To date, my colleagues in the field and I have conducted thousands of classroom walkthroughs or snapshots, peer observations, and pre-post assessments to gauge the LoTi Level in classrooms. Over the years, certain tendencies associated with the different LoTi (Levels of Teaching Innovation) levels continue to surface that can aid us in our data collection quest.
Provided below are some of these rules. I begin each rule with the same lead-in that the comedian, Jeff Foxworthy, uses as he begins his “ You know you’re a redneck when…” routine.
1. You know it’s a LoTi 2 or below when the teacher's description of the lesson focuses more on the technology than on the critical content.
1. You know it’s a LoTi 2 or below when the teacher's description of the lesson mentions that the students will be creating a PowerPoint presentation, poster, or a diorama.
1. You know it’s a LoTi 2 or below when the teacher mentions the use of a KWL chart as an integral part of the lesson.
1. You know it’s a LoTi 3 or above if the teacher mentions student engagement with one or more complex thinking strategies such as problem-solving or decision-making.
1. You know it’s a student-centered learning experience when students are giving options or personal input into two out of the three components of the learning experience (i.e., Content, Process, Product).
1. You know it’s a LoTi 5 when the learning experience involves some type of two-way collaboration with "experts" beyond the classroom that leads to authentic problem-solving by the student(s).
These simple rules can help clarify the LoTi level of any classroom learning experience ranging from the lesson plan to the actual execution of the lesson with the express intent of fostering continuous improvement and digital-age learning.