Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Assessment Options

There is an argument that the only type of assessments that are objective are tests. This statement is not necessarily true. There are so many different ways to evaluate a student's learning. Many assessments can give much more insight to what a student has gained than the traditional test.

Several examples of alternative assessments are projects, ongoing journals, blog posts, electronic portfolios, participation in simulations and labs, discussions, integrated response systems (CBLs), and teacher observation. It is sometimes more difficult to evaluate these forms of assessment in an objective way, but that is when rubrics come in handy. A rubric has stated objectives with varied levels of mastery so that it is very clear what is being evaluated. When a teacher is specific in what they are looking for in a student's learning it becomes possible to use a multitude of assessments and still grade objectively.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Technology Infused Classrooms

A technology infused classroom has technology readily available to promote learning. The teacher knows what is available, the students are taught how to use technology to enhance learning, and the technology facilitates rather than distracts from learning.

The teacher is aware of technology resources within the school and is trained on how to use them to aid learning. The teacher uses the internet for lesson planning, participates in discussion boards with other teachers who use technology, and keeps her training up-to-date in the latest technologies such as calculators, probing devices, SMART board, and handhelds to name a few.

Students in a technology infused classroom are aware of what technologies the school has to offer and can apply those technologies to their learning. When students are learning through discovery they conduct research online, use tools to collect data, and collaborate electronically.

The technology used in a technology infused classroom does not distract from learning. Instead the technology takes students virtually outside of the classroom and provides opportunities for exploration. The technology makes processes faster and learning more engaging.

In my technology infused classroom, I will take students on online tours, provide tutorials electronically, allow students to use the internet to discover why the topic we are learning is important, have students keep blog journals, and use technology tools to explore concepts.