Music City learns a thing or two about Vermont ed tech
Half of the Tarrant Institute staff and a special guest headed to Nashville last week to present at the Association for Middle Level Education Annual Conference. We set out to share with middle grades educators from around the world the incredible, tech-rich teaching happening in Vermont schools. As we always conclude after visiting national conferences, Vermont really is on the cutting edge. Here’s a roundup of our presentations about learning management systems, authentic assessment and augmented reality.
Susan Hennessey and Kristi McKnight, a 9th grade teacher from Harwood Union High School, kicked things off with a session on the effective use of Learning Management Systems (LMSs) in 1:1 classrooms. Susan’s collection of case studies from around Vermont vividly portrayed the potential of LMSs to improve instruction, transform assessment, and increase workflow efficiencies. She shared how teachers used Edmodo to promote peer critique and used badging to create a personalized and proficiency-based math classroom. Kristi explained how she uses Schoology to personalize instruction. And here’s a quick clip of how she’s able to collaborate with students on formative assessment.
Their presentation also provides a matrix for selecting the best LMS for you. Susan dug a little deeper into the concepts underlying effective use of LMSs in her research roundtable presentation later in the conference.
Authentic and Technology-Rich Assessment
Penny Bishop and I shared how we’ve seen technology used to make assessment authentic and meaningful? As schools increasingly adopt 1:1 laptop or tablet initiatives, digital tools are an effective and efficient way to assess learning in real life contexts. We explored examples of teachers and students using technology to enable authentic audiences, heighten personalization, and make room for personal expression. Our presentation looked at how a wide variety of tools fit the bill, including Twitter, Podcasting, Thinglink, video, and digital portfolios.
Finally, Mark Olofson demonstrated how augmented reality can make the classroom come alive and connect with the larger world. Participants interacted with augmented reality content and learned how middle grades educators have challenged students to build games and presentations with the Aurasma platform. As Mark has shared in a recent post, augmented reality challenges students to transform their environment using cutting edge technological tools. And this quick video is sure to augment your understanding of reality.