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Thursday, October 1, 2015

Three Ways of Assessing Students' Understanding Through Mobile Phones

As all good teachers know, a score on a quiz, on a test, or the completion of a large project doesn't always give us the full picture of what students know about a topic. Let's take a look at three ways to assess a student's understanding through the use of their mobile phones.

1. Reflecting on learning.
Ask students to use the video camera or audio recorder on their phones to create short reflections on what they have learned during the week. Students can post those on a classroom blog.

2. Documenting a process.
Ask students to use their phones to take pictures and or videos of a work in progress. If they're working on a long-term, hands-on project, have them document the process through pictures or video.

3. Capturing real-world examples.
Have you recently taught a math or science topic that is frequently seen in a landscape or cityscape? If so, have your students take a picture of a representation of that topic. For example, if you recently taught a lesson on acute and obtuse angles, have students take pictures of examples of each as they see them during a walk around town.

5 Five Google Forms Add-ons I Frequently Recommend

In the course of a year I lead many training sessions about Google Forms. In all of those sessions I have a handful of Google Forms Add-ons that I introduce to participants. These five Add-ons cover a lot of bases.

FormLimiter allows you to set a time for a form to automatically stop accepting responses. You can also use FormLimiter to set a limit on number of responses a form will accept. In the video embedded below I demonstrate how to enable and set limits on Google Forms.


Form Notifications is a Google Forms Add-on that will send you a notification when someone has completed your Form. You can set notifications to be sent to your email address after every response has been gathered or after a set number of responses has been gathered. You can have notifications sent to more than one email address.

g(Math) is a Google Forms Add-on that allows you to insert graphs and mathematical expressions into your Google Forms. To insert graphs and equations into your Form select g(Math) from your Add-ons menu and follow the directions that pop-up on the right side of the screen.

Choice Eliminator removes response choices from your Google Form as they are used up. This can be handy when you are having people complete a Google Form in order to select meeting times with you or you're having them complete a form to indicate what they are sending into school for a class party. To use Choice Eliminator start by creating your Google Form as you normally would. Then enable Choice Eliminator on your Form. Once Choice Eliminator is enabled you can select the question or questions that you want to have choices removed from as they are used.

CheckItOut is a great little Google Forms Add-on that allows you to create a simple check-out/ check-in system. With CheckItOut enabled in Google Forms you simply title the set of items that people will be checking out (iPads for example) then choose if you want people to choose from check boxes, a list, or multiple choice question. Watch the video below to see how the CheckItOut Add-on works.