EC&I 833: July 19 Blog #2

Looking back on my experiences through elementary and high school to where we are now, it is evident that assessment tools have progressed and educators teaching strategies have assisted with incorporate this.  When I attended school, the assessments I remember were written tests, quizzes and assignments with a rubric of what the teacher expected of you.  Today there is a plethora of assessment technologies that can be used to assess student knowledge.  I am not trying to make an argument that my former teachers were wrong in the way they used assessment, as it was the 1990’s and I am sure it was quite common and normal, but it has progressed to an extent far greater and inclusive for students abilities and interests.  Differentiated instruction is very important within the classroom, as students learn and comprehend knowledge at different rates.  Many studies have shown that active learning promotes better understanding and knowledge retention.  With the rise in technology, and everyone having instant access to whatever they want to research, educators have been able to collaborate ideas for assessment strategies for their students.  It can be assumed that fun, active, think outside the box type of teaching, learning, and assessing has helped countless students in their overall outlook on their educational experience.  If one reflects on their own experiences 20-30 years ago, much has changed within the classroom from copying notes off the chalk board or the overhead projector, memorizing what you wrote, and then writing a quiz about whatever you learned about a week later.  It is interesting to look back and see how far educational experiences have changed in a short period of time.  The up to date technology and tools for us to utilize today will likely be obsolete in 20-30 years, and the EC&I 833 class of 2045 will be discussing new and exciting ways of assessing students.  We need to make due with what tools and strategies we have available in the present moment, and for the here-and-now, they are quite extraordinary. 

8 thoughts on “EC&I 833: July 19 Blog #2

  1. I like how you said that you weren’t trying to prove that your teachers were wrong growing up, and acknowledge that it was the assessment practices at the time. I also agree that differentiated instruction is important, and thus, assessment practices may look different for all of the leveled learners in one particular room. What assessment tools are your go-to? Are there any that you have tried and really liked or hated?

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  2. haha as I was writing my own blog about my own teaching practice as a beginner teacher, I thought about you, and the other kids I taught when I was younger… let’s re-do it, shall we? LOL

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  3. I like how you mentioned the class of 2045 will use Edtech differently than us. It’s an important reminder that teaching is a static process where we need to continue to grow and evolve.

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  4. Hi Reid, thanks for sharing your thoughts. You are correct, we have progressed in education. When I went to elementary school, differentiation was not heard of. Everyone did the same thing and in the same exact way. Assessments were one-size-fits-all. Do you have any predictions as to what assessment technologies might look like in the future? Do you think we will get to a point where the digital divide is non-existent?

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  5. Thanks for the thoughts Reid, great post. I was having a conversation with one of my colleagues this week, considering the possibilities of assessment and how teachers will adapt to a world that is eventually fully digital. Your post reminds me of the fluid nature of teaching – if we become stationary and stale then we fail our students. It will be a struggle, but as you so eloquently put the “here-and-now” is quite extraordinary.

    I do wonder about who will get to be in control of all that technology in 2045 though, or if they’ll even have an education degree. I know we can’t predict the future, but my guess is that one day to access your formative assessment you’ll have to watch 3 ads with no 5-second skip option.

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  6. I think you’re spot on Reid. Everything is evolving and ever-changing. The reason we do what we do and have what we have is because that’s society’s norm. Black and white TV was exceptional, then colour TV was, then HD was, Then 4K was…..As with assessments, always evolving. The way we assess today is leaps and bound ahead of what used to happen. In 10-15 years, these methods will look archaic.

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  7. Hey Reid, great post! Yes, our world is constantly changing and we can not fault our past teachers, as they used what they had! I would also argue that myself and my peers did not turn out so badly, despite not having all the engaging tech tools available in today’s classrooms. It will be quite interesting to see what the class of 2045 has to say about the assessment practices we use today and see how the tools evolve. At times, I find myself wondering about the effectiveness of Kahoot, Plickers, etc. Sure they are engaging and fun, but are they meaningful, or do they give kids a quick break and teachers a quick way to check a very basic level of understanding? I find it daunting at times, to research and use all the different tools out there, and always being confident that I am keeping up and using the most effective one! Do you have a favourite digital tool you use for assessment?

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  8. I love what you wrote here about the tech that we’re using now eventually becoming obsolete. Often in my courses, which are in computer labs, I tell students that I’m not too concerned about how they meet the outcome as long at they meet it. For a video project, for example, I might give them a crash course in how to edit using a specific software, but beyond that if they want to edit on a different software at home or edit using their phone, that’s fine with me. I think that’s why people shy away from teaching specifically about word processing. One student might be using Google Doc, another might be using Word Online. Another might be using their notes app on their phone to write. The more time we spend focusing on teaching the tech the less time we might have to hit outcomes and have meaningful learning experiences. That’s why the “pick up and play” appeal of something like Kahoot can be a big selling point. I don’t need to invest much time into it to have students use it.

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