Assessment Apps and Tools
Assessment is an important part of teaching. Parents and students often think of assessment as a test that we need to do well on so we get a good grade. A good teacher knows that this is not all there is to this concept. Assessments, especially formative assessments, help us determine how well our students are grasping the materials we are teaching. I say formative assessments because they allow us to modify or differentiate our teaching mid unit so student learning is maximized in the end. Personally, I would rather find out that my students are having trouble with the stuff I am teaching during the unit than when I grade a unit test. I want to take a look at some technology resources that we can use as formative assessment tools in our classrooms.
Socrative: This resource is great because it allows teachers to either create a quick assessment on the fly for students or to create a longer and more formal assessment. Students can access Socrative through the Internet, an Android app, or an IOS app. This features makes Socrative great for districts with a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Policy. Students create an account and log in. Once they are logged in they can “enter a classroom”. This is done by entering a teacher’s class code created by the teacher’s Socrative account. There are four assessment options:
- Start a Quiz: Assign students a quiz you have already created.
- Space Race: This is the same as Start a Quiz, but students race each other to see who can successfully complete the quiz the quickest.
- Quick Question: The teacher can ask a question orally and students can respond in a true/false, short answer, or multiple choice format.
- Exit ticket: Each students responds to a prompt before they leave class.
Polleverywhere: Polleverywhere allows educators to make informal polls or surveys that their class/audience can then respond to. This can be a survey where people vote and a bar graph is created, or a word cloud format also exists. At one point, users would submit their responses via text messages to a poll that the presenter created online. There are now apps that allow the audience to respond or the presenter to create quick polls for their audience on the spot. Apparently, a presenter can also use the app as a clicker for use with powerpoints. This also brings up the point that polls and surveys created with Polleverywhere can be embedded in powerpoints and operate in real time.
TodaysMeet: Like Socrative, TodaysMeet requires students to log into a classroom with a code. I have often encountered the situation where a student raises their hand while I am in the middle of illustrating a point so I tell them to hold on until I am finished. Then when I ask them what their question was they cannot remember. TodaysMeet allows students to ask questions as they come up. The questions get logged into an online transcript that the teacher can then respond to at a more appropriate time.
I use my SmartBoard with each of these tools because allowing the students to see what is going on provides for a more involved audience with a higher level of engagement. I can allow students to compete in Socrative, brain storm with the word cloud feature in Polleverywhere, or respond to each others questions or comments in TodaysMeet. There are many possibilities with each of these resources. If you have one that I have not thought of please drop me an email from my Contact Me page and I will share it out.
I hope you have gotten some good ideas here. I included a YouTube video I made of uses for each of these resources in this post. Let me know how it works out or if there is something in the educational technology area that you would like to hear more about. Please share this blog with your fellow teachers and be sure to subscribe with the Subscribe to Blog link to the left. Thanks and I will see you next time!