I chose to include my writing and assessing a collaborative task activity that I created during the 676 class as my second artifact. I chose this because I strongly believe that collaboration is extremely important to the learning process, and I think I have created an activity that will foster collaboration in my classroom. As a part of this activity, I have also created a rubric for assessing not only the assignment itself, but the collaborative efforts of the students as well. Andrew Marcinek says that “Collaborative assessment must be part of our learning today. We, as educators are doing our students a disservice if we don’t attempt to make this type of assessment available to our students” (Marcinek, 2011). I feel that this activity and rubric is a great way for me to include more collaboration into my classroom.
The biggest challenge I had with creating this activity was coming up with questions and topics that allowed for deeper thinking and discussion between the partners. I also had to decide which tool would allow the students flexibility and creativity to provide answers in a unique and fun way. Generating student interest and engagement is something that can be difficult to do, and I think this activity does just that.
I can use an activity like this for many different topics that I teach. While this particular one is designed for weather and climate, the principles can apply to many other topics as well. One aspect of this activity that I really like and will use more often is the student feedback. I like having students comment on each other’s work. According to the Center for Teaching Innovation at Cornell University, “students teach each other by addressing misunderstandings and clarifying misconceptions” (Cornell, n.d.). I like the idea of students teaching and helping each other. I think they learn and retain the information much better when they are working together, rather than always relying solely on the teacher. I will definitely try to include more activities like this one into my teaching in the future.
I have learned so much about collaboration and assessments from taking this class. Without this class, I would not have gained so many tips and tricks for including more collaboration into my classroom. I would definitely not have the same confidence in creating and using collaborative rubrics without this class. These ideas are ones that I will carry with me the rest of my career and I am thankful to have gained so much knowledge over the last few weeks. I wouldn’t have been as successful in this class without my classmates. Their ideas and thoughts have helped me so much. Having discussions with other teachers that are in the same position as me was very beneficial and provided a lot of different viewpoints I would not have thought of myself. I learned quite a bit in this class, and look forward to learning much more as this program progresses.
Collaborative Learning: Group Work. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://cte.cornell.edu/teaching-ideas/engaging-students/collaborative-learning.html
Marcinek, A. (2011). Importance of Collaborative Assessment in a 21st Century Classroom. Retrieved from https://www.edutopia.org/blog/collaborative-assessment-digital-classroom-social-media-tools
I chose to include my collaborative web tools rubric that I created during the 676 class as my first artifact. I chose to include this rubric because I feel that it was one of the more useful tools I have created during this program. Collaboration is something that is extremely important to the learning process. “Collaborative learning teams are said to attain higher level thinking and preserve information for longer times than students working individually” (Clifford, 2018). Because collaboration is so important, finding digital tools that promote collaboration and evaluating their effectiveness is also extremely important. I think this rubric that I’ve created is a great first step in deciding whether or not these tools will work for me in the classroom.
The biggest challenge I had in creating this rubric was deciding what criteria were important to me in a digital collaboration tool. I took some ideas from the article written by Aaron Couch. He said that if the tool is too clunky or too difficult to get started swiftly, it negates the features that make it worthwhile (Couch, 2015). I kept that in mind when I created my rubric. I wanted a tool that would be user friendly and easy to use. I had to spend a lot of time looking at, and researching, different articles and resources to help me find other criteria I wanted to use as well. This process was by far the most challenging part of creating the rubric.
I can use this rubric in the classroom as a way of choosing what digital tools I want to use with my students. I can look at this as I try out new and different tools to help me determine if they are worthwhile to use, or if I have a better tool I am using already. Simply put, I can use this rubric as a way to measure different tools against one another to find the best tool for the job. With the hundreds of tools out there and more being created all the time, a rubric like this will be extremely valuable as I continue to implement these into my classroom.
While taking this class I have learned a great deal about collaborative tools and how to evaluate their effectiveness. This is a topic that I find to be extremely useful to me as a classroom teacher. Finding new tools and figuring out how best to use them was a major reason I enrolled in this program. I also learned a great deal from my classmates as I worked through this class. The discussions and ideas that we had throughout the class gave me a lot of insight into how other people use these tools and how I can use them as well. I very much look forward to using what I have learned during this class in the near future.
Couch, A. (2015, March 05). 10 No-Signup Collaboration Tools You Can Use in 10 Seconds. Retrieved from https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/10-no-signup-collaboration-tools-can-use-10-seconds/
Krumrie, P., Sandel, M., Johnson, L., & Clifford, M. (2018, June 28). 20 Collaborative Learning Tips And Strategies For Teachers. Retrieved from https://www.teachthought.com/pedagogy/20-collaborative-learning-tips-and-strategies/
Hi, my name is Adam Wason. I work in District 205 at Lockport East High School. I just finished my 12th year teaching, all of them spent at Lockport. I also graduated from Lockport, so all together I’ve been at the school for 16 years. I am currently teaching sophomore level Physical Science and junior/senior level Earth Science. I’ve taught Physical Science for all of my 12 years, and I’ve taught Earth Science for the last 9 years.
I really do like using technology in the classroom. I think it’s something that all students today should be exposed to as often as possible. We currently are 1:1 here at Lockport with the students all having chromebooks that they use every day. I would say that I’m probably one of the teachers here that uses the chromebooks most often. In fact, I don’t think I’ve printed off a single piece of paper in the last 2 months. Almost everything the kids work on in my class is set up through our school’s PowerSchool Learning LMS. They have their notes there, videos, practice problems, quizzes, tests, pretty much everything.
Some of my favorite tech tools I use are things like Kahoot and Quizlet. Those are two that I use all the time in my class for review games to make it fun for the kids. EdPuzzle and PearDeck are others I like to use for certain topics. They also do a great job keeping the kids involved in the lessons.
As great as all this is, I do run into trouble using technology in class the way I do. I have many students who don’t like online tests, don’t like taking notes on google docs, don’t like digital flashcards, etc. As great as I think these technologies are, I still have to keep in mind that sometimes these may not be so great for all my students.
Overall though, it has been fun trying to come up with new and innovative ways to incorporate more technology into my classroom. It has been really nice teaching in a district that seems to be ahead of the curve for many of these technologies and has a lot of support for the teaching staff. With this class, I hope to learn more about the hardware aspects of Technology Education. I would say that this would probably be my weakest area, because I have the least experience with it. I really am looking forward to learning more about this throughout the program here at St. Francis and to round out my learning.