Simplifying Life. Simplifying Assessments

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Google Forms

Google forms are one of my favorite tools to make our lives simpler. If I need information, it goes into a form. If I want feedback –it goes into a form. This tool more than any other has allowed me to use so much less paper in my job. I’ve gone from being the queen of piles to super organized because everything curates into excel spreadsheets, graphs, and charts that are easily accessible in Google Drive.

As a teacher, forms gives you so many options. Think, tickets out the door, tickets, in the door, quizzes, and formal summatives. I want the teachers I work with to get technology to do the grading for them if it’s possible. Yes, we do projects and assessments where it isn’t, but if it is, have the technology do it for you! Forms also allows for branching so if a question is missed, it can direct students to the next question you want them to go to.

As a ticket in the door you can have quick data as to where students need to go that day; or, even better, teach students to use the to make decisions about what they need to learn based on that formative data. IDEAL personalized learning. Once students have that information they know they need to sit in the teacher’s group or go to station X, for example.

Go Formative

Another of our favorite assessment tools is Go Formative. The teacher easily creates an assessment. Then this tool allows the teacher to watch a dashboard as students are completing the assessment. Teachers can be circulating around the room as students complete it; or even teaching a small group while another group of students in the class are completing the assessment. It is also one of the most robust online assessments I’ve seen. It has drawing options (yay math teachers) and short response options.

Quizziz

Another favorite of students and teachers is Quizziz. This allows students to work at their own pace while teachers can show a leader board on the front board. This is in contrast to Kahoot! where everyone waits after each question for the entire class. It’s simple in Quizziz for teachers to create assessments, gather data, and use that data for instruction. The students love the memes that appear after each question. It’s the little things, right?

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More Web 2.0 and Apps

 Victor Svensson Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)


Victor Svensson
Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

There was so much to say about teaching using the web that my first blog post didn’t come close to covering it. So here are some more of my favorite resources.

Blendspace makes it so much easier for teachers to collaborate. Drag and drop ideas, documents, Promethean flipcharts, YouTube videos, Educreations, Flickr pictures, Google Drive, Dropbox, PDFs, and more into the timeline. It’s organized for multiple users so that the entire team can work on the project. Makes life so much easier. And as busy educators, this is what we need!

Users create three-dimensional pop-up books with ZooBurst. Don’t let the fact that these are pop-up books hold you back from using them with older students. These could easily be used with intermediate and middle school students to create advanced content. They are so interesting to create that even this age will be intrigued!

Educreations and Show Me are both apps. Educreations has a bit more functionality for older elementary while Show Me is more for the younger student. This is basically a white board on the iPad that students create on or voice record. At my school they use it for math and content areas to explain their learning. It is perfect for delving deep into content.

Cel.ly With this web 2.0 you can send students or parents a text while keeping your phone number private. You can moderate the group message with one or more curator. Very cool!

With ScreenCastomatic you can create a video of your computer screen and your voice. It can be uploaded to a blog or YouTube or Vimeo. You get 15 minutes free on each video. Then you have to pay.

Sock Puppets is an App that allows students to create puppet shows. They can create voice overs, backgrounds, etc. Using their imaginations they could retell a story or go deeper to do inferences or tell a sequel or you name it! The sky is the limit!

Web 2.0 and Apps….Let’s Get them into the Classroom

 (CC0 1.0)

(CC0 1.0)

I’ve been planning a series of technology learning for my staff. I will highlight some of my favorite web 2.0 and apps to use in the classroom. I like to keep in mind that integration and the process of learning is the most important thing with technology use –not the end product. Here goes.

A student and teacher favorite is Padlet. With Padlet, you, the teacher, set up a wall that you send a link or QR code to students, so they can access it. They can write on the wall, upload pictures, YouTube videos, you name it! You can even embed the wall onto your web page. Students can collaborate on an assignment in class or out of class. If they are stuck at home because of weather (imagine that!), primary students could document what is happening outside their homes. They could respond to a piece of literature of share travels over a vacation. Endless possibilities.

My next favorite app is NearPod. This is great for the classroom –either independent student technology or small group work that you as the teacher want to be in control over. You can have a PDF or a presentation that you display on your computer. The students launch the app and sign in to the session to see what you show them. You have control over their device and what they see, but they have the ability to annotate and add to whatever you share on their screens. So many options with this one! Whatever you are doing, you can have the students follow along but with additional interaction.

HaikuDeck is a perfect presentation app /Web 2.0 for students. It is currently on IOS but is coming for Android soon. It has beautiful Creative Commons licensed pictures for background so students don’t have to worry about copy written Google images. As students type onto the slides, the words get smaller, thus teaching them that presentations are about them talking and not the bullets on their slides. It’s web-based, so they can go from device-to-device and school to home seamlessly without a –gasp–thumb drive.

Fur.ly is an easy way to shorten URLs. Go to the site, type in the URL, and BAM! You’re done. Well, you need to type a code to prove you’re a human first. Once you do that….BAM. You’re done.

As Voice Thread puts it on their main page, “text can’t replace you.” This is cloud-based; students can upload pictures or documentations that they in turn collaborate on. This has nice implications but does come with a cost of $79 for a single teacher.

Infuse learning is a favorite assessment tool at my school. It is perfect for BYOT because it is web based not an APP, so students can access it from any device –SMARTphone or tablet. Teachers can prepare questions ahead of time or create them in the moment. It has a draw feature, so math teachers might ask teachers to draw an isosceles triangle, for example. It doesn’t limit to multiple choice. You can pull in pictures like a map for the assessment. It also has language options for ELL or foreign language classes.

In terms of technology integration tools for the classroom, the options are endless. I will continue with more good ones later.

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