Establishing what the students will learn, or setting objectives, is the first step in increasing student achievement. In “The Impact of Education Technology on Student Achievement, ” Schacter explains that there is “evidence in some of these [MilkenExchange] studies that learning technology is less effective or ineffective when the learning objectives are unclear and the focus of the technology use is diffuse”(1999). Pitler makes four recommendations for setting clear goals that focus students on the correct learning path (Pitler, Hubbell, Kuhn, & Malenoski, 2007).
1. Set learning objectives that are specific but flexible.
2. Allow students flexibility in personalizing the learning objectives or goals.
3. Communicate the learning objectives or goals to students and parents.
4. Contract with students to attain specific learning objectives or goals.(Pitler et al., 2007)
Pitler recommends using word processing applications, organizing and brainstorming software, data collection tools, web resources, and communication software to help teachers set and clarify goals. Word processing and brainstorming software can be used to allow students to personalize the learning objectives. Data collection tools, such as online surveys, allows teachers to engage students and access their prior knowledge on a subject. The information gathered can be used to personalize the objectives.
Web resources are available that can help teachers clearly communicate objectives to students. Rubrics are a great way to provide clear expectations. There are many websites that can assist in the creation of rubrics.
Communication software such as email and blogs allow for two way communication with students and parents. Teachers can email a class newsletter to parents. The newsletter can include the objectives for the month and examples of student produced products. The newsletter can also be posted to a class blog. The class blog allows for a discussion between the teacher, students, and/or parents.
Why use technology?
Student use of technology in the classroom for setting objectives allows teachers to meet the demand of the “two great challenges facing today's educators: the challenge of learner diversity and the challenge of high standards” (Rose & Meyer, 2002). Page finds that consistent technology use in the classroom improves self-esteem and achievement of low income students (2002). According to Rose, “The task for educators is to understand how students learn and use the technology available in this digital age to provide selected supports where they are needed and position the challenge appropriately for each learner. In this way, we can engage more students and help every one progress”(2002).
Online Survey websites
Rubrics for Web Lessons
Rubrics and Rubric Makers
Example Blogs (See how other teachers are using blogs to improve student achievement.)
Page, M. S. (2002). Technology-enriched classrooms: Effects on students of low socioeconomic status. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 34(4), 389–409. Retrieved November 24, 2009 from the International Society of Education at http://www.iste.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Number_4_Summer_20021&Template=/MembersOnly.cfm&ContentFileID=830
Pitler, H., Hubbell, E., Kuhn, M., & Malenoski, K. (2007). Using technology with classroom instruction that works. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, Chapters 1, 15-38.
Rose, D., & Meyer, A. (2002). Teaching every student in the digital age: Universal design for learning. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Available online at the Center for Applied Special Technology Web site. Chapter 1. Retrieved on November 23, 2009, from http://www.cast.org/teachingeverystudent/ideas/tes/
Schacter, J. (1999). The impact of education technology on student achievement: What the most current research has to say. Santa Monica, CA: Milken Exchange on Education Technology. Retrieved on November 24, 2009, from http://www.mff.org/pubs/ME161.pdf