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Showing posts from October, 2011

Three days and things are becoming routine

Things started to settle down on the third day as if it was almost routine in my classroom to take a quiz on a smartphone or netbook computer. But I did not want the same issues I had with the computers not connecting to the wireless (turns out it was a faulty wifi switch but I didn't know it at the time) so I brought out the big guns - the iPads. 
We purchased a cart with 26 iPads over the summer and I put it to use for the first time. The students were extremely excited and most put down their phones to have a go. The quiz program worked perfectly (Socrative.com) but I immediately realized how easy it must be to see such a big screen from a nearby desk. Does the fact that that is one of the first things I thought of mean that I am getting cynical? I hope not. Maybe just more "wise." I realize that there must be some special advantage in using the iPads (or any other tablet) over a smartphone for this particular exercise but that wasn't happening just yet, but I did …

Paper to computer quiz - Day 2

The honeymoon is over.
Well, sort of. The second day did not go quite as smooth as the first because of technology issues. Shocker!
In each of the two classes, one student had extra difficulty getting his computer to connect to the wireless. I helped and tried several solutions and a couple different computers before finally getting it going. The other students were very patient but it was because they were using their computers for many things beyond getting ready to take the quiz. At least they were distracting themselves and I decided to accept that early on in this process. I'll work on something more "productive" to keep them occupied if (when) this happens in the future.
There have been several positives already. I found that I can create questions with a little more detail and make them multiple choice. In the past I did not think it fair to expect them to recall details but they should be able to identify or recognize them in a list. It works very well to separate t…

From paper to smartphone assessment - Step 1

"Take out a piece of paper and fold it in half length-wise."

Almost every one of my English classes for the last twenty years has begun with that statement. What follows is a short, five-question quiz on the previous night's reading. Recently, one or two of those questions comes with notebooks open, which gives students a chance to see how well they are taking notes and keeping track of what is important from the day's discussion. In any case, both students and I get a quick look at how well (or if!) they are reading and understanding.
"Take out your smartphone or get a netbook from the cart."
That's how today's class began for two of my classes. Those students took the quiz (created in a spreadsheet and imported into a quiz program) using the netbooks, their smartphones, and on an iPad. They loved it, but that's not surprising. It was something different and not only used technology but used something (cell phone) that is banned in school. If I ha…