Week 3 – Post 2 – Assessment Technologies

Assessment technologies have exploded in the last decade of teaching. Throughout my five years of undergraduate schooling and four years of educating, I have developed my teaching practice alongside this new wave of technology innovation. It can be very overwhelming when new programs are constantly being developed and implemented in schools for various reasons. However, there are a few obstacles that I have had to navigate to find out what works best for myself, my students, and my teaching philosophy.

For starters, it has been encouraged to use any type of assessment tool supported by our division both financially and through professional development. This has been extremely useful because I have received lots of training for these programs, and they are pretty user-friendly. This includes mainly Mathletics and Seesaw. However, something challenging to wrap my head around is finding a balance between using “old-fashioned” ways of assessing and “new ways” of evaluating. By having conversations with different teachers and using various assessment technologies in the classroom, I have started to form my own belief system about what works and what does not regarding assessing my students.

It is no longer simply assessing students to see what they can memorize and regurgitate. In elementary and middle school specifically, the focus is now more on the process of learning and progression. We do not expect kids to be successful at everything they try the first time, so why do we believe this for routine assignments and tests? If a student does poorly on a math exam, that does not mean that they would do poorly if they had time to practice and try again. I am building into my weekly plans more frequent assessments on smaller parts of a topic. This is to feel less overwhelmed when it comes to a culminating evaluation at the end of a unit.

Currently, there are a few different assessment technologies supported by our school division through funding that are available to use. For math, all students are provided an account for Mathletics. This math program is beneficial for extra practice on math outcomes directly related to the Saskatchewan curriculum. As well, students are excited about using computers for math instead of notebooks. The most helpful feature of this website is that I can assign specific assignments and see which answers students got correct and which ones they got wrong. You can also differentiate the lessons based on math skill level as well.

 

In addition to Mathletics and Seesaw, I use various other assessment tools for subjects such as Kahoot, Mentimeter, Blooket, Brain Pop, and Kid Blog. These types of websites have similarities, which can make it overwhelming when deciding which one is the best fit for what you are trying to collect information about. Students love to try new activities, thus integrating different assessment technologies throughout the school year to keeps them excited and engaged. This is vital, so they do not become bored or no longer interested in the current websites we use. Authentic assessment is something that I have always considered a weakness of mine. It can be very challenging to align the curriculum outcomes, culminating tasks, practice time, homework, and inquiry in an equal balance. I would love to hear about how other teachers implement assessment in their classrooms to assess their students formatively and summatively.

5 thoughts on “Week 3 – Post 2 – Assessment Technologies

  1. Kat, I liked that you mentioned that you are encouraged to use assessment technologies that are supported by your division. In Regina Public, we have a list of approved software and there are several websites/apps/windows software/chrome apps and extensions that list the status and conditions. If apps/websites/software are approved, the majority of them require parent permission. Another point your mention is the professional development that you take part in. During class we touched on professional development being a disadvantage, as many teachers are left to learn new technology independently, I’m happy to hear that is not the case in your situation!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The professional development that I have received for our division funded technologies has been wonderful. I believe they understand that if they are investing in the software for their teachers, they also need to invest in the time it takes the learn and practice these programs so we can use them effectively and efficiently with our students. However, for all of the other resources that are approved for us, we are in a similar situation where we have to figure it out on our own and often have those parent permission requests when students are under the age of thirteen or so. I definitely have narrowed it down to a few specific websites that I find useful so that it doesn’t become overwhelming for myself or the students.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve used Kahoot, Google/Microsoft Forms, and FlipGrid mostly for summative assessment. While I agree with you that it’s nice to mix up the tools to keep students interested, I struggle sometimes with how much variety I should have. Maybe it would be different if I had my students for an entire year versus a semester. Sometimes the familiarity with the skill can make students feel comfortable and can speed up the process of using the tool. I’m looking forward to trying out new tools in the Fall. I’ve learned a ton through the presentations and blogs. It will be difficult to decide which tolls to use.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree with you Mike that it can be overwhelming to pick and choose which technologies work best for you and your students. I like to stick with a few certain ones throughout the school year for familiarity sake as you had mentioned. I throw some new ones in here and there to spark engagement but it can feel like there is always something new to try every month almost!

      Like

  3. Like Janelle, I also work in Regina Public and so our criteria are similar that way. There is a list of things that have been approved for use, although most of them require parent/guardian permission. However, I think the bigger issue is that there isn’t a lot of PD provided when learning new educational technology or assessment tools, and therefore a lot of people don’t change up their practices either because it’s too hard, they don’t know where to start, or there is a lot of support to learning something new. I do appreciate how you try whatever is offered to you, and feel supported through PD in doing so. I am excited to change things up a bit in the fall, however, I don’t exactly know what that will look like as of yet.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create your website with WordPress.com
Get started
%d bloggers like this: