Monday, November 24, 2014

Geddit - Digital Formative Assessment and Self Eval Tool

I read a tweet yesterday about Geddit being a new Formative Assessment tool.  Being as how I have used 6 others, I figured that this would fit into the realm of just like the others with a nuance here or there.  From the formative assessment tools I have used, this is my favorite, if you are willing to front-load a little work (inputting your students).

You can choose to have students enter a code upon signup .  This is a feature that works great with other programs, but I can see how this would be an issue with this program.  As a teacher you have a single code.  When a student enters your code, they choose which of your classes to enroll.  I would rather sidestep this and get a list of full names and usernames for students and input them myself, probably using a google form and a bunch of copy and paste.

That aside.

Questions and Lessons.  Through this app there is the option of making questions that students can answer (multiple choice, text, long text, and poll)  where you can formatively assess students throughout the lesson.  This is also the only tool like this, that I have found, that has an equation editor.  The lesson is a cool feature.  Questions are organized into a lesson that you create and you can adjust the order of the questions in a lesson, ask all or some of the questions now (meaning that students will see the questions when they join the class) or ask questions later (meaning they only appear when you click ASK in the app.

Aside from that, there is the self evaluation aspect of Geddit.  Students can check in at any time to let you know if they are lost or if they are getting it.  They can also raise their hand at any point on their screen and you will see that they need attention.  I thought this was a great feature as students can respond to what you are doing even if you are not asking them questions.  Promoting proactive learners.

Lesson Data.  When you finish the lesson and hit end, there is a great amount of data presented to you.  You can see how all students have done in your class, you can see question data, response frequencies, check-in data, check-in data throughout the time in class to see if students moved toward understanding or not.  You can share data with students, you can see who had trouble with the lesson versus who had ease in learning material.  You can export the data, but I did not find that very helpful, I liked the data visualizations online.  Give it a try.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Technology changes our idea of intelligence

Now that students have access to the internet and search engines such as google through their computers, phones, and classrooms the expectations for learning should change.  Many of the facts that I studied as a chemistry major are now available to students through a simple google search.  Does that mean a student know chemistry if they can answer simple chemistry questions, or does that mean that they know internet Kung Fu?

Whether using Chromebooks, iPads, laptops, BYOD, etc. The fact that many of the questions from assessments can be found on the internet begs the question, how do we change our content delivery to take advantage of this new connectivity in class? Is instruction of factual information partially replaced with instruction and reinforcement on how to find information? How do we create opportunities for students to use facts, connect content to their lives, and develop skills higher on the Blooms taxonomy scale?

For those implementing technology programs, know that there are 2 ways to look at technology in the classroom.  Technology can be a media for students to cheat. In which case teachers may be resistant to the idea of implementing technology because they are not experts in technology and/or they are unaware of the tools students can use.  Technology can also be seen as a resource to help students learn.  In which case teachers need to experiment with what they can expect students to find and learn with the use of technology and what students can only learn from teachers.  Teachers' content knowledge is particularly important in extending student knowledge and developing critical thinking and reasoning.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Digital Posters with Google Drawings

Originally, I did not see the point of Google Drawings.  You open them up and it is just a blank canvas.  Then I went to a middle school and watched English teachers have their students create family Trees, book reports, and presentations using google drawings.  To do this there are a couple of things that you want to know.  This is assuming that you have worked with google drive at some point and that you know how to create a new google drawing.

Things to know

  1. How to insert a textbox - click on the box with a "T" in it and place the text box on your drawing.
  2. Set the Size of your page - Click on File and Page Setup, then set a custom page size, can use 8.5 x 11 to make the drawing printable on a piece of paper.
  3. Add and Cite pictures
    • Can add pictures from your google drive, your computer, .
      • Click on the box with mountains.
      • Select your image.
    • or From the Internet
      • Click on Tools, then Research to open the research pane.
      • Search for images
      • Drag and Drop the image you wish to use.
      • Once the image is placed, you can resize it.
      • To Cite the image you click on the image, then grab the URL that opens and drag it to the side, up, or down and let it go.

Changing Roles

There has been quite a long time since my last post to this Blog.  The reason for that is easy, the district had Blogger blocked, but it is now back open.  In that time I moved out of the class and have now become a teacher on special assignment in the Educational Technology Department.  Now, rather than only seeing what I do with chromebooks in my classroom, I get to see the things that are done in many classrooms around my district.  So far teachers have shown me amazing things and students have taught me better ways of creating in google drive.  I just wanted to warn the 2 people who have seen this blog that the point of view will tend to shift from here on from what I use in my class to what I see others use in theirs.