It’s that time of the year again folks! Bubbled answer sheets, open-ended problems, and a multitude of multiple choice questions take center stage in schools during the testing window. Technology, unfortunately, is pretty much cast to the wayside by educators during this period of time. Sadly, we work all year to teach students to be higher level learners, apply solutions, creatively display their learning and extend and refine their knowledge but for two long weeks it comes down to paper and pencil, shading bubbles, and explaining their solutions.
So here’s my suggestion, let’s send these kids into the post-PSSA testing climate with a bang! Allow them to experience engagement and mastery over their own learning. Let them research, explore, extrapolate, and dive into digital projects, models, collaboration, creation, or composition.
“Those of us who aim to lead learning must be ourselves Chief Learners in order to be Chiefs of Learning.”
— Jonathan Martin
If you’re not comfortable using a new software, or knowing which software to assign for the project at hand, seek out your local technology integrator, a fellow team mate who’s techie, ask an administrator, or go exploring on Twitter and see what’s recommended by other teachers!
Most importantly remember that technology integration isn’t about teaching the tool, it’s about allowing students to demonstrate and master their learning in new and innovative ways. So don’t be afraid to assign a project with no media requirements listed! Give them an objective or purpose for the project and then allow your students to select the vehicle(s) for demonstrating their knowledge and sharing it with others. There is absolutely nothing wrong with having multiple rubrics, or having one rubric that allows for a variety of media being utilized to complete the same learning objectives. Besides allow your students to choose which media they want to use will better engage them and you. Think back to tediously grading the class set of bookreports in pencil and paper. Ugh!
Some examples of these rubrics and project choices are available here:
Rubistar This is a great site to find rubrics and create one of your own.
If your district delves into Project Based Learning, why not create your own checklist here ?