Ed Tech Thoughts on the Space Coast

Not as Easy as You Might Think

assessment: It is not as easy as you might think.
This blog entry is really more about sharing what I have recently run across concerning standardized, high stakes testing.

I just hope that by sharing this one more time, one more place that we can move the pendulum back to a more centrist position. We -the public, the citizens- should be involved and aware of the Public Education System – whether we have or don't have children:
  • Public education is a large part of the state and local budget. You are paying for this. It is an an expensive endeavor.
  • Public education is one of the answers to social stability. (Notice I didn't say the answer.)
  • Public education is opportunity for all segments of our society.
  • Public education is an important part of our social fabric. It is where we learn about and develop relationships with others.
  • Public education is one of the key places that we identify and display what our society beliefs and values are.

The first article reveals that the stress of the last "big, high stakes tests" was in vain. The tests themselves and the manner in which they were deployed was a failure:
Tampa Times editorial: Florida's Student Tests Deserve an F

The final thing is a conversation amongst thought leaders in education, psychology, metrics and cognition. Every politician that has become beholden to the textbook/testing lobby should watch this discussion!

Sustaining Innovation and Modern Literacies: 7 Reasons Every School Needs an EdTech Leader

I hope that we can start with the premise that technology literacy is an essential content area in K12 education.

Reflect on how different this world is from
10 years ago - before smart phone / tablet technology. Or how different the world is from 20 years ago with the eruption of the World Wide Web; or 30 years ago with the personal (consumer) computer revolution. How we communicate, learn from and with each other, collaborate, research, shop, aggregate, curate, discern… almost everything is very different. We cannot expect to teach as we were taught.

Granted, there is considerable disparity between schools, school systems and segments of societies. Most classrooms, most days are not significantly different today than they were 40 years ago, especially with regard to what the students are doing. At educational conferences, we see great examples of modern learning activities, but there is that nagging feeling that this only represents a small group of students and often only for a week or two out of the entire year.

My essential question after attending the tech conferences is:
How do we enhance education in a systemic fashion, and sustainable fashion?

Earlier this year, a good friend and fellow ADE Lucy Gray published an About.com article: Tips for Educational Technology Coaches that provided some great suggestions about pursuing excellence as a Technology Leader in the local school.

For me this article triggered a question:

Do education policy makers recognize just how important a Technology Specialist, Technology Integrator, or Technology Innovation Coach is at the local school level?


Assess the Assessment: Deadly Bullet Points

Today I participated in another political survey. I encourage parents, teachers and education professionals to take this survey as well.

Here is a list of my summary comments:
  • The idea that learning occurs on a schedule, in a standardized fashion for all students is ill informed.
  • The legitimacy of using a single test given one time and one time only is not a legitimate way to grade instruction nor the instructor.

Norwegian School Places Parents Under the Tutelage of Educators

photo credit: Jim Forest, https://www.flickr.com/photos/jimforest/3346684797
A former student and friend shared a Norwegian news article with me and asked me what I thought… a Facebook question and response turned into a blog post. You may want to start with the new article:

The school has a new task, namely to educate parents

Even though this article reports on education in Norway, we have seen similar policies in the good old U.S. of A. We have often said that student success has a high correlation with stable, healthy home environments and supportive, educated parents. So the big question is can (or should) teachers be held responsible or accountable for parent learning or educational involvement?

The Denmark regulation states: The school and now will: facilitate cooperation with the home and ensure that parents / guardians share responsibility in schools. Good teachers should already be doing that. The concern is when it becomes law and must be documented, assessed and enforced.


FETC Take Aways - First Edition - The T-Shirt Discovery

Cut to the chase Shupester, don't bore me with the story of how a t-shirt led to your new discovery!
Growing up in a beach surf culture in the 1970's engendered an extraordinary interest in t-shirts. Promoting rock concerts and doing rock radio in the 80's just reinforced my obsession and collective hoarding. What a fun way to show whose tribe I belong to, what products I like, what jams I listen to.

So when I am at a conference, watching for interesting t-shirts is a part of the experience.