Wednesday, July 23, 2014

More with Wiggio

I already laid out the basics of Wiggio, but now it's time to look at what a group of your students could do with this tool.

First of all, Heather commented on my first Wiggio post and said that she probably wouldn't use it with students. Since Heather teaches middle school, I completely understand and agree with that choice. It's probably not the best tool for younger students.

However, I teach high school juniors and seniors who will soon be off to college. They will have to complete group projects while coordinating with other students who may have very different schedules. I think that using a tool like this while they near the end of high school could be an opportunity to learn some invaluable skills for the future. So while I do not recommend using Wiggio with middle school (or maybe even high school freshmen or sophomores), I believe it would be very successful with older high school students.

Having said that, let's say you want your students to complete a group project that will involve extensive work outside of class and assembling multiple file components for the final product. You can create a group on Wiggio for each student group:

By creating the groups yourself, you will therefore be a member of each group. Even more importantly, you'll be the administrator and can therefore manage all of the settings for the students in the group:

You'll then add students to the group by sending them an invite via email:

Students will then be able to join the group and have access to the group folder. From there, they can start using the features you granted permission for, such as creating a document:

A note about the document interface: unlike on Google docs, the work does not save unless you hit the save button. Students would need to remember to save their work like they do when working in Microsoft Word.

Throughout the project, students can schedule their meetings (in person and virtual), hold conference calls or video conferences, store all of their files, create documents, send messages to group members, and manage the tasks on their to-do list. And as the administrator of the group, you'll be in the loop about the students' planning and progress from beginning to end.

To my fellow high school teachers, I hope you are intrigued enough to check out this very versatile tool!

If you have more questions about Wiggio, try checking their FAQ page or Knowledge Base.

More with Kahoot!

I talked a little bit about the features of Kahoot in a previous post. Now let's look at some ideas for how you can use it in your classroom.

First, it's a great option for a review game. You can write a quiz with various questions from a unit and have students play the Kahoot to see how prepared they are and to reinforce the concepts. As you can see in this video, students get very into it and are quite excited when they get the right answer - although a little less excited when they learn that they're still not on the leaderboard!

Here is an example of a Kahoot that I created as a review game for an Algebra class. Since it's public, anyone can play it! However, that means someone needs to be the "teacher" and run it. If you just want to play it by yourself, you'll need to be both the teacher and the student. For example, you can launch it from your computer and see what would be displayed on a projector screen but play as a student on a mobile device like your phone in order to answer the questions.

Algebra Quiz Kahoot

Another way you can use Kahoot is as a quick exit ticket method. If there's a concept you want to make sure the students learned during a class, you can write a question for them to respond to at the end of class.

It's also a great way to poll your class. You could pose a question at the beginning of class and ask them which answer they think is correct. This can be a great warm-up. You could also take a poll at the end of class - perhaps asking students how well they believe they understand the lesson from that day.

Finally, I'm really excited about the prospect of having students create their own Kahoots for their classmates to participate in. You could assign topics to individual students or groups and then have them do the research and create quizzes. Not only would they need to learn the information, but they would have to design good questions and answer choices. These activities would allow students to be extremely active in their own learning!

I definitely intend to use Kahoot with my students this year. I think they're going to love it, and I'm confident that they'll learn quite a lot while having fun!

I hope you'll try making your own too. It's quick and easy, but if you're having trouble, just check out this page for answers to lots of potential questions. You'll also find some great tips on this blog.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

More with Educreations

Now that I've already talked about the basic concept and features of Educreations, let's look at some of the ways you can use it with your students.

Here are just a few ideas for how teachers can use Educreations:

  • Post mini-lessons for students to view prior to a full lesson (as a warm-up in class or as a homework assignment the night before)
  • Post a recap of major concepts covered in class (embed on course website)
  • Record and post a lesson as a response to a homework question when a student sends an email after school - especially great for math teachers like me!

This is a (very brief) lesson that I created about the Pythagorean Theorem:

As you can see, you can use different colors when you're writing. You can also switch between different pages. I did that when I moved from my initial title page to the page where I drew the triangle. Although I didn't switch back, you can also use left/right arrows on the app to move between the pages of your lesson. That's great if you want to be able to refer back to something you mentioned earlier. Much better than having to permanently erase everything on the screen when you want to do something new!

A few other features that you didn't get to see here:

  • You can set up content on the pages before you start recording. If there's something that will take too long to do while you're talking, you can take care of it in advance.
  • You can also start recording, pause the recording to add content to your page (as mentioned in the previous point), and then resume recording.
  • You can embed photos from the camera app, from your photo roll, from Dropbox, or from the web. Once the photos are on your pages, you can draw on them or resize them.
  • If you're not a fan of writing on the screen, you can use the text box tool instead - unless you need to use special characters like math or music symbols.
  • You can change the background from plain white into lined paper, graph paper, or a coordinate grid.
I'm particularly excited about how effectively students could use Educreations themselves in a math class! For example, rather than just handing in a solution to a problem, they could record their solution process and submit it. Students would have to articulate their thought process while completing the steps, which would reinforce all of the concepts and would make it easier for the teacher to assess the students' understanding. I can't wait to try using this app with my students!

If you still have technical or logistical questions about Educreations, try checking the FAQ on their website. If you're looking for more ways to use Educreations in your classroom, check out some ideas from AppsInClass.


Wiggio is a tool I heard about recently for groups to be able to communicate, collaborate on documents, schedule meetings, assign to-do list tasks, and manage various other details for projects they are working on. It sounded pretty cool, so I decided to look into it.

You'll need to sign up for an account, but the good news is that it's all completely free - no premium accounts required for special features or anything like that.

When you log in, you'll see this dashboard interface:

On the left navigation panel, you can see some of the various features available, sorted by category.

You can Add files or links that you might need.

You can Schedule different types of events and invite people to participate. These options include conference calls for up to 50 participants and virtual meetings for up to 10 participants, all through the Wiggio platform.

You can Create documents or spreadsheets to collaborate on with a group. You can also create polls or surveys, and there is the option of creating to-do lists. The to-do lists also allow you to assign tasks to specific people - great for delegating work and holding people accountable!

You can Send various forms of communications, ranging from your typical email option to sending text messages, voice notes, or video notes. Be aware that the voice note feature requires Java and the video note feature requires Flash, so you'll need to use a compatible browser and/or install the necessary plug-ins to use those specific features. In this section you also have the ability to send an availability request in order to find out when group members would be available for the events in the Schedule category.

As a quick aside: this availability request form looks similar to Doodle - a great tool for scheduling group events. If you get frustrated trying to figure out a meeting time that will work for everyone in a large group, you need to try it. It's life-changing!

Back to Wiggio though! This is a fantastic organizational tool for students to collaborate on projects. Not only can they create and store collaborative files, but they can manage the various administrative tasks of working in a group. With the to-do list and availability request features, they also learn valuable skills about task delegation, time management, and the planning required when working with others.

A lot of the features of this tool parallel the capabilities of the GAFE, but since some school systems do not allow the use of Google, Wiggio provides a great alternative with a few unique functionalities as well.

Stay tuned for more details about using Wiggio for student group projects!

Monday, July 21, 2014


Let's face it: students love to play games. As long as they're learning something, there's nothing wrong with that at all! In fact, it's a great way to get them to learn since it instantly ups their excitement and engagement.

Kahoot! is a really easy-to-use tool for creating quiz games, discussions, or surveys. The teacher displays the Kahoot for the class, and each student logs in using their own devices. It works on any device with a browser -- computers, tablets, or smartphones! My students will be accessing it using their iPads, which will cut down on the potential issues that would go along with them taking out their cell phones in order to use it. Good news on the classroom management front!

All the students have to do is go to, type the pin they see on the teacher's screen, and they'll be able to enter the game:

If it's a quiz format, as students answer questions, Kahoot will display the leaders on the scoreboard, sparking a little bit of competition in the class!

You'll need to register for an account to get started.

Once you've registered, watch this quick video for a brief look at how it works. After that, you can either create your own Kahoot or check out some of the public Kahoots that are available to "play."

Some cool aspects for the classroom:

  • Teachers (or "quiz masters") can download the results after the Kahoot is complete, making it a great formative assessment tool in addition to a fun activity for students.
  • Students can also write questions of their own. They'll have to do the research and then design good questions and answer choices. 

Coming soon: more details and ideas about using Kahoot in your classroom!


Because St. Mary's High School is moving to a 1:1 iPad program this year, I'm focusing on exploring tools that can be used through both browser and iPad app versions.

One great tool I've used a little bit in the past but plan to use more this school year is Educreations. Educreations is an interactive whiteboard that allows you to record and share lessons. You can write on the whiteboard (works best with a stylus!) and record your voice while you write. Educreations also lets you embed images into your lessons and even manipulate the images while you record.

You'll need to sign up with a teacher account to get started. If you have an iPad, you'll also want to download the (free!) app.

This tool works best on iPads, but there is also an online whiteboard that you can use to create lessons from any flash-supported browser. However, you're better off using an iPad to create a lesson unless your computer has tablet capabilities. Writing on the board using a mouse is a bit tricky! Educreations also does not currently have an app for Android tablets. This isn't a problem for St. Mary's since we're all using iPads, but that's important for other readers who may be using Android devices.

The good news is that although creating a lesson is primarily limited to iPads, viewing a lesson is fine on both iPads and on any computer (PC or Mac) with a browser that supports flash. If you save a lesson publicly rather than privately, you can even embed your lesson on another website -- a great option for teachers to add lessons to their class websites!

Educreations also allows students to create accounts. They can register for your course and view your lessons, or they can record and share their own lessons with you. It's a great tool for both teachers and students!

Check back soon for more info about how to use Educreations in the classroom and to see a demo lesson!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


Hello, and welcome to my Web 2.0 blog!

I will be posting about my explorations of various Web 2.0 tools and the features that I believe are useful to K-12 educators in their classrooms. I look forward to sharing information about tools that I have already used and to learning about many more tools that are available. I hope that you will join me in this journey of exploration and discovery!

If you have suggestions or requests for tools that I should explore, please leave a comment on this post.