Sunday, March 29, 2009

Dr Bob Marzano CUE 2009 Keynote Part II - Assessment

Dr Marzano speaks at the CUE 2009 Conference about his recent research on IWBs. On this second part he talks about assessment.
Please note that the discussion starts on minute 20 of the first video. See post on Part I of this keynote.

My notes

Part I Min 20

Formative assessment as an instructional tool
Feedback from classroom.
Assessment should provide students with a clear picture of their progress on learning goals and how they might improve.

Formative Assessment
Bangert-Drowns, Kulick, & Morgan 1991

Feedback on classroom assessment

Provide Correct answers
Criteria understood by student vs. not understood
*Student reassessed until correct

*higher gain

Part II
"Assessment should be a process of interaction between teacher and student. That is all it is."

Dialogue model
Students are able to say,
"This is what I see I have to get"
"This is what I see you have to learn"

"You can never rely on a single assessment no matter how good the assessment is"

Decisions made about the individual, the class, the school, the district. To whom does the assessment make sense?

"You cannot rely on the 100 point scale"
Rigorous rubric-base approach.

Observed score= the score+error
(the student 'deserved' another score)

We need to look at a lot of data over time to assess. This is where technology comes into the picture. Keeping track. Grade books.

Min 7
Shows examples of students self-assessment.

Related links
Classroom Assessment & Grading that Work
By Robert Marzano

Applying the Theory on Measurement of Change to Formative Classroom Assessment
By Robert Marzano

Rubrics and Self-Assessment Project
"The two studies that made up the Project Zero's research focused on the effect of instructional rubrics and rubric-referenced self-assessment on the development of 7th and 8th grade students' writing skills and their understandings of the qualities of good writing."

Assessment bookmarks on my delicious

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Dr Bob Marzano CUE 2009 Keynote Part l - Educational Research

Dr Marzano speaks at the CUE 2009 Conference about his recent research on IWBs.

He addresses the question
What do we know about the effect of technology on student achievement?

On this first part of the keynote, the discussion centres on
educational research, its value, how to read results and some instructional implications.

The second part focuses on
assessment. (on separate post).

Here my notes as I watch. My reflections at the end.

Min 8
Quotables on stats and findings
"If you line up all the studies what you will find is that on the average, it all works pretty weel, but there will always be a big chunk of studies that say it doesn't work."
"If you use it, you do it less well than if you don't use it."

What is the implication of that?
All research is equivocal, particularly in education.
And here's why: you can never account for all the factors in the classroom that impinge upon the strategy, the technology, etc, etc. You cannot take the human being out of it. It's always going to be that way."

Good news
"We can have all these tools we can use, but none of them is a silver bullet."
You cannot use everything all of the time. The point is which set of tools bring the best results in my classroom.

"The more experience you have with technology, the more effectively you can integrate it to classroom use."

An expert user is not just someone who uses technology, but someone who reflects, re-thinks and relearns and then goes out again into his blog, forum or community.

An expert is someone who models how he learns, how he evaluates the tool and practices.

Sweep Spot
Conditions under which you obtained the projected highest increase in student achievement.
  • An experienced teacher
  • who has been using the technology for two years
  • who uses it about 75% of the time in class
  • who has had enough training to be confident in their use of the technology

This is linked with good teaching

"You can't just give the technology to teachers and expect to automatically enhance student achievement."

"Sometimes it is possible to get better results without the technology."

Professional development= technology+ instructional strategy
How do you modify an instructional strategy with the use of technology?
We only have guesses.

Proper use of technology includes
keep focus on the content, not the bells and whistles
Keep track which students are "getting it" and which are not

Min 18
Questions can work against you in the classroom
Strategies to increase response rate- Student involvement
Voting technology (not just taken at face value)

Min 22
Starts discussing assessment, which is dealt with in depth on the second part.


My reflections
(marginally relevant)

It is interesting to note that although expertise and time spent experimenting with the tools is an entry level requirement, these things cannot be taught in a particular sequence. Everyone of us in the edublogosphere is reaching out, finding what they have to say and trying to model. Yet, none of us is following or trying to figure out some grading to the acquisition of 21st century literacy. There will be guidelines; yet not unquestionable rules of best practices.

The informal learning we make is more like jumping into the deep end of the pool and then tweeting out for help. Someone in the network will throw us a lifesaver link with some resources to learn how to swim. You keep calm and confident you'll make it with a little help from your friends and your autonomous learning skills.

I note this here to remind myself when I prepare a presentation for people new to the eduverse who might take Dr Marzano's statement of expertise at face value.

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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Writing in the 21st Century

As it would happen, I got a tweet incidental alert on March 19th that Will Richardson was live streaming a presentation from his Australia tour.

These are notes I took on paper and transcribe here now. Why paper? Because video consumes most of my bandwidth and you know, he who listens well takes notes, or takes part in the chat room, or a bit of both.

Then re-shares.

Just raw notes through my filter. Perhaps nothing new. However, Will has a way of presenting that engages us to rethink what we take for granted. So here it goes.

What does change look like?

-Have some people in your network who disagree with you.

Downes. Diversity in the composition of your network.
See slide #26 on this PLE presentation.

Connected writing
We write not simply to communicate, but to connect. Writing is a means, a node that needs to start a conversation. It is a draft. There is no real final copy. What happens after publishing is the more important. We are seeking to engage in conversation -purpose of publishing.

Writing not for a contrived (had to look it up) purpose, but for a real audience.

starts with:
moves to:
goes on to:
COLLECTIVE ACTION i.e. doing things together to change the world.

Writing for a real audience, how can we make it?

NCTE- National Council of Teachers of English is trying to redefine literacy.
Writing in the 21st Century (links to pdf)

build relationships
pose and solve problems collaboratively and cross-culturally.

Thinly walled.
Literacy is about going outside the classroom.

What's the assignment?
Number of words or self-sponsored writing.

Sir Ken Robinson
on TED
The Element
Personalization of 21st Century learning

Self-directed writing: own passion.

Q for students:
What do you want to learn most about in this world? What would you write about? Not because they want to get a grade.
What do you want to tell the world about your topic?
Become a reporter, an expert

This cannot be taught in a sequence.

Visuals in writing.

You are a literacy teacher.
Writing is ubiquitous; not just for a particular purpose.
Writing starts with reading: RSS

Refine your reading.
Learn how to sift through 50 things to get 10.
George Siemens: recognize patterns of information, synthesize. That is when blogging comes in.
Links are the keys to network. Writing without links is not writing to connect.

Links add value to the post and context. Reader chooses to click on some of them. Are you teaching how to read in a hyperlinked environment? Different from reading a book or essay because it is not a linear experience.

There is a process, a reading skill to reading links.
Short attention span theory.

Trackbacks. Comments on other people's blogs. A distributed conversation.
So publishing is not the end. It's the beginning. We wait. No comment? Go to the blogs and say hey! Here's my post reaction.

Who cares on what I have to say?
Find communities.

Be clickable and googleable

Once you publish, don't take it down on second thoughts.
There is private blogging in Blogger, but there is no private RSS. (which reminds me of my post)
Better update. I trust you more if you are transparent.

Chat in Diigo
Critical thinking and analysis
You can RSS Diigo annotations
You cannot do that on paper

How to
Do it first for yourself, then for the students. Help them create theirs.

Digital footprint or portfolio

Some tools mentioned:
Online notebooks
Google Notebook -stopped developing.
Zotero -citation saved

Cloud computing- everything done online
Livescribe pen
Rethink writing: transparent, connectable, googleable.
Writing is happening in audio as well.

Screencasting software.


Side note on RSS management.
I understand Will advises to keep a well trimmed RSS. Reason being to favour focus and attention span. So if you have sift 50 items to get only 1 of value, you should take the feed out of your RSS, for example.

Question for Will Richardson
How does that RSS policy balance with the idea of a distributed network mentioned by Stephen Downes?
The network speaks to you via trackbacks and links, I guess. But if you are new to the network, how do you build a PLE without reaching out and tolerating a bit of noise in your RSS?

What I am doing with my RSS now.
RSS because I am interested in the content or the person. Then create a folder of the readings that matter to me now. Deal with that first. Ignore the unread count.
The Friends shared items in Google reader are also a source to reach out to other important readings within my area of interest, but I understand it is still an inner-circle.

OK. Post.
And now to reflect and design ways in which all of this can apply to writing in my EFL classroom.

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