In this, our 5th issue of Teaching The AvatarGeneration, we decided to concentrate on one of the core time-intensive tasks that teachers are faced with day in – day out, grading. Evaluation is key for organising our students on the basis of their ability, judging their knowledge of a subject, and being able to plan their learning progression. It can also be a motivational tool for students, and help them develop better self-understanding through careful feedback and instruction.
Could technology be the solution to teachers’ grading woes? We turned our focus on some of the best tools, apps and technologies to help make grading stress-free, efficient and streamlined. We looked at ground-breaking new research into robot graders, and whether a paper-less classroom is likely in the near future. The idea that technology could potentially have this much impact on one of the most crucial aspects of teaching is a contentious one. Would robots do a good enough job? Could giving up paper cause digital organizational nightmares? We look at these issues, and how technology can impact on methodologies such as standards-based grading and tools like rubrics.
This month we also have a bumper crop of iPad app reviews, with some of the best new apps out there for teachers, and a practical guide to the whiteboard app Skitch. As usual we have our game based teaching features, with new technology to suit teachers from all different fields, ranging from civics (iCivics), to coding (CodeSpells) to math (MangaHigh). We also have a great case study from Schoolovision, a student version of the European Song Contest, which could be your next classroom project.
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Samantha Kotey is the editor for AvatarGeneration and has a background in educational technology and virtual worlds. A mom of two, she is passionate about all things related to toys and technology.