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Evaluating Classroom Technology Usage

What should leaders look for when Teachers are Using Technology?

I came a cross an article (see below) that mentions some factors that one should look for when evaluating the use of technology in the classroom.
  1. Who is using the technology? Is the technology being used exclusively by the teacher? By the students? Is there a mix of both?
  2. If you took the technology away, how different would the lesson be?
  3. How much variety with the technology is there? When you see students using the technology are they always doing the same things. Are they just using Wikipedia or the calculator?
  4. What opportunities do students have to collaborate with or through the technology?
  5. What opportunities do students have to create new knowledge or products with the technology?
Two commonalities between each of these questions are, the focus is on the student and the focus is also on what does the student create?

Looking at Student Creativity

A lot of research in the field of education technology has started to shift the focus away from teachers and now are focusing on students. What are students doing with technology? How are students using technology?

As shown in Bloom's Revised Taxonomy (see picture), the highest level of thinking now includes evaluating and creating. Many new apps for student devices now embrace this philosophy. Google apps offers many outlets for students to be creative and build their own work. Coding projects are making their way into K-12 settings, allowing students to build their own code.

The Technology Integration Matrix

According to the Florida Center for Instructional Technology. the Technology Integration Matrix Observation Tool (TIM-O) is a tool for guiding principals, teachers, and others through the process of evaluating the level of technology integration within a particular classroom. When completed, the tool produces a profile for the observed lesson in terms of the Technology Integration Matrix.

The focus of the Technology Integration Matrix seems to take the focus away from what tech skills the students need, to what skills the lesson is teaching. Is the lesson geared more towards the use of technology or learning the objectives?

All of these models support the philosophy to put content and students before technology. Technology is a tool, make sure it is appropriately and effectively used. Do not let technology determine your goals and objectives for a lesson. Make sure it integrates into the lesson not supplements.

Sources and More Information


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