EquatIO Free for Teachers: You Do The Math

EquatIO is a powerful math tool that allows users to create equations, formulas, and graphs, then add them to various applications including GSuite for Education and Microsoft Word. Within GSuite for Education, EquatIO is compatible with Google Docs, Sheets, Drawings, and Forms. And just last week Texthelp, the company behind this and Read&Write, announced that it was making EquatIO FREE for teachers!

 

EquatIO toolbar screenshot with speech tool


To take advantage of this opportunity, follow this link to their blog post which will explain the process. But, in a nutshell, this is what you need to do:

  1. Navigate to their website and download/install the EquatIO program for your device. Use this link, then click on the green Try now, for free button and choose your platform.
  2. At some point you will be prompted to enter your email address to complete the setup/install. It’s important to remember this email as you will need it later to turn on access to the premium features.EquatIO toolbar menu
  3. Once setup is complete, use this link to access the registration form and request a free premium account license. It may take up to 24 hours for your account to be updated.
  4. To verify your upgrade, open any supported application file (i.e. Microsoft Word or Google Docs) and turn on EquatIO. From the menu bar at the bottom of your window click on the EquatIO logo to access a pop-up menu, then click on Options. Under the Premium menu, you should see that your license is now listed as a premium one.

EquatIO Options window

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Google Forms Gets A Bit More Intelligent

gform icon with lightbulbGoogle Forms is an important player in the suite of Google Drive apps, providing users with a great tool for collecting data from audiences large and small. In education, Forms has proven to be a valuable tool for creating digital quizzes to help teachers and students assess their teaching and learning. This summer Forms has been doing some learning of its own and now supports intelligent response options and validation.

Intelligent Response Options

When you ask certain questions, Forms will analyze your text and suggest possible response options. Sometimes the options displayed may be generic (e.g. True/False or Yes/No), but other times Forms will suggest more specific option choices. You then have the choice of selecting which option(s) you’d like Forms to pre-fill your question with, or select ‘ADD ALL’ if you’d like to use all of the options.

gForms smart response01

gForms smart response02


Intelligent Response Validation

One of the bonus features for Form questions is the ability to turn on data validation to help audiences provide the right type of information in the correct format. For example, if you want to collect respondents email addresses then the format of the answer should include the ‘@’ symbol. The ability to set up data validation for this type of question is nothing new. What IS new is Forms ability to detect these types of questions and suggest the best data validation setting for you.

Intelligent response validation

Another way that I’ve used data validation in my classes is to help students pick out the key points in videos with fill-in-the-blank questions. I’ve also used it to help students with spelling key vocabulary and creating digital scavenger hunts where only the correct answer will allow them to move on to the next page. Data validation has also been used by educators to create digital Breakout EDU games where each Form question acts as a different lock to the virtual box.

‘Checkbox Grid’ Comes to Google Forms

checkbox_grid equation

What happens when you put the checkboxes question type and the multiple choice grid question type from Google Forms into a room together and ask them to collaborate? You get the new checkbox grid question type.

The checkbox grid question comes in handy when you need respondents to be able to select multiple answers from each category. One example of this might be when you are collecting information about how often a resource (e.g. a computer lab, conference room, or MakerSpace) will be used by respondents at set times each day of the week. Or perhaps you are looking for volunteers to man a resource during set blocks/periods during the week, like the school store or student help desk.

NOTE: If you make a checkbox grid question required, then respondents will be asked to provide at least one response per row.

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Move Entire Sections in Google Forms

When was the last time you created something and the order in which you created it did not change by the time you reached a final product? Yeah, I couldn’t remember a time when this was the case either. Thankfully, technology has created an environment where it is easy to create content as we think of it and then reorder it later and as many times as necessary. Google Forms has this flexibility in the ability to reorder option choices in a question and reorder whole questions. Now, Forms has given us the ability to reorder content by whole sections too.

  1. gForms section drop-down menuIn the Google Forms editor, different sections is what respondents see as different pages in a form. To reorder an entire section-worth of questions, locate the traffic light icon (or the 3 Oreo’s, if you want to stick with Google’s food theme) in the top-right corner of the section and from the drop-down menu select move section.
  2. A pop-up window will display a list of all of the sections in your form. Use the grouping of six dots to the left of a section (what I call the “grippers”) to click-&-drag sections, or use the arrows to the left to move sections up or down by one position.
  3. When reordering is complete, click SAVE to finish.

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For more information, check out the Google Docs Editors Help page.

Default Preferences Comes to Google Forms

Whenever you find yourself creating many copies of an object, whether they are all the same or have slight differences, it sure is nice when you have the option to preset as many settings as you can to help streamline the creation process. With Google Forms, now we have the ability to preset several options that will apply to all future forms that are made.

Screen Shot 2017-08-21 at 2.29.22 PM.pngTo access, create a new Google Form or open a pre-existing one. From the main screen, locate the traffic light icon (or the 3 Oreo’s, if you want to stick with Google’s food theme), and at the bottom of the drop-down menu find the new Preferences option. From the Preferences window you can preset the following settings:

  • Always collect respondents email address
  • Always make questions required
  • Always assign a default quiz point value

For me, I tend to use Forms for assessments and making sure that I collect email addresses from my students automatically is essential. I also love the Make questions required default as I was caught by this one on more than one occasion last school year when some students were turning in their assessment without having answered all the questions. However, I did use these as teachable moments to have a discussion about taking the time to review one’s answer choices before submitting.

Screen Shot 2017-10-18 at 1.01.08 PMIf you’d like to see more options added to the preferences panel, then don’t forget to leave Google feedback using the ‘Report a problem’ tool located in the bottom-right corner of the Forms editor under the question mark icon.

Classroom Gets Cooler with Grade Importing from Forms

gClass&gForms shake handsFirst Google improved the communication between Google Forms and Classroom so that, when a student submitted the Form they would see an option to TURN IN the assignment (more info. here). Then Google introduced the “Quiz” feature to Google Forms with point values, pre-written feedback options, and the ability to decide when student grades would be released to them. Now, Classroom and Forms are shaking hands once again, allowing us to important grades from a quiz-enabled Form directly into a Classroom assignment.

  • When you add a Google Form to an assignment in Classroom using the Drive icon, a note and toggle switch will appear at the bottom of the window. The note explains how your Google Form quiz will be configured in order for grade importing to be carried out successfully.

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  • Once the assignment has been posted, students have submitted their answers, and their responses have been assessed then you are ready to import the grades into Classroom.
  • Open the assignment, and in the top-right corner click on the IMPORT GRADES button.

Import grades from Forms2Classroom

NOTE:

  • Importing grades in this fashion will overwrite any grades previously entered.
  • If you neglected to enable grade importing before posting the assignment, then you can still use the traffic light icon (i.e. 3 vertical dots) to ‘Edit’ the post and turn on this feature.

Because this feature was announced literally just yesterday I haven’t had time to go through the process yet with one of my classes. However, I do have an assessment ready to go and will be posting it later today. And then, we’ll see what happens!

Please refer to the Google Education Help Article and look under the Grade and return an assignment to a student section for more information.