Friday, March 24, 2017

Kupiter - Asteroids Meets Review Game

Readers of a certain age may be reminded of the Atari game called Asteroids when they look at a new review game called Kupiter. Kupiter is a game in which students answer questions by moving and shooting a laser at letters in order to spell the correct answers to quiz questions. Points are awarded for speed and accuracy. Watch the short video below for a demonstration of how the game is played.

You can create your own game on Kupiter by writing questions from scratch or by importing them from Quizlet or an Excel spreadsheet. Game links can be shared via social media and Google Classroom.
Applications for Education
Playing Kupiter will appeal to some, but not all students. It's another option to add to your list of fun review activities for students. You could have students create their own Kupiter games to share with classmates.

Create and Track ACT & SAT Prep Activities in PrepFactory

PrepFactory offers students a great selection of free SAT and ACT preparation activities. PrepFactory focuses on helping students develop good test-taking strategies while also not boring them with dozens of continuous rote exercises. For example, the Pattern Matcher game in PrepFactory has students look at questions and choose the best answering strategy rather than just answering the question before them.

Recently, PrepFactory introduced some new features for teachers. Now when you register as a teacher and create your classroom you can also create specific assignments for your students on an individual or class-wide basis. Then once your students have started on their assignments you can track their progress, see where they need to improve, and suggest more appropriate review activities.

Learn more about PrepFactory in the following video.

Disclosure: PrepFactory is an advertiser on

3 Online Alternatives to Audacity

Earlier today I received this question on Twitter:

My suggestions were to try SoundTrap, BandLab, or Soundation.

Soundtrap is a fantastic tool for creating music online. The cool thing about Soundtrap is that students can use virtual instruments to create music or they can record themselves playing music on an instrument and then use that recording in conjunction with the virtual instruments in the Soundtrap environment. What makes Soundtrap stand-out from the crowd is its collaboration options. Click the "collaborate" tab in the Soundtrap editor to invite others to create music with you. Soundtrap will work in the Chrome web browser on a laptop, iPad, Chromebook, and Android tablet. In my workshops I often describe Soundtrap as Google Docs for music.

BandLab is a free service that enables you to create music in your web browser or through free Android and iOS apps. In BandLab's you can create soundtracks using any of the virtual instruments that are provided. You can also speak or sing to record a track. Within the BandLab editor you can mix your tracks together to create a song. If you have existing audio files on your computer, you can upload those to incorporate into your BandLab creations.

Soundation is a service that allows anyone to create and remix sound tracks online. If you have used Apple's Garage Band, Soundation will look familiar to you. Soundation provides tracks on which you can place music clips and sound effects to mix together. To create your original work you can select from Soundation's gallery of 400 free sounds, upload your own sounds, or record new sounds using the instruments and keyboard built into Soundation. When you've created a product you like, you can download it or share it in Soundation's gallery.

Use Socrative to Create Quiz Games That Accept Short Answers

This morning I received an email from a reader who was looking for an alternative to Kahoot. He wrote, "I would love to have the same set up / timer / point distribution as Kahoot, but I'm now looking for something more challenging than clicking on an answer..."

Socrative was the first option that came to mind when I read the email. Socrative, one of the earliest companies to make a mobile-friendly quiz game platform for classroom use, offers teachers the option to create timed quiz game activities that accept typed responses as well as the classic true/false and multiple choice formats. When you create your quiz game activity you can set an answer key for typed responses as well as the multiple choice and true/false questions. This is a great option for a teacher who wants to create a quiz game in which students need to spell words or phrases correctly in order to get credit for being correct.

Socrative allows you to create quiz games to be played by students individually at their own pace, as a group at a pace that you set, or in teams at a pace that you set. One of my favorite things about Socrative is that every activity you create and activate in Socrative happens through the same room code. In other words, my students always use the same pin code to join one of my Socrative activities no matter how many activities I have stored in my account. From a classroom management perspective, this makes it easy to get all of my students into an activity quickly.

So if you're tired of Kahoot and looking for something a little more challenging than just clicking answer choices, take a look at Socrative. And if you haven't looked at Socrative in a while, look again, there's a slew of new features that have been added in the last couple of years.

I be covering Socrative, Kahoot, and other neat formative assessment tools in next Tuesday's webinar, Fun With Formative Assessments