quick key blog

May 2016

(English) 10 Easy Ways to Include Formative Assessment In Your Classroom

Disculpa, pero esta entrada está disponible sólo en Inglés Estadounidense.


Read More
Apr 2016

(English) Are You Using the Right Tests?

Disculpa, pero esta entrada está disponible sólo en Inglés Estadounidense.


Read More
Mar 2016

The Benefits of Assessments for Learning

Disculpa, pero esta entrada está disponible sólo en Inglés Estadounidense.


Read More
Mar 2016

(English) Five Strategies for Effective Teaching

Disculpa, pero esta entrada está disponible sólo en Inglés Estadounidense.


Read More
Mar 2016

(English) Striking the Right Balance: High-Stakes Testing and Formative Assessment

Disculpa, pero esta entrada está disponible sólo en Inglés Estadounidense.


Read More
Mar 2016

(English) Teachers Seek Ways to Make Data More Useful

Disculpa, pero esta entrada está disponible sólo en Inglés Estadounidense.


Read More
Mar 2016

Time on Task and Positive Learning Environment More Effective Than High-Stakes Testing

In a recent blog post for Oxford University Press, Jaekung Lee reitirates what many educators have already concluded: the educational gains from high-stakes are marginal and have unintended negative consequences on the learning environment. Lee suggests effective instruction time and increased engagement might provide part of the solution.
Read More
Mar 2016

(English) Schools Scramble as Online High-Stakes Tests Fail

It was just after 9 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 8, when Lori Smith, the associate principal at John F. Kennedy Elementary School in Kingsport, received a text from her sister, the instructional technology coordinator for Monroe County Schools. Schools in Monroe, along with several other districts across Tennessee, had begun administering the first round of the state's new tests, which students were taking on computers. "She messaged me and asked how things were going," Smith recalled. "I told her we had done a test on our technology and things were going well. Apparently, they weren't going well for her." What neither of them knew at the time was that all across the Volunteer State the testing technology was breaking down.
Read More
Feb 2016

(English) Teaching to the Test Done Right

Many of us would agree that teaching to the test has become an offensive phrase. I propose that teaching to the test may not be such a bad thing, as long as we are doing it in the right way and for the right reasons. An apt reason to teach to the test is so that your students can be successful in demonstrating their knowledge and skills. I am referring to designing instruction that directly builds knowledge and skills found on an end-of-unit test, or assessment. That assessment may be a project, an essay, or a lab experiment — some way to evaluate if the students can apply the knowledge and skills they have learned. In Understanding by Design, Wiggins and McTighe say that before we design the instruction, we must create the assessment first.
Read More
Feb 2016

(English) Follow The Green Rabbit……….

Disculpa, pero esta entrada está disponible sólo en Inglés Estadounidense.


Read More
Feb 2016

Should Student Test Scores be a Part of Teacher Evaluation

Does Georgia now have a teacher evaluation system only a sadist could love? By Maureen Downey This is a lengthy account of Georgia’s new teacher evaluation system by a teacher in a Georgia school system. Rated as highly effective in the past, the teacher helped develop the End of Course Test in his discipline. In this piece, the teacher reports on a recent training session in which the presenter said teacher evaluations last year were too high and administrators were being taught how to downgrade their ratings. The teacher also shares his experience with the new Milestones test. Article continued…


Read More
Feb 2016

Does Taking Standardized Tests Online Lead to Lower Scores?

PARCC Scores Lower for Students Who Took Exams on Computers by Kevin Organisciak
Read More
Feb 2016

(English) Is Technology Widening the Opportunity Gap in Schools?

Technology (and Its Implementation in Schools) Is Widening the Opportunity Gap When I write articles for EdSurge, the intention is usually to write without opinion. But this piece isn’t going to be like that. The way we handle technology in schools is widening the opportunity gap. This isn’t just my opinion; many educators echoed this sentiment at the annual EduCon conference in Philadelphia and Teach for America’s (TFA) 25th anniversary summit.
Read More
Feb 2016

Let’s Shift the Focus to Meaningful Assessment

The increase in high-stakes testing has shifted the classroom focus away from what matters: assessments that provide both teachers and students with meaningful feedback and a light to shine on the path forward. Andrew Miller explores this idea in his latest blog, Assess More, Grade Less. Miller writes, “
Read More
Feb 2016

Multiple-Choice Questions Based on Bloom’s Taxonomy

OfficialQKLogo 3
 

Quick Key Mobile™ turns your mobile device into a scanner and eliminates hand-grading of formative assessments, even for teachers working in paper-based classrooms without a computer or an internet connection. Analytics and data exports are fast and easy, so you can focus on your students.
 
From the Quick Key Mobile Team and Family    
Interstitial ad 600x400 free forever 4
 
Multiple-Choice Questions Based on Bloom’s Taxonomy
The Big Idea: Multiple choice questions can deliver powerful data. The Quick Key Blog is proud to bring you tools for writing effective MC questions, that require critical thinking, and yield powerful data.
 
According to Edglossary “Bloom’s taxonomy is a classification system used to define and distinguish different levels of human cognition—i.e., thinking, learning, and understanding.

Educators have typically used Bloom’s taxonomy to inform or guide the development of assessments(tests and other evaluations of student learning), curriculum (units, lessons, projects, and other learning activities), and instructional methods such as questioning strategies.”

Many educators are using Blooms Taxonomy as the underpinning of their assessment creation. We want to support educators who are doing this, so we pulled together some examples of multiple choice questions based on Bloom’s Taxonomy. We hope this is a helpful resource, and as always teach inspired.

-Walter Duncan Co-Founder Quick Key Mobile

grey_box_bottom.gif

Multiple-Choice Questions Based on Bloom’s Taxonomy

Knowledge questions

Outcome: Identifies the meaning of a term.

Reliability is the same as:

A. consistency.

B. relevancy.

C. representativeness.

D. usefulness.


In the area of physical science, which one of the following definitions describes the term “polarization”? 


A. The separation of electric charges by friction.

B. The ionization of atoms by high temperatures.

C. The interference of sound waves in a closed chamber.

D. The excitation of electrons by high frequency light.

E. The vibration of transverse waves in a single plane.

Outcome: Identifies the order of events.

What is the first step in constructing an achievement test?

A. Decide on test length.

B. Identify the intended learning outcomes.

C. Prepare a table of specifications.

D. Select the term types to use. Comprehension questions


Outcome: Identifies an example of a term.

Which one of the following statements contains a specific determiner?

A. America is a continent.

B. America was discovered in 1492.

C. America has some big industries.

D. America’s population is increasing.


Outcome: Interprets the meaning of an idea.

The statement that “test reliability is a necessary but not sufficient condition of test validity” means that:

A. a reliable test will have a certain degree of validity.

B. a valid test will have a certain degree of reliability.

C. a reliable test may be completely invalid and a valid test completely unreliable.

Outcome: Identifies an example of a concept or principle .

Which of the following is an example of a criterion-referenced interpretation?

A. Derik earned the highest score in science.

B. Erik completed his experiment faster than his classmates.

C. Edna’s test score was higher than 50 percent of the class.

D. Tricia set up her laboratory equipment in five minutes.


Which one of the following describes what takes place in the so-called PREPARATION stage of the creative process, as applied to the solution of a particular problem?

A. The problem is identified and defined.

B. All available information about the problem is collected.

C. An attempt is made to see if the proposed solution to the problem is acceptable.

D. The person goes through some experience leading to a general idea of how the problem can be solved.
 
 
QK 200x200 SAVE 10 HRS JPG
 
 
 
                                             
                         

Read More
Jan 2016

Quick Key has a new Android release!

You asked; we listened. Quick Key is happy to announce a new release of our Android app. This new release has the following fixes: improved scanning across a wider range of Android devices and improved sync of quiz results across a wider range of devices. If you have an Android device, give us a try. You’ll find our app in Google Play. Check out our resources page for our Quick Start Guide and wide-range of tutorial videos to help you get started. And remember, our support team is just a click away; your feedback and suggestions are always welcome. We are truly committed to creating a meaningful assessment platform for teachers and students.
Read More
Jan 2016

(English) THE ART OF INSPIRATION, OR WHY THE FREEDOM TO TEACH IS SO IMPORTANT

Disculpa, pero esta entrada está disponible sólo en Inglés Estadounidense.


Read More

Teach Your Teachers Well

By SHAEL POLAKOW-SURANSKY LAST month, at the urging of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, New York’s Board of Regents suspended the use of state tests to evaluate teachers. This is a wise first step, but it won’t improve our schools unless we go further and build a professionalized system of support that views teachers as learners and challenges them to improve their classroom practices. The national push over the last decade to strengthen how we evaluate teachers was rooted in studies that suggested that consecutive years with an ineffective teacher did lasting damage to a child’s life chances. In response, many teachers’ evaluations have been tied to how their students perform on state tests…article continued.
Read More
Jan 2016

Quick Key Selected Again by Jaime Escalante Math

41cU0gd8uSL._SY366_BO1,204,203,200_

For the second year in a row, Quick Key was selected as the assessment solution for the prestigious Jaime Escalante Math Program in Los Angeles.

According to Fernando Fernandez, Director of Jaime Escalante Math,

“Quick Key has been instrumental in realizing our goal of using real-time data each day to help our students to thrive. We believe students can excel at the highest level, no matter their background. Quick Key supports our mission by making our assessments faster and more effective than ever before.”

Video: Find out why Jaime Escalante Math depends on Quick Key Pro SITE:

2 min vid.001

About the Jaime Escalante Math Program

Jaime Escalante, the teacher whose pioneering work was immortalized in the Oscar-winning film “Stand and Deliver”, knew how to turn any kid into a high-performing student.

Today, the world-renowned math program that bears his name employs proven pedagogy and daily assessment to transform the math ability – and life opportunity – of thousands of at-risk kids each summer.

Quick Key was chosen again – for the second summer in a row – as the tool to deliver the fast formative assessments the Program relies upon to accelerate students to the highest levels of achievement.




Read More
Jan 2016

Quick Key passes stringent new certification tests from PowerSchool!

Quick Key is now certified for single sign-on and two-way data integration with PowerSchool, the world’s largest school SIS platform. PowerSchool has introduced stringent certification badges for their 170 ISV partners. With the new badges, PowerSchool customers will be able to easily see which ISV partners have met the new requirements and offer a truly effective and seamless integration with PowerSchool. Only 15 of 170 companies have made the cut, and Quick Key is one of them, along with Blackboard, Canvas, and other major players in the EdTech space. Quick Key was certified for two of the badges this week. The third badge requires an additional review process, and Quick Key is in that process now.
Read More
Jan 2016

Top Tech Trends That Could Supercharge Education in 2016

D. Frank Smith recently wrote an article for EdTech magazine in which he highlighted five cutting-edge technologies that are destined to have an impact on education in the U.S. Smith writes, “Science-fiction author William Gibson once said, “The future is already here — it’s just not very evenly distributed.” The technologies of tomorrow are already being tested in select classrooms today, laying the seeds for the future of how students could learn. With 2016 fast approaching, technology analysts have been busy prognosticating the top technology trends. A few of these technologies have already made headway into education, and others are poised for mass distribution, with the promise of ground-shaking change in their wake. We’ve reviewed a few of these trends through the lens of how they could affect classrooms in both K–12 and higher education…article continued
Read More
Dec 2015

(English) Personalized learning and tech in the classroom boost student achievment

Disculpa, pero esta entrada está disponible sólo en Inglés Estadounidense.


Read More
Sep 2015

Would you lend Quick Key a hand?

We are asking our community of educators to help us make improvements at Quick Key. Please take a few moments to fill out our brief survey. As a thank-you, you will be entered to win a $500 gift card to S&S Worldwide (think classroom goodies, games and more!). Additionally EVERYONE who completes the survey will receive a FREE YEAR of Quick Key Pro! Talk about a win-win!
Read More
Sep 2015

Quick Key and Chromebooks in the Classroom

In a recent article, Education Week explained the recent dramatic increase in the use of Chromebooks in U.S. schools. An increasing call from teachers for online assessment options and the relatively low cost of Chromebooks have put computers in the hands of more students than ever before. Did you know that Quick Key has a quizzing app that was specifically built for the Chrome Browser and Chromebooks? We have made it easier than ever for teachers to assess students on paper, online or on a Chromebook. And, if you have PowerSchool, the results can be automatically sent to your grade book. If your school uses Chromebooks, be sure to watch our short video on Quick Key’s Chromebook Quizzing App. As always, we are eager to hear your feedback- building an incredible assessment tool for teachers is our sole focus.
Read More
Sep 2015

Exit Tickets Enhance Student Metacognition

At Quick Key, we are big fans of frequent formative assessment. We certainly see the value in those summative assessments that allow us to see how much our students have grown over time, but we believe the power of teaching is in the day-to-day understanding of what our students know and what they need to learn. As teachers, we also realize the power of knowing if our teaching is effective. Exit tickets, those sets of 3-5 questions after a lesson, are incredibly helpful in allowing teachers to see exactly what students have mastered, what they haven’t and who might need some re-teaching; what an opportunity to figure out how to best differentiate our lessons for the myriad of learners in our classrooms! For students, exit tickets can be an opportunity to reflect on their own learning. We were delighted to see that the New York Times featured exit tickets as a teaching strategy this morning: http://learning.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/09/03/skills-and-strategies-exit-slips/?_r=0  
Read More
Sep 2015

Go Back to School with Quick Key!

There is nothing quite like the excitement of the first few weeks of the school year- all of those fresh, eager faces, new books, a clean slate… However, for many of us the excitement of the start of the school year is quickly replaced by a feeling of being overwhelmed with all of the administrative tasks that come with being a teacher. Sadly, all of those forms you sent home with your students the first day come back to you! Quick Key is happy to help alleviate some of your back to school stress. If your school uses PowerSchool to manage student information and data…we have awesome news…Quick Key and PowerSchool integrate with each other quickly and seamlessly. Click here to watch a short video on how to sync your PowerSchool and Quick Key accounts:http://info.quickkeyapp.com/summer_deals_07092015-1-0 Don’t forget to use the coupon code: back2school to get $5 off your annual Quick Key account or to get a free month of Quick Key Pro.
Read More
Aug 2015

Short Formative Assessment Improves Student Achievement

In case you’ve missed it, numerous studies have shown that short, frequent formative assessment (like Exit Tickets) is one of the most powerful ways any teacher can improve student performance.


According to Robert Marzano, a leading K-12 education researcher, “To the surprise of some educators, major reviews of the research on the effects of classroom assessment indicate that it might be one of the most powerful weapons in a teacher’s arsenal.”

In my opinion, this isn’t actually a surprise to most educators. Rather, the amount of time it takes to actually do formative assessments every day – even very short ones of 3-5 multiple-choice questions – is prohibitive. Frequent formative assessment costs so much time and aggravation, there just isn’t enough time in a day.

Clever use of technology can make short frequent formative assessment possible, by making it fast. I also know one teacher who has her students grade each other’s stuff (though this is perhaps better for longer assessments, since an Exit Ticket or similar daily assessment can’t be bogged down by logistics).

Of course when it comes to technology, it has to be super-stable and impervious to bad wi-fi or Internet, lost/forgotten/broken devices, and other glitches. That might be a tall order, but it’s exactly what you get with Quick Key.



By: Isaac D. Van Wesep
CEO, Design by Educators, Inc.


Read More
Aug 2015

Best Mobile Scanning: Micro Quick Tickets

Kristian Still from Wellington Academy in the UK has been experimenting with Quick Key for over a year now, and he is blogging about his and his school’s experiences on his blog. But what really struck me most was that Kristian and his students have shrunk their Quick Tickets down to a tiny size, making them not only compact enough to share a page with a 20-question quiz, but also super-easy and super-fast to fill out.

Scanning is unaffected by the size change.

I tried it myself, with two of our new Augmented Quick Tickets from AugThat, and lo and behold, it works great!!

… And they were really fast to fill out, too. My favorite!

These Quick Tickets are the size of a box of wooden matches. Tiny!

These Quick Tickets are the size of a box of wooden matches. Tiny! And very fast to fill-out


Read More
Aug 2015

Get a Free Month of Mobile & Online Quizzing

Quick Key is the only product that lets you instantly make, scan, and score paper quizzes with your phone or tablet, even if your device is not connected to the Internet. And, your students can also take a Quick Key quiz online in their Chrome browser or Chromebook.

Quick Key is also free, for up to 4 quizzes per month. But to get the online quizzing and unlimited quizzes, you need a Pro account. To upgrade to Pro, you can sign up here or click “go Pro” from your account dashboard. Use the coupon code “back2school” and you’ll get your first month free, or $5 off an annual subscription.

Give it a try, and let us know what you think!

Isaac CEO, Quick Key

GET YOUR FREE OR PRO ACCOUNT NOW



Read More
Aug 2015

Join Us! Online Quiz App Hangout

Register for this event: http://info.quickkeyapp.com/online_quizzing_quick_key_08182015

Join Quick Key’s CEO – Isaac D. Van Wesep – On August 18th at 3pm Eastern Time to learn about and give feedback on Quick Key’s new online quizzing app for Google Chrome.

The Chrome Quiz app is fully integrated into Quick Key, so you can collect both scanned and online results in a single quiz. Now we want you to tell us how to make it better.

This hangout is online.

I hope you will join us!


Register here: http://info.quickkeyapp.com/online_quizzing_quick_key_08182015
Read More

Building Your Classroom Environment

The beginning of the school year is an exciting time for students and teachers alike. As teachers, we know that a strong start to the school year begins with creating and organizing our classroom environment.  Use Quick Key’s class import tool to quickly and easily import your class lists and get started. Once your class list is imported, you are ready to organize and analyze your student data. We even integrate seamlessly with PowerSchool. Let Quick Key help you get your classroom student-ready! Get started with your free Quick Key account today.
Read More
May 2015

Help Us Celebrate 1 Million Quizzes Scanned!

We are closing in on one million quizzes graded with Quick Key! Our excitement is growing as we watch the live quiz scan counter on our home page. Each day we get closer. Who will scan Quick Key’s one-millionth quiz? Your success is our success, so let’s enjoy this success together! To add some fun to our millionth quiz celebration, we came up with a little contest. What’s at stake? Some Quick Key swag! Here’s the deal: Quick Key is offering a prize to the teacher who scans our one millionth quiz. We are also oferring a prize to the teacher who has the highest number of student scans during our contest period. What do you have to do to get in on the fun? Just keep scanning! Use or mobile scanner or our Chrome App to scan and grade your assessments, and we will keep track of all the rest! Easy Breezy! How to win: Just keep doing what you’re doing, and do a lot of it! The more quizzes you do with Quick Key the greater your chances of doing the millionth quiz….and the greater your chances of scoring some Quick Key swag!
Read More
May 2015

PowerSchool + Quick Key

Now you can link your PowerSchool and Quick Key accounts!

With Quick Key and PowerSchool, now you can import your student rosters, create your assessments, and export your results to PowerSchool with the click of a button.

Kyle Hansen, the PowerSchool Administrator at American Leadership Academy in Spanish Fork, UT said, “Quick Key and PowerSchool are the perfect match. When I found Quick Key last year, I loved it. Now that the class rosters and assessment results are automatically synced between the two platforms, tracking and analyzing student assessment data has become truly effortless.”

Get started by watching our video on how to quickly and easily sync your Quick Key and PowerSchool accounts.



powerschool and quick key tutorial from Quick Key on Vimeo.




Read More
Mar 2015

Quiz Scanner Video

Here is a quick tutorial showing how to make, take, scan, and score a quiz with Quick Key. If you want a quick overview of how it works, along with a live mobile screencast of what it looks like to scan quizzes with your mobile device, this is the video for you.


Scanning with Quick Key from Quick Key on Vimeo.
This quick tutorial shows you how to scan with Quick Key Mobile for Apple and Android phones and tablets.

Get your first month of Quick Key Pro for FREE! Click here http://hubs.ly/y0C42m0
Read More
Mar 2015

Mobile Scanning with Teams!

Mobile scanning is the fastest way to get immediate results and know if your students have mastered today’s lesson.

Now we’ve added a teams feature to Quick Key to help teachers in a department or grade level work together, by sharing quizzes with each other. You can also share quiz results (optionally).

Check out this video on how to set up a team in Quick Key, and start sharing helpful assessments with each other.


Teams on Quick Key from Quick Key on Vimeo.
Learn how to create and manage teams with Quick Key. Invite colleagues, assign Pro licenses (optional), set permissions, and share quizzes & quiz results (also optional).

Get your first month of Quick Key Pro for FREE! Click here http://hubs.ly/y0C42m0
Read More
Mar 2015

Test Prep Solution: Free month of Quick Key Pro

PARCC test prep: leading cause of teacher headaches?

Well, maybe not. But grading quiz after quiz after quiz can get old, fast. Still, nothing beats frequent assessment for making sure all your students are ready for this season’s PARCC and state standardized exams.

We made Quick Key to eliminate the hassle of frequent assessment so you can actually use it year-round. You’ll see real achievement gains almost immediately, and – yes indeed – spend less time grading tests.  

So if you haven’t tried Quick Key for quick formative assessment at the end of your day’s lesson, we want you to give it a try this testing season.

Click here to learn more about Quick Key. Or,


Click here to get your free month of Quick Key Pro when you use coupon code 1LOVE at checkout.

And don’t forget to drop us a line and ask us anything!


Get your first month of Quick Key Pro for FREE! Click here http://hubs.ly/y0C42m0
Read More

THE Journal covers Quick Key Android Launch



Big thanks to Christopher Piehler for shouting us out in his article about the new Quick Key Android scanner in THE Journal!

Let’s just say Christopher was right on the money when he wrote “The company has also added features to its Quick Key Pro and Pro Website apps, including expanded student tracking, the ability to create custom student IDs, a new Quiz Builder that lets users write and print quizzes, and a way to form teams and share quizzes with other Quick Key Mobile users.”

THE Journal covers the transformation of education through technology, and is an awesome resource for teachers and administrators to find out what’s new and what’s both awesome and new in the world of ed tech. 

Christopher, please let us know if there is ever anything we can do for you! 

*** Get unlimited mobile scanning first month free at http://hubs.ly/y0C42m0 ***
Read More
Mar 2015

Quick Key's 100-Question Scanner Enters Beta Testing

When we say that Quick Key is teachermade, we really mean it. One of the features many teachers asked for was a 100-question answer sheet for longer assessments. Quick Key is pleased to announce that our 100-question answer sheet is currently in Beta testing.

Scanning on the new 100-question answer sheet still needs to be refined. That’s why we have enlisted the help of some brave and patient Beta test- teachers. They have agreed to help us by using the new answer sheet even though they know that they will have to fix some of the scanning errors that occur.

If you would like to help us optimize the performance of our 100-question answer sheet by becoming one of our brave Beta testers, please click here to send a support ticket with the phrase 100Q Beta in the subject line.

We will be sure to let all of our Quick Key users know when our 100-question answer sheet is ready for prime time!


Read More
Feb 2015

You asked…we listened!

We say it all the time… Quick Key is teachermade. One of the features that teachers requested was the ability to add tags to tests and quizzes made using Quick Key. Many teachers are now required to track and report their teaching and assessment of state and national standards. Quick Key makes this easy. While creating your quiz on the Quick Key website, you can easily add a tag to identify which state or national standard your quiz measures.
Read More
Feb 2015

Quick Key for Android is Here!

Quick Key for Android is Here!

For those of us in the Northeast, it seems as if  spring will never arrive. But, when it does, we believe teachers should spend quality time with the great outdoors, not with stacks of ungraded quizzes. Quick Key is pleased to announce the launch of Quick Key for Android. Our Beta testing was a success- now Android users can turn their phones into mobile assessment scanners! Stop hand-grading quizzes and tests and start scanning with Quick Key. Assessment data can be uploaded to your grade book in one simple step. Click here to download Quick Key from Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.kiteknology.quickkey&hl=en





Read More
Feb 2015

Open Office Hours with Quick Key's CEO

Got something to say? A suggestion, a complaint, an idea? I will be available for an open forum discussion on Tuesdays in February and March at 4pm Eastern Time, starting on Tuesday February 24th.

All you need to participate is a gmail account. Just go to ceo.quickkeyapp.com and I will be there along with other Quick Key users. We can talk about anything you like.

See you there!
Isaac D. Van Wesep
Co-Founder and CEO, Quick Key
Read More
Feb 2015

Quick Key for Android is Live on Google Play

You can now download Quick Key Mobile for Android on Google Play here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.kiteknology.quickkey&hl=en

Device compatibility is still somewhat limited (but we have covered more than 90% of Android devices) and there may be some bugs left over from the beta test. Please report any problems to us by going here: https://quickkey.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/requests/new

Welcome Android users!! We are so happy to be able to serve you with the best mobile scanning app around 🙂 And we hope you will help us make it better!

-Isaac
CEO, Quick Key


___
Read More
Feb 2015

Can you help us decide how to price Quick Key Pro?

Quick Key needs you!

In a perfect world, anything that makes a teachers life easier would be free…forever.

At Quick Key, we are committed to ensuring that teachers can try our app before buying, and that light Quick Key users have fee access to the app. However, we need to create a premium version of Quick Key so that we can support our continued development of the app.

This is where you come in…Help us decide on the best path forward for Quick Key. Please take our quick (we promise!) survey on how we can best distinguish Quick Key free from the Pro, paid version of Quick Key.

Click here to take our survey:  http://hubs.ly/y0xzwZ0


Read More
Feb 2015

Black History Month Quiz

It’s National African American History Month (Black History Month) and the events of the past year are oh, so relevant.

Are you teaching African American history in your classroom this month? If so, make sure your students understand this important aspect of today’s national dialogue by using Exit Tickets at the end of your lesson. These short quizzes let you make sure your students understand what you taught them, and make sure they understand the historical context of current events.

Exit tickets don’t have to consume a lot of time. They can be as simple as five multiple-choice questions, and you can scan and score your Exit Tickets with Quick Key Mobile for iOS, or with the new Android Mobile BETA.

All you need to do is create a free account at get.quickkeyapp.com, load in your class list, and scan your exit tickets!



____
Read More

Scan Quizzes with Android

The Quick Key Mobile Android app BETA is now live and open for Beta Testers. 

If you have an android device and you have been waiting to use Quick Key Mobile, now you can!

To join the Beta test group, you first need to join the Quick Key Android Beta Group on Google Groups, using the same Gmail address you use on your Android Device, here: http://hubs.ly/y0vxyW0

Once you join the group, you’ll be authorized to download the Beta App. To download, go to this link to accept your invite and download the BETA: https://play.google.com/apps/testing/com.kiteknology.quickkey

Please remember this is a Beta, and the purpose is to test the new Quick Key scanner app on multiple devices. So when you start using the Beta, please report any bugs you find to the Google Group, and let us know what device you are using, and what version of Android.

Enjoy!
Read More
Feb 2015

School Closings, Snow Storms in Boston, New England

Can you believe the weather up here? In the past 6 days, we here in Boston have experienced two major snow storms and 2 minor ones, for a total of four days and three feet of snow!

To celebrate we are offering a Snow Day Discount on Quick Key Pro. From now until February 6 you can upgrade to Quick Key Pro for just $2/month when you use coupon code SNOWPATROL

School closings abound. School closings were listed for Monday, February 3. Some New England Schools may be closed tomorrow, Tuesday February 4.

Bring out the shovels!
Read More

Quick Key Android is in Beta – Testers Needed!

A new view of Quizzes 
Re-Designed Results Pages 
It’s been a long time coming, and it’s finally here: the new Android app from Quick Key is in beta testing now.

Quick Key Mobile for Android does everything our iPhone and iPad app does, and in some ways, even more. For one, Android got a completely new redesign and new interface tools that make navigating the app super-fast and very easy.

Now we need Beta Testers! Think you’re up for it? You’ll get advance access to the new Android app from Quick Key, and you’ll be able to use it with your current Quick Key account. Don’t have an account? You can set one up and submit your name for beta testing at the same time, here.





The Action Button in Action!

Read More
Jan 2015

Improved Quiz Management Feature: Copy Quiz

You can now make “blank” copies of your quizzes. Here is why:

On January 20th we removed the ability to add or remove questions or change the answer key (mark scheme) of a quiz if student results have already been scanned. We did this so we can expand Quick Key’s ability to sync with third-party electronic grade-books in the future.

But for some of you, it’s important to be able to change the answer key (mark scheme) or add/remove/re-order questions in your quiz, even after you have already scanned student results for the quiz. 

So to allow you to still update your quizzes, we added the ability to copy a “blank” version of any quiz you have already made. If you need to add, remove, or change questions of the answer key, but you have already scanned some results. DO NOT DELETE THE EXISTING RESULTS IN ORDER TO GET BACK THE ABILITY TO EDIT THE ORIGINAL QUIZ.

Instead, from the Quizzes page, press the “Copy” button next to the Quiz name you want to modify. Rename the copy if desired, make the changes you need to make, and then re-scan the original answer sheets.

This will keep your data clean and let us build integrations with third-party software in the future. Please let us know if you have any questions or suggestions on how to make your life easier. Thanks!

Read More
Jan 2015

Start scanning student quizzes in 5 minutes

If you have a list of your students in a spreadsheet you really can set up your Quick Key account in less than five minutes. Our importer is super easy to use. Just log in to your account, click “Import Your Students” from the Dashboard or “Import Student List” from the Students page, and you’re on your way.

This real-time tutorial shows you how:





Don’t forget to join the family and let us know what to build next!


Read More

The New Quick Key Dashboard

We have been working so hard on the new Quick Key, we’ve hardly had time to talk about it! For those of you just joining us, I hope you have a great experience and let us know about what you love and what we could improve.

For the 20,000 of you who have been using Quick Key since before our recent updates, the changes might be a bit of a surprise. It’s all to the good, with new custom IDs, advanced quiz-building and printing, and even more to come.

And from now on, you’ll be in the loop. That starts now, with this video tour of the new Quick Key dashboard. Take a quick look at the video, then log in and check it out.

And don’t forget to join the family and let us know what we should build next!




dashboard tour from Quick Key on Vimeo.
Read More
Jan 2015

A NEW YEAR, A NEW QUICK KEY MOBILE!

QK LOGO FOR EMAIL 2
January, 2014 
 
A New Year, A New Quick Key Mobile!

Quick Key Mobile turns your mobile device into a scanner and eliminates hand-grading of paper assessments, even for teachers working in classrooms without a computer or an internet connection. Analytics and data exports are fast and easy, so you can focus on your students.
get.quickkeyapp.com
divider2.gif

Walter Carter MLK 3
Quick Key Mobile Co-Founder Walter Duncan and his son Carter.
 

A Request For Feedback

Greetings friends and colleagues,

We rely on you to help us improve and perfect Quick Key Mobile. In this spirit we ask if you will make time in your busy schedule for a brief phone call to share your Quick Key experiences with us. 

You can schedule a call by replying to this email, or if you prefer just use my easy meeting scheduler by clicking the link below.

Best,
Walter
 
spacer.gif
divider2.gif
Get a FREE Year of Quick Key for Your Whole School?
What you get:  
  • Premium Site Features
  • Advanced Quiz Builder
  • Grade Book Integration
  • Unlimited Scanning and Students
  • Scan and Score Paper Quizzes with any Mobile Device
  • Easy Data Export and Visualization
  • Works With or Without the Internet 
  • Implementation, Training, and On Demand Support
SPECIAL OFFER BUTTON1 4
crop banner_300x250
spacer.gif
divider2.gif

Screenshot Results 4

View assement data on the web and on your mobile device!
Help Us Get The Word Out!

As teacherpreneurs, we rely on word of mouth. Please take a moment to forward this message or share it on social media with your principal, your colleagues and friends right now! 
 
QuickKey_Showcase 7
The Quick Key Mobile Assessment Suite
 

Read More
Dec 2014

A Formative Assessment Makeover for the Holiday Season!

QK LOGO FOR EMAIL 2
December 2014 

get.quickkeyapp.com
 
Please Allow Us to Reintroduce Ourselves!

Quick Key Mobile turns your mobile device into a scanner and eliminates hand-grading of paper assessments, even for teachers working in classrooms without a computer or an internet connection. Analytics and data exports are fast and easy, so you can focus on your students.
divider2.gif

Carter eating QK IMG_2394
Quick Key Mobile Co-Founder's son trying out his daddy's app!
 
Quick Key is Redesigned!

Greetings friends and colleagues,

You have spoken, and we have listened. Quick Key Mobile is redesigned! Our dashboard is easier to navigate and we have made it easier to visualize your results data on the web. Sign in and check it out!

What you get:  
  • Save 10 Hours a Week
  • Unlimited Free Scanning
  • Scan and Score Paper Quizzes with your Mobile Device
  • Easy Data Export and Visualization
  • Works With or Without the Internet 
 
spacer.gif
divider2.gif
Just in Time for the Holidays!
In honor of the season we are making a special offer to all those who sign up or sign back in today. 
SPECIAL OFFER BUTTON1 4
crop banner_300x250
spacer.gif
divider2.gif
Question itemization 2
View assement data on the web and on your mobile
Help Us Get The Word Out!

As teacherpreneurs, we rely on word of mouth. Please take a moment to press the "forward to a friend" button at the bottom of this email and share it with your principal, your colleagues and friends right now!. 
Get social with us!
facebook.jpg
linkedin.jpg
twitter.jpg


 

Read More
Nov 2014

Mobile Scanner and the Feedback Loop





Walter Duncan is a 15-year veteran K-12 teacher. His students were ranked in the top 15% of all Massachusetts Public School students on MCAS ELA in 2012. He has deep experience getting the best out of his kids in inner-city school districts such as Detroit, Washington DC, and Boston. Additionally he is the co-founder of Design By Educators the makers of the Quick Key Mobile app, a social impact company that seeks to empower teachers to more effectively close the achievement gap. The free Open Beta version of the Quick Key is available on the Quick Key Homepage. 



The Feedback Loop


I love feedback when it is positive, when it is what I want to hear. Who doesn’t like to hear “you’re a great teacher” or “your students scored exceptionally well on their standardized tests.”  However, the most powerful feedback is that which is constructive and corrective. The problem is, I find myself being defensive when hearing corrective feedback. My ego gets in the way. When my admin says, “great class Walter, but you need to improve your paperwork and data tracking”, I respond from a defensive posture, thinking to myself “you could not manage this classroom, how can you tell me anything.” This is the wrong way to handle corrective feedback, yet it is the knee jerk reaction that I, and so many other adults, have. And if we as adults struggle with this, imagine how our kids feel.

As I think about it I notice a pattern, when I was in the classroom I would focus on each area of student work that needed correction, explicitly. I would take the time to explain why something needed to be improved and how to improve it. But I would give much less attention the student’s success, never focusing enough on how and why they were successful at something. It is no wonder that they get defensive, if I am giving the lion’s share of the attention to their shortcomings. There is as much to learn from how something was done correctly as there is to learn from something done incorrectly. As teachers we need to balance our focus on both, this is not a call to praise when a student meets basic expectations, but a call to instruct from what was done excellently as well as what was done poorly.

This is on my mind as my formative assessment app Quick Key Mobile, a mobile scanner has just released updates and new features. We make it our central focus, to hear all feedback, take it to heart and incorporate it into our app. We believe giving teachers a full voice in everything we do helps us make a tool that gives teachers the story of their day’s lesson in the form of easy to access data, and allows them to give that feedback to their students.




Read More
Nov 2014

Answer Sheets, Multiple Choice Answer Sheets? The Art of Teaching is About So Much More!



______________________________________________________________




Walter Duncan is a 15-year veteran K-12 teacher. His students were ranked in the top 15% of all Massachusetts Public School students on MCAS ELA in 2012. He has deep experience getting the best out of his kids in inner-city school districts such as Detroit, Washington DC, and Boston. Additionally he is the co-founder of Design By Educators the makers of the Quick Key Mobile app, a social impact company that seeks to empower teachers to more effectively close the achievement gap. The free Open Beta version of the Quick Key is available on the Quick Key Homepage.




The Art of Teaching

They gave her a script! All I could do was shake my head. The pressure to perform on high stakes tests has gotten to the point that teachers are being given scripts to teach from. This is a travesty. As I thought about this I could only arrive at the conclusion that those who make these decisions simply do not understand teaching.

In my experience, excellent teaching is comprised of two very important parts (in truth it is more complicated, but let’s just keep it simple for now). The first is content, a teacher must understand the content and earnestly endeavor to employ a variety of methods to help students master it. That being said, technology is now available that will always be able to give students access to more content than one individual teacher could ever hope to. And teachers are evolving, shepherding students to resources and helping them to gain mastery over the opportunities that new technology provides.


The Art of Inspiration 

There is, however, a part of teaching that no technology will ever be able to replace. It is the art of inspiration. It is impossible to teach in a training course, it can’t be gained from a new miracle method. Quite simply, the dedicated teacher develops this through trial and error. The veteran teachers can guide rookie teachers in finding their authentic way of inspiring students. It is intangible, it is special, it is magical. It is why you remember the teacher that changed your life (shout out to John Sbordone!). It is what you do at that moment when you help a student face a life crisis by just listening, or when you chastise a student for not performing up to their potential. It cannot be measured in a new fangled evaluation rubric, and a teaching script is its death nell.


Why We Created Quick Key 

All of the above being said, we still feel the pressure. The students must perform, the rubrics must be filled out, the appetite of the evaluators must be satiated. But I will not turn my classroom into a fear of failure based worksheet factory. I created Quick Key so teachers could have access to and track formative data that they could use to support their out of the box teaching practices. When data exists that can back up the wacky and wild ways that educators find to inspire and educate their students, everyone’s needs can be met. I can have the freedom to teach, and at the same time have clear measures of student progress toward the standards. Let us marry data with the art of teaching to the benefit of our students. We must teach inspired!







Read More
Nov 2014

Are You Using the Right Quick Ticket?


Greetings Quick Key Mobile User Community,

We are writing to make an apology, we made a few mistakes in our rush to update the app with a new and improved scanner. The mistakes are small, and as long as you follow our instructions you should be good to go. We thank you for your patience with our beta and for your steadfast support in helping us get the word out about our app. More people are using Quick Key than ever before and we are well on our way to our goal of 100k users by January first.

If you are having issues with the new scanner please check out this list, if after checking these things you are still having an issue, please send us a support ticket and we will get it straightened out for you right away.

1. “My Ticket Wont Scan At All” Please make sure you are using the right Quick Ticket, the one with the 4 digit student ID that is pictured above. We accidentally included the future 10 digit ID ticket in the mobile app, and you receive that incorrect ticket if you email yourself a Quick Ticket. The 10 digit Ticket is for customizable student IDs, but it is not yet ready for use. If you are using the 10 digit student ID ticket Quick Key will not scan it.

2. “I scan with my iPad all the time, but since the update it will no longer scan” Please move the iPad a bit closer when scanning than in the past. Make sure the green brackets are around the student name box and the answer boxes and it should scan fine.

3. “I added students on my device and they have student ID numbers above 4 , but on the 4 digit student ID ticket there is no place for numbers higher than 4?” Please create your students on the web and not on the device, we accidentally included the code in the app for customized 10 digit IDs. Here is a quick tutorial on adding students all at once on the Quick Key website, it is really much faster and easier than doing it on the device: http://blog.quickkeyapp.com/2013/10/add-students-and-classes-in-seconds-on.html

On a final note, we are a teacher founded company, and we are so grateful for all of your support and help. We deeply apologize for these hiccups and will have an update with the fixes as soon as possible.

With deep gratitude,
The Quick Key Team


Read More
Oct 2014

Update to Quick Key Mobile 3.0 for iOS – Delete and Re-Install

This is an important announcement for anybody who wants to update to the new Quick Key Mobile v3.0 for iOS devices

Yesterday we updated Quick Key Mobile app for iOS on the iTunes iPhone App Store. However, because of a change we were forced to make (by Apple) to the login process on the mobile app, you may have trouble starting Quick Key Mobile on your iOS device after you install the update.

TO UPDATE YOUR iOS DEVICE TO QUICK KEY MOBILE 3.0, PLEASE TAKE THE FOLLOWING STEPS:
  1. QUIT & UNINSTALL THE CURRENT VERSION OF QUICK KEY MOBILE ON YOUR iOS DEVICE
  2. GO TO THE APP STORE AND RE-DOWNLOAD THE QUICK KEY MOBILE 3.0 UPDATE
  3. INSTALL IT AND OPEN IT
  4. SIGN IN USING YOUR EXISTING USERNAME AND PASSWORD
New User Registration and Password Resets must now be done at get.quickkeyapp.com

THANKS and I hope you enjoy your new experience with Quick Key Mobile 3.0!!

Isaac
CEO, Quick Key Mobile



Read More
Oct 2014

End of Quarter Grades Are Due, Let My Teachermade App Quick Key Mobile Help!

QK LOGO FOR EMAIL 2
October 2014 
divider.gif
October Brings End of the Quarter Testing, and Quick Key Mobile Can Help!

Quick Key Mobile turns your mobile device into a scanner and eliminates hand-grading of paper assessments, even for teachers working in classrooms without a computer or an internet connection. Analytics and data exports are fast and easy, so you can focus on your students.

Teachers Click Here to Download Quick Key Mobile for Free
divider2.gif
Walter and son jpg
Quick Key Mobile Co-Founder Walter Duncan, with his son.
 
It Is the End of the Quarter, Let Quick Key Mobile Help!

Greetings friends and colleagues,

The end of the quarter is upon us! How time flies, just yesterday teachers were learning student names and establishing routines. Now grades are due, benchmarks must be analyzed, and comments must be entered.

Let Quick Key help you shoulder the load! You can use Quick Key Mobile to save time and get immediate data from your multiple choice asessments, you can then use that data to drive your instruction in real time. Best of all it is FREE!

What you get:  
  • Save 10 Hours a Week
  • Unlimited Free Scanning
  • Scan and Score Paper Quizzes with your Mobile Device
  • Easy Data Export
  • Works With or Without the Internet 
 
spacer.gif
divider2.gif
Notes From the Quick Key 
Mobile Classroom
Teachers, are you using the right data to drive instruction? Check out our post on Micro-Data, for ways to improve student performance without teaching to a test!
Click Here to Read Micro-Data 

Our users have spoken and they love Quick Key Mobile. Listen to what they have to say! Click here to view their video!

Use this Quick Start tutorial, to begin saving time and using data to drive your instruction right now. Click Here for the Tutorial!
Paperless QK 2
spacer.gif
divider2.gif
OfficialQKLogo small 2
Please Help Me Get The Word Out!

As a teacherpreneur, I rely on the word of mouth of my colleagues and friends who share my frontline teaching experiences. Please take a moment to press the "forward to a friend" button at the bottom of this email and share it with your principal, your colleagues and friends right now!. 
http://qk.ronbassett.com/
 
Get social with us!
facebook.jpg
linkedin.jpg
twitter.jpg

Read More
Oct 2014

Data Driven Instruction

 
Walter Duncan is a 15-year veteran K-12 teacher. His students were ranked in the top 15% of all Massachusetts Public School students on MCAS ELA in 2012. He has deep experience getting the best out of his kids in inner-city school districts such as Detroit, Washington DC, and Boston. Additionally he is the co-founder of Design By Educators the makers of the Quick Key Mobile app, a social impact company that seeks to empower teachers to more effectively close the achievement gap. The free Open Beta version of the Quick Key is available for download on the Quick Key Homepage
 

                               

 Data Driven Instruction

It was a Thursday, the day was marked for professional development. I was in my first year at a high performing, "no excuses" charter school. The results were in from our first benchmark exam of the year. We sat in the meeting, a little uneasy, all knowing that without saying it out loud we were being judged by the results. We gathered together and went over the benchmark data as a group. We found out how well our students were doing in comparison to other students of the same grade level within the school and within the Charter School network. We needed to improve, the pressure was on. We received a short pep talk from our school leader about how we were going to use the data from benchmark assessments to target the areas of our students' weakness. It was a great pep talk, and I left the meeting fired up!
 
I was sent by myself to my classroom, with a password to access the data from my students. As I opened the portal I was overwhelmed. Each standard was listed. First, I had to determine how my three sections performed on all the standards as a whole. Then, I had to look at what standards more than 30% of each group struggled with. After three hours of doing this with no support, just figuring it out on my own, I had an epiphany. It was bitter sweet. It was sweet because I understood how I was going to get the most out of the data I had just received (even though it was poorly presented to me and tedious to navigate). It was bitter, because it meant I still had hours and hours of work to do, before I could get back to planning my lessons, grading assessments, and creating my materials. I began to break down each question and find the common errors, I would go back to the benchmark exam and see what distractor answers the students chose, and slowly I began to make sense of the data. Gradually, patterns began to emerge. 
                                         Interstitial ad 600x400 free forever
 
Getting the data from the previous three months was helpful. But it meant I had to restructure future units, to include ways to circle back and reteach what the benchmark data had shown me. This threw my year plan into disarray. But what could I do?  I bore down, reworked my units, and retaught the areas that needed to be addressed. I did it, but it was kind of miserable. I could feel my joy and enthusiasm waning. The kids could feel it too! They could sense that I was feeling tense and under pressure, and they also struggled with going back over things they had already covered. No one was very happy, but we all did it together. And you know what?  Their scores improved that year, and I did not burn out. But I knew there had be a better way. How could I get relevant data without depleting the joy, engagement and enthusiasm that I work so hard to create in my class?
 
I realized I needed to have a better grasp of what the students mastered the same day that I taught it. I needed to get more out of the formative assessments I was already doing. Instead of just looking over my daily exit tickets, I needed to track them more closely. I found that this was the best way to stay up to date in real time with my student performance. Again, I met with a brick wall! I had over ninety students! Grading and doing item analysis on 90 exit tickets a day was unsustainable. I did as much as I humanly could, but there had to be a better way.
 
These were the experiences that led me to create Quick Key Mobile™ in conjunction with my Co-Founder Isaac Van Wesep. I needed a tool to grade and quickly give me the data from daily formative assessments, benchmark exams, or weekly quizzes. Quick Key does just that, and it does it fast! There is no question that using data to drive instruction is one of the keys to improving student performance, and now teachers can use the Quick Key App to help them do it quickly and effortlessly!
 
Please check out my short film on how to use Quick Key for your formative assessments,  and remember we are all connected!


Walter Duncan
Co-Founder Quick Key Mobile

 
Read More
Sep 2014

Android app Release Schedule

Good morning everybody!

I don’t usually post on our blog because I usually don’t have anything interesting to say, but Walter told me people were asking about this so I figured I would post a message. Here we go:

I am pleased to announce that we have secured a development partner and the funding we need to build an Android version of Quick Key Mobile.

The Android development project is scheduled to begin on October 6th, and be released to our Android beta testers on or around November 21st. We plan to release the free Android version of Quick Key Mobile to the public 1-2 weeks after we start beta testing.

Our partner in the Android project is Ki Teknology, an app developer company run by my good friend (and incredible all-around awesome person) Martin Lewit. Martin is from Argentina and his company is based in Santiago, Chile. So our Android project is an international affair, which I think is quite apropos given the global reach of the Android platform.

Funding for the project is coming from a small group of dedicated angel investors, who want to see Quick Key Mobile’s technology made available to as many people as possible, around the world.

One more thing: we have hired an AMAZING designer to re-design all of our apps, including the Web app, our iOS app, and of course the Android app. For all Quick Key’s usefulness, one thing it has always lacked was a user-friendly design. Actually it’s more accurate to say Quick Key never had a design. We just built the functionality and added some buttons. Well, no more!!

We have begun the process of taking all of your feedback and putting it into brand-new designs across our entire platform. The Android app will be the first platform designed from the ground-up using our new process, which starts with expertly-crafted UX/UI design. I hope you like it when it’s done.

If you want to get early access to the Android app by becoming a beta tester for Android, please ping Walter on Twitter @4_teachers



***
Read More
Sep 2014

How to Write Powerful Multiple-Choice Questions

OfficialQKLogo 3
 

Quick Key Mobile™ turns your mobile device into a scanner and eliminates hand-grading of formative assessments, even for teachers working in paper-based classrooms without a computer or an internet connection. Analytics and data exports are fast and easy, so you can focus on your students.
 
From the Quick Key Mobile Team and Family    
Interstitial ad 600x400 free forever 4
 
How to Write Powerful Multiple-Choice Questions

 
The Big Idea: Multiple choice questions can deliver powerful data. The Quick Key Blog is proud to bring you tools for writing effective MC questions, that require critical thinking, and yield powerful data.
  In my research into how to craft the best multiple choice questions I came across this resource. I think the guidelines are well done, and speak to the needs of the students in front of us. I hope that you find this resource useful.   Best,   Walter Duncan Co-Founder Quick Key Mobile  
grey_box_bottom.gif
 
How to Write Powerful Multiple-Choice Questions
  General guidelines for writing good multiple-choice questions:
  • Present practical or real-world situations to the students.
  • Present the student with a diagram of equipment and ask for application, analysis or evaluation.
  • Present actual quotations taken from newspapers or other published sources and ask for the interpretation or evaluation of these quotations.
  • Use pictorial materials that require students to apply principles and concepts.
  • Use charts, tables or figures that require interpretation.
 
Procedural rules:
  • Use either the best answer or the correct answer format.
    • Best answer format refers to a list of options that can all be correct in the sense that each has an advantage, but one of them is the best.
    • Correct answer format refers to one and only one right answer.
  • Format the questions vertically, not horizontally (i.e., list the choices vertically)
  • Allow time for editing and other types of question revisions.
  • Use good grammar, punctuation, and spelling consistently.
  • Minimize the time required to read each question.
  • Avoid trick questions.
  • Use the active voice.
  • The ideal question will be answered correctly by 60-65% of the tested population.
  • Have your questions peer-reviewed.
  • Avoid giving unintended cues – such as making the correct answer longer in length than the distractors. GUIDELINES CONTINUED…….
QK 200x200 SAVE 10 HRS JPG
 
 
 
                                              
                         

Read More
Sep 2014

Spotlight On Outstanding Teachers, Chris Webb

OfficialQKLogo 3
 

Quick Key Mobile™ turns your mobile device into a scanner and eliminates hand-grading of formative assessments, even for teachers working in paper-based classrooms without a computer or an internet connection. Analytics and data exports are fast and easy, so you can focus on your students.
 
From the Quick Key Mobile Team and Family    
Interstitial ad 600x400 free forever 4
 
Spotlight On Outstanding Teachers: Brian Kennedy 

Meet The Teacher Champions!

 
Meet the Champions shines a spotlight on outstanding teachers, and how they make a difference. Right here on the Quick Key Blog, we will be interviewing real working teachers from around the globe, who make a difference in their classrooms every day.
 
In the Spring of 2013, Chris received a Special Recognition Award for "Outstanding Vision, Dedication, and Commitment to Excellence in Education" from his school. He was also recently accepted to the highly sought after Google Teacher Academy in Chicago, IL.
 
grey_box_bottom.gif
So, without further ado…let's meet a champion!
 
QKM: Why did you choose to become a teacher?
CW: While many of my peers got into teaching because of a great role-model who inspired them, I got in for the opposite reason; my high school experience was filled with such rigid instruction, flavorless lessons, and little-to-no technology that I decided become a teacher to ensure that no student I came into contact with would have the same experience. I'm proud to say that, 4 years in, I'm living the dream—my students are my life!
QKM: What is the biggest highlight from your classroom this year?
CW: So many, but the biggest was my Senior British Lit students (100% ELL) producing a 60-minute adaptation of "Twelfth Night" in a massive theater, using (and understanding!) Shakespeare's original language. This project took over 4-months of intense classroom time, between auditions, memorization, prop- and set-design, and rehearsals. It's the first time our school put on major play production in front of an audience including family, friends, and the community.
QKM: Tell us about  a teacher who inspired you. How did they do it? What made them great?
CW: Mr. Bralley, my history teacher, was the one teacher in high school who inspired me to invest in my own education and think deeply about the world around me. He was fun, enthusiastic, and smart, but I'll never forget how all of his students knew that he truly loved them. When I'm in the classroom, every now and then, I'll say or do something that reminds me of Mr. Bralley, and I'll laugh at how, years later, his lessons are still with me.
QKM: How can technology help you to be more efficient in the classroom?
CW: As the first all-iPad school in Taiwan, we use technology every day to stay organized, up-to-date, and connected to the world around us. I personally use Google Docs to plan my lessons, Blogger for student portfolios, Dropbox for archiving homework, Twitter to learn about what's "in" in education, and Evernote for everything else. Basically, every day we come home with 10% left on our iPads' batteries!
QKM: What is really hard about teaching, and how do you deal with it?
CW: 1) When I'm in front of the classroom, I talk and talk, hamming it up all day long, but inside, I'm a true introvert. As I've learned this about myself, I've had to find ways to balance giving my kids 100% and taking time to recover from my class-time workout. 2) In Taiwanese culture, students are taught to respect their teachers and blindly treat everything they say as "the answer". One of my key challenges, then, has been to teach students that they can both show respect to elders and have their own opinions on the world around them.   QKM: Thanks Chris! 
 
 
                                              
                         

Read More
Sep 2014

The Anatomy of a Powerful Multiple-Choice Question

OfficialQKLogo 3
 

Quick Key Mobile™ turns your mobile device into a scanner and eliminates hand-grading of formative assessments, even for teachers working in paper-based classrooms without a computer or an internet connection. Analytics and data exports are fast and easy, so you can focus on your students.
 
From the Quick Key Mobile Team and Family    
Interstitial ad 600x400 free forever 4
 
Anatomy of a MCQ 

QUICK KEY MOBILE

 
The Big Idea: Multiple choice questions can deliver powerful data. The Quick Key Blog is proud to bring you tools for writing effective MC questions, that require critical thinking, and yield powerful data.   In my years as a classroom teacher, I was very familiar with multiple choice questions. When I started teaching, to be honest, I did not like them very much. As I developed in my practice, and learned how to craft powerful multiple choice questions, I began to rely on the accurate data they could provide. 
 
We hope you find this article about the basic construction of multiple choice questions informative and useful.   -Walter Duncan Co-Founder Quick Key Mobile
grey_box_bottom.gif
The Anatomy of a Powerful Multiple-Choice Question
 
Multiple-choice questions are a method of assessment that asks students to select one choice from a given list. They typically have three parts: a stem, the correct answer – called the key, and several wrong answers, called distractors. Multiple-choice questions are most widely used for measuring knowledge, comprehension, and application of learning outcomes. Article continued…..
 
MULTIPLECHOICEMEMELIZARD
 
 
                                              
                         

Read More
Sep 2014

A Back to School Gift to Help Teachers Save Time!

QK LOGO FOR EMAIL 2
September 2014 
divider.gif
A Back to School Gift From Quick Key Mobile
Teachers save time and improve student performance!

Quick Key Mobile turns your mobile device into a scanner and eliminates hand-grading of paper assessments, even for teachers working in classrooms without a computer or an internet connection. Analytics and data exports are fast and easy, so you can focus on your students.

FORWARD THIS MESSAGE TO YOUR COLLEAGUES, AND HELP THEM START SAVING TIME RIGHT NOW!
Teachers Click Here for Your Free Gift
divider2.gif
Walter Carter Newsletter 5
A Gift From Teacherpreneur & Quick Key Mobile Co-Founder Walter Duncan

Greetings friends and colleagues,

I am offering you a back to school gift  of the Quick Key Mobile app! You can use my app to save time and get immediate data from formative assessments like Exit Tickets. You can then use that data to drive your instruction in real time. 

What you get:  
  • Save 10 Hours a Week
  • Unlimited Free Scanning
  • Scan and Score Paper Quizzes with your Mobile Device
  • Easy Data Export
  • Works With or Without the Internet 
P.S.  We will be announcing Quick Key Mobile 2.0 in a few weeks. Stay tuned!
spacer.gif
divider2.gif
What Our Users Say!
Our users have spoken and they love Quick Key Mobile. Listen to what they have to say! Click here to view their video!

Watch Quick Key in action, as teacher Kieth Terpsmak does a demo: Click here to view his video!
Paperless QK 2
spacer.gif
divider2.gif
 
 
spacer.gif
Get social with us!
facebook.jpg
linkedin.jpg
twitter.jpg

Read More
Aug 2014

Spotlight On Outstanding Teachers, Brian Kennedy

OfficialQKLogo 3
 

Quick Key Mobile™ turns your mobile device into a scanner and eliminates hand-grading of formative assessments, even for teachers working in paper-based classrooms without a computer or an internet connection. Analytics and data exports are fast and easy, so you can focus on your students.
 
From the Quick Key Mobile Team and Family    
Interstitial ad 600x400 free forever 4
 
Spotlight On Outstanding Teachers: Brian Kennedy 

Meet The Teacher Champions!

 
Meet the Champions shines a spotlight on outstanding teachers, and how they make a difference. Right here on the Quick Key Blog, we will be interviewing real working teachers from around the globe, who make a difference in their classrooms every day.

Brian has proven to be one of those increasingly rare "real people" on the Internet. He has given us useful insights into our software during the beta development project, and he is among our group of 100 Quick Key beta testers. Thanks Brian!
 
grey_box_bottom.gif
So, without further ado…let's meet a champion!

QKM: Why did you choose to become a teacher?

BK: Teaching brings a personal sense of satisfaction that I think I would have a hard time getting from other professions.  I have always gotten a strong sense of accomplishment from service and stewardship, and I know that teaching is a perfect fit for my personality.  I work best collaboratively, and I love the experience of facilitating positive change in students; whether it be in their academic knowledge and skills, or their character.

QKM: What is the biggest highlight from your classroom this year?

BKI worked with a group of struggling eighth grade students that had all been recommended for my remedial writing instruction course by their language arts teachers.  Many of these students live in poverty or otherwise chaotic situations, and many have been at risk since elementary school.  We worked really hard toward acquiring skills or "tools" for our "writer's tool belts" during the six-week course.  I am proud to report that every student that attended the course, passed the eighth grade writing test and they all are looking forward to a successful freshman year!

DBE: Tell us about  a teacher who inspired you. How did they do it? What made them great?

BKMy eighth grade language arts teacher, Lynn Angus, was among the most influential teachers that I had.  She really made the students feel valued by sharing our writing in a safe and anonymous way.  The sense of community in her classroom is something that I continue to strive for in my own classroom.

DBE: How can technology make you more efficient in the classroom?

BKAlong with efficiently presenting aggregated data that informs instruction, technology provides the intangible ingredient that all teachers seek: engagement.  When students' excitement around using devices, music, or other media is present, the learning that takes place feels pleasurable as opposed to monotonous or forced.  I also find that using technology with my students, be it a game, webquest, research, etc., allows the students the opportunity to take the lead, while I get to watch them explore learning.  Technology effortlessly taps into their natural curiosity and allows them the opportunity to safely make impermanent mistakes.

 QKM: What is really hard about teaching, and how do you deal with it?

BK: By far the most difficult part about my job is the fact that an increasing number of parents harbor underlying distrust for teachers and administrators.  I try to remedy this by making myself available whenever possible to parents, and reaching out to build a trusting relationship with them.  I also send regular feedback to parents, and make attempts to relay positive feedback to parents whenever possible.  I find this especially helpful with students that have disciplinary issues, and it goes a long way with parents when I demonstrate that I want them to know that their child can be successful. 

QKM: Thanks Brian! 

 
                                              
                         

Read More
Aug 2014

MICRO-DATA: IMPROVE STUDENT PERFORMANCE, WITHOUT TEACHING TO A TEST!

OfficialQKLogo 3
 

Quick Key Mobile™ turns your mobile device into a scanner and eliminates hand-grading of formative assessments, even for teachers working in paper-based classrooms without a computer or an internet connection. Analytics and data exports are fast and easy, so you can focus on your students.
 
From the Quick Key Mobile Team and Family    
Interstitial ad 600x400 free forever 4
 
Big Data or Micro-Data? 

Summary: The current debate over data and multiple choice assessment has been miscast as a debate over Big Data and High-Stakes Testing. 

 
Let’s get the discussion back on track by looking at how teachers can use Micro-Data and Low-Stakes Assessment every day to achieve personalized instruction and better outcomes.
  by Walter O. Duncan IV & Isaac D. Van Wesep
grey_box_bottom.gif
 
I believe in the power of data to improve learning outcomes and enrich lessons. I know this because research has shown it, and because I myself have used data over the past ten years to create better lessons and educate my students.
 
But I think the discussion around data is lacking an important distinction: the difference between “Big Data” (a tool for schools) and what I call “Micro-Data”, a tool for teachers. Micro-Data is what I use in my daily lesson planning: the results of daily formative assessments that help me gauge my students’ mastery of today’s lesson.
 
In this paper I will introduce the concept of Micro-Data, and explore the differences between Big Data and Micro-Data. My hope is to provide a starting point for educators to think about how to use Micro-Data to achieve higher learning outcomes, and look at ways to use Micro-Data without spending aeons crunching numbers!
 
I also want to show that Micro-Data is not about testing ruling the classroom. It’s about a foundation of data to underpin exciting, project-based activities and lessons.
 
Big Data is for Schools 
 
At my school, we do testing twice per semester, and we also have the Massachusetts MCAS exam once per year. When the results from these assessments come back, I go to work adjusting my lesson plan. This is long-cycle assessment. Big Data. I might be able to catch up my current students in the next semester, but the main beneficiaries of these analyses are next year’s kids. 
 
Big Data like this is useful to my school, which can track students and teachers across years. The data are also useful to me, to an extent. But the benefit to students, while not minimal per se, is at the very least telegraphed into the next year: I apply the last year’s data to this year’s kids, and what I learn this year, I can only apply to the next year’s kids. This is Big Data in action. 
 
I’m glad my school uses Big Data to improve outcomes for our students. But as a teacher I need something different. I need data to help me teach the kids in my classroom today. Big Data doesn’t do that for me.
Micro-data is for Teachers & Students 
 
If I want data to help me be a better teacher today, I need Micro-Data. To coin a term: 
Micro-Data (n) is the product of short, frequent formative assessments, is collected, analyzed, and applied within 24 hours, and is linked to an individual student, in order to provide personalized instruction. 
 
Micro-Data is all about finding out whether my students understand what I just taught, or if they did the reading, or met the learning goals of the day’s project. It isn’t about graded assessments. And it isn’t about putting standardized testing at the center of class time. It is about getting real, hard data, fast, so I can spend class time having fun while learning with my students, and giving the right attention to each individual learner. 
 
This last point is critical, because as I will discuss later in this post, one way to collect Micro-Data is the short multiple-choice assessment. I worry that the current discourse has conflated multiple choice and standardized testing (Big Data), making one part and parcel of the other. As teachers we need to re-cast not only the discussion, but also the way we think about the assessment tools available to us.
Let’s get the power to teach back in our own hands 
 
As a working teacher who has had to bear the weight of every policy change and technology implementation of the past 14 years, my concern is that Big Data will come to dominate the national discussion – and my classroom – at the expense of Micro-Data. 
 
I am encouraged, though, by the active, involved, and progressive teachers who are adding their voices to the national discussion. As teachers, we need to make sure we are in the driver’s seat on every education issue, including technology and data. 
 
It is true that the historical cost of technology has meant school administrations hold the keys to data. But the landscape is shifting. Today, high-powered technology is in the palms of our hands, and we can can give ourselves the power to teach using Micro-Data for very little (if any) money. 
 
As teachers we need to get out in front of the trend toward Big Data. Experience shows that frequent, low-stakes assessment works. Let’s make sure we aren’t measured by Big Data without being given the tools to harness Micro-Data.
Create the Methods 
 
With a solid concept of what makes good Micro-Data, teachers can begin to develop methods to collect and use data from frequent, short formative assessments that fit with their existing lesson plans. There are technology tools available for little or no money that make assessment easier and faster, enabling teachers to create assessments that fit all of the criteria of good Micro-Data.

5 Signs of Good Micro-Data

Good micro-data…
  1. Is the result of frequent, short, formative assessments
  2. Is recorded in a database or spreadsheet so it can be analyzed instantly with minimal effort or time
  3. Indicates mastery (or lack of mastery) of a single lesson’s material
  4. Analysis will indicate a course of immediate corrective action
  5. Can be stored, shared, and used later for meta-analysis
 
Good Methods are

Universally Accessible 
 
And finally, the power to use data needs to be universally accessible. Having taught in public, charter, and private schools in Los Angeles, inner-city Detroit, Washington, DC and Boston, I am a witness to the consequences of unequal access to technology. The digital divide and the achievement gap are devastating our social fabric and the lives of children everywhere. Technology (and data) might be tools to help solve these problems, or they might be wedges that further isolate the “haves” from the “have nots”. 
 
Put it into Practice 
 
It is possible for teachers without huge tech budgets to collect and use Micro-data, but some kind of technological aid will make the whole process doable, in terms of time.  The ideas below may serve as a good jumping-off point: 
 
3 Ways to Put Micro-Data into Practice
  1. Exit Tickets: end-of-class 1-5 question assessment of the day’s lesson, graded instantly with digital methods or self-grading
  2. Entry Tickets: 3-5 question assessment of prior-night’s homework or reading, graded instantly with digital methods or self-grading
  3. In class: walk-arounds (with a way to record assessment results), voting, and team projects can all be sources of Micro-Data, so long as the results are discrete and recorded in a way that allows analysis.  
 
4 Tools to help you use Micro-Data
  1. In-Class Voting: use clickers to have students answer questions in real-time
  2. In 1:1 environments students can be assessed on personal devices
  3. In paper-based classrooms, use one of the many quiz scanning apps for iPhone and iPad to speed grading and analytics.
  4. Your own students! Many teachers successfully use self-grading or peer-grading to speed up the analysis of Micro-Data.
 
Conclusion 
 
For those who are totally opposed to testing, I say this: Micro-Data is classroom intelligence you can use to ensure your rich, engaging lessons are tailored to individual student’s needs. Micro-Data doesn’t replace or de-value project-based instruction. Rather, it helps to make sure fundamental concepts are mastered during rich, engaging lessons. Micro-Data is about discovering whether an individual has mastered today’s lesson, and taking immediate corrective action.
 
Many of the ideas behind Micro-Data are not necessarily new, but by putting a name to them we create a framework for developing best practices.
 
The concept of Micro-Data allows us to talk about data-driven methods without the distracting shadows of Big Data and Standardized Testing clouding the discourse.
 
Powerful new tools are being built every day. But only when we know what we need from technology, and have the language to demand it, will we gain access to the tools that give us the power to teach.
 
And only when we teachers make our voices heard, in a clear, cogent discourse about data, will we be able to gain control of our collective digital destiny.
 
 
QK 200x200 SAVE 10 HRS JPG 3
                                              
                         

Read More
Aug 2014

Spotlight On Outstanding Teachers: Al Elliott

OfficialQKLogo 3
 

Quick Key Mobile™ turns your mobile device into a scanner and eliminates hand-grading of formative assessments, even for teachers working in paper-based classrooms without a computer or an internet connection. Analytics and data exports are fast and easy, so you can focus on your students.
 
From the Quick Key Mobile Team and Family    
Interstitial ad 600x400 free forever 4
 
Spotlight On Outstanding Teachers: Al Elliott 

Meet The Teacher Champions!


AlElliotHeadshotJPG
Meet the Champions shines a spotlight on outstanding teachers, and how they make a difference. Right here on the Quick Key Blog, we will be interviewing real working teachers from around the globe, who make a difference in their classrooms every day.
 
Al Elliot is a committed educator, with 17 years in the classroom, and currently teaching 5th grade (all subjects).  He holds a Masters of Elementary Education, and is pursuing a Ph.D. in Education at University of Alabama at Birmingham. 
grey_box_bottom.gif
So, without further ado…let's meet a champion!
 

QKM: Why did you choose to become a teacher?
AE: I chose to become a teacher because I enjoy the feeling of being able to change the world.  Young people, for better or for worse, will inherit the planet and eventually run it.  I like the idea of having something to do with shaping the minds that will change the world.

QKM: What is the biggest highlight from your classroom this year?
AE: I'd have to have to say that the biggest highlight from this school year is the feeling of community that was established among my students.  My students were very supportive of their classmates.  They even formed a class band and performed in the school talent show playing a desk, recorder and dodge balls.  Close second would be the students wanting to bring their own devices to school to do school work and not just play games.  Many students in my class had access to a "better" device [than] the nooks that were provided by the school.  Students were working on Google Docs on their iPods, iPads, phones and Chromebooks that they brought to school.  

AlElliott 4

QKM: Tell us about  a teacher who inspired you. How did they do it? What made them great?
AEI remember my high school English teacher Mr. Nevett.  Not only was he an extremely well dressed educator, he was also an artist and a man that wasn't afraid to buck the system every now and again and stand on what he thought was best for his students.  I still remember the slogan he made up for the standardized tests that were given when I was in high school.  "School, a place where education is encouraged and SAT is God."

QKM: What is really hard about teaching, and how do you deal with it?
AE: The hardest part about teaching is to implement programs that are mandated you participate in during the school year.  There are some scripted programs out there, that seem to take the creativity teachers have out of the classroom.  To deal with this challenge, I make sure I'm familiar with the standards that are to be covered and let the activities we do in class work towards meeting the standards and objectives and not just cover the mandated programs and hope the kids get it.  I also invite suggestions from the students about how we, as a class, can meet the objectives that must be covered.  When students know they have a choice in how they present or research a topic, they seem to respond with more excitement.

QKM: Thanks Al! 

QK 200x200 SAVE 10 HRS JPG 2
                                            
                         

Read More
Aug 2014

Educators, Save a Ton of Time!

QK LOGO FOR EMAIL 2
August 2014 
divider.gif
Teachers, Save 10 Hours a Week with Quick Key Mobile
Free Fast Formative Assessment

Quick Key Mobile turns your mobile device into a scanner and eliminates hand-grading of paper assessments, even for teachers working in classrooms without a computer or an internet connection. Analytics and data exports are fast and easy, so you can focus on your students.

SET UP YOUR FREE ACCOUNT, AND START SAVING TIME RIGHT NOW!
divider2.gif
Walter Carter Newsletter 5
Letter From Teacherpreneur & Quick Key Mobile Co-Founder Walter Duncan

Greetings friends and colleagues,

Quick Key is on pace to have 100,000 users by December 31st! In order to get there I need your help. I ask that each of you speak to an administrator at your school, and ask them to share Quick Key with the whole staff. Email info@quickkeyapp.com and I will send you a PDF tutorial to share.  

With Quick Key Mobile you get:  
  • Save 10 Hours a Week
  • Unlimited Free Scanning
  • Scan and Score Paper Quizzes with your Personal Mobile Device
  • Easy Data Export
  • Works With or Without the Internet 
P.S.  We will be announcing Quick Key Mobile 2.0 in a few weeks. Stay tuned!
spacer.gif
divider2.gif
What Our Users Say!
Our users have spoken and they love Quick Key Mobile. Listen to what they have to say! Click here to view their video!
Want to learn how to use the data from Quick Key Mobile to drive your instruction? Check out this short tutorial here: Powerful Formative Assessment with Quick Key Mobile
 
Paperless QK 2
spacer.gif
divider2.gif
QK LOGO JPG 2
Quick Key Co-Founder & Teacherpreneur Featured on CBS Boston!
Thanks to the support of the Quick Key Mobile community, our story made it to the news! Click this link to view the story: Quick Key on CBS Boston
spacer.gif
Get social with us!
facebook.jpg
linkedin.jpg
twitter.jpg

Read More
Jul 2014

Write My Essay For Me In 3 Hours

BlackBoard write my essay for me in 3 hours is not unavailable for mentors and students alike for unique sessions. the following is included by the absolute most widely used keywords for a research: School grammar websites syntax websites for universities collegiate syntax worksheets worksheets for university grammar grammar worksheet websites syntax websites Its not all site on the net is not illegitimate, and websites that provide grammar coaching for university students are included by this. These modifications contain finding used-to a less organized plan, more spare time inbetween sessions, going to type, living abroad, meeting hundreds of new people, dealing with new instructors, distributing significant research forms of 25 pages or maybe more http://onedayessay.com/ and many other items. (más…)


Read More
Jul 2014

New Custom Student IDs on Quick Key Mobile!

_______________________________________________________________________
Free Fast Formative Assessment.
Quick Key Mobile™ turns your mobile device into a scanner and eliminates hand-grading of formative assessments, even for teachers working in paper-based classrooms without a computer or an internet connection. Analytics and data exports are fast and easy, so you can focus on your students.
________________________________________________________________________

We are changing the way Quick Key Mobile handles student IDs to make it easier for you to work with colleagues and share students within the app.

The new system will allow you to use your students’ existing ID number – anything up to 10 digits – instead of having to use a system-generated 4-digit ID. Expect to see the new system within the web app, on the phone, and on our new Quick Tickets, before July 10, 2014.

We will be posting more information about how to use the new system (the old 4-digit IDs will continue to work) right here.

This feature was built thanks to feedback from our users. So please keep the suggestions coming! We want to make Quick Key the best possible tool for teachers.

Thanks!
-isaac
Read More
Jun 2014

@4_teachers and Quick Key Mobile at #ISTE2014


Tweet @4_teachers at #ISTE2014

I am looking forward to joining my teacher colleagues and Quick Key Mobile users this weekend at #ISTE2014. This will be my first time attending such a conference, and I must admit it is a bit daunting. There are so many people I want to meet, so much I want to learn and share.

If you are at #ISTE2014 and you know the ropes, tweet me some tips. If you just want to say hi, tweet @4_teachers and we will find each other. I am looking forward to learning and sharing with all of you!

Best,

Walter

Walter Duncan is the teacher Co-Creator of the Quick Key App, which allows teachers to grade paper assessments with their smart devices. Please go to www.quickkeyapp.com to find out more.



Read More
Jun 2014

The Top Ten S'Cool Tools -Via Edsurge


Quick Key Mobile Made The Top Ten!


Quick Key is honored to be ranked number 6 on Edsurge’s Top Ten S’cool Tools in quarter two of 2014. This honor is shared by all the members of our Quick Key community, in schools and in Social Media that help us to share Quick Key with teachers and institutions everyday. Thank you Edsurge, and thank you Quick Key community!

Check out the article below:

Every week, EdSurge delivers its educator-specific INSTRUCT newsletter with a section on “S’Cool Tools,” calling attention to 3-5 edtech tools we’ve found, tested, and given our surging seal of approval. And out of 50+ S’Cool Tools showcased in INSTRUCT during Q2 (April, May, and June), ten products have risen to the top based on the number of clicks they’ve received from our INSTRUCT readers. Check them out below!”

Walter Duncan is the teacher Co-Creator of the Quick Key App, which allows teachers to grade paper assessments with their smart devices. Please go to www.quickkeyapp.com to find out more.



Read More
Jun 2014

Starbucks to Provide Free College Education to Thousands of Workers

Monica Almeida/The New York Times


Does Starbucks Care More about the future of American Education than the Department of Ed?


The news has broken, Starbucks will support college education for its employees! According to Richard Perez-Pena of the New York Times, “Starbucks will provide a free online college education to thousands of its workers, without requiring that they remain with the company, through an unusual arrangement with Arizona State University, the company and the university will announce on Monday.”

How can it be so easy for Starbucks to ensure a free college education for employees, while our nation straddles worthy students with mountains of debt? The evidence is clear about the difference in earning power between those with a degree versus those without. Why can’t our nation figure out how to do this? How can a coffee company care more about the future of our citizenry than our Department of Education? I am completely baffled. Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Walter Duncan is the teacher Co-Creator of the Quick Key App, which allows teachers to grade paper assessments with their smart devices. Please go to www.quickkeyapp.com to find out more.


Read More
Jun 2014

Taking on Teacher Tenure Backfires


We Need More Teacher Voices 

California’s teacher tenure laws have been struck down. According to Jesse Rothstein of the New York Times, “In short, while the notion of ‘clearing the stables’ of bad teachers seems attractive, it is almost impossible to get right in practice. No conceivable system can eliminate all ‘grossly ineffective’ teachers, and efforts aimed at doing so can do more harm than good.”

From my perspective, based on fifteen years of classroom experience, the vast majority of teachers care deeply about their students. The majority of teachers are more concerned about removing bad teachers from the classroom, then the general public. Yet where are the teacher’s voices in the decision making process? Again, as is par for the course, the most important decisions about education are being made by those with the least understanding.

What can a judge know about managing an overcrowded classroom, with students below grade level, and no administrative support. Teachers know how to do this, they do it every day, dedicating their lives to being human band-aids on a broken system. And they don’t complain. They accept hungry kids in overcrowded classrooms,  don’t make excuses, and they try to get the job done. And even after this ruling, undermined again, still grossly underpaid, they will go back to their classrooms and practice the art of inspiration to change kids lives.

Walter Duncan is the teacher Co-Creator of the Quick Key App, which allows teachers to grade paper assessments with their smart devices. Please go to www.quickkeyapp.com to find out more.


Read More
Jun 2014

NYT: Stop Holding Us Back

Brian Stauffer

Drop Out Factories


It is no surprise that many students from poverty stricken areas who lack the proper support are dropping out. The schools even have a name, they are called “Drop Out Factories”. Yet what is required to support these students is not an enigma. We have already seen how these students from these types of schools are being supported for success on the university level, the blueprint is already there. Why is it important to reach these students? I was recently watching Cosmos, hosted by Dr. Neil Degrasse Tyson. He told the story of Michael Farraday, a person raised in immense poverty, who was able to make discoveries that changed the world. How many young people like him are we failing to find when we lose them to these “Drop Out Factories”? What is the cost to the nation and world?

According to Robert Balfanz of the New York Times, “We have also learned that most students who eventually drop out can be identified as early as the sixth grade by their attendance, behavior and course performance, according to studies by the Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins, where I am the director, and the University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research. Using those indicators, it is possible to identify by the middle of ninth grade virtually everyone who will drop out. These young men are waving their hands early and often to say they need help, but our educational and student-support systems aren’t organized to recognize and respond to their distress signals.”

It is clear, we know how to identify at risk young Americans, and we know what interventions work. It is now time to find the collective will to implement them. Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Walter Duncan is the teacher Co-Creator of the Quick Key App, which allows teachers to grade paper assessments with their smart devices. Please go to www.quickkeyapp.com to find out more.



Read More
Jun 2014

NYT: What’s Lost as Handwriting Fades

Michael Mabry

In The Age of Technology, the Human Element is More Important than Ever.


According to Maria Konnikova of the New York Times, hand writing is an important part of brain development and literacy. Konnikova states “Cursive or not, the benefits of writing by hand extend beyond childhood. For adults, typing may be a fast and efficient alternative to longhand, but that very efficiency may diminish our ability to process new information. Not only do we learn letters better when we commit them to memory through writing, memory and learning ability in general may benefit.”

In the rush to implement technology with younger and younger children, do we run the risk of limiting their critical thinking abilities? What are your thoughts on this article, please comment in the section below.

Walter Duncan is the teacher Co-Creator of the Quick Key App, which allows teachers to grade paper assessments with their smart devices. Please go to www.quickkeyapp.com to find out more.


Read More
Jun 2014

How to Get Girls Into Coding


Getting Girls to Code


Accordiing to Nitasha Tiku of the New York Times, “A huge nationwide push is underway, funded by the nonprofit Code.org’s corporate and billionaire donors, from Amazon and Google to Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, to introduce American schoolchildren to coding and to redefine it as a basic skill to be learned alongside the three R’s. Code.org’s curriculum has been adopted by 20,000 teachers from kindergarten to 12th grade.”

Despite this push there is still a dramatic disparity between men and women in the field of coding. According to the Times, “But if coding is the new lingua franca, literacy rates for girls are dropping: Last year, girls made up 18.5 percent of A.P. computer science test-takers nationwide, a slight decrease from the year before. In three states, no girls took the test at all. An abysmal 0.4 percent of girls entering college intend to major in computer science. And in 2013, women made up 14 percent of all computer science graduates — down from 36 percent in 1984.”

As educators, we know the importance of role models for students. Teaching is about so much more than just the transmission of information, it is about the art of inspiration. The Times grasps this in the article, “One X factor seems to be the presence of female role models, which can be hard to come by when you’re one of the only girls in your computer science class.” It is crucial for us as teachers to be these role models for students, and when we can’t be the role models to introduce students to those who can. In our obsession over test scores and standards, it is key that we never forget the human element in education.

Walter Duncan is the teacher Co-Creator of the Quick Key App, which allows teachers to grade paper assessments with their smart devices. Please go to www.quickkeyapp.com to find out more.




Read More
May 2014

Maya Angelou, Lyrical Witness of the Jim Crow South, Dies at 86



“How maddening it was to have been born in a cotton field with aspirations of grandeur.”


As the news of Maya Angelou’s passing touches the nation, I am both saddened and heartened. In reflecting on her life two things stand out. First, she was a testimony of grit, letting no obstacles stop her from pursuing her destiny. Secondly, her example to the world has been one that inspires individuals without a voice, to search within, claim theirs and declare it to the universe. “A bird does not sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.” Thank you Dr. Angelou, and may you Rest In Poetry.

Walter Duncan is the teacher Co-Creator of the Quick Key App, which allows teachers to grade paper assessments with their smart devices. Please go to www.quickkeyapp.com to find out more.






Read More
May 2014

NY Times: Is College Worth It? Clearly, New Data Say



Graduation ceremonies at Temple University in Philadelphia this month. The pay disparity between those with college degrees and those without continues to grow.CreditDavid Swanson/The Philadelphia Inquirer, via Associated Press

NEW YORK TIMES’ DAVID LEONHARDT WRITES: COLLEGE IS WORTH IT


According to David Leonhardt of The New York Times, Yes, college is worth it, and it’s not even close.” He goes on to cite the statistics that, “The pay gap between college graduates and everyone else reached a record high last year, according to the new data, which is based on an analysis of Labor Department statistics by the Economic Policy Institute in Washington. Americans with four-year college degrees made 98 percent more an hour on average in 2013 than people without a degree.”

Recently, I was in a discussion with a member of my PLN on twitter, who said college is not for everyone. I thought he made an interesting point. But, in the U.S. I don’t think the training systems are in place to support students who choose to opt out of college and go a different direction. Where are the apprenticeships? Where are the entry points for young people to learn a lifelong trade that can allow them to provide for their families? In light of this stark reality, I think it is appropriate to encourage all of our students to attend college. In order to do this we need to assure that we prepare them in our classrooms, for the expectations of college and beyond. This does not mean teaching to a test, but it does mean making sure they have mastered key concepts in core subjects.

I was recently interviewed by Dr. Will Deyamport III, and we spoke about the tools that teachers can use to assure their students are mastering the learning objectives. Please check it out here: The Dr Will Show.

Do you think college is a must for all students? Please leave your questions and comments in the space below.
Read More
May 2014

NY Times: This Smart Girl Says Thank You


John Gress/Reuters

True Grit

According Nicholas Kristof of The New York Times, “In 2011, a malnourished 14-year-old Vietnamese village girl named Phung arose in the wee hours each morning in a herculean struggle to get an education. After I wrote about her, readers responded with a torrent of $750,000 in donations to Room to Read, the aid organization helping her.”


The word grit is often used to describe the character traits necessary for a teacher to be successful in a challenging school environment. It is often applied to teachers, but Phung, a student exemplifies grit, and she is not the only one. The Nicholas Kristof article makes me think about students who are demonstrating true grit every day.

For example, in Chicago, a city often referred to as Chiraq, due to the overwhelming number of young people who are killed by violent crime each year, many young people walk to school under threat of violence each day. This is in addition to the burdens of life in poverty. Do they give up? No, they persevere, and at the same time somehow find a way to focus on academics. This is true grit. What are we doing to support them, our students in our country? Why can’t we raise $750,000 for them? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Walter Duncan is the teacher Co-Creator of the Quick Key App, which allows teachers to grade paper assessments with their smart devices. Please go to www.quickkeyapp.com to find out more.




Read More
May 2014

NY Times: A Beginner’s Guide to Repaying Student Loans

Robert Neubecker

According to the New York Times, “Too many people, including plenty of brand-new college graduates, fall far behind on their student loan payments for no good reason.” 

As teachers we encourage all of our students to attend college. And the results are clear, students who graduate with a four year degree earn significantly more over the course of their lifetime. What can we as educators do to help prepare our students to manage the debt they incur upon graduation. Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comment section below.

Walter Duncan is the teacher Co-Creator of the Quick Key App, which allows teachers to grade paper assessments with their smart devices. Please go to www.quickkeyapp.com to find out more.






Read More

300,000 Quizzes Scanned with Quick Key Mobile



Hot on the heels of a $100,000 equity investment last week, today the 300,000th quiz was scanned using Quick Key Mobile’s app that turns your iPhone into an optical scanner. Teachers use Quick Key Mobile to scan and score paper-based quizzes and tests, saving them a dozen hours a week of time spent hand-grading.

According to Younis Aydin, the Computer Instructor at Omangazi Middle School, in Istanbul, Turkey, “Before Quick Key it would take me at least a week to grade 400 exams, now with Quick Key it takes me an hour. Quick Key is amazing, perfect, and super!”

See a live count of quizzes scanned at the company’s Website, www.quickkeyapp.com
See the current quiz count on our Website www.quickkeyapp.com

I want to extend a sincere and heartfelt “Thank You” to everybody who has stuck with us this school year. You have given us a lot of awesome feature requests. We are getting to them as quickly as we can. So please keep the feedback coming!

_isaac
Quick Key Mobile’s CEO
Read More
May 2014

NY Times: For Schools, Long Road to a Level Playing Field

A classroom schedule in Tempe, Ariz. Many reports have highlighted a persistent gulf in test results between the rich and the poor. CreditJim Wilson/The New York Times

According to the New York Times, “socioeconomic background explains 15 percent of the variation in the performance of American students, far more than in high-performing countries like Finland, Japan and Norway. Only one in 20 children coming from the most disadvantaged quarter of the population manages to excel at school and climb in the rankings.” 


As I read this article, I thought I would learn more in depth about how socioeconomic disparities make it challenging for students to excel in the American education system. Instead, I collided with the age old notion that the problem is low quality teachers. According to Eduardo Porter, “But that won’t overcome perhaps the greatest shortcoming in the United States compared with top performers like Canada, Finland and Singapore: a dearth of excellent teachers.” This myth, that the problem lies with the caliber of American teachers, is often propagated by those who simply refuse to ensure the resources and the support that are available to wealthy schools are also available for schools in impovrished districts.

In yesterday’s blog post we saw how a professor who was an average student himself, leveraged his experience to create the TIP program at the University of Texas. The Tip program is a program that is actively solving the problem of the achievement gap between the rich and the poor, by offering support and mentoring to students from low socioeconomic backgrounds. Instead of citing that work, the Times continued supporting the myth that the problem is with low quality teachers.

New rule, if you are going to write articles that shape the way the public views education in America, you should have at least proven the ability to manage a classroom full of thirteen year olds on the first warm day of spring. How can we close the achievement gap between the rich and the poor in America? Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.


Walter Duncan is the teacher Co-Creator of the Quick Key App, which allows teachers to grade paper assessments with their smart devices. Please go to www.quickkeyapp.com to find out more.







Read More
May 2014

NY Times: Who Gets to Graduate

Vanessa Brewer 
Credit Bill McCullough for The New York Times


According to a recent New York Times article, “More than 40 percent of American students who start at four-year colleges haven’t earned a degree after six years. If you include community-college students in the tabulation, the dropout rate is more than half, worse than any other country except Hungary.” 

The Times article cites the statistics that family income is the determining factor for whether or not a student will graduate. Professor David Laude, of the University of Texas, put together a plan to change these outcomes. It is called the TIP (Texas Interdisciplinary Plan) program, and it provides students with smaller class sizes, extra instruction, and peer mentorship. And it is having an impact, students from the lower income bracket are performing on par with students from the higher income brackets. Please share your thoughts in the comments section below on how we can support university students in their journey to graduation.

Walter Duncan is the teacher Co-Creator of the Quick Key App, which allows teachers to grade paper assessments with their smart devices. Please go to www.quickkeyapp.com to find out more.




Read More
May 2014

New York Times: Charters, Public Schools and a Chasm Between

Both the Middle School for Arts and Philosophy and Kings Collegiate Charter School are housed at PS 588 in Brownsville, N.Y. Credit Christopher Gregory for The New York Times


It is not an understatement to say that there is tension between Charter Schools and Public Schools. 


According to the New York Times,  “’It’s like putting a Burger King kitty-corner to a McDonald’s and expecting — in the same location and competing for the same families — warm and fuzzy cooperation,’ said Bruce Fuller, a professor of education and public policy at the University of California, Berkeley.” Nevertheless, the task of collaboration between the two types of schools has begun, for the benefit of students. The New York Times notes, “In recent years, educational leaders, concerned about hostilities between the two types of schools, have worked to encourage warmer relations. In Tulsa, Okla., charter schools and district schools are working together to improve teaching quality. And in Spring Branch, Tex., charter school leaders are helping train district teachers and principals.”

Can these different organizations collaborate in harmony? Can they implement each others best practices, despite political differences? Please share your reflections and questions in the comments section below.



Walter Duncan is the teacher Co-Creator of the Quick Key App, which allows teachers to grade paper assessments with their smart devices. Please go to www.quickkeyapp.com to find out more.




Read More
May 2014

Michelle Obama: Holding Teachers' Feet to the Fire #edchat

First lady Michelle Obama delivers the commencement address to graduates of Dillard University in New Orleans, Saturday, May 10, 2014. (AP Photo/Jonathan Bachman) | ASSOCIATED PRESS

The First Lady of the United States gave a commencement speech at Dillard University in New Orleans. The speech gave context to the struggle that many Americans had to endure in order to obtain an education. It highlights the fact that education had to be pursued with an insatiable hunger.


In the process, she said something that has outraged many teachers in one of the Facebook groups to which I belong. “So my mother volunteered at my school — helping out every day in the front office, making sure our teachers were doing their jobs, holding their feet to the fire if she thought they were falling short. I’d walk by the office and there she’d be. (Laughter.) I’d leave class to go to the bathroom, there she’d be again, roaming the halls, looking in the classrooms. And of course, as a kid, I have to say, that was a bit mortifying, having your mother at school all the time.”

How do you feel about this comment from the First Lady? Please share your thoughts and concerns in the comments section below.

Walter Duncan is the teacher Co-Creator of the Quick Key App, which allows teachers to grade paper assessments with their smart devices. Please go to www.quickkeyapp.com to find out more.




Read More
May 2014

ARC Capital Invests in Quick Key Mobile!




This week Quick Key Mobile closed on a private placement with global education venture fund ARC Capital Development, LLC.




And the hits just keep on coming! April was a big month for us here at Quick Key. We crossed over 250,000 total quizzes scanned since our launch in September, and over 5 million student responses recorded in our database. Both Quizzes and Student Responses have been growing 33% per month since January. 



Read More
May 2014

THE NEW YORKER: LOUIS C.K. AGAINST THE COMMON CORE

Louis C.K. painting by Cara & Louie

When a popular comedian takes to social media to talk about the Common Core and testing the world takes notice. Louis C.K. took to Twitter to share his frustrations. According to C.K., “The teachers are great…But it’s changed in recent years. It’s all about these tests. It feels like a dark time.” In a time when American students are not improving in core subjects, what are your feelings on the Common Core and standardized testing? Make your voice heard in the comments below.

Walter Duncan is the teacher Co-Creator of the Quick Key App, which allows teachers to grade paper assessments with their smart devices. Please go to www.quickkeyapp.com to find out more.


Read More
May 2014

NPR: Stagnant Scores for Reading and Math
















According to NPR, “The government released the latest national test scores on Wednesday, and the news isn’t good: 12th-graders are headed toward graduation, but many don’t have the skills they need to succeed in college or work.”

What is shocking is how anyone can be surprised. In the last few years the emphasis on high stakes testing has turned many good teachers’ classrooms into worksheet factories. Students are not engaged by these types of uninspired practices. Yet, when schools feel the pressure, they force teachers to teach to the test, and the outcome is poor student growth. It is a vicious cycle that must be stopped.

We know, and the research confirms, that frequent formative assessment is the number one way to improve student performance. Low stakes assessments, that give teachers data to drive instruction, are the solution. We created Quick Key, for myself and teachers like me to have data to show the world that our outside the box teaching practices are effective. Quick Key allows teachers to engage students and improve test scores, without teaching to the test.

Walter Duncan is the teacher Co-Creator of the Quick Key App, which allows teachers to grade paper assessments with their smart devices. Please go to www.quickkeyapp.com to find out more.
Read More
May 2014

Teacher Appreciation Week: #TEACHINGIS


Teacher Appreciation week has arrived! For many of us, that means a Starbucks gift card or even the occasional apple. This year the Center for Teaching Quality has launched an interesting social media campaign. According to the CTQ, “Participating is easy! Tell the world what #TeachingIs to you. Share your definitions, stories, small (and big!) wins, and manifestos via tweet, blog post, Vine, Instagram, YouTube, shareable graphic, Six Word Memoir, you name it! Just be sure to use the hashtag #TeachingIs.” I, for one, am glad to know that there is a call for the voices of teachers to join the conversation about education. Do you think the voices of teachers are being heard by the decision makers when it comes to education policy? Please leave your comments below.

Walter Duncan is the teacher Co-Creator of the Quick Key App, which allows teachers to grade paper assessments with their smart devices. Please go to www.quickkeyapp.com to find out more.
Read More
May 2014

George Lucas: Why Teachers Matter

Today George Lucas shared a blog post that touches on the most important aspect of teaching. In the era of high stakes testing and finger pointing it is easy to forget about the “Art of Teaching”. Lucas hits the nail on the head, according to Lucas “When you really think back about your best teachers, they were the ones who connected with you. They might have been classroom teachers, after-school coaches, parents or principals. They patted you on the back, knew your name and made jokes with you.” Thank you  Mr. Lucas, for helping the nation remember why teachers teach.

Walter Duncan is the teacher Co-Creator of the Quick Key App, which allows teachers to grade paper assessments with their smart devices. Please go to www.quickkeyapp.com to find out more.
Read More
May 2014

Google Does an About Face on Student Privacy

It is no surprise that student data privacy is of great concern to schools, teachers, and parents. According to an article http://thenextweb.com/google/2014/04/30/google-turns-gmail-scanning-education-users-permanently-removes-ads-option/ from The Next Web “Google Apps for Education users will no longer have their emails scanned for use in advertising”. This announcement was greeted as good news by many educators and concerned parties, who are committed to making technology work for their students. Some like @bradleyshear, a privacy advocate, point out that more still needs to be done. According to Shear “While I believe this is a good first step for protecting student privacy, why did it take Google years to make this change?  Absent multiple lawsuits and the investigative reporting from Education Week would Google have changed its practices?” In a time when data is so critical for improving student achievement, how can educators ensure that student’s privacy is prioritized?

Questions or comments? Please share them below!


Read More
May 2014

New York Times: With Philadelphia Shortfall, Schools Face Renewed Cuts

In its education section, the New York Times reminded us again, that teachers are being asked to do more with less. According to the Times “A $216-million budget shortfall could force Philadelphia’s public schools to make further staffing cuts next year, school officials said on Friday.” The results would be devastating as, “the deepest cuts will be felt in the classroom, according to a budget document. Because of layoffs of about 810 teachers, maximum class sizes in grades one to three would rise to 37, from the current 30, while those in grades nine through 12 would increase to 41 from 33.”

In many cases the circumstances are not as extreme as in Philadelphia, but teachers all over the country are feeling a similar pinch. It translates to larger class sizes, and fewer resources. While at the same time, teachers in under resourced schools are under more pressure to improve test scores. How can anyone in good conscience give a teacher who has committed to serving in a high needs community fewer resources and more pressure. It is counter intuitive. I agree accountability is important, but before we place the onus entirely on the teachers, we need to at least make sure they have the resources and tools to succeed. We must allow our nations dedicated educators to practice the art of teaching, not teaching to a test.

Questions or comments? Please leave them here!

###
Walter Duncan is the Co-Founder of Quick Key, a free app that helps teachers harness the power of formative assessment to improve student achievement.


Read More
Apr 2014

New York Times: Test Prep Focus Endures Despite Desire to Move On

Today the New York Times reported on the plight of New York City Schools’ attempts to move away from “teaching to the test” in spite of “baked-in” and deeply entrenched practices. Times reporter Al Baker reported on P.S. 126 in Queens, and all the work students and teachers there are doing to prepare for the SAT.

It seems that most of the teachers and students at P.S. 126 – and all around the country, for that matter – want to move away from lessons focused solely on test prep. As Baker reports in his article for the New York Times, even the Chancellor of New York City’s schools Carmen Fariña wants to find an alternative.

“We’re going to do all we can to roll that back to focus on the best quality teaching as opposed to test prep.” said Fariña, according to the article. 

But when teaching to the test is so deeply enmeshed in school policy and teachers’ lessons, returning to lessons that focus on understanding and mastery of material – rather than mastery over a standardized test – can be difficult, as the plight of teachers at P.S. 126 know all too well.

At Quick Key, we build tools to help teachers teach creatively, with engaging lessons custom-made for individual students and classes, by master teachers who know their craft. Technology can help teachers back away from the abyss of teaching to the test, by providing them with the tools for frequent formative assessment, a technique that allows project-based lessons to be benchmarked against state and national standards on a daily basis. Frequent formative assessment lets teachers teach the subject matter and at the same time ensure their students are prepared for the next big standardized test. 

Frequent formative assessment isn’t a silver bullet, and neither are technologies like Quick Key. But they are powerful tools in teachers’ kits. Provided, of course, teachers know how to use the pedagogical tools and technologies to their best advantage.

Questions or comments? Please leave them here!

________________
Isaac D. Van Wesep
CEO Quick Key & Design by Educators, Inc. 

Read More
Mar 2014

#TeacherKarma, Or How Students Come Back Into Our Lives


As a certified teacher in the state of Massachusetts I have learned a tremendous amount in different graduate school classes and professional development sessions. However, the most important things I have learned have come from my fellow teachers and from experiences in the classroom. The Notes from the Chalkboard Blog is where I will share some of those hard won lessons. So without further ado, here are some of my notes from the chalkboard…..

______________________________________________


Walter Duncan is a 15-year veteran K-12 teacher. His students were ranked in the top 15% of all Massachusetts Public School students on MCAS ELA in 2012. He has deep experience getting the best out of his kids in inner-city school districts such as Detroit, Washington DC, and Boston. Additionally he is the co-founder of Design By Educators the makers of the Quick Key Mobile app, a social impact company that seeks to empower teachers to more effectively close the achievement gap. The free Open Beta version of the Quick Key is available at www.quickkeyapp.com 

#TeacherKarma

The thing about teaching is you never quite know who your students will become. You see their potential, you nurture it the best you can, and they move on. You try to be exactly what they need you to be for them at any given moment, and then you exhale and let them go. They in turn continue to grow into their respective destinies.

The age of social media has changed the teacher-student relationship. After 15 years in the classroom, many of my former students are now thriving adults. And with the power of social media, it is much easier to stay connected with them after they become adults. I have seen some of my students become fantastic musicians, while others have shown sharp business acumen. I have even hired one of them as my head iOS developer for Quick Key.

This blog is about one of my former students in particular. He was, and still is, bright and thoughtful, and always ready to speak his mind. He was the type of student who would add something to the discussion that was insightful, but could potentially take the discussion off course. It is important with this type of student, to keep them engaged and never crush their enthusiasm. A teacher must walk that fine line of encouraging enthusiasm, while at the same time keeping the class on track toward the learning goals.

As an adult I reconnected with him through Facebook. It turns out that his enthusiasm has translated well in hollywood. He has appeared in many national commercials. I must say it is quite a feeling to see your former student on your TV telling you why Verizon has the best 4G coverage. Almost makes you want to switch to Verizon, almost.

After I had completed the first prototype of my Quick Key App, I made a grainy Youtube video. My wife filmed it, and I had my dog with me. I sent him a message asking him to help me make a better one. He asked for my Youtube password and said “let me change a thing or two about a thing or two”.

I went to bed, and at 1 a.m. my life began to drastically shift course. My phone would not stop buzzing, it was comments on my Youtube page!

He had taken the liberty of posting my video on Reddit, saying One of the best teachers I ever had just showed me this and said, “Don’t laugh at how amateurish the video is, or at my weird dog in the background, but I think I have a good invention here.” I’m inclined to agree, dear Walter. Let’s show him we appreciate his hard work!. And boy did Reddit show it! The video went viral receiving over 460,000 views. The next day after my first period class I was told to check out Techcrunch where I was on the front page next to Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg.  Talk about Teacher Karma!

Quick Key has gone on to hit many milestones, including raising over 320k and recently going over 155,000 quizzes scanned. But this past year has stamped the truth into my heart, that we give our best to our students each day, because that is our purpose. We teach to change lives. But sometimes, they come back and radically change ours.

Feel free to share the ways that your former students have changed your lives in the comment section below!



Read More
Mar 2014

@Blerdmedia Brings People Together with a Critical Eye Toward Pop Culture! #BlerdMedia

Quick Key Mobile™ is an app for iPhone and iPad that turns those devices into optical scanners, to grade paper assessments in a flash. The free app is available on the Quick Key Homepage 

We started News and Notes to update everyone on all the exciting things that are going on in education in general. We want to keep you abreast of great blogs, interesting discussions, and new developments we discover from members of our PLN. 
______________________________________________

I found my tribe!

That is what I exclaimed when I first met Jovan Miles AKA @blerdmedia on Twitter. He has managed to bring together a diversity of voices to comment on the culture we and our students are immersed in. I invite you to visit his site, and check out the different writers that comprise the Blerd Media Group. It is refreshing to hear their take on TV, movies, music and education. 

Additionally I was moved to see Quick Key show up on his site in the education section, I appreciate the love Jovan! Please keep moving the conversation about our culture forward!

Check out Quick Key on Blerd Media here: http://blerdmediagroup.com/education/

And check the entire Blerd Media Site here: http://blerdmediagroup.com/



Read More
Mar 2014

Quick Key Covered by @coolcatteacher!

Quick Key Mobile™ is an app for iPhone and iPad that turns those devices into optical scanners, to grade paper assessments in a flash. The free app is available on the Quick Key Homepage 

We started News and Notes to update everyone on all the exciting things that are going on in education in general. We want to keep you abreast of great blogs, interesting discussions, and new developments we discover from members of our PLN. 
______________________________________________

Photo appears courtesy of www.foundanimals.org


@coolcatteacher blogs about Quick Key!

When I joined Twitter one of the first teachers I followed was Vicki Davis aka @coolcatteacher. She had a huge following and her tweets were authentic and helpful. I was overjoyed when she followed me back! I reached out to her, never really expecting to get to speak with her, and lo and behold she took the time to speak with me by phone. I am excited to hear that she has launched a new project, a collaborative study of the book Physics of the Future. Though this collaborative project may have come to a conclusion, I encourage you to reach out to her about her next collaborative experience.

Imagine my surprise when months later I discovered that she decided to cover Quick Key on her blog! It is so nice to connect with someone in my PLN, who is as authentic and committed to students as Vicki is, who would take the time to support this Teacherpreneur. 

Thank you Vicki! Please check out her blog post here: http://www.coolcatteacher.com/photos/quick-key/

And by all means like her Facebook page for awesome updates!

Thanks Vicki, you are an inspiration to all the Teacherpreneurs out there!



Read More
Feb 2014

The Power of the PLN #2: From Across the Pond!

Quick Key Mobile™ is an app for iPhone and iPad that turns those devices into optical scanners, to grade paper assessments in a flash. The free app is available on the Quick Key Homepage 

We started News and Notes to update everyone on all the exciting things that are going on in education in general. We want to keep you abreast of great blogs, interesting discussions, and new developments we discover from members of our PLN. 
______________________________________________



From Across the Pond!

As I learn more about the power of the PLN, and the wonderful connections to be made on Twitter, I find myself coming across wonderful surprises. I am often on twitter looking for voices from frontline teachers, so that I can absorb and share their insights. On one occasion last week, I came across this blog post. It moved me as it was a simple review of my Quick Key app, and the review highlighted why I created the app, and affirmed the importance of tools for educators being #Teachermade. Please check out and follow @mrjwinstanley, he has a lot to share, don’t miss out.

Mr Winstanley’s Blog:

The responses I get when demoing Quick Key for the first time are fantastic. Some swiftly take the device and parade it around the staff room as if a descendant of royalty, others turn into gollum and reduce into the shadows whispering ‘my precious’ for the rest of their lunch break. It really is that good!

Continued…….





Read More
Jan 2014

The Power of the PLN! #Teachermade

Quick Key Mobile™ is an app for iPhone and iPad that turns those devices into optical scanners, to grade paper assessments in a flash. The free app is available on the Quick Key Homepage 

We started News and Notes to update everyone on all the exciting things that are going on in education in general. We want to keep you abreast of great blogs, interesting discussions, and new developments we discover from members of our PLN. 
______________________________________________




The Power of the PLN!

The Twitterverse has changed my life!  Each day I come across committed educators who make a difference in classrooms everyday. Additionally, they find the time to share their perspective and practice with teachers around the world. I am committed to using the Quick Key Blog to highlight these educators. Keep an eye on my twitter feed for the hashtag #teachermade to follow the contributions of these amazing frontline educators.

I connected with Bobbi Capwell through Quick Key, she brings a well rounded perspective from a frontline educator. I was honored that she included me in one of her blog posts about her PLN, and I recommend you follow her blog with all deliberate speed. You rock Bobbi!

From Bobbi Capwell’s Blog:

Things I do now that I have a PLN

It is funny how your perception changes once you start really communicating with the people you follow on any Social Media. These folks I am talking about are some of the most incredibly brilliant and creative people in the world. My PLN reminds me of the Nursery Rhyme with the Butcher, Baker and Candlestick maker- I have Educational Consultants, Educators of all subjects and ages, Preachers, Musicians, Chefs, Programmers, and Authors. What a support system it has become! I thought this would be a great way to express what I have learned from them. Sometimes, it might be a quick status, tweet or a direct message that means something to me or that makes me think “I want to learn more about that” or “How Cool! I could share that with my teachers!”

Bobbi’s Blog Continued……



Read More
Jan 2014

Share Your Formative Assessments with Teachers Across the Globe



Quick Key Mobile™ is an app for iPhone and iPad that turns those devices into optical scanners, to grade paper assessments in a flash. The free app is available on the Quick Key Homepage 

We started News and Notes to update everyone on all the exciting things that are going on in education in general. We want to keep you abreast of great blogs, interesting discussions, and new developments we discover from members of our PLN. 
______________________________________________


Share the World!

A strange and wonderful thing has begun to happen since the launch of the Quick Key app. Teachers around the world have begun to share their formative assessments. Geography teachers worldwide have started it, but this is just the beginning. If you are a Geography teacher, download or share assessments on this page: InternetGeography , or blaze a trail and start your own sharing page. We are all connected, and as teachers when we share with each other we empower each other.





Read More
Jan 2014

#langchat #mfltwitteratti The Power of Being Connected


Quick Key Mobile™ is an app for iPhone and iPad that turns those devices into optical scanners, to grade paper assessments in a flash. The free app is available on the Quick Key Homepage 

We started News and Notes to update everyone on all the exciting things that are going on in education in general. We want to keep you abreast of great blogs, interesting discussions, and new developments we discover from members of our PLN. 
______________________________________________


The Power of Being Connected


I feel so lucky everyday when I venture out into the Twitterverse and connect with other like minded educators. I have had the pleasure of gaining insight into a diversity of practices that challenge and change my way of thinking about teaching every day.

I have also had the joy of just plain meeting cool people and discovering their insightful content. Recently I connected with @sonrisadelcampo, I recommend that teachers of world language subscribe immediately to her blog! The following is a piece she wrote about my formative assessment app, Quick Key.

Teaching Spanish w/ Comprehensible Input


Quick Key is an app created by Walter O. Duncan IV (@4_teachers) to help teachers quickly grade short assessments like Ticket Out the Door or quizzes.

I found the app in a round-about way from Twitter (just another reason why Twitter is a key part of my PLN). After I downloaded the app, I printed a few QK Tickets, (scantron sheets), and started working with the app. I added a list of names, assigned them to a class, made the answer key on the app, and filled in several student answer sheets.

Continued…








Read More
Jan 2014

#vicpln #ictev Australian Educator Speaks Up about Formative Assessment!


Quick Key Mobile™ is an app for iPhone and iPad that turns those devices into optical scanners, to grade paper assessments in a flash. The free app is available on the Quick Key Homepage 

We started News and Notes to update everyone on all the exciting things that are going on in education in general. We want to keep you abreast of great blogs, interesting discussions, and new developments we discover from members of our PLN. 
______________________________________________

Australian Educator Speaks Up about Formative Assessment!

I was lucky enough to come across this blog post in my Twitter feed from +Kerryn Manifold (@KerrynManifold). He makes some great points and gives insight on how teachers in Australia are harnessing the power of data without losing the art of teaching. Check it out!

Classroom changes for 2014



“Australian students and teachers will start a new school
year in a few weeks and I have a feeling it’s going to be a good year. 

Since returning from a six year hiatus from education in 2012, it’s been
a steep learning curve. 

Things like collecting data and tracking student performance were 
things I always did but new technologies are now empowering teachers 
to be able to do this even better.”


Read More
Dec 2013

We Must be Gladiators for Our Students! #education #teachers


As a certified teacher in the state of Massachusetts I have learned a tremendous amount in different graduate school classes and professional development sessions. However, the most important things I have learned have come from my fellow teachers and from experiences in the classroom. The Notes from the Chalkboard Blog is where I will share some of those hard won lessons. So without further ado, here are some of my notes from the chalkboard…..

______________________________________________


Walter Duncan is a 15-year veteran K-12 teacher. His students were ranked in the top 15% of all Massachusetts Public School students on MCAS ELA in 2012. He has deep experience getting the best out of his kids in inner-city school districts such as Detroit, Washington DC, and Boston. Additionally he is the co-founder of Design By Educators the makers of the Quick Key Mobile app, a social impact company that seeks to empower teachers to more effectively close the achievement gap. The free Open Beta version of the Quick Key is available on the Quick Key Homepage.  

We Must Be Gladiators for our Students!

It is not enough to just teach anymore. There are so many decisions being made about education by those with little to no experience in the classroom. As teachers, we need to step up and make sure our voices are being heard in the rooms where decisions are being made that impact the future of all students. I recently completed a fun interview with a teacher in Ontario, Canada, Dave Pluscauskas, who has created a platform for teachers to be respected and heard. Please check it out! If you stick around to the end you can even here me freestyle 🙂








Read More
Dec 2013

The Art of Teaching, or why the freedom to teach is so important.


As a certified teacher in the state of Massachusetts I have learned a tremendous amount in different graduate school classes and professional development sessions. However, the most important things I have learned have come from my fellow teachers and from experiences in the classroom. The Notes from the Chalkboard Blog is where I will share some of those hard won lessons. So without further ado, here are some of my notes from the chalkboard…..

______________________________________________


Walter Duncan is a 15-year veteran K-12 teacher. His students were ranked in the top 15% of all Massachusetts Public School students on MCAS ELA in 2012. He has deep experience getting the best out of his kids in inner-city school districts such as Detroit, Washington DC, and Boston. Additionally he is the co-founder of Design By Educators the makers of the Quick Key Mobile app, a social impact company that seeks to empower teachers to more effectively close the achievement gap. The free Open Beta version of the Quick Key is available on the Quick Key Homepage.

The Art of Teaching

They gave her a script! All I could do was shake my head. The pressure to perform on high stakes tests has gotten to the point that teachers are being given scripts to teach from. This is a travesty. As I thought about this I could only arrive at the conclusion that those who make these decisions simply do not understand teaching.

In my experience, excellent teaching is comprised of two very important parts (in truth it is more complicated, but let’s just keep it simple for now). The first is content, a teacher must understand the content and earnestly endeavor to employ a variety of methods to help students master it. That being said, technology is now available that will always be able to give students access to more content than one individual teacher could ever hope to. And teachers are evolving, shepherding students to resources and helping them to gain mastery over the opportunities that new technology provides.

The Art of Inspiration 

There is, however, a part of teaching that no technology will ever be able to replace. It is the art of inspiration. It is impossible to teach in a training course, it can’t be gained from a new miracle method. Quite simply, the dedicated teacher develops this through trial and error. The veteran teachers can guide rookie teachers in finding their authentic way of inspiring students. It is intangible, it is special, it is magical. It is why you remember the teacher that changed your life (shout out to John Sbordone!). It is what you do at that moment when you help a student face a life crisis by just listening, or when you chastise a student for not performing up to their potential. It cannot be measured in a new fangled evaluation rubric, and a teaching script is its death nell.

Why I created Quick Key 

All of the above being said, we still feel the pressure. The students must perform, the rubrics must be filled out, the appetite of the evaluators must be satiated. But I will not turn my classroom into a fear of failure based worksheet factory. I created Quick Key so teachers could have access to and track formative data that they could use to support their out of the box teaching practices. When data exists that can back up the wacky and wild ways that educators find to inspire and educate their students, everyone’s needs can be met. I can have the freedom to teach, and at the same time have clear measures of student progress toward the standards. Let us marry data with the art of teaching to the benefit of our students. We must teach inspired!











Read More
Dec 2013

How To Sort Quick Key Excel Exports


Quick Key Mobile™ is an app for iPhone and iPad that turns those devices into optical scanners, to grade paper assessments in a flash. The free app is available on the Quick Key Homepage.

Download Quick Key Mobile™  and join our Open Beta today!


______________________________________________


How to Sort Quick Key Exports Using an Excel Sheet

Alphabetizing your Quick Key exports is as easy as 123. I made a screen cast this morning that walks you through the steps. As always remember that #weareallconnected, and have an amazing day of classes.




We Appreciate the Support!!


Thank you for all of your support so far, and please continue to help us spread the word by sharing this link explaining Quick Key with your friends: http://bit.ly/1lxAM6U

Best,
Walter

Read More
Dec 2013

Saving Paper and Time with Quick Key!


Quick Key Mobile™ is an app for iPhone and iPad that turns those devices into optical scanners, to grade paper assessments in a flash. The free app is available on the Quick Key Homepage.

Download Quick Key Mobile™  and join our Open Beta today!




______________________________________________


Saving Paper and Time with Quick Key Mobile™ for Powerful Formative Assessment!

 


How to use Quick Key and save trees!

  • Print your Quick Tickets from Quickkeyapp.com (make sure the copies are dark enough and in black and white)
  • Fill in the student names and ID numbers (make sure you use the Quick Key ID)
  • Laminate your class set of Quick Tickets
  • Have students use Wet Erase marker to answer questions
  • Viola! Powerful Formative Assessment + more trees 🙂


Powerful PLN!


One of the joys of being the teacher creator of Quick Key is that I have been able to connect with educators world wide. Quick Key has become a movement, and I am honored to be a part of it. Most recently I have been communicating with a group of teachers from the UK. They have taken Quick Key and implemented their own innovations, and it is their innovations that I have shared with you. I would like to thank them, and we hope you find the information helpful. Please remember #weareallconnected and teach amazing today!



Read More
Nov 2013

Data Driven Instruction, or How I Faced the Monster Under the Bed.

 
Walter Duncan is a 15-year veteran K-12 teacher. His students were ranked in the top 15% of all Massachusetts Public School students on MCAS ELA in 2012. He has deep experience getting the best out of his kids in inner-city school districts such as Detroit, Washington DC, and Boston. Additionally he is the co-founder of Design By Educators the makers of the Quick Key Mobile app, a social impact company that seeks to empower teachers to more effectively close the achievement gap. The free Open Beta version of the Quick Key is available for download on the Quick Key Homepage
 

                               

 Data Driven Instruction

It was a Thursday, the day was marked for professional development. I was in my first year at a high performing, "no excuses" charter school. The results were in from our first benchmark exam of the year. We sat in the meeting, a little uneasy, all knowing that without saying it out loud we were being judged by the results. We gathered together and went over the benchmark data as a group. We found out how well our students were doing in comparison to other students of the same grade level within the school and within the Charter School network. We needed to improve, the pressure was on. We received a short pep talk from our school leader about how we were going to use the data from benchmark assessments to target the areas of our students' weakness. It was a great pep talk, and I left the meeting fired up!
 
I was sent by myself to my classroom, with a password to access the data from my students. As I opened the portal I was overwhelmed. Each standard was listed. First, I had to determine how my three sections performed on all the standards as a whole. Then, I had to look at what standards more than 30% of each group struggled with. After three hours of doing this with no support, just figuring it out on my own, I had an epiphany. It was bitter sweet. It was sweet because I understood how I was going to get the most out of the data I had just received (even though it was poorly presented to me and tedious to navigate). It was bitter, because it meant I still had hours and hours of work to do, before I could get back to planning my lessons, grading assessments, and creating my materials. I began to break down each question and find the common errors, I would go back to the benchmark exam and see what distractor answers the students chose, and slowly I began to make sense of the data. Gradually, patterns began to emerge. 
                                         Interstitial ad 600x400 free forever
 
Getting the data from the previous three months was helpful. But it meant I had to restructure future units, to include ways to circle back and reteach what the benchmark data had shown me. This threw my year plan into disarray. But what could I do?  I bore down, reworked my units, and retaught the areas that needed to be addressed. I did it, but it was kind of miserable. I could feel my joy and enthusiasm waning. The kids could feel it too! They could sense that I was feeling tense and under pressure, and they also struggled with going back over things they had already covered. No one was very happy, but we all did it together. And you know what?  Their scores improved that year, and I did not burn out. But I knew there had be a better way. How could I get relevant data without depleting the joy, engagement and enthusiasm that I work so hard to create in my class?
 
I realized I needed to have a better grasp of what the students mastered the same day that I taught it. I needed to get more out of the formative assessments I was already doing. Instead of just looking over my daily exit tickets, I needed to track them more closely. I found that this was the best way to stay up to date in real time with my student performance. Again, I met with a brick wall! I had over ninety students! Grading and doing item analysis on 90 exit tickets a day was unsustainable. I did as much as I humanly could, but there had to be a better way.
 
These were the experiences that led me to create Quick Key Mobile™ in conjunction with my Co-Founder Isaac Van Wesep. I needed a tool to grade and quickly give me the data from daily formative assessments, benchmark exams, or weekly quizzes. Quick Key does just that, and it does it fast! There is no question that using data to drive instruction is one of the keys to improving student performance, and now teachers can use the Quick Key App to help them do it quickly and effortlessly!
 
Please check out my short film on how to use Quick Key for your formative assessments,  and remember we are all connected!


Walter Duncan
 
 
 
Co-Founder Quick Key Mobile

 
Read More
Nov 2013

Powerful Formative Assessment with Quick Key Mobile


Quick Key Mobile™ is an app for iPhone and iPad that turns those devices into optical scanners, to grade paper assessments in a flash. The free app is available on the Quick Key Homepage.

Download Quick Key Mobile™  and join our Open Beta today!


______________________________________________

Quick Key makes formative assessment and data driven instruction effortless!

Many of our current users have been asking us to help them share Quick Key Mobile™ with their friends and colleagues. So, we put together a short video overview of how to use Quick Key to improve student performance. Check it out, share it with your friends, and leave us feedback on our blog!


Read More
Nov 2013

Quick Key Features!


Quick Key Mobile™ is an app for iPhone and iPad that turns those devices into optical scanners, to grade paper assessments in a flash. The free app is available on iTunes at www.tinyurl.com/quickkeymobile 


We started Quick Key Features to update everyone on all the exciting things that teachers can do with Quick Key Mobile™


______________________________________________




Features to help Teachers with Formative Assessment 


Getting the most out of Quick Key means knowing about all of the features. This is a short screen-cast that shows you how to use one of our basic features that allows you to export class lists with student ID numbers. Many teachers have laminated the list and posted it on their wall, so students can access it easily.  Join the movement with teachers all over the world, download our Open Beta and start grading FAST!






Read More
Nov 2013

The Feedback Loop


As a certified teacher in the state of Massachusetts I have learned a tremendous amount in different graduate school classes and professional development sessions. However, the most important things I have learned have come from my fellow teachers and from experiences in the classroom. The Notes from the Chalkboard Blog is where I will share some of those hard won lessons. So without further ado, here are some of my notes from the chalkboard…..

______________________________________________

Walter Duncan is a 15-year veteran K-12 teacher. His students were ranked in the top 15% of all Massachusetts Public School students on MCAS ELA in 2012. He has deep experience getting the best out of his kids in inner-city school districts such as Detroit, Washington DC, and Boston. Additionally he is the co-founder of Design By Educators the makers of the Quick Key Mobile app, a social impact company that seeks to empower teachers to more effectively close the achievement gap. The free Open Beta version of the Quick Key is available on the Quick Key Homepage. 


The Feedback loop


I love feedback when it is positive, when it is what I want to hear. Who doesn’t like to hear “you’re a great teacher” or “your students scored exceptionally well on their standardized tests.”  However, the most powerful feedback is that which is constructive and corrective. The problem is, I find myself being defensive when hearing corrective feedback. My ego gets in the way. When my admin says, “great class Walter, but you need to improve your paperwork and data tracking”, I respond from a defensive posture, thinking to myself “you could not manage this classroom, how can you tell me anything.” This is the wrong way to handle corrective feedback, yet it is the knee jerk reaction that I, and so many other adults, have. And if we as adults struggle with this, imagine how our kids feel.

As I think about it I notice a pattern, when I was in the classroom I would focus on each area of student work that needed correction, explicitly. I would take the time to explain why something needed to be improved and how to improve it. But I would give much less attention the student’s success, never focusing enough on how and why they were successful at something. It is no wonder that they get defensive, if I am giving the lion’s share of the attention to their shortcomings. There is as much to learn from how something was done correctly as there is to learn from something done incorrectly. As teachers we need to balance our focus on both, this is not a call to praise when a student meets basic expectations, but a call to instruct from what was done excellently as well as what was done poorly.

This is on my mind as my formative assessment app Quick Key has just released updates and new features. We make it our central focus, to hear all feedback, take it to heart and incorporate it into our app. We believe giving teachers a full voice in everything we do helps us make a tool that gives teachers the story of their day’s lesson in the form of easy to access data, and allows them to give that feedback to their students.


Check out our updates and download the free Open Beta version of Quick Key here: Quick Key Update

As always, teach like your hair is on fire and have an awesome day of classes.


Read More
Nov 2013

Quick Key is Updated and Has New Features!

Quick Key Mobile™ is an app for iPhone and iPad that turns those devices into optical scanners, to grade paper assessments in a flash. The free Open Beta version of the app is available on the iTunes App Store at www.tinyurl.com/quickkeymobile  


______________________________________________

We are pleased to announce an update to the Open Beta version of the Quick Key Mobile™ app and the www.quickkeyapp.com website. We have been listening carefully to feedback from our users since the Open Beta launched, and we have worked to incorporate it into all that we do. As always, we are grateful to all of the folks for spreading the word to their friends and colleagues about Quick Key.


Quick Key Update (what’s new)

  • IN APP CUSTOMER SUPPORT (mobile). It just got a lot easier to reach out to us for support. On the home page of the app, just click “Support Center”. You now have the option of sending us a support ticket (we respond quickly, I promise!), communicating with fellow users, and downloading Quick Tickets that can be printed right from your device.
  • BUG FIXES (mobile). New software often has pesky bugs. Your participation in our Open Beta has helped us to find and squash a few of the most recent ones, THANK YOU!!!
  • NEW FEATURES (web). You can now create quizzes on the web! Just click on “NEW QUIZ” on the Quizzes tab, and customize your quiz and assign it to classes right from the web. QK Pro Tip: there is a new question field that can be used to enter quiz questions, or associate questions with standards.

If you are a fan of Quick Key please leave us a rating and review on iTunes. As always teach like your hair is on fire, and have an awesome day of classes!

Follow us on Twitter 
Join us on Facebook
Pin with us on Pinterest 





Read More
Nov 2013

QUICK SHARE #4

Quick Key Mobile is a powerful tool for creative teachers, and QuickShare is all about creating a forum for our outstanding users to share their tips, tricks, and experiences with Quick Key. You can always search this blog for “QuickShare” to find other articles, or visit our Help Center for Quick Key support and knowledge.
____________________________________________________


QUICKSHARE #4  

Helpful Tips from Quick Key Power User Cheryl LeConey!


Cheryl Leconey is a Quick Key power user. She started as one of our early beta testers. From the beginning she has embodied the spirit of what teachers stand for, and how Quick Key hopes to work with educators. Cheryl has shown us ways to use Quick Key more effectively, but not only that she has reached out to other teachers using our app and offered them advice on how to maximize their use of Quick Key. She is truly one of a kind, and we are lucky to count her as a member of our community. We love you Cheryl, you rock!


CONTRIBUTED BY: CHERYL LECONEY


Who is Cheryl LeConey?

My name is Cheryl LeConey. I am from Cape Vincent, NY, where the Saint Lawrence River starts and Lake Ontario ends. Yes, I can see Canada from here. I am starting my 29th year teaching. I have taught math to six graders through twelfth graders, I have taught inmates and reluctant learners. Presently I teach 8th grade math. One thing that is unique about me is I own a computer business in which I am the sole employee. I fix minor problems which clients are having as well as tweak their computers to fit their needs.


How did you learn about Quick Key?

I learned about Quick Key from a coworker who by chance found it while looking for another app.

Has it been a challenge to use the open beta version of Quick Key?

I set up QK by uploading the entire eighth grade then placing each student into the correct class. Some students ended up with the same internal number so I deleted one student then quick added that student back in. This took care of the double numbers. Once that was completed, I then downloaded the student list to have a hard copy of the info. I then explained the process to the students and modeled the QK ticket.

How is Quick Key improving your practice?

The scanning saves a lot of time. I have the students complete a QK quiz as they are waiting for class to begin. When the student is done, I scan their results. From there I look at the class results and we discuss the questions needing work. Having access to this data so quickly allows me to decide what direction the lesson for the day needs to go.

What dream features would you like to see Quick Key develop?

This may be in the works but I would like to be able have the students use their school ID for their number because if all teachers use QK then the students have way too many numbers to remember. Their brains need to focus on the curriculum and not worry about the numbers.


Read More

News and Notes!


Quick Key Mobile™ is an app for iPhone and iPad that turns those devices into optical scanners, to grade paper assessments in a flash. The free app is available on the iTunes App Store at www.tinyurl.com/quickkeymobile 

We started News and Notes to update everyone on all the exciting things that are going on with Quick Key Mobile™. We want to keep you abreast of updates, new features, and new developments as we grow. 


______________________________________________


News and Notes

Hey Quick Key Champions!

We are currently in the midst of our open beta and we just want to take a quick moment to express our gratitude to every single one of you that has taken the time and effort to help us test Quick Key Mobile™! You folks, the frontline teachers and administrators, are the single most important part of Quick Key and it is only with your feedback and engagement that we can make this into the most amazing tool for teachers possible.

Currently there are a few bugs that we know of, and we are feverishly collaborating with some of you to get them fixed. Our engineers are working around the clock to make sure that Quick Key works seamlessly and is something that you can trust and rely on to help you in the classroom.

It has been an incredible journey since our launch, building community with teachers from across the globe, and connecting and learning from one another. We at Quick Key believe that teaching is the most important ingredient in building a better future, and we are striving to make it a more productive experience for both you and your students. We are so grateful for all of your help and support, and if there is anything you feel that we can do better please reach out to us.

Check back here at http://power-2-teach.blogspot.com/ to stay up to date with our news and events!

With deep gratitude,

The Quick Key Team
Read More
Nov 2013

Notes From the Chalkboard


As a certified teacher in the state of Massachusetts I have learned a tremendous amount in different graduate school classes and professional development sessions. However, the most important things I have learned have come from my fellow teachers and from experiences in the classroom. The Notes from the Chalkboard Blog is where I will share some of those hard won lessons. So without further ado, here are some of my notes from the chalkboard…..

______________________________________________

Walter Duncan is a 14-year veteran K-12 teacher. His students were ranked in the top 15% of all Massachusetts Public School students on MCAS ELA in 2012. He has deep experience getting the best out of his kids in inner-city school districts such as Detroit, Washington DC, and Boston. He is the host of the Teachers’ Round Table, an online forum for teachers committed to progressive practice and evidence-based, data-driven education. Additionally he is the co-founder of Design By Educators the makers of the Quick Key Mobile app, a social impact company that seeks to empower teachers to more effectively close the achievement gap.


Sawbonna, I see you or my soul sees your soul.


In my fifteen years in the classroom I have been blessed to have been able to build meaningful relationships with my students. I have never been “buddy buddy” with students, but a clear mutual respect and warm feeling exists. As teachers invest their time in their students and the students invest their efforts into the class, strong bonds can and do form. As educators, we know it is important to build these bonds, as students give more effort when they feel that an instructor has taken a genuine interest in who they are as human beings. But how can this be done? We are not in the classroom to be friends with students. Yet a real relationship with our students must exist, and it must be deeper than “I am the authority and your are the neophyte”.

In my early years in the classroom, I was able to achieve this goal but I did not understand how I was able to do it. At first I thought it was just because I was young and familiar with the hip slang, or because I would host after school hip-hop clubs, during which time the students would make beats by banging their fists on the table and I would freestyle rap with the students. The truth is, my raps are bad and my slang is outdated and makes me look corny (real talk)! So, what is the key? How can we make them know we care and that we are genuinely interested in each of them?

In my first year of teaching I noticed an English teacher who seemed to connect with all of her students. They loved her, and she was strict and demanding. Mrs. Amen Ra, she did not play, yet all of her students knew she cared. As a result, they worked for her, I mean they really worked hard for her class. A difficult assignment? They did not bat an eye, they got down to business. I wanted to teach like that, so I started watching her, trying to see what she was doing. I noticed that she always commented on what outfits the students were wearing, or how they were carrying themselves. She did not necessarily praise or put down, she just noticed. And she noticed different students everyday, not the same ones. She acknowledged their swag, she saw them. 

Sawbonna is a Zulu term for “I see you” or “my soul sees your soul”. Our students need to know that we notice them, that we see them for who they are. That we see them no matter if they are failing or thriving, that we acknowledge their humanity. They need our attention like a plant needs sunshine. They need it objectively, not with saccharine sweet praise or mean-spirited admonishment, they just need to be seen. So notice your students, say something about their new Jordans, even if you think it ridiculous to spend that much money on shoes. Comment on their new haircut, even if the lineup is uneven 🙂 Notice them and they will notice that you care, and they will work harder for you.

Sawbonna, I see you or my soul sees your soul.



Read More
Oct 2013

MEET THE CHAMPION: JANIE GUERRA

Our Spotlight on Outstanding Teachers

Today: Janie Guerra, lifelong educator


What do teachers make? They make a difference! Teachers are the most important part of what we do at DBE. But let’s get real! Teachers are some of the most important people in our society…period!

Meet the Champions shines a spotlight on outstanding teachers, and how they make a difference. Right here on the Quick Key Blog, we will be interviewing real working teachers from around the globe, who make a difference in their classrooms every day.

____________________________________________

I first met Janie when I ventured into the world of Twitter for the first time. She was one of the first educators in my PLN.  She helped to show me the ropes of how to use social media as a tool for improving my practice. She brings a positive energy and acute intellect to every interaction, and I am thankful to be able to learn from her. Make sure you add @WarGirl007 to your PLN. Thank you for taking the time to share with us Janie, it is deeply appreciated.


Who is @WarGirl007?


My name is Mary Jane Guerra, I was born in New York and I have lived many years in Guayaquil, Ecuador where I started my teaching career. 

What led you to become an educator?


My passion is definitely Education, I’ve taught English as a Foreign Language for over 20 years and in the last 10 years, I have taught World History following the International Baccalaureate Diploma program. I am also an Instructional Designer; I have developed several English for Specific Purposes courses for the hospitality industry, of which I am very proud.

What accomplishments are you most proud of?


I’ve received several awards throughout the years, but not one of them is as valuable as the appreciation I have received from my students. “You were very strict with us in class, but I learned so much from you!” are the kind of phrases that keep me going.

How has being bilingual impacted your work as an educator?


Knowing English in a South American country is a huge advantage, it opened many doors and allowed me to meet people and learn different skills. I started at 18 as an English teacher in a local language academy; from then on, my passion for education grew.

What is one of the highlights from your classroom?


This year I had to teach content in World History that the year before I had taught to the same group of students in 10th grade. So the challenge was to reinforce the previous knowledge and deepen more into the content. How to do it? With technology, of course! 
We went through the topics, but this time we created newspapers of the different time periods and posted them on blogs, re-enacted events in videos to post on youtube, and some students even created diaries that looked so real! 

How does technology impact your classroom?


Since students are so immersed in technology on a daily basis, I consider it crucial for any teacher to include it in their planning. Learners not only learn to master technology, but the content also becomes more meaningful to them.


Read More
Oct 2013

MEET CHAMPION EDUCATOR RAFRANZ DAVIS!




Our Spotlight on Outstanding Teachers

Today: Rafranz Davis M.S. Ed, District Instructional Technology Specialist &  Math Educator


What do teachers make? They make a difference! Teachers are the most important part of what we do at DBE. But let’s get real! Teachers are some of the most important people in our society…period!

Meet the Champions shines a spotlight on outstanding teachers, and how they make a difference. Right here on the Quick Key Blog, we will be interviewing real working teachers from around the globe, who make a difference in their classrooms every day.

____________________________________________

Rafranz Davis is a highly sought after connected educator. She is an Invitee to Discovery Ed’s Beyond the Textbook, an  ISTE presenter, #rscon4 presenter, SMART Exemplary Educator, Haiku Deck Guru, Discovery Ed Star Educator,  and Discover Ed Leadership Council member. She is impressive!

 I know Rafranz as a kind connected educator. I tweeted her early one morning last year and she responded authentically and kindly. That was the start of one of the most valuable relationships I have on Twitter. Rafranz is eager to support any teacher with her insight and advice about anything, and it is always spot on! Additionally, Rafranz challenges the status quo with her blog http://rndesigns.com/, questioning assumptions about what we as educators do in the classroom. Thank you Rafranz, you are a STAR!!!


So, without further ado…let’s meet a champion!



DBE: Why did you choose to become a teacher?

RD: I wanted to make a difference in my community. I wanted kids who were like me to see teachers who look like them. That didn’t exist in my community.


DBE: What is the biggest highlight from this year?
RD: I served a different school district as a math strategist last year. When I changed districts, a few teachers joined me in my new location as well. While that was awesome, the best part is that the relationships that I established still stand today and that speaks volumes.


DBE: Tell us about a teacher who inspired you. How did they do it? What made them great?
RD: My college professor is still my mentor for my career and life. What made her great is that she didn’t slack from holding us accountable to grow. She made sure that we understood that graduating college was not the end of our education but that it would need to continue in order to continue to meet the needs of our learners. Clearly, she was well ahead of her time yet right on time where we needed it most.


DBE: How can technology help educators be more efficient in the classroom?
RD: Technology enables students to have access to information beyond a book or their teacher. It enables them to expand their knowledge, share and utilize skills that will serve as the framework of their lives for years to come. I think that a better question should have been how technology enables students to be more efficient because at the end of the day, their interaction with technology is what matters most.


DBE: What is really hard about constantly learning as a connected educator?
RD: The only hard part about learning is that at some point we have to stop learning and sleep. I deal with it by sleeping, as the rest incurred from it enables me to have the strength to learn every hour that I’m awake.




Read More

QUICKSHARE #3: IN THE CLASSROOM WITH ROYA NABI!

Quick Key Mobile is a powerful tool for creative teachers, and QuickShare is all about creating a forum for our outstanding users to share their tips, tricks, and experiences with Quick Key. You can always search this blog for “QuickShare” to find other articles, or visit our Help Center for Quick Key support and knowledge.
____________________________________________________

QUICKSHARE #3  

IN THE CLASSROOM WITH ROYA NABI!

CONTRIBUTED BY: ROYA NABI

Roya Nabi is another example of a dedicated  Quick Key beta tester. She has helped us work out the kinks in our app and offered wonderful ideas on how to improve it. We are so thankful for her support and willingness to share Quick Key with her colleagues. Like other beta testers she has discovered ways to maximize Quick Key in her classroom. Roya, thank you for being amazing, your students are lucky to have you!


Who is Roya Nabi? 

My Name is Roya Nabi. I work in Voorhees NJ at Eastern Regional High School (we are a suburb of Philadelphia). I have been teaching since 2000 and have taught Advanced Placement Biology during my entire carreer. I have also taught all various levels of freshman biology, (honors and lower levels). I received my BS and MS degree in Biotechnology from WPI (I grew up in Worcester), teaching was something that sort of fell on my lap accidentally.


Other than Teaching, what is she passionate about?

I have a lot interests and hobbies, probably the most exciting and unique one is my passion for cars. Whether I am a spectator or driver, I love the noise, the horsepower, the physics and mechanics in racing. My husband and I have been taking part in various racing events (Hill-climbs or track courses) for many years, we also like to attend big racing events like American LeMans or Rolex Series. My dream is to see an F1 race someday.


How Roya makes Quick Key work for her students!

I have been using it in my AP and Honors Bio classes for quizzes that have 30 or less questions. I have all of my students imported on the website, along with their designated classes. I use the website just as much, if not more than the app, for data and exporting the .CSV files.


What does she do with the time she saves! 

The scanning saves me time in a number of ways: 1. no need to request for scantrons from the secretaries 2. no need to fill in the key for the scantrons 3. no need to go to the workroom to scan the sheets. 4. grades are already on computer. It’s really excellent!! With the extra time I am probably doing what I always have to do…more grading!

How she uses the Micro-Data!

It’s nice to see the summary of the assessment so quickly and know where the strengths and weaknesses are for a class. I have also been trying to use the socrative.com site to get the same immediate feedback in a non-testing situation. (If you don’t know about “socrative.com” it’s great tool, as long as your students have smart devices).

Roya’s Dream features for Quick Key!

1. More Q’s on tickets, 50 q’s , 100’s to use with bigger assessments, that is #1 dream for me.
2. An easier way for it to sync grades with with Powerteacher.
3. I have more, but I can’t think of them right now!!


Read More
Oct 2013

Quick Key Debuts on National TV!


Quick Key Mobile is a powerful tool for creative teachers, and QuickShare is all about creating a forum for our outstanding users to share their tips, tricks, and experiences with Quick Key. You can always search this blog for “QuickShare” to find other articles, or visit our Help Center for Quick Key support and knowledge.
___________________________________________________________

Since launching Quick Key Mobile™ we have been buoyed up by support from teachers and administrators everywhere. We even made it to national TV! Check us out on Right This Minute!



CLICK HERE TO VIEW VIDEO!




Read More
Oct 2013

What is Quick Key Mobile?

Quick Key Mobile is an app for iPhone and iPad 

 

There is a lot to love about Quick Key Mobile and its companion Website www.quickkeyapp.com

 

This PDF document tells you everything you need to know.

…about what Quick Key does, how it can transform how you spend your time, and what teachers and the media have been saying about Quick Key since we first launched our prototype demo video back in February 2013.

Mobile device browsers may not be able to display the PDF without saving it first.

 Download the PDF here.  Share it with your friends and colleagues. And happy scanning!

Quick Key Page

Read More
Oct 2013

QUICKSHARE #2 Instant In-Lesson Feedback with Quick Key



Quick Key Mobile is a powerful tool for creative teachers, and QuickShare is all about creating a forum for our outstanding users to share their tips, tricks, and experiences with Quick Key. You can always search this blog for “QuickShare” to find other articles, or visit our Help Center for Quick Key support and knowledge.
____________________________________________________


QUICKSHARE #2 

VIDEO CLIP: INSTANT IN-LESSON FEEDBACK WITH QUICK KEY

 

CONTRIBUTED BY: KRISTIE McHUGH

Kristie McHugh has been a Quick Key user since our release. She has contributed to helping us improve Quick Key by giving us feedback on how she uses it. Kristie wanted us to note to our readers that she suffers from Muscular Dystrophy, and as a result her scanning takes a bit longer than it otherwise would. We love Kristie and we applaud her warrior teacher spirit, and think that her students are lucky to have her. Thank you Kristie for all that you do for your students every day!

 

KRISTIE’S QUICKSHARE


This is a demo from today’s team based learning math class. My students have just completed a 15 question multiple choice quiz which I am marking with my favorite app – Quick Key – while they complete the same test as a team. Before they are done I know which questions they need reinforcement on.

Quick Key is the best thing to come into my life as a teacher in years. It saves me time because I have 88 of these a week to grade and more importantly it provides me instant feedback. It is important to note: the scanning process is much faster for a fully able-bodied person because one would hold the phone up over the tests which would be flat on a desk but I’ve adapted it to work for and I like scanning them myself, even if it takes a few seconds to get it focused. Who says math class can’t be fun?



Read More

QUICKSHARE #1 A Month in the Classroom







Quick Key Mobile is a powerful tool for creative teachers, and QuickShare is all about creating a forum for our outstanding users to share their tips, tricks, and experiences with Quick Key. You can always search this blog for “QuickShare” to find other articles, or visit our Help Center for Quick Key support and knowledge.
____________________________________________________

 

QUICKSHARE #1  

A MONTH WITH QUICK KEY

CONTRIBUTED BY: THOMAS ROGERS

Thomas Rogers has been a Quick Key user since the summer, when he became our first beta tester. Since then he has been an invaluable part of our team. We are so thankful for his support and passion for Quick Key. Thomas has discovered some interesting effects from using Quick Key, and a few cool tips, too.  Thomas, thank you for everything! 


THOMAS’S QUICKSHARE


My name is Thomas Byron Rogers. I am a High School teacher in Edmonton Alberta for two years and I am currently teaching Social Studies and English Language Arts for Grades 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12. Before taking on my teaching career I served briefly in the Canadian Forces.

 

USING QUICK KEY EVERY DAY


Quick Key has become as integral to my class as students writing their homework in their agenda. Students are now becoming more familiar with the bubble sheet forms that they will see for their Diploma Exams issued by the province, which helps with test anxiety.”

SAVING TIME

 “Written assignments are marked faster because marking multiple-choice items does not take as long. My students not only appreciate the fast response to their work but the next-day turn around I have been able to achieve with other assignments has been greatly appreciated and allows me to move quickly through concepts in the past that required significant amounts of clarification.”

USING SHORT-ANSWER ASSESSMENTS WITH QUICK TICKETS

“From an assessment perspective, I can include more complex and thoughtful short answer questions that I have my students answer on the backs of the Quick Tickets.”


IMPACT ON CLASSROOM CULTURE


 “When they see their efforts in data form, it is now less about how well the individual did, but interestingly enough, how the class did. Some of my older students now are motivated to get higher stats as a class and have improved their study habits and adopted learning strategies to boost the class average. It is strange to think of testing as a team sport, but here I am, reporting class results to a captivated audience.”

DREAM FEATURES?

“I’d love to see a feature where I could print out a mini report card for students that would have the questions they got right and wrong. A customizable “Quick Report Card” would be great!”










Read More
Oct 2013

Introducing Quick Share: Teachers helping Teachers Get the Most from Quick Key

QuickShare Banner Image
Quick Key Mobile is a powerful tool for creative teachers. But let’s admit it: it could be a little easier  to set up! And once you are set up, how do you get the most from your new-found quizzing super-powers? Everybody in the company works constantly to make it easier to get the most from Quick Key, through software updates, tutorials, and attentive support.

And we are lucky to have some other important people helping, too: our outstanding users.

QuickShare is all about creating a forum for Quick Key users to share their tips, tricks, and experiences with Quick Key. You can always search this blog for “QuickShare” to find other articles, or visit our Help Center for Quick Key support and knowledge. Our first QuickShare is coming soon. So stay tuned!

If you haven’t gotten your free Quick Key account and downloaded the free Quick Key Mobile app for iPhone and iPad, do it now!





Read More
Oct 2013

PowerSchool and Quick Key: Import Your Student List from PowerSchool

If you are using PowerSchool to manage your students, it is super easy to import your list of students and classes into Quick Key
– AND –
Export your Quiz Results into PowerSchool.

This short video tutorial shows you how to take a student list from PowerSchool and import it into Quick Key. The tutorial shows how to prepare you PowerSchool export file, including how to split the Name column in to two First and Last Name columns. The tutorial is in real time so you can follow along with your own PowerSchool Export.

Be sure to register your free account and download the free Quick Key Mobile app at www.quickkeyapp.com


Read More
Oct 2013

Quick Key Tutorial: Using External ID Numbers

Quick Key uses automatically-assigned 4-digit ID numbers to identify students’ answer keys during scanning. These short ID numbers are easy for students to remember and ideal when filling out our Quick Ticket answer keys.

But many of you use a school-issued ID number to track your students within the school’s existing electronic grade-book. Many of you asked for the ability to associate these school-issued IDs with your Quick Key student records. Our last update added this feature, so now when you export your quiz results and import them into your school’s grade-book, the school-issued ID number will be there.

This short video tutorial shows you how to do it.

If you haven’t started using Quick Key to scan and grade paper quizzes, you can do it now by setting up your free account at www.quickkeyapp.com.


Read More

Quick Key Tutorial – Export Quiz Data

One of the unique features of Quick Key is the ability to export your quiz results as an Excel file, which you can use to easily upload your results into your school’s digital grade-book, or your own records. Excel exports give you flexibility to work with your results data on your own terms, and use them how you wish. 

We offer four popular export formats at www.quickkeyapp.com

This short video tutorial shows you how to use the Export feature at www.quickkeyapp.com.



Read More

Edit Student Information in Quick Key at www.quickkeyapp.com

We have updated the in-line Student editing feature on www.quickkeyapp.com making it even easier for your to update individual student information and Class assignment. 

This short video tutorial shows you how. If you haven’t started using Quick Key Mobile to scan and grade paper quizzes and other assessments, you can download the free mobile app and set up your free account on www.quickkeyapp.com.




Read More

Add Students and Classes in Seconds on www.quickkeyapp.com

It is now much easier and faster to set up your Quick Key account at www.quickkeyapp.com!


If you already have a list of your students’ information you can import this list into your Quick Key account in less than a minute using our Importer. The Importer takes the mystery out of the transfer process, using simple drop-down menus to make it easy for anybody to map their columns to ours.

This short video tutorial shows you how to do it. Now, you can set up all your students, and all your classes, in one easy step. Once you’ve done that all you need to do is create a quiz on your iPhone or on www.quickkeyapp.com, and start scanning!

You can download the free Quick Key Mobile App here, and sign up for your free account on your iPhone or at www.quickkeyapp.com


Read More

Sign Up for Quick Key on www.quickkeyapp.com

To get started using Quick Key, all you need to do it download the free Mobile App from iTunes. But if you want to set up your Quick Key account fast, and take advantage of some of Quick Key’s most powerful tools, you will need to sign into your Quick Key Dashboard at www.quickkeyapp.com.

If you already created an account on Quick Key Mobile for iPhone, use those credentials to sign in online. If you don’t have an account yet, create an account at www.quickkeyapp.com and then download the mobile app.

This short video tutorial shows you how to sign in. Search for “tutorials” on this blog to see more how-to videos.


Read More

Export Quiz Data from Quick Key at www.quickkeyapp.com


One of the unique features of Quick Key is the ability to export your quiz results as an Excel file, which you can use to easily upload your results into your school’s digital grade-book, or your own records. Excel exports give you flexibility to work with your results data on your own terms, and use them how you wish. 

We offer four popular export formats at www.quickkeyapp.com

This short video tutorial shows you how to use the Export feature at www.quickkeyapp.com.



Read More

Edit a Class on www.quickkeyapp.com

Want to know how to add or remove students from a Quick Key Class on www.quickkeyapp.com?

Here’s a quick video tutorial on how it’s done.

We have improved the interface and workflow for this feature since we launched last month. So if you haven’t checked out www.quickkeyapp.com recently, why not go back and see how we have made it easier to set up your classes and students, and start scanning paper quizzes now!



Read More
Oct 2013

Users Speak: How we use Quick Key

We want teachers to get the most from Quick Key Mobile and www.quickkeyapp.com.

In this video, several of our users talk about how they use Quick Key, and whether or not it works for them in the classroom. Their stories might inspire you to give Quick Key a try.

Setting up your Quick Key account is faster than you might think: with our new List Importer feature (in the Students tab on the Quick Key Dashboard at www.quickkeyapp.com), you can use your class list from your school’s electronic grade-book and to set up your Students and Classes in Quick Key, in less than a minute. It’s easy!

The first step is going to www.quickkeyapp.com and setting up an account. From there you can download the free Quick Key Mobile app from iTunes, download your Quick Ticket answer key image (to print and photocopy), and import your student list. And if you need help along the way, the Founders are ready and waiting to assist you via the Help Tab on the users Dashboard. 




Read More
Sep 2013

New Quick Key™ Feature: Set up 500 Students in 1 minute

 Download Quick Key Mobile™ on iTunes





NOW: SERIOUSLY FAST SETUP …


September 15, 2013 – We just launched a few time-saving updates to www.quickkeyapp.com. The updates make it a whole lot easier (and waaay faster) to set up your students and classes. A few highlights:

FAST & EASY STUDENT IMPORT

Now you can import your Excel table of Student information (including which Class they are in) straight into Quick Key™

Here is a Tutorial Video on how to import your students with this feature.

IN-LINE EDITING and BULK DELETE


If you messed something up, you can now quickly edit Students and Classes, and delete whole groups of students or Classes at once

STUDENT LIST EXPORT

A lot of teachers asked for a list of Students and their ID numbers that they could post for their students. Now you can create an Excel file of all your students with one click.

EXTERNAL ID NUMBERS

Now you can associate an existing school-issued ID number with each student. So now when you export your results data to Excel, each Student’s official ID number will be included in the data.

Here is a taste of what the new features look like. This is a tutorial on how to use the new Student CSV Import feature:



Read More
Aug 2013

Quick Key Mobile for the World!

Thank you to all of our backers and fans! In our first four days on the App Store, we have seen hundreds of downloads from all over the world.

We want to let all of our users know that we appreciate your support, your feedback, and your patience while we perfect Quick Key Mobile™ over the next few months. We went to market with a “minimum viable product”, what we could build with our limited budget.

Now, with your support, by downloading and using the free Quick Key Mobile™app, we will be able to show investors that real, working teachers want more Quick Key! And in the meantime, we are going to be updating the Web app at www.quickkeyapp.com regularly, to improve your experience.

Coming soon to www.quickkeyapp.com :

  • Import student lists directly from .csv while preserving class associations
  • Improved class assignment management
  • Include your students’ pre-existing ID numbers in their profiles and in data exports
  • More, at your request. Visit the community forum and leave a suggestion.
Thank you everybody! You are our heart and soul.

Read More
Aug 2013

Quick Key's Bostinno Love Affair







We love Lauren Landry at Bostinno! She is our favorite media maven, because she has her finger on the pulse of Boston tech news. How do we know? Because she seems to know exactly when Quick Key is making moves! Thanks Lauren, for helping us spread the word!


***
Read More

Download Quick Key Mobile™ Free from iTunes

Quick Key™ is finally here!


Download Quick Key Mobile™ Free from iTunes at tinyurl.com/quickkeymobile


Visit www.quickkeyapp.com 

to download free answer forms and export your data 

 



***


Read More

Launched!

QUICK KEY MOBILE™, THE iOS APP FOR TEACHERS THAT GOT 450,000 VIEWS ON YOUTUBE AND CREATED A BUZZ ON KICKSTARTER IN JUNE, LAUNCHED TODAY ON THE APPLE APP STORE, AMID HIGH PRAISE FROM EDUCATORS WORLDWIDE.

 

DESIGN BY EDUCATORS, INC. (DBE), THE CAMBRIDGE, MA COMPANY BEHIND THE QUICK KEY™ SOFTWARE PLATFORM, SAYS THAT THE SERVICE FOR TEACHERS, WHICH INCLUDES AN APP FOR iOS DEVICES AS WELL AS A WEB PORTAL, WILL REMAIN FREE FOR USERS DURING AN INITIAL INTRODUCTORY PERIOD. 

CAMBRIDGE, MA., AUGUST 26, 2013
Quick Key Mobile™ is an app for iPhone and iPad that turns those devices into optical scanners, to grade paper quizzes and surveys in a flash. The free app is available on the iTunes App Store at www.tinyurl.com/quickkeymobile.
DBE first made a splash among teachers in March of this year, when a grainy YouTube video demo of the prototype iPhone app went viral and racked up 450,000 views. Then, in June, the company made news again, when their Kickstarter campaign to fund completing Quick Key™ surpassed its goal of $20,000. More than 300 people – many of them teachers – ponied up between $25 and $150 to help get the project into the Apple App Store, in spite of the fact they had never seen the app work in real-life.
As one Kickstarter backer – a teacher from Hollywood Florida – said in a recent video testimonial: “This is going to change the way we do business in the classroom.”
Today, the company made good on its promise to Kickstarter backers, releasing a free introductory version of Quick Key Mobile™ on the App Store, and simultaneously launching the Web portal at www.quickkeyapp.com.
Based on today’s trend, DBE Co-Founder and Chairman Walter O. Duncan IV expects more than 1,000 people to download the app before midnight tonight.
So far, people from over twenty different countries in North and South America, Asia, Europe, and Australia have registered on www.quickkeyapp.com. We went through an extensive international beta test in July and August. But we expect our new users to help us work out the kinks in the software over the coming months” he said.
Mr. Duncan added that he is completely satisfied with “only” 1,000 Launch Day downloads. “It is going to take some time for the word to spread. And we also want to make sure our servers and support systems can handle the traffic. We upgraded our servers last week in anticipation of the launch, but this afternoon we had to upgrade again because so many teachers are grading quizzes as soon as they register their accounts. Teachers are excited to use Quick Key Mobile™ in their classrooms right now, and we are in constant communication with our users as they try Quick Key™ for the first time.
The Company has raised over $200,000 from private investors since October 2012, when development of the Quick Key™ prototype began. An Android version of the app is expected in early 2014. DBE was incubated at the Butler Venture Accelerator at Babson College, where one of the Company’s Co-Founders earned his MBA cum laude in Entrepreneurship in 2008.

CONTACT:

Isaac D. Van Wesep, Co-Founder and President, Design by Educators, Inc.
Mobile: 617-233-6363      Email: isaac@power2teach.com

LINKS:

A short video of user testimonials: http://youtu.be/0Wut5nx1n9g
The Quick Key Kickstarter Campaign page: tinyurl.com/QK-Kickstart
Free Download of Quick Key Mobile on iTunes: tinyurl.com/quickkeymobile
Original Viral Video: http://youtu.be/UUqZYcAnUlw
Read More
Aug 2013

Champion Teacher: Joey Curtis





Our Spotlight on Outstanding Teachers

Today: Joey Curtis, Elementary School Math Teacher


What do teachers make? They make a difference! Teachers are the most important part of what we do at DBE. But let’s get real! Teachers are some of the most important people in our society…period!

Meet the Champions shines a spotlight on outstanding teachers, and how they make a difference. Right here on the Quick Key Blog, we will be interviewing real working teachers from around the globe, who make a difference in their classrooms every day.

____________________________________________


Joey Curtis is an amazing teacher. I had the privilege of teaching across the hall from her. Her classroom was always filled with children learning and growing. Joey does not “play” in the classroom, and at the same time the kids know without  a shadow of a doubt that they are surrounded by love, fun,  and support every second they spend with her. I often say “the most important things I have learned about teaching have come from other teachers.” Joey Curtis is one of those teachers. She is a 15 year veteran of the classroom and skating enthusiast who brings math to life for her students.

So, without further ado…let’s meet a champion!


DBE: Why did you choose to become a teacher?
JC: I can’t say I wanted to become a teacher.  It sort of found me.  I was an Engineering student in my third year.  I was frustrated and it wasn’t fun.  I knew I loved kids and immediately thought I’d intern while I was at Ohio State to see if I liked it.  Fortunately, I had a phenomenal supervising teacher who showed me how much fun the job could be.  I switched majors and never looked back.


DBE: What is the biggest highlight from your classroom this year?
JC: My highlight from my classroom really came this summer.  While leaving a restaurant for lunch, a car drove past and I heard, “Hey, Ms. Curtis!”  When I turned around I yelled for the car to stop.  When I looked in the car I saw two former students I had taught, one of which I had just a few months ago.  This young student was a boy I pushed in math with everything I had.  I went so far as to clip multiplication sentences to his uniform.  The best part of this story is when I leaned inside the window and asked him what 9 x 3 was?  He knew…and smiled.  Not something he did very often!


DBE: Tell us about  a teacher who inspired you. How did they do it? What made them great?
JC: My supervising teacher, Linda Packard, is one who has inspired me more than any other.  She knew the potential I had to make connections with students.  Noting my strength, she paired me with a student who needed it.  From that grew the passion to pull out the stops to get students learning.  I’ve done headstands  in class, roller skated to demonstrate science principles, and attended activities outside of schools to build relationships.  Linda taught me that!  Our connection continues as I have become like a member of her family and see her often!


DBE: How can technology help you be more efficient in the classroom?
JC: I use technology to enhance learning.  I will always require students to critically think and do the arduous work of learning.  Technology can often raise lazy learners.  They expect it to be quick.  Students want to have their answers with a click of a button.  Life and learning life’s lessons are not that easy.  I want them to appreciate hard work, and then realize how they can take their thinking and learning to the next level.  It isn’t just about getting things done quicker.  There is an art to technology and I want kids to see it and earn it!


DBE: What is really hard about teaching, and how do you deal with it?
JC: There are several issues that concern me in education.  One is paperwork.  There is a lot of demand to collect data and not a lot is done with it.  Teachers know their students.  I don’t need to test them every other week to tell you their strengths and weaknesses.  Just ask me.
My greater concern is the lack of discipline and consequences in schools.  Students are constantly getting bullied, teachers are being verbally and physically assaulted and parents are bypassing the teacher when settling conflict.  There seems to be an accepted policy to allow students numerous chances to turn in homework late, retake a test, avoid a consequence for behavior.  Students need consequences.  I set rules and standards of behavior in my classroom and follow through with them.  I do what is best for students.  They need consequences.  They need deadlines.  The thing to remember is that the students who pass through my doors will one day make policy for me.  I want it to be time bound, thoughtful and consistent.  It is my job to mold leaders of tomorrow.  I take that job seriously!  Popular or not….


Read More
Jul 2013

Custom Essay In Toronto

Please be detailed as you are able to within your explanation. This determination is completely up to you, however, and you make take-back your title even when you have children that are minimal. Modify Report Ways to Get a Quick Divorce in New York The fastest approach to file for breakup is underneath the “no-fault” regulations as revised on August 15, 2010. You will need to have the filing charge in cash’s form or a cash order at that time of processing. During mediation, a trained professional termed a mediator can listen to you as well as your spouse and enable you to attain a decision on contested issues, to which you may equally acknowledge and know very well what the other desires. (más…)


Read More
Jul 2013

Champion Teacher: Thomas Rogers

 

 

 

Our Spotlight on Outstanding Teachers

Today: Thomas Rogers, H.S. Social Studies and English Language Arts Teacher


What do teachers make? They make a difference! Teachers are the most important part of what we do at DBE. But let’s get real! Teachers are some of the most important people in our society…period!

Meet the Champions shines a spotlight on outstanding teachers, and how they make a difference. Right here on the Quick Key Blog, we will be interviewing real working teachers from around the globe, who make a difference in their classrooms every day.

_________________________________

Thomas Rogers is a second year high school teacher from Alberta, Canada. He is a graduate of The University of Alberta and was recently selected to serve as an English 30-1 Diploma Exam Marker for the Department of Education in Alberta.

Thomas has a strong belief in “life long learning” and encourages his students to take full advantage of their educational opportunities.

He is passionate about using technology in the classroom and goes above and beyond for his students, to ensure that they are grasping  concepts and moving forward in their learning.

So, without further ado…let’s meet a champion!


DBE: Why did you choose to become a teacher?
TR: I had the unique opportunity in Grade 11 to do a TA job through work experience. At my high school there was a Grade 7-9 combined computer class and the teacher they had assigned to teach it, while an awesome individual, was not confident in the material. So, I was approached, having spares in my schedule at that time, to help teach it. I was offered 15 credits toward my High School diploma and gladly took the opportunity. After a semester of doing this, I was hooked. I loved helping people learn new information and I felt that this was something I could do for a career.


DBE: What is the biggest highlight from your classroom this year?
TR: My biggest highlight was actually an opportunity to go mark government level diploma exams. In Alberta, a student must write a Diploma Exam for every core class they take. Some of these exams are marked by machine scored cards, some are essay style questions that are marked by teachers from all over the province. On average there are 16,000 of these exams written every session per subject.

To mark these exams the Province hand-picks a group of teachers from all over the province and brings them in to mark these exams. I was one of those people and it was an amazing experience. Working side by side with teachers with over 30 years of experience and collaborating with them was some of the best personal development I could have asked for as an educator.

DBE: Tell us about  a teacher who inspired you. How did they do it? What made them great?
TR: One teacher that inspired me the most in terms of how I teach was my High School Physics and Chemistry teacher. He was a geologist before moving into the classroom and he had the right mix. The mix I’m talking about is between professional and life-long learner. He set high expectations for us and never compromised them.

He also had a great sense of humor and knew how to read the class and catered his instruction towards our interests, as much as, the curriculum would allow. That is not to say he didn’t throw down the hammer once and a while, but he never relied on it and because of that, we respected the man.

DBE: How is your profession changing?
TR: Teaching is an interesting profession in the sense that as much as it changes, it stays the same. The physical classroom hasn’t changed much in the last 200 years. Sure, we have technological advancements that allow us to take our education farther than we were able to in the past, but that doesn’t mean anything unless it is adopted by those who teach. That being said I know teachers that can engage their students more with just themselves than any YouTube video.

With the advent of the Internet, teachers must be more knowledgeable to compete with the information easily accessed by students and be able to guide them through what they find, and teach critical thinking.  This idea of critical thinking is the most significant shift in education in my opinion.

Education used to be strictly knowledge adoption but now with an overabundance of digital information, it is more important to know HOW to process discovered information than raw memorization. Teaching students how to differentiate reliable information from the unreliable is going to be the most important skill we teach our students.

DBE: What is really hard about teaching, and how do you deal with it?
TR: The hardest thing about teaching is engaging your students. Each group of students is different… the outside world may think we as a profession just reuse our material on a year-to-year basis. In truth there may indeed be some that do this, but they I would argue do not make up the best of our profession.

Each group of students is different and has a different view on what they want to get out of life and school. Granted you have an obligation to teach them a mandated curriculum and are held accountable to do so, but there is wiggle room to meet the students half-way. If you can do this and engage your students in the material you are presenting, then other issues such as grades, classroom management, respect are easily dealt with once you have them.

So how do you engage students? You be a real person and a real professional. Students can see through your disguises and they are incredibly perceptive!  So, don’t waste your energy trying to be someone you’re not as cliché as that may sound. Have a genuine passion for what you teach and they will follow you.

DBE: Thanks Thomas!

Read More
Jun 2013

Champion Teacher: Chris Webb




Our Spotlight on Outstanding Teachers
Today: Chris Webb, H.S. English Teacher/Technology Coordinator

What do teachers make? They make a difference! Teachers are the most important part of what we do at DBE. But let’s get real! Teachers are some of the most important people in our society...period!

Meet the Champions shines a spotlight on outstanding teachers, and how they make a difference. Right here on the Quick Key Blog, we will be interviewing real working teachers from around the globe, who make a difference in their classrooms every day.


Chris Webb is a fourth year teacher, currently teaching in Taipei, Taiwan, China. Given his international teaching experience, coupled with his enthusiasm for teaching and learning, we choose to profile him here!

In the Spring of 2013, Chris received a Special Recognition Award for “Outstanding Vision, Dedication, and Commitment to Excellence in Education” from his school.  He was also recently accepted to the highly sought after Google Teacher Academy in Chicago, IL.

Chris is an avid adopter of new technology and uses it in his daily teaching routine. He is also passionate about everything he does and genuinely loves teaching!

So, without further ado…let’s meet a champion!

DBE: Why did you choose to become a teacher?
CW: While many of my peers got into teaching because of a great role-model who inspired them, I got in for the opposite reason; my high school experience was filled with such rigid instruction, flavorless lessons, and little-to-no technology that I decided become a teacher to ensure that no student I came into contact with would have the same experience. I’m proud to say that, 4 years in, I’m living the dream—my students are my life!

DBE: What is the biggest highlight from your classroom this year?
CW: So many, but the biggest was my Senior British Lit students (100% ELL) producing a 60-minute adaptation of “Twelfth Night” in a massive theater, using (and understanding!) Shakespeare’s original language. This project took over 4-months of intense classroom time, between auditions, memorization, prop- and set-design, and rehearsals. It’s the first time our school put on major play production in front of an audience including family, friends, and the community.

DBE: Tell us about  a teacher who inspired you. How did they do it? What made them great?
CW: Mr. Bralley, my history teacher, was the one teacher in high school who inspired me to invest in my own education and think deeply about the world around me. He was fun, enthusiastic, and smart, but I’ll never forget how all of his students knew that he truly loved them. When I’m in the classroom, every now and then, I’ll say or do something that reminds me of Mr. Bralley, and I’ll laugh at how, years later, his lessons are still with me.

DBE: How can technology help you to be more efficient in the classroom?
CW: As the first all-iPad school in Taiwan, we use technology every day to stay organized, up-to-date, and connected to the world around us. I personally use Google Docs to plan my lessons, Blogger for student portfolios, Dropbox for archiving homework, Twitter to learn about what’s “in” in education, and Evernote for everything else. Basically, every day we come home with 10% left on our iPads’ batteries!

DBE: What is really hard about teaching, and how do you deal with it?
CW: 1) When I’m in front of the classroom, I talk and talk, hamming it up all day long, but inside, I’m a true introvert. As I’ve learned this about myself, I’ve had to find ways to balance giving my kids 100% and taking time to recover from my class-time workout. 2) In Taiwanese culture, students are taught to respect their teachers and blindly treat everything they say as “the answer”. One of my key challenges, then, has been to teach students that they can both show respect to elders and have their own opinions on the world around them.

DBE: Thanks Chris! 


Read More
Jun 2013

Introducing: Micro-Data

Summary: The current debate over data and multiple choice assessment has been miscast as a debate over Big Data and High-Stakes Testing. 

Let’s get the discussion back on track by looking at how teachers can use Micro-Data and Low-Stakes Assessment every day to achieve personalized instruction and better outcomes.

by Walter O. Duncan IV & Isaac D. Van Wesep










Big Data or Micro-Data? 

I believe in the power of data to improve learning outcomes and enrich lessons. I know this because research has shown it, and because I myself have used data over the past ten years to create better lessons and educate my students.

But I think the discussion around data is lacking an important distinction: the difference between “Big Data” (a tool for schools) and what I call “Micro-Data”, a tool for teachers. Micro-Data is what I use in my daily lesson planning: the results of daily formative assessments that help me gauge my students’ mastery of today’s lesson.

In this paper I will introduce the concept of Micro-Data, and explore the differences between Big Data and Micro-Data. My hope is to provide a starting point for educators to think about how to use Micro-Data to achieve higher learning outcomes, and look at ways to use Micro-Data without spending aeons crunching numbers!

I also want to show that Micro-Data is not about testing ruling the classroom. It’s about a foundation of data to underpin exciting, project-based activities and lessons.


Big Data is for Schools 

At my school, we do testing twice per semester, and we also have the Massachusetts MCAS exam once per year. When the results from these assessments come back, I go to work adjusting my lesson plan. This is long-cycle assessment. Big Data. I might be able to catch up my current students in the next semester, but the main beneficiaries of these analyses are next year’s kids. 

Big Data like this is useful to my school, which can track students and teachers across years. The data are also useful to me, to an extent. But the benefit to students, while not minimal per se, is at the very least telegraphed into the next year: I apply the last year’s data to this year’s kids, and what I learn this year, I can only apply to the next year’s kids. This is Big Data in action. 

I’m glad my school uses Big Data to improve outcomes for our students. But as a teacher I need something different. I need data to help me teach the kids in my classroom today. Big Data doesn’t do that for me. 

 

Micro-data is for Teachers & Students 

If I want data to help me be a better teacher today, I need Micro-Data. To coin a term: 

Micro-Data (n) is the product of short, frequent formative assessments, is collected, analyzed, and applied within 24 hours, and is linked to an individual student, in order to provide personalized instruction. 

Micro-Data is all about finding out whether my students understand what I just taught, or if they did the reading, or met the learning goals of the day’s project. 

It isn’t about graded assessments. And it isn’t about putting standardized testing at the center of class time. It is about getting real, hard data, fast, so I can spend class time having fun while learning with my students, and giving the right attention to each individual learner. 

This last point is critical, because as I will discuss later in this post, one way to collect Micro-Data is the short multiple-choice assessment. I worry that the current discourse has conflated multiple choice and standardized testing (Big Data), making one part and parcel of the other. As teachers we need to re-cast not only the discussion, but also the way we think about the assessment tools available to us. 

 

Let’s get the power to teach back in our own hands 

As a working teacher who has had to bear the weight of every policy change and technology implementation of the past 14 years, my concern is that Big Data will come to dominate the national discussion – and my classroom – at the expense of Micro-Data. 

I am encouraged, though, by the active, involved, and progressive teachers who are adding their voices to the national discussion. As teachers, we need to make sure we are in the driver’s seat on every education issue, including technology and data. 

It is true that the historical cost of technology has meant school administrations hold the keys to data. But the landscape is shifting. Today, high-powered technology is in the palms of our hands, and we can can give ourselves the power to teach using Micro-Data for very little (if any) money. 

As teachers we need to get out in front of the trend toward Big Data. Experience shows that frequent, low-stakes assessment works. Let’s make sure we aren’t measured by Big Data without being given the tools to harness Micro-Data. 

 

Create the Methods 

With a solid concept of what makes good Micro-Data, teachers can begin to develop methods to collect and use data from frequent, short formative assessments that fit with their existing lesson plans. There are technology tools available for little or no money that make assessment easier and faster, enabling teachers to create assessments that fit all of the criteria of good Micro-Data. 

5 Signs of Good Micro-Data

Good micro-data…
  1. Is the result of frequent, short, formative assessments
  2. Is recorded in a database or spreadsheet so it can be analyzed instantly with minimal effort or time
  3. Indicates mastery (or lack of mastery) of a single lesson’s material
  4. Analysis will indicate a course of immediate corrective action
  5. Can be stored, shared, and used later for meta-analysis


Good Methods are Universally Accessible 

And finally, the power to use data needs to be universally accessible.

Having taught in public, charter, and private schools in Los Angeles, inner-city Detroit, Washington, DC and Boston, I am a witness to the consequences of unequal access to technology. The digital divide and the achievement gap are devastating our social fabric and the lives of children everywhere. Technology (and data) might be tools to help solve these problems, or they might be wedges that further isolate the “haves” from the “have nots”. 


Put it into Practice 

It is possible for teachers without huge tech budgets to collect and use Micro-data, but some kind of technological aid will make the whole process doable, in terms of time.  The ideas below may serve as a good jumping-off point: 

3 Ways to Put Micro-Data into Practice
  1. Exit Tickets: end-of-class 1-5 question assessment of the day’s lesson, graded instantly with digital methods or self-grading
  2. Entry Tickets: 3-5 question assessment of prior-night’s homework or reading, graded instantly with digital methods or self-grading
  3. In class: walk-arounds (with a way to record assessment results), voting, and team projects can all be sources of Micro-Data, so long as the results are discrete and recorded in a way that allows analysis.  

4 Tools to help you use Micro-Data
  1. In-Class Voting: use clickers to have students answer questions in real-time
  2. In 1:1 environments students can be assessed on personal devices
  3. In paper-based classrooms, use one of the many quiz scanning apps for iPhone and iPad to speed grading and analytics.
  4. Your own students! Many teachers successfully use self-grading or peer-grading to speed up the analysis of Micro-Data.


Conclusion 

For those who are totally opposed to testing, I say this: Micro-Data is classroom intelligence you can use to ensure your rich, engaging lessons are tailored to individual student’s needs. Micro-Data doesn’t replace or de-value project-based instruction. Rather, it helps to make sure fundamental concepts are mastered during rich, engaging lessons. Micro-Data is about discovering whether an individual has mastered today’s lesson, and taking immediate corrective action.

Many of the ideas behind Micro-Data are not necessarily new, but by putting a name to them we create a framework for developing best practices.

The concept of Micro-Data allows us to talk about data-driven methods without the distracting shadows of Big Data and Standardized Testing clouding the discourse.

Powerful new tools are being built every day. But only when we know what we need from technology, and have the language to demand it, will we gain access to the tools that give us the power to teach.

And only when we teachers make our voices heard, in a clear, cogent discourse about data, will we be able to gain control of our collective digital destiny.



View and Download a 3-page PDF of this article, suitable for printing, Here

About the Authors: 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Copyright 2013 Design by Educators, Inc. This document MAY be distributed without license.

 

Read More

Brian Kennedy: Champion Teacher

 




Our Spotlight on Outstanding Teachers


What do teachers make? They make a difference! Teachers are the most important part of what we do at DBE. But let’s get real! Teachers are some of the most important people in our society…period!

Meet the Champions shines a spotlight on outstanding teachers, and how they make a difference. Right here on the Quick Key Blog, we will be interviewing real working teachers from around the globe, who make a difference in their classrooms every day.

_________________________


Today: Brian Kennedy, Language Arts + Social Studies 

We first met Brian Kennedy on the Teacher’s Round Table, where he is an active member. Since then, Brian has proven to be one of those increasingly rare “real people” on the Internet. He has given us useful insights into our software during the beta development project, and he is among our group of 100 Quick Key beta testers. Thanks Brian!

Brian also happened to go to college about 30 minutes from Quick Key’s co-founders, Isaac and Walter. Oxford Ohio: home of steamed bagels and the craziest Halloween party this side of anywhere. R.I.P. Ozzie’s Balcony!!!

I asked Brian to allow us to spotlight him because over the past couple of months I have come to know him as a skilled teacher with an illuminating perspective on a range of issues. He is a natural at sharing his own tips and knowledge, and he does so freely, as you will discover in the Q&A below.

His colleagues in the Teachers Round Table already know Brian. But now it’s time for the rest of the world to know him, too.

So, without further ado…let’s meet a champion!

________________________

DBE: Why did you choose to become a teacher?

BK: Teaching brings a personal sense of satisfaction that I think I would have a hard time getting from other professions.  I have always gotten a strong sense of accomplishment from service and stewardship, and I know that teaching is a perfect fit for my personality.  I work best collaboratively, and I love the experience of facilitating positive change in students; whether it be in their academic knowledge and skills, or their character.

 

DBE: What is the biggest highlight from your classroom this year?

BK: I worked with a group of struggling eighth grade students that had all been recommended for my remedial writing instruction course by their language arts teachers.  Many of these students live in poverty or otherwise chaotic situations, and many have been at risk since elementary school.  We worked really hard toward acquiring skills or “tools” for our “writer’s tool belts” during the six-week course.  I am proud to report that every student that attended the course, passed the eighth grade writing test and they all are looking forward to a successful freshman year!

 

DBE: Tell us about  a teacher who inspired you. How did they do it? What made them great?

BK: My eighth grade language arts teacher, Lynn Angus, was among the most influential teachers that I had.  She really made the students feel valued by sharing our writing in a safe and anonymous way.  The sense of community in her classroom is something that I continue to strive for in my own classroom.

 

DBE: How can technology make you more efficient in the classsroom?

BK: Along with efficiently presenting aggregated data that informs instruction, technology provides the intangible ingredient that all teachers seek: engagement.  When students’ excitement around using devices, music, or other media is present, the learning that takes place feels pleasurable as opposed to monotonous or forced.  I also find that using technology with my students, be it a game, webquest, research, etc., allows the students the opportunity to take the lead, while I get to watch them explore learning.  Technology effortlessly taps into their natural curiosity and allows them the opportunity to safely make impermanent mistakes.

 

DBE: What is really hard about teaching, and how do you deal with it?

BK: By far the most difficult part about my job is the fact that an increasing number of parents harbor underlying distrust for teachers and administrators.  I try to remedy this by making myself available whenever possible to parents, and reaching out to build a trusting relationship with them.  I also send regular feedback to parents, and make attempts to relay positive feedback to parents whenever possible.  I find this especially helpful with students that have disciplinary issues, and it goes a long way with parents when I demonstrate that I want them to know that their child can be successful.

 

DBE: Thanks Brian! 


_____________________ 

Thanks for checking out Meet the Teacher Champions! Please let us know what you think. To nominate a champion teacher, send an email to info@power2teach.com. 



Read More
Jun 2013

Thanks Eliza!


Read More
Jun 2013

Al Elliot: Champion Teacher





Our Spotlight on Outstanding Teachers 

_________________________

What do teachers make? They make a difference! Teachers are the most important part of what we do at DBE. But let’s get real! Teachers are some of the most important people in our society…period!

Meet the Champions shines a spotlight on outstanding teachers, and how they make a difference. Right here on the Quick Key Blog, we will be interviewing real working teachers from around the globe, who make a difference in their classrooms every day.

_________________________



Today: Al Elliot, 5th Grade (All Subjects)


Al Elliot is a committed educator, with 17 years in the classroom, and currently teaching 5th grade (all subjects).  He holds a Masters of Elementary Education, and is pursuing a Ph.D. in Education at University of Alabama at Birmingham. 

Al has dedicated his life to improving the lives of others. He also brings the skilled voice of a master poet to all he does. This poet’s perspective on the world allows him to connect with students and teachers from all walks of life.

Importantly in this age of information, Al is also a connector! He brings teachers together once a month in his Monday’s Eve Google Chats, where teachers and leaders can share best practices and practical advice. Al’s leadership in the progressive community of teachers has allowed him to share his knowledge, and he has also gained insights from other teachers on how to benefit from technology in the classroom.

We are grateful to have Al as a Quick Key Champion, and we are glad he was willing to share with all of us. You can find Al on Google+ here.


So, without further ado…let’s meet a champion!


DBE: Why did you choose to become a teacher?

AE: I chose to become a teacher because I enjoy the feeling of being able to change the world.  Young people, for better or for worse, will inherit the planet and eventually run it.  I like the idea of having something to do with shaping the minds that will change the world.

 

DBE: What is the biggest highlight from your classroom this year?

AE: I’d have to have to say that the biggest highlight from this school year is the feeling of community that was established among my students.  My students were very supportive of their classmates.  They even formed a class band and performed in the school talent show playing a desk, recorder and dodge balls.  Close second would be the students wanting to bring their own devices to school to do school work and not just play games.  Many students in my class had access to a “better” device [than] the nooks that were provided by the school.  Students were working on Google Docs on their iPods, iPads, phones and Chromebooks that they brought to school.  

DBE: Tell us about  a teacher who inspired you. How did they do it? What made them great?

AEI remember my high school English teacher Mr. Nevett.  Not only was he an extremely well dressed educator, he was also an artist and a man that wasn’t afraid to buck the system every now and again and stand on what he thought was best for his students.  I still remember the slogan he made up for the standardized tests that were given when I was in high school.  “School, a place where education is encouraged and SAT is God.”

 

DBE: How can technology help you be more efficient in the classroom?

AE: The school system I work in is a GAFE (Google Apps for Education) system.  This means that I use Google Drive with my students for word processing and presentation needs.  I’m able to read their work and leave comments on projects they are working on from my phone, tablet or computer.  Technology also helps me communicate with my students in a more efficient way as well.  I can email out reminders, announcements, homework and project assignments.  I even had a few students that took pictures of their homework and turned it in this way when they knew they would be absent.  My students also would communicate with each other in real time when collaborating on a project by using Google Drive as well.

 

DBE: What is really hard about teaching, and how do you deal with it?

AE: The hardest part about teaching is to implement programs that are mandated you participate in during the school year.  There are some scripted programs out there, that seem to take the creativity teachers have out of the classroom.  To deal with this challenge, I make sure I’m familiar with the standards that are to be covered and let the activities we do in class work towards meeting the standards and objectives and not just cover the mandated programs and hope the kids get it.  I also invite suggestions from the students about how we, as a class, can meet the objectives that must be covered.  When students know they have a choice in how they present or research a topic, they seem to respond with more excitement.

 

DBE: Thanks Al! 

_____________________ 

Thanks for checking out Meet the Teacher Champions! Please let us know what you think. To nominate a champion teacher, send an email to info@power2teach.com. 



Read More
Jun 2013

Rhys Richardson: Champion Teacher







Our Spotlight on Outstanding Teachers 

Today: Rhys Richardson, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Computing 

What do teachers make? They make a difference! Teachers are the most important part of what we do at DBE. But let’s get real! Teachers are some of the most important people in our society…period!

Meet the Champions shines a spotlight on outstanding teachers, and how they make a difference. Right here on the Quick Key Blog, we will be interviewing real working teachers from around the globe, who make a difference in their classrooms every day.
_________________________

Rhys Richardson is an ICT & Computing classroom teacher from Cardiff, Wales in the United Kingdom. Rhys is just finishing his first year in the classroom after having spent time in industry as a Business Analyst, IT manager and Web Projects Manager.
We selected Rhys for our spotlight because of his already grounded knowledge of software and hardware solutions (being an IT professional) and his use of myriad technologies already paying dividends in his young teaching career.
Rhys received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Science from the University of South Wales and Post Graduate Certificate of Education (PGCE) from Swansea Metropolitan University.


So, without further ado…let’s meet a champion!


DBE: Why did you choose to become a teacher?

RR: My reasons for wanting to teach are straightforward and easy to explain. Children inspire and amaze me. Their mixture of personalities, their selflessness and generosity, their endless ability to forgive and their resilience is unrivalled. I wanted to be a part of this “magic” and be able to develop and promote all of these characteristics with a teaching post.

 

DBE: What is the biggest highlight from your classroom this year?

RR: Having started some extracurricular classes at my school during a Tuesday lunchtime for Key Stage 3 (11-14 year old pupils) using Kodu as a basis for engaging with them outside of the national curriculum. I was amazed at how quickly they managed to pick up the simple visual programming language of the application. Since the early days with that club, things have spread like wild fire. We now have the Kodu club as well as Lego Mindstorm clubs and for pupils which really wanted to jump into the deep end, we have a C for Arduino / Robotics club where the pupils build and program their own Dagu Rover robots.

 

DBE: Tell us about  a teacher who inspired you.  How did they do it? What made them great?

RR: It’s a common saying that ‘God broke the mold’ when it comes to certain individuals but in this instance there are two! Back when I was a student at Ysgol Gyfun Llanhari (a secondary school about 30 minutes from Cardiff) there were two teachers (Mr. Ian Gillam and Mr. Mike Ebbsworth) who quite frankly had a different ethos of teaching than the rest. They were able to show me that the subjects they taught could be ‘cool’ and ‘interesting’ even when we were looking at the dry, theory aspects. It’s really these two teachers who inspired me to become a teacher myself.

 

DBE: How is your profession changing?

RR:  Most subjects are quite cyclical, the same education has been provided in these areas year after year. However, in ICT and Computing we are educating pupils today to be able to use technologies that haven’t even been invented yet! By teaching the concepts of computing, it doesn’t really have a great bearing on what comes next but the ability to analyze it and be able to pick the new technology up quite quickly is key.

As an ICT specialist it really is important to keep abreast of the changing face of technology and bring these new ideas to the classroom. This is why I am really keen to see Quick Key take off as it will free up so much of my (and other teachers) time from marking so that we can get back to doing what we do best, TEACHING!


DBE: What is really hard about teaching, and how do you deal with it?

RR: The difficulty right now is knowing when to stop! There are so many examples of interesting world events that tie into computing when trying to explain the dryer topics such as sensors. When you can bring items such as the Stuxnet Virus to the pupils’ attention and show how the smallest of sensors could have massive consequences, you can see them instantly engage with an otherwise dry subject.

There is also a change in the direction of ICT in Wales and the United Kingdom with a big push for Computing. We wanted to help the pupils as much as possible on this route and have started extra clubs to help them as well as organising field trips to Technocamps (http://www.technocamps.com/) to learn some programming skills in Scratch and Green Foot Java.

Rhys would like you to check out this link to remind us all why we TEACH!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxsOVK4syxU 


DBE:  Thanks Rhys for providing an international perspective on teaching and education!

 

____________________ 

Thanks for checking out Meet the Teacher Champions! Please let us know what you think. To nominate a champion teacher, send an email to info@power2teach.com.   

 

 


Read More

Android Users! Tell us you want an Android version of Quick Key!

Are you a teacher using an Android phone? Do you want Quick Key on Android? Take our one-question survey. If we can get 10,000 “yes” votes we will have no problem raising the $150,000 we need to build it.

Scroll Down to watch a video of Quick Key in Action under the survey window. You can also visit our Kickstarter Page (click the badge in the sidebar). But most importantly, vote for Android!

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world’s leading questionnaire tool.

Don’t know what Quick Key can do? Check out this video:



Read More

Quick Key on Launch.It

This morning we launched a Quick Key profile on Launch.it at http://new.pr/11qHGNR  


 
Read More
Jun 2013

Read This BLOG! Dispelling myths about 1:1 Environments

Today I read an excellent blog post by Andrew Marcinek on the pitfalls of 1:1 environments. His post highlights many of the issues surrounding 100% wired classrooms, and shows many of the challenges of implementing 1:1 computing in schools are about managing and integrating technology, not money.

Read the post here: http://www.edutopia.org/blog/dispelling-one-to-one-myths-andrew-marcinek

Nice work Andrew!


Read More
Jun 2013

Champion Teacher: Daniel Schweichler

 

 

 

Our Spotlight on Outstanding Teachers

Today: Daniel Schweichler, Music

What do teachers make? They make a difference! Teachers are the most important part of what we do at DBE. But let’s get real! Teachers are some of the most important people in our society…period!


Meet the Champions shines a spotlight on outstanding teachers, and how they make a difference. Right here on the Quick Key Blog, we will be interviewing real working teachers from around the globe, who make a difference in their classrooms every day.

_________________________

 

Our second spotlight is on Daniel Schweichler, a band musician, technician, and classroom teacher. Dan is just finishing his first year in the classroom as a teacher of both his high school’s band, and guitar. He is an Eagle Scout, and also a brother of Kappa Kappa Psi, the National Honorary Band Fraternity.

We selected Dan for our spotlight because of his passion for the craft of teaching, and for his avid use of technology in his daily music lessons…not an area of study where we expected to see technology playing a key role! But then again, why not use technology to teach music? As Dan explains, there is a substantial number of valuable resources available to music teachers who open the door to technology in their classroom, or (ahem), concert hall.


So, without further ado, let’s Meet a Champion!



DBE: Why did you choose to become a teacher?

DS: I had always known I wanted to be a teacher. I had a knack for taking a concept that people did not understand, and making it into something that they could comprehend. I knew, however, that I wanted to teach Music in high school. My band teacher helped me realize that music was a very strong passion of mine and that I had an excitement for it. He helped me realize that it was what I was meant to teach.


DBE: What is the biggest highlight from your classroom this year?

DS: I came in to this program half way through the school year after the previous director had chosen to leave and I was left with a band program that was every which way but straight. Choosing to only produce only one concert and one festival for the semester, we had a lot of time to grow together. The concert day showed up, and the students performed a concert like they hadn’t seen in years. All of the work we had done together allowed them to perform some difficult music, and even premiere a new piece by an up-and-coming composer. They were proud of their work, and so was I.


DBE: Tell us about  a teacher who inspired you. How did they do it? What made them great?

DS: Scott Burgener. Easily one of the best band directors in the State of Arizona. Mr. Burgener was my band director throughout high school, and [if] it were not for this man, I would never have become the teacher I am today. There are many others out there who pushed me to keep going when times were tough, but it all falls back to this man. His dedication, passion, and love for making music inspired me to jump into the world of band teachers.


DBE: How do you use technology in your classroom?

DS: I am lucky in that the high school band classroom is built to utilize technology. There is so much out in the musical world that I can use to supplement my daily curriculum. From music composition software like Sibelius and GarageBand, to assessment with programs like SmartMusic and QuickKey!


DBE: What is really hard about teaching, and how do you deal with it?

DS: There are two things when talking about Fine Arts Programs. One, is the funding. There is never enough money. (However, this is true for almost all programs.) My classroom cannot be run with out musical instruments. Without it, I don’t have a band classroom. I need to be able to purchase the thousands of dollars worth of instruments to provide the students the opportunity to experience music making opportunities.

The second issue is program support. Without artistic expression, many students would not graduate from high school. Academics and Fine Arts are two peas in a pod – you cannot have one with out the other. There needs to be a mutual understanding of this. Music, Art and Dance cannot turn in to a pool where we drop kids who couldn’t get another elective to fit in their schedule. Our students need to understand that Fine Arts is a place to live, love, learn and grow. Just like any other classroom.

DBE: Thank you Dan!  

Does anybody else use technology to teach music or the arts? How? What about smart boards? Anybody using digital music production, or live video communications? Let us know how you use technology in your music classes!
____________________________
Thanks for checking out Meet the Teacher Champions! Please let us know what you think. To nominate a champion teacher, send an email to info@power2teach.com. 

Read More

Awesome new video: the Quick Key Beta Race!

I just finished our first video shot with real cameras, by a real production crew, me at the helm of Final Cut Pro X and my Macbook Pro. Here is what we came up with: http://youtu.be/Q9iCCTaNC-0





Read More
Jun 2013

Champion Teacher: Eleanor Young






Our Spotlight on Outstanding Teachers 
Today: Eleanor Young, Social Studies


What do teachers make? They make a difference! Teachers are the most important part of what we do at DBE. But let’s get real! Teachers are some of the most important people in our society…period!

Meet the Champions shines a spotlight on outstanding teachers, and how they make a difference. Right here on the Quick Key Blog, we will be interviewing real working teachers from around the globe, who make a difference in their classrooms every day.

_________________________

Kicking off our series is Eleanor Young, a Social Studies teacher at Blue Ridge Early College in North Carolina, where this year she was named Teacher of the Year.

Eleanor is a friend of Quick Key’s co-founders. She was very generous in agreeing to our Q&A. Thank you Eleanor!

Eleanor is an avid adopter of new technology. She is currently participating in a Web-based distance teaching program at her school, and she uses technology in her teaching every day. 

She is also passionate about everything she does. So we knew she would have a lot to say, and say it well! 





So, without further ado…let’s meet a champion!


DBE: Why did you choose to become a teacher?

ECY: I chose to become a teacher by accident. in 2008 I was operating my own real estate brokerage firm and  working on a masters in history. When the real estate bubble burst, I accepted a job in a high school acting as a liaison between high school and college academics, culture and expectation. Within my first month in the classroom I re-tracked my masters towards education. As I completed that masters in Teaching Upper Level Social Studies I secured a full time job as a social studies teacher teaching world history, civics and economics, American History and a section of college level Global History.

 

DBE: What is the biggest highlight from your classroom this year?

ECY: 2012-2013 was full of wonder, exploration, rigor and research in my classroom. My biggest highlight was pioneering text book free learning in all my classes opting for academic research and articles in which to facilitate a deepened, more critical approach to history, economics and governance. Using the technique with my own student demographic, who have largely been perceived as underachievers due to issues of poverty, provided data that students, no matter background, will rise to rigorous standards if teachers set them.

 

DBE: Tell us about  a teacher who inspired you. How did they do it? What made them great?

ECY: My 11th and 12th English [teacher] Joe Faulkner has inspired my personal professional pursuits. I failed AP Lit my senior year and had to retake it between 6:30-7:30 am last semester senior year. He made me read and analyze Huxley, Lewis, Steinbeck, Faulkner, Welty, and Knowles, Salinger, and Hemingway. I got a 5 on the exam and fell in love with reading for the sake of probing the human condition and all of our idiosyncrasies!

 

DBE: How is your profession changing?

ECY: Education in this country is in the nascent stage of a reform movement. Some facets are still working to band-aid ailments but other reform movements are changing paradigms around teaching whole people and whole minds. I’m super excited to be able to witness and be a part of real change inspired by the 21st century condition of globalism, information technology and innovation!

 

DBE: What is really hard about teaching, and how do you deal with it?

ECY: The bureaucratic urge to band-aid problems rather than working to find and fix real causes of what keeps learners distanced from seeing their ultimate potential. I’m intentional everyday and in everything I do to treat learners as whole people. I expect a ton, I set high standards, I ask my students who they are and what’s hard for then. I have high standards for myself and I commit to learning new content, new techniques, new strategies and new ways to innovate my classroom everyday in a pure effort to model why it’s good to care about and nourish your mind.

 

DBE: Thanks Eleanor! 

ECY: Thank you! Great Questions!
_____________________ 

Thanks for checking out Meet the Teacher Champions! Please let us know what you think. To nominate a champion teacher, send an email to info@power2teach.com.

Read More
May 2013

Quick Key Co-Founder Profiled by Ed-Tech Times

The Ed-Tech Times published a profile of our Co-Founder and Chairman, Walter O. Duncan IV, here: http://tinyurl.com/QK-EdTechTimes

Thanks to Yevgeny at the ETT! 
Read More
May 2013

We have a leak at headquarters!


 

Portions of our highly secretive Provisioning Profile Candidates Database have apparently been leaked to the press by a high-ranking member of our executive team. It may have been me. I can’t recall. 

Michael Morisy broke the news: http://tinyurl.com/quick-key-may28-2013


Read More
May 2013

Design your own software – Take our Features Survey!

 

This is turning into a very exciting spring!

It’s been nine months since we incorporated Design by Educators, Inc. to build Quick Key. Sometimes I can’t believe we made it so far, so fast. But here we are, on the cusp of our beta release!

Quick Key works because it was conceived by a career teacher, and is built with the input of real, working teachers, from the ground up.

Help us prioritize which features we should build first this summer. Take our “Dream Features” Survey:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/VXZJRQV

And please! Help us get Quick Key on the app store in July!

Back our Kickstarter campaign! Great cause, great rewards:

http://tinyurl.com/QK-Kickstart

And thanks!


Read More
May 2013

Quick Key Kickstarter Campaign Hits $10,000 in first Weekend!




















Thanks to our first 113 backers, the Quick Key Kickstarter Campaign is off to an amazing start!

So many of our friends and family have come out to support us. I am giving all of you a virtual hug right now! We are so thankful for your early backing. It matters a lot that you didn’t wait to support us. Thank you!

But I also need to thank the community of educators who have backed our campaign, taken our Dream Features Survey, and signed up to beta test Quick Key.

You All are the FUTURE of Quick Key and the life-blood of the software. Thank You for taking the time to tell us which features Quick Key should have. And thank you for backing our campaign so we have the resources we need to build it right!

Together, we are bringing R&D into the 21st century by making it collaborative. You, our users, are participating in making a software tool that really works because you helped design it.

Our Campaign ends June 30, but the Quick Key project will continue throughout the summer and fall.

We are all really excited over here. Thank you to everybody, and don’t forget to continue to spread the word so we can raise the funds to deliver the best possible version of Quick Key!

 


Isaac D. Van Wesep
Co-Founder, President & CEO
Design by Educators, Inc. 
Maker of Quick Key
Read More
May 2013

Quick Key Kickstarter Campaign is LIVE!




I am happy to report that the Quick Key Kickstarter Campaign is up an running! 

You can back the Quick Key Beta and Dream Features Project here:
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/quickkey/quick-key-the-smartphone-app-that-works-for-teache

If we can raise $20,000 in our campaign, we will get the Quick Key beta on the Apple App Store as soon as possible.

But, if we raise more than our goal, then we can start building the most popular features from our Dream Features Survey. You can take the survey, here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/VXZJRQV

Please back our campaign, and take part in an innovative, collaborative ed-tech project this spring and summer!

And Thanks!

Walter O. Duncan IV
Co-Founder and Chairman, Design by Educators, Inc. 
Maker of Quick Key
Read More
May 2013

Quick Key Subreddit: Taking Communication to the Next Level




















http://www.reddit.com/r/QuickKey/

This morning I launched the Quick Key subreddit at http://www.reddit.com/r/QuickKey/.

We are always looking for more and better ways to bring collaborative R&D to the next level. I love the Reddit platform and I think it could be a great place for high-quality discussions of all things Quick Key.

So please click the link and start commenting. Feel free to post new links, questions, and text posts about Quick Key, too.

Thanks for your input!

-isaac
Co-Founder, President & CEO
Design by Educators, Inc.
Maker of Quick Key
Read More
May 2013

Quick Key is in the Mass Challenge 2013 Semifinals!















I am happy to announce that Design by Educators, Inc. the maker of Quick Key, is a Mass Challenge 2013 Semifinalist.

Mass Challenge is one of the most high-profile start-up accelerators in New England. Thousands of companies apply to be one of 125 finalists, who are given office space, mentoring, and other assistance throughout the summer and early fall of each year.

According to Mass Challenge:

“We help early-stage entrepreneurs win.

We connect entrepreneurs with the resources they need to launch and succeed immediately.

Our primary activities include running an annual global accelerator program and startup competition, documenting and organizing key resources, and organizing training and networking events.”

We pitched to a panel of judges this morning at 8am. We were the first pitch of the morning. I woke up at 5am today, to finish writing my talk for the judges, and finish our Powerpoint.  Walter and I carpooled to Mass Challenge headquarters in the seaport district, Boston, where we met up with our Director of Operations, Marlon Davis.

Excitement was in the air! Bug thanks to all of the judges and facilitators of the event. We are all looking forward to Tuesday’s Meet & Greet event.

This time, I will try to remember to take pictures!!

-isaac
Read More
May 2013

Quick Key Facebook Page is Live!

Last week we launched the Quick Key Facebook page. This is the place where we can interact with teachers using Quick Key, answer questions, and post media. The Quick Key Facebook page is also where you can usually find our Chairman Walter Duncan.

Add QKFB to your bookmarks, and check it out, here:
https://www.facebook.com/power2teach?fref=ts

-isaac
Read More
Apr 2013

Quick Key's Walter Duncan is in the News!

Big up to Wally Fresh a/k/a Walter O. Duncan IV a/k/a Quick Key Co-Founder a/k/a the best teacher I ever had, for your 15 minutes of fame on CBS Boston news this morning and again at 5pm.  Sounds like those newscasters really connected with the idea of “a latte a month”. Nice work Walter looking good out there!

See the video:

http://boston.cbslocal.com/video/8727628-new-grading-app-for-teachers/
Read More
Mar 2013

Quick Key on TV in Thailand

I want to thank ICT Genius 9 in Thailand for their review of Quick Key!  What a great video. It was hard for me to understand everything….but i did get the gist of things: Quick Key is an important innovation in Thailand as well as in the U.S!



Thank you ICT Genius 9.

If you are Thai and you want to use Quick Key, send us an email (email contact button at right).

Thanks

-Isaac Van Wesep
CEO, Design by Educators, Inc.
Maker of Quick Key.
Read More
Mar 2013

We use Basecamp for Collaboration

We use Basecamp – the cloud app from 37 Signals – for collaboration. It’s a useful place to put to-do’s and to use as a record of our activities. We also use Basecamp to discuss issues. But I find that Basecmap’s calendar and to-do’s don’t allow the kind of detail we need for true project management  to occur. For example, We can set the start time of a meeting or event, but not the end time. Also, we can not assign a do-to to more than one person (a team to-do), nor can we post a to-do with a future start date. This means Basecamp is a collaboration tool for NOW, but not a great one for planning.

In my search for a way to bring more project management capability to Basecamp, I am trying out TeamWeek, software that lets me view all of our Basecamp To-Do’s on a calendar. There are limits to TeamWeek’s integration with Basecamp (especially since TeamWeek allows me to apply more information to an event or task than Basecamp does, I can not sync all the TeamWeek info back into Basecamp), but it looks promising.

-isaac
CEO, DBE, Inc.
Read More
Mar 2013

Welcome Founder's Day Attendees!

Thank you for visiting our Blog! 

You have reached Quick Key, the first product from Design by Educators, Inc.


Here are links to our demo video – which currently has 320,000 views on YouTube – and news stories about Quick Key. 

The Quick Key Video on YouTube: 

The Quick Key Website:
 

Email contact for us:

Article on TechCrunch: 

Article on Webinno: 

Article on ValueWalk.com:
 

Television coverage on NBC Afiiliate 9News in Colorado: