Last week, I finally finished my online course. I was completing the Additional Qualification, Integration of Information and Computer Technology in the Classroom, Part 1 with Queen’s University Continuing Education. It has been a long three months, but it’s also been very rewarding. I played with a lot of new #edtech tools, as well as saw the bigger picture of what we need to think about when we use #edtech (i.e. safety, communication, accountability, digital citizenship).
Like most teachers, I feel that assessment is an area of weakness. I decided to try some new assessment strategies today in a collaborative setting.* I arranged the students in mixed-ability groups, making sure to disperse stronger students between them all and then asked them to work on their usual paper assignments … digitally.
First, they were asked to go on Geogebra and show their solutions to three graph theory questions. Each group had approximately 4 students, so they had to divide the questions up and also check each other’s answers to make sure they were posting the correct one.
After that, they look at Today’s Meet, which is a simple web-based chatroom. This is what it looks like; the left hand side is the messages as you type into the right-hand. The students are able to see my instructions and also click on the URLs to take them to their respective digital “parking lot”:
The “parking lot”, where they post their digital sticky-notes, looks like this. Padlet.com is a free website and it’s definitely a great tool for teachers who are new to #edtech. You simply double-click to add your notes.
Also, if you actually want to see the page live, feel free to click here.
As students wrapped up their work, I asked them to write a comment and give feedback to other students. I laughed at the one above that says, “Remarkable – New York Times Magazine!”
Overall, this was a really successful class that used blended learning and a variety of assessment of strategies. The kids also had fun trying something new and I was proud to see them collaborating and supporting each other. We need to do this more often!
*I’ve been meaning to use more Kagan structures through the year, but got lazy after term 1.