Archive for the 'Student' Category

Giving Students a Voice in App Selection

Traditionally, teachers research apps for their class. They assign apps to students.  The teachers assign a specific app or give students a choice of several pre-selected apps.  As a Modern Language teacher, I suggested apps to my students in the early part of the year.

However, in January, I let my students select which apps they wanted to use based on their own app searching and a minimal checklist.  I just gave them a topic to search as “food”. I asked them to look at  two or more apps that had the same topic.  My minimal checklist includes: has a comprehensive list  of words, phrases, or sentences for the topic;  gives the written Spanish word and its definition (or included a picture); pronounces the word; is  free; and is available on both Android and Ipad. The app gets extra points if it uses the words or phrases in sentences or questions.  The app also receives extra points if  the app provides practice on the words.

I found that when I let my students select which apps they wanted to use based on their own app searching and a minimal checklist, they actually used the app. In fact, they often commented to other students about their great app for the topic. They willingly showed me the app. They shared stories about where they were when they were using the app (supposedly helping Mom in the grocery store!).

More importantly, they learned the critical vocabulary for the topic from the app so they were ready to use the vocabulary in their communicating about the topic.

Who selects apps for your students?

My ebook, 90 Mobile Learning Modern Language Activities, is available at http://bit.ly/90mlact.

My three formative assessment books, Improving Foreign Language Speaking Through Formative Assessment, Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students and Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, are available at   http://is.gd/tbook

My modern language blogs are  now at  http://bit.ly/imprml.  I have developed 27  Spanish activities and 5 Modern Language Visual activities in which students  express themselves in the modern language and move toward spontaneous speaking Teacherspayteachers:  http://bit.ly/tpthtuttle

Considering Home Learning When Doing Mobile

Many schools are going mobile or one-to-one.  Schools sometimes make decisions without thinking about the full consequences such as mobile and home learning.

If schools supply mobile devices to the students, do the students take the mobile devices home?   If students do not take the mobile device home, then mobile is only considered an in-school learning tool.  Teachers cannot assign at home mobile work.  Students can not learn 24/7.

Schools may not supply a mobile device  for home because they assume that students have a mobile device at home. Do all students have the same mobile device as used in school? Do all students have an iPad? What about those with Android tablets? Chrome?  Do teachers assign at home mobile work for a specific machine for a specific app?  Or do teachers assign mobile tool assignments such as taking pictures, videorecording an event and  reading an ebook   that can be done on any mobile device?  Do teachers limit those students who can do the assignment at home or do they provide for the widest base possible so that all students can do the assignment?

Likewise, teachers will want to use free apps. No student should have to pay for an app for school.  An alternative is for the  district to obtain a license so students can use a specific app for multiple platforms ( Android, iPads and Chrome) at school and at home.

For BYOD schools, the same basic questions apply.  BYOD schools  accept multiple devices; they promote including all devices.  Teachers focus not on a specific app but on the learning purpose and use common tools or common apps that work on many devices.  All mobile devices can search the Internet or go to Internet sites so teachers ask students to do a Google image search for the different images for a specific scene in a play and compare/contrast those images.   A teacher may have students do a science experiment and use a free scientific calculator app to give them statistical results.

What has your school decided about at home learning with mobile?  Does your school want to extend learning or keep it within the school?

My ebook, 90 Mobile Learning Modern Language Activities, is available at http://bit.ly/90mlact.

My three formative assessment books, Improving Foreign Language Speaking Through Formative Assessment, Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students and Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, are available at   http://is.gd/tbook

My modern language blogs are  now at  http://bit.ly/imprml.  I have developed 27  Spanish activities and 4 Modern Language Visual activities in which students  express themselves in the modern language and move toward spontaneous speaking Teacherspayteachers:  http://bit.ly/tpthtuttle

Smartphones over Tablets

I have numerous reasons why I prefer a smartphone over tablets for students.
1) Students always have their smartphone with them regardless of where they are.  Students do not always carry their tablets with them.  For example,  Mary may not take  her tablet to swim practice but she will have her smartphone with her.  Just before practice, she  goes to her history class’s website to get the link to a video.  Chris will not take his tablet to work but he will have his smartphone with him so, during break, he can learn or practice his Spanish words.   Learning can only be 24/7 if the students have their mobile device with them.

2) Smartphones allow students to text.   Students spend much time texting in their daily life; they texted on an average of 60 texts a day in 2011  Teachers can have students text to find out information from others outside the classroom, to collaborate on projects, and  to write.  When students text others, they usually get immediate responses.

3)  .  The show, “Who wants to be a Millionaire?”,  gave us the expression “Phone a friend” and illustrated that people can learn from others.  When students use a smartphone, they can  call a person to ask questions, do a follow-up or clarify  information.  Students can talk to an expert / user of the learning concept such as  a contractor, a  business person,  or an artist.  When students talk to people outside the classroom, they see their in-class learning as something real.  Students can “shadow” professionals through weekly phone calls.

4)  Smartphones are cheaper than tablets.  A parent can purchase a high quality smartphone for their child for  less than a hundred dollars, a high quality tablet costs much more. Schools can purchase good smartphones at lower prices.

What device has your school selected as its mobile learning device?  Why? What does that device do beyond apps?

My three formative assessment books, Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students,  Improving Foreign Language Speaking Through Formative Assessment, and Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, are available at   http://is.gd/tbook

My modern language blogs are  now at  http://bit.ly/imprml

I have developed many  Spanish activities that allow students to begin to express themselves and to begin to move toward spontaneous speaking as in a natural conversation at Teacherspayteachers:  http://bit.ly/tpthtuttle

Mobile Learning, Not Mobile Students

Up until now we have not had 24/7 learning.  Students  had to go to their laptops/computers and, then, do their work.   Their computers might be in their bedroom, in the family room, in a school  computer library or in a library computer lab.  The students had to be mobile, not the technology.

Now students can use the mobile device that they always have with them such as their smartphone to truly have 24/7 learning. In the middle of the night, they can reach over to their night stand and use their smartphones to do any online work.  As they take a walk in the park, they can take their smartphones  out of their  pocket and  find out some information.  They can even use their smartphones to communicate/ collaborate with others in any location (As of March, 2011, over 50% of people text while in the bathroom).

Does your school let  students have a mobile device with them at all times?  Or is mobile learning confined to a specific class or to the school day?  Are your students mobile or is the technology mobile?

My three formative assessment books, Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students,  Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, and Improving Foreign Language Speaking Through Formative Assessment, are available at   http://is.gd/tbook

My modern language blogs are  now at  http://bit.ly/imprml

I have developed many  Spanish activities that allow students to begin to express themselves and to begin to move toward spontaneous speaking as in a natural conversation at Teacherspayteachers:  http://bit.ly/tpthtuttle

E-Texts: Innvovation or Status Quo

Many textbooks now have an e-text version.  Do these e-texts improve  student learning?

Some advantages:
– No heavy or bulky textbook to carry; portable
– Font size can be adjusted so students can more easily read or see information.
– Text can be searched
– Often has an online assessment; allows online quizzes  to be graded automatically online
– Often has an online homework management; allows  homework  activities to be graded automatically online
– Has organized the content into  chapters; chapters have various sections
– Text can be copied and pasted from the  e-text into a word processor
– Text can  usually be highlighted
– Usually includes multimedia (pictures, video, audio…)

Some disadvantages:
– Often is an exact  reproduction of the textbook. An E-text probably is   not linked,  therefore,  students cannot  click on words or images to get additional information.
-The e-text is still mainly print (word) based.
– Many images  may supplement  the text but they do not add new information;  images help explain the text instead of the image being the main source of information.
– Usually a student cannot write in the e-text such as writing  comments in the margin
– The user needs an e-reader, a computer or a mobile device to read the e-text.
– Additional exercises are  predominantly word based.
– Most e-text homework managers and on-line quizzes only tell the students if they are right or wrong. They do not provide new strategies for learning the material.
– Since homework and quizzes are done online, the teacher may never review what the students do not know. If the teachers do not review student progress, then the teachers cannot provide formative activities for student  improvement.
– Interactivity  may include activities such as  moving some words around or rearranging pictures but  the e-text interactivity  usually lacks high  interactivity such as simulations.
– Additional exercises are still  predominantly at a  low level of thinking.  They do not engage students in real-life use of the learning.
– Often multimedia is an add-on, rather than an integral part of the basic textbook.  Often multimedia comes after the main learning.
– An  e-text cannot be customized; teacher cannot rearrange parts such as  combining a part from chapter 1, a part from chapter 3, and a  a part from chapter 8 to create a new chapter.
– The digital textbook can be outdated very quickly if the  e-text does not contain links to current events.
– May not show the learners  the priority of the learning concepts within the chapter. What part of the chapter is the most critical? Is the most time and space spent on that critical learning or do minor  concepts get equal time and space?
-E-texts are boring since they are still traditional textbooks.

What are your reactions to using e-texts?

My modern language blogs are  now at  http://bit.ly/imprml

I have developed many  Spanish activities that allow students to begin to express themselves and to begin to move toward spontaneous speaking as in a natural conversation at Teacherspayteachers:  http://bit.ly/tpthtuttle

My three formative assessment books:   http://is.gd/tbook

10 Ways Mobile Learning Changes the Teaching-Learning Process

 

Teachers’ role


Higher level thinking


QR codes

Students show learning

Teachers monitor learning

Bring outside in

Take learning out

Communicate

From text to media

Global/ Cultural


Extra: Use all of mobile, not just apps

Learning App Analysis

Does the learning app:

Present problems, scenarios, etc in more than just words?  For example, does the app show a picture and base the questions on that picture? Do the students have to answer questions based on a short 30 second video?

Present a variety of different problems?  For example, can math students do the math in number format (2+2 = ),  word format (two and two equals), and visual format (two apples and two apples =)

Have a variety of ways that students can input the answer ?  Is the app an  A, B, C, D  click on the button choice  or does it allow students to move things around to show the answer? Can the students say the answer?

Identify when the students have a correct answer?

Identify when   students have an incorrect answer?  For example, the program says, “No, try again.”

Tell which part of the student’s answer is incorrect?  Or tell how the student was incorrect? For example, did the student  incorrectly  spell  the first part of the answer?  Did the students confuse two words?

Allow the students  to try again? For example, the program repeats the same question or a similar one.

Supply at least one strategy to understand the correct answer through explaining the concept?  Does the app provide a strategy to help the students overcome this learning gap?   Does the app supply  text clues, visual clues,  or sound clues   to help the student learn the concept so he/she can generalize to other questions of the same concept?

Tell the correct answer?

Keep track of the students’ progress?  Does it show the students what they have mastered before they  move on?  For example, the app can have a checklist of the various levels of the learning goal.

Make this data  available to the teacher?  Can the teacher  sort through the data by class, from high scoring students to low scoring  students,  and by specific learning goal?

Move the students on to a higher level once the student has shown proficiency?  How many questions reveal proficiency?  For example, does the app check student progress after ten questions or do students have to do thirty before it proclaims student success?

Move students up Bloom’s level of thinking?  Do  the students move up to do a real life example of using that learning?  Are they put in a real life scenario through a video?  Or do they go from abstract practice to more  abstract practice?

Have the student spend more time on learning than on playing reward games?

How is this mobile  app different from a website version of  the same material?  What  advantage does the mobile version have?

I have developed many  Spanish activities that allow students to begin to express themselves and to begin to move toward spontaneous speaking as in a natural conversation.  My Spanish spontaneous speaking activities (20+) includes Modified Speed Dating (Students ask  a question from a card-whole class), Structured Speaking (Students substitute in or select words to communicate in pairs),  Role Playing (Students talk as people in pictures or drawing from 2-4 people) and Speaking Mats (Can talk using a wide variety of nouns, verbs and adjectives to express their ideas- pairs or small group),  Spontaneous Speaking (based on visuals or topics in pairs),  and Grammar speaking games (pairs or small group). Available for a nominal fee at Teacherspayteachers:  http://bit.ly/tpthtuttle

My three formative assessment books:   http://is.gd/tbook

Criteria for selecting student mobile learning device (educational concerns)

As schools move toward mobile learning, they have to make decision about the type of mobile device that the students will use.  Regardless of whether the school supplies its own device or whether students supply their own,  there  are some basic minimal  requirements.

1) The device has to connect to the  internet so students can use qr codes, do internet searching,  bookmark commonly used sites,  watch educational videos and create online surveys.

2) The device should have enough memory for basic apps such as an  e-reader, a note-taker/ word processor,   spreadsheet,   media player, and a dictionary app.  The device will have other apps that help the students to climb the learning ladder from memorization to synthesis/evaluation  for their  specific learning goals.  There will be many more higher level learning apps (70%) than lower level ones (30%).  Those apps that simulate or duplicate real-world use of the subject area  learning will be the most useful apps.

3)  The device should have a camera and microphone so students can take pictures, record videos, and record audio. They will want to  capture and demonstrate their learning through images and sound (pictures, sound recordings, and movies).

4) Students need to be able to do texting  on the device so they can seek the perspectives of others and to learn from others outside the classroom.  As students learn to ask good  essential questions, they can seek the perspectives of others so they can go beyond the limited perspective of the textbook.  If we value diversity, let’s bring it into the classroom through seeing the opinions of others.

5) As students use their mobile device to explore concepts through productivity based learning, they will want to be able to call their experts such as their aunt or grandfather for things such as what is was like during the Depression,  how a farm business has been changed by technology, etc. so the mobile learning device needs to have phone capabilities.  Even better, if it can have videoconferencing.

6) Students need access to their social media sites on their mobile learning device so that they can distribute surveys.  When they want to receive many responses, they know they can distribute the surveys to their online friends.  The more people responding, the better the data to analyze and the more critical thinking involved.

If we want students to be prepared for their future in the real world, the world outside the classroom, then we need to start taking them virtually into that world and allowing them to bring that world into the classroom through their mobile learning device.

I have 20+ Spanish spontaneous speaking/fluency activities  available at Teacherspayteachers: 
http://bit.ly/tpthtuttle

My three formative assessment books:   http://is.gd/tbook

5 Smartphone (Mobile Learning) Concerns

As I have been using smartphones in my classes, presenting about it,  writing about it, and reading about it, I have some concerns.

1. Why limit mobile learning  to lower-level drill and kill activities?   Spanish teachers can have their students  study vocabulary on a topic such as a restaurant via an app. However, they can also use a QR code to show the students a restaurant  in Lima Peru and have their  students talk about the restaurant.

2. Why limit mobile learning to text-based learning?  A common mobile learning activity is to have students use a QR code to go to a web page and read the information.  Why not take them to a video or a  photo that shows the same  learning?  Math students can watch a Kahn video instead of reading about the math.

3. Why limit Smartphones to  individual activities?  Instead of Johnny sitting by himself learning about a country,  why not have Johnny and Rosa contrast different pictures of the same country?  Johnny has one picture and Rosa a different one.

4. Why limit mobile learning to one small view?  English students can search the Internet on their mobile learning device and find a poem about love  but these same students can create QR posters in which they show how the human condition of love shows up in a poem, a song, a movie, and a TV show. They can compare/contrast the various types of love.

5. Why limit Smartphones/tablets to just learning when students can use it to analyze their learning?  As students do various speaking tasks, they record their scores  in a Google document spreadsheet. They can see how well they  are progressing at any time.  Likewise, they could use an online rubric checklist (Google Doc) to help them assess how well they have written their essay.

How do your students use Smartphone, Tablets or Mobile Learning? Are they limited?

I have 20 Spanish spontaneous speaking/fluency activities at Teacherspayteachers:  http://bit.ly/tpthtuttle

My formative assessment books:   http://is.gd/tbook   Formative Assessment Responding to Your Students,   Improving Foreign Language Speaking Through Formative Assessment  Successful, and    Student Writing Through Formative Assessment

Online Grading For Communicating Students’ Learning Problems and Successes

Administrators want accountability for learning in schools.  One way to build greater accountability is for teachers to use online grading programs that give students and their parents access to the  grades.  For example, the teachers can use the free program of Engrade or a commercial program such as Blackboard.

As soon as the teachers enter  a grade for any assignment, the overall grade is updated. If students know their updated grades on a regular basis, they can decide how to improve.   Parents who have access to  their students’ online grades do not have to worry if their children are correctly relaying their grades; they can help direct their children in areas for improvement. For example, when students and parents see a grade of 40/100 for homework, the students and their parents become aware of a critical area for improvement.  When students and parents know grades on a daily/weekly basis, they feel on top of things; they do not complain that they did not know the grade until the five week period.  Administrators and guidance counselors get less complaint phone calls about grades when students and parents receive constant updates on class grading.  When students and parents see on-line grades as they are entered, they can nip any problem in the bud.  Students can do much better in school.

Likewise, administrator have greater accountability since the teachers become constantly aware of the overall progress of the students.  As the teachers enter the most recent quiz grade, they see the previous quiz grades  as well as the overall quiz grade. The teachers see the class average on each quiz so they can decide if they have to re-teach  the concept in a different manner.  Administrators realize that when teachers use online grading programs, these  teachers  have up-to-the-moment feedback on how well or poorly the students are doing.

How does your school communicate grades to students and parents so the students can be more successful?

I have 15+ Spanish spontaneous speaking activities at Teacherspayteachers:  http://bit.ly/tpthtuttle

My formative assessment books:   http://is.gd/tbook

Use any Web 2.0 tool at any Level of Bloom’s Taxonomy, Don’t be Limited by Listings

I have been teaching for many years.  In fact, one of my earliest presentations was on “Using Print Shop at All Levels of Bloom” (the original Print Shop).  Therefore, whenever I see the listings that supposedly say what Web 2.0 tools works at what level of Bloom’s taxonomy, I become very confused. A few of the many such listings are http://www.usi.edu/distance/bloom%20pyramid.jpg, http://tsheko.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/visualblooms1.jpg?w=500&h=359, http://www.bcps.org/offices/lis/Reference/images/web_2_Bloom.jpg, and http://edtech2.boisestate.edu/candacemcenespy/Images/vectormap.gif There is only a very slight overlap among the listing, each usually puts the same Web 2.0 tools at different thinking levels.

Let’s look at Google docs which a few sites place at the lowest level of Bloom, Remember/Knowledge. Google docs can be used to help students recall information. However, it can just as easily be used to paraphrase the information (from the original Shakespeare to modern day texting messages), to apply/use information (How does Pareto’s 20/80 rule apply to this story? ), to analyzing/contrasting (How are these two poems the same? Different?), to evaluating (Which literature that we have read this year best expresses man’s inhumanity to man? Why?), and synthesize/creating (Write a short story in which you mock some modern day thinking or organization.)

Teachers determine how any Web 2.0 tool is used. They determine at what Bloom’s level they will use the Web 2.0 tool. If they want their students to be bigger thinkers, they will use the higher levels of Bloom. If the teachers want their students to remain in small thinking, they will use the lower levels.

The choice of what level to use any Web 2.0 is up to the teacher. At what level do you use each Web 2.0 tools? Do you consciously build up Bloom’s taxonomy with each different technology you use during a unit?

Tuttle’s formative assessment books:   http://is.gd/tbook

Students’ Web 2 school projects: Redoing to be Web 2.0

Much of  students’ Web 2.0 use is for   “drop and run” projects.  Where is read-write? Building on Others?  Collaboration?  Global?  Higher Level Thinking?

Many 2.0 tools

Some example of how to transform some to be more 2.0 and less 1.0.

Podcast/Voki/Audacity:   George Washington Example

Glogster / QR poster:  English writing

Images (Flickr, …):  Whale example

Videoconferencing/Skype:   Books

Video:   Shakespeare

Facebook/Twitter:  Paper Use

Others?

Tuttle’s formative assessment books:   http://is.gd/tbook

Healing Learning injuries: The Immediacy of Formative Feedback

If a student has hurt herself and is bleeding, we do not say, “Wait a few days and we will take care of your bleeding.” We help stop the bleeding immediately.  However, when a student bleeds academically by showing a serious learning gap, we often delay the necessary treatment.

When a student displays a learning gap such as  not being able to write a topic sentence in a composition, we  immediately apply the treatment of providing the student with different new strategies.  We do not simply re-give the student the  original strategy that was unsuccessful for the student.  We have a list of different strategies on the class website, blog, wiki, a handout, or a QR code.  We write these strategies in student-talk and provide examples.  For example, a topic sentence has a topic, like “the school baseball team”, and a strong position or viewpoint  about the team such as “will win this Friday”.  The complete topic sentence becomes “The school baseball team will win this Friday.”
We provide a  variety of differentiated ways for the students to learn the missing concept of a topic sentence such as  a written explanation.   We can ask students to put a box around the topic and put an arrow ( → ) over the position. Also, we can offer the student  a variety of other ways of learning this concept such as    Youtubemovie, a podcast, and  a visual.  The student selects which formative feedback she feels will help her the most. Then, she practices that new strategy so that she improves.

Through the  immediacy of formative assessment, we heal the student  in their learning.  The student does not become injured for the rest of her learning.

Tuttle’s formative assessment books:   http://is.gd/tbook

Healing the Wounded Student Through Formative Assessment

If a student has hurt herself and is bleeding, we do not say, “Wait a few days and we will take care of your bleeding.” We help stop the bleeding immediately.  However, when a student bleeds academically by showing a serious learning gap, we often delay the necessary treatment. When a student displays a learning gap such as  not being able to write a topic sentence in a composition, we  will want to immediately apply the treatment of providing the student with different new strategies.  We  have a list of different strategies on the class website, blog, wiki, a handout, or a QR code.  We write these strategies in student-talk and provide examples.  We provide a  variety of differentiated ways of learning the missing concept of a topic sentence such as  a written explanation, a  Youtubemovie, a podcast, and  a visual.  Through our using the immediacy of formative assessment, the student quickly heals.

Tuttle’s Formative Assessment books

Harry Grover Tuttle’s Three Formative Assessment Books

Cellphones/Smartphones in Education – Tech Forum NY 2011

Tech Forum  New York Oct 2011

Dr. Harry Grover Tuttle

htuttlebs@gmail.com

CellPhones/Smartphones In Education: SmartPhones for Smarter Students

Rationale and Concerns:

Some cell phone uses

1 Pictures of                  2 Pictures for                             3 Voice recordings                4 Text                     5 Talk                   6 Time

Smartphones

Logistics:                Number:                        Type:                             Etc:

Reference information:

Higher level/ Creative thinking
Access: Web URL or

QR codes

Sample Learning Activities that promote collaboration and personalization

1 Contrast

2 Prompt

3 Mystery

Hints for Using QR codes          1 Name              2 Multiple                       3 Link                               4 See

Reading

Current Global/World Culture

Formative Assessment

Create own evidence of learning (media): Animoto, Yodio

Some Android apps

Aldiko Book Reader – ebook reader
Dictionary.com
Google Docs – Google docs

Evernote – save and organize web material
Dropbox – online storage

Talk To Me Classic – Language translator; speak and it translates
Wapedia: 4 Wikipedia & more! Wikipedia for the mobile

World Newspapers Newspapers from around the world

Class increase of 12 points over last semester

I give a pre-test and a post test in my Spanish course.  From the pre-test I can measure the students incoming knowledge.  From the post-test I measure their departing knowledge.   More importantly, I analyze the results of each unit test by the various categories on the test. If many students do poorly on a certain section, I reteach it.  The next semester I start out that particular point with  the reteaching material.  I also do many formative assessments so that I can give students new strategies to do better.  This semester my students did an average of 12 points better than last semester’s students.  I have analyzed the final to see the area in which they lost the most points – writing mini-compositions and have begun to figure out ways to help them. We will do more writing in class and on our class wiki. I will focus on the verb forms to tell a story such  as what I did last weekend. I will have them write out their weekend in a chronological order and make sure that they use a different verb in each sentence. We will do mini-writings over several class periods. For the final they do not need complicated sentences; they just need simple sentences that communicate different ideas.  My goal is to increase this coming semester’s average by 10 points over last semester.

By how much will you increase your class average  this coming year?

My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students, is available through Eye on Education.

Also, my  book,  Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, is available through Eye on Education.

Why do students’ final grades not reflect their highest achievements?

Many teachers calculate the students’ final  grade by having a grading program or spreadsheet average the four quarters and the final.

However, this averaged grade does not represent the students’ highest learning.

For example, if a student had a 70, 75, 80, 85 for each of the four quarters and 90 on the final,  that average (with equal weighting) is 80. This grade does not represent the students’ achievement which was a 90.

Why do we not award students’ their highest grade as their final grade as in formative assessment?

A future lawyer can take the bar exam as many times as possible.  When the future lawyer  passes, the law association accepts that passing; it does not average in previous failures.

Think of the number of young people who take their drivers’ test several times.  When they pass, they pass. The Department of Motor Vehicles does not average in the past failures. If they did, many young people would never pass the drivers’ test.

A writer  submits a manuscript to a publishing house and  the publishing house rejects it (gives it an F).  Does the next publishing house refuse it since the manuscript had  already been rejected somewhere else?

When will educators not penalize students for previous efforts?   When will educators reward student achievement instead of minimizing the achievement?

How do you grade students for their final grade?

My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students, is available through Eye on Education.

Also, my  book,  Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, is available through Eye on Education.

Revision as key to the Writing Process

Revision as key to the writing process

This graphic indicates an interesting aspect of the writing process.  Many students do a revision or possible two of their writing but they do not go through the constant revision that professional writers do.  However, the classroom teacher can build in many more revisions on the students’ work with little effort.

The students can peer review and revise their work as they do it.  For example, students write a thesis statement and then have  a peer assess it and give feedback based on the teacher’s guiding questions.  As the students develop their graphic organizer, other students can look it over for different categories, evidence and details and then the students can revise it.  As the students write their first body paragraph, another student can peer review it using a teacher-provided rubric and then the students can revise it.  The teacher can have writing strategies for that particular part of the writing process  to help the students who need additional assistance  in areas of the writing process or they can find other areas for peer review  as shown in my book Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment

Constant assessment and revision improves student writing.

How often do you students receive feedback on their writing during the writing process and then make revisions?

My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students, is available through Eye on Education.

Also, my  book,  Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, is available through Eye on Education.

Why a physical textbook?

It seems so “yesterday” to use a physical  textbook such as in a Spanish classroom. Any instructor can easily find PowerPoints, Youtubes, etc. that teach and practice the   grammar and vocabulary in Spanish.  Any instructor  can easily find online sites that explain grammar and drill that grammar.  An instructor can find Internet sites that have vocabulary lists or can easily post such lists to a class  wiki.  Imagine if a department asked each instructor  to create one activity such as a spoken conversation or  a listening comprehension that takes the grammar and vocabulary to the level of communication. The instructors can find current pictures of the culture from Flickr and other sources.  Students can converse about the daily culture that relates to  the situations in the virtual textbook.  Students can communicate about the situations.

With a few handouts made in Google docs and the links to the grammar, vocabulary, communication activities, listening, reading,writing,  and culture, the instructors could run a whole course without a physical textbook.   All the resources can exist in the class wiki.  Students can have access to theses resources 24/7.   Since the resources come from various sources, there is more of widening  of the students’ learning. When instructors use  virtual textbooks, they can add more resources in areas where students demonstrate weaknesses (formative assessment).

In addition, students can contribute to the virtual textbook.  As they do activities such as writing five important questions about the situation, these questions  can be posted to the virtual textbook for other students to answer.   I believe that within a year, instructors could have a virtual textbook that outshines the limits of the physical textbook. I have used  a virtual text and feel that it best meets the needs of my students.   The virtual textbook can fit the specific goals of the instructors while meeting national goals. The virtual textbook can be easily modified as better resources become available.

The virtual textbooks will not cost any money! Also as students migrate to smartphones, their phones become a valuable learning tool in class.

My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students, is available through Eye on Education.

Also, my  book,  Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, is available through Eye on Education.

Web 2.0, Audience and Draft or Best? (Glogster example)

Educators state that Glogster is a great Web 2.0 tool since it makes the students’ work visible to the world.  I assume that the educators mean that the audience will be other students, teachers, and parents. Do students publish their drafts or   final products?  Usually the idea of audience implies that what a student offers to his/her audience is a final product just as musicians practice in private and then perform their best in a concert.   However, in looking at several random Glogster projects in Spanish, I discovered many basic  student errors.  Are educators having their students put their best work up on the web or just putting up rough drafts? Do we want the audience to see the many errors or do we want the audience to see the students’ best work?

The other reason to publish something is for the reaction of others to improve the work.  However, it seems that most Glogster posters are “final” posters. They do not get reviewed by others and then modified. The students simply do the e-poster.

If we believe in the power of audience as an essential element of Web 2.0, then we need to help our students give their best performances and not just their practice. Let’s improve the quality of our students’ work on the Web and therefore, help others to learn from our students.

My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students, is available through Eye on Education.

Also, my  book,  Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, is available through Eye on Education.

10 Reasons to Use Online Practice Quizzes (Formative Assessment)

Students benefit greatly from being able to take online practice quizzes. These quizzes focus on the critical lower-level thinking learning for the students. The students can practice these activities on online quizzes, therefore, freeing up class time for higher-level thinking activities. Here are some reasons based on my use of Quia.

1) Students do not have to wonder if their answer is correct or not as they answer a question, the quiz programs tells the student.  Students get immediate reaction to their answer; they do not have to wait until the next class which may be 24 hours, 48 hours or more away.

2)  The online quiz program focuses on parts of the learning goal details that students might have overlooked.  Spanish students soon realize that they need an accent on a the preterite tense  such as hablé.  English students see that difference between “metaphor” and  “analogy”.

3) Students can read the teacher-provided strategy for improvement for each wrong answer.  The students do not just know that they are incorrect but they see an explanation of how to improve. They learn how to do it right;  they improve through formative assessment.

4)  Students can begin to use their new strategy  as they encounter a problem using the same concept that they just missed. They can verify if they are applying the strategy correctly.

5)  Students can answer without  feeling badly about having a wrong answer as can happen in a class. No other student knows.

6)  Students can retake a practice  quiz as often as they want to improve their score. The program can be set to keep the highest score.  If the practice quizzes are truly formative, then no grade will be taken.  Students will demonstrate their learning in classd and on  summative tests.

7)  Teachers can quickly analyze in what areas students are successful and in what areas they have demonstrated  learning gaps. They can select an appropriate learning strategy for each student for class.  The teachers can use the online quiz’s graphing analysis to see if any learning gaps are class wide. Such real time data improves the formative assessment process.

8)  Teachers do not lose time in going around the  classroom physically checking in homework. I figure that I save 10 minutes for my college class. 10 x 30 classes = 300 minutes, 5 additional hours of class time, or 3.7 additional class periods. Therefore, teachers have more time in class to help students improve and to work on higher level skills.

9)  Likewise, if teachers do go around the room checking in homework, they do not have the time to check each individual answer of each student. If students do twenty five questions, the teachers can only glance over the homework. The teachers probably do not have time to explain individually to each student which answers are incorrect and what strategy will work for each incorrect answer.

10)  Both  students and teachers can see the students’  progress over time as they see the online quiz scores.  In addition, teachers may notice patterns such as Tom does well on vocabulary quizzes but has trouble on grammar quizzes; teachers can then determine how to help Tom with his general learning problem of grammar.

How do you use online quizzes as part of your formative assessment?

My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students, is available through Eye on Education.

Also, my  book,  Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, is available through Eye on Education.

Web 2.0 Use May Not Be Formative Assessment

As I look at articles, blogs, and conference sessions, I see titles like

Formative Assessment Through Clickers

Formative Assessment Through Cell phones

Formative Assessment Through the Class Blogs/Wikis

Formative Assessment Through Online Quizzes

Formative Assessment Through Twitter

Formative Assessment Through Flickr

These people are generally  using Web 2.0 tools to monitor students, the first stage of formative assessment.  They collect information about where the students are  academically.

However, formative assessment moves from the monitor stage to the diagnosis stage.  How does the students’ present status compare to the desired learning goal?  If there are learning gaps, what strategies will help the students overcome those gaps?

If teachers or Web 2.0 programs do not offer improvement strategies based on the students’ specific learning gaps, then formative assessment does not occur.  Formative Assessment is much more than just seeing how many questions the students can answer;  it helps students to improve through providing new strategies for learning.

For example, if students take an online quiz about a certain learning goal, what happens next? Do the teachers diagnosis the results to see how individuals do on each item? Do the teachers determine which minor goals the students have yet to learn? Do the teachers determine which strategies will best help each student? Do the teachers give formative feedback to each student? Do the teachers build in class time for the students to practice their new formative strategy?  Do the teachers re-assess the learning?

Tuttle's Stages of Formative Assessment

Do you use Web 2.0 tools to go beyond the monitoring of students to a full formative assessment?

My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students, is available through Eye on Education.

Also, my  book,  Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, is available through Eye on Education.

Students vote to improve -Formative Assessment

I teach a freshmen college  English course. I’ve been using formative assessment throughout the course.  We do at least five very structured formative assessment peer reviews before we even write a draft (Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment).  During today’s class, we  peer reviewed a draft of their contrast essay.  I asked the class to vote whether they wanted 1)  to hand in their essays the next class which was just before  the vacation or 2) to do another  peer review  and have the essays due after Spring Break. I told them I would do whichever they wanted.  90% voted to have their essays peer-reviewed again. They wanted more formative feedback so that their writing could improve!  One student even boasted as he showed me  his peer-reviewed draft, “Look at all the ways I can do better!”

How do you use formative assessment to constantly assess students and to “instantly” help them to improve?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students, is available through Eye on Education.

Also, my  book,  Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, is available through Eye on Education.

Make classroom Web 2.0 use interactive, not static

I thought that Web 2.0 was all about interactivity- someone does something and others respond. However, I’ve noticed that numerous Web 2.0  programs are used primarily in a one way mode  (publish and run mode)

Students use Voki to record their ideas.  However, the recording  usually serve as  the end product.  The recording does not encourage others to respond or build on the recording.  Yes, others can listen to it but they usually do not do anything after listening to it.  For example, Modern Language teachers may have their students record what they did last weekend in the second language.  Once the recording is done, the “learning” is done.  No one will probably listen to it except for the teacher.  I propose a transformation  so that class use of Voki goes from being in a static mode to an interactive  Web 2.0 mode.  Modern Language teachers can have students make Voki recordings that are questions that other class members can answer. For example, students can ask questions in the imperfect tense of their classmates “When you were a child, what was your favorite milk?” and the classmates can answer, “Yes, when I was child, my favorite drink  was chocolate milk.”

Likewise, students produce multi-media Glogster eposters.  However, their eposters occur at the end of their learning. Usually, no one is expected to take their information and react to it or build on it. For example, Social Studies students prepare country reports.   I propose a transformation  so that the class use of Glogster  goes from being in a  static mode to an interactive mode.  Social Studies teachers can ask students to compare/contrast the various county reports to see what commonalities show up about the countries. For example, what do the country reports from South Africa have in common? How do they differ?

How do you have your students use Web 2.0 interactively?

My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students, is available through Eye on Education.

Also, my  book,  Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, is available through Eye on Education.

“Fake” Formative Asssessment by Companies

When I do formative assessment workshops, I always include a section on what formative assessment is not.

Many school districts are buying into systems that supposedly do formative assessment.  Usually these systems test students every 4-6 weeks and often  provide a list of what skills the students have and do not have.  The programs may provide “remedial” work to help the students.    How many schools district would tell their athletic coach to wait until 4-6 weeks  to assess  the strengths and areas for growth for each player?  Coaches want their players to improve each practice.  How many school districts would tell their teachers not to assess students until every 4-6 weeks?   Classroom teachers need to be the ones to assess and help their students on a daily or weekly basis.

How many schools would want their coach to say generic statements like “work harder at passing  the ball” without giving the players better strategies for  passing the ball?  Unfortunately many systems provide just vague feedback such as “Organize  ideas”.   These systems do not offer students a choice of strategies; they simply provide one way of learning the material or do not even provide a strategy. Many systems just drill  the students.

Unfortunately, much of what “sells” for formative assessment is in fact just summative testing.

I define formative assessment as ” based on the students’ present learning condition, providing strategies so  the students can immediately begin to  achieve the desired goal”.  The classroom teacher is the heart and soul of formative assessment. Formative assessment takes place as part of the normal  classroom. It happens constantly in the classroom.  The teacher always  focuses on what the students are learning and how to help them better learn.

Here’s an article that gives some additional information.   http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2010/11/10/12assess.h30.html

My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students, is available through Eye on Education.

Also, my  book,  Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, is available through Eye on Education.

Skill of Meeting Deadlines as 21st Century SKill

I recent had the opportunity to talk with several business people, mostly managers.  I asked them about what skills they look for in new employees. They mentioned the usual 21st century skills of communication, collaboration, and problem solving. One stated that a critical skill is that of timeliness or meeting deadlines.  She explained  that numerous young employees do not meet deadlines. They see these deadlines as the beginning of the deadline, not as the final date for the deadline.  The other business people added that they had fired new employees for not meeting critical deadlines.

I have noticed in many of my college students the attitude of  “if I get it  in before the end of the semester, it’s OK” even though there are fixed deadlines throughout the course and penalties for handing materials in late. My course is a cumulative course in which each unit builds on the previous one so that it is crucial that students do work in a timely fashion.

We can help prepare students for the 21st century by teaching them about meeting deadlines.

What is your class policy about deadlines?

 

My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students, is available through Eye on Education.

Also, my  book,  Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, is available through Eye on Education.

Too Much Presenters’ Dazzle, Not Enough Depth at Conference

I recently attended a conference presentation where the presenter ran through 20+ applications in a 50 minute presentation. I was dizzy at the end and could barely remember anything.  When will presenters stop doing this razzle dazzle and instead  talk about how a particular program will help  increase a precise learning goal? When will they show higher thinking examples of the programs instead of  “I made this cute  little demo” examples?  When will they be honest about how much time it takes to learn the program and how much time it takes to create something in the program? What will they talk about implementation issues? When will they not say,” I’m showing you the paid version which is different from the free version”?  When will they stop sounding like salespeople with a new cure-all and more like educators focused on student learning?

I would prefer the presenters to show a few like five  programs in-depth; this is what you can do and cannot do with this program. Here are three examples all at the highest level possible for this program. If presenters took their time to show in-depth information about the programs, more participants would feel comfortable with the programs and want to use them.

Less is more in any form of professional development or learning.

When you present to others, do you razzle dazzle or do you do an in-depth presentation?

My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students, is available through Eye on Education.

Also, my  book,  Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, is available through Eye on Education.

Formative Feedback Through Technology

Some ways to for teachers to give formative feedback as part of formative assessment  to students through technology. The feedback has to lead to the students’ direct and immediate improvement on the specific goal. Within the formative assessment process, students need “personalized” feedback which focus on their specific learning gaps.

– Orally with audio/screen capture programs

– Add in comments in digital word processed documents

– Refer to YouTube etc. video made by teacher, peers, or others

– Suggest a specific website that explains it in another way

– Provide an exemplar to re-examine from class website, wiki

– Develop “PowerPoint” quizzes that explain the wrong answers to understand the right ones.

You can view some other ideas at

http://formativeassessmenttechnology.pbworks.com

and add your own by joining the wiki at

https://formativeassessmenttechnology.pbworks.com

My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students, is available through Eye on Education.

Also, my  book,  Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, is available through Eye on Education.

Please avoid cultural stereotypes in images/pictures


Do you creative negative stereotypes by showing outdated pictures or by  showing a picture representing only a small portion of the of people or things from other countries?

My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students, is available through Eye on Education.

Also, my  book,  Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, is available through Eye on Education.

Do we help students improve?

I recently talked with a student who had taken a college remedial writing course. Each week in the course she wrote an essay on a writing prompt such as “My weekend”.  Her instructor  plastered her paper with corrections such as “Tenses!” or “Watch your grammar”.  However, this student  did not understand what the exact  tense problem was or how to correct it.   Each week she repeated the same errors. Her instructor did not review whole class errors.   This student did not learn any new pattern or formula for writing  the essays. She only did one type of essay.  She learned how to write better by asking her  friends.

Do we really help our students to improve? Do we give them meaningful formative feedback that helps them improve? Or do we leave our students sinking in their own learning laps? Do we provide them with several strategies from which to select? For example, my formative assessment book on writing, Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, offers many different strategies for each phase of the writing process.  Formative assessment provides continual improvement and success for students.

My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students, is available through Eye on Education.

Also, my  book,  Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, is available through Eye on Education.


RSS Education with Technology

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