Technology and Assessments

Today, my school had a half day professional development session. Teachers were looking at different math assessments as the beginning of a process to identify some to use in different ways in the school. With sixteen years of classroom teaching before switching to the technology educator role, this is a very interesting topic to me. I have also implemented a self-paced, hands-on math lab after working with Dr. Fran Armstrong in St. Louis. In addition, both my father and wife are mathematicians. Math, math, math. It is in my blood (as are writing, social sciences, sciences, art, and much more)

Thus I have much to say about math and assessment and how they combine with technology. However, my role today was to guide teachers through a website that gave examples of open ended questions sorted by grade level and topic. Many of the questions had exemplar student responses. The tool was good in concept, but it was not very deep in resources. I would have expected at least double if not magnitudes more questions.

The questions were jpgs, so educators could copy and paste them into whatever assessment tool they wanted and print them out. The interface was dated. If the goal is to generate a paper copy of selected assessment questions, I would want a tools that could aggregate them for you, allow for text changes, and print the thing from within the application.

Current Events

Better World Flux screen capture

When I taught fifth and sixth grade, I subscribed to IndyKids, a really great resource created by kids for kids. Recently I stumbled upon Youngzine, another youth resource for youths. Both publications address current events head on without avoiding the underlying issues, but they do it in a way that is appropriate for upper elementary and older.

There are a host of other sites that dig into these deeper causal issues. One such site is Better World Flux which allows one to see how various indicators have changed over time and geography.

Also worth checking out: