Assess Students with a Photo, Your Ultimate Password, PD Stamina [issue 11]

Issue 11 of Tekiota starts the new year with the addition of Tom Hammerlund as an editor. Tom presents Plicker, an assessment app which both Bob Oddo and Lena Wang discovered this summer. In this first publication for the new school year, you will find:

  1. Plicker as a quick way to assess your students with your smartphone.
  2. Discovering the easy recipe to strong and unique passwords.
  3. A strong show of stamina by the new teachers at KAS.

Plicker Assesses your Students with a Photo

[icon name="fa-slideshare"] STANDARD 2: design and develop digital age learning experiences and assessments

…attention to minute-by-minute and day-to-day formative assessment is likely to have the biggest impact on student outcomes.” (Dylan Wiliam)

Formative assessment is one of the best ways to ensure student learning. Unfortunately, formative assessments can take time to administer and grade.

This past week Bob Oddo shared an app that he found called Plickers which makes formative assessment as easy as taking a picture of your class.

The students do not have to have a device; all you need is the Plickers app on a smartphone or iPad, a set of easy-to-print answer cards, and a set of questions.

This past summer Lena Wang, the Systems Analyst at KAS, went to JOSTI in Washington D.C. where the app was used to survey the attendees about the conference itself.

Find out about the test we ran in the office of Learning Technology by reading Tom’s article on Plickers.


Easy Recipe to Strong and Unique Passwords

[icon name="fa-cc"] STANDARD 4: promote and model digital citizenship and responsibility

It’s that time of the year when you are starting fresh. New pens, new notebooks, and new accounts. But one thing does not change so often… that one password you’ve used for ever and for everything. How nice would it be to think of a password that works for everything just when you need it? Nice. So let’s make it happen.

My Weak Password

racoon77 Average time to crack this? 11 minutes with a regular computer according to racoon77 is weak as a password because:

  1. At 8 character in length it is short.
  2. Words followed by digits is the most common pattern of passwords.
  3. It does not include any capital letters, nor special characters.
Password cracked instantly

Password cracked instantly

If you are interested in who would try to break your password and how they would do it, read How I’d Hack your Weak Password.

Today, I’ve come back on my original recommendation to create absolutely random password. A password should be difficult to guess, not to remember. I now have two suggestions when creating passwords:

  1. Make them long. Shoot for at least 12 characters.
  2. And just as important as having a strong password: use a different password for every account you use.

Sounds tough? Not necessarily so. Let me show you a quick recipe to create strong passwords.

Strong Password Recipe

Start with a number


Pick two letters from the site you are trying to log into (first two, last two, two consonants, etc.)

LE for GoogLE

Add a special character (tip: don’t add something too special, you want to make sure all sites will accept it. Hyphen – or @ are typically OK)

(hyphen, i.e. the minus sign)

Now add some random words. This is the best way to achieve a long yet memorable password.

time sunset tree

Your result:


An 18 character long password with 9 decillion possible combination should take 91 quadrillion years to crack. Added bonus: you can now create a different password for every single site you log into. Read more about security experts recommendation the the full article on creating secure passwords.

Eager Workshop Attendees

[icon name="fa-group"] awarded to week 1 workshop attendees
[icon name="fa-cloud-upload"] STANDARD 5: engage in professional growth and leadership

In a strong display of stamina, over 20 KAS teachers made time during their busy first week of school to attend Jen Gilbert‘s workshop on Google Classroom. A special mention goes to the newest faculty members who came eager to learn about this classroom management system.

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