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ClassPulse is a new entry into the crowded market of polling and messaging apps for schools. I learned about the app through Audrey Watters' weekly round-up of education news and then I gave the app a try on my Android phone.

Audrey described the ClassPulse as "another classroom feedback tool" and that's exactly what it is. It has the core features found in every other app like it. You can create classrooms that your students join through an assigned join code. Once students have joined your classroom you can start posting messages for them to read and you can post poll questions for them to vote on. Like most other classroom feedback tools, ClassPulse gives you the option to let students post anonymous feedback.

In my testing of ClassPulse I found it easy to set-up a classroom and to post messages for students to reply to. However, when it came to setting-up polls I ran into a little snag that was only resolved by quitting the app and trying again. That snag was that when I tapped on the "poll" option ClassPulse didn't recognize my classroom as being created and instead prompted me to create another classroom. That little annoyance was resolved by quitting the app.

Applications for Education
Feedback tools like ClassPulse have been around for years. They're useful for getting some feedback from your students about how a lesson is going for them, they're understanding of a topic, or just what they would like you to review with them.

If you haven't tried a classroom feedback/ polling tool or you're looking to try a new one, ClassPulse could be for you. That said, there are other tools like it that are bit more developed. Poll Everywhere, Remind, and even Google Classroom have similar capabilities.


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Good morning from the almost completely renovated Free Technology for Teachers World Headquarters in Paris, Maine. If you have followed my week-in-review posts since last fall you know that I have been converting some space in a barn into office space. I'm in the home stretch now as I just have bit more painting to finish up. In fact, I'll be doing that right after I finish writing this post.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. If You Teach Science, You Need Science Netlinks
2. Wikispaces is Closing - Here Are Some Alternatives
3. 10 Good Resources for Math Teachers and Students
4. How to Use Flipgrid - A Guide for Getting Started
5. Pixabay Now Has an Office Plug-in
6. Three Tools for Combining Maps With Timelines
7. The Built-in Google Docs Features Starter Pack

Book Me for Your Conference
I’ve given keynotes at conferences from Australia to Alaska for groups of all sizes from 50 to 2,000+. My keynotes focus on providing teachers and school administrators with practical ways to use technology to create better learning experiences for all students. I like to shine the light on others and so I often share examples of great work done by others as well as my own. Click here to book me today.

On-demand Professional Development
PracticalEdTech.com is where I offer on-demand professional development courses and webinars. The sale of those courses and webinars helps to keep Free Technology for Teachers running. Click here to see all of the on-demand offerings. 


Please visit the official advertisers that help keep this blog going.
Practical Ed Tech is the brand through which I offer PD webinars.
Storyboard That is my go-to tool for creating storyboards.
MySimpleShow offers a great way to create animated videos for free.
University of Maryland Baltimore County offers a great program on instructional design.
Discovery Education & Wilkes University offer online courses for earning Master's degrees in Instructional Media.
PrepFactory offers a great place for students to prepare for SAT and ACT tests.
Boise State University offers a 100% online program in educational technology.
QuickKey provides an efficient way to conduct online and in-person formative assessments.


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In the last couple of months I've featured a handful of Google Slides Add-ons that provide additional features for your Google Slides account. PowerPoint users have a similar option to add features through the use of PowerPoint Add-ins. In my video embedded below I demonstrate how to find and install PowerPoint Add-ins. In this video I feature the Pixabay Add-in that provides access to thousands of images that are in the public domain.

How to Find & Install PowerPoint Add-ins - YouTube


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ClassTag is a free service for communicating with parents about what's going on in your classroom. ClassTag lets you send email, push, and SMS/text announcements to parents from one streamlined dashboard on your computer. ClassTag also provides teachers with free tools for scheduling conferences, events, and for coordinating parent volunteers. You can take a tour of the service in my video here.

Recently, ClassTag added two new features to its free service. First, there's a new feature called Child Stories. In Child Story you can post updates about individual students that only their parents can see. Second, videos that you post now appear inline as opposed to as attached files. Inline display is much like what you see in Facebook or Twitter.

How to use ClassTag to Manage Communication With Parents - YouTube


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The flipped classroom concept, in the right setting, can be an effective way to maximize classroom time. Perhaps you've tried it yourself and have been looking for a way to explain it to parents or colleagues. Common Craft recently released a good video that could help you do just that.

Flipped Classroom Explained by Common Craft teaches the fundamental ideas behind the flipped classroom model. Thankfully, the video also addresses why the flipped classroom model is not appropriate for all students.


Tools for Creating Flipped Classroom Lessons
If you're ready to try your hand at making flipped lessons, here are a few tools to get you started.

TESTeach (formerly known as Blendspace) makes it easy for teachers to organize and share educational materials in a visually pleasing format. On TESTeach you arrange videos, links, images, and files around any topic of your choosing. TESTeach has built-in search tools so that you do not have to leave your TESTeach account in order to locate resources. When you share a set of TESTeach materials with your students they can give you feedback to show that they understand the materials or they can ask questions about the materials. You can also see if your students actually looked at all of the materials that you have shared with them. Using TESTeach can be a good way to create and deliver flipped lessons.

EDPuzzle is a popular tool for adding your voice and text questions to educational videos. On EDpuzzle you can search for educational videos and or upload your own videos to use as the basis of your lesson. EDpuzzle has an online classroom component that you can use to assign videos to students and track their progress through your video lessons. Within EDPuzzle's editor you can select portions of videos for students to watch. EDPuzzle offers the option to share your videos to Google Classroom.

MoocNote is a free tool for adding timestamped comments, questions, and links to videos. To do this on MoocNote you simply paste a link to a YouTube video into the MoocNote editor. Once the video is imported you can start to add your comments, questions, and links. The link features is particularly useful for providing students with additional resources for learning about the topics covered in your shared videos. MoocNote allows you to organize playlists (MoocNote calls them courses) of videos according to topics that you identify. MoocNote could be a good tool for high school teachers who want to organize playlists of videos for their students and add some clarifying information to those videos. You could also have students use MoocNote to annotate videos to demonstrate an understanding of the topic at hand.

Disclosure: I have an in-kind relationship with Common Craft. 


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Earlier this week I was ice fishing on a lake in northern Maine that just happens to be under the flight path of many airplanes going to and returning from Europe. Being a bit of an aviation geek, I enjoyed guessing at the model of the planes overhead. I could quickly identify 747s, A380s, and A340s because they leave behind four contrails while twin engine jets leave behind only two contrails. I share that story because Reactions has a new video that explains how jet contrails are created.

Chemtrails - YouTube



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Front Row is an excellent service that provides differentiated reading materials and practice exercises in K-12 classrooms. Front Row offers articles and exercises on topics in math, science, social studies, and language arts. The latest update to Front Row features new ELA skills practice activities.

The new ELA skills practice activities on Front Row are designed to help students in third through eighth grade develop skills in six areas. Those areas are making connections, inferences, main ideas, word choice, text structure, and point of view. The activities feature short, nonfiction passages that students need to read and then answer questions about. The questions appear side-by-side with the text passage so that students can quickly refer to the passage for context. Just like other Front Row activities, the difficulty of the ELA passages and questions adjust depending upon how students answer the questions.





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Anchor is a free service for creating podcasts on your phone or on your laptop. When the service started it was just a simple app that let you record short (two minutes or less) episodes to publish on the Anchor network. Over the last couple of years the service has steadily added more features leading up to Anchor 3.0 that launched today.

The latest version of Anchor is packed with features that make it easy to record, edit, and publish podcasts. Perhaps the best feature of Anchor is the ease with which you can publish to all major podcast networks including iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, Stitcher, and Pocket Casts. To publish to those platforms all you have to do is select them when you tap or click publish on your Anchor podcast.

Anchor 3.0: The easiest way to make a podcast. Ever. - YouTube

Anchor previously only let you record through your phone. The new version of Anchor includes a browser-based recording. The browser-based recording tool also includes free transition music that you can use within your recording. For those who prefer to record with another tool, can still use Anchor to publish their podcasts. The browser-based version of Anchor has an option to upload audio files for publication.

Applications for Education
If you have ever wanted to start a podcast with your students, but got deterred by the complexity of publishing, Anchor could be the solution that you need.


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Posting on a consistent schedule is one of the keys to maintaining interest in any blog. One of the best ways to maintain a consistent schedule is to use the scheduling tools that are built into most blogging services. By using the scheduling tools you can write a bunch of posts at once and have them appear at a later time. In the following video I demonstrate how to schedule blog posts on Edublogs, on Blogger, and on WordPress.

How to Schedule Blog Posts - YouTube




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A couple of weeks ago I shared the news that Flippity's Bingo board template now lets you include pictures in your boards. I've had a few people ask for clarification on how to include image links in the template that generates the game board. In the following video I demonstrate how to create a Bingo board through Google Sheets.

How to Create a Bingo Board Through Google Sheets - YouTube



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