Tag: change

Free Learning

Free LearningFree running* invites participants to use creativity, skill and strength to find new ways to navigate a landscape. It is fun, engaging and highly motivating for those who participate. It takes a space (urban or otherwise) and turns it on its head, drawing new function …

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Assess This Teacher

Gress LessonYesterday I put together an end-of-year survey for my students. Instead of focusing on lots of questions on different aspects of my teaching, I simply asked students to grade me in the same way I grade them: a comment, an attainment score and an …

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Visual Assessment Guide

What started last year as a Self Assessment Guide, has been reworked into a more general tool for assessment. This new guide is suitable for teacher, peer or self assessment and also offers a visual map of what we want students to learn (with highlighting of which concepts are most important). Although still ICT specific, this guide could be adapted to any subject by changing the attributes and keywords. Visual Assessment Guide - ICT & Media_web

Printable Version (PDF)

So, what's changed? Well, after a year of experience with student self assessment using the original guide, I have come to the following conclusions.
  1. Self assessment is great, and students really learn a lot by revisiting concepts learned, and writing about them. However, students get bored of self assessment, so using it more than 3 times a year with one group is not so great. The assessment tool should thus by more general, useful for teachers and peers to use.
  2. The old guide was based around "strands", which were essentially high level learning outcomes. The new guide focuses on "attributes", as I really want to be centered around the kind of students I want leaving my course after three years. The two schools I am involved in (ICHK Secondary and ICHK HLY) include formal ICT learning from Years 1 to 9, and we have tentatively decided to use these attributes across the entire age range. Hopefully this will lend consistency to what we are doing, allowing us to be more effective.
  3. In the original guide there was mapping from the ways of learning (a Bloomsian set from knowing through creating), allowing these to be turned into numeric scores. This was never ideal, as it is too reductionist and focuses attention on the grade, not what has been learned. The new version dispenses with the levels, and just focuses on the ways of learning. It has been tentatively agreed that next year I can experiment with reporting the top way of learning achieved in a particular piece of work. Hopefully this will help
  4. The old category of "becoming" connotes a moral element to what is being taught, and means assigning levels based on my own world view. Whilst I might find this appropriate, others may not. This point was raised by Toby Newton, and whilst I was initially hesitant, I can see the value of his point that we need students to be more critical of what we say, not just accepting and applying everything automatically.
I am really keen to get feedback on this style of assessment, and on the ICT content included and omitted from the guide. I don't doubt that collaboration will make this idea more useful and usable.

Should We Stop Teaching Handwriting?

FloppyWhilst I am no fanboy, there is one thing that I think Apple does well: phasing out obsolete technology. Whether it was floppy drives in the 90s or DVD drives and Ethernet ports in the 10s, there is no place in Apple machines for …

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The Namoa Pirates

Kowloon Namoa Pirate Behading_tuhmHaving grown up in Hong Kong, thinking about colonialism and imperialism quickly gives me a headache. At the root of this is an unbridgeable sense of cognitive dissonance: on the one hand these two forces created an amazing city which I love as my home, …

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Friends Without Benefits

Holding HandsWhat Facebook, Twitter, Tinder, Instagram, and Internet Porn Are Doing to America’s Teenage Girls

This is an abridged version of the full article from Vanity Fair. It has been prepared for educational use with students in lower secondary school (ages 11-14). Inserted at times are

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High Tech Stuff v2

What makes us different to other species? Why have we managed to dominate the earth when we have no natural defenses? These are the questions which lead me to design this unit, which looks into the past, present and future of ICT, whilst asking students …

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Hong Kong Railway Museum

KCRThis morning my wife, kids and I took a trip to the Hong Kong Railway Museum, located in Tai Po, just on the edge of the Kowloon-Canton Railway line. Although I pass it twice a day on my way to a from school, it …

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Dvorak

DvorakI am writing this post on a Dvorak keyboard, and it is slow going. For most of my life, I, like most other people, have used a standard QWERTY keyboard. Despite knowing that this type of keyboard is not optimal for typing fast (many believe …

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Self Assessment Guide

Last year I completed my Unified ICT Rubric for KS3, and even before it was finished I hated it. It was too big, too complex and too restrictive. I have spent the last year slowly thinking of a better way, looking around at what others are doing, and trying to roll disparate ideas into something simple, cohesive and, gasp, even fun. The result is the document and process you see below. It is a system of student self assessment, where the teacher is there to verifying and adjudicate student's own assessments of themselves. But, it is more than simply an assessment guide, it is also a way for students to understand a whole course, and to map their progress.

ICT & Media Assessment Guide_web

Large version (PNG) | A3 printable version (PDF) | Editable student version w/ log (Pages)

The Teaching & Assessment Process

This document can be used in numerous ways to support teaching and learning. The description below is the way I am currently planning to use it:
  • The first step has been to reduce the number of units in each year, to free up 5 lessons for students to work on self assessment. You can see my draft KS3 ICT & Media Plan, to look at what exactly is covered.
  • Students will be introduced to the guide during the first lesson of the year, and we will work through the instructions (top right of the guide) together.
  • For each unit of study, students will reflect on roughly 5 strand+keyword pairs (e.g. Intellectual Property+Creative Commons). At first, I will select these for them, after some practice they should be able to select them themselves.
  • Students will study as per usual, creating an artifact which they will submit for assessment.
  • Students will then write their reflection, showing clearly how they have achieved each level, going as high as they can. They will assign themselves a grade using the average of their layers. This reflection, plus grade, will be submitted as well.
  • Using both the submitted work, as well as the reflection, I will vet their self assessment, and determine whether it is accurate. Any adjustments (up or down), will be made before the final grade is recorded.
  • Finally, students will highlight the keywords they have reflected on, using the header colour from the highest level they have achieved. As students progress through the course, they should end up with an ongoing map of their achievement:

ICT & Media Assessment Guide_highlights

I would love to get some input on this idea. How does it compare with your own assessments? Do you think it will work? Is it suitable to subjects other than ICT & Media? Acknowledgements: this work has not been created in isolation, but rather has been influenced by many other teachers and their approaches to assessment and education in general. I would like to acknowledge Jennifer Goldthorpe's work on self assessment, Mark Roper & Kevin Lester's IEA work on a clear lexis for assessment and Chris Leach for tipping me over the edge.

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