The Cambridge-based company first made headlines in February after co-founder Walter Duncan posted a Quick Key tutorial video on YouTube, touting the platform’s ability to help educators grade 10 papers in 30 seconds. Within 48 hours of the demo going live, the video garnered nearly 300,000 views, popping up on the front page of Reddit and swiftly crashing the company’s website.
The response was overwhelming; a sheer sign teachers were dealing with issues similar to Duncan’s.
As a 7th and 8th grade English teacher, Duncan was administering “exit tickets,” a daily three- to five-question quiz that tests whether students retained what they were taught. Although helpful for Duncan, grading 93 tickets every day and transcribing the results into the school’s database was adding an extra eight hours to his already long work week, leaving him rarely any time to decipher what the data actually meant.
With the help of Quick Key, devices can be transformed into optical scanners, making grading quizzes and surveys a cinch. As of now, the app is able to scan up to 30 questions answered in pencil or pen, and then analyze the results of the quiz right on the user’s iPhone or iPad. What’s more, the data can be uploaded to educators’ electronic grade book.
“Quick Key is a good way to tally all the data from that day to be able to act on it the next day,” said Duncan in a previous interview.
Along with the launch of the app, Design by Educators released an accompanying Web portal. As an added bonus, Quick Key will remain free for users during an initial introductory period.
“Teachers are excited to use Quick Key Mobile in their classrooms right now,” acknowledged Duncan in a release. “We are in constant communication with our users as they try Quick Key for the first time.”
Based on feedback from one Kickstarter backer, however, the app is destined to be off to a successful start. As the commenter noted: “This is going to change the way we do business in the classroom.”
For a closer look at the Quick Key app, check out the slideshow below.