I'm excited to share this story with you, because it was a defining episode in my life. I hope it inspires you too.
Several years ago, I had the idea to create free online quizzes. Students would them take after watching YM's videos, as a pressure-free way to continue their learning, and check for understanding.
Then, after YEARS spent creating them on a free educator website, that site went down. No notice. And no response after I tracked after them, as if I was a starving bushman in the wilds of the internet, with my survival on the line. Radio silence was their (non)-reply.
Then I fell into a three day depression. "ALL THAT WORK, GONE!" I correctly thought to myself, obsessively. It was the epitome of the iconic story of students losing their research papers because of some data error. My body was energy sapped – I remember coming home after teaching my classes and fighting the urge to sleep at 4:30pm. A total physical shutdown.
Then I clamored back into the saddle. Poked around on Google. Did a few searches on Google. Then many searches on Google. Then I audibly chuckled, and whispered to no one, "Of course. Google."
Of all the sites I can guess that won't suddenly go out of business, Google takes the crown. And it has everything I sought for in an online quiz:
free for anyone to use
no sign-in required [a really underrated yet awesome (non)-feature]
students immediately know their score
capability to automatically, privately, and securely email the quiz score to whomever
And inevitably, it was back to the grind. For more years than before. And, it turned out, I even continued to build them while traveling the world last year. Here's me rocking Google quizzes at various locales, starting right at home:
The big question is:am I ultimately glad it happened? No matter how you slice it, the answer is yes. The hardship turned out to be a blessing. It forced me to find a way better solution than before. These quizzes are better now than they ever could have been on the old site. They work beautifully*, look beautiful, and honestly I believe they'll go down as one of my life's legacy achievements, in terms of positive impact on the world.
And now, with the country and much of the world locked down, the quizzes have become more trafficked than ever. My upsets at the grinding halt to society and health crisis aside, I'm definitely happy that more people are using them. They're meant to be beneficial, and they are. So a big YAY for that.
*FF (Fun Fact): thanks to several Yay Mathers like you, I learned that multiple quizzes weren't emailing results properly. I reached out to a Google engineer as to inquire why, and he thankfully informed me that it's because of the unprecedented amount of traffic. If any quiz you're using doesn't email results within ten seconds of taking it, please let me know. I figured out that when I pause and reset the quiz, that does the trick. For the past few weeks, I've been Google quiz Drain-O.
For a full list of the videos and free quizzes, all in one place, check out yaymath.org/index.