5 Phenomenal Tools for Smarter Teaching

5 Phenomenal Tools for Smarter TeachingTechnology is empowering. You can take a peek at the whole world sitting in the corner of a room, using that small mobile in your hand. With such immense power, technology is undoubtedly aiding instructors and students to achieve all that they can through education. While there are millions of technology-driven tools to enhance education, I am going to take about 5 of my favorite ones that make a great fit for anyone’s teaching arsenal. Have a look.


With an aim to reach every student at their level, Freckle empowers teachers to differentiate instruction across Math, ELA, Social Studies, and Science. Over 400,000 teachers use Freckle for independent practice, for small groups, centers, and more. Students automatically work on lessons that are suited to them – neither too difficult nor too easy. Students are always engaged and challenged as per their capabilities. And as a teacher, you know exactly how they’re doing with the help of Freckle’s easy reports.

Get started with Freckle for free here.


Questions are imperative to learning and teachers rely on questions every single day. Quillionz, an AI-powered question-generator, understands this need and provides an easy and quick way to create questions. Quillionz helps you create machine language questions from your teaching content, in a matter of seconds. It works with any textual content – a chapter in the textbook, an article off the internet, or even a video transcript. Perhaps, it’s the way to create questions we could only dream about.

Sign up with Quillionz for free here.


Quizlet can be used anyone to study and learn content created by other users or to create their own custom study sets. Quizlet helps teachers engage students with interactive study material, learning activities, and games. They could also create their own classroom sets with custom terms, images, and audio; collaborate with other teachers; play Quizlet Live game to engage students; and track progress to support stronger outcomes. The company also offers Quizlet Learn, a smart resource powered by the Learning Assistant Platform. It uses machine learning to process data from millions of study sessions to show students the most relevant study material.

Get started with Quizlet here.


Popular amongst language learners, Knowji is known to make learning and remembering vocabulary fun, fast, and highly effective. Through cartoon illustrations, audio pronunciations, definitions, and example sentences coupled with a powerful spaced repetition algorithm, Knowji ensures that learners remember everything they’ve learned. Knowji tracks down words that students don’t know and remember, and suggests when it’s time to practice them again. Knowji is available both on the App Store and Google Play.


Gradescope, now acquired by Turnitin, is an AI-assisted grading platform that enables instructors to grade paper-based exams, online homework, and programming projects on one platform. It makes the whole grading-process really easy so that instructors can focus more on what matters more – teaching. The instructors can also obtain insights about student learning in any area of study, including economics, business, and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math).

Get Started with Gradescope here.

Have you used any of the above tools, or do you use any other aid to make your classroom better? Reach out through comments below.

8 Best Practices for Creating Effective Multiple Choice Questions

I think I was about 7 years old when I encountered a multiple choice test for the first time in life. It was a general knowledge exam. And man, I just loved it! It was much easier and quicker to recall and spot the right answer from a list of choices than writing a descriptive answer.  In-fact, most students prefer multiple choice questions for the same reason. They are a popular method of assessment with educators too, primarily because of their scoring ease and reliability, and their ability to test various levels of learning outcomes. However, in order to get the most out of multiple choice questions, they need to be constructed well, without any ambiguity.

There are some best practices that you can follow to ensure you are creating good multiple choice questions; but before that, let’s quickly talk about the anatomy of a multiple choice question.

Anatomy of Multiple Choice Questions

Any multiple choice question consists of a problem statement (the question itself), which is known as the stem, and a list of possible answer options, known as foils. The correct foil is called the key. And the incorrect ones are known as distractors.  When stem and foils come together, they form an item.

Now that you are familiar with the anatomy, let’s look at some basic guidelines that form the base of good multiple choice tests.

  1. Clearly define the stem

The stem must be clearly defined and should include the main idea. Students should understand what the problem is without having to read the foils and even if they don’t know the right answer.

  1. Use a single-dimensional stem

A good stem is single-dimensional i.e. it tests the learner only on one concept. If the intention is to quiz learners on multiple concepts, do that through multiple items.

  1. Avoid using negative verbiage in the stem

Avoid the use of negative words like ‘not’ or ‘except’ in the stem unless a learning outcome specifically requires them. If at all you use them, ensure these are highlighted by bolding, CAPITALZING, or underlining to avoid any confusion.

  1. Use homogeneous foils

All foils should ideally be similar in length and parallel in form to avoid attracting responses to a particular foil because it stands-out.

  1. Use mutually-exclusive foils

The foils should be mutually-exclusive and not overlapping with each other. They should not be formed with an idea to trick the students but rather, assist in unbiased testing of their knowledge.

  1. Avoid linking the stem to the key

Avoid linking the stem to the answer by using intentional clues like the use of ‘a’ and ‘an’ in the stem. For instance, if a stem ends with ‘an’; students will figure out that the correct answer begins with a vowel.

  1. Use plausible distractors

Distractors should be plausible in order to serve their purpose. Unreasonable and give-away distractors just spoil the test’s validity. Common student errors are the best source when it comes to forming distractors.

  1. Avoid using ‘all of the above’ and ‘none of the above’ as foils

Students just need to recognize two correct options to get the answer correct if you use ‘all of the above’ as a foil. For ‘none of the above’, you will never be able to figure out if the student knew the correct answer.

Multiple choice questions, although highly effective to test factual recall and even higher-order thinking at times, are very time consuming to construct. Writing these could be a daunting task for many educators.  If you are frequently tasked with creating them, you might find a great aid in Quillionz. It is an AI-powered question generation tool which can produce hundreds of question ideas and ample distractor options, from a content set in a matter of few seconds. So, if you are tasked with creating a multiple-choice test, try out Quillionz for free here.

5 Free EdTech Tools Every Teacher Should Know and Use

Today’s classroom is no stranger to technology. Teachers have a myriad of educational apps, tools and resources at their fingertips. Here we have handpicked some of the best EdTech tools that you can use to transform your classroom—enjoy!

Free Edtech Tools

Long gone are the days when sneaking a peek at your phone screen was a thrilling adventure that could get you in trouble, and your phone, banished. In today’s classrooms, not just students, but—increasingly—teachers are looking toward technology as a valuable ally. And rightly so! With a gamut of amazing—and free—EdTech tools at their disposal, teachers can transform their lesson plans into engaging, collaborative, challenging learning experiences. Of course, with literally hundreds of tools available in the market, the challenge is in figuring out the best ones for your use. But don’t worry, we’re here to help! We have scoured the ends of the internet, and handpicked the best free EdTech tools for teachers. Read on to find out who’s on our list!


Liven up your classroom

Be it a lesson on irregular French verbs, the cell structure of plants, or the fall of the Roman Empire, Kahoot will transform your classroom into an exciting, competitive game show. Kahoot is where gamification meets collaboration. Taking your regular old multiple-choice questions, Kahoot lets you create a game-show like experience with all the bells and whistles—a buzzer, a countdown timer, fun sounds effects, and engaging colourful graphics. And the best part? Your whole class can get involved at the same time and play together with their smartphones. As most apps these days, Kahoot comes has a premium version with some extra frills, but the free version gives you everything you need to make your classroom fun.


Design engaging teaching material

Prezi has been around for a while, but it is still one of the best tools available in the market for creating dynamic, flowing presentations. It is a great way for teachers to organize ideas in a visual format. You could use Prezi to create detailed mind-maps, to explain the relationship between multiple concepts or historical events, or even just to make a simple presentation look really beautiful! Prezi, too, has both free and premium versions, with the premium versions offering benefits like offline access, some fancy presenter controls, and even analytics. But if all you need is to create engaging presentations for your classroom, the free version should do the job.


Take the learning outside the classroom

If you’re looking for a one-stop solution that lets you manage and organize your class outside the classroom, your search would probably end with Edmodo. A free learning management tool with a Facebook-like interface, Edmodo is a versatile resource in a teacher’s repertoire. Edmodo facilitates your communication with your students when not in class. From creating and tracking assignments, to sharing educational resources, starting online discussions, and posting class announcements, Edmodo lets you do it all. What’s more, Edmodo gives you the opportunity to connect with teachers around the world, to collaborate with them share your experiences, and improve as a teacher.


Communicate effectively with students and parents

While the most important part of a teacher’s job is, well, teaching, regular communications with students and their parents is an inevitable—and often a time-consuming—aspect of the job. Remind lets you, as the name suggests, send reminders and notifications to students and families without having to share personal contact details. With options to share group as well as individual messages, Remind takes care of most of your communication outside the classroom.


Leverage questions to engage students

As teachers, we rely on questions every day. Whether it is for a homework assignment, a pop-quiz, or to create a game on Kahoot, we always have a need for questions. Quillionz is a unique online platform that understands this need, and provides an easy way to create questions. Using artificial intelligence, Quillionz helps you create questions on your teaching content, quickly and efficiently. It works with any textual content—a chapter in the textbook, an article off the internet, or even a video transcript—and automatically creates factual questions on it in a matter of seconds. Aquestion generator tool that works best with informative and factual content—as most educational content tends to be—Quillionz is a valuable tool for teachers to add to their arsenal.

That’s our list! Do you agree? What EdTech tools do you normally rely on to make your job easier? Let us know in the comments!

The Role of Questions in Learning

Why do we ask questions? From an early age, we wield questions to interact with our environment. Most of us have played the ‘why’ game as a child to satisfy our curiosity about the world around us. As adults, too, we tend to rely on questions continually. And as educators especially, we encounter and leverage questions every day. Teachers ask hundreds of questions in the classroom, and so do learners. But why? What is it about questions that makes them so important in an instructional setting? What exactly is the purpose of questions?

Questions in traditional learning

Questions have always been central to the process of learning. Can you imagine a classroom without questions? Hardly! Whether it’s the student doing the asking or the teacher, questions form the basis of classroom interactions early-on. Of course, depending on which side of the classroom you are on, the purpose of questions naturally defers. If teachers perceive questions as a tool with which to assess and evaluate, students value questions as a means to learn, prepare, and improve.

Questions evaluate.

Questions are arguably one of the most powerful tools in a teacher’s arsenal. Teachers have always relied on questions to evaluate their students. A learning experience cannot be complete without evaluation, in some shape or form. Only through evaluations can teachers measure students’ knowledge and understanding of the learning content. Evaluation is necessary to measure the learning outcomes and by extension the success of the learning experience. And in the traditional classroom setting, evaluation usually translates into questions.

Questions evaluateBy asking the right questions, teachers assess how well a student has understood the concepts and information taught in the class. Good questions help teachers identify knowledge gaps which need to be addressed, or students who are struggling with the material and need help. Take for example, an app like Socrative, a tool that doesn’t just help teachers with assessment, but also shares insights into student performance. Essentially, teachers leverage questions not just to measure the success or failure of their students, but of the learning experience itself, and by extension, to improve their teaching.

Questions build confidence.

Students need questions just as much as teachers do, if for different reasons. As students we use questions to measure and prepare ourselves. Mock-tests, flashcards, study sessions—at some point or other, we have all turned to questions to get us ready for all those important tests we had to take. Questions don’t just help a student understand where they need to improve. With every question you get right, they build your confidence, make you feel ready to take on the challenge, and assured of your own success.

Just look at an app like Anki—something that’s based entirely on students using questions to practice and prepare themselves. The popularity of Anki-like tools just goes to highlight how much students depend on questions.

Evolving role of questions

Evaluation and preparation were the typical functions of questions, especially in the classroom learning context. Today, however, the value of questions has evolved beyond its traditional purposes. We live in a world that is rife with information. In an era of smartphones, Google, and social media, information is available literally at our fingertips. The challenge no longer lies in finding the information, but in being able to absorb and process the flood of information that overwhelms us from all directions. With the overabundance of content and our ever-reducing attention spans, what we need is a new way of presenting content; one that grabs our attention, incites us to take in the information, and makes it easy for us to process it. And this is where we must, once again, look to questions.

Questions drive engagement.

Questions drive engagementQuestions have the power to make learning interactive. Questions invite answers. They require students to get involved and participate. Questions can break the monotony of the classroom and encourage students to engage in the learning process. A well-designed question poses just the right kind of challenge for students to tackle. This is especially relevant today, when increasingly, learning is moving away from the traditional classroom environment and entering the digital realm. Without the physical presence of a teacher, with your learning interactions primarily involving a screen, it is all the more important that the content itself be engaging enough to sustain your attention. A popular solutions teachers and instructional designers rely on to handle this challenge, is to devise elaborate gamified learning experiences. And what is at the core of gamified learning, if not questions? Game-based learning interactions are, in the simplest terms, questions woven through the logic and flow of a game scenario. Consider Kahoot for example, something that lets teachers create a bunch of learning games.

And this is just one way in which questions liven up learning experiences. Quizzes, games, story-based assessments, and more—teachers and instructional designers exploit the potential of questions in so many different ways to engage their learners.

Questions arouse curiosity.

How many of us prefer Quora as our go-to source of information these days, over most others? Quora understands and leverages the power of question—their unique ability to make people curious. It’s not just that we ask questions when we are curious about something; in fact, the rightly worded question has the power to arouse our curiosity too. Take this, for example, one of the most popular Quora questions: “What’s the most epic photo ever taken?” Or this one: “What are the most surreal places one can ever visit?” Or finally this gem: “Given our current technology and with the proper training, would it be possible for someone to become Batman?” Don’t you feel like you just have to find out where they lead you?

When something is phrased as a question, it draws a learner in, gives them a fascinating glimpse of what’s to come, and makes them want to know more. What’s more, when the question resonates with the learner, when they’re curious enough to want to know the answer, they are better prepared to understand that answer. This means that, if it’s a question that leads your learners to the content, they will probably be able to process and absorb it better.

Questions can essentially act as a gateway. If a question fails to arouse your curiosity, you probably won’t read the answer. If, on the other hand, a question does manage to make you curious, you’ll follow its trail, and go the content. And better still, you may be able to understand it more easily.

Questions arouse curiosity

In today’s era of content overload, we need questions more than ever before. Everywhere around you, you find answers that you didn’t need at all. But if only you ask the right questions, you can fight the content overload and get to exactly what you want. As teachers, asking the right questions ensures that your learners will be more engaged in the learning process. As learners, asking the right questions will help you find precisely the content you need in an overwhelming sea of information, and absorb it much more effectively.

And this is exactly where Quillionz has a role to play. Quillionz helps you leverage this unique power of questions. Armed with intelligent algorithms that understand your content, Quillionz lets you create a host of questions in a matter of seconds. With the power to create a huge number of questions in the blink of an eye, you have the freedom to use them in creative ways to enhance your learning experiences.

Click here to learn more about how Quillionz helps you explore the true potential of questions.