Friday, December 21, 2012

Do you Flubaroo?

Photo courtesy of
Flubaroo - it sounds like a new dance move or some scientific experiment like Flubber, but really it is a script you can add to any Google Form so it will automatically grade a form quiz or test.  Imagine having your final exam graded as soon as the student hits submit.

*Please note that any short answer questions will need to be graded separately and not by Flubaroo.  However, fill in the blank can be scored by Flubaroo.

Checkout the full instructions on installing and using Flubaroo at

Tips on using Flubaroo & Google Forms:
  • Make the first question of your form Student Name OR First & Last Name.  When you complete the form to create the answer sheet, you can enter Answer Sheet in the first question so you know which one has the correct answers.  It will also allow you to sort the responses by student names.
  • You can shut the form off by unchecking 'Accept Responses' under Form on your form spreadsheet.  This will stop students from taking your quiz or test until you are ready.
  • If you are using this form for multiple classes, include class hour as one of your questions.  This will help with the sorting process.
  • Make sure you have students submit their answers on the live form, not the spreadsheet.
  • When using the 'Choose from a list' question, make your first list option ' Choose from the list below.'  Without that option, students will think the answer is already given for them and will not click on the drop down arrow for additional answer choices.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Website Wednesday

Don't forget to check out my full Diigo library at  Sometimes I bookmark websites from individual teacher requests that never make the Website Wednesday posting.  At my site, you can browse by tags, lists and dates.  Hope you find some hidden treasurers!
Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


I was recently reading this post on 5 Educational Trends for 2013 just to see the top 5.  Most of them didn't surprise me except for trend 4 - augmented reality.  The author talked about Project Glass and shared the following video:

Since I'm not real familiar with augmented reality, I decided to Google "What is augmented reality?"  I found the best user-friendly definition on the website Pocket-Lint.  They explain augmented reality is "the art of super-imposing of computer generated content over a live view of the world."

Mashable, an Internet news blog, provided a little more complex definition, but they also had a slew of articles to discover more about augmented reality.  While I was sharing the above video with Yvonne, she started wondering when they would come out with a contact lens version of these Google classes.  Wouldn't you know, The Pentagon is already working on this endeavor.

Image from
After viewing and reading this information, my first thoughts went to a young adult scifi book called Feed by M.T. Anderson that came out in 2002.  The people in this society have computer implants in their head that feeds them information about their environment, but also sends out advertisements.  I thought how creepy is that!  With these glasses we aren't that far away from the concept in this scifi book.

It started a discussion in the tech office as to what will happen with technology in the next 10 to 20 years.  Of course ever the jokster, Stan started depicting himself as the crochety grandpa who doesn't like any technology you can't touch.  "Give me a keyboard any day!"  I wondered how wearing a device like this would impact every day tasks like driving.  We have issues already with texting and driving.  What would happen if I were watching Finding Nemo in one eye and watching the road with the other.  How would your brain handle that input of information?  How would this impact our society and everyday living?  What would the have and have not divide look like?  How would this impact education?  One thing I can say is it makes science fiction seem more like science fact.

So, what  do you think?

The Truth About Pinterest

Pinterest was a hot topic last year in the tech integration group I attend each month. Of course the group consists mostly of females, so the men in the group gave us a hard time about "girlie" Pinterest. Last spring, I wrote a post on Pinterest giving a brief descriptor and links to ways it is being used in education. When I attended the iPad training at Essdack this past Friday, I learned that Pinterest is also popular in Europe, but an average 85% of the users are men and they are mostly business men! I was shocked and a little skeptical of this statistic, so I decided to do a little digging on this matter. I discovered an interesting infographic comparing Pinterest use in the US vs. the UK.  I found some amazing facts:
  • The male and female usage ratio in the UK is fairly even (56% to 44%), while the US is top heavy on female users (83% to 17%).
  • The top audience interest in the UK is Venture Capital; in the US crafts is the top interest.
  • UK users of Pinterest are wealthier than US Pinterest users.  (Makes sense seeing as their main interest is capital and ours is crafts.)
After exploring some of these differences, I wondered what changes have taken place since last spring in the usage of Pinterest in education. This infographic grabbed my attention as it even shows how colleges are using Pinterest both inside and outside of the classroom.

Here is another resource I found in my perusing today - Pinterest Cheat Sheet
“{12 Days: 12 Tools} Tool 8 Pinterest Cheat Sheet” by Dr. Kimberly Tyson was originally published on Learning Unlimited.

Personally, I like the visual aspect of Pinterest.  The boards and images appeal to my visual learning style.  It is a good tool for sharing information and ideas.  If I were still teaching English or in the library setting, I would definitely use this tool to share new books, websites for projects or research, student projects and more.  I do, however, have two frustrations with Pinterest.  The first is the number of clicks to takes for me to actually get to a pinned website.  I click on the image, but then a little window pops up with the image and comments.  I have to click the image again if I want to go to the actual website, providing the pin is linked to the website.  The second is I can't embed a board onto my blog or website.  Will I stop using Pinterest?  No.  It serves the purpose of sharing information in a visual format and for some of my teachers this works best for their learning style.

To view my Pinterest boards, go to

How are you using Pinterest to help you in the classroom?  Post a response in the comment box below.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Website Wednesday

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Website Wednesday

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Thinglink in the Classroom

A while back I introduced the web tool Thinglink, a site for creating interactive images (see the intro post on ThingLink).  Today I stumbled on a great presentation shared by Donna Baumbach that gives you 49+ ways to use Thinglink in the classroom.  Check it out!

Any ideas jump out to you?

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Pages vs. Google Docs

This school year our district opted not to purchase the new version of Microsoft Office for the Mac computers. Seeing as the Mac already comes with Pages and we have Google Docs for free with our Google Apps accounts, the decision to save some funding was favorable. Of course not everyone thought this was the best idea, but that is another issue for another day.

As I've been working with the teachers to help them adapt to this change, I've noticed that they are trying to do some functions with Google Docs that would be better in Pages and visa-versa. So, I thought it might be helpful to share the strengths of each program to help staff and students make the best program choice when working on a word processing document.

Both programs allow you to import Microsoft Office documents as well as export a document out as an Office document. They both provide the most common writing and editing tasks (spell check, basic formatting, text editing). You can also print from programs. This is where the similarities end.

Google Docs has limited formatting and layout functionality, but then it wasn't designed to be complex. It was designed as a basic online word processing program that would allow you to access your files from any computer with internet connection. This helped eliminate the need for flashdrives or the worry about your computer crashing from a freak lightening strike. Google Docs was also designed for instant sharing and true collaboration. Multiple people can view and edit the same document at the same time eliminating the confusion and frustration generated from emailing a document back and forth between multiple editors. Finally, with this ease of collaboration and sharing, it was meant to pair back the need for printing so a few trees could be saved. Google Docs presents the end of the days when students had to print their paper in order to turn it in to the teacher for grading. Now they simply email their final product as an attachment. Of course, that means no more excuses about the printer being broken or running out of paper or ink - Darn.

Pages, on the other hand, has more layout functionality making it more comparible to desktop publishing software. With Pages you can manipulate images with ease and flow text into different sections of a page or document. You can create from pre-made templates or design your own templates and layouts. Like Office, you can add tables, charts and columns. You can even perform a mail merge from a Numbers spreadsheet. This program is better suited for printing documents or sharing a final product via email. The biggest obstacle for Office users is learning to navigate through the program. My best advise is summed up in one word - Inspector. Make the Inspector your best friend because he will work for you in Pages, Numbers and Keynote. As a teacher, I would use Pages to generate my project rubrics and any other documents requiring more complex features.

There are some great tutorials on Pages in Atomic Learning.  You will need to login with your school email and computer password.  Once you've logged in, select Tutorials and choose Pages version 08.  Pages 09 is on your school computers, but it only gives the changes from 08 and isn't helpful with getting started or the advanced features of Pages.

photo credit: Profound Whatever via photo pin cc