Bill MacKenty

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How do we know they know?

Posted in Educational Tech Design on 18 - October 2009 at 02:53 PM (14 years ago). 151 views.

Interesting conversation with my boss.  We are talking about how to integrate technology into the curriculum, and I mentioned students should have a broader choice to express their understanding. Students need to be carefully supervised, and rubrics need to be used in order to ensure quality of the outcome.

So, after teaching the kids about conjugating the spanish AR verbs, the students could:

1. write a paper / story / report / news report
2. take a quiz or test
3. make a short presentation
4. make some sort of project (diorama, presentation board, etc…)

- and -

5. make a website that uses sound files, images and maybe primitive game to demonstrate how they know about spanish verbs
6. create a podcast where they interview their peers in Spanish, and ask the about AR verbs
7. make a short video / documentary about ar verbs - interview people or record themselves speaking in Spanish
8. make a stop-motion movie about the letters A and R and how they get along in a conversation
9. add to a school wiki, editing or creating a page that explains AR verbs or perhaps a long list of carefully organized conversational helpers with a focus AR verbs

I think all of these projects, if done right, would demonstrate learning. We could look at the work and say to ourselves (as teachers) Yup, this kid knows how to use and apply AR verbs. Coupled with a well-written rubric, we could ensure the student knows their stuff.  Of course the natural advantage of digital products is they are easy to share and store, and, especially in the case of wiki’s, they can be extended by the next class.

Teachers should be thinking about how students express themselves and their learning. Our job as educational technology folks is to teach the kids how to make these things, and to help the teacher design rubrics so the outcome isn’t all “fluff”.

At the end of the day, I think this is the most important question we can ask as educators. How do we know they know?