USATestprep Blog

Archive for January, 2012

In Focus: The High-Tech Classroom

Monday, January 30th, 2012

The classroom of today has become vastly different from the classroom of even five years ago. As smartphones and high-speed internet are becoming more commonplace, students now have access to more information at their fingertips, much more than an entire textbook can provide. Teachers are needing to find new ways to keep students engaged. Interactive smart boards, clicker response systems, and even tablets like the iPad are becoming more common for classroom use.


Apple recently announced a new initiative with publishers Pearson, McGraw-Hill, and others that will turn static textbooks into interactive digital formats, capable of being updated at any time. They have also released a software tool that will let anyone create their own content.


Here at USATestprep, we are constantly following emerging technologies and looking into new ways to engage your students. This month we launched a mobile companion to our website allowing students to take a practice quiz, answer the question and vocab of the day, and participate in a “Class Party.” “Class Party” is another new product, allowing teachers to project questions on the screen, providing students with the opportunity to answer them remotely via their mobile device. These are just a few examples of how USATestprep is pushing students forward with content and technology. We hope you enjoy these new features.

Quick Tips: “Today’s Milestone”

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

Every Monday morning, USATestprep’s Facebook page contains “Today’s Milestone.” We highlight an anniversary or event in history that is relevant to what students study in school.


Of course, sometimes they represent a fact that is just plain awesome, such as the unveiling of Kermit the Frog on Washington, DC, television in 1955. Regardless, we’ve received feedback from teachers who use “Today’s Milestone” as a bonus question or icebreaker in class.


So if you haven’t checked us out on Facebook, click here. If you have, see you Monday!

Quick Tips: Managing Classes

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

The Manage Class section on the Teacher Home Page contains some valuable tools you may want to utilize.

To find it, just click on the Classes tab to display all classes you have already created. Then, choose the green Manage Class button on the right.


You can then access a great amount of information about that class. You can 1) change the name of the class, 2) edit the test subjects associated with that class, 3) Add/Remove Students, 4) print out password cards for each student in that class, and 5) look at the Progress, Gradebook, Students, and Class Results associated with that class.


The Progress tab allows you to see how that class is doing with the content they are required to master. You can choose the appropriate test subject, click “Go,” and quickly see how the class is doing. Note that Progress statistics are solely based on specific activities such as Benchmark Tests, Objective Tests, and Full Test results, not practice activities or games.



Clicking the ± symbol expands the standard to show progress in specific elements. The exclamation point shows areas in which the class might benefit from remediation.



The Gradebook tab shows the Assignments and Benchmark tests completed by students. These results are clickable, sortable, and exportable, allowing you greater control of the data.



The Students tab allows you to access to your students’ login information. Clicking on a student’s name…



… will let you see information such as the student’s account information, individual progress, the time the he/she has spent on site, and the results of all tasks they have completed.



And then there is the Results tab. This, much like the Student Results tab on the Teacher Home Page, gives you access to everything your students have done on the site. These results are also sortable, exportable, and clickable. Click “View” to see detailed results of a student’s performance on a specific assignment.



All of these should allow you to keep tabs on the performance of your students in a complete and easy manner. As always, lets us know if you have any questions.

US History EOC for Louisiana

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

USATestprep is proud to announce the addition of a new product for our Louisiana subscribers.

Louisiana US History EOC reflects the new standards that will replace the GEE. If you are interested in a free trial, please contact us and we will be happy to assist you.

Quick Tips: Student Password Search

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

This probably never happens to you- just to other teachers- but sometimes a student may forget his or her password. Any teacher can help a student if this happens.

From your Home page, look for the “Student Password Search” link.

 

Next, simply type in the student’s name. It could be the student’s first name…

 

… or their last name.

 

When you find the name, click the Search button. You will then see the Username and Password for the student you selected. You can even print a password card for them.

 

This should help calm nerves- theirs AND yours- should a student panic over a forgotten password.

We’ve Gone Mobile!

Monday, January 9th, 2012

USATestprep is thrilled to announce the launch of our Mobile site.

If you have a smartphone or tablet with an iOS or Android operating system, just direct it to m.usatestprep.com. There you will see the mobile companion for our website.
 

Simply type in your SchoolID, Username, and Password, and you’re in. You can access the Question of the Day and Vocabulary of the Day, and you can answer some Practice Questions from any of the subjects to which your school subscribes.
 

You can also play Class Party, a clicker-based review that is set up by teachers. This turns your mobile device into a remote clicker: you use it to answer questions in a classroom setting.

For more information about these new features you can check out the brief instructional videos by clicking on the How To videos on your Home page. Please let us know what you think about them!

Tennessee TCAP

Friday, January 6th, 2012

USATestprep is happy to announce an updated version of one of our popular TCAP products.

Tennessee TCAP Social Studies (2011) reflects the updated standards created by the state Department of Education. If you are already a subscriber to the previous TCAP Social Studies, you should already be subscribed to the new version as well. If you have any questions about this or would like a free trial, please contact us. You can also click here to subscribe!

Quick Tips: Adding New Students

Thursday, January 5th, 2012
Inevitably, you’ll have to add or remove students to or from an existing class. The start of a new grading period is a pretty likely time for this. Fortunately, student management is a pretty easy task.

 

From your Classes tab, click “Manage Class” on the right.


 

Then, click the green “Add/Remove Students” button on the right.

 

On the new window you will see existing Students in This Class. If you see a student that is no longer in this class, you can remove him or her from the list by clicking on the red “X”. To add students, you have a few options: 1) you can click on the letter that corresponds to their last name, 2) you can click “Advanced Search” to search for their specific first or last name, or 3) you can click any students that are listed in the field below the alphabetic list. Whichever method you use, click the “+Add” link to place them in your class.


 

You will then have the option of having the system give each added student the assignments you previously created. If you want to do this, either click the “All” link or click the box next to each assignment. To skip this, click “Continue without adding assignments.”

 

After that… you’re done!

 

If a student has never used USATestprep before, he/she will need to have an account created before he/she can be added. Please refer to our earlier Blog entry about doing this, or check out our How To Videos from your Home page.

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