Education Week - November 11, 2015 - Special Report - (Page S20)

S20 | EDUCATION WEEK â–  November 11, 2015 Understanding Formative Assessment > CONTINUOUS Tech-Powered Teacher Tools By Some online and blended-learning curricular products are collecting data continuously, in effect doing ongoing formative assessment all the time. They may assemble hundreds of data points that reveal how a student moves through the curriculum and at what pace. Digital platforms can allow teachers to drill down and provide very specific glimpses of how a student is mastering (or not) a particular concept or standard and can even show a teacher how long a student takes to read a page of text or do a math problem. Michelle R. Davis Formative assessment is critical to a teacher's ability to adapt lessons and check for student understanding. New technology has made it easier to do this more often and collect significantly more information about where a student is in the learning process. But education technology that enhances formative assessment also presents challenges, including the fact that many of these digital tools do not easily talk to each other or share data. "There's a whole new paradigm of teaching and learning where to be truly personalized, we need these assessments to be part of an integrated model of education," said Julia Freeland Fisher, the director of education research at the Clayton Christensen Institute, a San Mateo, Calif.-based think tank that studies blended learning. Characteristics of today's ed-tech formative assessments include: Sample products: DreamBox Learning, Knewton ADAPTIVE Formative assessment here acts as the gatekeeper, checking for understanding before the student moves on and may determine where the student moves to next within the digital curriculum. A tool like the online reading curriculum LightSail provides each student with individualized libraries and reading lists that change based on student-assessment results. Other formativeassessment tools choose the questions that are presented to students based on their previous answers. "This could not be done without ed tech," said Tracey Roden, the vice president of curriculum at the adaptive e-learning company Istation, another company that specializes in adaptive testing. "Algorithms provide differentiation without a human-timing barrier." Sample products: Istation, LightSail, ST Math INSTANTANEOUS Sometimes, teachers just want to know right then which students "get it" and which don't. Some products can provide teachers with this on-the-spot, at-a-glance information. The free app Plickers, for example, has students hold up cards in response to teacher questions. Using the app and a smartphone, teachers scan the cards, and the results are displayed on a smart device or screen. Clickers (similar to television remotes) can do the same thing. Vicki Davis, a teacher at the private Westwood Schools in Georgia who also writes the well-known ed-tech blog CoolCatTeacher, often uses Socrative for a similar check-in. "I put the problem on the board, and everyone types in an answer. At that moment, I know exactly how many kids got it." These quick-hit formative assessments "collapse the remediation and feedback cycle," she said. Sample products: ExitTicket, Plickers, Quizlet, Socrative GAMIFICATION Formative assessment in the form of games feeds on students' love of competition and digital gaming. Inherently, digital games are designed to show learner progress and to conduct assessment: Players earn stars or get to new levels when they master concepts. "By definition, a game is assessing a player all the time," said Barry Fishman, a co-author of the 2015 report, "The A-Games Project." The report found that educational games can enhance formative assessment, but need design improvements to help teachers dig into and collect information on student progress connected to specific concepts. February 6-9 2016 9 keynote and featured speakers including High-quality professional development to increase student achievement Focus on effective practices in over 100 sessions, 5 Preconference Institutes, and a 1-day School Administrators Institute at the nation's premier K-6 literacy conference. Deepen your knowledge with sessions on comprehensive literacy, differentiated instruction, struggling readers, reading and writing instruction, coaching, team building, professional learning communities, and more for teachers, interventionists, coaches, principals, and other education leaders. Linda Dorn Anthony Muhammad Join us February 6-9 in Columbus, Ohio 2016 National Reading Recovery & K-6 Literacy Conference Register today! Peter Johnston Nell Duke 614-310-7340 Sample products: BrainPOP, GlassLab Games, Kahoot!, MathBlaster, MIT Education Arcade, SimCityEDU EMBEDDED New software and apps now allow teachers to embed formative assessment within video lessons to gauge student understanding in real time, not at the end of a lesson or the end of a class period. Teachers say these programs keep students on track and engaged throughout a lesson. Sample products: eduCanon, HapYak, Zaption

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - November 11, 2015 - Special Report

Education Week - November 11, 2015 - Special Report
Table of Contents
Bringing Clarity to a Cloudy Idea
Formative-Assessment Misconceptions
Should Formative Assessments Be Graded?
Common Core: Tools to Check Students’ Grasp
Putting Students in Charge of Their Own Learning
An Arizona Initiative Sets Sights on Teachers
Learning Progressions: Road Maps for Teaching
Tech-Powered Teacher Tools

Education Week - November 11, 2015 - Special Report