Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ category


Now Integrated With Clever.com

We are excited to announce that we have integrated with Clever.com. This means that we can now seamlessly import students, teachers, and classes directly from a school’s student information system!

If you are using QuizBean in a school that uses Clever.com already, let us know! If your school adds QuizBean to their list of Clever apps, your days of manually creating students and classes will be behind you. Plus, QuizBean supports single-sign-on, so once you’re signed in to Clever, you’re signed in to QuizBean!

If you’re using QuizBean in a K-12 school that does not yet use Clever.com, this might be an important opportunity for your school. Integration with Clever.com is free for schools and opens the door to seamless integration with a wide variety of educational apps (including QuizBean). We’d be happy to help connect the right people at your school with the right people at Clever.com – just give us a shout.


Enterprise Account Tier, Custom Themes

QuizBean___Quickly_Create_Online_Quizzes_For_FreeWe’re pleased to announce the release of customized quizzes and enterprise level accounts.

Enterprise accounts are designed for our high-volume business customers. This tier allows for more quizzes and students than any previous account tier.

Enterprise accounts also have access to our newest feature; branded quizzes. Branding allows users to choose a color, logo and theme to be displayed when taking their quiz. This feature allows businesses to provide a seamless experience while still utilizing the powerful standard features of QuizBean.


Are My Quizzes Secure?

We’re frequently asked about the security and privacy features of QuizBean. We’d like to take some time to explain our practices and ideals here at QuizBean.

At QuizBean we’re deeply committed to keeping your data safe and secure, this includes registration/account information, students, class lists and quizzes. QuizBean will never disclose your information to a third party. We make every effort to ensure your data is as protected from unauthorized access utilizing proven techniques.

All new quizzes are private by default and viewable by only the creator. Only after choosing your sharing option will the quizzes be available to your students. Who can view your quiz depends on the settings you have chosen while sharing it.


New Feature – YouTube Videos

We’re excited to announce that we’ve added a much-requested feature to QuizBean: the ability to post YouTube videos within a question.video

This feature will allow users to develop a whole new breed of quizzes covering topics and skills which were previously difficult to assess. We’re especially excited about the opportunities this new feature lends to teachers of foreign language and language comprehension skills.

Videos can be added to new or previously created quizzes. To add a video, click the “Add Video” button while creating a new question. Then simply paste the YouTube link and your video preview will appear. When a quiz is taken the video will appear after the question’s text.

If you’d like a taste of the new feature, try our Music Video Time Machine Quiz!


New Feature – Option to Turn Off Social Sharing (by popular demand!)

We’re pleased to announce that we’ve recently implemented one of our most-requested new features: the option to turn off (or on) the “social sharing” feature when sending a quiz. If you haven’t noticed this already, the next time you go to send a quiz you’ll see a snazzy new button:

Social Media Sharing Options

Now, we’re a huge fan of sharing quizzes, especially in our Quiz Bank. And we love it when people use social media to share the quizzes they’re able to make on Quizbean. At the same time, as our user base broadens to include a greater variety of users, including corporate trainers and teachers at all levels, we’ve received multiple requests for more choice around social sharing. One request even came in literally during testing of the new feature – it was fun to be able to reply “we’re working on it as I type this!”
We hope you’ll enjoy the increased choice with Quizbean and social media. If there are any other changes we can make to Quizbean that you’d like to see, please let us know!


True/False and Multiple Correct Questions Now Available

True/False and Multiple Correct Now Available
It’s official! QuizBean now has four question types available to you to build your next quiz online. Here’s what we’re up to:

Plus, we took it one step further….When you build a quiz, you can mix question types. That means Question 1 can be true/false. Question 2 can be multiple choice and Question 3 can be multiple correct.

So, what are you waiting for? Start your next quiz!


I Dare You To Not Use An Infographic In Your Next Lesson Plan

Infographics are a cliche in 2014. But for good reason.

The power of the infographic is undeniable. Creating a visual representation of real-life data or information is a powerful way to connect to your audience. Especially if your audience is a classroom full of students. As the school day goes on your students get antsy. They start to mentally drift in and out of your lessons. It’s a real battle to keep their attention.

For example, imagine you’re a student. It’s 2:15p.m. You have 50 minutes until the end of the school day. Oh, and it’s Friday. The last thing you want to do is listen to a lesson about biology. You have more important things to think about, right? So what lesson are you more likely to engage with?

This lecture:

The typical definition-explanation lecture.

Or this lecture:

infographics for teachings

A visual-engaging lecture.

Both lectures serve the purpose of teaching your students about biology.

The difference is the level of engagement. With a more visually oriented lesson your more likely to win the attention of your students. And that’s the point. Building authentic engagement. The more time a student spends engaged during lessons, the more they learn (Gettinger & Ball, 2007). Visualizations of subject matter give your student direct impressions and immediate access to the lesson. Unlike the typical chalkboard counter example, which can seem distant and passive.

The key point is infographics are a supplemental solution to increasing student engagement in your lesson plans. Especially on Friday 😛

Where do you find infographics for your classroom? Let me show you.

How to Search for Infographics

1. Google Search

Do a few Google searches to find relevant infographics for the subjects you teach. An easy way to go about this is to do the following search:

Now look through the Google results. Skimming the images results is super helpful too.

There’s 8,190,000 results for this query. You should find plenty of useful infographics.

2. Look through Pinterest

Pinterest is an amazing resource for image-based ideas. Just go over to Pinterest and start searching relevant subjects.

Look at all the results!

3. Visual.ly

Visual.ly is the web’s best directory for infographics. It’s a great resource for finding awesome infographics.

keep in mind you don’t have to add “infographic” after your subject. Just search your subject.

Again, a lot of useful results!

It’s that easy.

In less than 10 minutes you’ll have an awesome way to take your lesson plan to the next level. Build authentic engagement. And have your students undivided attention. I dare you to not use an infographic in your next lesson plan.

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Are you ready to supercharge your productivity? Try Quizbean today.

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10 of the Worst School Cafeteria Lunches

Frozen peas. Nasty chicken. White bread.

School lunches have come a far way in recent years. There’s tons of support for local farmers, no-preservative foods, and even incorporation of home-cooked recipes.

But there are still cafeteria lunches that should simply not be ingested. We scoured the internet to find 15 of the worst. And beware: you may not want to eat lunch after this 🙂

1. They call this “chicken”

2. Where are the green veggies?

3. Love the fishwich

4. This needs no words

5. F for French Fries or F for Fail?

6. At least there’s sprinkles

7. These look familiar?

8. I know….it’s depressing

9. What is wrong with that banana?

10. Oh, look! Nachos for lunch!

 

Are you finished? Seriously – those are some nasty school lunches. I kind of can’t believe that’s being served somewhere. What do you guys have for lunch at school? Do you ever get hot lunch or are you a lunchbox kid? Let me know in the comments below!


5 EdTech Startups We Think are Pretty Cool

When you live in Vermont, there’s a lot of allure of big city like Boston. There are more people, more companies, awesome eats (shout-out to Union Square Donuts) and well, an enormous public transportation system. Boston is the closest tech-hub to Vermont. It’s fun for all of us to head down once-in-a-while to meet other edtech entrepreneurs, go to a conference, or just spend the weekend.

Last weekend, I headed to Boston for the day with my family. I was down there simply to eat. But, ended up coming across a terrific company, Sprout, looking to blend the environment with a writing utensil used by K-12 students across the country — the pencil.

When I returned, I thought I’d write up some of the other edtech (and some not-so-tech) companies I’ve seen over the past few months. Here we go:

1. Sprout

Sprout - a pencil with a seed

Sprout is a company producing pencils with seed capsules on the end of them. Just plant, water, and watch it grow.

You know when you’d try to erase your pencil marks and the eraser would make a nasty gray-meets-graphite smear on your notebook paper? Yeah – it was the worst.  Well, forget about that pesky eraser and add a capsule. What? Yes – that’s right. A capsule. The team at Sprout has attached a biodegradable capsule that, when planted, results in a beautiful plant. So, when you’re finished using the pencil, simply plant the capsule end in a pot, water it, and wait. Yep – awesome. Pencil to plant can’t be any easier.

Find out more at http://www.democratech.us/sprout/

2. Codecademy

CodeAcademy - learn to code for free

Learn to code for free at CodeAcademy

We’re a bunch of tech-obsessed programmers, marketers, and product managers. Some of us code in our sleep, others have a basic knowledge of HTML & CSS, and we’re still trying to convince the rest of the team to get on board. How do you get the basics down pat? Use Codecademy! In a full-day, I had basic HTML & CSS under my belt (Granted it was last Christmas so I devoted my full attention). If you’re looking to learn, Codecademy has much more than just front-end tutorials. You can explore JS, Python, Ruby, and even work with a couple APIs.

Learn to code at http://www.codecademy.com

3. Listen Edition

Listen Edition

Listen Edition helps teachers incorporate public radio into common-core aligned lesson plans.

I always wrote off NPR until it was used by a lot of professors as a multimedia tool where I went to college. I learned a ton – just from listening. And now Listen Edition wants to bring public radio to classrooms across the nation to help build listening skills – and then some. From their website: Listen Edition curates public radio stories and builds custom lesson plans around them that are written to the Common Core and aligned with state standards. Talk about increased engagement!

Help your students listen and learn at http://www.listenedition.com/

4. Year E-Book (pronounced year-y book)

This company hasn’t launched yet, but I’m excited to see it exists. They’re hoping to take antiquated hard-bound year books and turn them into digital versions for the ipad. And they’ll help students connect with each other, write messages, sign names, and post videos that can be approved by the student. The best part? The take the same file you send to the printer and convert it to be useable on an ipad. No extra work for you.

Make your year book different this year with Year E-Book at https://angel.co/year-ebook

5. DropIn

DropIn - the real college experience

DropIn connects prospective college students with current college students to immerse them in the real college experience

Remember going on a college tour and getting the “pre-packaged” chatter from the tour guide? DropIn is attempting to eliminate the college tour in exchange for being hosted by a real student — it’s basically the AirBnB of college tours. Drop In connects those students interested in a college visit with current students who want to host them. I believe this fundamentally changes the college research process. No more scripted tour guide. It’s the real college experience.

Find out more about DropIn at http://thedropin.co/

Have you found any cool education start-ups? Let us know about them in the comments.


6 Homework Ideas for Your Students Before They Head Home for Thanksgiving

A lot of schools get the whole week off for Thanksgiving. Some students stay home to have a great meal with their family. Others travel far to spend time with extended relatives.

With travel, comes an interesting opportunity for your students to learn lessons they’d only learn outside of school. Here’s a couple ideas for “homework” assignments for your students (and none of them require highlighting in a yellow textbook.

Here we go!

1. Draw a map of where you went with a story for each destination

I love roadtrips. Whether it’s to see family, a museum, or heck, even see the world’s largest rubber band, they never get old. The stories you hear, the people you meet. It’s an adventure. And that means your students are going to have great stories. Print out map worksheets and have your students write where they went along with a story. Or, use a US map to have students pin where they went on vacation.

2. Self-reflection: What are you thankful for?

This one’s simple, but I want you to challenge your students to think about what their thankful for. Jumping straight to family, friends, and a home, is easy. What are they truly thankful for? Ask them to give specific examples. In a page or two, you’ll learn a whole lot more about your students than you would giving them a simple times tables for multiplication.

3. Personal essay: Your favorite part about Thanksgiving

Similar to number 2, but a little looser, what do you students enjoy about Thanksgiving? Is it the food? The family? Or the football in the front yard? Whatever it may be ask your students to draw a picture, write a short essay, or both, on why they think it’s their favorite part of the Thanksgiving holiday.

4. Show and Tell from Thanksgiving vacation

Did your students get the bigger part of the wishbone from the Turkey? That’d be a fun show and tell item. So would your student’s Black Friday deal steal or homemade biscuits (especially if they’re amazing). When students get the chance to talk about something they loved about vacation you not only learn something about them, but it’s a chance for their peers to learn, too. Bring show and tell back to your classroom for Thanksgiving break.

5. A Story from Your Grandparent’s past

Family is all about storytelling. Whether you’re laughing about your sister’s go-kart story or how your uncle always makes Thanksgiving dinner a nightmare, there’s always opportunities to tell a good story. For me, a lot of the best stories come from my Grandparents. They have stories from a time I never experienced. And the stories are remembered so vividly, too. Chances are, your students hear some of these stories over Thanksgiving break. Give them the chance to write down the stories and share them with the class. They’ll learn other student’s stories and enjoy telling their own.

6. Your cousin’s favorite recipe

Everyone has their favorite recipes they look forward to every holiday – and Thanksgiving is no exception. Sometimes it’s Grandma’s homemade rolls with honey butter. Or, it could be your cousin’s famous bourbon pecan sweet potatoes. Have your students write about or bring in their favorite Thanksgiving recipe and share it with the class.

See? Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be textbooks and flag football. You can put meaning behind your student’s time off. And it’s more likely they’ll actually do the homework because it doesn’t involve a protractor or glass beaker.

Did you give your students any homework over Thanksgiving break? Let me know in the comments below.