November Teacher of the Month: Matt Doran

As we wrap up November, we are reminded of how grateful we are for great educators. As we selected this month’s Teacher of the Month, we thought about the teachers that not only create great content for students, but teachers who are actively supporting other educators. The number of teachers sharing, collaborating and creating a supportive community on Edcite is growing every day–but one teachers stood out to us this month: Matt Doran. We noticed Mr. Doran this month on Twitter when he tweeted out this resource he had created for social studies teachers using Edcite!
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After learning a bit more about Mr. Doran, it makes sense that he is so supportive of other social studies teachers! Mr. Doran graduated from Ohio State University with a BA in history and a Masters in Social Studies Education. He works in the largest school district in Ohio, Columbus City Schools. Although he has taught American History and World History for years, he currently supports the curriculum department as the K-12 Social Studies Coordinator for their district.
A big thank you to Matt Doran for his feedback and support and we can’t wait to see how much our social studies content will grow with such a dedicated educator investing his time and attention into it! Be sure to follow him on Twitter: @mdoran2067
Why did you become a teacher?
I believe the study of history is immeasurably important to the future success of the nation.  I am passionate about communicating that importance to the next generation.
How did you hear about Edcite?
It was a random Twitter post.  I check Twitter feeds daily for new educational resources.  I just happened to see the URL for Edcite and decided to check it out.
What aspects make you most “Edcited” about Edcite?
Edcite allows teachers to move beyond traditional multiple choice and short answer assessments.  There so many options for creating interactive and technology-enhanced questions.  Teachers can customize assessments that are much more than just standardized tests, including engaging performance tasks.
How do you use Edcite in the classroom?
I have created practice assessment items for Ohio’s new state tests in social studies.  These are linked to review modules on my website,  Students across Ohio work independently or with guidance from a teacher or tutor to view video tutorials, complete practice games and take the mastery assessments on Edcite.
What do you think of Edcite’s ability to prepare for the Common Core?
Edcite’s assessment tool is truly unique.  I searched for a while for a web-based test generator platform that could allow teachers to create customized items that mirror Common Core and state assessments. So far, Edcite is the only resource I have found that allows teachers to create technology-enhanced items.  Although it is geared towards Common Core Reading and Math, our state has similar tests in science in social studies.  There are only a handful of released items from the state test vendor that students can use to practice for the actual test.  So, I started creating banks of social studies items for this purpose using the state’s “test specs” document, which is the document that directs the work of the state test vendor in the creation of items.
Final Words of Wisdom for other Edcite Users? 🙂
Spend some time looking at all of the items types and the samples provided. Then, practice with a variety of the types before creating a large set of items.  I actually started creating some items using the Smarter Balanced item types, but later found that the item types under the Basic and Image tabs better met my needs.  Also, think creatively about how one of the item types can be adapted to meet your needs.  For example, I was able to use some of the Image question types to upload maps and timelines that could be labeled.

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