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September 20, 2016

Quizalize/Zzissh: EdTech Dish Du Jour!

The Quizalize/Zzish combo is the tastiest edtech dish I have seen served up in a while. Many times these upstart apps have promised the world only to be such weak sauce that I have had to declare: “Not on my sandwich! I wouldn’t put that sauce on anything I served!” To my surprise, Quizalize showed up BIG as a serious piece of edtech for engaging students. It has been a welcome au jus into which I have already dipped many a vocabulary list to serve into the waiting mind-mouths of my students.

Not only that, its preparatory and gustatory ease gets a five-star rating from this critic. I was up and running with an imported vocabulary list within five minutes of discovering this tasty dish of complimentary platforms. I threw my list into the import field, ordered it baked into a multiple choice test, and ran it out to my students like a short order cook serving up the special of the day at a local dive. I rang the bell with an “Order up!” and invited my students to sample the new menu. Within seconds a prized student who understands Ricky Bobby’s mantra “If you ain’t first, you’re last!” popped up on screen and began the race to the finish line. Others soon clamored after into the tastiest pile of no malaise real mayonnaise slathered vocabulary term sandwiches ever served. The feast was grand! No, it was a fervor, a feeding frenzy–a hunger like that of famine for vocabulary words that students moments before had pushed around painfully on their plates like a piece of unwanted liver.

The purpose of edtech in my view is to make life easier and more efficient. It must also engage students. A phrase I have coined (at least I think I have) is “I’m looking for the shortest distance between two times.” The Quizalize/Zzish combo met that criteria–which makes it a top weapon in my edtech arsenal. When from the time I open an app and convert a vocabulary list into a multiple choice test less than five minutes has passed, I’m impressed! When an app lets me close the gap between when a student doesn’t know and he or she does know something because of its superior engagement aspect, I’m all in! That’s the purpose of edtech and the value of it in education in my estimation.

And, did I mention analytics? The analytics provide a veritable feast of data points fit for a potluck Sunday on Friends and Family Day at your local church. Zzish will parse student data faster than a Benihana’s hibachi chef dices up chicken on a teppanyaki table—and does it with the same artful and precise attention to form and function. I can’t say enough about this new item on the edtech menu and its team of creators. Too many cooks have not spoiled this broth. Grace your palate with this new edtech entrée. Your instructional taste buds won’t be disappointed!

Matt Yuhas,
Prime Minister of EdTech