Assignment #5

A#5 Part 1.a
According to Chapter 16 "Beyond Course Casting", podcasting not only attends to multiple intelligences, but it can also be used as a means to authentically assess students. Podcasting is authentic by virtue of the fact that it can be accessed by anyone anywhere in the world. Podcasting is a robust vehicle which incorporates all four language modalities thereby lifting the role of listening and speaking as an important part of literacy. All too often educators downplay the importance of listening and speaking in the development of good reading and writing skills. In terms of ESL these four language modalities must be given stage time in every lesson plan. Podcasting can be used to discretely assess a student's strengths and weaknesses in these four areas. To bolster the accountability of podcasting as a means of assessment, teachers can create rubrics to accompany assignments. By creating rubrics to analyze a finished student product, teachers can provide well rounded feedback to the student as well as create informed lesson plans for the future. The work involved to use podcasting beyond course casting is exactly the type of technology incorporation that is touted by "Meaningful Learning With Technology." But in order for podcasting to be an effective tool teachers must create lessons where podcasting truly fits and makes sense rather than throwing it in because it is available.

A#5 Part 1.b
The assessment tools described in chapter 10 of "Meaningful Learning With Technology" are becoming increasingly necessary in today's classrooms. These types of tools are not only reflective of our growing dependence on technology they are incidentally correlated with the physical realities of our students. As families face hardships and have to move often, having a digital portfolio of each student can be valuable for sharing student information and progress between schools. Traditional paper assessments are limited due to their temporal nature. Additionally, results from classroom tests showing how each student fared on each question would be hard to transfer from one school to the next or from one grade level to the next if it exists only on paper. In this age of accountability, the use of ePortfolios to track progress and target specific areas for review makes perfect sense. The employment of Clicker tools can also be used to guide instruction as a teacher retrieves instant information on student comprehension. A teacher can know when to repeat, review, change the pace of a lesson, or adjust his/her line of questioning according to student responses. As teachers we all know the gut wrenching feeling at the very end of a lesson when we get a blank stare confirming our wasted efforts. Clickers can partially prevent this. Our students deserve to be measured beyond the standardized testing that the state currently utilizes. They deserve to be seen as multifaceted individuals that know more than what a multiple choice test may indicate; using tools like ePortfolio and Clicker technology are just some of the ways we can encourage authentic assessment.

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