Assess and Improve Digital Learning
Digital learning may be the latest and greatest trend in education. It has allowed for creative instructional practices, like flipped classrooms and individualized instruction. Many teachers report that their students are more engaged than ever. But do you know if digital learning is useful in helping your students learn? How can you tell?
You assess it, and that should be easy. Schools are in the business of assessment. They routinely evaluate teacher efficacy and student learning, so assessing the quality and impact of digital learning should be easy.
Are your digital learning assessment practices up to par? If not, what can you do to correct them? The simple act of observation can tell you a lot about the effectiveness of digital learning in your classroom.
Find out for yourself
One of the most obvious ways to assess whether or not digital learning is working is to check in with your students. You could ask them to take a questionnaire, but there’s little guarantee that the answers that will help you determine edtech efficacy. Surveys ask questions in isolation, rarely taking into consideration your teaching style or the diversity of the students themselves.
Instead, take a moment to reflect. Observe what’s going on in your classroom. What do you see (and hear) your students doing?
You’ll have a better understanding of how your instructional delivery impacts digital learning and vice versa. Look for the levels of technology engagement your students experience. Is it superficial, or do they use technology to take deep dives in the content? One of the many observational frameworks can help you focus on what’s essential while you’re in the classroom, and you can analyze your findings afterward.
How engaged are your students?
Educational technology is one of the quickest ways to influence the engagement levels of your students. Effective edtech involves learners in the lessons. Learners are innately drawn to the experiences provided by:
· Adaptive learning
Pay careful attention to how much off-task behavior is present during digital learning. If you’re doing less redirection, your students are likely more engaged. Another way to determine engagement is by how well students perform on assignments and tests. Their involvement will improve understanding and retention.
Classroom observations and student engagement can offer insight into the effectiveness of digital learning in your classroom. If you’re not satisfied with learning levels, the next step can make all the difference in getting everyone back on track.
Limit tech bloat
How many programs and apps are you required to use? Administrators want you to have everything you need. They have encouraged IT departments to open the floodgates and create network permissions for an ever-expanding list of tech tools you might need.
A little technology can be a good thing. Too much technology is overwhelming. Called tech bloat, the overabundance of edtech solutions can mean that rather than use everything, teachers adopt nothing in their classrooms. There are so many apps and tools available for instructional use that the educational landscape has become littered with options.
Take away the edtech you don’t need and won’t use. What’s left should enhance digital learning in your classroom rather than detract from it.