Tech-Based Formative Assessment


“When we use formative assessment strategies, we’re on a fact-finding mission. As educators, we work to figure out who understands the teaching point of a lesson, who has mastered a new concept, who needs extra help. Formative assessment happens naturally as we walk around the room and listen in on student conversations or examine their classwork after the bell rings. But how can you use technological tools to check for understanding in meaningful, sustainable, and scalable ways?” — Monica Burns, Edutopia

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Image Source: globaldigitalcitizen.org

Watching the International Space Station Pass Over Us


Our oldest and I enjoyed an early breakfast and watching the International Space Station pass right over our home. It’s amazing to see how fast it’s traveling (about 5 miles per second) as it orbits the Earth about 15 times per day.

I’m really enjoying the apps that make it fun and easy to track and learn about the Space Station. I strongly recommend you give one or more of these a try.

Apps I Use

Google’s New Sun Map Indicates Whether Your Rooftop Needs a Solar Panel

“The initiative, which the Mountain View giant initially launched almost two years ago, essentially leverages visual data from Maps and Earth to generate 3D models of the total amount of sunlight that reaches your roof.” – The Next Web

Check out Google’s blog post for full details.

Pokémon Go Automatically Granting Permission to Read Your Gmail

Pokemon Go

The Verge is reporting that “Pokémon Go has become wildly popular in the days since its release last week, but the app may be hiding a serious security issue. In many cases, users who sign into the app through a Google Account are often inadvertently granting broad permissions over all information linked to the account, including the power to read and send emails. At no point in the sign-in process does the app notify users that full access is being granted” (Source). Read more at The Verge.

Perhaps the app developer will correct this issue in the near future.

Integrating Virtual Reality with the Superman Roller Coaster

“The Superman Ride of Steel roller coaster has been remade as a VR experience as riders strap on Samsung Galaxy Gear headsets” (Source).

Superman Ride of Steel

Easily Turn Video into Engaging Lessons with EDpuzzle

Larry Ferlazzo describes EDpuzzle as “a new innovative site that lets you take just about any video off the web, edit it down to the portions you want, add audio notes and questions for students, and create virtual classrooms where you can monitor individual student work” (Source). Perhaps the best part is that teachers and students can use it for FREE.

To see an example, view Bobby Barber’s EDpuzzle that he uses in his math classroom.

Edpuzzle

Getting Started

The following quick demo will help you begin using EDpuzzle.

Flipped Learning and EDpuzzle

“EDPuzzle is a great resource for the flipped classroom, allowing teachers to create and present innovative lectures in a safe environment” according to Education World. Further, iLearn Technology notes that as “students watch, [the teacher] can check understanding and ensure active watching vs. passive watching. In a flipped scenario, this gives you the ability to completely tailor a lesson the next day based on the formative assessment results you get from homework. This is truly utilizing assessment to inform instruction.”

Educational Connections

EDpuzzle can be used:

  1. In flipped classrooms (as discussed above).
  2. To make lecturecasts, tutorials, video directions, etc. more engaging and interactive.
  3. For compiling data and information about students’ performance, and perhaps understanding, which can helpful formative assessment.
  4. So that students can annotate video reflections, recorded reports and skits, and more.
  5. To allow students to develop tutorials and quizzes about the current topic of study. Putting students in the teacher’s role can encourage higher-levels of thinking.

EdTech Showcase in Memphis

Join us on Thursday, June 18th, for the EdTech Summer Showcase at the University of Memphis. This event will be hosted by the Instructional Design and Technology Program and will feature outstanding Mid-South teachers demonstrating ways that they effectively integrate technology and learning. You won’t want to miss this fantastic opportunity to gain new ideas for your classroom.

Register soon as seating is limited.

2015 EdTech Showcase

Nutshell: Prezi’s New App for Visual Storytelling

NutshellPrezi introduces a new way to share life’s little moments, in a nutshell.

Combining the simplicity of photographs, the compelling nature of video, and the fun of animated graphics, Nutshell uses Prezi’s new storymapping technology to create short, shareable cinematic narratives that can be shared easily and instantly.

Besides creating fun social media updates, Nutshell opens the door for all sorts of unique messaging opportunities when videos feel like too much of a production and plain photos just are not adequate for capturing life’s moments.

3 Easy Steps

  1. Snap three pictures.
  2. Add captions.
  3. Choose graphics and let Nutshell turn it all into a shareable cinematic story.

Features

  • Library of free animated graphics that you can use to create short cinematic stories
  • Instant sharing to Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter
  • Send nutshells directly to friends via email, text messages, and WhatsApp
  • Full camera support for iOS 8.0 and above
  • Much more

Educational Connections

  • Provides students with a creative alternative for submitting reflections, journals, etc.
  • Share engaging news and announcements with students and parents.
  • Integrate with standards focused on communication: personal expression, propaganda techniques, etc.
  • Enables creative ways for students to share their interpretations of poems, stories, books, plays, and other works of art.
  • Empower students to collect evidence of their thinking during a lab or group activity.
  • The finished product can serve as an artifact of learning, potentially making thinking visible in your classroom.

There are many other educational connections. Please share yours in the comments to this post.