Friday, August 8, 2014

1:1 Formative Assessments


I've spent a lot of time studying and promoting formative assessments as a school leader over the past few years.  Ensuring that teachers were checking for understanding along the journey instead of just at the end has been a passion of mine from the time I was in the classroom to the many years I spent as an assistant principal and principal.

Now, as a technology coach, I get to continue this crusade of assessment for learning with the use of outstanding, and of course cool, assessment tools on our iPads and MacBooks.

Nearpod: Nearpod is a fantastic tool that allows the teacher to guide the students through an entire lesson on the mobile or browser-enabled device.  The teacher creates a lesson through any format that can save as a PDF.  They then embed questions in the lesson where students respond through their device and the teacher gets immediate results.  The student joins the teacher's presentation through the use of a code.  The teacher then guides the lesson slide by slide from their device.  Students can answer in the form of multiple choice, open ended, or drawn responses depending on what the teacher has established. The teacher can pause at anytime to discuss the results, share the results, or go off of the Nearpod presentation and have a discussion.

Socrative: Socrative is another multi-platform assessment tool.  Teachers create quiz questions either online or in the teacher app and then provide students with access to their "room."  Teachers can have students answer the questions at their own pace or directed by the teacher.  Want a quick check? The teacher can even ask one question at a time.  Questions can be multiple choice, true/false, and open ended.  Questions can be text only or can include images.  For teacher-made tests, the students get immediate feedback with right or wrong answers and an explanation.  The teacher can have reports emailed to themselves with group and individual reports.  The only question is do we pronounce it like sō-krat-ive or sock-ra-tive?

Geddit: Geddit is my new favorite.  Teachers establish lessons and can preregister their classes (this helps so that students don't have to create accounts) using a web interface.  The teacher can even invite people to their classes with a code.  The students can use a web-enabled browser or a companion app on their mobile device. The teacher creates questions to go along with the lesson they are delivering.  Throughout the lesson, the teacher can pause to allow the students to answer multiple choice, short or long answers, or polls.  When the students answer the question, they can also rate their own level of understanding.  This appears on the teacher's device in a color coded system which prompts the teacher to check in with students struggling.  Students can also raise their hand electronically alerting the teacher that they have a question.  Teachers get a report of student understanding emailed to them for further follow-up.

There are many others out there but these three are my favorites and the most universal in my opinion.  All of them are free while Nearpod also offers a paid service.  What are some of your favorites?  Leave a comment below.

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