Saturday, December 10, 2011

A potential classroom edtech game-changer

Finding myself frustrated with an edtech vendor and their products, I went on to create a product suited for my specific classroom needs and more importantly-- much cheaper. (Read my open letter on the subject here.) Without giving all the details away, I'm at the point where I can say a little more about what I'm talking about.
I've created a student response system, contained entirely in Google Forms and Spreadsheets. Different from other Forms I've created, this one requires no maintenance or customization and can be used "out of the box" by anyone comfortable sharing a link with their students. There are of course some advanced features that can be enabled like a teacher class list connection. In this feature, the dashboard has the ability to detect which class is submitting a response at a given time and generate a list for me on my teacher machine of students that have not yet responded. Other results include displays of self-reported student confidence vs. correct answer, response time vs. confidence and a data table that has drop-down menu filtering.
Benefits of such an idea for me are that for the life of my classroom (until something better comes along) I'm only using this single file. I post the form link once on my class website and then never again. It will pull data for the most recent response set and allow a teacher to see the past 9 questions in history as well. As far as #BYOD goes (Bring your own device), it will work on any device that has internet access, period. Students will not have to find an app to download and it can be bookmarked on a device or computer for fast future access. With this change I believe school districts do not have to be subject to steep vendor prices and can begin to invest in multipurpose technology hardware.
I'm looking into how best to release something like this as making money on technology is relatively new to me. Considering I am using Google products to create it maybe that complicates things as far as selling it would go. If that's the case then I can always just give it away for free.


  1. Andy-- you've sold me thus far. I'm a middle school Tech Ed teacher of 11 years and this is exactly the kind of innovation we need to see more of! I create video blogs of my ed-tech product reviews at so expect to see something soon after I try out your innovative approach to affordable response systems. Thanks for promoting this on your blog.

  2. Great--looking forward to your feedback, Rob. Thanks!