rAPPido Review: Kaizena — A feedback app for teachers

Screen Shot 2015-10-21 at 10.51.26 AMThis morning I spent some time with the app Kaizena. First – Shout out to Ms. Jackson for having sent me the link so long ago. Although it might take me some time, I do always check it out!

NOTE: Kaizena is a web-based application, not an app that you will get on the app store. I tried out the teacher version on my laptop and the student version on the iPad. All functions seemed to work except for a few things, but more on that later.

In order to not re-invent the wheel, I would highly recommend watching the following introductory video, showing you how to use Kaizena. When I signed up, I bumbled around, wondering where to go. Watching the video made it very clear how to proceed even trying it out.

Warning: the Kaizena peeps don’t hold to our 5 minute max, flipped classroom video rule. The whole thing runs at 24 minutes. However, it is well worth it as I think this application could be very useful!

In a Nutshell:

Kaizena lets you give feedback in a variety of formats on students work. When you highlight certain passages you want to comment on you can:

  • add audio comments
  • send a link to a flipped classroom video you have created or that you have found on youtube
  • embed one of Kaizena’s curated lessons (eg. say a student keeps on misusing an apostrophe. Simply tap the lessons icon, type in apostrophe and the lesson will pop up. Watch the video for more info).
  • Of course you can also add text comments as well!

This is done by starting a conversation with your student. Each student has their own conversation and all the feedback you have ever given them will remain in that conversation.

Again. Watch the video.

Kaizena works with google drive and google classroom, so you sign in with Google:

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Our school was already listed! How cool is that?

Wait a minute…Is somebody already using Kaizena? If so, let me know!

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Then you set up your profile and your groups. And by groups, they mean classes.

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If you are using Google classroom, you can import your classes. If not, you can simply send a link and invite your students to join.

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Once they join, they should pick one of your classes. That way you have all your students in nice, manageable groups. Then they will send you a file. In order to test this out, I signed up to Kaizena with my personal gmail, so the screenshots are a little confusing because Lina Gordaneer is the teacher and Lina E. Gordaneer is the student. But aren’t we all both teacher and student? Aren’t we, I ask?

Ok. Moving on.

So this is how the teacher’s view looks like before students:

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Then I tried to add some lessons, so I added the link to my press I use for the Mindful Use workshop. Which worked fine! It totally embedded my prezi!

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But then I tried to add an audio comment and got this:

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And I couldn’t find what they meant by “on top”. And I couldn’t leave the screen. Very frustrating. But then I realized when I looked in the help sheet that there was supposed to be a pop-up by the URL. But Safari didn’t like pop-ups. As soon as I switched to Firefox it worked fine.

Here is how it looks from a student’s perspective on the iPad:

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All they have to do is tap the add file:

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They can easily add a file:

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It automatically takes them to their Google drive. I found this a little hard as the folders didn’t seem to work. But you could use the search tab. It worked okay.

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However, it didn’t allow me to open the file…Not sure why – file format? Temporary glitch? I  will try again…Nope. I tried documents from dropbox and a photo from photos and neither of them could upload, however I was using Safari on the iPad. Perhaps that is the problem? Let me try to log in with Chrome…

Ok. Crashed my iPad. This is not good…

Nope. Doesn’t work on Chrome. So only files in Google Drive can be accessed on the iPad…

However, opening something from Google drive was a cinch:

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Now back to the teacher’s view:

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I just have to tap on Lina to see the file she uploaded and start commenting!

I added a lesson, an audio comment and a text comment:

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You can see that as the teacher comments, it automatically appears on the student’s page as well:

Screen Shot 2015-10-21 at 10.36.36 AMAll in all, a very useful tool  if you are using google drive with your students.

If you decide to try it out, please let me know about it!

How to Use The Now Habit to End Student Procrastination | Edudemic

Wow. I click on these articles, looking for something to share but really only expect to see the same old ideas recycled again and again. And then I read on and am totally shocked to read about some good tips. In these dark days of winter, when the routine feels like yet another heavy layer of drudgery, I am totally going to sue the “Unschedule” idea. (You must read on to know what this!)

I also like the second regarding managing worry. I know I do this unconsciously- ask myself what is the worst that can happen and then figure out how to deal with that worst case scenario. But I like the idea of having it written down.

The Now Habit is a book by Neil Fiore PhD, who is a licensed psychologist, which explores a topic that teachers are far too familiar with: procrastination.

Source: www.edudemic.com

See on Scoop.itipadyoupad

7 Ways to Deal With Digital Distractions in the Classroom | Edudemic

I have become weary of any articles that begin with [insert number] ways you can [insert topic], but the article below makes some good suggestions. The two that stand out for me is taking bait of time in class to bust the myth of multitasking. This would be especially  useful with students who feel they work best when doing many things. The article gives a great, easy little test to cure them of that particular delusion.

As well, the author makes a good point about reading online and how you format your text. Check it out!

Source: www.edudemic.com

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Paperless Classroom does not mean no paper?

I think I have been thinking about the paperless classroom all wrong. In my head, I envisioned a class where everything was done on the computer, no pencil and notebook in sight. And though I felt like this was the line I had to tow, as a promoter of technology in the classroom and someone who is acutely aware of the amount of paper waste that happens in my library, I never felt very comfortable with the idea.


I guess because for something to enter my brain, I need to take the time to write it down. Then I need to make arrows that lead to following ideas. Then I have to circle things and make more arrows and then write notes in the margin.

My day to day management also requires paper. Every week I begin with writing a list on graph paper. I keep it by my computer and when I get distracted I take my eyes away from the screen and look at my list. Just the fact of writing it down by hand means that I will remember I have to do it – the looking at the list is only secondary.

The results of this study by the Association for Psychological Science, which shows that writing notes by hand is better for long-term comprehension, as well as the article below about the benefits of doodling, demonstrates that I am not the only one who finds taking notes beneficial.

Then it occurred to me that I was getting the wrong idea – the paperless classroom does not mean no paper. It doesn’t mean that students should not take notes in whatever way they feel is more advantageous to them.

I have to take off my literal hat and think of it more as a workflow idea. That is, the teacher gives the assignment electronically (via email, Showbie, dropbox, google drive). The student completes their assignment, sending the finished project via the chosen method. The student is not burdened with a whole bunch of loose papers, and the teacher can choose an efficient, electronic way of receiving their submissions. Simple. Elegant. Still allows for the diversity of styles and preferences.

Sometimes I am slow on the uptake…

Check out the article about the benefits of doodling below!

Source: www.edudemic.com

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11 Useful Tips for Managing iPads in the Classroom

I feel pretty good right now. Taking a look at my hero Lisa Johnson’s recommendations for managing your iPad classroom, I feel like we are doing pretty well. However there is always room for improvement. I like her suggestions for visual cues, guidelines and student roles.

Check it out!

» 11 Useful Tips for Managing iPads in the Classroom |

Source: www.techchef4u.com

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A Picture is Worth a 1000 Words: PLAGIARISM INFOGRAPHICS

I received an email last night from a teacher who is worried not only about the frequent cases of plagiarism in her classes but at the fact that the students don’t seem to understand they have done anything wrong.

I agree. This is an issue. Although I have spoken to the grade 7 and 8s about Plagiarism it most definitely is not enough. The students should be reminded of what exactly constitutes plagiarism, and tips on how to avoid it whenever they receive an assignment that requires research.

I did a quick search and found some amazing infographics to help teachers get the point across. I will being with my very first (and rudimentary) one called You are a Plagiairist If:

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But, I admit, the design leaves much to be desired. Here are some more professional-looking and fun visuals about plagiarism.

This is my favourite. Clear, concise, simple:


This one is fun, but takes a bit of looking at. I would introduce it and take a part of a class to talk about it. Then I would post it where you can point to it anytime you have a research assignment.plagiarism+infographic+2+copy


Umm, this one is a little dramatic, but it gets the point across…


The following needs to be accompanies by the website where I found kit, the WriteCheck blog. They take a study that used over 900 teachers in secondary and post-secondary to define the types of plagiarism and then gave these types social media names to show what role the internet plays in plagiarism. It is well done and offers an easy way to talk to students about it. Although I recommend checking out the website, here is the very large infographic:


I would also like to mention how I like these infographics as the sources are included right in the mirage. Saves time, don’t you think? You could also use the resources Madame Prof de Français showed us in today’s workshop and make your own:

I made my infographic using Easel.ly







rAPPido Review: Showbie a Way to make a More Efficient Workflow

With the advent of the iPad and more and more homework assignments getting submitted electronically, many teachers find themselves with overstuffed inboxes and drowning in word docs and presentations.

However, where there is a need, there’s a market! More and more tools are appearing on the market everyday in order to help out. Thanks Nadia (Miss Science/Math teacher) for letting me know about Showbie. Like Nearpod, the subscription fee is a tad prohibitive ($10/month) but the free version still gives you lots of options.

Here is a video giving you a quick summary of how it works:

Here is what Nadia said about it:

I found this app yesterday and have been playing around with it since. I think it would be really useful for teachers tying to go paper free.
It can be used really easily with note taking apps too like goodnotes or notability. or even keynote or something else.
So I thought I would give it a try.
Signing up was easy:
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You add your name and password and then get started right away by adding a class.
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When you are adding your assignment, you can add a description and a due date:
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Then it is time to invite students!
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Here is how it looks like on your teacher dashboard:
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First they have to download the app and sign in as a student. They will asked to give a username and password, but won’t have to put in an email.
They enter the code for the class:
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Then find the work they want to submit and choose to open it in Showbie:
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They choose to add file to the assignment folder:
And voilà! Here it is in my teacher folder!
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You can choose to add noters to the assignment folder:
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As well as many other things:
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Then I thought I would try annotating it in Notability, just to see if it would work with Showbie:
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Though it worked, I am not sure if you would be able to submit feedback like this to individual students. The way it looked in my folder was like a whole new document. Perhaps Nadia can tell us how she does it?
The paid version allows you to annotate the documents in Showbie, which I assume would sink with the student’s account so that they could see your marks.
And then, of course, you can add more classes:
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Here is what the free version gives you:
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Obviously, the paid version gives you way more- to check out the difference between paid and free, click here.

Un élève sur trois joue sur son iPad en classe | Michael Oliveira | Produits électroniques

Thanks for sharing Geneviève!

Here is an article from La Presse on a survey of schools with iPads. The results are not so surprising, though it does emphasize the need for ongoing professional development, especially in terms of how to adjust teaching practices to accommodate the technology and how to integrate it effectively into a simple, time-saving workflow…


See on Scoop.itipadyoupad

Un tiers des étudiants du Québec sondés sur l’usage du iPad en classe ont admis pratiquer des jeux durant les heures d’école, et une étonnante proportion de 99% a dit…

See on techno.lapresse.ca

What Is A Flipped Classroom? – Edudemic

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Flipped classrooms are one of the more popular trends we’ve seen since Edudemic was created, and it is certainly one of the most long- lasting.

See on www.edudemic.com

Check out the hand dandy info graphic – it gives a nice low down on how it helps, and how teachers and students are responding:


The Digital Lives of Teens: The Key Word is Trust


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The recent decision by Glendale Unified School District in Southern California to hire a private firm, Geo Listening, that will troll through the digital lives of teenagers has sparked widespread con

See on www.edutopia.org

Huh. The latest version of the nannycam for our students: outsourcing a company to spy on students’ use of social media. The whole thing seems outlandishly extremist and wrong-headed, akin to using a wrecking ball to topple a house of cards…

Not that I think cyberbullying is just a house of cards, but I do think that people who, whipped into a frenzy of fear and paranoia about the dangers of social media, believe they need to surveil their children instead of guiding them are not only fighting a ridiculous battle, they are supplying the weapons.

How are we to establish a relationship based on trust with our students if we do not trust them?

Will they make mistakes? Yes.

Do we want our youth to be able to come to us when they do? Double yes.

Do we want to give them the tools to be able to make the right decisions base on their own sense of responsibility and moral compass? Triple, Quadruple yes.

I am seriously appalled.