Like it or not, state standards are here to stay, and finding solutions to help our schools is a burgeoning topic in education information technology. There are several solutions on the market that offer standards data assessment solutions such as Data Director, Edusoft, and NWEA. Data driven assessments are then used to drive instruction in hopes to master standards. Although these solutions are great for assessment, I am finding the need for a content management system that will provide resources and content on state standards. Bridging the data from a SMS to resources on a CMS is the challenge I am looking to design.
In lieu of a solution that I have yet to find, I think that Google Apps Education along with the social concept of crowdsourcing might be the solution I am looking for. In this particular case, I want to leverage the knowledge database of our practicing teachers. Using Google Sites and Google Docs, I want to create a CMS focused solely on standards. I want to have a system that will have a dedicated page for every state standard. For example, Geometry standard 9.0 will have a wiki page dedicated on resources, lessons, and discussions. It will be an evolving wiki that is generated by the hard working teachers fighting in the trenches. I am still formulating the social culture of the wiki, but at its foundation, it should provide teachers best practices on how to achieve mastery of a specific standard. Eventually, I dream to grow this evolving CMS for every teacher in California to use someday.
It is transparent how to assess students’ academic growth using technologies such as Edusoft, NWEA, and Accelerated Reader. All these great tools help teachers comprehensively assess their students to help guide their instruction. However, I want to evaluate another aspect of technology assessment that really begs the question: How much impact does educational technology integration have on academic achievement?
After researching this subject, I have found very little information post 2002. The research found is outdated is not relevant with the tools and resources of web 2.0. I sent out a tweet about the subject, but have not heard from anyone regarding the topic. I understand that it is a difficult topic to wrap a concrete answer, however, I believe a topic that needs more attention by educational technology professionals. It may not be cut and dry like an Accelerated Reader program that will tell you a student’s reading level, but rather a model that represents growth in learning skills due to instructional technologies.
Although I have yet to see a model of assessing technology integration and its impact on academic curriculum, I feel at the bare minimum, it should have the following components.
- Measuring student engagement and interest in content area subjects
- Measuring digital literacy
- Finding correlation with schools with successful technology integration and test scores
- Measuring teacher technology growth using websites like EdTech Profile and correlating the growth with student achievement
- Measuring how differentiation using technology correlates to student achievement
- Measuring how technology enrichment projects and assignment correlates to student achievement.