Archive for November, 2006

Know Students’ ELA, Math, Science, and SS scores before the benchmarks with technology

Standards, Benchmarks,and Technology Analysis

I think that our students should only take the ELA, Math, SS and Science state benchmarks only if we already know how well they will do and only if we have helped them become better in those standards throughout the year.

As educators, we want to know how our students are progressing on the state standards through out the year. We will measure their progress on a regular basis using the state-rubrics. We will record that data in a spreadsheet or grading program that allows us to see the students’ growth. At any given moment, we can identify what each student does well in and what areas students need to improve in.

Then the state benchmarks simply verify what we already know about our students. We know that we have helped the students grow in the standards through out the year through the many classroom standards -based assessments that we have given them.

Let’s get rid of last minute test prep and build standards-based learning into our curriculum. If we do benchmark type classroom activities through out the year, record, and analyze the data with technology, then we know how well the students are doing at any moment.

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Formative or Summative Assessment of Student Learning With Technology

Formative or Summative Assessment With Technology

I think that most teachers use technology for summative (final) assessments such as putting test grades into a grading program. The technology serves as an archiving system and then a calculating the grade for the 10 weeks or semester sytem.

Why don’t we use technology for formative (growth) assessments such as giving a sample benchmark exam, analyzing it using a spreadsheet, working on the parts with the lowest score, and retesting to see student growth? Or to constantly monitor students’ progress through a complex task such as essay writing. If we assess each essay using the state writing rubric and record those scores in a spreadsheet, we can monitor the growth of our students in each aspect of their writing.

After asking the attendees at several presentations, I would guess that technology is used for summative about 95% of the time and for formative about 5% of the time.

Is your use of technology formative or summative? If it is summative, how you can change it to be formative so that you can measure student growth on a standard over time?

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Students’ learning community -local or globally supported education?

Local or Global Student Collaboration

(From Tuttle’s Learning and Technology Assessments for Administators, 2004, p. 44, used with permission)

How big is your students’ learning community for your class? What is the highest number that represent with whom your students have collaborated (sent and received information)? What was the project?

With whom do your students collaborate? Where are these people located?

Do you offer your students a global education or a local one? Are they educated from peer-to-peer collaborations with people from different locations and cultures? Are they educated from experts from other countries? Do your students learn about a country from people within that country? Do your students compare global warming with people around the world? Do your students write about a common theme and have peer-feedback from students from other locations?

Widen the community and increase your students’ learning!

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Improving Student Learning Through Reflections in Technology Projects and Electronic Portfolios (Eportfolios)

Students Summarize or Reflect

Students need to develop the life long skill of reflection. They have to be able to determine what they did well and what improvements they can make to improve in the future. Unfortunately, most of school is built on external feedback, usually the teacher’s. Teachers can build in the reflection process: by modeling it; by asking students to do it; and giving feedback on how insightful their reflections are.

Reflections are a critical part of student electronic portfolios or eportfolios. Let’s look at a student eportfolio reflection.

I liked writing the essay about Cervantes’ Don Quixote and Shakespeare’s Midsummer Nights’ Dream. Both works of literature were great. I used the theme of love from the list the teacher gave us. For this essay I was told to tell three similarities or three differences and give examples of each. I followed the comparison/contrast essay format that the teacher gave us; I developed my outline using it. I looked over my notes and the class handouts and got the examples from them. It did not take me very long to do. I wrote five paragraphs. I outlined it and then word processed it. I think I did a good job.”

Nothing in the previous paragraph is a reflection. The student has summarized what he/she had to do. The only statement that comes close to a reflection is “I think I did a good job.” but even then, the student does not explain why he/she thinks he/she did a good job.

Another students writes.

I had trouble deciding whether I wanted to compare or contrast the two works of literature. I did a quick concept map of both and found that I had more complete examples to show their similarities. I could more easily prove the similarities after I changed the theme of ”love” to “crazy love”. I realized that both authors used humor to show how love can be crazy. I had trouble not including real life examples that are so similar to the literature examples. This time I listed examples of “crazy love” from each. Next time, I will match up the examples from the literature and show precisely how similar they are, instead of how generally similar they are.”

Notice how the second student clearly reflects his/her thinking and contains a specific suggestion for future improvements.

When your students do technology projects or eportfolios, do your students summarize or reflect?

 

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Planning for Technology-Infused Learning Projects: Understanding by Design Model

A very useful form for helping to plan any learning activity in schools is Grant and Wiggins Understanding by Design. Here is a slight modification of it for use in planning technology-infused or technology integration projects.

Teacher:

Subject:

Grade Level:

Number of Students:

Length of Lesson/Unit/Project (in days):

Stage 1: Identify desired results

– What enduring understandings are desired?
– What essential questions will guide this project and focus teaching/learning?
– What key knowledge and skills will students acquire as a result of this unit?
– What prior learning, interests, misconceptions, and conceptual difficulties might students bring to this lesson?

II. Determine acceptable evidence
What evidence will show that students understand the expected learning?
What will be the performance task?
Will a state rubric be used to assessed the evidence?
And what other a teacher made standards-based assessment will be used?
How often will students be assessed during the project?

 

III. Plan learning experiences and instruction
What sequence of teaching and learning experiences will enable the students to develop and demonstrate the desired understandings?
What technology and other resources will be used?

 

One resource that includes good description about each stage is

http://www.lttechno.com/nlu/handouts/tie536/unitrubric.doc

If you have a UBD format lesson plan that you use for planning technology-infused learning, please share it. As we help teachers to plan using this model, we help them to plan for worthwhile instruction achieved through technology.

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ESL,FL & ELA: Let’s Pool Technology Resources

languageinstructiong.jpg

I think that many students and most faculty seem learning as disconnected subjects. One example is Foreign Language, English as Second Language, and English Language Arts. These three areas share many more commonalities than differences. They all develop skills in listening, speaking, reading, and writing. They all have students communicate basic information, express personal ideas, criticially analyze material, and use social interactions in many different situations. I would like to see online sites where these three areas share their wonderful ideas about teaching and learning so that they can help each other. For example, students need to develop speaking skills in all three subjects so a Foreign Language teacher’s PowerPoint of transportation digital images can be used in the other two subjects. The teachers can pool their technology and print resources. The more we as teachers see the similarities in our subjects, the more we can help each other. The less time we can spend in finding, modifying or creating technology-rich resources, the more time we can spend in planning better lessons that will help our students learn more in-depth and in assessing our students’ growth.

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Online or Class Discussions (Conversations) are not Learning Assessments

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I believe that almost all online and class discussions are not assessments. Why?

– Teachers do not generally assess each student.

-Teachers do not generally assess a student against a content rubric or a specific standard.

-Teachers do not give specific content feedback to each student.

Therefore students do not grow academically.

I think that in most discussions:

-Teachers count how many responses a student makes.

-Teachers respond to a student’s emotion or lenth of statement.

I do not think that most teachers teach discussion skills.

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Advantages of Blogs (Blogging) During a Professional Development

 

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Advantages of Blogs During a Professional Development

During a series of recent professional development workshops, I had the participants blog in response to questions I raised. Each question was a new blog. I had them blog for many reasons:

Each person has his or her own ideas and does not copy those of his/her neighbor

No one dominates the conversation.

People make thoughtful insightful statements since they have time to reflect.

People can read all the comments of the other people and then make general or specific reaction comments.

Often when a person writes a very insightful statements, others become aware of being more insightful.

The blog “conversations” are on topic.

The initial blog helps me to serve an assessment of the participants’ level of knowledge about the topic.

The constant blogging allows me to monitor individuals during the professional development. If I discover a difficulty or problem, I can talk with that individual to find ways to help him or her.

I can determine how the class is progressing by looking for a growth in their comments. Are they seeing the “big picture” of the professional development? Can they apply it?

People can go back to their earlier blogs and see what they thought at the beginning of blog and then see what they think about the topic at the end of the professional development.

I believe that the class moves at a fast pace because the blog conversations do not continue forever as some live conversations tend to.

Also, blogs can be used to distribute common word processing documents such a form that you all will work on during the professional development.

During one session we had seven blogging times and some one commented how they had enjoyed the discussions. We had only one short spoken conversation but seven purposeful blog conversations.

 

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Improving Student Learned -Your hopes

If you were to start an eportfolio during this semester, what standard area would you begin with?

Eportfolios: Lessons Learned – Your ideas

When you think of an electronic portfolio, what do you think of?

Eportfolio:Assessing Student Learning

When you think of electronic portfolios, what do you think of?

How does technology use help your students meet the school’s academic goals?:Bloom

What level of Bloom was your most recent project?

How does this help you understand technology’s role in students learning?

How does technology use help your students meet the school’s academic goals?:Standards

1) your Standards score (total of 4)

2) your comments on the score

3) your comments on this way of evaluating “How Does Technology Use Help Your Students Meet the School’s Academic Goals?”

How does technology use help your students meet the school’s academic goals?: Visual Literacy

1) The visual literacy score for a recent project

2) How this activity help you in understanding “How Does Technology Use Help Your Students Meet the School’s Academic Goals?”

How does technology use help your students meet the school’s academic goals?:Bloom/Time/StateExam

Bloom/Time/State Score

  1. your State Test/Bloom/Time Score and
    2) Comment on how does this help you to better understand “How Does Technology Use Help Your Students Meet the School’s Academic Goals?”

How does technology use help your students meet the school’s academic goals?:M. Hunter’s Roles

How used in lesson:

Hunter

1) How was technology used in the learning process?

2) How does this help you to better understand “How Does Technology Use Help Your Students Meet the School’s Academic Goals?”

How does technology use help your students meet the school’s academic goals?: Aseltine’s Questions

1) your Aseltine score (25, 50, 75 or 100%)
2) your comments on this score
3) your reaction to using Aseltine’s questions to assess “How Does Technology Use Help Your Students Meet the School’s Academic Goals?”

How does technology use help your students meet the school’s academic goals?: Your Hopes

What do you hope to learn from this workshop?

Electronic Portfolios (Eportfolios):Assessing Student Learning

Eportfolio Planning:

The following questions will help you to think through the many critical issues involved in electronic portfolios.

Type of eportfolio: Story telling or standards-based?

Type of academic eportfolio: Collection? Course? Program? Standard?

Which standard(s) will you include?

Which part of this standard? (performance indicator?)

How will you assess that standard?
(Are there any state rubrics? Criteria?
If you are not using a state rubric, does your own rubric/assessment specifically measure the standard in very observable ways?)

How comprehensive will the eportfolio be?
(How many parts will students do for any one standard?
How many different standards will the students do?

How will you explain the eportfolio to the students?

How will you model an eportfolio for the students?
How will you model selecting artifacts?

How will you model doing reflections?

How will you embed in the usual classroom learning experiences standards-based activities that help students demonstrate their growth in the standard?
1) Standards-Assessment Mapping
2) one learning activity = one standard, not many!
3) Modify old assignments or create new standards based ones

4) Label each assignment with the standard and any subpart

How will you have students do assignments and activities in digital format?

How will you provide activities in other than text only format (emovies, PowerPoint, digital images, etc.)

Where will students store their standards material that they might use in their eportfolio?

How will you give feedback on regular assignments so that students can show growth in the standard?
Will the students revise their work after your feedback? If so, how do they show their changes/improvements?

How often will you schedule student work on the eportfolio such as collecting all their possible assignments for a standard?

How do students select only the part of the assignment that directly demonstrates the standard?

How often will students update their eportfolio? (Monthly? Quarterly? Semester?

What type of reflection will show their growth?

Will you have them show you a sample reflection before they do more reflections?

How often will the students have their eportfolio reviewed? Semester? Year? Senior Year?

Who will assess the eportfolio? You? The department? Other teachers?

Will students present their eportfolios at a public or a virtual presentation?

If they present at a public presentation, who will be there?

If students do not present at a public presentation, are their eportfolios self-explanatory?


Some References:

British Columbia’s Graduate Eportfolio https://www.elearning.ubc.ca/home/DirCMSSiteContent/documents/ubclc2006/Neal.ppt

Study monitors students’ work http://64.233.161.104/search?q=cache:9HLvwHCEDF0J:www.tennessean.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article%3FAID%3D200660409023+eportfolio+high+school&hl=en&gl=us&ct=clnk&cd=12&client=firefox-a

A portfolio webquest http://www.uvm.edu/~jmorris/ePortquest/ePortfolioquestresources.html

Helen Barrett’s web resources http://electronicportfolios.com/

Mt Edgecumbe’s Eportfolios http://www.mehs.educ.state.ak.us/portfolios/portfolio.html

Peer to Peer and Expert Videoconference: Student Learning, Engagement and Thinking Level

Expert videconferences often represents direct instruction, the saga on the stage.

Peer to peer videconferences often represent constructivism, the guide on the side.

I am partial to peer to peer videoconferences since usually the students are more engaged in creating materials for the videconference and more engaged during the videconference in presenting or performing.

Usually during a peer to peer videoconference, students engage in higher level thinking skills such as analysis or synthesis.

During a peer to peer videoconference, the teacher facilitates.

So what percentage of  P12 videoconferences are peer to peer? I would guess about 25%.

Many teachers select an expert videconference that requires no preparation. I would guess that the level of active engagement is probably about 40% for many expert videconferences while the engagement in peer to peer is probably 90%.  I would guess that the students engage in higher level thinking about 20%  of the time in an expert videoconference while  the number for peer to peer is closely to 40%.

Student Peer-to-peer Videoconferencing Categories

The following are different categories of student peer-to-peer videoconferencing. The more categories that you, an educator,  are aware of, the more you can select the category that will most benefit your students.  Most of these categories involve higher level thinking.

Instructional – Peer-to-peer: Students

– Brainstorm ideas
– Share what they have learned with each other
– Ask each other questions about a certain topic

– Survey each other and produce graph of results

– Collaborate with others to create something

– Debate
– Guessing game/ figure it out

– Compete in quiz shows or “be the first to”

– Participate in simulations

– Be part of round tables

– Teach a topic to another group

– Critique each other’s work

 

What other categories of  student peer to peer videoconferencing can you add?

Eportfolios Showcase In-Depth Student Learning

Standard with more in-depth work

Often students do not see evidence of their growth over time toward a standard. Students have a wonderful opportunity to see their growth as they use eportfolios. When teachers build in eportfolio days, students get to collect their most recent evidence for a standard.

More important, they compare what they have recently done with the evidence that they previously have done and have selected for the eportfolio. They begin to judge critically their evidence as they come to better understand the comprehensive nature of the standard. For example, ELA students might select a color poem as their entry for NYS ELA Standard 2: Personal Response; however, as they successfully do more complex poem types, they probably will select one of those as their present choice. Their new poem selection will include more poetic devices and show how the students can incorporate these many devices to create a moving message.

They also think more critically about what they are doing in class. Will this be better than what I presently have in the eportfolio? What can I do to make it better? They strive to do more in-depth work for the standard.

Students constantly see their growth as they compare their new work to their old work. They see how much they have grown.

Eportfolios- Student Growth Through In-Depth Reflections

As I prepare for a presentation on electronic portfolios (eportfolios), I am aware that many educators have a vague concept about eportfolios. My definition is “students’ self-selected purposeful limited collection of and reflection on artifacts toward the progress on a standard(s) done digitally”. I prefer  on standards-based eportfolios.

I have found many examples of eportfolios on the web; most of them are collections of material. What concerns me even more is the lack of in-depth reflection. If we want students to be life-long learners, then they have to develop in-depth reflection. A weak reflection summarizes what was done but does not specifically address the students’ growth. I like a KLW model: what I already Knew about the standard, what I Learned, and What I still want to learn. When a student says, “I learned to write better” then the student either does not know what he/she learned or they have not learned how to be specific. A student can tell how they learned it.

Eportfolios show student growth only when students’ do in-depth reflection.

Successful Student Learning through Technology Scaffolding

Yesterday I received a postcard reminding me of my yearly hearing check up. I was glad that they did not call 🙂 I thought about students in the classroom.  How many of them are getting messages in a form that is hard for them to “hear” ?

Are teachers scaffolding the learning in  step by step increments so that each student can climb to success?  Those students who do not need every step can quickly climb.
Does the scaffolding allow students to see, hear and physically experience the learning?

Madeline Hunter felt that teachers should provide input (the prerequisite knowledge) for the students before teaching the new concept.

A male Spanish teacher who is going to teach  shopping words for clothing will want to review basic vocabulary such as colors and purchasing words such as to buy, price before he teaches the clothing. He can go to Google and quickly find a color wheel so the students can identify the colors. He find pictures of people buying clothing to review or teach buy, sell, and price by using the technology of  Google or flickr and Power Point.

When he moves to the main part of the lesson, he can show students the clothing with the Spanish word next to it and then ask the students to point to that clothing that someone is wearing. The Power Point scaffolds the students’ learning so that they can see the item, see the Spanish word, hear the word as the teacher says it, and then use it as a basis for  pointing to it in the classroom. If the teacher wanted, he could go to a website that says the words so the students can hear another person say the same word.

As the teacher has the students have conversations about the clothing, he can have them role play based on clothing situation visuals taken from Google or Flickr. The students can use the visual prompts from the visuals to assist them in their speaking. Those students who need scaffolding can constantly refer to the visual while those who do not need such scaffolding use the visual as a jumping off point.

By using technology to scaffold the learning, all students can learn and use Spanish clothing shopping words.

Linux or Windows: Which will I put on my laptop?

My laptop had serious problems.  The repair place put in a new hard drive. So now I have an opportunity.  Do I continue with Windows and its programs or do I move to Linux?  David Thornburg, an educational technologist, has been an advocate of using Linux; at last year’s NECC, he did session after session advocating Linux (UBuntu)

I have been using Open Office and and Firefox for the past two years.  I am not a techie so I need easy to use programs. I am an educator who uses limited media outside of my work(mostly Windows Movie Maker to create genealogy “slideshows”and itunes for family genealogy’s recordings. 

What opinions do people have about switching? Who has done it and can offer the pros and cons?  Can an average person make the switch without being a techie?  I await your thoughts.

Locked Down Laptops: Technicians vs Educators or Both Win-Win

A friend told me that his child goes to a 1-1 laptop school. He bought the computer for his child but the district locked it down when it installed the school software. He could not add a driver so that the child could print out at his office.

I borrowed an office laptop.  I do not have admin rights to change the printer so I cannot print in the office nor at home. I have to email the materials to myself and then use my wife’s laptop to print out the material.

A teacher bought the same laptop that the district has so she could use it in her classroom.  The district will not let her put her laptop on the district network.

I think the district technology director, technicians, and end users should sit down and have a healthy discussion about locked down laptops and other technology.  I understand security issues, viruses, management issues, and network concerns; I also understand the teachers or students desire to use their laptop for maximum teaching/learning.  I tend to go with technology supporting learning as opposed to technology blocking learning.

So how has your district provided both technicians and teachers/students with a win-win solution?

Stop Idealizing Technology Integration and Begin Helping Other Educators

 I am amazed at how we educators still tell the ideal glamorous story of technology integration but we usually neglect the struggles, the issues, and the problems that we have encountered.  We have forgotten that others can grow from our mistakes and they can avoid those problems if we let them know about the problems.  I think that every educational website, blog, and conference presentation, and article should build in a “what went well” and a “what did not go well (or what might go wrong)” section.   

Do we want to help each other or do we only want to sugar-coat our own experiences? Let’s help others to stand on our shoulders by telling them about our disasters as well as our successes. Tell others about all the steps we have had to go through to make something work so others will be aware of those steps.  If we help each other, then each of us will be much better at integrating technology for improved student learning. If we do not, then each of us will be independently spinning our wheels. Let’s travel together.

Blogging:

Went well:
I was able to easily migrate my blog from another blog site.

What did not go well: 
I recently moved this blog from another blog site but I did not realize that I have to re-insert all the graphics so numerous entries have broken graphics symbols.

I had used another blog site that did not use RSS feed and so few people knew the site existed. Although RSS feed may or may not be the best “feed” system, it is the one that most people use.

I could not find what the widgets did  in this Wordpress until I did a web search for some outside references. I’m sure that they are explained somewhere within WordPress but I could not find it and I did not want to put in any widgets unless I knew what they did. 

Videoconferencing Ways, Types, or Cateogories in Public School Education

I’m doing a presentation in a few weeks on “20+ Ways of Videoconferencing in Education”. In a previous post (May  7, 2006 Videoconferencing in education: Students, Administration, Faculty, Community), I listed many different examples of videconferencing under the categories of administration, student, professional development, and community.  I would like to see how many more categories you can help me add before then and how many different examples we can generate.  So far I’ve thought of these general categories. If you have examples of a new category or type of videconference or of a more general category for one of these categories , please make a comment. Likewise, if you have examples of any of these please add by putting the category and your example  such as  expert: hear an expert talk about an animal

Administration:

Professional Development:

Instruction:

-Expert
–Students ask questions of the expert.
–The expert demonstrates a physical procedure or process such as stacking in PE.
–The expert runs sophisticated equipment for the class such as a scientist.
–The expert gives feedback on  students’ projects or work such an artist whose style the students used.
–The expert explains something  such as an animal at the zoo.
–The expert has students create a model to demonstrate a concept like flight.
–The expert walks students through a thinking process to develop an analysis skills such as analyzing a work of art.

-Peer-to-peer

-Assessment:

Mentoring:

Interviewing:

Community:

??:

??:

Technology-Infused Learning: Restricted or Scaffolded Learning?

( learning)

( learning ….Learning….LEArning……LEARNing…..LEARNING)

I had a talk with a teacher who decided to incorporate technology into her unit.  She decided what activities she wanted the students to do and then she fit the technology into those activities.  She was working with countries of the world.  She wanted each student to do a report on a country.  She decided that they would gather the information from the library’s encyclopedias and then her students would prepare a PowerPoint presentation of the country’s information. It was to be all words.

I had a talk with another teacher who decided to incorporate technology into her unit. She decided what particular standard she wanted her students to practice.  She and I discussed various activities and various technologies that might help scaffold the learning for her students.  She decided to have the students select five images for their chosen country from Flickr/Woophy and then for them to describe the variety of geography in a PowerPoint. They would use those five images to tell the different geography and how it might influence life in that country. 

Have you talked with your technology integration teacher or Library Media Specialist recently to see new ways of using technology-infused learning to scaffold learning for your students?

Essential Data Driven Purposeful Technology Use for Student Learning

Aseltine et al’s Supervision for Learning (ASCD, 2006, pgs 23-24 ) has four tests to guide teachers in selecting what their slice of improvement for the year will be. These questions are consistent with the Understanding by Design model of Wiggins and McTighe

1. Essential Teaching and Learning. Does the target represent an area of essential teaching and learning for the teacher’s grade level and content area?

2. Schoolwide and District Data. Does an analysis of schoolwide or district performance data suggest that the target is an area needing improvement

3. Classroom Assessment. Does an analysis of classroom assessment data confirm the target as an area needing improvement?

4. The School and District Improvement Plan. Does the target correspond to an area of emphasis in the district or school’s improvement plan?

I would add that these same questions should be asked when teachers plan to infuse technology into learning. When they use these four questions, then they are using technology to support essential learning rather than using technology to support non-essential learning. Then technology use supports building goals and are not just a great add-on.

Try asking these questions before your next project.


RSS Education with Technology

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  • English + Common Core + Mobile = Success in Learning Poster Session at ISTE 2014 June 25, 2014
    In my ISTE Sunday 8-10 am poster session, I demonstrate many diverse mobile activities to help students achieve the English Language Arts Common Core Anchor Statements through mobile devices. The mobile activities focus on free common tool apps that are available on both the Android and the iPad. The students use the apps as a seamless […]
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