Examining Your Practice through the LoTi Lens
In last month’s article on interactive whiteboards (IWBs), I wrote about the following two scenarios:
“Imagine a visual arts classroom where students are exploring different models of arts criticism. The students have the opportunity to read critical reviews written by others, and then they gather around the IWB. The teacher has prepared for the class by putting statements from the reviews into PowerPoint and projecting them on the IWB. The students look at each statement and identify it as contextual, formal, or intuitive criticism as the teacher clicks through the presentation.
Now imagine a music classroom where students are experimenting with different composition techniques. The teacher has projected a composition program on the IWB. A small group of students is working together to write a composition by dragging notes onto the staff, listening to the resulting group of notes, and giving each other feedback. The teacher stands back and listens to the comments, guiding the students’ work based on the guidelines for the assignment.”
Dr. Chris Moersch created the LoTi – Levels of Teaching Innovation – framework in 1994. The framework was originally used to measure and assess technology use in the classroom. However, in the intervening 17 years, the focus has changed from technology to learning. From the LoTi website: “The LoTi Framework focuses on the delicate balance between instruction, assessment, and the effective use of digital tools and resources to promote higher order thinking, engaged student learning, and authentic assessment practices in the classroom – all vital characteristics of 21st Century teaching and learning.”
Dr. Moersch’s LoTi levels are:
Level 0 – Non-use
Level 1 – Awareness
Level 2 – Exploration
Level 3 – Infusion
Level 4a – Integration: Mechanical
Level 4b – Integration: Routine
Level 5 – Expansion
Level 6 – Refinement
(Descriptions of each level can be found on the LoTi website’s Digital-Age Framework page.)
Let’s look at our two examples again, this time through the lens of LoTi. The first example in the visual arts classroom might be classified at Level 1 – Awareness. The activity is teacher-centered and is focused on lower level cognitive skills like knowledge and comprehension. The technology – the interactive whiteboard – is used to enhance the teacher’s presentation of the content.
The music example might be classified at Level 4b – Integration: Routine. The activity is student-centered, and the emphasis is on students applying their knowledge. Students are using the IWB to explore a real-life issue – how to organize sounds into music.
LoTi can be a useful tool for examining instructional practice. It places the focus on student learning and digital-age literacy, instead of on instruction that is teacher-centered and on learning isolated facts. Many schools are using LoTi as both a tool for improvement and as a focus for professional learning communities. Imagine teaming up with colleagues in your building and examining your practice through the LoTi lens; LoTi has great potential for fostering powerful collegial dialogue.
What are your thoughts? Do you agree or disagree with the classifications above? Do you have ideas for raising the examples to a level 5 or 6? We’d love to hear what you think on AEC Connect!