Online quizzes are now very popular with teachers

The pandemic has forced schools to suddenly kick into high gear with technology. Districts purchased thousands of devicesand educators deployed new teaching methods on the fly.

In fact, more than two-thirds of educators say their use of technology has “increased a lot” since the pandemic began, according to a survey of 888 teachers, principals and district leaders conducted by the EdWeek Research Center on the 1st January 2020. February 26 to 7. Online quizzes have become a particularly popular tool, with 69% of educators surveyed saying they or teachers in their school or district use them almost daily.

Online quizzes are especially helpful because they don’t “usually eat up class time,” said Todd Ostrander, the technology coordinator for the Richland School District in Wisconsin. “It allows them to focus on the curriculum and then do testing outside of the classroom.”

63% said the same about tools or software for creating presentations, while 58% said they often offer videos of their courses. Increasingly important: remedial lesson software to help students catch up, programs that help personalize learning for children, software that accelerates learning, learning management systems (such as Schoology or Google Classroom) and video conferencing platforms (think Zoom or Microsoft Teams).

Carlisle Haskovec, a special education teacher at Brooks High School in Killen, Alabama, said she was unaware of Google Meet before the pandemic. But now she uses the video conferencing platform to help students with homework outside of school hours. She loves being able to share her screen and dig deeper into their questions than she could over the phone or email.

Video conference also became a key tool for Haskovec’s colleague, Lisa McDougal, also a special education teacher. She has used it to meet with parents and other educators to review individualized education programs. The software makes it easier to get more people to attend these meetings, she said, because it can be difficult to line up times so everyone can get to the school building.

In the Childress School District in Texas, a rural system bordering Oklahoma, teachers still use a tool called “Screencastify” to post their lessons every day. That way, students who were absent — or who might need to revisit a tricky concept — can benefit from on-demand access to classes, said Sarah Mills, who holds several leadership positions in the district, including that of program director.

It’s been a boon for Mills’ own daughter, a freshman at the district’s high school who plays several sports and participates in plays and other activities.

That means a lot of missed classes, Mills said. But since most teachers now offer their lessons on video, put material in Google Classroom, or both, “she doesn’t have to miss the instruction,” Mills said.

Melvin G. Rodriguez