LATEST TECHNOLOGY DISCOVERIES
It is too early to tell how powerful this app can be because I just found out about it in the last few days. From my initial interaction with the app and those who shared 81 Dash, it seems to be a backchannel type app. This maybe similar to Today'smeet.com where students with devices can share ideas during activities, or discussions to allow all to participate. What I could tell from it, was that students have to create a user account to sign in, thus illuminating the anonymity that Today'smeet.com can sometimes foster in a negative way. There are times when anonymity can be a good thing in discussions, but more often, we want students to take ownership for their ideas and work. I am still looking for feedback from other teachers to see how they are using it and their thoughts about ease of use.
I have had this app downloaded for months, but never used it because I don't use a lot of multiple choice questions to assess students, but when I do, I tend to use Google Forms and Flubaroo to grade them. it wasn't until the end of the year that I was looking to wrap up my unit on the Renaissance. Students had researched and presented information about an important person in the Renaissance. I wanted to check their knowledge on the various people and topics we had been studying in a fairly quick manner. Of course my first thought had been to do a form, but the issue is limited computer access. The end of the unit came about the same time as another round of standardized testing was rolling out. So how do you give a quiz to almost 90 students and grade it in minutes? The answer is Quick Key!
Here is a quick break down of the app- You create your quiz and print or provide access to students the way you have always done it. Step 2 download and print copies of the Quick Key Answer Key- can be found on the Quick Key Site. So far just like the old scantron tests. The next steps are what make the app spectacular and worth the time it takes to make it a reality. If you want to analyze the data, and see how well individual students did, as well as how the class did on each question, you have to create classes and add students. The cool thing about the app is it allows you to upload student rosters via an excel document. This takes seconds to upload. Once you have done this, students will be assigned a student ID number that the app will recognize.
So a quick check on our progress, app is downloaded, quiz is written, answer sheet copied, and student roster is made. You are almost ready. You need to make an answer key either online or on the app so when app can grade your quiz. Once this is done, hand out the quiz and tell students to fill out their student ID number, then let the students rock their knowledge and get ready to review the results. Once students complete the quiz it is time to grade. This is where the magic happens. Open the app, select the class and quiz and scan the quizzes using the phone or device's camera. Results are instantaneous and if there is an issue, you can manually enter responses to allow the stats to be calculated for each student.
My own experience found that it wasn't perfect, but it worked very well. I would recommend using this especially when access to computers is limited. Walter Duncan the creator is also a teacher and an amazing resource for any issue you may have with the app. As I mentioned, it didn't work perfectly, but when I had an issue I posted to Walter on Twitter and within minutes he and I were troubleshooting. In the end my issue was solved by reloading chrome.
I haven't used this yet, but much like Quick Key, it is an app that fits the void between no tech and 1:1 computing. Poll EV, Socrative, infuse learning, Quizlet, etc. are all apps that allow you to check student understanding and provide instant feedback to where they are in relation to their peers. They all allow for the potential to show results publicly depending on your purpose. They allow you to poll for understanding, or to use as an exit ticket, or a quiz. They also all require all students to have a device to participate.
Plicker is different, it allows students, all students to actively engage in the activity with no devices. Students are provided a printed sheet with several QR codes. You ask the question, this could be written on a presentation slide, verbal, however you provide the information. Next students hold up the answer sheet with the codes and a webcam or phone camera scans the sheets and compiles the data. There is a short video demonstrating this at Plickers.com. I haven't used this app yet, but wish I had it this year in a BYOD class with few students having access to devices every day.