Tuesday, November 5, 2013

TEI Tuesday Tip for 11/5

The Answer Pad, Go Interactive feature, is an amazing online dialogue system that provides multiple ways to check for student understanding throughout teaching. Checking for understanding is essential to "thoughtfully engaged instruction" and is therefore, the focus of today's TEI tip. The Answer Pad is on my top ten list of techy teaching tools. I hope you will take some time to consider the possibilities you could have using it.

The Answer Pad is a "student dialogue system." It allows students to engage with the teacher in a BYOD environment. The Go Interactive feature has seven different ways to capture student understanding in the classroom: multiple choice, true/false, yes/no, thumbs up/down, fill-in, slider,  and template uploads. The Answer Pad works with most web enabled devices. It is perfect for the computer lab setting as well as laptops, iPads or other devices that can connect to the Internet.

With a free account, teachers can create up to 8 classes and 200 students! The developers of The Answer Pad continue to look for ways to upgrade the functionality of this program. The variety of feedback that you can obtain with this tool is worth taking the few minutes to create a free account for your class.

Take a look at this video clip to see Go Interactive in action.

Here are some ideas of how you might use The Answer Pad during teaching:
1.       Pre-Assessment: Before you begin a unit in your curriculum, use The Answer Pad to check your students’ understanding of key vocabulary terms or other concepts.  Identify those students who might already understand key terms and could receive enrichment.
2.       How Confident Are You? As you are teaching, it’s good to poll your students to see how confident they are with certain vocabulary words, processes and content understanding. Use The Answer Pad to get a quick overview of how confident your students feel about their understanding.
3.       Student Surveys: Do you need real time data? Use The Answer Pad to gather data from your students. 
4.       During Teaching Questioning: Use The Answer Pad for answers to questions. Students can answer questions with The Answer Pad  to give you an idea of how many students are reaching the lesson objective.
5.       Check Homework: Go over answers to homework using The Answer Pad.
6.       Mental Math: Use The Answer Pad to help develop mental math skills. Students can "draw" their thinking using The Answer Pad.
7.       Team Games: Play vocabulary games where students work in teams to identify, for example, parts of speech. Write examples of parts of speech on the board. Call out a word and decide as a team, the part of speech the word represents. Use The Answer Pad to record answers.
8.       Predicting: When teaching students to use context clues to predict a missing word, use The Answer Pad to identify what that word might be.
9.       True or False: Have fun with vocabulary and play a game where you simply state a word and its meaning. Students use The Answer Pad to identify if you are telling the truth or not.
10.   Student Opinion Polls: After reading a situation, scenario or problem, use The Answer Pad to poll students with possible solutions. Examine the data to see what students are thinking.
11.   Yes-No: Use The Answer Pad to explore student understanding of content specific vocabulary. For example,
a.       Math: Is it reasonable that 189 is about 200?
b.      Social Studies: Is paper an example of a consumable good?
c.       Science: Is a rolling ball an example of kinetic energy?
d.      Reading: Is a flier a type of functional text?
 Here's to another day of "thoughtfully engaged instruction"!

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