How I Use It
I first used QUIA for vocabulary practice, both in and out of the classroom. Now that I've seen how extensive the site is, I use it to give both practice and summative quizzes, summer work (yes, summer work!) for my Honors students, and reading and listening comprehension practice. Our new textbook, Asi se Dice, uses QUIA as their online platform, so I'm excited to see what else I can do!
QUIA is useful for all levels of students - advanced learners can challenge themselves, while low literacy students can focus on repetition/flash cards and word find games to reinforce vocabulary. It's easy to navigate, students can find not only my activities but also search for similar ones made by other teachers (i.e. AR verbs, subjunctive, food vocabulary). One thing I must admit is that it takes a LONG time setting up the quizzes and activities. I spend a good 2 hours a week creating quiz banks and activities, but once they are created, they are there forever, just like my SMART board lessons.
As part of my "flipped classroom" initiative, one of the things I've tried to do is get review lessons and assessments out of the classroom. While you can't post videos to QUIA, you can create review questions - in any format - as well as activities and quizzes. What I do is create a video lesson on something they SHOULD know (for example, reflexive verbs), and then they have one week to do the activities and practices on QUIA before taking the summative quiz. If they have questions or trouble, as long as they are logged into the system, I have access to their activity and can see exactly where they are making mistakes, so I can help them quickly and individually. Quizzes can be randomly generated through a mass question bank (which you create), so each student gets a unique quiz and the requisite "cheating" is kept to a minimum.
Students can use the site by simply searching for your name, or you can create a class list for them, with their own unique user name and password (I change theirs to "Spanish" to make it easy). Again, it's time consuming entering 130+ names into the system, but if I do one or two classes a day, it isn't bad. While it does cost money for an annual license, I am fortunate in that my school has purchased licenses for us for the past several years.
Don't be fooled by the non-flashy setup of the website. When you realize just how much QUIA has to offer you (even a gradebook, if you want to go that route), you will want to use it more and more. Baby steps, though....it can be overwhelming!