Friday, January 22, 2016

Kaizena Mini is now Kaizena Shortcut

One of my favorite tools for leaving effective feedback for students is Kaizena.  Kaizena allows you to easily leave audio and text feedback for students in a Google Doc.  This is a free service and one that I suggest to a lot of people because we should be more focused on feedback than grades in order to help students learn.  Also, audio can sometimes be more powerful than text alone as we say a lot in how we say something and we can articulate something more easily while speaking sometimes.  I also find that it is a lot quicker to leave audio feedback than text feedback if I want to ensure I get my point across.

The update to Kaizena does change how you leave the feedback but the workflow seems to be better than before.  While looking over the tutorial videos in their post,, you can easily see how you can track your comments over a longer period of time than just one document.

You install the shortcut using the Add-ons in a Google Doc, which means you will have to make sure your students install that Add-on also into their Google Docs.  The limited amount of time it would take to help your students install the Add-on and learn how to use it will be made up for by the growth that they can make when you are giving more effective feedback.

If you are looking at improving the feedback you give to students, give Kaizena a try.  If we want students to learn and continue to learn, we must focus on the feedback we give and how it affects them as a learner.  Giving effective feedback is a great way to instill a growth mindset into our students where just only giving grades is a way we will ensure a fixed mindset and limited learning.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Using EdPuzzle with Google Classroom

Last summer Google released the Classroom API so other programs and apps could communicate and integrate with Google Classroom.  One of the most recent ones to do this is EdPuzzle.  EdPuzzle is great tool for adding questions, feedback, and your voice to premade videos for use in your classroom.  You can assign videos as homework and get feedback on your students progress and understanding of the content.

If you already have a class set up in Google Classroom, you can quickly connect that to EdPuzzle and even post assignments into Classroom from EdPuzzle.  This integration will make it much easier to use EdPuzzle with your students without them having to create brand new accounts.

Watch the following video to see how you can quickly connect Classroom to EdPuzzle and then assign your first video.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Shared Google Calendar for Teacher-Teacher Collaboration

One of the easiest ways to assist effective collaboration between teachers is to create a shared Google Calendar so all parties involved can get greater clarity.  You can easily set up meeting dates and include the agendas, goals, teacher roles, in the event details.  You can also share out important due dates and any other information you need to have in order to collaborate effectively.  
Watch the video below to see how to create a shared Google Calendar.