Sunday, November 27, 2016

Adding actions to YouTube videos

Have you ever asked students to watch a YouTube video and wanted a better way to assess their understanding or get their reaction while they watched? Vizia is a tool that allows you to add polls, open-ended or multiple choice questions, and more to YouTube videos.  As students watch the video, it pauses at the places where you inserted questions.  Students answer each question and the video then continues.  Answers can be downloaded as a Google Sheet (select "Gate Video" if you want to collect their names/email addresses, as well).

Vizia is still relatively new and could use a few improvements (specifically, better navigation while inserting questions and more than four choices for multiple choice and polls), but it's definitely worth checking out the next time you assign a YouTube video.

Here's an example of one I made for my class :

Thursday, November 17, 2016


Need a short break today?  Try QuickDraw with Google.  The idea is that you draw a doodle and the AI (Artificial Intelligence) tries to guess what you made.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

What's this about G Suite?

In case your were wondering... G suite is the new name for Google Apps (Docs, GMail, Calendar, Drive, etc.).   Same tools, new name. Time to add a new tag to the blog!

Monday, November 7, 2016

Vermont Fest Recap

Last week, Mark Pogact and I attended the Vermont Fest ed tech conference. There were educators and "tech people" from all over Vermont and beyond. Here is the complete schedule (click through to see presenter materials). Here are some of the takeaways:

We attended a session with Peter Drescher on the new ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) Standards for students. We looked at how these have evolved.  Great conversations about assessing these and how they fit with the CSSU Grad Standards.

There was a panel discussion on PLPs during lunch on Thursday.  Lots of schools grappling with these.

On Thursday afternoon, we attended Dan French's session on Open Education School Systems. We applied the Design Process of

  1. Describe problem as design challenge
  2. Brainstorm/empathize
  3. Rapid prototyping
  4. Iteration and refinement
to the context of PLP implementation. 

On Friday morning, I was in the Innovation Lounge, where we were demo-ing such things as 3D printing, green-screen video, and programming toy robots.  Mark attended a session on virtual learning. In the afternoon, we both attended an excellent session on Open Education Resources.  This really got me thinking about how we can utilize free and open resources in classes and for student-centered learning.

As usual, some of the best learning came from conversations with colleagues from other schools-- in the hallway, at the next table in a workshop, or at lunch.  

Mark and I would be happy to share more details on what we learned if you're interested.  Thanks for reading!