Evaluating Classroom Tech in the Classroom

By Utecht, Jeff | Technology & Learning, April 2008 | Go to article overview

Evaluating Classroom Tech in the Classroom


Utecht, Jeff, Technology & Learning


Evaluating the use of technology in a classroom environment is not something most administrators are trained to do. It is easy to walk into a classroom and see that every student is using a computer, but how do you really assess if and what type of learning is taking place?

In the past, I have had adminis trators tell me, "I walked into the teacher's room and all the students were on laptops." As though just the sight of students working on laptops meant they were engaged in the learning process. I have been trying to wrap my mind around a simple way for administrators to evaluate the use of technology in the classroom. When most administrators evaluate teachers during the evaluation process, they have some sort of check sheet they are working from. I wanted to come up with an easy way for administrators to add to that list some questions that they can answer without knowing a lot about technology and by just observing its use within a lesson. Here is one simple checklist:

Is the technology being used "Just because it's there"?

This would be the use of edutainment software, the use of a particular piece of technology because it happens to be in the room. The teacher dabbles with technology, not having a real focus on its use within the lesson, but uses it as an add-on or at a very basic level (no real impact on the learning process).

Is the technology allowing the teacher/students to do Old things in Old ways?

Publishing a piece of writing in Word rather than handwriting it would be an example of this. …

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