Finding effective assessment tools and strategies can often be a difficult task as we have learned that not all tools serve the same purpose and are not suited for every grade level. On Tuesday night, we had the opportunity to listen to an informative presentation on assessment tools and were challenged to include a new digital assessment tool in our classrooms this week, discuss our experiences using them, as well as speak about the assessment tools we are currently using in our classrooms. Unfortunately, it has been a short week due to Remembrance Day and Professional Development for Teachers. Therefore, I will speak about the digital assessment tools I am currently using as well as the tools I would like to try and integrate into my classroom.
Within my professional practice, I have always made an attempt to stay up to date with the most recent software programs and apps. As a teacher who uses technology often within my daily life and teaching, I am always searching for programs that may be useful within my classroom and for my students. Kahoot is an online program I have grown accustomed to. Although it creates somewhat of a competitive environment, I’ve always found it to be fun, encouraging as well as engaging for my students. It is also a wonderful pre-assessment tool that may be used at the beginning of a new unit (to examine the students previous knowledge about a topic) or for reviewing learned content. Kahoot can also be used as a formative assessment tool and can assist the teacher with identifying students who have grasped concepts and the students who have not.
Being with Regina Public Schools, a summative assessment tool I use is called Gradebook. Gradebook is a component of PowerSchool. It provides an online environment where I can store my marking/final grades, comments, information/observations about students and record attendance. Parents and their children now have access to PowerSchool, they may view their assignments and grades as well as their attendance record. Furthermore, this program provides an opportunity for both teacher and parents to be informed about their child’s progress and learning experience. Although my experiences using Gradebook have been positive, my primary students are not familiar with this digital assessment tool as they are too young to benefit from its purposes. As for their parents’ experiences using this assessment tool, I am unaware of their thoughts or opinions about this program as it is not a conversation that arises often. Therefore, I have noted this and will make a valid effort to pose this question at the next Parent-Teacher conferences. As previously stated, Gradebook is a digital assessment tool therefore it can only be accessed online. Hence, families who do not have access to the internet will not benefit from this program and its features.
ClassDojo is an assessment tool I have not used but would like to use within my primary classroom. This digital program may be used as a formative assessment tool and is effective for building a confident and constructive classroom community. ClassDojo may be accessed by teachers, parents, and students.
Advantages of using ClassDojo:
– Children are able to display their work by creating their own digital portfolio
– Children are given a voice
– Parents can be informed about their child’s progress and learning experiences
– ClassDojo creates a fun and interactive community where each student is displayed as a cartoon character
Disadvantages of using ClassDojo:
– This program may only be accessed online
– Reward system- good behavior=rewards
Overall, we have learned that assessment needs to remain specifically focused on the student. As teachers, before we evaluate student learning we need to take the time that is needed to research and find assessment tools and strategies that are student focused. Students are proving to teachers every day that learning takes place in many different forms and is not narrowed to one specific way. Therefore, teachers should be integrating assessment tools that help us learn more about our students that go beyond simply identifying the students’ strengths and weaknesses.
What are some digital assessment tools used in your professional practice? How do you integrate them? Do you find these digital tools effective for all areas of assessment?