Live Reactions in Quizizz

If you want to get your students logged into a Quizizz game or test faster, Live Reactions may be the perfect way to do it. 

Once students are in, they can click on the little reaction stickers and they’ll pop up on your board or projector. It’s just a fun little thing to make students smile and get them logged in more quickly. 

Live Reactions are also available AFTER the quiz, so students can react to their performance or who won or whatever. Also, the reactions are totaled at the top of the screen, so you could potentially use it as a way for students to vote or give feedback on the game. This could be a distraction if you’re going over commonly missed questions, so you may need to set ground rules with your students on this one or just turn this feature off when starting an activity.

Reactions are available to all Quizizz users.

[ Image(s) Source: twitter.com/quizizz/status/1574458702417076225 ]

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The Gift Power-Up in Quizizz

Quizizz recently added a new power-up to their live classic game mode.

While the existing powerups give kids ways to earn more points, this new one is intended to increase learner-to-learner interaction and ramp up the fun. It’s similar to features that students love in other games like Gimkit and Blooket, so it’s a good move for Quizizz to make. The Power-Up is called Gift and it gives your learners the chance to send another player an extra 800 points. Will they send it to their best friend? Or the person in last place so they don’t have to risk losing because of that power-up? Strategy!

  • A reminder, by the way, that students’ accuracy scores are not affected by Power-ups, just their score in the competition itself. So, they add to the fun without taking away from the relevance of this tool as evidence of learning.
  • The Gift Powerup available to all Quizizz users.

[ Image(s) Source: support.quizizz.com/hc/en-us/articles/360035742872-Power-ups-their-Types ]

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Import and Edit Google Slides in Quizizz

Quizizz has made a ton of updates in the last few months—Time for us to catch up on them!

First up, if you’ve done lessons in Quizizz, you know that you can import Google Slides into your lesson. They typically come in as a static, uneditable image of that slide. They’re now rolling out the ability to edit those slides in Quizizz. So, it breaks the slide apart into separate elements that can then be edited.

This is not perfect because some images and fonts come in a little wonky – think about what happens when you bring a Word Document into Google Docs or a Google Slides into Powerpoint – yah, same kind of situation. So, you might find that your slides don’t look quite right or that you can’t edit what you want. For example, this was a minor one, but I kept finding that it inserted a big white rectangle for the background from my slide.

That’s no big deal, but if you have a complex slide with crazy fonts, you may have more issues. If you know that your slides are perfect and you want to avoid anything getting messed up, choose the Uneditable Slides option, and they’ll come in as static images just like they used to. But, if you want to edit them within Quizizz, choose the editable option.

This, by the way, is available on all accounts.

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Crop Images in Book Creator!

This might sound like a minor Book Creator update, but users are going to love this:

You can now crop images and photos added to your Book Creator projects!

Just right-click on the image and select Crop. It’s that easy!

This will also work for PDFs that you import into your projects, because when you add them, Book Creator actually turns them into images. So that means you can crop them, too!

[Image(s) Source: https://twitter.com/BookCreatorApp/status/1582360518672912385 ]

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Import PDFs into Book Creator

A few years ago, I made a blog post about all of the things that you – or your students – can add into a Book Creator project.

At that point, when you added PDFs in, they were really just a link to the PDF. Now though, you can add pages from the PDF right into your book. Click the + button, then more, then files, then upload that file. You’ll then have the option to bring in certain pages or all pages of that pdf if, of course, it had multiple pages. If you add multiple pages, they’ll each be a separate page of your Book Creator project.

Also, when you click New Book from the main menu in Book Creator, there’s now an “Import Book or PDF” option in the top right. It’ll then let you choose the page dimensions and, if it’s a multi-page PDF, which pages you’d like to bring in. (You can also use this option to import .epub files)

Once you have the PDF into Book Creator, you’ll be able to crop it, resize it, write on it, add annotations, add color to it, and even add audio files on top of it for some added UDL. And this means that your students can use all of those features when filling out your PDFs. Just imagine how awesome it’d be to do something like a lab report in there. Add pictures, add videos, add sketches… lots of possibilities!

This feature is available to all Book Creator users.

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Edit PDFs in the Chromebook Gallery App

Starting in ChromeOS version 104, users can now edit PDF documents using the built-in Gallery app.

For us adults, that’s great for adding a signature to a document and then sending it in. In the classroom, though, it lets students complete activities or digital worksheets and then submit them in their LMS.

So, if you open the document from the Chromebook Files app, you’ll see a text annotation option, for typing into the PDF, and a drawing option for, obviously, drawing on the PDF. It’s also got a highlighter and eraser in there too. Then you can save the completed document and submit it, send it, or whatever. This provides an additional option for those of you who haven’t found a satisfactory alternative for using fillable PDFs in the Classroom.

Sure, we could use Kami, or use the Google Classroom mobile app or put screenshot the PDF and put it in Google Slides or use Pear Deck or Nearpod or a number of other options, but if none of those work or are ideal for you: here’s another option.

This is available for all Chromebook users.

[Image(s) Source: https://blog.google/products/chromebooks/video-editing-and-other-new-features/ ]

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ISTE and ASCD merge

Shout out to Jeff Bradbury of TeacherCast, Ask the Tech Coach, and Educational Podcasting Today for putting this on my radar.

He and I had just wrapped up an interview for an episode of Educational Podcasting Today and Jeff said to me “So, what do you think of ISTE and ASCD?” and I was like, “uhhh, they’re fine?” and he said “no, the news.” and I was like… “what are you talking about?” So then he filled me in.

It turns out that ISTE, the giant edtech nonprofit who, amongst other things, puts on the annual ISTE conference and ASCD, the giant education and professional development nonprofit who, amongst other things, publishes bunches of books and magazines, have merged.

The statement on their webpage states that ISTE, which stands for International Society for Technology in Education, and ASCD, which stands for Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, “will unite and become divisions of a new education nonprofit organization.

So, there will be a new umbrella company that both of them operate underneath. That’s pretty much all that we know now, but I do think that it’s worth noting the confirmation that this presents between curriculum and technology. They’re no longer viewed as entirely separate in these nonprofits and they shouldn’t be entirely separate in our classrooms either.

This was finalized on November 14th with an ASCD member vote. It’ll take effect in January.

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Quizizz Updates

OK, so Quizizz has made a ton of updates in the last few months. Time for us to catch up on them!
  • First up, they’ve got two new question types rolling out to paid users: dropdown and drag-and-drop. Both are nice because they can be within a passage of text. So any time that you’d add a blank into a passage for them to fill in like cloze reading activities, for example, you can use dropdown or drag-and-drop there. And, speaking of adding a blank, that’s actually how you do it. When you get to the spot that you want a blank, just put two underscores and a rectangle will pop up. Type in the correct answer, then hit enter and you’ll see it highlighted in white AND added to the options below.  You can then add additional detractor options, if you want to.

On the student end, it’s pretty straight-forward how it works. The only tricky thing is what to do if they initially drag a drag-and-drop option to the wrong spot.  They can’t drag it to a new spot – instead, they click the red X and then drag it to the correct spot. In both of these options, you can have multiple spots to answer… so I wondered, how will it grade it? So, first, in a game the kids get some points, but less than the full amount, if they got some of the answers correct and others incorrect.  And this is great – they’re rewarded, but not as much as a kid who got it completely correct. In the summary views, both on the teacher and student screen, it shows them as either correct or incorrect, not partially correct.  And, it seems like it shows up one way in one screen and the other way in the other, which is weird. However, in the reports that you can access, which is the most important to me, it’ll break the kids’ score down. It gives them the proportional amount of the points that the question was worth. Which is a good time to remind you – you can modify the number of points a question is worth. They default to 5 points apiece, but if you have a question with 3 blanks, you might want to make it worth 3 points… or a multiple of 3… or maybe even 15 to treat it as 3 5-point questions. I’m excited to see these options available. Again, they’re for paid users only. You may not see them in your account just yet, but they should appear soon.

 

  • This one seems little, but I know it’s one that I’ve wished for before – if you start up a homework assignment and discover that you had a mistake, like a question that had the wrong correct answer selected, you can go back in and make that change without deleting the assignment and recreating it. Previously, all of your students would have that answer marked incorrectly and you’d have to explain the mixup to them later… but now you can make the fix right away, hopefully before most of your students have encountered it. This is available on Quizizz paid plans.

 

  • Students can now also skip questions and come back to them later.  When they click the Skip button, that question is moved to the end of the quiz. Then, after they’ve attempted all the other questions, they’ll return to the one that they skipped. Note that when they return to the skipped questions, they won’t have the option to skip them again.  This feature is part of the paid plans.

 

  • If you’re using Quizizz to assess your students’ understanding on a topic, you’re going to want to make sure that they’re not looking up answers in other tabs. If you’re on a Quizizz School or District Plan, you can now use Focus Mode within Live Tests to do this.  Focus mode will open the Quizizz activity in full screen and warn your student if they try to exit full screen. Also, you’ll be notified if they switch tabs while in the quiz.
    • There are multiple notifications that you’ll receive as the teacher. Those notifications will come up if the student leaves the quiz, if they spend 2 minutes outside of the quiz, if they join the quiz 2 minutes late, if they exit before completing the quiz, and, finally, if they rejoin the quiz after 2 minutes in outside of it.
    • Students who switched tabs during Focus Mode will have the ‘Off-task activity’ tag under their name. However, this tag does not affect their scores.
    • Note: you can only do this in live test mode, not in classic, team, or homework modes. And, as I said before, this is for teachers in School or District Plans. It does not work for educators, like me, who are in Super Plans or, obviously, the free plans.
OK – I’ve got 3 or 4 more Quizizz things to share with you, but I’m going to save them for another blog post, so stay tuned!

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Live stream Google Meet events via YouTube

Nowadays we have plenty of good ways to livestream events—

including Streamyard and built-in solutions on multiple tools, but I wanted to share this one with you because I think it may be handy for school events.

If it’s enabled by your admin, Google users can now livestream Google meetings publicly via YouTube.

This provides an easy way to get your holiday choir concert or your Board meeting on YouTube. Just please don’t make me watch the board meeting, kay? Anyhow, within Google Meet on a computer, you can click the 3 dots, then Manage Streaming. On phones, just go to the Activities panel and select Live Streaming. You can then give the livestream a title, set its privacy and the caption language and start the stream.

Easy peasy!

[More info: https://workspaceupdates.googleblog.com/2022/07/live-stream-google-meet-events-via-youtube.html ]

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Split Cells in Google Docs Tables

If you’re like me, you can hack Google Docs to do almost everything that it should do, but doesn’t do.

That includes – or, did include – making a table that has a variable number of cells in each row. 

Let’s say you have a rubric where most rows require just 2 options – 0 points or 1 point – and then you have a row where you need three options – 2, 1, or 0 points. Well, in the past, the hack was to make each row have 3 columns for those options, but in all of the 1 point rows, merge them together.  It worked, but it certainly wasn’t elegant.

Well, now we don’t need that hack – You can now split table cells into any number of rows and columns.

1 cell in a table can have multiple rows and columns. This works for the example that I gave, but you can likely find a ton of other reasons you might use this! Maybe you need subheadings underneath your headings… you need to add units into a table… or you need to add some information with an asterisk. Now you can.  Just right-click the cell > click Split cell > enter the number of rows and columns you want > and click Split. Voila! 

This is available in all Google accounts, even free ones.

[GIF Source: https://workspaceupdates.googleblog.com/2022/10/split-table-cells-in-google-docs.html ]

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