From Faculty Focus via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Free ‘Clickers’ for All: Using Google Forms to Survey Your Students”. “My use of Google Forms as a cheap, easy-to-use, device-friendly alternative to clickers has been yielding some successful results. First, my students look forward to getting the links and love how they can use devices that they already have in order to participate. Preliminary, indirect measures of learning, in the form of post-course student surveys, indicate that the use of Google Forms is helping my students learn better. Finally, I have recently started to use the software not only to ask content and concept-type questions but also to track whether my students’ perceptions about important, course-related issues change as the semester progresses.”
More free stuff: the Google Docs for the Connected Classroom eCourse is free for this week, this time in honor of Connected Educator Month. You do have to tweet to get access, though.
Google (today’s update is getting rather Googly, isn’t it) has updated its Course Builder. “When we last updated Course Builder in April, we said that its skill mapping capabilities were just the beginning. Today’s 1.9 release greatly expands the applicability of these skill maps for you and your students. We’ve also significantly revamped the instructor’s user interface, making it easier for you to get the job done while staying out of your way while you create your online courses.”
From Hybrid Pedagogy: Teaching with the Internet; or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Google In My Classroom “The Internet poses to us an active challenge to deeply reconsider what it means to be literate in the twenty-first century. Does literacy for us simply mean, the way it did in the 19th century, the memorization and regurgitation of factoids and arguments? 21st century literacies demand that we teach radically differently from before. They ask us to replace content in the classroom with action, centering what our students do, how we interact with them, and the community these dynamics form. I’m going to talk about my experience with experimenting with this: breaking down the walls of the traditional classroom, letting the world in via the digital, and changing our focus from what we teach to how we teach, why we teach and the community that we build through […]
The state of New Jersey is going to publish a database of teacher ratings, but not ratings for specific teachers. “The data, which will be released next week, will allow parents to see how many teachers in a school received each of the four possible ratings. It will not include performance ratings for specific teachers, the state said.”