Thursday, February 9, 2012

New Kinds of Tools for New Kinds of Learners: Assess This!

Notes from TCEA 2012 Workshop Presented by Hall Davidson, Discovery Education
Session PowerPoint posted at

Why do we do standardized testing the way we do it? Because it's easy and cheap.

In the last 18 months to two years, a lot has changed. McArthur Foundation says students need to be able to thrive in a Web 2.0 world. They also need to be able to thrive in a mobile world.

When students create multimedia, it has a high effect on student achievement.

A Bold concept: The student being assessed is directly benefited by the assessment. Achievement is approved as you are doing the assessment.

Digital assessment now helps us get ready for digital books/tools which are coming to the classroom.

Tools That Can be Used for Assessment:

  • PowerPoint - Present info to students, then save PowerPoint as jpgs. Import the jpgs to PhotoStory/MovieMaker/iMovie then have the student narrate the PhotoStory to demonstrate understanding. Can do in groups or individually.
    • In iMovie, you can save PowerPoint as a movie
    • - free music you can use to add mood to the movie
    • Use Google Advanced Search to find PowerPoints at an intermediate reading level. Download on similar to the one you presented and have students narrate it to demonstrate understanding.
  • Discovery Education video clips - download editable content and have students re-narrate them. (This looked really easy to do in QuickTimePro on a Mac or PC. Costs about $29.00 from Apple. Hall pulled someone from the audience and she was able to instantly accomplish this Can also be accomplished in MovieMaker on PC by muting the original audio track and recording a new narration.)
  • Google Search Stories - Have students show what they know with their search skills. (Side Note: I wrote a blog post about this cool tool and instructional uses in May of last year.)
    • Use Rubistar to easily create a rubric for assessing the Search Story (or really any other product)
  • Voicethread - Available on the web or as an iOS app. Teacher asks a question verbally. Students can respond to the question by typing an answer, recording an audio answer, or recording a video answer. Each student who comes along can see what the students before them already left for an answer. Commentors can also draw on the picture that is posted for the voicethread. Ex: Explain how you discover how much paint to buy to paint this garage.
  • - Make a photo talk! Ex: Use a picture of a president and record a campaign speech. Could be anything! An animal, a hydrogen molecule. (Note from Hall; this site can lock up and be quirky at times.)
  • Wordle - In PhotoBooth on a Mac, use a Wordle as a background and then have student talk about the concept. PhotoBooth movie can be imported into PowerPoint. (PhotoBooth tip: buy a $4 green shower curtain at Ikea and use as background to make the person stand out more.) PhotoBooth also allows you to use a movie clip as a background. On PC, MovieMaker and Adobe Premier Elements can be used to create this. It's just not as easy.
  • - Upload pictures and make questions that appear on top of the pictures. Multiple questions can be used to create a quiz. Students go to PhotoPeach to take the quiz. Questions are timed.
  • - free service that lets a teacher create a multiple choice or free form polls or questions which can be answered by text messaging from cell phones.
  • Comic Touch Lite - Free app for iPad - Add callouts to pictures to describe their attributes or things they would say.
  • Puppet Pals - app for iPad. Pick a character then pick background photos for your story. Ex: pictures of biomes. Student records the voice of the character and tells about the biome. Photos of people can also be characters.