Rob is a local Hobart educator.
He is a guest lecturer and tutor in the Inclusive Practices in Educational Settings unit at UTAS and he is a co-founder of teachinclusive
Education, like most systems is driven by data, student achievement. That's not necessarily a bad thing especially when you are considering key outcomes like literacy and numeracy ... these competencies can be measured (to a degree*) using standardised tests - e.g. NAPLAN. BUT how do you collect data on creative expression? On social development? On a child's ability to think? ... Because you can't objectively quantify a student outcome does that make it less worthwhile, less important? ... NO, it does not.
This is not a one size fits all answer. There is no ideal, correct way, however having said that, we now have a range of technologies that enables the recording of digital material i.e. student work / student achievement easier than ever before. Mobile technologies, cameras, iPads etc provide ideal methods of collection - photographs, audio recordings and videos.
At this point it all becomes too hard for some ... I don't have the resources; I don't know how to use the technology; I don't have the time ... etc.
To a degree I can understand these types of responses, however they lose validity if we fail to do anything about it. As educators it is imperative that we strive to maintain competency, knowledge and understanding across 3 key domains if we are to maximise student outcomes ... Pedagogy (How to teach) Content (What to teach) and ... you guessed it, Technology.
I will step down off the soap box now. (Consider writing Technology into your Personal Development Plan?)
Back to the question at hand ... how to measure the difficult to measure and importantly how to use the information or data? (I will address this question with particular reference to students with individualised learning plans - but can be used with all students)
- Be cognisant of the key learning outcomes for your students. In particular look for evidence across a variety of settings. This is really important, not only because you are directing and structuring learning to meet an identified student need, but also because you are working towards the transfer of skills and abilities.
- This is where we will go in separate ways!
Point 2 is about creating systems and work flows ... about being competent in data collection and storage. Some will set up a school network file system, some will create cloud storage systems and some will print photos and paste into an actual book!
- We come back together again here.
We do so because the aim of all of this is to maximise student outcomes, through informed collaborative assessment, reflection, planning and intervention.