Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Creating surveys using Google Forms

One of the most common questions I get asked by colleagues is how to usefully collect and collate information using Google Forms. Google forms are extremely useful for polling students, conducting short assessments and keeping records of staff activities.

Rather than re-invent the wheel with this one, I thought I would point you towards Google's own support pages. These are worth exploring in detail as there is wealth of information on using Google apps but for now, check out how to use forms and then give it a go yourself.

Here is the link

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Time for a change







If anyone is still out there following this blog (I'd be surprised if you were as I haven't posted much this year!), you should hopefully see some changes in the coming months. I started this blog about 18 months ago and was originally blogging twice a week, before the baby arrived. I am very grateful to the guest posters who have kept it going in the mean time and I will be posting lots of new content this summer.
My big plan is to completely overhaul the template that I use and get rid of the depressing grey colours in favour of something lighter and brighter. If anyone knows of any good blogger templates, let me know.
There will also be a change to the content. So far, I have been writing mostly about free software. I am going to widen my scope to include good value, cost saving hardware, working towards reducing paper consumption, and also have a greater focus on effective digital pedagogy.  I might sometimes also write about software which is not free if I feel it provides a good cost saving for schools. This is in part driven by my own schools move towards certain paid-for solutions.
Thank you for following Free Tech for Schools and I hope that my continued contribution to the blogosphere will help you with using technology to enhance the learning experience for the students you teach.

Friday, June 27, 2014

A Nice summer read

It has been a while since I have posted anything due to the time constraints of fatherhood and this post will not be technology related. As most of you fellow teachers normally like to read a lot during the summer, I thought I would recommend a book written by a teacher.
An ex-colleague of mine who teaches English has written this hilarious book called 'I Never Liked Mrs Carlsberg Even Before She Made That Bomb'. It is about about Billy Rivers, a fifteen year old boy who gets into hot water involving his useless Geography teacher, a bomb, a world-famous sprinter, a peculiar almost-superpower and the most beautiful girl in school.

Any teacher who is constantly told about what to do for the 'perfect' lesson will love the fifteen year old's dissection of what we think results in good learning.

Happy reading!





Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Been for Education

This is a guest post by David Kaluper. it was originally posted here

Been, the innovative site for visually bookmarking a site and collaborating has just launched a educational portal that makes it perfect for educators to use with their class. This free web tool is not only ideal for social bookmarking in schools but real-time collaborative web browsing as well. Been's new web portal now allows for educators to create student accounts, and communicate with them in real-time while bookmarking/browsing the web.

This is ideal for Guided Learning, Flipping a Classroom, Project Based Learning, and can be used by any subject or curriculum. Educators can use it to create internet scavenger hunts, to research/introduce a topic, or any other number of possibilities.

The educator account is perfect for moderating student's 'Beens' (bookmarks/collections), comments, resetting passwords, etc. Being "housed" inside of an educational portal allows for educators to see public Beens but only allows for students to see those of their teacher. Teachers can also collaborate w/ their peers to allow for collective Beens that can be use for group projects.

Finally, the ability to collaboratively surf the web when being on the same page allows for students/educators to share comments and surf together to guide instruction. Also, educators can assess students who have questions when surfing the web or researching a topic.

I highly recommend checking out Been for Education by clicking here!!!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Door 24

This is a guest post by David Kaluper, Ed Tech blogger/ and consultant. 

Door 24 is a fantastic new iPad for Math grades 4th-8th. This app is aligned to Common Core Standards and focuses on basic Math facts, number sense, and logical/algebraic thinking. It uses fun interactive animated problems to help fix Victor Robot's circuits and find out the mystery of Door 24.

From their press release, "The app’s focus on computational fluency supports problem solving and higher-order thinking and builds the mathematical processes and proficiencies that the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) identify in the Standards of Mathematical Practice (SMP)."

I highly recommend checking out Door 24 by clicking here!!!

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