Friday, May 8, 2015

Flipsnack - Make Interactive Online Flipping Books

Flipsnack is a free online tool that allows you or your students to create flipping books, either by using existing PDFs or by creating books from scratch on their website.  While there are some limitations with the free version, like limiting books to 15 pages and not being able to download them, it is an easy tool students can use for creating projects.

To create a book from a PDF, you simply upload a PDF or multiple PDFs and combine them into one book.  The book can then be easily shared with others through a link and read online.  Any interactive content from the PDFs like web links are still active and the book can be "read" by turning pages, just like an actual book.

My favorite option with flipsnack is the ability to create books within the site.  Students can create a book, add and rearrange pages, use premade layouts to make page creation easier, insert pictures, text, links, and other media, and then publish and share their books.  Creating and editing pages is easy and streamlined, as well as publishing and sharing.  All of these options make flipsnack a great choice for student projects or for teachers to use to create resources for their students.  Check out the links below for more information on how to use flipsnack.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Formative - A Great Assessment Tool

There are a number of formative assessment tools available for classroom use, some of which I have blogged about before.  One new tool I learned about this week thanks to my colleagues up at North is an online tool called Formative.  Like the name suggests, this tool is designed for formative assessment in the classroom.  However, it goes beyond the classroom and lets teachers create assignments that students can complete in or outside of class.  This is a great feature that most existing formative assessment tools do not have.

Formative has a number of very useful features.  Teacher can create classes and then students can either join those classes, or join an assignment without having to log in.  But with Google quick log in, it's easy to have students log in and have accounts.

First, you can start by creating an assignment from scratch or by uploading an existing PDF, Word Document, or Google Doc.  If you start from scratch, you can add different types of questions, including multiple choice, true/false, text, or drawing.  The drawing response also lets students upload photos, so if a problem is too complex to draw on a computer, they could potentially work it out on paper, take a picture of it, and add it that way.  The possibilities are endless!  If you start by uploading an existing document, you can then add those same types of questions to the document, making it interactive for students.  However, you do not have to prepare assignments and questions ahead of time - you can also do quick questions live in class and receive data back as well.

Once an assignment is made, the teacher can then assign it to one or multiple classes, and then give students a quick code or link to join the assignment, or have them access it through the class dashboard.  Teacher can choose to do assignments together in class, or have students complete them outside of class.  Sharing assignments with other teachers is easy too!

Finally, once assignments are under way, teachers can see student work real-time and receive data in a variety of ways to track how students are understanding the class materials.  Teachers can choose when students can view the feedback as well.

Overall, this tool surpasses most of the other formative assessment tools out there with it's variety of options and choices.  While there are still new features being added, this tool has a lot of potential to provide an easy way to track student progress and gather data about student learning.  Check out the links below for tutorials and more information!

See more about how to use this tool here:
Transforma document into a formative assessment (4:11) 
All Formative Tutorial Videos