Purposeful Instructional Technology and Formative Assessments in the Library

Spring has sprung! As we get ready to support our teachers and students with end-of-the year (or semester) review, encourage your teachers to use formative assessments. Powered by easy-to-use digital platforms, formative assessments enable your teachers and students to maximize instructional technology for quick progress checks, reviews, or exit tickets. Furthermore, hosting an informal drop-in PD session in the library is a great way to showcase our collaborative role in our schools and build relationships with our teachers. My drop-in PD sessions are planned during the teachers’ planning periods throughout the day.

Once again, I teamed up with my favorite instructional technology facilitator (ITF), Katherine Leatherman, to provide another drop-in PD session on formative assessment tools this week. Katherine’s insight and expertise is so valuable. As we planned this session together, we prepared to support our teachers, but I also benefited professionally. Digging deeper into the instructional tools helped me strengthen my own professional tool kit.

Here is how we structured the session:

  1. Katherine and I selected formative assessment tools that are easy to use and engaging and offer data for teachers to track student progress.
  2. A slide presentation guides attendees through a self-paced session based on their comfort level with instructional technology.
  3. For each assessment tool we selected, we provided video tutorials, student views, and links to the actual instructional technology platforms.
  4. Throughout the session, Katherine and I are always available to assist, elaborate, and offer insight if teachers need extra support.
  5. Teachers receive CEUs focused on our NC Digital Learning Competencies for Teachers after using one of the technology tools with students and submitting a brief reflection with a digital artifact component via a Google form.
  6. We always provide simple refreshments. If you feed them, they will come!

Our formative assessment session focused on the following tools, designed to appeal to different technology comfort levels:

  • Google Classroom Question Feature
  • Google Forms
  • Plickers (with a door prize of a set of Plickers cards)
  • Quizizz
  • GimKit
Formative Assessment Slide

Shared Slide Presentation to Guide the PD

Here at our high school, as teachers prepare students for AP exams, state tests, and teacher-made finals, formative assessment tools offer helpful feedback. Why not support your teachers with some instructional technology tools that meet their needs while you foster a collaborative relationship with them?

Drop-In PD is Spreading in Our District

As we plan library programming that meets teachers’ needs, the natural result is a stronger relationship with them. For a year and a half, Katherine and I have offered a variety of drop-in sessions. We are seeing the results of this model of PD spreading to other district high schools as our teachers are sharing with their colleagues about what we are doing here. I am having conversations with district librarians about it as well. The more we show our teachers how valuable school librarians are to them, the better!

What a Typical Session Looks Like:

  1. Select the topic in advance. Katherine and I planned out the entire school year, but always remain flexible if we decide to change the topic based on staff need.
  2. Develop the materials for the session, typically an interactive slide presentation that guides attendees. Resources are embedded into the slides.
  3. Teachers join us face to face for 30-45 minutes during their planning periods once a month.
  4. Participants complete “homework,” which is basically using the technology tool with students.
  5. CEUs are earned for participation.

Katherine and I love to share, so if you are interested in how we have managed our sessions or would like to know more about the content, please reach out. As we all enter the “home stretch” of the 2018-19 school year, I wish you the best. Find me on Twitter or email me if you would like to collaborate! Katherine’s email is kaleatherman@gaston.k12.nc.us and her Twitter handle is @kaleathe615.

AASL National School Library Standards: Librarian Framework

Collaborate: Work effectively with others to broaden perspectives and work toward common goals.

Create: School librarians demonstrate the importance of personal, social, and intellectual networks by:  

  1. Modeling the use of a variety of communication tools and resources.
  2. Cultivating networks that all ow learners to build on their own prior knowledge and create new knowledge.

Author: Laura Long

Laura Long is the school library media specialist at Highland School of Technology in Gastonia, NC, a 2017 National Blue Ribbon School. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Education from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and her Masters of Library Science from East Carolina University. She is a Gaston County Schools’ Delta Fellow, Pinnacle Technology Leader and member of the Pioneering Educators Team, as well as a National Board certified language arts teacher. Additionally, she is the President of the North Carolina School Library Media Association. She loves collaborating and helping her students connect with others around the world, so feel free to contact her via email or social media.

Categories: Blog Topics, Community/Teacher Collaboration, Professional Development, Technology

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