Product Review: The Answer Pad

5/15/2013 By: David Kapuler

Product
The Answer Pad
Vendor
Blue Ribbon LLC
Website
http://theanswerpad.com/
iPad App: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/tapit-free/id556899510?mt=8
Retail Price
Basic – free for 1 teacher up to 36 students, Answer Pad+ - per student $1 per year, per teacher $10 per year, Answer Pad School/District – contact company.

The Answer Pad is an enhanced student response system with an automatic grading tool for quizzes and assessments that supports BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), ideal for “Blended” Learning and “Flipping” a classroom.

Quality and Effectiveness
The Answer Pad is an ideal site to use in an educational setting and can be used by any educator for any subject. Districts K-12 are using The Answer Pad as a way to engage students, get instant real-time feedback, and help turn their classroom paperless. It creates a safe environment that encourages reluctant students to show what they know. The answer sheets component cuts grading time significantly, and allows teachers to use their own trusted tests without having to spend time trying to enter that content online. The test questions can be linked to the Common Core, or any custom framework for detailed reports. The assessment backend supports multiple choice, fill-in, pie shade-in, rectangular shade-in, coordinate grid, and number wheel. The student can also show their work for each question using the handy scratchpad. Extensive reports display student and group areas of focus and complete item analysis.
Ease of Use
The Answer Pad is a very easy-to-use site for educators to create student rosters and assess their work, tests, quizzes, etc. Teachers can manually enter the students, import rosters or students can self-register. Once the students are enrolled, teachers can immediately start using the Go Interactive formative assessment component, with little or no preparation time. Answer sheets for quizzes are quick and easy to set up, since the teacher only creates an answer key and does not need to type in questions nor upload graphics. The answer pad grades existing paper tests. Since the teacher interface is browser-based, the teacher can be at a computer or mobile in the classroom on a tablet. The student interface is clean with little or no learning time required.
Creative Use of Technology
This is where The Answer Pad really stands out. This is an innovative site that integrates with a free app to allow for formative and summative assessments. With the release of their latest feature, "Go Interactive," teachers can turn their mobile device (i.e., iPad) into an enhanced clicker student response system. Teachers can use “Go Interactive” to capture student responses in six different ways: Yes/No, M/C, short answer, true/false, thumbs up/down, slider and draw. The draw feature has a scratch pad and eight free backgrounds that the student can draw on and annotate.
Suitability for Use in a School Environment
The Answer Pad is ideal for education, especially for those teachers looking to “flip” their classroom and engage their students in an innovative way. It can be integrated into any curriculum as a teacher can use it to assess and reinforce any subject. It's ideal for those districts that are BYOD or 1:1 as The Answer Pad works on any mobile device, especially iPads. The teacher can immediately gauge student understanding of the material being taught and adjust instruction as needed. In addition to being a great tool for the classroom, the school and district versions provide aggregated data to show the most needed areas of focus. Teachers are also able to share answer sheets with other teachers.
Overall Rating
The Answer Pad is a fascinating new website/app that is keeping up to date with the latest trends in education, such as flipped, blended, and mobile learning. It is an easy-to-use tool that can be used by any educator for any grade level on any subject. Since it supports BYOD, it can be used in conjunction with many different classroom situations.
Top three reasons why this product’s overall features, functionality, and educational value make it a good choice for schools.
*Seamless Integration while it comes preloaded with CC standards for K-12, it allows the creation of custom frameworks so it can be used by any educator, any grade level, any subject. It is a content-agnostic tool.
*Assessments – The “Go Interactive” feature allows for many kinds of real-time testing and can be used for guided or blended learning and class exit slips.
*Web or Mobile based – works with any browser connection or mobile device, as well as a free iPad app.


David Kapuler is an educational consultant with more than 10 years of experience working in the K-12 environment. For more information about his work, contact him at dkapuler@gmail.com and read his blog at cyber-kap.blogspot.com
 

 
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