It seems teachers love the customizable quizzes and I frequently get requests to convert some of the older quizzes to the customizable format. Quizzes that have recently been converted to the customizable format are:
The Africa physical features quiz is now customizable. Plus it has a couple of new water questions: the Mozambique Channel, the Gulf of Guinea, the Gulf of Aden and the Arabian sea. Customize Africa Physical Features here.
Oceania capital cities. If you're like me, you need help with this one, and using customization to break the quiz down into smaller learning chunks really helps.
And continuing along with the tourist attractions quizzes to support post-secondary travel and tourism programs, we've recently added:
Just a quick announcement - if you have a Teacher Plus account, we've added an easy way to share and assign quizzes to your Google Classroom.
Look for the Classroom Share icon on the share bar below the quiz question/answer area:
Google classroom is a great way to set up students, classes, calendars, discussions and keep them all organized. Now it's easier than ever before to integrate Lizard Point Quizzes into your class. We have added the Google Classroom Share button to all 500+ quizzes.
We're always thankful for teachers who contact us and let us know what features they need. Big thanks go out today to Dean H, who asked about how to print the class results, or save them to a CSV file.
We realized, upon reading Dean's question, that the basic browser print of the class results included the site navigation, and was not exactly printer-friendly. So we got the print version cleaned up. We hope you'll find the printed version of the My Classes: Students scores and results much more usable now.
New and improved Print my classes: student scores page
As for saving to a CSV file, we don't have a function for that yet, but, it's actually pretty easy to do with just basic cut and paste, from your laptop or desktop.
We've made a quick video to show you just how easy it is... and here's your first opportunity to meet Bill, the other half of Lizard Point.
The use of technology by teachers is an subject of great interest to the Lizard Point team. Obviously, we would like to make Lizard Point Quizzes even better; easier to use for teachers and students, more engaging and able to impart real learning about our world. But beyond that, we strongly believe that our kids are going to be increasingly living in a 'digital world', and their experience in the classroom should reflect and prepare them for that reality.
In researching this post, we came across several articles about the use of technology in the classroom that were rather disappointing. Several of them were summarized in Why Ed Tech Is Not Transforming How Teachers Teach by Benjamin Herold in Education Week in June, 2015. We took away a couple of key points from this article:
By and large, we have gotten past 'first order' challenges with adaption of educational technology such as lack of internet connectivity and access to technology. As evidence, the report mentions 75% of high school students reporting regular use of smartphones or tablets in the classroom.
However, 'second order' challenges are significantly hindering progress. These are reportedly mostly concerned with teacher attitudes, training, administrative support and knowledge.
"The introduction of computers into schools was supposed to improve academic achievement and alter how teachers taught..", according to Stanford University education professor Larry Cuban, ".. neither has occurred". The article goes on to describe technology adaption in the classroom as incremental and more likely to be related to helping teachers teach (ie. powerpoint vs. overheads) than in how students learn. Some good counter-examples are also cited, involving early adapters that have managed to create student-driven, collaborative learning opportunities. But these are definitely presented as the exceptions.
Based on the feedback we receive at Lizard Point, we are convinced that many, many teachers have found ways to use educational software to help students learn (and hopefully not create more work for themselves). We would love to hear from any teachers about their approaches to technology and how they have overcome challenges. Please send us a note or leave a comment. Perhaps we'll find some approaches that we can feature in a later post.
Also, if you have thoughts on ways that software could improve - we'd love to hear that as well. What if we had educational software that engaged kids the way that their video games do? What if they could collaborate and compete with their classmates in a visually stimulating way? What would that look like, feel like?