QuizMEOnline Social Networking & Studying

This past week I was looking for a website to easily create online quizzes and tests that I could use to quickly assess my students to make lesson adjustments. As I was looking at the different alternatives available for teachers to create quizzes I came across QuizMEOnline. I found this site to be interesting and possibly useful for some teachers. This site allows students to social network and create study groups and other resources. Teachers can also create classes and and then provided quizzes, flashcards and many other resources for students to use in their studies. Reminds me of another classroom management website called MyBig Campus. This site is free and very simple to use.

Take a look and see what you think QuizMEOnline.

If you are interested in a simple quiz maker for your classes check out my post on Testmoz

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Schoology a Free Social Network Learning Management System

Looking for a Learning Management system that incorporates social networking for student collaboration?  Schoology might be the answer. This LMS package incorporates many of the social network layouts and interactions that students have become accustom to through social networking.  They are easily able to able to interact with their teachers and students to collaborate and communicate.  Teachers can create different groups and classes manage student progress, grades, attendance and even view course analytics. Teachers can create online learning content like quizzes, online dropboxes, webpages, and various mobile applications.  Most of what this site provides is free however, individualized branding, support and training are purchased add-ons. This site is definitely worth looking at if you are looking for a classroom LMS system.

Click here to take a look at this LMS System.

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Fantasy Football Lessons for Education

2007 homecoming game at Northeastern State Uni...
Image via Wikipedia

So this past Sunday I sat down with a few friends to watch a football game.  As we screamed at each other and the TV I was struck by two interesting educational practices.  The first was was how the teams we were interested in watching were teams that until this year we would never have sat down to watch.  Being a teacher natural this intrigued me, why are we all so excited to see this game.  The answer was simple we were invested in this game.  We all had a stake in it because of Fantasy Football.  I immediately got to thinking about my class and how I could create this same type of atmosphere.  If I could get kids invested in a topic even a small portion of that topic I can keep them engaged and actively participating.  While it seems so simple it often is quite difficult for teachers and students to find that topic or subject that will captivate individual students.

As I continued to sit on the couch and tease and cajole  the others in the group another revelation hit me that made perfect sense.  Allow them to play.  So often we stifle kids creativity and do not allow them to play games and with each other in class.  If teachers are able to create an atmosphere of play and interaction among the students students would be engaged and actively participating in their education.  We live now in an ever increasing social world with Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and other social websites.  Students need to feel connected. They are connected 24/7 to friends and family but at school often feel isolated and alone because they loose that connection.  If teachers can simply providing that connection in class they can help to create a learning environment better suited to the students of today.

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90-9-1

According to Jakob Nielson Participation Inequity: Encouraging More Users to Contribute there is a 90-9-1 rule for online participation: 90% are lurkers, 9% are intermittent contributors, and 1% are heavy contributors. On the flip side 90% of posts came from 1% of users, 10% of posts came from 9%, and 90% never post. He then goes on to show in charity on Facebook less than 1% give donations. He gives some suggestions for overcoming this disparity but I think his first statement is most true: you can’t.

I think this is true is any organization and on-line is no different. There will always be lots of people who just “show up” compared to the few who do the lion’s share of the work. So relating this back to education, I do not know any research into this but I would be willing to guess that around 1% of educators are involved in on-line communities such blogs, Twitter, Plurk, Nings, etc. There is often talk on-line about how to get more teachers involved in the learning and sharing that takes place in these kind of spaces.

Based on this article I wonder if we are fighting a losing battle to get a large number of educators to be involved in on-line learning. It would be great if we could get 90% of teachers to even lurk in on-line communities, but even that seems unlikely.

I am not saying that we should stop trying to encourage people to get involved in these kinds of spaces, but I do wonder if we at some point accept it as fact that many teachers will never choose to participate in on-line learning activities and instead focus on having a “go to” person per building who is active on-line and can be a resource to other teachers. I know this could be looked at as enabling the lazy, but I think it is utopian to think that someday all teachers will be involved in on-line communities and sharing.

So what do you think? Do you have a plan to get all teachers active in on-line learning or should we consider alternate methods to share our learning such as “building experts”?

This post is part of EdTech Blog Swap and was written by guest blogger Michael Kaechele (concretekax on Twitter) who blogs at the Concrete Classroom.

Want to simplify your online presence?

Want to simplify your online presence?   Flavors.me might just be the key.  This site allows you to create content and then publish it to a variety of different sites and services.   This site allows you to post content to multiple sites at one time saving you time in getting your message out to your multiple online profiles.  For an excellent over view of what you can do on this site watch the video below.

Flavors.me from Jack Zerby on Vimeo.

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