Friday, November 8, 2013

This Week's Spotlight: Infuse Learning

One of the hot topics of 21st Century Learning is the idea of increasing  formative assessments to better monitor student progress.  Formative assessments are highly valuable because they portray a student's academic needs (or academic mastery, for that matter).  As an example, think "bell ringer" or the trendy "exit ticket".  The point of  this type of "checkpoint" is to keep it short and sweet-- a quick check on how students are grasping material that is presented to them.  Access to formative assessment tools is easy now, given all the free digital open ed resources that are available on the web and the fact that most student response systems are supported by just about any type of device.   Socrative, ExitTicket, Answerpad, and Infuse Learning are just a few digital tools used for the purpose of instant teacher/student feedback  and all of them are worthy of use.  Today, however, I'm going to focus on Infuse Learning.

My first experience with a digital formative assessment tool was not with Infuse Learning.  Actually, it was with Socrative; and I fell in love!  I enjoyed, especially, the Space Race game where I could divide my class into teams and then each team would race their rocket ships across the screen while answering review questions for an upcoming exam.  I had fun, and my kids did, too.  I experimented with the Quiz feature within Socrative, as well, but soon found that test question options were limited.  So, for more summative assessments, like a chapter or unit test, for example, I found another tool and decided to reserve Socrative just for our review games.

Recently, though, I discovered Infuse Learning.  Infuse Learning, in its most basic form, is simply another formative assessment tool.  However, after playing around with it a little more I realized that Infuse Learning could also be an effective tool for summative assessments.  It has many more features and functions than Socrative.  For example, as opposed to the 3 question type options Socrative offers in its Quiz Maker (MC, T/F, short answer), Infuse Learning offers 7: Draw Response (though only for quick assessments); multiple choice, open ended text, True/False, Lykert Scale, Sort in Order, and Numeric Response.  Additionally, IL allows for image uploads, has audio capability, AND . . . language translation capability!

Learning all this, I was really drawn in and kept exploring.  I soon discovered that there are two interactive functions for the teacher: Infuse Draw and Infuse Link.  Infuse Draw allows the teacher to have an interactive whiteboard that can be projected to the whole class to view.  This feature can be taken a step further in that students can respond to the teacher's whiteboard information through a T/F, MC, Draw, or text type question.  The second interactive feature, Infuse Link, allows the teacher to push out a link to a particular website that will then pop up in a new window on the student's device . . .

The capabilities of this tool are amazing and I have not covered all of them.  Watch the tutorials below to learn more!

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