Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Placing Value On Fluency

In a recent classroom experience I found myself discussing what I felt I really looked for in student success with learning and technology,after a brief moment I commented that I felt that student being able to develop a level of new fluency with tools and learning was paramount. I chose this because even though students can develop a variety of products and skills using technology software,tools and interactive experiences I felt a real mark of their learning is the development of fluency with tools to meet the individualized needs of the student.

When teaching an entire class a single tool or component of software all participants enter the experience at a variety of levels and experiences. It is in this phenomenon that the assessment of the individuals level of fluency of the tools they are using and the products they are creating becomes paramount. In my recent experiences the ways I have been assessing this outcome is the creation of screen casts by the students which asks them to provide the language,presentation,knowledge of tools and descriptions of the context of use. Students can describe entire portfolios or individualized approaches to projects.

What is revealed is the individualized approach to learning. Each students can describe the benefits of the experience and elaborate on their creations. It is in descriptions and planning that students begin to place the context of their understanding in proper light. The videos are also opportunities to critique in a positive way the work of others or to better define their goals in a real time presentation.

Fluency has a whole can be a difficult outcome to nurture in one class using specific tools of technology learning, but it is the role of the educator to teach students an approach to become lifelong learners who can find purpose in their learning and develop deeper learning experiences. To develop fluency you need to provide opportunity to refine practice and better understand specific approaches. Self analysis is critical to this process and enabling students to engage with their own record of engagement helps them learn from their learning experiences.

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