Saturday, 15 June 2013

Awesomeness in a Variety of Ways

There has been a lot of debate about the use of technology in the classroom.

Some people argue that it takes away from the students' ability to demonstrate what they really know because they are focused on playing with the tool.  Additionally, there is concern that the teacher will be wowed by all the bells and whistles and the students will be awarded a grade that doesn't truly reflect their knowledge and understanding.

Others argue that "old school" Bristol board assignments are just a bunch of pictures and papers glued onto sometimes colourful paper with a dash of glitter and stickers.  Again the teacher may be swayed by all the pretty.  There might not be any evidence of learning.

Evan-Amos--Wikimedia Commons

This is concerning because both argue that a teacher doesn't have the ability to fairly assess students' work.  But I don't really want to get into this, I just want to assure you that students can demonstrate their learning in a variety of ways.

I just finished assessing my CHC2D1 culminating projects.  Students used a variety of tools to complete the assessment that focused on the question: What has the past 100 years revealed about Canada's identity?  Three of the assignments earned nearly perfect grades...and not because of the tool used.  One student used Bristol board to create a poster, another used Prezi and still another created a slideshow rant using iMovie.  All three assignments earned top grades because they carefully answered the question, using evidence from course and explaining how that evidence supported their answer.

Baralpo--Creative Commons

As educators, we should be giving students a variety of ways to demonstrate their learning and not get caught up on which way is better, because there is no right answer.  Students can select what method is going to work for their purposes.  And if they are having trouble, it is up to the teacher to have a conversation with the student to help decide what is the best tool for the job.

In essence, don't throw away the markers and stickers, nor dismiss technology, it all has a place in our classrooms.

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