For my prototyping I took my Dotstorming feedback idea of using student feedback to assist in the evaluation of a 1:1 tablet program. I’m hoping to go back and expand on some more of the ideas I built on in my diagram. Below is the link to the pdf.
I used Inspiration to diagram my freeform thoughts. It’s a great program that our students use and I recently got to play around on for the first time.
A one to one tablet curriculum is a student centered program, and should be evaluated as such. We often overlook our student’s voices when considering curriculum and effectiveness of our lesson execution (Insert study). The student, or self reflection of a student, perspective needs to be considered when evaluating learning tools. A student centered evaluation for student centered program should go hand in hand. The relevance of the relationship, and engagement level in the use of the tablet within the curriculum are aspects to consider throughout the school year (Insert study). The relationship between curriculum and technology should be teacher centered. A separate survey for both students and teachers should be taken into consideration during an evaluation, along with the technology itself. Accessibility of a tablet is important in considering the effectiveness of a one to one program. Looking at the various learning styles and disabilities of our students, examining the various ways a tablet can enrich or hurt their learning is an important consideration. Considering the curriculum, tablet relationship is a no brainer in evaluation. Receiving the student and educator perspective, the technology’s accessibility, and the relevance of the technology are key aspects to consider when gauging the one to one program’s use of tablets.
Students intuition and view of what is happening in their classroom should not be taken lightly or overlooked. Even the youngest students have key insight into their learning whether they know it or not. Pulling from trivial question of likeness to what they are learning we should be able to record if the enhancement of technology makes a difference to students understanding or intrigue into a subject. Studies have shown that students draw more of an understanding of math concepts using learning game applications (Insert study). Technology ideally should not be the only reason why a student likes a traditional subject matter, but we need to be clued on the question of if it makes an impact or not. A student that is more engaged, is often a successful student. Having a student able to articulate how they use the tablet for their work should be considered. Demonstrating to students that the tablet can be used, and should be used as a tool is an important concept to teach (Insert study). The students observations are not necessarily what should be done about a tablet program, but should emphasize improvements to draw from. To evaluate a tablet program areas we should focus on with our students are:
- How do you use the tablet in your classes?
- How does the tablet help you in class?
- Which classes do you like using the tablet best? Least?
- What do you like best about using the tablet in your classes? (i.e Group work?, Applications? Projects?)
Using a tablet in curriculum is based on it ability to enhance the subject matter. In evaluation looking at the purposefulness of this is key. Examining relevance and engagement in the classroom are important elements. The educator centered portion of evaluation focus on self reflection (Insert study). As educators asking focus questions on methods and reasons for integrating a tablet force us to be honest and constructive. Three questions to propose in a teacher center portion of an evaluation are:
- Does the technology enhance the subject matter to strengthen understanding?
- Does the use of this technology heighten the engagement of students, both independently and collaboratively?
- Does this technology hold purpose in reaching the exemplary outcome of the curriculum?
Tablet programs should enhance curriculum, plain and simple. Technology and innovative practices are intoxicating for curious teachers. The desire to integrate technology in this day in age is natural, but the curriculum can’t be built around the technology in a traditional subject matter. A tablet needs to enhance curriculum not the other way around. When we ask teachers these focus questions the hope is that they can examine their practices purposefully. The aspects of the tablet can create countless ways for students to succeed independently and collaboratively. Tablet work can often turn into a lot of independent work, using the technology in a way that can be both collaborative and self focused should be a practice that is consistently balanced (Insert study). The end point of the course or lesson is clear goal. Question three is reflective, asking the educator to observe the practices using technology and if the tablet assisted in reaching their desired end result.
Tablets have assisted different learning styles in remarkable ways. The ability to personalize setting, including text size, brightness, voice response, and many more, have accessed the potential of various learners. Examining the tablet itself and it’s ability to make curriculum coming alive of each learner is critical. In a class of roughly twenty-five a teacher is bound to have a wide array of learners (Insert study). Apple tablet computers have been able to assist a wide variety of students from students on the spectrum, to students living with Dyslexia (Ability Net, 2014). Android tablet computers have the ability to access tap to talk tools, that can help students who flourish more in a train of thought note taking style (Ability Net, 2014)(Insert study). With all sorts of students we should be considering the wide array of learning styles and challenges. Examining a tablet program consists of asking whether or not students can flourish using the technology or not. Education and learning styles were not created equal, questioning whether a tablet can help or hurt this idea is important. In accessibility we need also need to look at our student demographic. If the tablet program offers the students to have the device with them at home, we need to make sure a student’s home will support the technology. If a tablet program is being used within the “take home” model, examining the demographic and home life our students is critical (Insert study). If a student does not have access to internet at home, how could this effect our curriculum plan? Paying careful attention to what tablet work we’re sending home with our students could make or break a lesson. Using applications that can be used offline is an important requirement to pay attention to. In evaluating the tablet itself, a few key questions are:
- Does this technology have accessibility options that fit within ________ standards?
- Does this technology have the ability to assist all types of learners positively?
- Can this technology be used in diverse settings in and outside the classroom?
Working on my problem of practice I ran into a lot of trials and tribulations, most of which I think I created for myself. I have gone through the emotions of having the tools and not remembering how to use them. Trying to narrow down this idea of evaluating one-to-one tablet programs has been challenging. I have settled on including student centered and teacher centered parameters to drive my paper because I feel both demographics are equally important during this evaluation. The students should have a say in a similar way to the teachers in their use of technology.
None the less my writers block has finally been broken, and I have a rough draft/outline. Through my readings I found points and studies I want to use, but feeling like I had to write around the studies was the source of my writers block. When I chose to just write and then insert the studies later (and then build upon) I couldn’t stop writing. My language probably needs work but I finally have a flow.
In getting out my own way and trusting that I know this subject matter, I have been able to show that. It’s been a great feeling that I wish would have evolved earlier.
This past year with the collaboration of taking courses and my position at work I’ve been doing a lot of reflection. I feel like with these new tools I have been obtaining through my program I’ve been able to focus and observe my practices, and that of my school. The passion in my job is in technology integration in education.
My problem of practice is going to focus on; How can I evaluate or gauge our technology to ensure it enhances curricula and practices for students and teachers?
My name is Amelia Iverson. I’ve been working at an independent school in Boston for about four years now. I work as a Technology Support Specialist. Primarily being in a supporting role I don’t have much classroom experience but I have been trying to change that. This school year I have been doing more work in curriculum, technology integration, and some managing. I’m excited to explore this course and work with all of you. This is my last course of the Ed. Tech program so I’m ready to get going!
Until next week!