Thursday, January 7, 2010

Evaluating Classroom Technology Integration

There are, of course, many thoughts and ideas on how best to evaluate our teachers' proficiency with classroom technology integration. There is no shortage of evaluation tools and rubrics. During the past couple of weeks, I've been designing yet another one because of my belief that successful technology integration is about so much more than what occurs during an observed 50 minute class. At about mid-way through, however, my attention shifted from "how do we measure" to "how can we help?" There are at least 4 big buckets.

1. Personal Productivity - How can we help our teachers get organized? We can help set up folders and files to organize data and resources for quick accessibility. Are they aware of online, social bookmarking tools such as Delicious, Diigo or Zotero? How well does the teacher communicate? We can help with communication by reminding our teachers to check email often and to respond to students, parents and colleagues in a timely manner. Does the teacher participate in a self-developed personal learning network in order to explore creative ways to use technology to improve student learning? Let's help them find Nings, blogs, listserves, RSS feeds, and Tweeters that may be helpful to them.

2. Instructional Practices - With the learning goal clearly in mind, how can we help our teachers continue to move from Teacher Centered Activities toward Student Centered Activities? How can we better equip them to not rely solely on such things as presentation software, embedded video clips, and Internet resources and to employ dynamic methodologies to truly engage students such as student exploration, innovation, collaboration and research (with real world issues and applications,) writing and publishing, creation, problem solving, and project based learning? How can we gently suggest bumping up the Bloom levels?

3. Teacher - Student Interaction... Does the teacher post resources to her teacher portal, calendar, wiki, or Blackboard / Moodle site? Can we help them do this easily and confidently? What classroom management strategies can we suggest to help our teachers keep their students engaged and on task? Can we help with ongoing formative and summative, aligned assessments and rubrics? How can we encourage technology-enriched learning environments that encourages the involvement of students in setting their own learning goals, management and assessment?

4. Ongoing Plan / Follow-up Dialogue... What steps is the teacher taking to continually improve his technology integration skills? Is it a part of his professional development plan? What resources and opportunities can we provide for them? Is digital citizenship continually communicated and do we have a strong education component in place? Can we equip our teachers to give their students the opportunity to locate, analyze, evaluate and use age appropriate information to enhance learning? Can we be helpful in helping the teacher plan to use technology to differentiate instruction for various types of learners and ability levels? Have we helped our teachers know which technology tools might be appropriate given the learning goal, classroom environment, and student make-up? How can we help the teacher use the technology expertly and seamlessly?

I started out designing a rubric to be used as a tool for classroom technology integration. I ended up doing a self-evaluation.
To pass the button.

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