I find that sometimes technology-infused projects “bomb.” They almost always are poor learning experiences not because of the technology but because of the lack of specific standards-based goals or standards-based assessment.
When I talk to a teacher and she says she wants her students to produce a newspaper, she is stating the task, not the learning standard goal. What academic skills does she want her students to learn? When I ask her what assessment she will use, she responds that she will use a rubric based on their writing effort. That rubric does not measure student progress toward a standard.
With neither a specific standard nor a specific standards-based assessment, no technology-infused learning can be successful. The more unclear the learning purpose is, the more the students are in a fog about what is important to learn and how they are to demonstrate their learning. Students can never master “Westward Expansion” but they can master the concept of the impact of the changes in the economic and social aspect of people’s lives due to a nation’s growth. Teachers scaffold the experience for successful learning through technology only when they are sure of the specific learning outcomes.
So how precise are your standards-based goal and standards-based assessment to make a great technology infused learning experience?
© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007