Month: October 2015

Assessment Technology

Introduction

This project is about is about technology that’s used to assist in assessments in class. Software and websites make the instructor’s’ duties a lot easier and fruitful.  Assessments are the instruments of success in the classroom. In a Promethean World article, it says that “No one component in education is more important for bringing together all of the elements needed for a leap in educational productivity than assessment” (Looney, 2015). This can be handcuffed with differentiation as far as gauging different learning levels and creating models to assist in student development.

Technology to Facilitate Ongoing Efforts to Assess Student Learning

The following software is just a few in the myriad of tools that teachers use for the important task of assessment. Students have to be tested on whether they comprehend the current lesson in order to move on to the next level. These tools are very efficient and cater to all grades. Any instructor will be pleased to have used software like these so they can multitask.

 

Kahoot

This assessment is considered formative and summative at the same time. Teachers can use this tool to create quizzes about any subject based off any content area. The answers are graded and compiled so that the teacher can create groups to sort the students in. The results can also be converted into games to add a competitive spice within the classroom body. I would have Kahoot available on handhelds, Chromebooks, and the SmartBoard. It’s also available in various languages in addition to English. I would allow them to work individually or together in groups. Danielle Kruger in a review said that Kahoot “allows students to answer a given question without feeling the pressure of speaking up in class” (Krueger, 2015). This is important for a student’s self-esteem and whether they will be active participants in the future.

 

Socrative

This assessment is very well respected and used among teachers and students alike. Like Kahoot, this can be used for real time questions and answers. These can be in the form of multiple choice and true/false. Students can ask questions along the way to other students as well as the instructor. There’s also a “Space Race” option to create a game like gauge to see where the class really stands. In Faculty Focus, Dave Yearwood says that “it’s not just for Apple products, there’s a version for Android users as well” (Yearwood, 2012). You have to cater to all phone carriers to truly be successful. I plan on creating impromptu quizzes based on the information that I lay out and the answers I get in return. This will be so I can arrange my students in groups to redo with me.

Educreations Interactive Whiteboard

This tool carries the Pro Classroom Edition software so an instructor can create videos, assignments, and import web documents. It can sync with the students’ iPads or other handhelds so they can receive tests, quizzes and give feedback. Assignments can always be retrieved through the website regardless of anything going wrong with the hardware. In the article SmartBoard Make Way for Educreations,  Katrina Schwartz states that “one of the values that educators look for in tech schools is student usability and Educreations, teachers say the tool is straightforward enough to incorporate into student work” (Schwartz, 2012). I would use this SmartBoard strictly for what it would offer my class and I. I’m creative and I can implement art into my lesson plans with this tool.

Formative and Summative Assessments

Assessments can be done on teachers as well as students. Formative assessments are assessments that are done along the learning block. Some examples are short quizzes, short answer responses, or even evaluating where a student needs help in a certain subject. Summative assessments are done with the intent of meeting the lesson objective. This is normally done at the end of the learning block. Some examples of these are final exams, teacher evaluation polls and a comprehensive essay. Technology can help create spreadsheets, mini quizzes, or projects with specific details. The students are always connected with the instructor in regards to these sessions. Software like Kahoot can be used to bring out an instructor’s creativity. They have the power to tailor a test to their specifications. Therefore, formative and summative assessments can be made every time.

Pros and Cons of using Technology to Facilitate Assessment

Technology, since its inception, has made society run more efficiently through computers. In education, lessons have been delivered faster and on a more creative manner. There are however, cons as well as pros when using technology to assess students. I’ll focus more on the cons, because we already know about the pros and discussed them. First, when giving tests, computers generally give multiple choice and true/false questions. For a teacher that totally relies on computers, this limits their ability to use multiple ways of questioning their students. Standardized testing is a type of summative assessment. This is mostly choice based and there are also very few options to give written responses. For instance, Concordia Online stated that some of the cons about smartphones are inappropriate materials. Also, “with temptation of social media and texting in their hands, students may focus solely on their social life instead of the lesson plan” (Concordia, 2012). These devices invite distractions and have students playing games and/or videos during instruction time. Of course, there’s always the threat of child offenders on the web. The more a child is on the internet; the more likely they are to encounter these type of people. This is all to say that before an instructor totally commits to an avenue of assessment, they must consider the good and the bad.

“Should a teacher only use technology to assess student learning? Why or why not?”

Teachers should always have written backups for everything. Students really express themselves in short answer responses, so teachers should use fill in the blank and short answer questions. For the most part, teachers shouldn’t totally rely on technology to assess student learning. There should always be backups for everything electronic. When a teacher uses today’s assessments, chances are they’re in the form of multiple choices. In fact, a teacher can really gauge whether a student comprehends through short answer questions. A student can get lucky and score well on standard quizzes. This way the student can also express in their words how they understand the question.

 

What is the importance of assessment technology in connection with the ISTE standards?

The importance of assessment technology can be linked with the ISTE Standards in education. For teachers, the first standard is “Facilitate and inspire student learning and creativity”. With Kahoot, students can create challenges for their peers and increase or “inspire” themselves to learn. For students, standard #2 is “Communication and Collaboration”. They can “interact, collaborate, and publish with peers, experts, or others employing a variety of digital environments and media” (ISTE, 2015). Kahoot makes it possible for both subjects.

Concluding Paragraph for Software to Support Assessment

                We’ve gone over what technological assessments are their functions, benefits, and drawbacks. As I stated before, I feel that teachers shouldn’t totally rely on technology, to give assessments. We have the students’ futures to consider. Their ability to express themselves through thought and creativity can sometimes be hampered by certain software. Overall, I think it’s a brilliant innovation and I plan to use it fully in my classroom.

References

Looney, J. (2015, October 2). Making it Happen: Formative Assessment and Educational Technologies. Retrieved from http://www.prometheanworld.com/rx_content/files/PDF/MakingitHappenFormativeAssessmentEducationalTechnologies-169721.pdf

Krueger, D. (2015, October 2). Retrieved from http://ed570-14.weebly.com/review-2—kahoot.html

Yearwood, D. (2012, September 21). App Review: Socrative. Retrieved from http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/teaching-with-technology-articles/app-review-socrative/

Schwartz, K. (2012, December 6). SmartBoard Make Way for Educreations. Retrieved from http://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2012/12/06/smartboard-make-way-for-educreations/

http://www.iste.org/standards/ISTE-standards/standards-for-students

http://www.iste.org/standards/ISTE-standards/standards-for-teachers

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