Google Classroom Announcement Page Update

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Google Classroom Update!

My buddy John Sowash, who I love following on Twitter, shared an update for Google Classroom. Ready? Images, including GIFs, can now be shown on the Announcements Page! This is another example of a mind-blowing update that Google should’ve done sooner.  Teachers can record a GIF, place it on the Announcements Page and it will pop up. Students will no longer need to click to open it. At this time, you can only do this with one image or GIF, but it’s easily added. Nice huh?

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New Keyboard Shortcuts in Google Drive

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Google Adds New Shortcuts – Just for Google Drive!

FINALLY, Google Drive has added keyboard shortcuts for INSIDE Drive!! I can’t believe it took them so long, but we now have the ability to move a file from one place to another with a shortcut. In the old days, we used to have to:Now we can Control + C or Control + X, and then Control + V in the place we want the file. What a really efficient and easy way for us to get files from one place in Google Drive to another.

My mind has always been blown that Google Drive didn’t have this. I mean, they’ve been around for over 11 years, and the fact that they didn’t have those keyboard shortcuts for moving files around was kind of crazy. 

Gif showing new keyboard shortcut in Google Drive.

The update has also made it possible to add the link into a doc directly from Drive. When we first began using Drive, there were quite a few necessary steps to accomplish this move.

Now it’s possible to add a link to a file into a Google Doc or Slides by simply clicking on a Drive file and pressing Control + C, then pressing Control + V in the spot where you want the link!

One More NEW Shortcut!

Gif showing new keyboard shortcut in Google Drive.

Control + Shift + V  will create a shortcut to a file that you’d like to have in multiple places. For example, maybe you’d like to use the same file in both your math and science classes for a joint project. Use Control + C to copy the file from the math folder, jump over to the science folder, and Control + Shift + V,  and you’ve got the same file in both places. Times savers are awesome, especially when they allow us to be more productive.

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Add Canva, Adobe Express, and Flip Content in Wakelet!


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Lately, I’ve seen a lot of updates from Team Wakelet, including easily adding Canva designs. When I go into my Wakelet account, I can click on the image button and normally I see, “upload an image”, “choose from giphy”, or “choose from Unsplash”, (Unsplash is a site where you haveScreenshot of adding Canva to Wakelet rights to different pictures so that you can share them). Now Wakelet has added in design with Canva. A lot of people make designs in Canva, download them, and then upload them into their Wakelt clip. That’s always worked, but now they’ve taken that middle step out, so we’ve got the option to go straight from Canva. Canva also has some templates that are set to Wakelet sizes – like banners.

I get excited about things that make the ed tech tools work better, but what I’m really excited about is impacting student learning or teacher efficiency, or any of the pedagogical things we worry about. I think Wakelet is a great digital portfolio platform or student-sharing platform,  making it more efficient for students to use. So it’s not just improving a tech tool, it’s improving a tech tool that can help students.


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Wakelet also works well with Adobe Express Creations. So if you’re a Canva person or an Adobe Express person, it will work for you. However, Adobe Express will be in a different place now.

Screenshot of adding Adobe Express to Wakelet

It used to be in the “other stuff” area, but now you can find it right in the lineup under Tweets, Flip videos, YouTube, Google Drive, OneDrive, and then you’ll see Adobe Express. 

I believe  the Flip button, will no longer be in the lineup, and that’s the next update to tell you about:


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Now instead of selecting Flip, you can just copy the link to your video, and then paste it into Wakelet, where it is automatically embedded. I think that kind of adds a step actually, but it does work and it works well, and it looks pretty. As I said before, Wakelet is really good for digital portfolios. Students can add Flip videos, Canva Creations, Adobe Express creations, and whatever else is needed to showcase the different things they are doing in Wakelet. It could also be a great way for the teacher to send home a newsletter to parents.

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Quizziz LIVE Whiteboard

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Quizziz has added a live whiteboard, previously known as “Scribble Tool”,  to Image shows screenshot of Quizziz Live Whiteboardall versions including basic! The live whiteboard is different from a drawing question. It’s just a whiteboard that could be popped up spontaneously whenever it is needed, even mid-lesson. You don’t have to plan for it in any way. Of course, you will already know that you plan to use it at a certain time, but you don’t have to prepare the whiteboard in advance. You just pop it up when needed. The whiteboard will work in one of two places, either during an instructor-paced quiz, or a lesson to run the live dashboard.

I typically use Quizziz in classic mode, which lets my students move at their own rate, this means I wouldn’t be able to use the live whiteboard. However, if less than 90% of my students got the answer correct, I can use the live whiteboard, while in instructor-paced mode, so that we can discuss the answers. Image shows screenshot of how to use live whiteboard

So at any point, while in the instructor-paced mode, look for the green button at the bottom of the screen to open up the live whiteboard. You can draw, or your students can, it’s your choice who is doing the drawing.


You can also choose if you’d like to use a background. The background needs to be prepared in advance and saved to your computer so it is ready to be uploaded. For example, if you have a coordinate plane, a map, or a diagram that you’d like to use, just save it to your computer, click change background, and pop it in.

The teacher is able to do drawings that the students will see, or the students can do the drawings if given the option. The drawings will appear on the right, similar to Nearpod, Pear Deck, or the different whiteboard tools that are out there. It’s nice that it’s built into this platform where we’re doing other stuff already, right? 


So just to reiterate, if using live whiteboard in Quizziz, you must be either in an instructor-paced quiz or an instructor-paced lesson.

The lessons have slides, kind of like a PowerPoint or Google Slides which are built in. The same green at the bottom opens up the drawing plane or drawing screen. 


Draw Type Questions

If you want to plan the drawings out, there’s also a drawing-type question. 

I’m 99.9% sure that this is in the paid version. Drawing answers is great for helping students with memory and recall.



I’d love to hear your thoughts on the Quizziz updates!

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Two New Question Types in Quizziz

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Quizziz has added two different question types in their PAID version; matching and reordering. Let’s talk about matching first. 


Matching means exactly what you think, match the question/prompt with the answer.

Image shows Quizziz matching example

The teacher vertically aligns the prompt with the answer. A with apple and B with ball and C with cat etc. However, when it is sent out live, students will see the choices mixed up requiring them to drag the correct images or answers together.


Image shows Quizziz picture matchingPictures can also be used, which is really nice for elementary-age students or visual learners.  In the example, the student would drag the picture down to the correct word, and then click submit. Remember, this is for the premium or paid version only.


Reordering questions is a pretty similar setup. While at a recent conference, I was able to experiment with this new update. 

I had to dImage shows Quizziz reordering examplerag numbers into the correct order from smallest to largest. Thankfully since I taught math for nine years, I got this one correct! Good thing my middle school math skills are still going strong even though I’m not in the math classroom.

Comments or thoughts? I’d love to hear them!


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Mote Loops

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Mote recently announced “Mote Loops.” And by loops they mean feedback loops.

So in the image, John, from Mote, gave a comment to his student.  The student has the option to respond, or not, and the teacher can see the response. In essence, itcreates a “feedback loop”. For example, the teacher gives the student feedback, or the prompt, or a request to do something, and the student then has to show that they’ve gone through the process of accepting that feedback. Mote is really prioritizing the effectiveness of feedback.

Image shows a teacher leaving a Google Classroom Comment with the text "With Loops activated, teachers leave feedback as normal."

In the first picture, you can see that Jon created a text comment. He also could have used Mote to create an audio comment. Below the comment, it tells Jon if his student, Jim, has responded to the feedback or not.

In the image, a student has received a Google Classroom text comment and has the option to click on either "I know what to do" or "I may need help.In the student’s view, they can see the comment as always, but can now choose one of two options:

  • “I know what to do” 
  • “I may need help” 

That’s excellent for data tracking. The teacher knows if the student understands the feedback. The student can also add additional information. After responding, the student also sees a fun meme, giving them a little reward for responding.

The Data!

In this screenshot, we see a summary of what percentage of students responded "I know what to do" and what percentage said "I may need help."Up to this point, I think they’re just adding to the feedback system. What really helps, is that after the teacher has responded, the data is tracked. The teacher can see how often certain students said they knew what to do, how often they said they needed help, or how often the whole class said they knew what to do, or may need help. It’s really nice that now we can see if certain pieces of feedback are confusing, or if certain assignments are confusing. We can also see if certain students are struggling with our feedback.  Are there certain students that may need a one-on-one?

Mote Loops is available in beta, and it’s not out for everybody yet, but you can request the beta version and get access to it. I’d recommend reaching out to Mote or responding to this tweet if you’re interested. I love that Mote is really trying to ramp up the effectiveness of feedback!

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Quizizz Updates

What’s New in QUIZIZZ?

Quizizz has added a handful of new features, let’s start with the free one. Longitudinal growth reports are now available in all of their plans. you have your courses linked thru Google Classroom, Schoology, or Canvas, or if you created Classes within Quizizz, you’ll be able to see individual classes and scores for each student throughout the school year. It’s not standard-by-standard or topic-by-topic, but you’ll be able to see peaks, valleys, and some general trends for your whole class or for specific students.

Additions to the Paid Plans 

Quizizz is now giving users on the School and District Plan the ability to tag their questions to state standards, and then look at data relating to specific standards. This could be really nice in standards-based grading. Just remember this only applies to School and District Plan users.

Audio & Video Responses

 Audio/Video responses have been added to Quizizz Super and School/District Plans.

    • World language teachers everywhere – rejoice! You can now hear or see your students speaking in the target language. This is valuable in many other content and curricular areas, plus it’s a great UDL feature allowing us to hear from students that perhaps aren’t as comfortable writing responses.
    • Recorded responses can be between 5 – 120 seconds long, and can be accessed in the reports screen where you normally access their scores. Just look for the “play” button. 

*Note* – you canNOT download the audio or video from within Quizizz, to use elsewhere, it can only be played within the site.

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Transcription in Loom

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Loom has Transcriptions!

Loom has added transcription, which is huge for accessibility. ALL plans, even free plans, will have the transcription feature for FREE! This includes not just ones you recorded today, but ones you recorded years ago.  All of a sudden, ALL your vides will have transcription! So open your oldest video in Loom,  and  you’ll find that there’s now a transcript. You may discover that it’s not 100% Image of transcription example in Loom. correct, at least I’m assuming, because it’s automated, right? It’s machine learning, so it’s not gonna hear every word perfectly. For example, when I say “definitely”, my phone always types “deathly”. Why does it do that? So weird. I must need to pronounce “definitely” better. Anyhow, I can go in and edit the mistakes in the loom transcript, even in the free version, which is awesome!

Stitch Loom Recordings Together

Image of Loom clips stitched together.

Loom has also added the ability to stitch recordings together.  So, if you record a video on Monday, and then record another on Tuesday, you can stitch them together to make one video. SO nice for Loom users!  

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Screencast-O-Matic Adds Interactive Video Questions and Polls

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We know Screen-Pal, formerly Screencast-O-Matic, as a screen recording program. However, they also have added in interactive video quizzes and polls. They’re kind of doing the Edpuzzle thing within their own tool. We saw Screencastify do this about a year ago.

Screen-Pal has jumped on board and added this interactive element into their videos. It’s not available on all Screen-Pal accounts, which is not surprising, but it was also a little bit disappointing to hear that it’s only on the solo max EDU plans and the team EDU plans.

So if you’re paying, or your school is paying for a Screen-Pal account, you have this upgrade. If your school is not paying or you’re not 

Screenshot shows the new layout of video options for Screen-Pal.

paying, if you’re on a free version, you don’t have this. So an option would be for you to record and pop it into Edpuzzle.  As the image shows, there are some different options as you play the video. 

  • It shows where the questions are
  • Screen shot shows the rating system for Screen-Pal.we could have multiple choice questions, 
  •  text-based questions,
  • and rating questions that use hearts, cool, huh? 
  • We can also see what it would look like on a phone, it shows the video behind the question and kind of blurs out the video a little bit, or puts a kind of overlay on it. You can see the question without losing the video and not having to share the screen between the two things.

There are 5 question types:

  1. Multiple choice
  2. True or false 
  3. Short answer and
  4. Poll, which I assume is an upgraded version of multiple choice, something that Ed Puzzle doesn’t have.  Ed Puzzle has multiple choice, but you can’t have it be an ungraded multiple choice question.
  5. Finally rating, which I assume is what those five hearts on the previous screen were for. I wonder if you could change them to stars or something else. I’ll be curious to see when I get to try it out.

Next, and this is directly from the blog, because I was worried I wouldn’t remember all this:Screenshot from Screen-Pal blog

  • You can randomize the order of answers, so when going through the video, different kids will see the answers in a different order. This will avoid student honesty issues, and perhaps student cheating. 
  • You can set it so students can’t skip questions, or you can allow that. Sometimes I like to allow skipping because it lets the kids jump over certain parts of the video. Conversely, there are times when I don’t want them to jump over part of the video.
  • You are able to set it so students are receiving automatic feedback on the correct response. 
  • You can capture additional open-ended answers, meaning I assume multiple answers. 
  •  And then, of course, the important part, you could view individual and aggregate data for all those quizzes. For every quiz you can view aggregated data and then you can export this data into a grade book for further analysis. I normally find it’s quicker for me to just type it and just put two tabs on my screen and type from one to the other. But if you’ve got a really big class, you’d be able to export the info and put that into your grade book. 

As always, let me know what you think!

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EDPUZZLE Adds an Upload Option to Student Projects

EDPUZZLE Adds an Upload Option to Student Projects

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While at ISTE, I also visited the Edpuzzle booth and learned that Edpuzzle has added the option for students to upload videos to their own projects. As a teacher, I’ve always been able to create a project for my students to watch and answer questions on. I could add videos from YouTube, which is what I do a lot of, I could also easily add them from Screencastify or from right in  Edpuzzle, and I could also easily upload videos from my computer and add in questions. 

Next, they added the ability for the teacher to assign a project to students where they make their own Edpuzzle creations. In the past, students were only able to use YouTube videos. Now students can add uploaded videos too. For instance, maybe they made a video in Flip, downloaded it from Flip, and then uploaded their video into Edpuzzle. 

In the “add content” area of Edpuzzle, we are used to seeing “discover video content, upload a video, or record a video”. Next in line is “student project”, which may not have been used by too many teachers, but is an area where you can assign students to do their own Edpuzzle creation.


When I go into that section, it all looks familiar. Give the project a subject, a goal, and instructions. However, now I’ve got two options for video sources. The first is to find a video, which was always there, but the second option is, “Upload a Video”.

One application I can see that would be really nice in a videography class or cinematography class where kids are making videos for projects. They could upload their video and then add questions to see what their classmates or teacher think of certain parts of the video they’re creating.

Give these new Edpuzzle applications a try, and let me know what you think!

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