Evaluating Non-Classroom Teachers
In many schools, teachers who teach technology are often evaluated using instruments that do not reflect their expertise. As a result, no information is available to determine if and how teachers promote students’ technology literacy. Such a practice runs counter to the need to prepare students for a world of work that increasingly demands 21st century technology skills. A two-pronged approach that includes pertinent areas of professional practice with technology integration added is a better approach to gauge teachers’ growth and to determine how they have helped their students gain technology skills.
What would such an approach look like? Pertinent areas of professional practice include items that have traditionally being used to evaluate teachers but which have been developed into frameworks such as Charlotte Danielson’s framework for teaching. This framework in particular, includes four evaluation domains: planning and preparation, the classroom environment, instruction and professional responsibilities. Add technology integration to this list and use the National Educational Technology Standards for Teachers and Students and the Profile for Technology (ICT) Literate Students as measuring tools. The profile provides examples of learning activities on various grade levels, which are linked to the National Educational Technology Standards for Students (NETS*S). Combing the Standards, the Profile and a traditional evaluation list will necessitate a stream lining of all three items in order to weed out repetition, or, merge items.
Indeed, both the Profile and the Standards offer an opportunity to develop student assessments that are truly authentic, that is, assessments that are examples of real world products and allow for real personalization and differentiation of learning. For instance, grade two students fulfill the requirements of Profile 1 (communicate original ideas and stories using digital tools) by creating videos using iMovie. These videos are likely to be about different topics and use various forms of illustration. As artifacts, they can in turn be used as evidence of student learning and teacher performance.
Furthermore, this approach can be used for other subject areas like music and art for which there is an available body of knowledge and upon which standards can be based and merged with traditional evaluation factors.