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Sunday, January 19, 2014

Student Assessment with iPads and Mobile Devices

It's time to harness the power of your classroom devices!  Using your mobile devices for assessment will allow you to quickly access data so that you can provide almost immediate feedback to your students.  Mobile devices can help you to assess your students whether you want to test your at the end of a unit, run a quick quiz, gather data and assess understanding during a lesson, or maybe give a quick exit slip at the end of a class.

Here a some apps and tools that can be used for assessment that are FREE and most can be customized to meet your needs:

Infuse Learning:
Here is why Infuse Learning is a great assessment tool:
-It works on a variety of devices and you and your students can all be on different types of devices (which is great for BYOD programs).  It works on your computer, iPad, or Android.
-The teacher simply provides the student with his/her room number to get started.
-The teacher can send students instant, on-the-fly questions to gauge students' understanding because it requires no set up.  The teacher just logs in to the account and students enter the room number and their name.
-Teachers can ask a variety of questions including multiple choice, true/false, open ended text, numeric, Likert scale, and my favorite: draw response.  The draw response is amazing because the teacher can ask the students to draw anything: draw an obtuse angle, spell a word, solve a math problem, label the parts of a plant, etc. and the teacher sees exactly what each student has drawn.
-Teachers have the option of setting up classes and creating quizzes so it can also be used for summative assessments.
-All results can be saved and exported to Excel.
Infuse Learning is not an app.  You will not find it in the app store, it is web based.  But you can create an icon for it on your students' devices so it acts like an app.

Socrative:
Socrative is very easy to use and has some of the same features as Infuse Learning:
-It works on a variety of devices and you and your students can all be on different types of devices.  If you are on a computer, you will log in at http://socrative.com.  Or, you can download the app onto your IOS or Android device.  There are different apps for teachers and students.
-Teachers simply provide students will the class number so they can join.
-There are 3 question types for quick responses: multiple choice, true/false, and short answer.
-Teachers can also set up quizzes, exit tickets, or games ahead of time for students to use.
-Only the quiz-based activities can be exported to Excel.

The Answer Pad/Tap It Free:
The Answer Pad requires a little more setup, but offers some great options:
-Students can answer through an IOS app called Tap It Free or students and teachers can access the web-based content on a computer or Android device.
-There is a great selection of instant questions that teachers can use to gauge students' understanding during instruction including: multiple choice, true/false, yes/no, up/down (gives students a thumbs up/thumbs down to choose from), fill in (short answer), slider (which is a colored Likert scale), and again my favorite: the template gallery.  The Answer Pad has a built in gallery of educational images that can be sent out to your students to complete, answer, label, an draw on and the teacher sees all of the finished student drawings.
-Teachers must set up their student groups and enter student user names and passwords prior to using with their classes.
-Teachers can also set up answer sheets and assign tests to student groups.  These tests will be graded automatically as students take them.

Edmodo:
Edmodo is a great system for teaching and learning!
-Teachers create a group (classroom) and provide the code to their students so they can join the group.
-Students can take quizzes with the Edmodo app on the iPad.  On other devices students can connect through the web-based site at www.edmodo.com.)
-Quizzes and polls can only be created through the web-based version.
-Quizzes and polls must be created prior to using these features with students.
-Quizzes can include several types of questions including: multiple choice, true/false, short answer, fill in the blank, and matching.  Most questions are graded automatically by the system when the student takes the quiz.
-Edmodo can also be used to collect student work.  Create an assignment for your students and they can type an answer and upload a related file in a variety of formats.
-Parents can also be provided with a code to connect to their child's Edmodo account.  They will be able to view their child's quiz results and posts.

Educreations:
What better way to find out what your students know than to let them show you?
-Educreations is an iPad app that records everything your students write on the whiteboard.  It also records what they are saying, so they can narrate the action!
-Images can also be imported into the Educreations app.
-Students can create videos to demonstrate their knowledge of a topic: how to solve a math problem, explain a scientific process, label objects, locate items in a text, explain an image or concept, define vocabulary, etc.
-The teacher has immediate and intimate knowledge of the student's thought process while working through a problem or concept.
-Completed videos can be made private or public and can be shared by email, Dropbox, or Facebook.
-An Educreations account is needed to save and share videos.  Younger students can all be logged into a shared classroom account.  All videos created with a shared account will be viewable on all devices using that account.  Older students can create their own accounts and email or Dropbox completed videos to their teacher.
-Teachers can use rubrics to assess curricular content and presentation skills.
-Image from: http://www.educreations.com/lesson/view/review-parts-of-the-cell/687056/

What are some other ways you are using your devices to assess your students and to gather data?  Share by leaving a comment!




Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Creatorverse App: Physics and Art Fun!

Creatorverse is an awesome new and FREE app available for your IOS or Android device.  You can make your creations come to life with this app- the objects you add and create have physical properties that you can set in motion.  The objects you design can bounce, roll, accelerate, and more.  Users can build simple machines and games and designs can be shared so you can play with other users' creations too.  Watch the video to see the app in action:

Thanks David Kapuler for sharing on your blog: Technology Tidbits

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Practicing for a Mystery Skype

Have you ever wanted to participate in a mystery Skype (Mystery Skype explained here) but you are not sure that your elementary students are prepared for the geography questions involved?

I found a great online game by PBS called Where's Buster that will have students using maps and evaluating the information provided to determine Buster's location.  In each example, the students are provided 3 facts/clues that narrow down Buster's location within the given area.  The facts provide clues such as which state the correct state might border, if it borders an ocean, river, lake, or other landform, and sometimes if it does not border another state.  Play the game on your Smartboard for whole class fun or have students practice on individual devices.

You can link to this site and others to teach about the United States on my website:
Interactive Sites for Education


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Picturing a Great New Year!

Happy New Year!  I guess we are all thinking about how we are going to make this year a better one.  I am hoping to blog more and to take more pictures this year. There are so many wonderful things going on in our schools, classrooms, communities, and with our personal families and we need to remember to share these moments (with appropriate media releases, of course).

I was browsing Pinterest and came across this 365 photo challenge by Krissy Venosdale that started last year in January for educators to "see the good" in the their schools and teaching.  She challenges you to take a picture each day and gives you a theme to loosely follow.  I have shared January here.

You can visit her site, See The Good: A 365 Photo Project, for the other month's challenges.  (Click on the #edugood link at the top left for the lists.)

There are some great apps available for the iPhone or iPad that will help you take a picture a day and will even create a collage or video for you of your monthly or yearly images.  Try some of these with the photo challenge:



Photo 365: Everyday Photo Calendar $1.99



Project365 FREE (iPhone Only)




Day One (Journal/Diary) $3.99



Collect- Everyday Photo Diary & Project FREE (iPhone Only)



I haven't tried any of these apps yet, but I am excited to get started.  Let me know what apps you have used or if you have any others you like as well.  Wishing you a great new year!


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