Rethinking Teacher Evaluations: How Technology Can Help Ease the Process

By Ullman, Ellen | Technology & Learning, August 2012 | Go to article overview

Rethinking Teacher Evaluations: How Technology Can Help Ease the Process


Ullman, Ellen, Technology & Learning


Whether your state administrators have asked you to tie teacher pay into student scores on standardized tests or they just want you to revamp the way you assess your instructional staff, chances are your district is well on its way to figuring out how to do it.

Florida, like many states, passed legislation in 2011 that requires districts to revise the way they evaluate and compensate their employees. "We had a teacher-evaluation system in place, but it was very subjective and very dependent on paper and pencil," says Marilyn Underwood, executive director of staff development for Marion County (FL) Public Schools. "Race to the Top and Senate Bill 736 gave us a charge to do something meaningful and quantitative with our teacher evaluation systems."

The district chose Charlotte Danielson's Framework for Teaching and then purchased Performance Matters' FASTe (www.performancematters.com), which provides an integrated student assessment, data management, and teacher evaluation platform. FASTe (Formative Action System for Teacher Effectiveness) helps teachers improve by connecting them to differentiated resources and letting them continually access their evaluations.

Thanks to Race to the Top funds, every administrator received an iPad loaded with descriptions of Danielson's Framework. Administrators use their iPads for three types of observations: formal (long, pre-planned, and teacher conferences), informal (shorter and unplanned), and walkthroughs (5- to 10-minute daily or weekly "quick hits" to check in for smaller issues).

The administrators collect data that is saved and aggregated. Teachers receive an immediate e-mail when an observation is finished and uploaded so they can see their principal's thoughts. FASTe's reporting capabilities have been a tremendous timesaver, says Underwood, particularly for providing state-required midterm evaluations of new teachers. "We can also look at trends, which is crucial for staff development. I can see if I need to do a training session on a specific topic. As a result, our professional development is more timely, more responsive to our needs, and much more effective."

WATCH ME NOW

Up north, the evaluation tool of choice for the state association of public charter schools in Michigan is Teachscape's Reflect Video device. (www.teachscape.com). The Michigan Association of Public School Academies (MAPSA) used funding from the Teacher Incentive Fund. This five-year grant supports efforts to develop and implement performance-based teacher and principal compensation systems in high-need schools. MAPSA rolled out the program to 20 charter schools throughout Detroit.

Teachscape Reflect is a low-profile, lightweight device that combines two high-definition video cameras and two high-quality wireless microphones to provide a panoramic view of the classroom. It helps instructors reflect on their teaching, share instructional practices, and receive just-in-time coaching based on the Danielson Framework.

"Teachscape allows us to deliver quality feedback to help teachers hone their craft," says Brian May, vice-president of school initiatives for MAPSA. "We want to give our educators every opportunity to improve their teaching."

The charter schools conduct two formal evaluations each year (per state rule), but are encouraged to use Reflect as much as possible for peer-to-peer evaluations and walkthroughs. "We're limited in what we can do because of funding," says May. "Mentor teachers are not always available to assist a teacher, so this lets us do a video recording that the teacher and mentor can discuss during prep time or after school."

May admits that some teachers were hesitant about being videotaped, but the training that the teachers received from Teachscape allowed everyone to see the value of the device and how easy it is to use. "After we went through the first taping, people were a lot more open to sharing their videos," he says. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Rethinking Teacher Evaluations: How Technology Can Help Ease the Process
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.