Saturday, April 5, 2014

Blog Post #7

Blog Post #7
21st Century Learning and Communication Tools

The first 21st century learning tool that I researched this week to use when I return to the classroom is online quizzes/questionnaires. First I researched online quizzes, and was successful in finding several sites that offered online quiz generators, but they all required an account to be set up and most required a monthly fee. I remembered an advertisement for Google Forms that I received recently in gmail, and decided to investigate it since I already have a google account. The Google Form I created was quick, free, and came out looking professional.

Take my quick four question EDM 510 Questionnaire by just clicking on the responses below and submitting your answers.

Here are the responses from the questionnaire Questionnaire Responses.

To create a Google Form, you start in your Google Drive, select Create, and then select Form. After clicking on a template, the prompt for a question appears. After typing your question, you select what type of answer you want. If I was creating a quiz for a class, my first question would be “What is your name?” and my answer format would be free response. The creator of the quiz has the option of sharing the results of the quiz like I did for my EDM 510 Questionnaire, but by default the answers are not shown. For more details on how to create a quiz go to How to Use Google Forms to Make a Quiz.

When you create a form, a spreadsheet with the responses is automatically created in your Google Docs. Using that spreadsheet you can create a self-grading quiz. To learn more details about how to create a self-grading quiz go to How to Create a Self-Grading Quiz.  Once your Google Form is created it is ready to share, email, or embed to a website. This is another great addition to the google tools available with your google account.

The second 21st century learning tool that I researched this week to use when I return to the classroom is Voicethread . When visiting one of my EDM 510 assigned blogs, I saw voicethread being used by elementary students. Voicethread is centered around a video, image or other media file, and comments can be made using audio, or text. This short video shows Voicethread being used in an elementary classroom.

Voicethread does not require software to be downloaded and it is free, but purchasing a Voicethhread license does upgrade more features. As a K-12 librarian, I can envision Voicethread being used on the library website as an online book club, in response to books students are reading.

The third 21st century learning tool that I would like to share is Big Universe. Big Universe is a large collection of eBooks. You do not have to download special software to view books using Big Universe; you simply click on a book to view it. I had heard about it (brochure my kids brought home from school with account information at the beginning of the school year), but I did not take the time to log in and use this resource until this semester. My children and I instantaneously fell in love with Big Universe and they like to store their favorite books to their bookshelf to read again. My daughter in kindergarten enjoys the audio eBooks, and my second grade son enjoys using the Write option, to create his own eBooks. As a librarian at a Mobile County Public School I would encourage students to use Big Universe to read and write digital books.

Big Universe is not free, but Mobile County Public School System students have a free account. When I interned this semester at a Mobile County middle school, I found many teachers and students who had not tried using their account yet, so I wanted to include it as part of this blog. If you do not have an account you can still visit Big Universe to try it without signing in (it just does not allow you to view the entire book). Click on the ‘Read’ tab to try it out, or the ‘Take Tour’ tab to watch a video tour. It is an amazing resource.


  1. Anastasia,

    These resources you have identified are amazing. I have actually used Voicethread for my SED class and really enjoyed talking instead of having to type. I haven't created a Google Form yet but I have completed questionnaires created on Google Forms. I even completed your questionnaire! The thing that is new to me is Big Universe. My kids haven't told me anything about it so I wasn't aware of it. I will have to ask them about it and just see how it works by checking it out. Thanks for introducing us to these learning tools.

  2. Thanks for taking my questionnaire and visiting my blog!

  3. Do you have a link for BigUniverse? Can I access it?

    I should probably require the creation and use of Google forms. I have done it in the past but getting an audience to complete the form proved difficult.

    But quizzes? Not in my PBL! :)

    Well done.