Are you ready to make technology and creativity a big part of your classroom? Technology inspires creativity like little else and it's time to take a close look at what technology really means for your classroom.
Like reading, writing, and arithmetic, web literacy is both content and activity. You don’t just learn “about” reading: you learn to read. You don’t just learn “about” arithmetic: you learn to count and calculate.
Teachers who integrate technology into student activities and projects often ask us this question - “How do I grade it?”
Fundamentally, assessing multimedia activities and projects is no different than evaluating traditional assignments, such as written essays. The primary distinctions between them are the unique features and divergent possibilities associated with their respective medium. For instance, a blog has a unique set of possibilities (such as hypertext, embedded video, interactive imagery, etc) vastly different than those of a notebook (paper and pen notes and drawings within a contained document).
The first thing to realize is that you cannot separate the user from the device. iPads, Chromebooks, and tech tools themselves don’t demonstrate great learning; it’s about what students do with the technology that matters. The technology itself is simply neutral. Consider: would a teacher grade the pen a student used to write an essay? Of course not! They grade what the student writes. It’s what students create with the tool that is at the heart of learning and assessment.
Formative vs. Summative AssessmentPerformance is most often analyzed through formative and summative assessment. Formative assessment is ongoing and provides information needed to adjust teaching and learning for a more effective outcome. It not only helps to monitor student progress throughout an activity, but can also gauge student understanding and readiness to proceed to further tasks. Alternately, summative assessment focuses on a particular point in time, such as a test at the end of a unit or grading term.Regardless, whether the immediate assessment is formative or summative, a teacher needs to be able to distinguish between the capabilities of the tool and the students’ performance using it. To illustrate, anyone can easily produce a visually stunning and captivating video presentation using iMovie as it has built-in easy-to-use professional effects. Therefore, to assess a movie presentation effectively, the teacher needs evidence of the thinking that went into the creation of the movie. Rather than grade the end product, educators must focus on the process -- research, writing, image selection, etc. This allows teachers to focus on learning throughout the whole project rather than the flashy, finished product.Rubrics to Measure Student Learning
Providing detailed explanations of an assignment using an online rubric, created with tools such as Rubistar or Digital Media Scoring Guides, can assist students in both completing tasks and thinking about their performance. Additionally, these tools allow teachers to create rubrics quickly with a greater level of meaningful feedback. They can also easily be shared among teachers and saved or modified for future assignments.
From super-effective search tricks to Google tools specifically for education to tricks and tips for using Gmail, Google Docs, and Google Calendar, these tricks will surely save you some precious time.
If you're not out of school yet, you probably will be soon. If you're looking for something to pep-up your classroom a bit for the last couple of weeks of school, consider creating your own motivational poster.
"Surviving as a teacher isn’t easy. Between the sheer work load, diversity of tasks, brutal pace, and seemingly divergent initiatives pulling you in a thousand directions, education can break even the most noble spirits. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Below are ten tips to keep you ticking when things get tough."
The post also suggests that as teachers we need to find the balance between the needs of our learners and content. For some great suggestions check out this post!
Why do so many students choose Wikipedia when asked to find information on the Internet? I believe the answer is that Wikipedia is like the McDonalds of the Internet, you can always find it and you know what you’re going to get.
Check out the 10 free tools, including Google Search Education, Google Custom Search, the Find Tool, a variety of search engines (although I would also include Carrot2 at http://search.carrot2.org/stable/search) and more!