Using Technology For Assessment

Looking In The Front Foyer For 3-D Solids
Looking Around The Classroom For 3-D Solids

Looking In The Staff Kitchen For 3-D Solids


I know that it’s not a new concept to use technology for assessment, but after an activity that my students completed in class today, I just had to blog about this topic. In math, I am just beginning to introduce three-dimensional solids, and as a pre-assessment, I wanted to see what students already knew about 3-D solids. I compiled a list, with visuals, of six different three-dimensional solids, and we read this list as a class. We then discussed the difference between a two-dimensional shape and a three-dimensional solid: shapes are “flat” and solids have “depth” — they “pop out.” I then put the students into partners and gave each partner group a list of three-dimensional solids. Each student got his/her own Palm Treo too. We then went on a Scavenger Hunt around the school and outside looking for three-dimensional solids. Students were challenged to find at least one example of each solid.

Wow! It was incredible to watch them on this Scavenger Hunt. The students were whispering to their partner that certain objects were shapes and not solids because they were “flat.” They were telling their partner that they could take pictures of other objects because they “popped out.” You could also hear them whispering the names of the different solids that they found. Every student was completely engaged in this activity, and even the snippets of conversation that I overheard told me what the students knew and what they needed to learn.

I could also use their photographs as a digital portfolio. Scrolling through these photographs tonight told me which students understood the difference between a shape and a solid, and which students did not. Then there was the discussion that this Scavenger Hunt produced when we got back to class. Students told me about what they found and recorded their answers on the SMART Board. This became almost a “digital exit card”: a great piece of formative assessment telling me what the students knew and what they needed to learn.

To my students, this afternoon was all about having fun, but to me, it was the perfect combination of fun and learning, and it produced really meaningful data for me to use too. What a great day!

Please share the different ways that you have used technology for assessment. I would love to hear about your great success stories as well!


2 thoughts on “Using Technology For Assessment

  1. I think this is a real, authentic activity for the students. You’ve combined the use of technology into an activity that I’m sure inspired a great deal of conversation from the students. Instead of just a technology activity for the sake of technology, you’ve asked them to apply the mathematics concept with a technology bent. I’m sure that the students are excited and that they’ll remember this nicely. Way to go.

  2. Thanks Doug! I think that the students really enjoyed this activity, and they were still talking about it when they left school today. Hopefully this introductory activity will help the students as they continue to develop their skills when it comes to 3-D solids.

    Thanks for all of your support!

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