It's "edcite-ing!"

Techy Teacher 2015-2016 Volume 5

What is edcite?

I like to think of edcite.com as a place that I can go to find interactive questions that go with the standards that I have to teach. I can find questions on ALL subjects and grade levels. I could just as easily choose and use a question whole group or small group as I can assign activities to my students. I also have the ability to create my own questions. Let me be honest with you, there are so many questions and activities already on edcite that I have not found a reason to recreate the wheel and write my own questions and activities.


Edcite will NOT teach your kiddos. It's just a way to have more interactive practice for the kids. I admit, last year we used this site a prep for the illusive SBAC. The questions and activities are rigorous and require the students to do more than just eeny meeny their way through it. There are drag and drop, sequencing, highlighting, and constructed responses to name a few of the question types provided with edcite.

Edcite "How-to" video
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Creating Classes

A teacher can create as many classes as he or she needs. My secondary teachers created a class for each period of the day while my elementary teachers created a whole class as well as small instructional groups. This enabled them to more easily assign differentiated activities.
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Adding Students

There are multiple ways to attach the kiddos to your class. You can always manually add them yourself. A little quicker way is to upload the students from a list. There are a couple of parameters to the upload but it is pretty simple. Lastly, students can add themselves using that Class Code you took note of when creating your class. That's my favorite way and works great with the intermediate and secondary students. I have not attempted this with primary students. Call it a hunch, but I think it might be difficult for many of them resulting in a possible migraine for me.

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Great, I've got an account AND my students are here. Now what?

So here's where you get to peruse the offerings of edcite and decide what works best for you and your students. Luckily, edcite provides a very explicit search feature. I can sort activities down to the CCSS that they relate to. I can also choose subject and grade level to open up the search a bit more from a specific CCSS. I even found NVACs! Some wonderful teachers in the state of Nevada have created activities specifically for our content here. Nice! I have also searched by the acronym SBAC and a specific grade level to see what's out there. There are many options. Preview the gems you find so you can toss out any that are only semi-precious.
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Looking at Student Progress

Before you can get a clear picture of how students are progressing, you will need to manually grade any questions that are free response in nature. Edcite does not have the ability to determine if the text the student typed is correct or not. It would be awesome if it could but I'm not sure I would enjoy having a computer assessing a constructed response...yet :)
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You access the free response questions from the "Grade by Student" tab in Reports. Click on the + sign next to the student's name, choose the question to look at and voila! You can assign earned points and even add an annotation for the student to read on his or her end.

Once all the points have been accounted for, you will want to look at a Summary Report for the assignment.


Just click on the Summary Report button on the top right side of the reports page.

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Basic information about the assignment as a whole is found near the top of the page but the meat of the report is sandwiched in the middle. You see what I did there? I am very "punny." Come on, you know you groaned when I said "sandwiched."



Student data can be looked at by the question or by the standard as well as by percent and points earned.

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Great...another computer program to put my kids on! Thanks a bunch!

Many of you like having options and while edcite will not teach your students, the activities can definitely provide you with a good snapshot of how students are learning. Knowing how close or far students are to mastering the content you are working on can give you opportunities to build flexible groups to enhance and provide support for students in need.

I like how I can use it in ANY subject. I like that multimedia is compared and contrasted with text. I love how graphs and charts are included. The many styles of question and answer formats make students look more critically at the task at hand and maybe, just maybe they will be more apt to think critically in other areas as well. I know, I may lean more towards being an idealist but...

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