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What it is: It can be really difficult for visual learners to get a good handle on vocabulary.  Without good visual aids, the definitions behind words can feel abstract and hard to grasp.  Weboword is a fantastic visual vocabulary site that offers students illustrations that help students understand vocabulary.  I believe that everyone remembers concepts better when they are surrounded by story.  Think about a tsunami.  What comes to mind is probably not a word for word definition of the word but images, and stories about tsunamis.  You probably think about the destruction that they cause, a story you heard from someone affected by a tsunami.  Because we make deeper connections with stories, it only makes sense to offer students vocabulary words with a visual aid that will help them create story references and pictures.  Each vocabulary word is accompanied by a sketch of the word, a definition of the word, a history of the word, the pronunciation, and situational uses of the word.  There is a limited number of words pictured, but it should help students to build up a stronger vocabulary and word fluency.  Each day a new vocabulary word is featured on the Weboword home page.  Students can also review past vocabulary words on the “vocabulary” page.  Students can complete crossword puzzles based on the Weboword vocabulary.     How to integrate Weboword into the classroom: Vocabulary and word fluency is an important ingredient for strong readers.  Begin each day with the newest Weboword vocabulary on your projector or interactive whiteboard.  You can subscribe to Webowords free daily updates to get a word each day delivered to you.  Because the vocabulary on Weboword is limited, you may not find the specific vocabulary you are looking for.  Encourage your students to create their own visualizations and cartoon sketches for the vocabulary they are studying.  Weboword is excellent preparation for the SAT’s but can also be used with younger students to build vocabulary.  My elementary students really enjoy learning “big kid” words.  The advanced vocabulary can make them feel empowered.  Webowords is also a great way to spice up student writing, when they have a greater vocabulary base to pull from, their writing will become richer. Tips: Embed the Weboword widget in your classroom website. Students can get the vocabulary word for the day with one stop. Please leave a comment and share how you are using Weboword in your classroom.

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The Answer Pad: BYOD Student Response System

Posted by admin | Posted in Apply, Classroom Management, collaboration, Evaluate, Interactive Whiteboard, iPod, Knowledge (remember), Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Subject, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), video, web tools, Websites | Posted on 16-04-2013

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What it is: The Answer Pad is a student response system…only better!  What makes it better?  The ability for use with BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) classrooms and the ability to collect student responses outside of your typical, limited multiple choice answers that most student response systems are limited to.  The Answer Pad is really made up of two parts.  1. The student response piece that lets students go interactive with outstanding drawing features.  2. The answer sheets that score and capture data from existing paper exams including full online reporting, the ability for students to show their work, and a variety of question types. The Answer Pad is available for the iPad, Android or from any web browser.  Download the TAPit Free app for the iPad!

The free version of The Answer Pad is pretty robust for teachers and students.  Premium features are available at a reasonable price that take it to the next level.

How to integrate The Answer Pad into the classroom: The Answer Pad is a really useful addition to the formative assessment puzzle.  I LOVE that it doesn’t limit teachers to gathering low-level data in the format of multiple choice answer (although this feature is available for those times when you want to check for entry level understanding).  The Answer Pad lets students draw and type out answers, making the feedback they give to you during a lesson that much more valuable.  The fact that it isn’t limited to the basics is GREAT!  Imagine a math lesson where students are able to actually show and demonstrate their understanding (not just their amazing guessing skills).  The instantaneous feedback is wonderful for adjusting lessons and providing more individualized instruction based on what you are seeing.

In addition to collecting more valuable math feedback, The Answer Pad also gives you valuable feedback for any subject, a blank template lets students free write/draw their understanding.  This might even be a great way for students to take notes during learning, you can give your students feedback on their note taking during a lesson.  I am always amazed when I look at student notes, some of our students really don’t know what is important enough to write down and how to organize themselves best for later reference.  Using the free draw in The Answer Pad would give you good insight into a student’s thinking process and help you to guide and direct them appropriately.

The reporting feature is also really helpful, being able to look not only at student answers, but also at the written work that led to the answer is SO valuable.  This embedded feature makes Answer Pad more than just a self-grading platform, this is feedback and data that you can really use to drive instruction.

Tips:  Premium features include: custom frameworks for scoring tests, ability to bundle assessments together for side-by-side comparison and reporting, advance functions for test scenarios, an additional drawing palette for the Go Interactive portion, support by phone, and access to black-line template library.

Thank you to @dkapuler for introducing me to The Answer Pad!

I’ve been nominated for a Bammy Award for Educational Blogger.  I’d appreciate your vote to help spread the word about iLearn Technology.  Vote here.  Thank you for your continued support!!

Leave a comment and tell us how you are using  The Answer Pad in your classroom.

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