Sharing Tools for Measuring Impactful Technology Use
As more and more learners and teachers use technology, discrepancies have continued to show themselves when it comes to the way that technology is used, rather than whether it is being used at all. The National Education Technology Plan of the US Department of Education requests thoughtful attention and intervention with this divide in digital use.
In 2017, an instructional coaching program called the Dynamic Learning Project (DLP) was launched. It’s goal was to help educators make their use of technology more impactful, so that the modern-day skills of their learners could be improved. The DLP also created a rubric that would guide the use of technology in the classroom, which they called the ITU Rubric.
A New Rubric to Guide Technology Use in the Classroom
To aid teachers in engaging in the Dynamic Learning Project and reflect on how they impact the meaningful technology use, practitioners and researchers of DLP created an Impactful Technology Use Rubric and survey questions associated with it. This rubric was created in collaboration with education practitioners and researchers, and informed by surveys and focus groups, where coaches and teachers tested it.
It includes 6 indicators for the impactful use of technology in the classroom – five cover the main areas of modern-day skills that are known to be very reliable statistically, namely collaboration, critical thinking, creativity, communication, and agency. The sixth indicator focuses on the selection of technology tools that are relevant.
Implementing the Rubric
Teachers and coaches are able to use the Impactful Technology Rubric – which we will call the ITU Rubric henceforth – to plan and reflect a road for growth in the use of tech to develop the modern-day skills of their students. When you use a holistic approach to view these indicators, the rubric will become a tool to describe the impactful use of tech, and also highlight how using technology is significant.
Additionally, each of the indicators can help educators identify strong areas and where the focus must be increased. Coaches can also use the rubric to grasp how more effective feedback can be provided to teachers about their impactful technology use.
Questions that Measure Student and Teacher Progress
DLP researchers created survey questions based on the Rubric that measure the progress of teachers’ impactful use of technology, both in the short-term and the long-term. These include the impact that technology has on student learning and engagement.
The short-term questions are meant to measure the efficiency and frequency of technology use. It is recommended that they be used to survey teachers at the start and end of a coaching period so that their growth can be measured.
The long-term questions are meant to measure the frequency of impactful use of technology and how it influences student learning and engagement. It is recommended for use at the start and end of the year on teachers that were coached and teachers that were not.
Measuring the impact that technology has on the classroom, its learners, and its teacher is essential. Technology will always be a part of students’ lives, so being able to measure how it affects them is invaluable.