to delve into the world of coding. Even if it’s only for the purpose of having them think ‘outside the box.’ That’s all part of the learning process.~~LMM

Cyberix Club robotic exercise

Robotic exercise