Monday, October 3, 2016

10 Reasons Teachers Will Love DocentEdu

It seems that every school year brings updates to the tools we already use and new ones that grab our attention for one reason or another. For me, this year's new tool is DocentEdu.


I'm a firm believer in technology that saves teachers time and facilitates the learning process. Here's some of the ways DocentEdu does all of the above.

1. Quizzes

After all the excitement of a new tool wears off, the real integration takes shape. It often points to effective learning strategies, such as checking for understanding. At it's core, DocentEdu has made a tool for guided reading that allows teachers to spend time writing good questions, not fumbling over technology by over managing digital resources.

Better yet, the multiple choice questions are scored automatically and allow students to try again for partial credit. I wouldn't use this for a summative grade, but it's great for instant feedback.


2. Discussion

Some of the best learning happens through discussion. Let's say you find a website that presents problems with many plausible solutions. Why not insert a discussion and keep a record of student participation and evidence of mastery?

3. Embed Video

This is how I found DocentEdu – I wanted to embed a video in a Google Doc. As it turns out, you can make a docent out of a published doc and embed videos into them or almost any webpage. I haven't found a site in which it hasn't worked.


4. Feedback

Although I'm told that specific feedback is on the future features list, I still like the ability to easily adjust the point values of questions. What's more, the multiple-choice questions grade automatically. This means students know how they did on their assignment right away. For the few homework assignments that I require, immediate feedback is crucial – kids these days are used to getting answers right away.

5. Download CSV

I like having the ability to look for patterns in student performance. By providing a CSV file of the student scores, teachers are free to convert the file to whatever software they use. 

Whether it's Mocrsoft, Google, or uploading straight to a gradebook, a CSV file is a must have for looking at long term achievement – sans tedious data entry.

6. Classroom Integration

This was so easy. Want to add all of your students? If you use Google Classroom it's instantaneous. A few clicks and DocentEdu sets up access to all of your classes. 

Also, to assign a docent activity, the option to assign via Classroom is one click. You don't have to open Classroom to do it. And like I've said in the past, anything that saves me time is my friend. 



7. Embed Quizlet

You can embed all kinds of things. I like embedding Quizlet decks into a docent because it keeps my students on the same browser tab. That's huge for classroom management in the 21st Century. One activity. One link. 


8. Google Docs

If you publish a Google Doc, it will give you the opportunity to use the helpful tools of DcentEdu. Add a video from YouTube, a slide presentation, and some questions to a reading you are about to assign, and students won't have to go to four different places. 

9. Annotations 

Docent tools are also available for students. Just as teachers can add notes to an assigned docent, students can highlight text and leave notes, too. 

10. Insert URL

Keeping students within one resource is what I love about DocentEdu, but sometimes they need to go somewhere else. Add hyperlinks within the activity to ensure students go to the right site. This tool could be used for web quests, as well.

For info on DocentEdu, visit the site to explore the great resources created with teaching and learning in mind.