This has to be the coolest app ever. Create a quiz on Quick Key and then you can print out a bubble sheet. Snap a picture of the quiz with your iphone and it will grade it for you! Wow. Just remember that if all you do is bubble in - you're probably not testing very well. Hat tip to Richard Byrne's Awesome Facebook page for this one! (Free Technology for Teachers)
If you want to create an inbox for those Google Docs, use this to help you track what they've turned in and whether you've graded it.
I got this notice from Moby Max. There are a proliferation of websites that let you check and have kids working in online spaces like this. Remember that these can be helpful, but you should and must have students programming and inventing with computers. These can be very helpful but are only one use of the computer. Below is what they sent me about the service. Please let me know if you're using this (educators only, please).
"MobyMax has just released the easiest way to get your students motivated and start the year off right—a free 119 prize school contest. Within the first ten minutes of releasing the free 119 prize contest on Monday with no announcement, 22 schools signed up!
Not only are the contest and 119 prizes free, but MobyMax curriculum is free as well. (You may remember that teachers can upgrade to the Pro version for just $79 per year, but the prizes, contest, and curriculum are completely free whether you upgrade or not!)
We are also proud to announce our students’ results from the last school year. The results from over 600,000 students showed that those who used MobyMax for 40 hours averaged more than a 1.4 grade level increase in math and a 1.5 grade level increase in language.
Students answered over 1 million problems in MobyMax’s new reading module released this summer."
As many move to "online assessment" of Common Core - here is my issue. From talking to teachers this summer, the main issue for teachers in schools where kids don't use technology is this. THE ONLY TIME KIDS ARE USING TECHNOLOGY is when they are TESTED. That is it. They say their kids don't even know how to scroll down or click. They say the technology is an encumbrance because it is never used except for the test.
For students, the test should be about content not about how the test is administered. To test students online or via computer when they use the computer infrequently is grossly unfair and downright educational malpractice.
Now, I do have a word or two for schools who don't have technology but in their defense, some of them are very short on funds and in uber-restrictive districts and states. But if a state is unfriendly to tech for teaching, it shouldn't be the first thing they run to for assessment.
Students should be tested in a native environment. If their environment is predominantly paper and they aren't fluent on the computer - test time is not the time to learn hard lessons about how to click and scroll.
Don't interpret this to mean that I think we shouldn't all move towards paperless and technology-rich environments - WE SHOULD.
But we must be fair to students - how can they show what they know when they don't know how to use the computer used to administer the test. What we're really testing in that case is computer skills, not common core anything.
An important read as we work to reinvent schools and make sure we measure authentic learning with more authentic measures than bubble trouble. ;-)
Grading handwritten answers by students as a feature of a copier? Producing data analytics as a result. IF this works, it will not only sell more copiers, but also make handwritten work more of a commodity. Maybe if a computer can quickly grade the easy stuff, teachers can spend more time assessing project based learning and other work that computers cannot do. This won't help me much - except when I teach binary numbers and memory conversion which do require me to check work (I never do multiple choice.) I could see how math teachers would be thrilled.
"Xerox later this year plans to roll out Ignite, a software and web-based service that turns the numerous copiers/scanners/printers it has in schools across the United States into paper-grading machines. Unlike such staples of the educational system as Scantron, which uses special forms where students choose an answer and fill in the corresponding bubble, Ignite will grade work where the answers are written in by the students, such as the numeric answer to a math problem.
Ignite takes right and wrong answers and turns them into web-accessible data for teachers with reports that say whether a student or groups of students are consistently having more trouble with certain kinds of math problems. Those reports can be used by teachers to tailor what they're teaching — such as by identifying what group of students needs more help with a certain topic — or given to students so they know where they should focus their studying. It also opens the door to specific tests or homework assignments for specific students becoming more the norm, each tailored to academic strengths and weaknesses."
Very interesting app if you're using Edmodo and have ipads. Here's what it will do as per the company who contacted me:
"It's a versatile mapping tool for creating timelines, and an assessment platform for Edmodo users.
myHistro Extended in a nutshell.
- What makes it better than other apps out there?
Its comprehensive digital archive with stories created by historians. An unique way of generating tests. Hassle free and easy grading system and evaluation of students’ answers."
MAny teachers are using Edmodo and Timelines are important prewriting and graphic organizing tools. I'm very fascinated to see how this works and will see if there is someone out there using it so we can link to it from my blog.
- Who's it for?
Teachers. First and foremost History, Social Studies and Geography teachers. And for everyone else, who are looking for innovative ways teaching their subjects through dynamic storytelling.
- What is the coolest feature?
Generating tests with a few clicks. Removing the location, time, description or/and the title from all the public stories, and forming it into tests.
Twitter conversations lead the most interesting places. Leah Obach is a first grade teacher who uses evernote to keep an efolio for each student. She creates templates and each child has a stack including photos and pictures of the child's work. She uses this during parent conferences to show what each child has done. Wow! This blog post is a must read for anyone looking at evernote or at streamlining assessment at the elementary level. I'm quite intrigued and want to know more. She's also shared her templates for assessing a variety of things for first grade - counting, etc.
Applause for what she is doing, but also for taking the time to write the blog post when having a conversation with another teacher on Twitter. This is how we teach and encourage each other to know more. I'm debating about what would be appropriate to do with my students.
When teachers don't understand evaluations and are so upset they say they will "cheat" there are many problems with this. We put students on an honor code and even when the teacher is unreasonable and hard, those students are expected to be honest. Now, we have an unreasonable "test" for teachers and some say they will cheat. This "evaluation" needs to be evaluated. Many problems here.
But one of the biggest problems I see is the harem scarem, unpredictable pendulum swing of evaluations and criteria used to evaluate a profession that has been around a very long time. As people work hard to weed out - it is working - more than half of teachers have been teaching less than 10 years as veterans say "enough!"
You don't turn a big ship by crashing it into a reef but by slow, methodical turns of the wheel. I find teacher evaluations that many are using to be cumbersome, confusing, and inconsistent.
I know of a top evaluated teacher in my area according to her hallmate, who plans her lessons twice a year and wow's the principal -- the rest of the time this teacher has a glorified study hall and does nothing. When I hear these stories of highly "evaluated" teachers, I'm convinced it is broken. My curriculum director and principal are in my room several times a month, looking at what we are doing and watching what is happening. That is a much better system, in my opinion and much more in keeping with what is happening in my classroom daily.
Take this powerpoint file and insert it into your slide deck to evaluate learning informally. This is neat.
Socrative is an app that turns any device into part of a student response system. Not sure why I haven't written about before as it has won all kinds of awards. If you have BYOD or iPad or any type of 1:1 technology, Socrative is a must use so you don't have to buy a separate response system.
I'm thinking that I will read this study and rework some of my freshman project to include a contract. I wonder if it is because they have to specifically spell out what they will complete.
"A novel study finds that contracts and a new method of assessment can be successful used in the classroom.
Researchers discovered that when students design their own course, based on a contract, students scored higher grades and displayed better student satisfaction than on traditional points-based courses. "
Note, however, that the sample size was 40 college freshmen. I don't think that is enough to overhaul everything, but certainly enough to warrant more research in this area.
OK, time to blog Amazon. (not really) Students are buying test banks from them. Honestly, if a student really wants to find a test bank, they will be able to in this day and age. They're able to get alcohol and cigarettes, what makes us think they can't get the test if it is available for purchase online? We have to be better than just giving a test that is in a test bank. Even if I start with a test bank, I always customize it and make sure that the knowledge that students have to share can't be condensed to multiple choice.
About 10 sophomores at Corona del Mar high school in Newport Beach, Calif. purchased test banks, which provide chapter-by-chapter answers for the exam -- designed to help teachers write tests that properly measure student learning, the Daily Pilot reports. A total of 180 students took the exam.
This video from edutopia is an introduction to comprehensive assessment. It is a nice 3 minute introduction to performance-based evaluation instead of paper and pencil testing. I think every good teacher has many ways of assessing students. The more I've learned about my students and really creating long term knowledge, the less I lean on tests. Now, I test twice a year in Computer science (when I teach binary numbers and computer hardware) and only once a year in Computer Fundamentals. I find that projects - especially long term projects - are a much better assessment of what students are learning.
A school grappling with changing assessment policies towards more personalized learning. They started discussions by posting a draft policy on their blog. a must read fornthose of you involved in edreform and assessment discussions. I'd love to hear opinions on this.
Larry Ferlazzo can curate some sites. If you are interested in international testing, these are some good sites to review.
I uploaded my "Freshman Project" to the @Tesconnect website. This is a very large network of teachers that I'm using now as it links with English speaking classrooms outside the US. This is the assignment that begins the year long project in my class as students design their own project. This is based upon the senior project I first saw this summer in Evansville, Indiana. Yes, you need to join TES to download the resource. I am promoting this site as part of some work I'm doing for them (as I disclosed two weeks a go) but it is a great site and I like the work they are doing very much! So join in, share, and download.
This handy firefox add on lets you hold down the right mouse button and draw a square over a set of links. Then, it will open each of those links into its own tab. This is useful if you have students placing links on a page and need to open each link to assess them. This is the only firefox extension that I found compatible with the newest version of firefox, although it is preliminary, I've found it to work fine for me.
Another free place to give tests and exams online. Let computers do what they do best. What I do is IF I have a few multiple choice, etc. I may do them online BUT I also do other ways of assessment with my test. I just don't think the bubbles can get it all. That said, if you have to do it, you shouldn't have to grade it unless it is open answer or essay and this is a free tool to help you.
Click in to find related links.
Groups interested in assessment