Posted by: edtechceo | February 2, 2012

Blog Post 1 – So What?

I was recently inspired by a post on the blog 2Cents.

“My point is this. What should we, as educators, really care about? Is it just what students can recall at the end of the year or the course? or is it what they can do and whom they will be 20 years later?

If it’s the long haul that we are about, then I wonder, as we write our final exams for the students in our class – or end-of-year state tests, shouldn’t we be willing to ask ourselves, “Can I reasonably expect these children to be able to pass this test 20 years from now?”

If the honest answer is, “No!” then we’re just playing a game.” “

 

I responded with:

I completely agree with you that we need to think about what we truly want students to take away from our classes.  It is not about the information, but about how they access it and what they can do with it.  Twenty-first Century Skills echo this ideal, but you are right in saying that our assessments do not.  I think some people are afraid to engage in these types of assessments because they don’t feel confident in their own skills as an assessor or because a multiple choice test is just “easy” to grade.  As the educational world shifts from the idea of grades to mastery of skills, I’m hoping more people will understand the value of application rather than regurgitation. 

 

To elaborate on this, I believe that the shift in the country from homework and organizational skills counting as a large portion of final grades to summative assessment and skill mastery counting as the major portion of the grade sets up the ability to really look at how students are applying knowledge.  Skill mastery does not mean knowledge mastery.  Technology should give us a way to help demonstrate and assess this skill mastery using knowledge gained not just from the teacher, but from the entire world. 

Now that would truly assess a student’s ability to be successful.

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