Use Google Forms to Make Grading More Efficient

I have been using Google Forms  for a little over a year now. I originally used it in some basic ways like making a websearch assignments, but this past semester I “fell in love” and slightly became obsessed with Google Forms as a rubric. I now use google forms for every rubric! It gets easier as you create them because then you always have them to modify and adapt!

I have used Google forms in multiple ways this year: from creating rubrics for projects, to student information logs, to contact with parents, rubrics, and even grading homework assignments. Google Form is a WONDERFUL  resource that is underutilized in education.

Having all this information on one Google form spreadsheet can save me time and frustration. Some advantages to using forms is that it will be available electronically from any computer, no need to copy, and you save trees.


Video Introduction to Google Forms:  Watch the video to make rubrics and save valuable time!


  • I share the url with my class online on our class website (My Big Campus) so they can “see the rubric” no printing rubrics
  • I use the form to grade during class presentations on my phone–> so they are graded when class is over
  • I print the spreadsheet after I grade and cut each student’s grade into a paper strip and distribute the strip to each kid. I usually use 3 pieces of paper for rubrics instead of 33 and another bonus is I always have a paper trail!
  • Kate  @KtBkr4 suggested instead of names enter numbers and then share the whole form with the class—- ie no paper at all! It was
  • If you have questions feel free to tweet me @mseideman

Here are some links to some useful forms I created. Feel free to share and modify.

Great post from the Pursuit of Technology Integration written by Michael Zimmer on how administrators could use Google Forms in classroom informal walkthroughs. Here is his sample form: ” Here is one already created that you could use as an example to start with.”  Nice idea and I bet it makes walkthroughs a lot easier for administrators

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Make your Life Easier with Google Chrome Extensions

Chrome Extensions are extra features that you can add to Google Chrome. Extensions can make your life easier and help you browse the internet. Some Benefits of Extensions: get bonus information about a page, get timely notifications, and get more accomplished with fewer clicks.  My favorite extension is Evernote Web Clipper, which allows me to save anything I find on the web or on twitter. It is so useful when you want to save an article or website for later. I no  longer use bookmarks and if you correctly tag and save your search in a notebook you can easily access your files.

Here are my Chrome Extensions.

Here are my Chrome Extensions.

  • Autocopy – Automatically copies text or links when they are selected. Imagine how many times a day you click Control or Command + C. Now, you don’t have to!
  • Awesome Screen Shot – Capture a whole page or just a portion. It also ncludes annotating tools.
  • – Removes YouTube add-ons and related videos from the screen, showing only the video and the search bar. Great for removing questionable ads and related videos that pop up.
  • Docs Quickly – Allows you to quickly create a new Google Document, Presentation, Spreadsheet or Drawing.
  • Dropbox – Provides easy access to your Dropbox account and files as well.
  • Evernote Web Clipper – Lets you send any link or site to Evernote.
  • URL Shortener – Shortens a URL and also provides the option to create a QR code and additional details.
  • Google Voice – Allows you to keep up with Google Voice from your computer. You can even send text messages back and forth.
  • Pinterest – Pin from any website to your Pinterest boards.
  • Printliminator – (not an extension) Use this bookmarklet to remove unnecessary or unwanted aspects of a web page before printing.
  • Send to Google Docs – You can take any webpage and turn it into PDF that you can send straight to Google Docs.
  • Sound Gecko – Creates an mp3 of the text of a web page and allows you to save it to Google Drive or listen on the mobile app. You can also read along with the text.
  • Yellow Highlighter – You can highlight webpages and share them through Twitter and Facebook for others to read. It also creates a unique URL to share your highlighted annotations with anyone.
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Google Lesson Plans

Yesterday I learned about Google Lesson Plans from @KaelynBullock from the #engsschat discussion. Students’ need to be taught research skills and how to deal with the world’s content using the “Google a Day” challenge. Google A Day challenges help your students’ put their search skills to the test, and to get your classroom engaged using technology, to discover the world around them, and to become critical thinkers and learners.

Students’ need to be taught how to effectively use web-search tools and critically evaluate sources. Google has created lesson plans to help teachers educate their students about critical source evaluation.The literacy lessons help teachers meet the new Common Core State Standards and are broken down based on level of expertise in search: Beginner, Intermediate, or Advanced.

Screen Shot 2013-05-28 at 8.54.01 PM


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Don’t let Snow Days Slow You Down: Use Google Drive

Like most of the East Coast, I am home on a snow day today and can’t afford to miss another school day with my AP class with an impending exam coming in less than three months. I assigned them a google document for homework that allows them to add their own information to the trends on the Supreme Court Google Document. I will review the handout with the class rather than wasting valuable class-time having them write down the notes on the chart.


Mrs. McGrath, another AP US history teacher at my school is having her student’s create Google Presentations. Her students are collaborating even if they are not together on a project that is due on Monday.  Our students are still learning on a snow day!

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Interesting Ways to Use Technology in the Classroom

The Interesting Ways Series is a wonderful resource I just stumbled across to provide teachers with practical examples and ways to use technology in the classroom. This is being shared from the EdTech blog. It is truly a wonderful collection of interesting and creative ways to incorporate technology into your instruction.

Interesting Ways to… 

Use Google Tools

Use Google Forms in the Classroom

Use Google Docs in the Classroom

Use Google Earth in the Classroom

Use Google Search in the Classroom

Use Google Maps in the Classroom

Use Devices

Use the iPad in the Classroom

Use Your Interactive Whiteboard in the Classroom

Use an iPod Touch in the Classroom

Ideas for Class Blog Posts

Use Mobile Phones in the Classroom


Use QR codes in the Classroom

Use Audio / Visual

Use Audio in Your Classroom

Use Your Pocket Video Camera in the Classroom

Use a Visualizer in the Classroom

Use Web Conferencing in the Classroom

Use QR Codes in the Classroom

Support subjects and other class work

Support Reading in the Classroom

Find and Learn about Creative Commons Resources

Make Your Lessons ESL/EAL Friendly

Support Writing in the Classroom

Get to Know Your New Class

Support Spelling in the Classroom

Teach Reading Comprehension in the Classroom

Make Your Classroom a Sparkly Place to Learn

Support Writing in the Classroom

Teach Internet Safety

Images in the Classroom

Support Maths in the Classroom


Use a Nintendo DS in the Classroom

Nintendo Wii in the Classroom

Online Tools

Class Blog Posts

Use Moodle to Support Learning

Use Search Engines in the Classroom

Prezi in the Classroom

Use Voicethread in the Classroom

Use Twitter in the Classroom

Use Wordle in the Classroom

Use a Wiki in the Classroom

Use a Learning Platform in the Classroom

Use Wallwisher in the Classroom


Interesting Ways Citation: EdTech blog

Photo Credit




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Top 10 Tech Ideas to Try in your Classroom

1.  Edmodo � This microblogging site was created specifically for teachers and students. Edmodo can be used to share notes, files, assignments, grades, and events. 

2. Google Applications � This free web based suite of tools from Google gives classrooms the ability to collaborate and share assignments online. The suite includes a word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation tool.

  • For more information click here
  • Here is a google form I made to monitor student and parent communication and here is a rubric I made using google applications.

3. Quizlet � Quizlet is a free flashcard creation site that can be used to study, create, and share flashcards. Teachers can create their own flashcards for students or use pre-submitted cards.

  • For more information click here and here

4. Wunderlist � Wunderlist makes it downright simple to organize your daily life. Just create a list and start filling it with things that need to be completed. Keep track of your more important tasks with reminders and notifications. It even syncs. For more information click here

5. � Celly creates mini social networks called cells that connect you with people and topics that matter most to you. A cell can contain anybody with a cellphone, people from your existing social networks, or any web feed.

6. QR (Quick response) Code is a barcode that can be scanned from any mobile device or computer. The code takes you to a specific website, content information, or more information about a particular concept.

7. Animoto �  Animoto is designed to bridge the gap between the high production value of film and television, and the more “amateur” feeling of most user-created videos and photo albums.

Socrative is a smart student response system that empowers teachers by engaging their classrooms with a series of educational exercises and games. Our apps are super simple and take seconds to login. Socrative runs on tablets, smartphones, and laptops.

  • For more information here

9. Grade Chart is a simple grading tool for teachers and professors. Enter in the number of questions for the assignment you’re grading, and this will generate a quick reference chart to help you determine the grade percentage and letter grade for all possible numbers of missed questions.

  • For more information click here

10 Dropbox � is a free service that lets you bring your photos, docs, and videos anywhere and share them easily. Never email yourself a file again.

  • For more information click here
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Grade Chart

Grade Chart is a simple grading tool for teachers and professors. Enter in the number of questions for the assignment you’re grading, and this will generate a quick reference chart to help you determine the grade percentage and letter grade for all possible numbers of missed questions. Here is the link 

Bonus Feature: Tap the rows as you grade your students and you can generate a graph that gives you a snapshot of how your class did on the assignment.

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100+ Google Tricks

Here is a 100 Plus Google Tricks written by Amber Johnson from Teach Hub. Amber said that “From super-effective search tricks to Google tools specifically for education to tricks and tips for using Gmail, Google Docs, and Google Calendar, these tricks will surely save you some precious time.” Check it out today!


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Google for Educators

I could not agree more with the Edutopia article written by Sara Ring called Google for Educators: The Best Features for Busy Teachers. Sara said that “Google has made it easier by creating Google for Educators, which compiles some of the search engine’s most useful features in one place. Whether you’re teaching Spanish or  social studies, mathematics or music, there’s a free Google feature that will make your lessons more dynamic and your projects more organized. The lively, informative Web site offers step-by-step visual tours and even videos to help you get set up.”

Below are some of the most useful features the Gooogle has to offer:

Google Maps

Many of us have used Google Maps to find driving directions, but its usefulness goes way beyond getting from point A to point B. Before a field trip, your students can study the area they will visit through a variety of maps, including street, terrain, and satellite views. Then document your trip by creating personalized maps that include your route, as well as fact balloons, photos, and even videos.

Melissa Browning, a third-grade teacher at Brooklyn’s PS 8, had her students use Google Maps for their unit on mapping. “We used Google to locate our own street addresses and find different locations in the United States and in the world,” Browning explains. “My students love using the computers; it makes learning a lot more interactive.” She also used Google Earth in this unit, and she had students search onGoogle Image Search for photos of the animals they were studying. “I love using this technology in the classroom,” Browning says. “It makes it easier for teachers to have this information at their fingertips. It’s all there for us.”

Google Docs

Google Docs is particularly handy for teachers when revising students’ work. It allows you and your class to track what changes have been made, save each revision, and collaborate in real time. And it’s a great organizing tool: You can easily upload old documents in other applications to Google Docs so all your files are accessible in one place. Not only can your students create electronic documents and spreadsheets, they can also instantly access and edit each other’s essays, post their work to a blog, publish it as a Web page, and create eye-catching presentations — all within the same program.


Blogger allows you to create your own blog that contains important information about your class, assignments, and upcoming tests. It requires no HTML, and you can easily update and edit it from anywhere. Your students can create their own blogs to display writing and photos and to share information with each other. And you can set all blogs to “private” so only those users you approve may access them.

Google Book Search

Google Book Search, the electronic equivalent of browsing through a library, is a great way to find new books for your class to read or for your students to use as research tools. You can browse through specific categories, type in keywords, or search for particular titles. Each result includes the information you’d find about that book in a card catalog, plus a table of contents, links to book reviews and related works, and other resources. For instance, in the results for Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, you’ll find links to scholarly works about the novel.

For copyrighted books, the results may provide a few sample pages, but for books in the public domain, you may be able to read the entire work online. If you want to keep track of your searches, you can create an online library of books by clicking “Add to my library” for any book you’d like to include. You can review, rate, and do a full-text search on the books in your library, and you can share the link with others.

Google Book Search also lets you buy any book online or search for it at the nearest library.

That’s only a sampling of the features Google for Educators offers. So, try out a feature that’s new to you or use a familiar tool in a new way to see how Google can make your lessons more effective and more convenient.


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7 New Google Tools for the Classroom

I learned about these interesting Google Tools from IHeartEdTech’s blog written by Lisa.

1.)  Google Body –  Looking for a 3D model of the human body?  Go where no student has gone before… You can peel back the anatomical layers, zoom in, and navigate through parts of the body.  You can search muscle groups, organs, bones and so much more!

2.) Google Mars –  Doesn’t look promising that you’ll be able to send your students to Mars anytime soon… at least not in person!  Take a tour of Mars with this nifty Google tool where you can view the planet in three views:  Elevation, Visible, or Infrared.

3.)  Google Building Maker –   A great 3D modeling tool used for adding buildings to Google Earth.  You can select a city and create a real building in that city based on images provided by Google.

4.) Google Swiffy –    Annoyed that you can’t view Flash files on your iPad?  You’re not alone.  Haven’t tried this one myself, but Google claims “Swiffy converts Flash SWF files to HTML5, allowing you to reuse Flash content on devices without a Flash player (such as iPhones and iPads).

5.)  Google Music India –  Listen to thousands of full Indian songs.  You can search by artist, albums, or songs.  Great way to spice up a lesson on India.

6.)  Google App Inventor –  Who said you needed to be a programmer to build great mobile applications?  With Google’s App Inventor you can visually design applications and use blocks to specify application logic.

7.)  Google Image Swirl –  Have visual learners in your classroom?  With this neat tool from Google you can organize image search results based on their visual and semantic similarities.  They results are displayed in a unique exploratory interface, great for brainstorming, researching, and exploring.

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Free Tools Challenge

My friend from upstate NY is possibly getting a 1:1 classroom with a smart-board. Before I start, let me say that I am JEALOUS. I wish I could have that kind of environment and flexibility. They called me for advice on what digital tools they should be using in their new state of the art classroom.

My Top 6 FREE and Easy to Implement Classroom Resources: 

  1. Edmodo 
  2. Google Docs
  3. Glogster
  4. Pollseverywhere
  5. Animoto
I then shared resources from the Free Tools Challenge from EDU Blogs. Everyone loves free! Here’s a list of 26 different web tools that are great for students, educators, bloggers, and more. I am proud to say I have used most of them. These are some simple ways to incorporate 21st century learning into your classroom. Check them out today!
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Google in Education

I learrned about all these Google ISTE11 resources from the Educational Technology Guy.  I love using Google Apps and Google. I wish more teachers took advantage of these wonderful features and options such as iGoogle, Blogger, Google Sites, Google Docs, Calendar, Gmail, and much more as an educator and with my students.

The Ed. Tech Guy said, “google had a big presence at ISTE11 and there were some great presentations and resources on using Google Apps in Education. This site has a list of the presentations and links to the resources.” If you like using google you may learn a few new tricks from this site.

Why Google Apps in Education?

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File Stork- Collect Files via Dropbox.

This year my classroom is going to be a paperless classroom in terms of student assignments. I plan on having students submit files using Edmodo, Google Docs, and Dropbox.

Going digital in terms of paper collection will allow me to cut down on emails in my inbox as well as paper on my desk. I have had students use DropitTOme this past school year. This coming school year I am going to have them use FileStork, which can send files to my online Dropbox account.

I learned about FileStork from Richard Bryne at Free Technology for Teachers. He said “You can make an individual file request by sending an email to someone. The other way, and the more practical way for teachers, is to create a “stand alone” request which will allow you to post an upload link on your blog or website. Visitors can then use that link to upload a file to your Dropbox where you can view it and download it if you like.” Thanks Richard for the Great idea! File request | FileStork - Request files from anyone using Dropbox 2011-07-07 08-54-22

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Create an event and check your calendar with text messaging

Check your phone without a smart phone

Google Calendar’s SMS notification feature allows you to conveniently check your calendar when you’re on the go. Just send Google Calendar a quick text message, and you’ll get an SMS notification with the information you requested.
In order to use this service, you’ll need to register your cell phone number in Google Calendar. Just sign in, click the gear icon at the top of the page, select Calendar settings, and go to the Mobile Setup tab.
To receive a notification with your calendar information, send a text message containing one of the following commands to the shortcode ‘48368’ (GVENT):

  • ‘next’: request your next scheduled event
  • ‘day: request all of your scheduled events for the present day
  • ‘nday’: request your events scheduled for the following day

To create an event on your primary calendar via SMS

simply send a text message containing your event’s details to the shortcode “GVENT (48368).
For example, if you send a message with something like “Shopping with Sarah at Monterrey Market 5pm Saturday,” Google Calendar can figure out what you mean and pop the new event into your calendar.
Please keep in mind that this feature is only available in the US at this time.

For more information: Click Here
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11+ Top Smartphone Apps to Improve Teaching, Research, and Your Life

I love finding articles entitled, 6 Top Smartphone Apps to Improve Teaching, Research, and Your Life written in the Chronicle of Higher Education. The article written by Jeffery R. Young discusses the ways smartphones have revolutionized the classroom, particularly in higher education. The article mentions some interesting ways smartphones have begun to change the college environment such as by taking attendance, collecting data, researching, taking notes, using textbook tools, and mind mapping to plan a lecture.

How could this technology be brought into the secondary school environment?

I just discovered Android Academics, which has 4 free apps that will make your life as a teacher easier: Grade-book, Attendance, Grade Rubric, and Grade Ticker.Android Apps for Academics has some pretty nice apps and features. The following information is directly from the Android Academics website. I have personally used the grade ticker and I can’t wait to try the following academic apps.

Grade Book for Professors (with Google Docs Sync)

Edit your grade book directly from your phone!

  • No need to sync two separate grade books! Use one primary grade that is stored in the cloud on Google Spreadsheets.
  • Email a student their grades with the click of a button!
  • Pin-number to protect your grade books in case your phone is lost.
  • NEW: Email ALL students grade report with one click
  • NEW: Grade session feature and Assignment View allows for quick and easy grading of a single assignment.
  • Direct Market Linknote this link only works when browsing from an Android Phone
  • NEW FREE VERSION – does everything paid version does – it’s just ad supported


Attendance (with Google Docs Sync)

A simple and efficient way to take attendance with your Android device! All attendance results are saved to a Google Spreadsheet.

  • No need to enter student names into phone. Just get the student names into a Google Spreadsheet and the app handles the rest.
  • NEWCheck out our demo video
  • Direct Market Linknote this link only works when browsing from an Android Phone


Grade Ticker

Simple tool to help professors and teachers make grade tallying more efficient

  • Integrates with Gradebook for Professors for easy grade entry
  • Direct Market Linknote this link only works when browsing from an Android Phone


Grade Rubric

Simple tool grading tool for professors and teachers who use a grading rubric for assignments. Option to auto-generate an email with detailed grade report for student.

  • Custom rubric labels.
  • Choose letter rubrics and numbers rubrics
  • Integrates with Gradebook for Professors for easy grade entry
  • Direct Market Linknote this link only works when browsing from an Android Phone


I checked my Android Market for some useful apps mentioned in this article that could be brought into the secondary classroom. I found an app called Teacher Aide Lite. This app allows teachers to use the Android phone to take attendance and send texts to parents to notify about tardy/absent students. I think this will help organize my classroom and bring it into the 21st century.

Current Features
* supports 45 students/class, 8 periods/day
* supports 3 Marking Periods/semester and 2 semesters/year
* default values set to Present for fast attendance taking
* import student names via CSV file
* export data via CSV generated file and send via email
* 1-click text to students/parents for tardy/absent students
* 1-click Random student generator (no more Popsicle sticks)

Upcoming Features

* Simple Grading interface to allow recording of assignments turned in
* Texting and emailing feature to notify students/parents of missing work
*Additional Grading options – using points and categories

Other uses for Cell Phones in the Classroom: Please see a previous post.

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