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Tech Tip: Checking for understanding in a one-to-one classroom

2 min read


Tech Tips is a content collaboration between SmartBrief Education and GreyED Solutions.

Checking for understanding at the most basic level in the classroom has historically included teachers observing the body language of his or her students.  Are they making eye contact?  Are they nodding and showing indications that they are following the concept being discussed, or are they staring quizzically at you with a furrowed brow?  When instruction shifts in the classroom to a more personalized and digital approach, teachers find that they are observing and facilitating a class of heads that are bent down into devices.

Leveraging technology is an excellent way for teachers to address this, using formative assessments through any number of digital tools to check for student understanding.  The benefits to this are great; allowing teachers and students real time feedback to aid in the modification and personalization of instruction in the classroom.  Embedding these conversation and the necessary training for teachers to feel comfortable utilizing these practices in an essential component to successes in your 1:1 classrooms.

However, teachers should feel equally at ease leveraging moments were technology doesn’t make sense in completing a task or introducing a concept.  Establishing common terms like ‘lights out’ where students close their lids or shutter their tablets and focus their attention on the task or presenter at hand allows for the continued engagement of students offline when most appropriate.

Julie Carter, co-founder and CEO and co-founder of GreyED Solutions, has a passion for impacting the classroom through effective implementations of technology.  Carter began her career in education as a classroom teacher and media specialist and then moved on to become the Executive Director of Technology for Minnetonka Public Schools.  There she supervised one of the best one-to-one computing efforts in the country and was recognized by the Apple Distinguished Educator Program and the National School Board Association.  Carter was named as Tech & Learning’s Leader of the Year in 2010 for her innovative use of technology and as one of “20 to Watch” by the National School Board Association in 2010.