Resources and Reflections

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Measuring learning: What, how to measure?

"A growing body of research highlights the classroom teacher as one of the most
important predictors of student success."http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2008/01/10/18guidera_web.h27.html
How do you measure a student's learning with technology? Is it possible? Is it enough that computers may be the means to entice one to use it and do school work? I have mentioned before that students can use computers but not in ways to promote learning as it relates to the educational institution. Is it that schools are an anachronism? If on an average week a student posts 1,000 words of text to his social network, texts msg.'s 200 words, read 10 posts of 100 words from peers/staff via email or IM; reads many pages of cheat notes for his gameboy and figures out how to win but refuses to write a 750 word essay on Poe's "The Raven". Wouldn't it be logical to provide options for the student to showcase the learning that reflects the student's interest. Nothing new here. But suppose the student dialogued about The Raven with a few friends on a social network or even an expert on Poe at a university or how about a ghost interview where the student researches Poe and The Raven and creates a podcast with the "author". Is it the means to the learning that matters or is it the learning internalized and inculcated that matters. Or said a better way is the learning relfected from the teachers learning objectives that help measure mastery of learning standards? Perhaps learning standards do not stifle a curriculum since they better help focus the learning objectives that matter for learning mastery (if that's possible); however, at least standards as a guide help teachers develop excellent units of study and permit more time for offering myriad opportunites for computers ,but I still ask have learning standards inhibited technology use ?- I mean the learning standards to a large degree do not reflect the 21st century worker. Mastery of the learning standards could be met with a textbook, pencil, and a calculator.

How does a teacher decide how to use technology? Will the teacher use technology for showcasing work or will the teacher use technology to assist the learning? Or will the teacher use computers to 'teach' the learning? When deciding to use technology, these need to be considered. Always know what the learning is before using technology and then how technology can help meet the learning.

"High-quality teaching occurs when teachers come to the classroom with a toolkit
of knowledge and skills that they employ based on a set of effective practices
and that lead, over time, to student learning. Teachers work as part of a
professional community within a workplace that supports continuous learning for
both children and adults."http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2008/01/10/18gaston_web.h27.html

Is it fair to blame technology if a student fails to meet learning standards while under the influence of using technology? Learning is assessed by using good criteria and assessments that validate the learning.


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