Ages of learners
Problem-Attic is a product of EducAide Software, which has a long history of developing question banks and other teaching/testing tools. Our motto says it all, “Since 1990 we’ve been bridging the gap between instruction and assessment!”
We developed Problem-Attic for several reasons. One is public-minded. We wanted to contribute to the education community by making a large body of questions available for free, for personalized learning and personalized teaching. A second reason is, admittedly, a little more self-serving: we wanted to show off our company’s new web technologies.
For many years, EducAide has published a database and publishing system for teachers called Acces. It is loaded with sophisticated options for formatting questions, creating tests and worksheets and other kinds of classroom materials, and exporting questions to other formats, such as slideshows for interactive whiteboards. But Acces has one limitation: it is a desktop app, and not all of its capabilities can be ported to the web.
Thus we built Problem-Attic. And to make sure the system would scale up and offer a friendly and convenient way to select questions, we set a high bar for ourselves. We decided, as the very first step, to move in tens of thousands of questions from a variety of sources: NY Regents, state assessments, NAEP and TIMSS, and three NC math contest organizations.
More specifically, we began with about 30 years’ of Regents Exams, which are freely available as PDF files but not so easy to search through or “re-purpose”. We also looked beyond them for other proven, well-respected questions. Then we entered all of the questions into a database, re-organized them by topic, and made them individually selectable and re-formattable. Now they can be inserted into all kinds of new documents: tests and quizzes, worksheets, flash cards and overheads. Best of all, you get to create these documents. For free. Wow!
The New York Regents and other assessment questions cover all major subjects: mathematics, science, social studies and English—and they are very high quality, challenging, and rich with graphics. While the Regents Exams and math competitions are are mostly for secondary teachers, state assessments and NAEP/TIMSS provide great questions for both elementary and secondary level.
If you haven’t yet tried Problem-Attic, please do so. We think you’ll really like the program and you’ll find many uses for it, whether you are a teacher, homeschooler, parent, education researcher, tutor or anyone who wants to see the promise of a digital classroom!