Exciting Enhancements to Naiku

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We have added question-authoring enhancements to Naiku. Today, I wanted to highlight some of those new features. Rich Text Formatting We’ve added a rich text editor. Now you can add many of the common formatting features that you are probably used to with many word processing applications. For example, you can bold, italicize, choose the font type and size,  and much more. See the image below for the formatting options. You’ll see this new Stem box when creating a new test question. Formula Builder By now you have probably noticed … Read More

Students Using Naiku

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We took a trip out to Dr. Todd Beach’s classroom to check-in and see how it is going using Naiku.  Adisack does a nice job with the voice-over, don’t you think? The student feedback was fantastic – we’ve already planned to add a few features to the product based on their requests. [vimeo http://vimeo.com/20383163 w=398&h=224&frameborder=0&color=98C93C]   Tweet

How Item Statistics Can Help Your Formative Assessment Practice

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When I worked as a psychometrician for large testing companies, I would always conduct an item analysis on the test questions to ensure that they were good and reliable.  And when I often met with teacher groups to explain and discuss their statewide accountability test results, the teachers would always ask for the item analysis results. They wanted to know how their students did on each question. They wanted to know how hard or easy each question was and how many students selected each of the response options.  Invariably, I … Read More

Formative Assessment

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In recent years, formative assessment has been the “it” topic in education. It is what everyone is talking about. It is what everyone is trying to implement. It is what many have hailed as the way to save our schools. Why is it so important? In the simplest of terms, it works! Students learn! The practice of formative assessment is shown to produce substantial learning gains for students. Paul Black and Dylan Wiliam in 1998 brought about this re-emergence of formative assessment as an effective instructional practice in their review paper on the practice and effectiveness of formative … Read More

The Testing Effect

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We all knew that learning is not a passive mechanism – the learner (i.e., the student) must be an active participant in the process. But who knew that taking a test is also not a passive mechanism for assessing how much students know? Cognitive psychologists (learning and memory experts) knew, and they have been studying the benefits of testing for decades. What they’ve found is that test taking actually helps students learn. This phenomenon, called the testing effect, has been observed in a wide variety of materials, including word lists, … Read More

Tablets in the Classroom

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How long before your classroom is full of tablet computers? 2011, at least at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), is being called “the year of the tablet.” If you have used an iPad for more than 10 minutes at the Apple store or Best Buy, you know that if it isn’t 2011, the tablet’s year is certainly coming soon.  What is most striking about the tablet form factor (and the iPad interface) is that non-techies are generally comfortable with it in about a day. Contrast this with the months or … Read More

TIES Conference – Hope We Engaged You!

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We had a great time sharing the Naiku Platform at TIES conference December 6th & 7th. The conference was appropriately named “Engage Me”; and had over 2,700 attendees representing administrators, teachers, technology personnel, and many other education professionals from across the country. See the following links for more information on the TIES “Engage Me” conference: (http://tchlrn.ties.k12.mn.us/ties2010/main/details.asp , http://wiki.ties.k12.mn.us/) Monday’s keynote speaker was Sir Ken Robinson. He made an impassioned plea for all attendees to think differently about how we deliver education and search out ways to help students find their … Read More

TIES 2010: Engage Me

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The Naiku team is getting ready for the TIES 2010 Education Technology Conference. We’re all excited to hear Sir Ken Robinson’s keynote address entitled “How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything.” Should be a great start to the conference. We at Naiku have found our passion. That’s why we started Naiku. That’s why we’re so excited to share our passion with other educators. Come share your passion with us at TIES. Visit our booth and meet the Naiku team. You can also see us at the Exhibit Hall Theater on Tuesday … Read More

Journey’s End

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My journey to join Naiku started many years ago. Both my parents were teachers when I was very young. As I entered the school system my mother remained very involved in my education by volunteering in the classroom. I continued this tradition when I was elected to the Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan school board. That was nearly 18 years ago, and I still enjoy serving the community even after seeing my three daughters graduate. I attended the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities to complete a degree in Political Science. I was involved … Read More

What is Naiku?

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Since I started telling people that I founded Naiku with Corey and Kevin, the first thing people always ask is “What’s Naiku?” I’m always happy to tell them that naiku means “teacher” in Lao. I’m originally from Laos, and am always proud to talk to people about this small nation in southeast Asia. My parents moved my family to the US in 1980, of course in the middle of a cold Minnesota winter. It was quite a shock to go from a warm tropical climate of Laos to the frozen … Read More

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