Monday, October 01, 2012

Assessment with the iPad

I have been developing quite a number of iPad workshops in the past few weeks, and I am amazed at the number of ways one can conduct assessments using the iPad. Of course, some apps have assessment components built-in, but I am talking about the online tools and apps that can be used to assess students who have access to iPads.
The first way students can share completed work with you is via a screenshot. Taking a screenshot of their work on the iPad moves the image into the Photos app and you can either view the shots on the iPad or have the students send it to a shared file storage space or email account. One thing to remember is, if the student’s name does not show up in the screenshot, have them open the image in an image-editing or drawing app on the iPad and either draw or type their name on the screenshot and save it back to the Photos app.
Taking a screenshot with the iPad is easy. Simply hold down the power button on top of the iPad and press the home button on the front. The screen will quickly flash and there will be an accompanying “flash” sound, too. The reason to hold down the power button first on any device that has Siri, is, if you hold down the home button, the default setting is that Siri launches.

One app for the iPad that allows students to view  Web pages and take notes as they do so is ScratchWork. Students can then email the PDF of their notes to you or, if they are just writing about a single Web page, they can create a screenshot of the Web page and their summary or comments.

Socrative is an online quiz maker with short answer, true-false, and multiple choice questions. You can use the teacher iPad app, or your or Ipad or computer browser to create the quiz. Students take the quiz via the student iPad app or via the browser link for students.  Once you chose to start the activity, you can allow the students to take it at their own pace or you can control each question, you can present each student with a different order of answers to eliminate cheating, you can have students get feedback on right/wrong answers, or you can show them the explanation of the answer. The student app and the teacher app may be found in the iTunes App Store.

Mentimeter is a Web sites that is used for real-time audience response polling. It is a great way to reactivate prior knowledge on a topic or as a ticket-to-leave so you can get a feel for any misconceptions or something you may need to reteach or review. You can put multiple questions together in a series if you want to ask more than one.
There are many cool screencasting tools available for the iPad, like Educreations Whiteboard and ScreenChomp. With these tools. students can mark-up, draw, and record all steps and their voice to showcase mastery of knowledge. However, sometimes a quick use of the iPad as a traditional “slate” is a good way to assess students, too. Reedtz45 created a YouTube video focusing on formative assessment and literacy using the iPad. One idea I really liked is that he sometimes has students construct a response on their iPad (using Educreations or ScreenChomp) and they use red, yellow, or green markers to indicate their confidence in their work. They can hold up the iPad for the teacher to see or email or Dropbox the image.
Nearpod is a pretty neat assessment tool! The teacher creates a multimedia presentation viat the site. A PDF file can be uploaded or the teacher can create the presentation from scratch and can even upload a 3 minute video and push it out to the student iPads as well as share a Web page with students, following this by an assessment in real-time. The teacher shares and controls the content that shows up on the student iPads. The teacher and the students use the Nearpod app. All iPads must be connected to the Internet. The teacher can see the results of the assessments, which range from students marking up an image through multiple choice questions. (Updated 10/5/12)
Of course, for your own professional development, you can use the Discovery Streaming Web site or mobile site for the iPad to view categorized videos dealing with instructional strategies and assessment. Once you learn a bit more about formative and summative assessments, you will come up with many other creative ways to assess student learning via the iPad. If you have any methods you already find successful, whether they be through online tools or iPad apps, please share in the comments!