Category: Uncategorized

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

Student Centered Technology

Section Four: Differentiating Instruction through Technology

Introduction

This assignment covers the strategy of differentiating instruction in the classroom. Information Communication Technology is a broad avenue that will allow an instructor to know their students individually and as a whole. They will all be on different learning levels and styles. Implementing technology will make the experience fruitful and technology aids and guides instructors in providing the appropriate lessons to their class. Because of this, “the quality of learning can be greatly enhanced through the integration of ICT in teaching” (Davies, 2007).

Technology to Differentiate Instruction
Voice Thread:
In my class, I will use this technology tool because the higher learning students will know how to use the software. It will be a matter of utilizing the microphone to record events. They can also add video to assist the other level students. The impact would be that it will add audio and visual elements to the lesson. Some students learn better through one of these two. The voice thread could be used for all three levels of student in an assignment. One group can gather the pictures and type, one can record the voices, and one can put the project together.

 

 

ISTE Standards – Creativity and Innovation- (a) The students will use their knowledge of the subject to assist them in their projects.

Communication and Collaboration- (a,b)- Since this is a group activity, students will work together in order to put the project together correctly.

PowerPoint: This tool will come in handy with students that are either on level, tactile, or both. These presentations are informative and interactive. Videos, animated graphics, and music threads can be added. This tool can used to differentiate assignments for all learning levels because of the video and audio capabilities. Students can learn through these aspects.

ISTE Standards – Creativity and Innovation- (a) This tool is excellent for giving students a chance to be creative.

Communication and Collaboration- Along with being individually creative, the students the students can be creative collectively by offering different opinions and ideas for the completion and presentation of the project.

 

Webcam Video: This technology tool is probably the most fun and interactive one to utilize. In my opinion, the lowest level students would enjoy working with this because they could express themselves comfortably. They will learn facts about the subject matter. Some students learn by memorizing facts in the form of tunes and video streams. The impact of this is that the students can learn in more ways than just reading or listening to lecture. The different learning levels can use this in assignments with one group writing the lyrics, one group can record the material, and one can put the video together as a presentation.

ISTE Standards – Creativity and Innovation- (a) This gives students a chance to use a tune from another song and add their own lyrics.

Community and Collaboration- (a,b) Like the other two tools, students gain a better understanding of projects when they work together and share each other’s input.

Pros and Cons

As educators, we praise having technology at our disposal. We must also accept the duty of recognizing the minuses of having it. Of course, having technology available opens doors to new information and experiences. In the article The 6 Pros and Cons of Technology in your Classroom, Jean Montano states that “students can learn life skills through technology” (Montano, 2015). This is evident when they utilize rules and guides for whatever course they’re taking. That’s one of the good points along with the era we live in tech rich. When we uncover the bad points, we find that students can use the web to defraud any school work. Many people think that the web is distracting. Also, for example, as good PowerPoint is, people feel that ”PowerPoint based lectures tell you nothing about student learning” (UCF, 2015). The instructor should weigh both pros and cons and make a decision. Some of these tools are useful guides and shouldn’t be the lone means of differentiating.

 

            Concluding Paragraph
Our world is fast paced and steadily moving. With technology readily available, we can take advantage of what it has to offer. First, as stated before, we must weigh out the pros and cons and that will help us to decide which media device to use and its frequency. Differentiation is an excellent way of testing devices and websites for how we equip our students for this ever changing world.


 

References:

Montano, J. (2015, March 6). The 6 Pros and Cons of Technology in Your Classroom. Retrieved September 25, 2015, from http://blog.tophat.com/6-pros-cons-using-technology-classroom/

http://fctl.ucf.edu/TeachingAndLearningResources/Technology/PowerPoint/index.php

Safritry, T. (n.d.). Teacher’s Perspectives and Practices in Applying Technology to Enhance Learning in the Classroom. Retrieved September 25, 2015, from http://online-journals.org/index.php/i-jet/article/view/4356

 

Integrating Instructional Technology

Integrating Instructional Technology

Integrating technology into the classroom has made the learning and teaching experiences more efficient and enjoyable. Teaching is not an easy duty. Through the years educators have made use of the tools and devices that was available. Our world is in the technology age with information and resources reaching all career groups. It’s no different for education. Educators have to be capable and prepared for a constantly changing world. The following tools are currently in use by countless teachers because of their fluidity and availability.

Google Drive

The first technology that I’ll be discussing is Google Drive. This application is ideal for file retention and sharing. Videos, slide presentations, and forms can be creatively displayed for teachers, parents, and students. This can be used as an alternative to Word and Powerpointin lessons since Google Docs can be incorporated. For a 5th grade class, I would infuse visual and audio techniques in order for the students to get a better understanding of the subject matter. “You can install Google Drive on your smartphone, tablet, or your computer for easy access to your files” (Bolluyt, 2015). The students will be aware and will have this downloaded on their handhelds in class. My focus will be on ELA and I will stress writing and how to formulate a properly structured paper. I will also have a video and interactive prompt on proper grammar.

Google Plus

The next high tech avenue is Google plus. This application is mainly for social media and networking. The person can post videos and educational content on the account holder’s page. The educator can connect with parents and other educators alike. Google Plus offers Hangouts as part of its package thereby giving people video call capabilities. In my 5th grade class, we will video call professors and other experts in education. “Much like Facebook, you can tag individuals or brands” (Lytle, 2013). This connects you with events, what’s trending, and any subject that you elect to follow. Everytime you connect, the latest news and views will be posted.

 

Evernote

Finally, there’s Evernote. This is a community and mobile application. The students can find this very useful and convenient. They can scan their notes and other documents and save them to Evernote for later. Also, if there’s any part of an oration that needs to be noted, the student can record and upload it. My 5th grade class will understand the capabilities of Evernote. This would be our way of keeping backups of all of our notes and assignments. The linking ability of Evernote gives the note taker the ability to “create a hyperlink to wherever you find right inside your notes” (Frank, 2014).

Pros and Cons of using Technology to Facilitate Learning

In the article The Best Interactive Web Tools for Educators, Sarah Muthler stated that “the internet was invented to foster communication” (Muthler, 2015). I believe this to be true because communication is part of the foundation of technology. There was a need to reach out to others fast and frequent. In the classroom, technology has its good points like the efficiency of having a world of information at your fingertips at a fraction of the time. The level of creativity that a teacher experiences is remarkable. Because of video, before, it was just a dream. As great as technology is, there are some drawbacks to note. Since classes have the internet, there should be rules in place regarding internet safety. Also, since everything is mechanical, there’s the threat of malfunctions to the equipment. Ebooks are taking the place of textbooks, but the systems that carry the Ebooks cost more. In the report Evaluating the Effectiveness of Technology in Our Schools, the Department of Education states that “51% of schools with internet access made computers available to students outside of regular school hours” Because of this, “20,000 technology services are spread across the nation” (Noeth, 2004).

 

Wired and Wireless Classrooms

Wired classrooms are simply when the class uses wired internet to access all information. This method serves as a faster means of connecting and boasts of having protection againt unknown persons from getting into the network. Some cons to having wires would be rewiring in certain buildings can be an issue due to the building makeup. Also, depending on the system, it can be an overload of wires taking away from room space. Wireless rooms are the ones that operate from routers. While this option takes up less space, it has major security issues. They both offer the same internet experience for any grade level. Teachers and students alike can utilize any web tool for lessons through each, even though more devices are geared towards wireless capabilities.

 

Conclusion

With technology constantly changing and the need for information at its highest peak, these tools will serve their purpose. The internet is the best tool so far. When it’s used in conjunction with other web tools, the results are endless. I believe that I will succeed in the classroom, because as the needs and technology change, so will I. I will teach within the best practices of the ISTE standards regarding this subject (section 2). It’s a fact that when teachers evolve, then the students will.

References

Lytle, R. (2013, October 27). The Beginner’s Guide Google Plus. Retrieved September 17, 2015, from http://mashable.com/2013/10/27/google-plus-beginners-guide/#cUy_GNfJPSkO

Bolluyt, J. (2015, September 13). How to Use Google Drive like a Pro. Retrieved September 17, 2015, from http://www.cheatsheet.com/gear-style/how-to-use-google-drive-like-a-pro.html/?a=viewall

Frank, T. (2014, February 18). 6 Ways You Can Use Evernotento Dominate Your Classes. Retrieved from http://collegeinfogeek.com/evernote-class-tips/

Muthler, S. (2015, May 8). The Best Interactive Web Tools For Educators. Retrieved September 17, 2015, from http://www.edudemic.com/best-web-tools/

Technology and Communication in the Classroom

 

Technology to Support Communication

Introduction
In this assignment I will explain why technology is vital to the daily function and success of today’s classroom. I plan to teach 5th grade and I will have my students prepared for middle school and any technical resources to be utilized. The following are some of the few resources that will improve communications between parents, teachers, and students.

Technology to Enhance Communication

Remind 101): This private communication tool is set up for a direct connection between parents and teachers. No phone numbers are exchanged using this medium. All homework assignments and announcements that I post will be sent to all of my students’ parents. I’ll always let them know that I’m open for any discussions. I will let my 5th grade students know that they will always know the assignments that are due even after class is over. There will be no excuses. I plan to make my lessons concise, but this will be a great supplement for my students to stay ahead of the curve. I will also inform any colleagues and other business people of this service and stress how convenient it is. Schoology states that this is the medium “used by over 200,000 teachers, students and parents to send millions of messages every month” (Schoology, 2015).

Mini Computers: Tablets and Handhelds): This communication and data tool is for unlimited research across the internet. This will be one additional medium for parents to contact me. I will be able to send the students private information to their parents. Grades, assignments, and class progress will be accessible for them. For my 5th grade students whatever information that is to be accessed, will be done in a timely manner. Various applications will allow them to have video connections with professors and other contacts relevant to the lesson. Connecting with knowledgeable people can be just as important as knowing how to operate the device for learning purposes. I will also teach my class that with tablets you can access eBooks. These will take regular textbooks out of circulation as the need will diminish and will decrease the number of trees cut down. This is a reliable device therefore Gayle Bennett stated in an article in USA Today that “81% of teachers think mobile devices enrich classroom education” (Bennett, 2014). You can’t go wrong with this statistic.

 Video in the classroom): This communication tool helps teachers run their classes more efficiently than in previous eras. Teachers plug in and can enjoy conferences, lectures, and one on one lessons. With this innovation, it’s possible to talk to someone either in a building nearby, or across the ocean to a foreign contact. I would show my 5th grade class videos in order to further explain the lesson I’m teaching. Informative material in the form of cartoons, service announcements, movies, and documentaries can be obtained. The possibilities are endless. Skype is one avenue that educators can use for these ideas. Learnnc.org states the various ways that Skype “opens doors to several educational possibilities from reading to other classes, sharing projects, and connecting with reading buddies” (Phthisic, 2015). I would also reassure my students’ parents that this is an excellent communication tool if they wanted to monitor the class’s daily routine.

 

Communication Internet Security and Safety

I believe when teachers stress internet safety, they should stress research and self-control. When a student does research, they should choose the sites wisely. The internet is now available to a wider age range. Elementary students have the means to surf the web for any needed information. Catherine Forward stated in the British Journal of School Nursing that “93% of all 5-15 year olds used the internet in 2013” (Ofcom, 2013). At the rate technology availability is going that number will increase. Students can still be held accountable for their actions once they know the rules. In the article, 7 Computer Skills you’ll Need for Success, Tamekia Reece states that “internet safety includes understanding that what you say and do online can work against you” (Reece, 2009). Ultimately, Robert LaRose stated in the article, Promoting Personal Responsibility for Internet Safety where, “Collective moral responsibility encourages safe online behavior “(LaRose, 2008). I believe it and that a safer environment can be achieved this way.

Concluding Paragraph    
The web is an interesting and fascinating place. With the wrong attitude and practices, it isn’t. As adults it’s our responsibility to teach the youth the proper way of web searching. Once an understanding is reached, it’s their choice to maintain good habits. Everyone working the right way makes for an unforgettable experience.

 

References:

Bennett, Gayle. “Tablets Rewrite Classroom Rules.” USA Today 23 June 2014, Tech sec. Print.

Phthisic, C. (n.d.). A Window to the World: Using Skype in the Classroom. Retrieved September 10, 2015, from http://www.learnnc.org/lp/pages/6573

Remind 101. (n.d.). Retrieved September 10, 2015, from https://www.schoology.com/apps/profile/15123003

LaRose, R. (n.d.). Promoting Personal Responsibility for Internet Safety. Retrieved September 10, 2015, from http://cacm.acm.org/magazines/2008/3/20732-promoting-personal-responsibility-for-internet-safety/abstract

Forward, C. (2014). Information and Resources on Internet Safety for Children. British Journal of School Nursing, 9(3), 147-150. http://dx.doi.org/10.12968/bjsn.2014.9.3.147

Reece, T. (2009). 7 Computer Skills You’ll Need For Success. Career World38(2), 20