Today I have great news. In my travels through the internet I found an amazing #edtech tool (that’s educational technology for you civilians) for teachers and parents. It’s called SmartestK12 and it was created by eighth grade science teacher Craig Jones who wanted a way out of the madness of inefficient testing and grading.
Did I mention that it’s free??
How it works
Essentially you (teacher, parent, or student) can create an assessment or test in seconds based on the documents you already have.
- take any document you’ve already created
- upload it into the system (takes like 2 seconds)
- highlight the section of the page and assign a question type to it
- send out a code to your students
- your students log in and you get results in real time
So why is this so cool for teachers?
Well duh….you can use every document you’ve ever created as long as you can covert it to a PDF (currently supported Word docs, PDFs and Image files) and turn it into a test in literally seconds. Possible applications:
- You’ve provided your students with a list of vocabulary words. Bing Bang Boom – fill in the blanks test
- For art history you have a Powerpoint of famous paintings – whammo – you have a PDF multiple choice
- There’s a unit on photosynthesis and you need your students to draw the flower and the sun and the arrows – Alakazam – drop in a drawing block and your students can draw a picture or a math problem or a diagram
The feedback is awesome as well. It provides easy tools for teachers to see patterns which then require differentiated responses, and an easy way to communicate with family. In addition grading these assessments will be much easier and quicker to track. Oh, and we’ll murder a lot less trees.
Why is this so cool for parents?
Great question. Parents – here is a super easy way to create quizzes for your kids based on the work they’ve already done in class. Here are some ideas:
- Take a photo of a test they’ve already taken and place the question boxes in the same spot
- Upload the vocabulary list and let your child self-quiz
- Create a short answer test based on the handouts from the teacher
Essentially you will create quizzes for your child in anticipation of the ones your teacher would create. Then, you will have DATA. You will know where your child needs more help and help him/her focus on those areas.
How about students?
Your children already have their entire heads inside of their devices (for good or bad) and will be far more willing to study and work for assessments if they can study and take the test on their phone, or tablet, or laptop.
Want to learn more? Watch this video
If you can’t see the video below, REFRESH your browser.
What Should You Do Now?
You can even one-click log-in with your Google account, if you have one. Teachers, don’t miss this opportunity to streamline your classroom workload. Parents, take advantage of this easy tool to help your children study. They might have just run out of excuses. WOO HOO!!!!
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Jesse "Big Mama" Weinberger is an Internet Safety Speaker for schools, the host of the Internet Safety Podcast: Big Mama's House Podcast, and the author of The Boogeyman Exists: And He’s In Your Child’s Back Pocket; a guide for parents and educators on how to keep children safe in a 24-7 always connected digital society. Learn more about how to keep your children safe online. She has been teaching parents, schools, and students how to navigate online and mobile risks since 2003. Jesse is available for internet safety presentations to schools, parents, students, and organizations all over the United States.