ZipGrade: One way to grade multiple choice questions quickly and efficiently.

Receiving feedback from department PLC’s this past Wednesday morning, there was a lot of interest in learning ZipGrade.  Personally, I have not used ZipGrade, but I am going to blog my experience with setting it all up.

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Details:

  • Cost: Free for 100 scans per month, $6.99 yearly for unlimited scans
  • Answer Keys: 20, 50 and 100 question forms, multiple key versions

Pros:

  • Item analysis provided
  • Immediate feedback to the teacher
  • Cheaper than Scantron sheets
  • Don’t have to hear annoying buzzing sounds with incorrect answers on the machine
  • Can grade anywhere
  • Students can’t Google the answers on another tab when using their Chromebooks
  • Can use pen or pencil on the answer sheet.

Cons:

  • Entering student roster manually (unless you can figure out a CSV file)
  • It’s on paper
  • Does not provide immediate feedback to students like on Google Forms/Schoology
  • You HAVE to use an iPhone, iPad or Android device to scan answer sheet

Getting started:

1. Go to http://www.zipgrade.com and create an account.

2. On a CB, PC, Mac, or whatevs, create a class.

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3. Enter your class roster.  You’ll notice that each student is assigned a ZipGrade ID necessary to match up the name and results.

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4. I now have 4 students in my practice class.  If you choose the “Answer Sheet Packets”, you can print an answer sheet for each student in that class with their name and ZipGrade ID filled in.  Ingenious!  The left answer sheet is filled in, the one on the right is not.

5. Entering the answer key is on your device’s ZipGrade app.  You cannot access it from your CB, PC or Mac.  Here were the instructions for your iPad/iPhone/Android:

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  • Left Panel: I added a new quiz.
  • Middle Panel: Editing the key meant either manually entering answers or scan for a key.
  • Right Panel: The quiz menu is very straightforward.

According to the instructions above, I could start grading!  Check out these YouTube videos on ZipGrade and what it offers:

Some helpful hints from Jake Teske in Social Studies, whose department uses ZipGrade:

Make sure the grade sheet is completely flat.  When you are done scanning, close the program on your phone or it will drain the battery.

Mark Little in Science also has some suggestions:

Mark doesn’t assign a ZipGrade ID number or handout prefilled answer sheets.  “I have students write forms by name”.  He also records scores by hand going through the tests or writes it directly on the answer sheet.

Hopefully, your next experience with grading multiple choice assessments will be easier thanks to ZipGrade.  Many teachers in our building use it, so ask around…..I know they will help you!

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BrHS Student Tech Team & Eagle Genius Bar

BrHS Student Tech Team: Let the Eagles Soar

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Pictured L to R: Diego Diaz, Wes Keodara, Sophie Ortleb, Mitchell Gorman, Jana Compesi, Ryan Stewart, Riley Judd

Beginning January 9th, Broomfield High School became the first school in the district to offer a for-credit Student Tech Team class.  A group of exceptional young men and women applied and based off of experience and teacher recommendations started the tech team under the guidance of Kay Davidson (BVSD 1:Web TOSA), Megan Banola (BVSD IT Hardware Serviced Manager), Daniel Karschamroon (BVSD IT Hardware Repair Technician), Zoe Midler (BVSD Literacy Specialist), and Erika Morreale (BVSD Ed Tech Specialist).

Only one week later the Eagle Genius Bar was started and based out of the Library.  Collaborating with IT and BVSD EdTech, the students were trained on how to repair Chromebooks.

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It was amazing to see these students actually diagnose and fix Chromebooks, create service flowcharts,  generate repair tickets, and tackle some technology assignments in their “spare” time.

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Two weeks into the semester they are VERY busy with repairs and assisting teachers with different projects.  If your students need assistance or if you would like some help, come and visit us in the library or call our extension for an appointment.  We’d be happy to spend some time with you!

Teacher Spotlight – Paul Reynolds

Paul Reynolds – El mejor maestro, world traveler and local baker.

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  1. What do you do a BrHS? This is my fourth year teaching Spanish at Broomfield High; this year I’m teaching levels II & III.
  2. What is your favorite technology/app/extension? I always like to use technology to check-in on my students’ progress & understanding like Kahoot, Quizizz, and Quizlet Live.  With finals coming up, I have to say that I am a big fan of the ZipGrade app.  Nothing beats having an app on your phone that can grade your tests instantly! 
  3. Where is the best place you’ve traveled to and why? The best place I’ve traveled to is Tanzania.  Since it’s a popular destination, I had the chance to meet people from all around the world.  Trekking through the distinct climate zones on Kilimanjaro made for a unique experience; starting in the rain forest and reaching the summit surrounded by glaciers was awesome.  I loved visiting the national parks and observing all of the wildlife there; it was a phenomenal trip!
  4. What is the weirdest job you’ve ever had?  The summer after I graduated high school, I was the night baker at a Safeway store in Boulder.  Working from midnight til 8:30, I fried the doughnuts, baked the bagels & pastries, and starting preparing the breads for the day.  It was weird going to work as all of my friends were going to bed! 
  5. What songs are on the soundtrack of your life?  John Denver’s “Rocky Mountain High” for my love of Colorado & the mountains, Ozzy Osbourne’s “Crazy Train” since it makes me think of Larry Walker & heading to Coors Field when I was a kid, and Billy Joel’s “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant,” one of my favorite songs by my favorite musician.

GAFE Session: Creating Comics with Bitmojis and Google Slides – show your students’ creativity! By Kay Davidson

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Several weeks ago, some of our BrHS teachers went to GAFE – Google Apps For Education Summit.  There were so many great sessions, but the experience was comparable to drinking water from a fire hose!  It was my second year attending, but this year more people attended from BrHS and we were able to divide and conquer – GO Eagles!

One of the sessions was “Creating Comics with Bitmojis and Google Slides“.  It was amazing!!  The presenter, Sylvia Duckworth, shared so many ideas and templates to use.

We were given time to make our own Bitmoji:

We were also given links to Google Slide templates to make our own comic strip (which I thought was a great beginning of the year activity to get to know our kids):comickd.PNG

She also included other examples and template resources:

If you have the time, check our Sylvia’s link above.  It’s worth creating your own Bitmoji and “All About Me” for practice or as an example for your students.

Questions?  Contact Kay Davidson, Terry Oakley, Steve Kelly or Alex Kelly who attended this GAFE session.

Staff Spotlight – Jeff Bierlein

Jeff Bierlein – BrHS Tech Savior, Mountain Man and Rock Star!
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  1. What is your job at BrHS?  I.T. Field Support (aka Customer Service Technician)

  2. Favorite Technology/App?   Favorite technology = my drone! … Favorite apps (android) = Show Box + Raindar

  3. Where is your favorite place to be – besides Broomfield High School?  It’s a toss up between skiing at Copper Mountain and relaxing on Bowman’s Beach (Sanibel Island, FL)

  4. What songs are included on the soundtrack of your life?  Sun Is Shining (Bob Marley), Rocky Mountain High (John Denver)

  5. If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be?  Rock star, of course! 

 

Recap: Let Every Student’s Voice Be Heard! by Heather Peter

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Recap is question-led chat tool augmented by the power of video that makes it easier to start deeper, more empowering discussions with students and teachers.

If you’re like most teachers, you struggle to have EVERY student participate in class. It’s difficult to have 30+ voices heard in one class period. That’s where Recap comes in. Recap is a FREE student video response and reflection app developed by the makers of Swivl. It gives teachers and parents insight into students’ learning and progress. Recap provides evidence of student thinking, improves formative assessment, and supports personalized learning.

Watch this video for a quick introduction of Recap.

The Basics of Recap

The Queue

Involve anyone in a moderated, question-led dialogue using a mixture of chat to get the conversation started easily, and video to explore topics more deeply.

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5 Ways to Use the Queue:

  1. Learn what students are curious about prior to a new unit or topic.
  2. Coach students into deeper questioning skills.
  3. Check for understanding after a lesson
  4. A digital ”Wonder Wall” for a lesson or activity.
  5. Use it as a discussion board for PD sessions & events.

Student Responses

Provide participants a way to clearly present their thoughts and feelings in response to questions with privacy options that inspire confidence.

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5 Ways to Use Student Responses

  1. Open dialogue around a thought-provoking student question.
  2. Collect updates from students about their inquiry or group projects.
  3. Share highlights and takeaways from an activity.
  4. Gather formative assessment data.
  5. Have students introduce themselves to the class.

Two Additional Tools

The Journey

Create a video Journey to introduce the topic and connect participants with supporting resources.

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Chat Responses

Get the dialogue moving quickly and easily with chat response tools. Great for encouragement!

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Benefits of incorporating Recap into your classroom:

  • Gives teachers and parents insight into students’ learning and progress
  • Provides evidence of student thinking, improves formative assessment, and supports personalized learning
  • Participants can ask a question at any time to expand what gets considered
  • Highlight or sort for interesting questions and structure the dialogue with organizational tools
  • Comment to share initial thoughts, create Journeys to generate interest in new questions and use Video Responses for deeper dialogue and self-expression
  • Share Journeys, Video Responses, Highlight reels or even the entire Queue to engage a greater community

Uses in the Classroom:

  1. Exit tickets
  2. Reflections
  3. Daily check-in to see how group work is going
  4. Individually review themselves and group members based on their participation in the project
  5. What ways can you imagine yourself using Recap? Let’s Queue this up! Enter Join Pin CBNUTJU at https://app.letsrecap.com/pin #breakoutchat

Want more information? Here is a 10-minute video that shows you the basic functions of Recap.

The NEW Google Calendar is “So Choice”! by Kay Davidson

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In the immortal words of Ferris Bueller, the NEW Google Calendar is “so choice”.  It happens to look a lot like Google Calendar on your phone and will help manage your time more efficiently and get more done.  Who doesn’t want that especially if you’re planning for a day off in downtown Chicago….or Denver?

If you haven’t already noticed, there is a blue button to use the new calendar at the top right page of your own “old” calendar.  Click on “Use new Calendar”.

 

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Some new things about Google Calendar:

  1. Add rich formatting and hyperlinks to your Calendar invites.  You can link sheets, docs, slides, etc. in your Calendar invite and open them directly from the new “Event Detail” view.calendar 2No one wants to know about my dogs’ instructions or see the PDF about their immunizations, but now you can include it in the Calendar details to your dog sitter and add a description.  Or bold text. Or underline it.  Or italicize it…..you get the point.

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  2. Manage multiple calendars.  I have several gmail accounts and can manage all of them on one calendar, side by side in “Day” view.  Below,  I have my school/work and personal calendar.  It’s easier to manage multiple calendars for a single day.  LOVE IT!

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3. Other miscellaneous wonderful stuff:

“There are a number of other changes in Calendar, too. Now you can see contact information of meeting participants when you hover over their names in a Calendar invite. There’s also a new way to view and restore deleted items in one place in case you accidentally delete a meeting. Additionally, “Day,” “Week,” and “Month” views are now more accessible, featuring better compatibility with screen readers.”

Check out the original post here to find out more about New Google Calendars.

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Staff Spotlight – Peggy Silvers

Peggy Silvers – Paraeducator, Life-long Tech Learner, and Professional Rocker!

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1) What is your job at BrHS?  I am a paraeducator in the intensive learning center where I get to work with the most awesome students at BHS!

2) Favorite technology/app/etc? I love my apple watch and smartphone.  They keep me as connected as I want.  It might (not) come as a surprise to some of you but I am technologically challenged!

3) If you could do another job for one day, what would that be? I would love to rock premature babies in the NICU.  I used to work as a respiratory therapist and my heart just went out to them.
4) What songs are included in the soundtrack of your life? I like a plethora of music such as easy listening, country, Christian, jazz (just about anything but rap!)
5) What three words define you? Three words that describe me are hard working (I’m taking the liberty to count that as one), fun and kind.

Teacher Spotlight – Jim Zechmann

Jim Zechmann –

P.E. Teacher, BrHS Strength and Conditioning Expert, and Positive Influence!

 

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What do you teach?  I have the distinct honor to teach Wellness in Action, Team Sports, and Weight Training in the field of Physical Education.  I also get the opportunity to work with a variety of athletic programs in the Weight Room in the area of Strength and Conditioning.

What songs are included in the soundtrack of your life? “Bouncing Around the Room” by Phish because I am pretty high energy and constantly moving, and “Jimi Thing” by THE Dave Mathews Band because of this quote “What I want is what I’ve not got, And what I need is all around me.”  The quote helps me realize I truly good I have it and that I really don’t need anything else.

Favorite technology used in class: I love the overhead projector thing we have in classrooms.  I love the ability to show technique videos, informational nutrition videos and my cool PowerPoints 😉

If you could do another job for one day, what would it be?  Honestly, I have the best job in the world!  I could not picture myself doing anything else.  It is truly a privilege to work with the young people of Broomfield High School, Their parents, and my awesome colleagues!

Favorite indoor/outdoor activity:  My favorite activities are lifting weights, working out, fishing with the kids, running, attempting to train my dog and spending time with family.  Honestly, there is nothing I don’t like to do outside or inside (except cleaning).  I am like Gumby, I am flexible and can find something fun to do in any environment.

Google Keep: More Than Just Digital Sticky Notes by Heather Peter

Yes, Google Keep can be used to keep track of all those to-do lists and random notes-to-self, but it so much more than that.  If you don’t already use Google Keep, you need to check it out. It’s not only beneficial to you in your professional life but it is also useful in your personal life. Even better, your students can use Google Keep to stay engaged and organized.

There are so many note capabilities:

  • Check boxes:  Create to-do lists, assignment checklists, reading lists, grocery lists. You can also archive the to-do list and reuse the list later. 
  • Draw: Doodle-sketch your notes or students can sketch their notes. You can play with the lines, colors and more. You can come back to handwritten memos later by searching for what you wrote.
  • Voice Record: Only available on the app but you can access the voice notes on the mobile version once they are recorded on the app. 
  • Label: use the labels like you would folders–keep your notes organized. You can click on the label on the left-hand toolbar and it will bring up all those notes with the same label so you don’t have to read through all your notes. 
  • “Pin”: Use the “pin” to keep your most important notes at the top of your screen)
  • Add Images: You can also find images by searching for words contained within them. Say you take a photo of a presentation and the image contains the word “Differentiation.” Just search Keep for “differentiation” and your image will appear.)
  • Color Code: This feature allows you to easily see your related notes.
  • Set Reminders: Use either the  “dates and times” or by “place” feature. 
  • Add Collaborators: Share your note, to-do list, drawing, image or voice note with your colleagues, students, or your family.

Google Keep Mobile App

Adding the mobile app will ensure that you always have your notes where ever you are. The app also has a few features that the web version doesn’t. Check them out below:

  • Voice Record Notes (then able to access on web version)
  • Transcribe Notes from Pictures: Keep can transcribe text from pictures for you, so you don’t have to worry about typing up notes from a meeting or whiteboard session. 
  • Send Notes to Social Media or Other Apps: You might use Keep to draft emails or social media posts on-the-go. Click on the three dots in the bottom right corner of your Keep app, select “send” and choose the app you want to share your note with. Or you might save a social media post as a note in Keep. 

Integrate with Other Google Tools

Access your Notes in Docs and Slides!

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  • Use them to plan
  • Create checklists for your students to drag and drop into their document.
  • There are so many possibilities for this new feature.

If you’re in a Doc: click “Tools” on the menu bar, and then “Keep Notepad.” A sidebar will pop up with all of your note options. You can scroll through the list or use the search bar to jump right to the note you need. Once you’ve found it, drag-and-drop the note into your doc.

If you’re in the Keep app: select the note you want to send, click the three dots menu and click “Copy to Google Doc.”

Google Keep Chrome Extension

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The Chrome extension is similar to the Pinterest but when you create a note using the extension, it saves the site URL with it. So if you browse back to that same URL, the extension will show your note in context. You have the option to save the entire page or a section to the note in Keep.

Student Possiblities

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There’s More

There are endless ways that you can use Keep in your professional and personal life. I have barely scraped the surface. If you would like more ideas, I suggest checking out Shake Up Learning’s Pinterest board. I hope you will share how you use Keep in the comments below.