Fifth Graders Use Naiku on ASUS Transformer Tablets

Last week, I had the pleasure of visiting a group of 5th graders using Naiku for the first time. Their school had just received a class set of ASUS Transformer tablets. The students and their teacher were excited to use the devices. They were equally excited to use Naiku for the first time. It was their second day with the tablets. On this day, they had planned to take a short assessment on the Persian War using Naiku on the tablets. It was this activity that I was particularly interested in. … Read More

Student Reflection and Confidence

Discover how confident students are about their understanding and let them engage by reflecting on their incorrect answers.
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Two Stages of Metacognition: Prediction and Reflection

In Naiku, metacognition is a big deal! I often wonder how  metacognition came to play such an important role in the Naiku Assessment Platform. Is it because I spent roughly two years doing research on the feeling-of-knowing, an important metacognitive decision-making process (Nhouyvanisvong & Reder, 1998) as a psychology graduate student at Carnegie Mellon University and have subconsciously advocated for its inclusion in our assessment software? Or is it because metacognition, when students engage in these regulatory thinking processes, plays an important role in changing testing moments to learning moments (i.e., changing … Read More

Technology Equity for Teachers

Over the past two weeks, I’ve discussed the new challenges teachers face, and how these challenges have been pushing teachers and students apart. Of course, as a “computer guy,” I think the answer to resolving this divide can be solved with technology. Often we find teachers that want to use Naiku, but feel pressure not to use technology because of an “equity” issue. This is the technology equity issue – making sure that all students have access to comparable technology.  But it isn’t equitable when teachers teaching in lower-socioeconomic areas to be left behind … Read More

One Big Idea

The central and core idea underlying formative assessment is that evidence of what students are learning is used to adjust instruction in order to better meet each student’s learning needs. Yet, something is missing from this idea. The focus is on instruction. What about the student? For assessment to be formative, both the teacher and the learner need to be actively involved in formative practices. So for Thompson & Wiliam (2008), the Big Idea of formative assessment can be expressed in the following way: Students and teachers Using evidence of … Read More

Formative Assessment

What It Is and What Classroom & Schoolwide Practices Ensure Its Success For the next three blogs I am going to focus on formative assessment. Why this focus? Simple. A significant body of research has concluded that student-learning gains garnered by classroom formative assessment practices were among the largest ever reported for educational interventions (e.g., Black and Wiliam, 1998). So, what exactly is formative assessment, how does it benefit what goes on in the classroom, what are its attributes, and what classroom- and schoolwide practices need to be in place to … Read More

Naiku Community on Edmodo

We’re pleased to announce that Naiku now has an Edmodo Community. For those who are not yet using Edmodo in the classroom, it is a free and secure social learning network for teachers, students, and schools. Edmodo provides classrooms a safe and easy way to connect and collaborate, offering a real-time platform to exchange ideas, share content, and access homework, grades, and school notices. We’re excited to expand the Naiku community over to Edmodo. Now, Naiku users will be able to connect and share formative assessment ideas and best practices … Read More

Co-Active Leadership

The Essential Ingredient for Creating a Balanced Assessment System The creation of a district- and schoolwide balanced assessment system requires change.  And here, I’m not really talking about tinkering around the edges, making incremental adjustments. I’m talking about changing relationships—significantly changing the way superintendents, principals, lead teachers, teachers, staff, students, parents, and the community relate and work together. To create and successfully enact a balanced assessment system, to pull it off, everyone will need to transform the way they think about schooling, their respective roles in schools, and the notion … Read More

Formative Assessment

In recent years, formative assessment has been the “it” topic in education. It is what everyone is talking about. It is what everyone is trying to implement. It is what many have hailed as the way to save our schools. Why is it so important? In the simplest of terms, it works! Students learn! The practice of formative assessment is shown to produce substantial learning gains for students. Paul Black and Dylan Wiliam in 1998 brought about this re-emergence of formative assessment as an effective instructional practice in their review paper on the practice and effectiveness of formative … Read More

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