Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Student Response Systems: GoSoapbox

Ok so I have been wanting to write about various student response systems since I got back from NCTIES and I am just getting around to it know. Today I wanted to talk to you about go Now this isn't the program that got me wanting to talk to you about student response systems, but I tried it for the first time in a workshop that I was teaching yesterday and I loved it so much that I knew that I had to share it with you right away.

So when you first go to Gosoapbox, you need to sign up for an account, its a quick and easy process, but thats all you will need, no student accounts needed. For any of us in the classroom, we all know how great that is.

After you sign in, the first thing you will do is create an event. Depending on how you run your classroom, you may just want to label it as the date. After you are done creating the event you are given a nine digit code, which will be used later for the students to join your event.

Now the creators of GoSoapbox describe it as "GoSoapBox is a web-based clicker tool used by educators around the world to keep students engaged and gain real-time insight into student comprehension." And I would say that is how it goes. Students go to the same login as the teachers, but instead of logging in, they enter the event code. Once they are asked to enter a nickname. Once they have done that you are able to see how many of them are online. In their interface they have a I understand button and a I am confused button, if they click on the I am confused button, it will flash red on your interface and you can see exactly how many of them are confused. This is all done without disrupting the flow of the lesson.

That alone would make a tool to think about using in the classroom. But as a teacher you have an option to embed a quiz, a poll, or a discussion. Now after you create them they are locked, you click on the the lock for and it immediately becomes available for students. When you are done, you can easily download a spreadsheet with all your data.

Now it is not all perfect, I had a couple of students get stuck after they entered the access code, but a quick page refresh and they were part of the event.  

Now it works on the ipad and the ipod as well as laptop and android tablets so it should work with any devices you have in your classroom.  Give Gosoapbox a try, you'll you be happy you did.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Free Apps

      I have a 16GB IPad 3rd Gen; I have filled this iPad up on three separate occasions and have had to delete apps to update existing apps.  Now while it is good practice to only keep the apps that you use, it just brings about the point of how many apps there are.  With the thousands of apps that are out there, I would say only about 30 percent are quality apps.  With so many apps it makes it harder and hard to find the apps that are great.  Many developers are finding that to make get there apps notices they have to reduce the price, maybe even making them free for a period of time.  I had followed some app tracking websites, but when I looked at the price drops to free, there were still hundreds of apps and many were not even worth the space on my iPad.  Until I found the Apps Gone Free app.  Now they take different app that have drop their price to free for the day, and then they take the best 8-20 apps and list them for you.  Now are all those apps worth downloading, no, there are several photography, exercise and games that are listing and sometimes the same app will be listed week after week, but I still feel that this is a way to get quality apps at the best price, FREE.  
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