iPad Evaluations

As recent as last year teachers were still using the old standby evaluation techniques. Teachers would take to pencil and paper and jot down what they observed of the students capacity. However, with technology on a fast paced evolution track, teachers are now presented with new opportunities in evaluating their students. At the beginning of 2012, educators in Connecticut were presented with the new evaluation of using iPads to track the students progress. Instead of having pages upon pages of raw data with no end result the iPad offers student portfolios and ways to process and learn from the teachers observations.

Erica Forti, the district of East Haven’s assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction says that this method has, “opened up the doors for different types of teaching and learning.” Now the teachers were able to go back to the processed data and be able to more thoroughly aid a struggling student. However, it isn’t just the students that need assistance, it is the teachers as well. In order for this new system to work nationally, training needs to be put in place for the new evaluations. Each instructor would need to know how to operate the software and how it works so that the full benefits can be taken advantage of.

Personally, I am in favor of this kind of technological advancement in the evaluation of students. Some may argue that we are becoming a too technologically dependent generation, but I disagree. I believe that this kind of use for the iPad really shows that we can grow further and smarter as students and teachers. If there are ways that we can better our teaching then we should take those steps. Katie Ash, the writer of this article “Rethinking Testing in the Age of the iPad,” writes a statements from Reshan Richards, the director of educational technology at Montclair Kimberley Academy, that “most schools are hesitant, however, to jump into assessing with mobile devices.”

This hesitancy should be surpassed by the benefits that this new system can provide. When evaluating students, what is most important is using the best resources that we have available so that they can get the most detailed feedback. Only then can we show greater improvement. 





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5 responses to “iPad Evaluations

  1. mofulco

    I also agree with the use of any available technology to further improve the time in the classroom for both students and teachers. I think it is important for us to embrace the new technology that we are presented with. I think the best thing for teachers to do is to embrace this technology and use it in the classroom in positive ways with the students. By using it in an educational way in the classroom, this can lead students to also learn to use it in educational ways. Though I understand the hesitation from schools to leap into this modern idea, doing it in a positive way can, I think, can make things even better.

  2. christinaspinelli

    Maybe I’m being too skeptical, but there is something I find unsettling about the concept of kids seeing their cellphones “as an extension of themselves,” proposed in this article, and seen in a positive light, by Professor Christopher Dede. They are admittedly a helpful tool and have potential to enrich learning, but my reservations are in regard to establishing a dependency on technology and the encouragement of a perpetual “augmented reality.” (These reservations are always heightened when riding the subway and seeing 97% of the passengers silently staring at glowing screens even if they are sitting next to people they know.)

  3. jorgegarciae

    Christina, I understand the concern, but keep in mind that technology can be used to facilitate socializing as well, in ways that can (in my opinion) be more rewarding that talking with people on a noisy train.
    I do think there is one larger issue here that’s been left undiscussed: how money, class, and school funds play into this. I do think there’s some promise in using technology to make the logistics of evaluation easier, but I have doubts that such technology would be made accessible in an equitable way. That’s not an argument against the technology itself, its an argument for changing school funding policy in a more general way.
    Basically, I think technology is helpful, but its not going to “solve” the problems in education, because those problems aren’t in the arena technology can help in.

  4. I thought this post/article was very interesting because usually we read or hear of stories of how iPads can enhance student’s learning. This was probably the first article I have read of teachers using it to evaluate students. Of course the first thing that comes to mind is the issue of security. Also, I would have no idea how I could use my iPad to evaluate and track student success so I agree with the point that there must be thorough training if this was to be successful. It is always embarrassing when a teacher/professor tries to use technology, especially in front of the classroom, and it fails.

    Jessica Dick

  5. huyhoa87

    I think it all boils down to productivity. More and more are required of teachers now-a-days and we are being more and more productive. This is thanks to emerging technology. Now we can actually email our teachers! I didn’t get that opportunity as middle-schooler. I see teachers having facebook group pages and sending out mass notices for students. These are ways for teachers to be much more productive and engaging than previous generations. Sure, it will require more of us, but in the end, I think it really benefits the students.

    On the other hand, technology is prone to errors and malfunction. How many times had we have problems with wiser or blackboard? What if that iPad gets stole? What if that iPad is broken? While technology can really help, we must also have a back-up plan in case that technology fails on us.

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