Three of My Favorite Things

Over the past two months I have come across some new sites and apps that I have a grown to love and use more and more.

Kubbu

Kubbu can be used as both a game site and an assessment tool. At first, the homepage looked a little plain and uninviting. However, once I started to create some activities you I quickly began to appreciate what could be done with this site. 

There are 5 types of activities you can create and examples of all of them can be found in the links below. There are a variety of options for each activity. I was unable to show all of these with just one link for each activity. For example, you can make the activities have a time limit, reveal the correct answers at the end, or randomize the order of the questions. I tried to include various options in each of the links in order to show these features. Games can be created for individual students are groups, and data can also be gathered and analyzed if it is used as an assessment. You also have the option to upload pictures, sounds, and other files and include these in certain activities. For an example of this, check out the Composer – Activity/Quiz link.

The links below are examples of the type of activities and assessments you can make with Kubbu. You will need Adobe Flash to view the links.

Science Review – Divide Activity

Crossword Puzzle

Match Game

Composer – Activity/Quiz

Cloud Quiz – Slides

WorkFlowy

This is a great app if you need to store how-to information that you don’t use on a daily basis and it is easy to forget. I also use it to trouble shoot tech problems that staff have regarding their accounts, desktops, or laptops. I get questions like this every so often and because I don’t do these procedures on a daily basis I don’t have them memorized. I find this app much more convenient that searching through my Shared folder on Google Drive. After four years, my Google Drive is just a digital version of an unorganized file cabinet.

It is also great for documents with a lot of information that you need to refer to frequently but are too hard to remember.  I started using it last week with our inventory audit for Chromebooks and classroom technology. I was able to quickly find room numbers and Chromebook cart numbers for the auditors just by checking by phone and clicking to the specific teacher. 

VoiceThread

VoiceThread is a presentation tool that allows you to create slide presentations using a variety of media and provide commentary. You can post a variety of comments ranging from text, audio, video, and even comments from a telephone call. It is impressive and easy to use on a basic level, but I’m sure the more time I spend with it I will discover a lot more features. The tutorials are fairly short and very helpful. It also has a training section with free workshops, certification, and a library of VoiceThreads from other users.There is also a browse feature on your home page that allows you to search other VoiceThreads on a variety of topics. The media that you add can be pulled from your computer, other media sources (Kahn Academy, Google Drive, Flickr, and even other Voice Threads), audio recordings, webcam pics and videos, and URLs.

You can sign up for free with the usual information of first and last name, email, and a password. You click Create and start adding media to your slide presentation. When you are done, you can start playing through the presentation and adding audio or video commentary, or written comments throughout the presentation. You can also annotate on slides, if needed. There is a fade option on the annotation, so it won’t stay on the slide permanently but you can disable this feature. When you are done, you can share the presentation with others and they can leave comments, as well. Along the lines of sharing, you can also create a contact list and sort people in your contacts into groups.

One way I hope to use this at my school is for our School Leadership Team meetings. We have these meetings every third Tuesday of the month and the parent turnout is very low. I would like to create a slide presentation of what we will be discussing that evening and create a video comment for each slide. We could then share the presentation and invite parents to comments as they watch. There is a comment moderation feature, so we could chose to leave comments out if they were off-topic or not appropriate for the discussion. I think this is a viable option for reaching more parents at the school and including them in the discussion of important topics like bullying and harassment and grading and homework policies.