6 tools for real formative assessment

Delivering formative assessments is made easier with classroom technology tools

As education policy moves away from the much-maligned No Child Left Behind and toward new legislation focusing on learning outcomes, technology-enabled formative assessments are moving to the foreground as a way to gauge student learning in real time.

Assessments have long presented a challenge for educators in their various forms and frequency. Under the new Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the summative assessment pressure of NCLB eases and formative assessments become more important.

Research indicates formative assessments still deliver needed data to educators, who, when equipped to properly interpret and use data, can adjust their instruction depending on students’ needs.…Read More

Formative assessment strategies for success

During a recent eSchool News webinar, experts revealed how formative assessment can support the curriculum

A key takeaway was that formative assessment is a process, and not a “one moment in time” event.

How can formative assessment be used to support the curriculum? This was the subject of a recent webinar sponsored by SunGard K-12 Education, during which two experts revealed their strategies for success.

The panelists were John Phillipo, founder and executive director of the Center for Educational Leadership and Technology, and Bethany Silver, director of assessment, evaluation, and research for the Bloomfield, Conn., schools.

Moderating the discussion was Joel Hames, director of product management for SunGard.…Read More

Parents, educators want more from assessment

Results from a recent study results suggest that states and schools could use assessments in better and more helpful ways.

Thanks to the federal No Child Left Behind Act, K-12 educators are spending more time than ever before on testing their students’ skills—but is all this testing doing any good?

The results from a new national survey reveal that both parents and educators would like to see a wider variety of school assessments that go beyond the high-stakes exams now common in schools—and they’d like to see a wider range of skills and subjects tested as well, including so-called 21st century skills such as problem solving and critical thinking.

The results suggest that states and schools could be doing a better job of using assessments as key tools to foster student growth and achievement.…Read More

Experts share their ed-tech predictions for the new year

More students will have access to personalized learning opportunities, and competency-based learning will begin to take hold in 2012, experts predict.

We recently asked a handful of education and ed-tech experts for their thoughts on what the future holds for 2012—and beyond.

Nearly all agreed that technology’s potential to create personalized, student-centered learning environments will be even more fully realized in the coming year, thanks to powerful developments in blended instruction, data analytics, formative assessment, and more. But one expert warned that achievement gaps between privileged and disadvantaged children will only increase if income gaps and unemployment rates aren’t brought under control.

Here’s what the experts had to say. What do you think? Share your thoughts—and your own ed-tech predictions for 2012—in the comments section below.…Read More

Technology takes formative assessment to a whole new level

The technology gives teachers the ability to do handheld formative assessment in real time.
The technology gives teachers the ability to do handheld formative assessment in real time.

Student response system (SRS) technology has caught on in classrooms nationwide as a tool for boosting class participation, as well as helping teachers ensure that students understand what’s being taught before they move on to another concept. But the current generation of the technology has its limitations.

For one thing, the lag time between student responses kills the pace of learning, says Promethean Director Tony Cann. In a typical use of the technology, the teacher poses a question to the entire class, then pauses as students answer the question on their personal “clicker” devices. This results in a lot of waiting around—time that could be put to better use.

Another problem is that students see, and answer, the same question as their peers. For students who already understand the material and are ready to move on, this can be a tedious process—and teachers risk losing their interest.…Read More