Create a World Book Day Quiz for your class and win $100 in book vouchers!

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Have you planned any activities for World Book Day with your class yet?

World book Day brings stories out of a book’s pages and into life! So why not inspire imagination and help your class get creative with an interactive classroom quiz?

Celebrate in your class by creating a World Book Day quiz in Quizalize, play it with your students and share it with teachers across the world. Let us know you’ve created a special quiz by adding in #worldbookdayquiz to the quiz title, and/or sharing on Facebook or Twitter with the same hashtag and we’ll pick two to win £100/$100 book voucher for their school!

Some ideas to get you started with Quizalize question hacks:

  • Match the title character to the book
  • Match the book to the author
  • Famous couples from novels
  • Photo Quiz (characters): Who is this?
  • Match the front covers to the book’s title
  • Match lines of poetry to the poem/poet
  • Famous literary families
  • *Your great quiz idea here*

We’ll be sharing our favorites all this week. Look out for #worldbookdayquiz!

Click here to create your quiz now!

Using edtech apps has been a ‘game changer’ for one teacher looking to optimise time spent reviewing

Marking – a mundane if necessary part of the role of teaching. One report identified it to be the single biggest contributor to a teacher’s unsustainable workload.

Assessment of student performance in tests is clearly crucial to spotting individual learning gaps and addressing weaknesses that can be strengthened through targeted exercises and practice.

And while there are lots of prudent ways in which to manage the marking mountain, edtech apps are fast evolving to enable teachers to review student and class performance in real time as assignments are performed and, more importantly, giving them deep and instant insight into those all important learning gaps.

The analysis is such that teachers can now get an overview of what particular questions or items are problematic on both a class and individual level in order to deploy bespoke and targeted assignments to improve performance.         

“Apps have been a real game changer for me,” says John Heeg, an 8th grade social studies teacher at Robert Frost Middle School. “Prior to these, I used to compile data from assessments using Google Forms. This was cumbersome and time consuming, but a necessary means of organising and analyzing results. Now, there’s a decent suite of handy classroom tools that allow me to create interactive educational content that train students up for big assessments, while at the same time aggregating data so I can identify areas that require more practice, instantly.”

Heeg proposes that apps such as Quizalize and Zzish have optimised his time considerably by up to 90 per cent by streamlining the process used to produce assignments, and freeing up more time to create bespoke and targeted content that plugs the learning gaps identified in the analysis.  

“The day before a mid-term assessment, I produce a mini online test comprising five questions which students were finding particularly tricky,” continued Heeg. “I used the same method for preparing warm-up tests ahead of the finals. The process took about 15 minutes. By comparison, my colleague spent a whole week in class using the same review sheets he had always used for the past 12 years. My class performed 3 per cent better than his.”

While tangible paper assets still remain the material of choice for many teachers, apps are providing a vital means of engaging with today’s modern student where traditional pedagogy is failing. Leveraging game play using colour, sounds and genuine interactivity that rewards students’ efforts as well as achievements, technology in education is starting to harness classic motivational drivers to both optimize the learning process and make assessment and marking more efficient for teachers.

One-to-one learning has shown to dramatically improve student performance, but that intense level of teaching is neither practical nor viable in a traditional school setting where both teachers and resources are incredibly limited. Software though is simulating this dynamic to give every child its own personal tutor by using big data and adaptive algorithms to deliver an optimal teaching and learning experience.

“By no means do I think that apps should replace traditional teaching,” concludes Heeg. “Rather, they should be perceived and treated like a virtual personal teaching assistant. Technology is evolving fast to help make the teaching and learning process more effective and efficient in every way. Simple classroom-ready tools like Quizalize mean that I no longer have to waste valuable instruction time reviewing for assessments. It has made, what will always been a challenging if not rewarding job that little bit easier. That, in itself, if a very welcome development, and something that every forward-thinking school must embrace.”

www.zzish.co

www.quizalize.com

Technology is turning ‘boring’ maths into a subject that captivates

How a new breed of edtech apps are bringing maths out of the doldrums with engaging mobile gameplay

Maths – an academic discipline often deemed (by children and adults alike) as one of the blandest necessary evils of the national curriculum. The traditional methods often used to teach the subject have done little to challenge this perception, with standard textbook-based work being about as inspiring as watching the kettle boil.

Drudging and difficult, the subject has – over many years – faced a critical decline in students pursing it further; many abandoning it as soon as the GCSE hurdle’s been jumped.

With many turned off by maths altogether from early years of tedious study just nailing down the basics, it’s widely believed (and not just among a brethren of mathematicians, academics and scholars) that many are missing out on the opportunity to appreciate the true beauty and elegance of numbers.

Far from being merely about abstract figures and computations, maths is underpinned by finding reasoning and truth in the world and universe that surrounds us.

It’s mind-blowing to think that the apparent randomness of everything – right down to the trajectory behaviour of billions of particles chaotically colliding into on another other in the air we breathe – can be statistically calculated and predicted by maths. Maths proves that there is order in chaos. Einstein showed this to be the case, using his analysis of random trajectories to prove that our world is made of atoms. 

 But how do we unlock curiosity and wonderment in maths if, from our earliest experiences of the discipline, we know it to be boring and nothing more than a curricular chore? Driving engagement and love for maths at an early stage is absolutely crucial to appreciating it not just as a subject in later life but also as an essential everyday tool that helps us get by.

There is no doubt that learning the fundamental sums and memorizing the 12 times tables is dull, and it is now largely understood (in the wake of dwindling numbers of students taking up maths at higher level) that teaching methods must change in order to re-engage young minds to understand the potential of the subject.

Technology has come some way in disrupting the tedium. Some of the best edtech apps for smartphones, tablets and desktop computers employ gamification techniques and reward and recognition systems that make the whole learning process more engaging and fun. They speak in the language that children understand: gameplay, colour, interactivity and friendly competition. It is difficult to emulate that kind of dynamism using traditional methods of textbook and whiteboard.

There are, however, about 200,000 e-learning apps on the market. Isolating the ones best for classroom gameplay is a minefield to the time-pressed teacher. A further key failing of many education apps created is that they don’t collect data on student performance or present performance information in a simple and meaningful way that enables them to instantly spot those strengths and weaknesses.

One of the best in class apps on the market for the subject is DoodleMaths. It has risen through the ranks because its interactive content encourages children working on KS 1 to 4 to better their skills and increase their confidence. Like most edtech apps, it’s the brainchild of teachers, but what it does exceptionally well is in helping individual children progress in the subject at a pace that’s right for them. Bespoke teaching is an effective method for reinforcing strong areas and strengthening weak ones, and technology is now being leveraged to make that process run smoothly.

Quizalize’s partnership with DoodleMaths now means that all of the maths content needed to engage disengaged minds in class and at home is now available on Quizalize’s marketplace. What this also means is that DoodleMaths activities can be played on the Quizalize platform as a fun interactive quiz, pitting individual students against students or as class teams. Importantly, assessing performance through this gameplay will become even more effective – teachers will be able to gain vigorous insight on class and pupil performance as it is played with an integrated dashboard inbuilt into Quizalize. This invaluable display of information presented as printable reports and infographics, helps teachers to spot those all-important learning gaps so pupils can learn better and faster than ever before.    

There are many ways in which teaching maths can be rejuvenated to drive a level of enjoyment in the subject, in a way never before achieved. While a complete shift from textbook work to technology may not be the answer, making the learning experience a multi-platform and multi-sensory one will go a lot further in capturing the imagination of today’s child and instil a passion for a much maligned and misunderstood subject.

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I mentioned in my previous blog the effectiveness of Kahoot! and if you have found that to be great fun and engaging with the students, I think you will find Quizalize to be as equally effective. Quizalize is very similar to Kahoot! in terms of looks, appearance, and game play with the main difference being the fact that Quizalize allows for students to compete in teams. Students join the quiz and they are automatically assigned to a green team or the red team. Once the quiz begins the students must work together to discuss and answer the questions. The team who answers the questions most accurately and in the quickest  amount of time will be the winners.

Click here to read more!