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Before 1:1 iPads, teachers had to rely on quizzes or paper exit slips that were time-consuming to evaluate, which meant that meaningful feedback to students was often delayed by a day or more. The iPad has been the tool that provides access for students to complete this feedback before, during, and after class. After 1:1 iPads, quizzes and exit polls can be instantly assessed and then used to inform teaching that day or the next. Plus, all students’ voices can be heard and accounted for when an electronic collection tool is used. Compared to the traditional method of having students raise their hands to speak and only hearing from one or two individuals, the increased accountability placed on each student and the knowledge gain for the teacher about each of their students is invaluable.
An easy, quick way to get teachers started with simple, electronic formative assessment is to have them make a short three question Google Form with a field for students’ names, a question where students select their hour of class (if the teacher has multiple sections of the same course) and a text box that simply asks, “What is your answer?” This form can be used repeatedly throughout a class daily to gather the responses of students to any question asked, whether the prompt is displayed on a screen, written on the board, or just stated aloud. There is no need for the teacher to continually edit the form and change the text of the question. To further speed up the ease of having students open this form up, teachers can have students open the link to the form in Safari, then simply add the page as an icon app to their home screen and title it appropriately, such as “Science Form.”
Here's another great example of using the iPad for formative assessment: teachers can give more immediate feedback to students' topic sentences or thesis statements by collecting them via a Google form, then use FormEmailer to add comments and email them to the student. This allows the teacher to provide customized feedback to students in an efficient paperless environment. Some teachers have also collected these statements or other items such as lab results or short answers to questions on a collective Google spreadsheet, which has the added benefit of being seen by everyone. The feedback doesn't have to come from just the teacher, either, allowing for more input and reflection by all students, rather than just between one student and the teacher.
There are many other ways to efficiently give more formative assessments and feedback in class and even save time grading. Besides apps like Socrative, Minnetonka teachers also use Skyward and Schoology assessments online and use the automatically scored multiple choice, matching and true/false items to guide teaching and learning. These testing features even allow for inserted pictures, open-ended responses, randomized questions and teacher comments on student responses. The Schoology app as well as TurnItIn both provide the teacher with an easy, efficient way to annotate students' assignments and even provide audio feedback, all without paper. Getting teachers to harness any or all of these great tools on an iPad is a great way to increase the effectiveness of your 1:1 program.
To learn more about Minnetonka Public Schools iPad Program, check out tinyurl.com/iPadTonka