Formative Assessment with Technology Tools

on March 9, 2017

This past Saturday on #Satchat, Class Tech Tips creator and author Monica Burns guest moderated a conversation on formative assessment with technology tools. In fact, Monica has a book titled #Formative Tech that can be pre-ordered on Amazon.

You can find the Participate #Satchat archives by clicking here. There were hundreds of participants and thousands of tweets shared during the hour long conversation. Did you know that Monica will be presenting at the 3rd Annual Tomorrow’s Classrooms Today Conference at Rider University on Saturday, May 20? Get your tickets today before seats are no longer available.

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The first question Monica tweeted asked how teachers check for understanding in the classroom. Participants shared out a number of insights including the following…

  • Use Google Forms at the beginning or end of a lesson
  • Listen to student conversations about the topic at hand
  • Conduct turn and talks or short writes
  • Creation of a product
  • Use GoFormative to check for understanding in the moment

The second question Monica tweeted looked at the difference between formative and summative assessments. Some unique perspectives were shared…

  • Summative assessments are too late
  • Flipped Learning teachers have more time to use formative assessments
  • Formative assessment requires an understanding of the individual learner, while summative it too often one size fits all
  • Formative assessments allow for ongoing checkins with students & tight feedback loops. Ex: adaptive digital tools & tools like GetKahoot
  • Formative assessment gives teachers an opportunity to fill in the gaps as they occur

The third question Monica tweeted examined the way technology tools change the way teachers check for understanding. Educators posted their favorite tech tools…

  • Students love to use Spiral to check for understanding
  • Tech makes the check faster and keeps a digital record for me to go back to later.
  • Focus on building kids' ability to talk about math with Recap so they can talk and show their ideas
  • Technology provides a wider range of opportunities for students to demonstrate mastery. Favorite tool is to allow student choice.
  • Explain Everything is an awesome tool to capture student thinking and create a shareable product for an authentic audience

The fourth question Monica tweeted focused on collaborative spaces and discussion threads for students to share their thinking. Some of the responses from participants included...

  • Consider using Voxer with students to push conversations to new levels.
  • Repurpose the KWL chart with Padlet
  • Students can give peers a glow and a grow. What is 1 thing they like about a project/ paper? What's 1 thing they can do better?
  • Post signs around your room: Yes, No, Convince Me...ask a ? & have students move to their choice and engage in discussion

The fifth question Monica tweeted out examined the role data sharing with families. There were many effective methods shared out…

  • Encourage student to show their families not just finished products but all the drafts, celebrate how far they have come
  • Snap pictures of student work (with permission) and share on a classroom Twitter feed for families to see and celebrate
  • Share the Ss blogging journey. Parents can see what their child thinks and how they respond

The sixth and final question Monica tweeted out asked participant to highlight goals they have for the remainder of the school year as it relates to formative tech. Participants had some very useful insights…

  • Increase effective use of assessments. Using Google Forms to check for understanding
  • Use to brainstorm and vote on items
  • Finding ways to increase sharing of data through tech tools
Overall this particular #Satchat session on formative assessment with technology tools was incredibly helpful. The number of resources and ideas shared will brought back to the school setting and directly impact students. When used properly, technology can help drive teaching and learning.
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