Maybe it is because we all find ourselves in a real life Groundhog Day, but I am most definitely repeating myself daily when I say how much I LOVE GOOGLE FORMS FOR ONLINE INSTRUCTION.
Yesterday I found myself creating a Google Form where students would analyze a data visualization and record their reflections and observations in the form.
I leveraged the fact that links are live in the "description" portion of the form to push out the visualization URL so the resource and reflection tool are all in one place.
However, I found myself potentially flooding student Working Memory by adding too much text in the form (which can't be modified that well) regarding how to navigate the visualization. This felt too wordy so I decided to make an instructional screencast to include in the form.
Once the screencast was recorded and uploaded to YouTube I realized I had already linked the visualization to the description of the question, so that room was taken, and adding another question to embed the video felt like overkill.
I then noticed that you can add images to each question. I hadn't yet used this feature of the question and I wanted to restrict the analysis to a single question! Then it hit me: TURN THE VIDEO INTO AN ANIMATED GIF!
So that's what I did. I went here to turn the instructional screencast into an animated GIF, uploaded it the GIF to the question as an image and boom!
Once you open the form, you see the link to the visualization and below, an GIF animated how to interact with the visualization. I ended up using this feature two more times before the day was over in other lessons.
Definitely not super high tech, and definitely something most people already do, but I found this to be a perfect example of simple tech serving teacher pedagogical, and student cognitive needs.
Click here to see the form and see the animated GIF below.