Student engagement. Motivation. Creativity. Excitement! Gaming and making are reshaping the educational experience for students worldwide, creating a bridge between the classrooms of yesterday and the learning spaces of tomorrow. (read more…)

standardized testingSo 2015 is here.

What is different? Not much.

What is the same? Quite a bit.

That being said, we have the opportunity to make a difference this year in a number of areas, one being our approach to assessment.

Let’s face it, when it comes to assessment, especially standardized tests, we’ve gotten into the habit of playing the assessment blame game. Rather than looking beyond the tests to consider their implications, we tend to ignore the potential implications and look for ways to demonize.

Let’s take the Common Core rollout and assessment process in New York State, for example. I will be the first to admit that the rollout of the Common Core in New York was much less than perfect. I’ll also be the first to admit that there is much in New York State’s 3-8 math and ELA assessment scheme that needs to change if these assessments are really to be measures “for” learning, rather than simply measures “of” learning. (read more…)

standardized testing“Next generation student assessment.” I’ve defined it elsewhere as the integration of new technology and better assessment techniques that allow teachers to know more about their students. Still, that is such an amorphous term. There is no consensus on the structure or form of next generation student assessment. Irrespective of the lack of clear definition, there is agreement on its benefits. There’s no denying the positive impact that next generation student assessment provides to teachers and to students. Here are three key benefits that are readily available as teachers and students engage in next generation student assessment.

Personalize student learning

Next generation student assessment empowers teachers to truly personalize learning for students. Personalizing student learning is not an easy task. There is not one specific thing that a teacher can and must do to personalize learning for students. There is a host of things that can and should be done. One of the things that can be done is to use educational technology to conduct next generation student assessment. (read more…)

Recruiting qualified IT staff, increasing the use of technology to support learning outcomes and creating sustainable IT funding channels are the top IT priorities for colleges and universities this year, according to a report released recently by Educause. These priorities underscore the theme of accelerated change taking place throughout higher education, says Susan Grajek, vice president of data, research, and analytics at Educause.

“The pace of change for higher education information technology is increasing — not slowing — and on many fronts,” states Grajek, in a statement. She notes — and expresses concern for — a growing gap between innovative early adopters and institutions struggling to keep up. “More and more institutions are falling behind when it comes to implementing and leveraging technology to solve large-scale problems and address strategic issues, like using cloud technologies to standardize business processes on campus and analytics to predict and address student outcomes.”

Educause’s annual list, developed by a panel of IT and non-IT leaders then voted on by Educause members, aims to highlight the most pressing IT issues affecting today’s campuses. (read more…)

Tech Tips is a content collaboration between SmartBrief Education and GreyED Solutions.

As the number of districts taking advantage of cloud-based services increase and learning environments move more collaboratively outside of the typical brick and mortar walls, the understanding of data use and privacy have become clouded. More computing devices arrive on desks loaded with applications from app stores managed and unmanaged from district sites. While those education apps are meant to help teachers manage their classrooms, concern is growing over the management of student data tracked by those apps. We live in an age where everything in a student’s past is captured, collected, stored and therefore, remembered.

There is a growing need to measure an application’s use of student data and give transparency to its gathering of personal information. Sensitive information can include names, birthdates and demographic information that are then used to correlate information in helpful ways at a higher level (finding trends, comparisons, tracking or monitoring of progress, etc). (read more…)