Thursday, May 4, 2017

Two4Thursday Tech: Flipgrid and wizer.me

We are awash in technology. Even if you don’t feel like you are, that’s probably because you’ve managed to make it far enough up the beach and you’re being careful not to look back. I learn about new technology resources every week. Just as some new arrives, others are discontinued or just drowned out by the noise of whatever new stuff is clamoring for my attention. Each Thursday I will talk about two new or rediscovered tech resources. Let us commence.

Flipgrid (www.flipgrid.com)
As they say on the web site, “Flipgrid is a video discussion community for your classroom that supercharges your students’ voices. You add the topics, your students respond with short videos, and everyone engages!"

You create a discussion area, maybe create a few topics within the discussion area, give the code to students. Yep, about that easy.

Students can record videos that are posted on the grid. Students can view and review each other’s work. Students can re-record their work as often as they need or want so they can get it the way they want. Flipgrid works on laptops, iOS, and Android devices.

Pros: Students enter the code and record. They can delete the recording if they like, but it’s easy to submit. Students can see each other’s work right away and even indicate if they like it.
Cons: Students can see each other’s work right away so the teacher might not be able to moderate student work before it is posted. The free version of Flipgrid allows for only one grid at a time so if you don’t upgrade, you’ll have to delete student work to create another grid.

Flipgrid is $65 per year per educator. There is a 10-classroom pack available for $400 per year. https://info.flipgrid.com/images/Flipgrid_2017.pdf

wizer.me
Who knew creating worksheets could be so much fun? And easy? 

Well, it is. Join wizer.me, click on Create a Worksheet, and follow the directions. They have created designs for you, have made it easy to select different visual components such as background, fonts, and colors. You can add tasks or activities by selecting what you want.

There is a WYSIWYG editor that fairly sophisticated for the price I’m paying, which is nothing. 

When you’ve created your worksheet, you can assign it to students, create an answer key if you need one, set some tags, and let kids get to work. Yes, you can assign it to them electronically so they can complete the work using a tablet, laptop, Chromebook, or desktop. It is also fully compatible with OneNote. 

If teachers make their worksheets public, you can search in the community, find something you like, copy it, edit it, and assign it to your students. Boom! 

Wizer is incredibly versatile, works with Google Classroom, can be embedded in other LMS platforms, has nifty audio options. In fact, so far, my only complaint is that I can seem to adjust the width of the columns in a table. 

Pros: See above
Cons: Nothing glaring that I can find

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